The average American wedding registry contains 125 items valued at almost $5,000, according to The Knot’s 2017 wedding registry study. Young newlyweds often need these items to begin their lives together, but many couples don’t. Such was the case this past summer for Debbie Romans and Jeffrey Sheehan. Rather than handpick their own gifts, they asked loved ones to consider donating to the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) — and donate they did.

The couple’s selfless act resulted in more than $16,000 in donations from over 60 people for the animals at MHS. This is about 50 times the average donation by wedding guests; enough to save more than 30 animals’ lives.

Even small ceremonies can have a big impact. Take the wedding of Joseph Muschella and David Bateman for example. Ten of their guests acted on their charitable gift request. This yielded more than $800 for needy animals, or more than double the average total.

Including MHS in your wedding plans has never been easier. To learn how, simply contact Heather Pauli at or 248-283-5659. Heather is ready to assist you with donations in lieu of gifts, party favors, or both.

Photo credit: Christian Oth Studio