Turning wedding excess into act of charity


Date posted: August 17, 2015

When Barbara and I were married, the Montana marriage license was $2. A marriage license in Santa Barbara County costs $100.

The average wedding in the United States costs about $28,400. Ours was $7 — the $2 license, $5 for a Justice of Peace, plus gas for the car we eloped in. This fall we will have been married 66 years, which comes out to about 11 cents a year, if you include the gas.

We of ordinary means know there is no way we would spend $28,000 for a wedding. That average means while there are many weddings costing much less, just a few $100,000 weddings raises the average. Even so, the $53.4-billion wedding industry has placed unrealistic demands and expectations on young couples.

In particular messages to the bride, “it’s your day” rather than “it’s our day,” and “this is the most important day of your life” puts incredible pressure on the bride. With the sub-message, if it doesn’t go perfectly, it is a disaster.

The wedding day is only one important day in anyone’s life. And unfortunately, depending upon the size and expense of the wedding, the greater the chance is that the day will become a blur of stress, anxiety and an increased chance of a boo-boo.

Turkish weddings traditionally last three days, and for the well-to-do Turkish families, no expense is spared. According to news releases, the groom’s father, Ali Uzumcuoglu, who volunteers with Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu, was the originator of an idea — “Why share the big, delicious dinner with our family and friends, knowing there are so many people in need living next door.”

Turkey is currently home to almost 2 million Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war in their home country. Around 4,000 of those refugees live in Kilis, a town near the Syrian border. At first, the bride said she was shocked when her fiancé presented the idea off sharing their wedding banquet with the refugees, but “we quickly embraced the idea.”

The bride, groom and wedding guests banded together to operate food trucks and steam tables, sharing the banquet with refugee families. The bride, Esra Polat, said, “I am happy we had the opportunity to share our wedding meal with the people who are in real need.”

The groom said guests at his unconventional wedding were so inspired by the day’s events, they are planning similar gestures for their own weddings.

Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country. Kimse Yok Mu is a charitable foundation. Loving your neighbor as you love yourself is not confined to Western society.


The Rev. Chuck Arnold is pastor of Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ in Vandenberg Village. He can be reached at 733-3333.

Source: Lompoc Record , August 13, 2015


Related News

Turks mobilize to join solidarity campaign for Bank Asya

The government-led assault to sink Turkey’s largest Islamic lender, Bank Asya, due to its affiliations with the Hizmet movement, has stirred a public movement, with thousands of people rushing to deposit money with the bank to aid its struggle for survival.

Hizmet and countering violent extremism

The Hizmet movement is in trouble in Turkey because of the increasingly despotic Justice and Development Party (AKP) regime’s persecution of its volunteers. But, ironically, this may be good for world peace.

Alevis demand equal citizenship, disappointed with the state

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME, ABANT/TURKEY At the end of the three-day Abant Platform meeting on Alevi relations with Sunnis, one of the fragile fault lines of Turkish politics, Alevis raised their voices higher, demanding equal citizenship against the backdrop of several past and present disappointments with the state. The pursuit of the end of discrimination both at […]

Turkish PM Erdoğan’s way worries and puzzles

Erdoğan’s political calculations for his strategy do not seem to make much sense to many. Why has he chosen to alienate the Hizmet movement now and not after the elections? Why is he even more furious with the remaining independent media than before? Is he doing all this and others to win or is this a heavy gamble, in despair, to lose or win everything?

Turkey’s greatest service to the Muslim world

Turkey was a shining star during the years that it implemented democratic reforms internally and improved relations with other countries, particularly its neighbors. Both the West and the Muslim world were watching Turkey’s progress intently and its economic success and democratic transformation would be referred to as exemplary.

Cops vs. robbers [in Turkey]

The high-profile officials — whose involvement in bribery and corruption have been disclosed with much media coverage — and those who protect and abet them do not care about how they will be remembered by future generations. They do not feel ashamed about the positions they adopt, and they shamelessly proceed to give the impression of siding with “robbers” in the cops vs. robbers confrontation.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkish Schools Offer Pakistan a Gentler Vision of Islam

Pained by the tragedy, Izmir doctor moves to Somalia

Statement on Chapel Hill Shootings

AK Party criticizes Hakan Şükür’s sudden resignation

Kimse Yok Mu offers cataract surgery to 2,000 Nepalese

Islamists’ xenophobic policies threaten Turkey

Pro-gov’t Islamist ideologue says Muslims can’t accept West or EU

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News