How to Use Your Wedding to Give Back

Make your special day an opportunity to help others.

How to Use Your Wedding to Give Back

Photo: Elizabeth Messina

how to use your wedding to benefit charity and good causes

The cost involved in weddings can lead to a lot of mixed emotions. As you’ve potentially been dreaming of this day since you were a child, it’s natural to want to go all out once the time for your nuptials arrives. However, even when an extravagant celebration is well within your means, for some couples, the amount of money that goes towards a wedding can lead to anxiety and thoughts that so much more could be done with the cash. The good news is you can have your cake and eat it too! With careful planning and research, the wedding of your dreams can also help give back and help others. Below are some of the most effective ways to use your nuptials to benefit charities and the world. 

- In lieu of (or in addition to) favors, announce that you and your spouse have donated to a charity close to your hearts. A fun twist on this is by offering multiple options and your guests can select the one that most matches their ideals, allowing multiple causes to benefit.
- If you can bear to part with your gown, there are organizations that offer wedding dresses to brides in the military, as well as places that resell previously owned gowns and donate the proceeds to charity. If you purchased your bridesmaids' gowns, you can donate them as well, with the permission of your ‘maids.
- After your wedding, have any leftovers donated to a homeless shelter, and have all of your floral arrangements sent to a nursing home, hospice facility, or a hospital.
- If it is part of your cultural tradition to do a "dollar dance," announce that the money will be donated to charity.
- Register for donations to your favorite charitable organization. You can also add sustainable items to your wish list and register for products that contribute to good causes.

Alternative Methods:
- Order invitations and save the dates made from seed paper so guests can grow flowers with your paper goods when they’re no longer needed.
- Buy stamps that benefit charities to use for your aforementioned invitations and save the dates.
- Hold your reception in a non-profit venue, such as a museum, so you know the site fees go to a good cause.
- Spend a portion of your honeymoon volunteering, whether domestically or internationally.

Opening photo by Elizabeth Messina; Consulting by Mindy Weiss Party Consultants