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Monica Behney donates blood on her wedding day at the Virginia Blood Services Donor Center in Richmond, Virginia on June 1, 2014. WRIC
Instead of asking their guests to spend money on a gift registry, a newly-married couple only wanted their friends and family to give a gift for free -- their blood -- to the Virginia Blood Services in Richmond, Va.
Barry Gamble, 32, and his wife, Monica Gamble, 30, arrived at the Virginia Blood Services dressed for their wedding on Sunday afternoon.
“We weren’t really into the whole registry thing,” Barry Gamble, 33, told WTVR-TV. “We figured gifts would be nice, but it would be nicer if our family and friends could save some lives.”
According to Gamble, friends and family came all the way from states including Florida and Indiana to support their decision.
Asked if he would regret not getting a free microwave in the future, Gamble laughed.
"The greatest gift of all is life,” he said. "It sounds awful cheesy, but it is a lot more important than a toaster."
“Not all our friends and families were eligible to give blood, but they all really supported the idea,” Monica Gamble added. “We have a mix of donors and supporters."
The staff at Virginia Blood Services decorated the donation room to look like a wedding chapel and offered cake as snacks to replenish after the donation.
The bride and groom are regulars at blood donation center. They donated platelets on the day of their wedding, as they just donated blood less than two months ago, and were not eligible to donate whole blood.
"The need for blood is always constant," said Michelle Westbay, spokeswoman at the Virginia Blood Services. "At our center, we need about 400 donations every day to meet the area's needs."
Westbay said the nation experienced national blood shortage last winter, and it is hard to raise people's awareness.
"People are often scared of blood donation, because there is needle involved," she said. "But it's actually a very simple procedure. It doesn't hurt at all."