Vows of a Gala Fundraising

There are couples who sweat the seating chart and bring a different spin on wedding planning. While others bicker over honeymoons or flower arrangements, a young couple from Chicago, Tiffany Au and Caleb Remington, have decided to turn their big day into a fundraising event titled the ‘Greatest Wedding Ever Donated’. 

This gesture dates back to the time when Remington was battling cystic fibrosis that damages the digestive system, lungs and other body organs. Due to this genetic disorder, he dealt with infections and viruses, and had to consume about 60 pills every day. "I do wake up and I have a really big cough. And so I have to do about an hour of chest therapy and breathing treatments in the morning and at night. My body can't metabolize the nutrients in food, so I have to take pancreatic enzymes, It's a pretty intense regimen for breathing treatments and chest therapy on top of taking pills just to maintain lung function. And that's the biggest thing is, over time, the lung function decreases” he said. 

During these tough times of life, he had Au, his fiancé by his side, with whom he got engaged in Hawaii after a two-mile leading to a beach after he proposed her. She quoted, “We were talking about what marriage meant to us and why we loved each other. And it all came back down to community and serving others, so we definitely knew that that was going to be something that was going to be incorporated in the wedding."

The couple, hence, decided to ask the guests to donate money on their website to a fund that will split between 5 organizations, namely the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Global Genes, Think Together, Wayfarer Foundation and To Write Love on Her Arms, instead of the traditional gifts. Saying their vows on May 5, their goal is to raise $500,000 in total.
This wedding, which has a ticketed portion and a benefit concert anyone can attend, is expected to give people a different idea about walking down the aisle. Remington stated, "If you don't want a registry and you don't want that toaster on the top of the fridge sitting there for months before you open it up, think about the different cause areas that you are affected by, and maybe turn your registry into a donation platform. Because, yeah, the wedding industry is $76 billion. So even if 1 percent of that could go back to nonprofit, we could do a lot of good."