For many people, a wedding registry is a great way to stock up on household supplies, raise money for an expensive honeymoon, or just recoup some of the expenses from a big wedding. But, in a growing trend, many people are choosing to put the generosity of their wedding guests toward a good cause by asking for donations in lieu of gifts. It’s something a number of people have decided to do to benefit our research at ALS TDI.

One couple that chose to support us are Kaitlin and Josh Plave. While preparing for their wedding in 2019, they decided they just didn’t need the things that you’d find in a traditional gift registry.

“We’d been together for seven years,” says Kaitlin, “we had really already established our lives. We’d bought a house already, we had all the things that we could possibly really need. No wedding registry was kind of a no-brainer. When you don't need anything why would you ask for things you don’t need?”

Thinking of Josh’s mother Ilene, who had passed away of ALS, they decided that they would ask their friends and family to donate to our research at ALS TDI. Working with our fundraising team, Josh and Kaitlin were able to set up a donation page that matched the design of their wedding website. Guests were able to leave donations with a click and sign a virtual guest book with messages for the couple.

Josh says it provided an opportunity to make their big day about something more than just a celebration of them as a couple.

“It's rare that you have that many people in your life showing up, gathering in one place, and you know that they're there to celebrate you,” he says. “And it's rare that you can use an event like that to actually make a difference.”

In the end, Josh and Kaitlin were able to raise more than $12,000 for ALS TDI. It’s an experience they say they would recommend to any couple that wants to bring a special meaning to their wedding day.

“My advice would be focus on the meaning of what your wedding day is” says Josh. “It’s a celebration of your love and what you’re going to accomplish as a couple. A set of plates or a new blender aren't necessarily going to make you feel better about your love. Affecting change and showing that you're the type of couple that wants to make a difference, that'll mean more to you than any kind of material good or check.”

If you’re interested in setting up a registry for your wedding to benefit ALS TDI, you can find more information at