Weddings are filled with love, beautiful décor, and celebration. While enjoying one of the happiest days of their lives, some couples have a hard time making the day solely about themselves. From giving gifts to bridesmaids and groomsmen that give a portion of the proceeds to a cause, giving to charity in lieu of favors, or donating flowers after the celebration, there are a multitude of ways couples choose to help out during the planning process.
One of our real wedding couples (from the celebration pictured above) had a special reason to give back. The bride, who was diagnosed with a rare cancer eight months into the pair's relationship, wanted to make sure she shared her special day with those who were currently battling cancer and other sicknesses. “I knew that most of the flowers would make their way into a hospital or nursing home the following morning to surprise unsuspecting patients,” begins the bride. “All with a personal note from me explaining how I was treated in that hospital and how I hoped the flowers would bring them the same smile that they had brought me on our wedding day.”
Whether you have a special tie to a hospital or cause, or you just want to share the love, we've listed some ideas for ways to give back during your wedding, below!
- Choose gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen that donate a portion of the proceeds to a cause you feel strongly about. Gifts for Good is a great place to start since their curated gifts aid the work of over 40 nonprofits and social enterprises around the globe.
- Request loved ones donate to charities that mean the most to you – in lieu of registry gifts.
- Add a pre-wedding volunteering event to bond with your bridesmaids or the entire wedding party at a local hospital, homeless shelter, or food bank.
- Serve wines at the reception that benefit charitable causes, such as Benefit Wines or OneHope Wine.
- Donate your flowers to a hospital or nursing home following your reception.
- In lieu of favors, provide guests with a personalized thank-you note and a card that mentions a donation was made in their name to a nonprofit organization or charity that's important to you and your spouse.
- Donate leftover food to your local food bank. Your caterer will likely be able to tell you what types of food will be accepted.
- Volunteer during a portion of your honeymoon.
- If you're willing to part with your wedding dress or accessories, donate them to those who may not be able to afford a glamorous gown.
For more wedding ideas, discover how to honor guests at a large celebration, learn outdated wedding rules that you're allowed to break, and find out how to help your bridesmaids plan your bridal shower.
Opening photo by Chrisman Studios