If you're anything like me, helping others makes you feel good. Like really good. From a young age, my parents got me into volunteer work - from working with kids at our church nursery to taking service trips to Mexico to build homes for the needy. And it is the best feeling in the world positively impacting the lives of others, no matter how large or small.
And when we throw a wedding (or for some of us, our parents throw us a wedding), we cannot help but realize how fortunate we are to be able to afford such a wonderful celebration, no matter what type of celebration it is, big or small. We are fortunate. And there are people out there who could use a little good fortunate - don't you think?
So I've come up with some of my favorite ways that I've seen couples make their weddings charitable. No, I am not saying you should throw a live auction at your wedding to support your local animal shelter, but subtle ways that will truly make a difference in someone's life.
Donate Your Wedding Gown
Our fabulous Date Night Recipe writer, Sarah-Elizabeth Stone, did something amazing after she got married this year. She knew that she would never wear her dress again, and so she decided to turn to social media to find a beautiful bride in need of a beautiful gown. If that story doesn't give you happy chills, I am not sure what would :)
Cake Smash for Charity
One of my September couples decided to do something really fun for their wedding day, and I have never seen this done before! They are going to have two boxes set out during cocktail hour and during the reception, for guests to "vote" on who they think will get the most cake in their face during the cake cutting. There is one box for the bride, and one box for the groom, and people vote by donating money. Before the cake is cut, the money is counted up and the results are announced. Except the bride and groom will also announce that all of the money that has been donated will go to a charity of their choice!
The Money ("Honeymoon") Dance
While the money dance is less frequently seen at weddings these days, many couples have now decided to donate all of that money to a local charity. Have your DJ announce this before the money dance begins, and dance the night away!
Do you know how much food is leftover at the end of the night? You probably don't but I do...and it's a lot! No caterer would want to run out of food, so plenty is prepared in advance to ensure all guests (and guests who show up and didn't RSVP) get to fill their bellies with some delicious meals. And so at the end of the night, what isn't eaten is, sadly, thrown out. Donate this food to a homeless shelter or a family in need.
Make sure you call the shelter beforehand to ensure they accept opened food donations.
Donate Your Decor
All of the decor and all of those stunning flowers thrown in the trash?? What a waste! Donate your old decor to a bride in need to make her wedding day as magical as yours, and bring your floral arrangements to an elderly home. That will sure brighten someone's day :)
Favors for Charity
Instead of purchasing little nick-nacks for your guests to leave on the table at the end of the evening, donate the funds that would have been used for your guest favors to the charity of your choice. And to show guests that you donated, you can print out small cards that say "In lieu of wedding favors, we have donated to _________ in your honor." It's as simple as that!
Did you do anything charitable on your wedding day? Tell us what ideas you have!