When it comes to wedding gifts, it is traditional that people who are invited to the wedding give a gift to the happy couple. In the past, these gifts were usually something to help the couple with their new lives together. However, now that more couples are moving in together before they get married, these gifts do not have to be house-related. Gifts are a pretty big part of weddings, whether it is from the guests to the couple, or the couple to one another.
A lot of brides and grooms will also buy each other a gift to commemorate the special day – apparently, a diamond engagement ring is not always enough. Cute ideas include socks for if one of them gets ‘cold feet’, an embroidered handkerchief to catch the happy tears or just a handwritten letter from the heart. However, this bride decided to arrange something far more unique and meaningful, the results of which have lasted much longer than just the wedding day.
Throwing tradition out
Traditionally, speeches are the job of the groom, the best man, and the father of the bride. Usually the bride doesn’t make a speech, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t. After all, she is an equal part of the marriage so she should be able to make a speech if she wants to! Luckily, this bride wasn’t one to bow to tradition, and she grabbed the microphone during the reception, much to the surprise of their guests.
When she asked for everyone’s attention, the room fell silent and there was an air of excitement and curiosity. She called up six men, each one of them well-built, strong looking, and dressed smartly. Most of the guests had no idea who these men were, although they were described as groomsmen, and brothers in a way, to one another and the groom. They stood at the front of the room and surveyed the crowd, but the bride gave nothing away as to what was going on.
Surprise treasure hunt
Without mentioning anything to do with the men, she explained that she had arranged a small surprise gift for everyone but that it was down to the guests to find them, hidden around the hall. The guests excitedly set about searching, looking in the bouquets, under the centerpieces, even around the cake! There’s something super exciting about a mystery surprise treasure hunt, especially when you are at a wedding and you have no idea what it is that you are looking for!
Gifts for the guests are usually a small favor placed on the table; they could be a candle, some sugared almonds or a fridge magnet – often with a picture of the couple, the date of the nuptials or the name of each individual guest. These are a fun and thoughtful memento for the guests to take home and remember the special day. These were the kind of trinkets that the guests expected they were searching for.
Finally, a guest found the gift, a small envelope, and shouted to the rest of the family and friends who were searching for the presents. They explained that they had found a sealed envelope under their chair, and sure enough when everyone else looked underneath their chairs, they too found sealed envelopes – one for every single guest. But what was inside?! When the bride gave them permission to open them what they found inside puzzled them even more.
Inside of each and every envelope was a $3 Dunkin’ Donuts voucher, good for one treat. Why did the bride insist on giving them all a Dunkin’ Donuts voucher? They struggled to see the relevance and after such a big build-up, they found themselves feeling a little underwhelmed. Many were unsure of why they would have been given such a random offering from the bride. Even the groom couldn’t explain it, he was just as confused as the rest of the gathered crowd.
Once again, the bride asked for everyone’s attention. She explained that the vouchers were not for the guests in attendance, and puzzled murmurs broke out across the room. Who were they for, and why were they being given to the guests? The more things that were revealed about this surprise, the less was becoming clear! The bride explained that the secret to the relevance of the gifts was in the six strangers stood around her – in the excitement, they had almost been forgotten about!
Who were the men?
The bride went on to explain that the vouchers were for someone that they all know, but also may not have met yet. What was going on? She introduced the men as brothers’ in arms to her husband – fellow police officers who served alongside her husband on the local police force. A little bit of recognition rippled through the crowd, but still, they were puzzled about why the bride had insisted on getting them up during her speech.
She went on to describe the men – courageous, selfless, thoughtful, strong and kind. However, this was not always the way they were treated. So often there is a lack of respect paid to the police force and the public’s treatment of them is unfair, according to the bride. She explained the sacrifice that her husband and his team make every day – risking their lives, leaving their families to report for duty, never really having time off like most of the guests are able to do.
But what did it mean?
The policemen stood a little shyly, unused to such high praise and being the center of attention. The rest of the audience were also feeling a little awkward, thinking about what the bride was saying and asking themselves if they too were guilty of the lack of respect that she was describing. They were also, rather understandably, still curious about the situation and wondering what the vouchers were about. What did they have to do with the police officers? All was about to be revealed.
Whether it is because of the portrayal of policemen in films, or a cliche supported by animated show The Simpsons, there is a notion that policemen love donuts and coffee. The bride decided to play on this stereotype, and gift each guest of the wedding a voucher that would allow the person using it to get a fresh coffee and a donut. However, instead of using it themselves, she had a different idea for the vouchers!
Pay it forward
The bride encouraged the gathered crowd to keep their vouchers and pass them on to the next police officer that they come across, to show their respect and appreciation. It might only be a small amount of money but as a gesture of random kindness, it would go a long way. It would make that police officer smile and feel as though they are respected and appreciated. Who wouldn’t want that?! But it also meant so much more.
So much love
To the groom, this gesture meant so much coming from his wife. He was so touched that she respected his career and fellow officers so much that she would come up with such a thoughtful idea to spread this love, and make his brothers feel the same respect too. He teared up as he thanked her for such a wonderful gift – the best thing he had ever been given. The rest of his squad also hugged the bride to show how touched they were too.
A promise forever
The groom felt as though his gift would never match up to such a wonderful gesture – and let’s be honest, it would be hard to do so! However, he gave her a promise to continue serving the country as he had been doing for the past few years, with her love and support, and provide her with equal love and support forever. They both know that the secret to a happy marriage is to realize you are part of a team and spend your time lifting each other up.
As with most things today, this exchange was being recorded by one of the guests who then decided to upload it online. It was a great way of spreading the message to those that were not at the wedding. However, little did they know just how far it would spread! The video went viral and in just a short time the touching tribute exceeded 180,000 views, and just kept climbing! Through the magic of the internet, this amazing concept was passed around the world.
The comments on the video were filled with support, from civilians, police officers, and their families. For example, one comment was from the wife of a police officer, who explained how difficult it was for her to look after their children alone when her husband was on long shifts. She also explained how she always worried in case anything happened to him in the line of duty and he ended up not being able to come home. A real fear for a lot of family members of officers.
Spread the message
The video inspired a lot of others to do similar things and show their gratefulness to their local police officers. An idea that one bride had to show her love for her husband and his workmates had begun to spread across the world, one view of the video at a time. In a time when tensions are often deemed to be high between police forces and civilians, positive acts like this are especially important.
A real gift
Rather than giving her husband a token gift such as a watch or engraved hip flask, and her guests a small memento such as a pin or packet of seeds that would get forgotten about in time, this bride decided to go for something that would really outlast the length of the wedding day. The gift was a present for her husband, his workmates, their guests and thanks to the internet, wider-reaching police forces and members of the public.
Pass it on
Hopefully, this story will have inspired other people to do something similar. We are not suggesting that you buy 150 $3 gift cards for a donut shop to hand out to your family and friends, but if you want to treat your local police officers, there is nothing wrong with that! You don’t even have to spend money, just saying thank you can go a long way. This bride and groom have shown that appreciating your partner is one of the best gifts you can ever give each other.