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Cary Bridal Couple Walks Down Aisles to Help Needy Children

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RALEIGH — Planning a wedding can be expensive and stressful. A Raleigh couple who tied the knot Saturday decided not to break the bank on the flowers and food. They shared their special day with people who were less fortunate.

At first glance, it looked like a tradition wedding, but Melissa and Lee Andron wanted to do much more than exchange rings and vows on their special day.

After the preacher pronounced them man and wife, they sprung a surprise on their guests.

"We're going to Toys R Us. I'm going to give each of your $15, and you're going to buy a present," Lee told the crowd. "We're going to bring the toys back here and give them toToys for Tots."

Toys for Tots is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program to provide needy children with holiday gifts.

Everyone headed for the toy store, where the bride and groom made a grand entrance. Lee and Melissa went down the aisles while family and friends searched the shelves for the perfect gifts.

It was not how guests expected to spend the afternoon, but the Androns say it is the perfect solution to an age-old dilemma.

"We were sitting in bed one night, going through the numbers of how much it was going to cost to get catering and everything," Lee says. "We just decided we had a much better way we could spend out money."

"I think it's so exciting," Melissa says. "We wanted something that everybody could really feel the holiday spirit and feel the love of this day.

When it was over, $823 of toys were purchased for needy children.

"While we were putting our gifts in our basket, other customers came through and put more gifts in our basket," Lee says.

While most newlyweds get china or silver on their wedding day, the Androns had a truckload of toys for local children. They left a lifetime of memories for their family and friends.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Lynn French, Photographer
Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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