When you’ve got everything you need, how are you meant to compile a wedding gift list? Anti-poverty organisation ActionAid provides couples with an alternative option for their wedding gift list – the option to donate money to charity. We take a look at three selfless couples who decided to use their big day to help such a worthy cause.


Carol and Matt

Carol and Matt Pennigton got married on 1st September 2012 after being engaged for a year. The proposal happened on Bonfire Night in front of an incredible fireworks display. Magical!

The wedding was held in a small chantry chapel and Carol described her big day as ‘perfect’. The most moving part of the ceremony, for her, was when they said their vows and made their commitment to each other.

Carol has supported ActionAid since the loss of her first husband, when she raised money and visited Peru with the charity. She has been a supporter ever since. Both Carol and Matt already had everything they needed so they decided to let their guests donate to ActionAid.

Fiona and Rob

Fiona and Rob Harrand were married in July 2012 and had an intimate wedding at the picturesque location of Castiglione del Lago, Italy. The most memorable part of the day for Rob was seeing Fiona walk down the aisle.

“We’ve done the whole buying toasters and tea towels thing already,” says Rob. “Plus, we asked people to travel to Italy for our big day, so we decided to ask our guests to donate to charity, instead of buying us traditional gifts. We came away with a good feeling, had an amazing day and managed to raise money for charity.”

Vanda and Steve

Vanda and her husband Steve wanted to have a wedding that felt like a festival. When they got married on June 3rd 2012, rather than hiring a standard wedding venue, they held their wedding at a local mill and spent the morning with their friends and families decorating it in bright colours and lights.

“It made the day last much longer and felt more personal to have everyone involved,” says Steve. “We decided to donate money to ActionAid as an alternative wedding gift because we already had much of what we needed. It’s such a positive thing to do, and we feel great that someone less fortunate will benefit from our happiness.”

Find out more

To find out more or to sign up to the alternative wedding gift list, visit www.actionaid.org.uk/weddings or call 02031220508