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Keep the toaster, bride wants blood for wedding

RICHMOND, Va. – Instead of asking their guests to get them a gift from an online registry, one couple took their wedding party to donate blood. Barry Gamble and his new wife, Monica, had a ‘destination wedding,’ that ended up at the Virginia Blood Services Donor Center in Richmond.

“We knew we would be receiving gifts, but we thought, why not take the opportunity to let people give the opportunity of saving lives. People seem excited about it,” Monica Gamble said.

The groom pointed out that not all of the wedding guests were able to give blood, but said that a mix of donors and supporters showed up to cheer them on.

“We weren’t into the whole registry thing. We figured gifts would be nice, but it would be even nice if our friends and family could help us save some lives. That’s why we did it,” Barry Gamble said. “The gifts are nice, but the greatest gift of all is life. It sounds awful cheesy, but this is a lot more important than a toaster.”

The bride and groom arrived in full wedding dress to donate. The staff at Virginia Blood Services decorated the clinic to look like a wedding chapel, and even offered cake as a snack to replenish after donated!

“Couples like Monica and Barry are truly the giving type!” Virginia Blood Services spokeswoman Michelle Westbay said. “We are so thankful for their support for blood donation and sharing the opportunity for others to give the gift of life and provide hope, strength and courage to patients in need. We thank them for making us a part of their celebration and introducing others to the importance of donating blood. Through their simple act of giving, lives were impacted and forever changed.”

Half a dozen people donated blood, including members of the wedding party who traveled from as far away as Florida and Indiana.

The bride and groom actually donated platelets since they already donated blood less than two months ago.