Your wedding day is known to be one of the happiest days of your life, but what if you spend that time helping the needy instead of celebrating with loved ones? That's how this Turkish couple, who opted for feeding Syrian refugees in lieu of a wedding reception, spent their big day.
Last Thursday, Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat dished out food to 4,000 refugees on their wedding day on the border town of Kilis, The Daily Beast reports. The bride wore an elaborate white wedding dress, with a headdress complete with a glittering gold tiara, while her groom wore a white tuxedo with black trim. In their wedding-day garb, the couple stood behind large food trucks distributing meals to hungry Syrians, the victims of a gruesome civil war, instead of hosting friends and family for a traditional banquet reception.
The idea came from the groom's father, who volunteers for the Turkish relief organization Kimse Yok Mu (KYM), which has distributed daily meals to the thousands of needy refugees who've crossed into Turkey. Kilis has been a central crossing point for the flood of Syrians arriving in Turkey as it's just mere miles from the Syrian border — Turkey is now home to nearly two million Syrians, with the town of Kilis, which has an official population of 108,000, hosting 123,000 of the refugees.
"I thought that sharing a big delicious dinner with our family and friends was unnecessary, knowing that there are so many people in need living next door," the father of the groom, who proposed to KYM that the family would cover part of the costs of feeding refugees for the day, told the Independent blog i100.
"When he told that to the bride she was really shocked because, you can imagine, as a bride you wouldn't think about this — it's all about you and your groom," said Hatice Avci, the international communications manager for KYM. "In southeastern Turkey there is a real culture of sharing with people in need...They love to share their food, their table, everything they have. That's why the bride also accepted. And afterwards she was quite amazed about it."
The couple was very happy with their decision to forgo a lavish celebration for the greater good. "Hopefully this will also give the start for other wedding dinners to be held here with our brothers in Syria," the groom told local news.