When my longtime love got down on one knee beneath the sunset on Sanibel Island last July...
I was overcome with love and gratitude for the journey we'd been on, and the love we had for one another.
As our wedding approached, we wanted to do something to give back. The world had given us something we both spent a lifetime looking for -- true love. How could we not show our appreciation and gratitude for the happiness we'd found?
We decided that the best thing we could do was to spread kindness through our wedding.
We asked each of our guests if they were willing to participate in a Random Act of Kindness to celebrate our wedding. The stories that emerged were incredible and heart warming.
Many guests shared their stories with us and asked to remain anonymous. One friend stopped on a busy day with her kids to help a family load a new bike into their small car. Used to transporting bikes frequently, she was able to help a family in a bind who were afraid they couldn't get the bike home.
Another guest gave up her upgraded seat on the plane so that a family that was separated could sit together. Still another paid for the dinner of a couple at a nearby table while they were out to dinner. The stories of love for others, through acts of kindness, kept pouring in, with friends far and wide to participating through social media. We had so many great things happen as a result of this small request. It was truly inspiring.
Here are some of our favorite acts of kindness performed in celebration of our wedding:
Emily Schairer, a bridesmaid, and her daughter Chloe took pet supplies to a local animal shelter. As animal lovers with two cats of their own, they wanted to do something special in honor of our furry friends.
The maid of honor, Jennifer Avitabile, brought a dozen doughnuts to the local nail salon.
Caitlin Blewett, childhood friend of the bride, bought frozen yogurt for the security guard at her London office.
Michelle Syner, sorority sister of the bride, baked cookies for her local UPS driver (pictured above) and his crew. She asked him to promise to share them with fellow workers. Let's hope it happened -- the cookies look awesome!
Keegan Leahy, friend of the bride and groom, bought lunch for the person behind him.
Jillian Bhatia, childhood friend of the bride, decided to get her family involved. She and her kids, Rohan and Vivi, pitched in and donated supplies to a local women's shelter. Jillian has been teaching her kids about volunteering and acts of kindness from a young age and they are both incredibly kind.
As for James and I, we delivered flowers from our wedding to local hospital patients and nursing homes. We have also taken various decor from the day and made them into surprises and delights to hand out to strangers.
We are incredibly thankful that our guests decided to join in the fun, spreading love and kindness in honor of our big day. Our gratitude for the love we have for one another, and for those in our lives, was magnified that day. The best way we could share our love with the world was by spreading it through kindness onto others. Thank you to our guests and loved ones for helping us accomplish that.
Photo Credit: Miranda Lawson Photography