Have you ever thought about ways to give back at your wedding?
After spending hours upon hours deciding between different table linens, hors d’oeuvres, hairstyles, and cake flavors, and all, it is easy to get caught up in the glamour of modern wedding planning. But, after all the little decisions have been made, weddings can actually provide the perfect opportunity to do a little good in the world and make a difference.
From your initial planning process to your honeymoon, here are some easy ways to give back:
– Responsible Wedding Vendors: When looking at vendors to help with your big day, start by considering non-profit organizations or socially and environmentally responsible wedding vendors. There are entertainers who work in the non-profit sector and other vendors the industry who are on the mission to give back too. Ask wedding venues, caterers, and bakers what they do with leftover food and supplies. Check out websites such as Good Shop, that provides information on percentages a chosen company gives back.
– Do Good Days: Forget the lingerie shower, grab your gals and go build a house! We suggest ditching the traditional bridal shower and opting for a “do good day” event instead. Volunteer at an organization for the afternoon, help to pick up some trash (Ecocyle in Boulder and Heal the Bay in California are great sample organizations to check out for afternoon projects), plant trees in your neighborhood (call them love ferns?), Finish the day with a craft cocktail celebration! One step further… In lieu of lingerie, ask friends and family to donate to your organization of choice for a lasting impact.
– Charitable Donation Gifts: If you and your fiancé have blenders, towels, and china galore, you can follow in Prince Williams + Kate Middleton’s footsteps and create a charity registry. The website IDoFoundation allows couples to choose an organization dear to them and easily guides guests through a secure, online donation site. Credit card donations are linked to the charity of your choice (not your Paypal account) and can be put in the couple’s name. Other ideas: Check out the world’s first online lending platform at the website Kiva and help make a difference for as little as $25. One step further… The Couple-to-be can make a donation in their guest’s names as a priceless wedding favor (cards can be left at each place setting).
– Extra Welcome Bags: For those guests who are making welcome bags for out-of-town guests, think of buying additional supplies. When throwing together the care packages make extras that can be sent to senior centers, care facilities, hospitals, shelters, or those who are serving our country abroad. One step further… Make sure every item in the welcome bag is eco-friendly, fair trade, and support local businesses!
– Fair Trade Gifts: Your gifts for your bridesmaids can also be a fun way to give back to various organizations. Fair trade companies such as Ten Thousand Villages and Equal Exchange can be great places to find those fun gifts for you favorite gals. Or, choose a company that focuses on giving back like FEED or TOMS.
– Post-Wedding Giving: Giving back to those around the world doesn’t have to stop after the festivities. Instead of trashing the dress, we suggest checking out Brides Against Breast Caner, which allows for brides to donate their gown to someone who is in a position where they can’t obtain their own gown (Check out these five other companies at this Huff Post article too). One step further… the Newlyweds can become Honeymoon helpers! There are so many beautiful places around the world where service projects are offered for recent newlyweds. Organizations such as HoneyMoon Volunteers provide volunteer opportunities for any type of couple, in any location around the globe.