Giving Back on Your Wedding Day
Over the last couple of years, more and more to-be-wed couples are working out ways to support a charity through their wedding. Examples inlcude couples who are choosing to cut back on their overall wedding budget and donating the savings, or others who ask that a donation be made to a charity registry instead of giving the couple gifts. The National Breast Cancer Foundation have noticed this growing trend, attributing this shift in values among the community to people wanting to give something back rather than place an importance on material possessions.
This trend is particularly popular with celebrities, who already have everything they need. At Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s wedding, their guests were asked to donate money to a list of charities in lieu of receiving gifts. Geoffrey Edelston, who recently wed Brynne Gordon in November last year, registered a public non-profit company called Great Expectations Foundation three months before the wedding and informed guests that the bride and groom would not be accepting gifts. Instead they requested a donation be given to this charity.
The good news is that involving a charity into your wedding plans doesn’t have to be hard. There’s no need to abandon your childhood dreams of a perfect wedding. All you need to do is distinguish which details are unimportant to you both and direct the funds that would have been spent in this area towards a worthy cause instead.
Here are some of our favourites options for giving back:
“Many people who are getting married have already been living out of home and have established their homes with items they might normally receive as wedding gifts,” explains Joseph Renzi, CEO & Managing Director at OurWishingWell.com. “As a result, they do not need material possessions for wedding gifts and would prefer their guests consider donating money towards their chosen charities.” Instead of asking for a second toaster, offer your guests the option to donate to your favourite charity through an online registry, such as OurWishingWell.com or KarmaCurrency.com.au, or have a wishing well at the reception for guests to anonymously drop in their donations. Knot tip: We still recommend having a number of traditional items on your registry to give your guests the option.
View our Top 4 Online Charity Registries
Donate your dress
Are you ever going to wear your wedding dress again? Do you really need to see it hanging in your closet to remember your special day when you have so many gorgeous pictures to look through? We realise this option is not for everyone, but if you’re willing to part with your dress then why not donate it to charity. Give your gown to a second-hand charity shop, such as The Salvation Army (who last year opened a bridal gown department in their Abbotsford store in Victoria), and help someone who may not be able to afford a new wedding dress have the wedding of their dreams. Bridesmaid dresses can also be donated. Think about how much those dresses will mean to teenagers looking for an affordable dress to wear to their school formal.
Share your uneaten leftovers
Homeless shelters will gladly accept any uneaten meals left over from your wedding reception. Instead of throwing away the extra meals you prepared ‘just in case’, organise to have leftover food delivered at the end of the night.
Give flowers to your local hospital
At the end of your wedding day, your flowers will make a much appreciated donation at a hospital or nursing home. Arrange for the ceremony flowers to be delivered after the nuptials and brighten up someone else’s day.
Forgo favours and donate your savings
For those who feel wedding bomboniere are wasteful or unnecessary, a great idea is to use the money you would have spent on them and make a donation to your charity of choice on behalf of your guests. At the National Breast Cancer Foundation you can purchase pink ribbons or wrist bands to give to guests, or talk to a charity that has touched you and your fiancé in some way to see what they offer.
One of The Knot’s Real Wedding couples, Valley and Adam, incorporated a charity which is close to their hearts into their wedding day. “In lieu of bomboniere, we chose to make a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) on behalf of our guests. JDRF provided Jelly Baby Pins which we placed in an envelope simply stating “Thank You” and placed them on the table. Our guests loved the idea and immediately pinned them to their suits and dresses showing support for this health issue that has touched our family,” said Valley of the experience.
The next time you and your fiancé sit down to talk wedding budgets, think about how you can cut costs in some areas to make room for a little charitable giving!