How one couple turned their "I Dos" into donations
Five years ago, David and Michelle were set up on a blind date by mutual friends—and, David adds, they haven’t spent much time apart since.
Even though their childhood homes were just a few miles apart, Michelle and David had never met one another prior to that first date. But they were both connected to Holland Bloorview in their own way.
“My mother used to work with kids with disabilities as a teacher and it gave her so much joy to be able to help like that,” says David. As for Michelle, she has fond memories of taking her kids for swimming lessons at Holland Bloorview’s community pool.
Today, the couple feel a sense of comfort knowing there is a place in their community where kids’ needs are met. That’s why it was an easy decision when David and Michelle chose to ask wedding guests to donate to Holland Bloorview in lieu of traditional gifts. Their generous donation also allowed the couple to include David’s mother in their celebrations.
“David’s mother passed away when she was 56 and this was a way to make her a part of our wedding, by honouring something that was so near and dear to her heart,” says Michelle. And as this was both their second marriage, David and Michelle were eager to offer this meaningful alternative to gifts instead of toasters, blenders, pots and pans.
“It had double the impact. It was a chance for people to learn about Holland Bloorview and then go to the website to donate,” says David. “We hope that it’s a gift that will keep giving for many, many years.”
This year, the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary at home with their family. Even though it’s been over 12 months, the couple remembers their special day like it was yesterday. David recalls how June 2nd was one of the first sunny days in a while, making their outdoor celebration even better.
Michelle adds, “We have four kids collectively and they were all a part of our wedding party. Our youngest son was David’s best man and the three girls were in my bridal party.”
And what a party it was. In the afternoon, David and Michelle walked down the aisle to piano accompaniment by a close friend. At the reception, dubbed “Sunday Fun Day,” friends and family gathered under a peony-covered tent in the couple’s backyard to dance and enjoy the food and drinks.
“Guest who stayed later into the evening saw me and my daughter jumping into the pool in full dress-up gear,” says David. At the end of the day, the remaining wedding guests retreated to the living room for pizza and to watch the Toronto Raptors play in the final round of the NBA playoffs.
But amid all the festivities, one of the most special parts of Michelle and David’s wedding was how their friends and family came together to support an organization that means so much to them.
“It was really easy for our guests to donate to Holland Bloorview. We recognize that when people are invited to a wedding, they feel obligated to give something and people really appreciated this change,” says David.
And according to the couple, it also felt great to give back.
“How can you not feel good about supporting Holland Bloorview?” says Michelle. “It’s a win-win.”
Celebrate your love for one another with Holland Bloorview. The Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation's Wedding Program offers couples the opportunity to celebrate their special day while supporting kids with disabilities. Find more information here.