Do you really have to be a Bridezilla to have a great wedding? Many brides are saying “no” and are instead doing good with their wedding. Charitable wedding celebrations are on the upswing. More couples are deciding to take their day of celebration and transforming it into an opportunity to help others.
Charitable wedding celebrations are quickly becoming the new trend in weddings. You can do good on your big day without even trying too hard.
What Are Charitable Wedding Celebrations?
You may be thinking, “Hold your horses, I planned this day my whole life. I do not want to turn over all the swag I am gifted!” That is understandable. The idea of charitable wedding celebrations is not about donating the wedding rings to a charity. It is about incorporating some good doing into the day.
You can keep your gifts and still make an impact for your favorite charity on your big day. Sharing love can come in all forms. The tips below will help you to take part in the charitable wedding celebrations trend and get your new life off on the right foot.
Why Are Charitable Wedding Celebrations the New Trend?
Some people would say that charitable wedding celebrations are on the rise because of awareness. We are more aware now than ever before (thanks to social media) about suffering, charities, and how we can help.
Some people are motivated into action because they are superstitious and believe that doing good deeds on your wedding day will keep the divorce attorney away. Other people are subscribing to the idea that charitable wedding celebrations help to share the wealth.
We all know that weddings are expensive. They are expensive for the couple, for the family of the couple, and for the guests. Why not spread some of the wealth around? Studies have shown that people are more apt to give to a charity if they get something in return. What better return is there than being a part of witnessing two people in love solidify their union?
It is estimated that more people are taking into consideration how they can help. They are incorporating charitable giving into their estate planning. They are making decisions to live smaller so other people can live a little larger. While the giving has increased, so has the need, being a part of the solution is a greater motivator behind charitable wedding celebrations.
Sans all that, couples are choosing charitable wedding celebrations because it just feels really good. It feels good to give. It feels good to share. It feels good to know that you and your partner are starting your life off on the right foot and giving back. It makes you feel really lucky to give.
Charitable wedding celebrations make your heart even fuller. It is an option that every couple should be considering.
Pick Your Charity
There are so many worthy charities that you can incorporate into your wedding planning, but the best way to go about things is to pick one. Of course, you want to involve your partner in the choosing. Partners do not always agree on which charity deserves their attention. For example, you may think that your local art high school is worthy of some donations, but your partner may be more focused on your local food pantry. No need to bicker. There are ways that you can agree. Get out pen and paper and start evaluating the options.
Here are some charities to consider if you do not already have a favorite:
- Community groups that help people avoid foreclosure and manage their finances better. A small donation can help keep these programs afloat.
- Community programs that assist with health care needs.
- Children’s homes, foster care programs, and other children-focused groups.
You do not want to get into a battle over which charity to make a part of your charitable wedding celebrations, but you do want to give the charity you choose some thought so that it is meaningful to you both. Listen to your partner’s input and be flexible.
Use your collective passion to help you make a decision. For example, if you are both in the health industry, it would be easy to tie in a charity that focuses on assessing community health needs and delivers health education programs. If you are both passionate about the environment, then choose a charity that reflects that passion.
Consider setting up your charitable wedding celebrations to incorporate a charity that pushes education on environmental issues if the environment is your passion. Consider joining in on the drive to have a solar panel system installed in your local community center. You get the idea it is a lot easier to have charitable wedding celebrations when you really believe in the cause.
What do you do if you cannot agree? Pull out a hat, write a few local charities that you are both interested in down on a piece of paper, have a friend choose the paper. Whatever is pulled from the hat is the charity that you incorporate. Everyone should agree to be a good sport before the name is pulled.
Tip Number One: Choose Your Venue Mindfully
If you are not really into asking guests to bring a donation for your favorite arborist’s society, that is okay. You can still participate in the charitable wedding celebrations trend by choosing your venue mindfully.
Consider hosting the wedding event in a non-profit space. For example, most museums are non-profit. You may not want to ask for donations to your favorite arborists society, but having your event at your local botanical garden can support the cause indirectly.
Tip Number Two: Forgo Another Toaster
Instead of setting up a gift registry, set up a registry for giving. Many couples are already incorporating two households of stuff. The last thing they need is more. If the only thing you are missing for your new life is the in ground pool, let charities gain from your guests’ need to give you something.
