Thursday, September 8, 2011

Giving Back On Your Big Day

Weddings can offer many opportunities.  They are opportunities for family & friend reunions, an opportunity for guests to travel to a new city and it is also an opportunity for couples to give back in a big way.  The trend to give a donation to a charity in lieu of favors is catching on and with good reason.  Charitable donations are not only a tangible & practical way to honor family members or loved ones but it also lets guests know that the couple is committed to a certain cause.  I've seen monetary donations go to a huge organization such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society which would go to overall research & funding.  If you want to know exactly where your money is going, look for a smaller charity.  One of my friends is Armenian and in lieu of favors she & her husband made donations to the Armenia Tree Project which plants one tree in the country for every $20 donated.  Talk about a tangible donation!  Here are the top 6 other impressive ideas I've found:

1. Get physical.  I came across one friend on facebook who is getting married this Saturday and has a super fun charity idea.  He posted a few weeks ago that he & his future wife are running in a 5k the morning of their wedding, complete with t-shirts!  $1 from every shirt sale will be matched by the couple to be donated to Washington Animal Rescue League.  And there are dog shirts available! How cool!

2. Donate your dress.  There are many organizations looking for clothing donations and Brides Against Breast Cancer specifically focuses wedding dresses for women fighting breast cancer.

3. Donate your leftovers.  Check with your caterer to see what they do with leftover food and suggest they donate to a local shelter.  There are some logistics involved with this idea, but your caterer will know what can & can't be donated.

4. Donate your flowers.  It is such a waste to throw away your expensive floral arrangements after a day, think about donating them to a local nursing home or hospital. 

5. Choose a local non-profit venue.  A lot of nature preserves/ parks/ conservatories, museums and universities are getting into the wedding venue game.  Support them with your wedding & you'll know your money is going to a good cause.

6. Volunteer your time.  The organization has information on volunteer opportunities in the US and abroad.  Whether you want to take a break from wedding planning to volunteer in your community or seek out an opportunity while on your honeymoon, every little bit counts.

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