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I do-nate: Couple use wedding to raise £1,500 for Big Issue

"The main thing is, we hope that other people will take the same approach," said bride Katie Fulford-Smith.

Big Issue wedding

Katie Fulford-Smith and Justin Taylor. Image: Supplied

A couple used their wedding day as an opportunity to raise over £1,500 for Big Issue Foundation.

When Katie Fulford-Smith and husband Justin Taylor got married at Chelsea Old Church on July 1, in an intimate ceremony with less than 100 people, they decided they wanted to do something a bit different.

Instead of a gift registry, the couple decided to ask guests to donate to causes close to their heart. Katie is familiar with the Big Issue Foundation through her work in the city with Big Society Capital – and knows the outcomes from the work it does. Having already run the London marathon last year in support of the charity, she decided to do even more.

“Working in the City and having done so for 10 years, you walk past people on the streets and it feels unjust and incredibly sad. It’s doesn’t get any easier to see, personally,” she said.

“But what’s also really nice is that you see Big Issue vendors, and learn about what the Big Issue does – it has really tried to empower people to help themselves. That’s the big thing that particularly resonates with me.”

Sorting out the donations was one of the better parts of the pre-wedding organisational marathon, Katie said. On the day, the priest told guests to put their phones away – once they’d scanned a QR code printed on the back of the order of service.

The wedding day was “beautiful”, with guests fully on board with the donations. “People were really glad that we did it, actually,” Katie said.

“We’re very fortunate and very lucky to be able to have a wedding and a lovely party with our friends. I think it just felt like a really nice way for people to pay it forward and give back.”

Through JustGiving the couple have raised over £1,500 for the Big Issue Foundation and the same for Depaul, a youth homelessness charity.

Donations are still trickling in, and Katie hopes others will follow their lead: ”The main thing is, we hope that other people will take the same approach. I don’t think we’re like a nation that’s necessarily as good at giving as we should be.”

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