If you already have what you need for a household, why not have guests to your bridal shower donate to a charity you believe in instead of gifting you. You can register for donations through Amazon and other registry websites.
Charitable wedding celebrations do not only have to be about the big day itself. You can use charitable wedding celebrations as a season of giving opportunities.
Tip Number Three: Volunteer Your Bridal Party
Your goal of partaking in charitable wedding celebrations to celebrate your wedding can be furthered by getting creative with the traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties. Instead of having the traditional last night out (and the hangover that comes with it), gather your bridal crew and go do something good.
Set up a day of volunteering instead of a night of bizarre behavior. You can volunteer with your bridal party at your local homeless shelter by serving food. Bring gift baskets to your local children’s home that are brimming with toys, and hang out with the kids for a while. Clean up a local park by picking up trash. Paint your local church. There is an endless list of things you can sign up your bridal party to partake in.
Tip Number Four: Be Mindful Of What Is Served
Charitable wedding celebrations do not have to be a grand gesture like donating your honeymoon fund to your favorite charity. It can be as simple as being mindful of what vendors you use and what you serve at your wedding. Every wedding needs wine. Why not order yours from vintners OneHope. Each sale will benefit a charity. The wine is fully vetted, so you know you are getting something great.
Even using the right credit card to pay vendors can help out charities. Use cards that donate a small portion of their proceeds to an organization you can get behind.
Tip Number Five: Make Your Favors Count
Wedding favors are a nice way to thank your guests. but frankly, they typically disappear at the bottom of a junk draw. You can make your wedding favors count by choosing favors from companies that donate part of the sale proceeds. Of course, you can forgo them all together (would anyone really miss them?) and add a little note to the place setting explaining why there are no favors. You can donate X amount of dollars in each guest’s name instead of buying favors. Even a few dollars for each person on such a large scale can make a difference.
Tip Number Six: Donate Your Flowers
Wedding flowers are a part of every wedding, including charitable wedding celebrations. They are often discarded following the wedding and laid to waste. You can donate your wedding flowers to a nursing home and bring joy to people. It is a simple act of kindness that makes sure your money is not simply thrown out the door when the wedding is over.
Wedding flowers can last up to seven days. That is seven full days of joy for someone that needs a little joy in their life.
Tip Number Seven: Feed The Hungry
Most wedding celebrations wind up with a lot of leftovers. Second Harvest is a great organization that would love to have your leftovers. If Second Harvest does not have a chapter in your area, consider a new career, as a person that starts a chapter a couple of months before the wedding. If that doesn’t pan out for you, consider calling your local volunteer fire department or other volunteer groups to see if they would like some leftovers.
On the subject of feeding the hungry, you can ask guests to bring a single can of canned food with them to donate to your local food pantry. Just set a box up near the reception area and ask the guest to drop off a donation.
Tip Number Eight: Make Your Honeymoon Count
Consider using your honeymoon as an opportunity to do some good in the world. You can spend your honeymoon in an exotic location, helping to build a school, cleaning up the environment, bringing water to a village, and more. VolunteerMatch can help you plan. Charitable wedding celebrations do not have to involve everyone else. It can be something that you and your partner do on your own.
Tip Number Nine: Sell Your Dances
Charitable wedding celebrations do not have to be a constant reminder of the unfortunate circumstances people have to deal with. You can make it into a really good time for your guests by charging to dance with the bride.
This old tradition of paying to dance with the bride is usually meant to help the couple with costs. But you can collect your fee and donate it to a worthy cause. Set a small fee like $5 a dance, then slip on your dancing shoes and dance for your favorite charity.
Other Ways to Donate
Consider donating your wedding clothes when you are done. Some brides cannot afford a wedding gown that would love to have yours. Donate leftover décor to your local thrift shop so it can be resold at a cut-rate. You will help out a bride on a really tight budget, and additionally, help out the charity that the thrift store represents.
Celebrate Your Good Fortune
Charitable wedding celebrations are a great way to celebrate your own good fortune. Whether it is the belief in karma that drives you, or you simply want to do something nice to spread the love, charitable wedding celebrations are a great way give back.
Be mindful when planning your wedding. Giving a little forethought to how you can buy invitations, thank you notes, and more that can benefit a charity can be as easy as a Google search.
Make your day of love really count by making decisions that benefit others. Feel good about your wedding day by spreading the love to others.