It’s become normal for a wedding invitation to include a gift list of items the bride and groom would like for their home.
But one Florida-based couple bucked the trend in a truly wonderful fashion.
An advocate for random acts of kindness, Leigh McManus suggested that instead of toasters and towel-bales, her guests carry out a good deed.
“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?” Leigh wrote in a blog post.
“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.”
Though many guests shared details of their good deeds with only the bride and groom, many more took to social media and, using the hashtag #KindLeighEverAfter, told the world what they were up to. And pretty soon, strangers were getting involved in the initiative too.
Randoms acts of kindness included the maid of honour turning up at her local nail salon with a trayful of donuts for the staff. One guest bought lunch for a stranger while another made a donation to the local animal shelter (see below). Another baked cookies for the delivery drivers at the company she works for, and another donated much-needed supplies to a local women's refuge.
Since the wedding, Leigh has continued to carry out random acts – see a selection of her good deeds below.
Random acts of kindness are not just a fabulous way to celebrate an event like a wedding; they’re also scientifically proven to make you a happier person.