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New wedding trend for those who want to put others first

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Couples are turning to "social gifting" to get their marriage started on the right foot.

A couple due to wed this August are breaking with tradition by requesting a different style of present to mark their union. Instead of registering a list in a favorite store, or asking guests to contribute to a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, Daniel Lockwood and Katy Darcy are asking guests to participate in “social gifting.”

The trend is gaining momentum as brides and grooms want to bring more meaning to their nuptials. With most couples marrying in their late 20s, they’ve often already moved out of their parents’ home and have all the necessary homeware, as well as an income, so their needs and priorities lie elsewhere. This is the case with Lockwood and Darcy, both in their 30s, who decided to “just ask people to be a bit more thoughtful.”

They’re part of a generation of men and women who are turning their backs on materialism and over-consumption, and choosing to use their special day to highlight the need to help others. This new style of gift involves wedding guests pledging to carry out an act of kindness, donate their time to a charity, help an elderly neighbor with some chores, or even pick up litter in their local area.

Through the wedding gift site, Prezola, couples can sign up and create meaningful pledges for their guests. The service is free. As bride-to-be Darcy says, it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture; it could be as simple as promising to try and cut down on food waste. As the chief executive of Prezola, Dom Beavon, explained to The Times: “The couple asking you in honor of their marriage to change your behavior in some way, such as by doing something charitable — don’t buy me a gift but buy yourself a reusable coffee cup — that’s the kind of thing we are beginning to see.”

While there is no guarantee that guests will fulfill their pledges, all it takes is for some of the guests to carry out their good deeds and the couple will be left feeling they’ve gotten off to marriage on the right foot: putting others first.

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