From the Heart: Philanthropic Wedding Ideas

Charitable Wedding GivingThe holidays are certainly a great time to reflect on how blessed you truly are, and to remember just how much better it is to give, than receive. With that spirit in mind, there are some great ways to make your wedding an opportunity to do just that, to generously give to those in need. From donating your flowers to asking for charitable donations in lieu of traditional wedding gifts, there are a lot of ways you and your fiancé can make your big day about more than just yourselves, and that is certainly one of the greatest feelings in the world!

Ask Yourself, What Do You Really Need?

If you and your fiancé have already been living together and have a house fully furnished, or just don’t like the idea of your guests feeling obligated to buy you presents, consider asking anyone interested, to make charitable donations instead. This is a great way for guests to feel involved in your special day, without gifting you items you don’t need.

Choose a charity that is special to you, your groom, or your families. You can even ask that donations be made in the name of someone special, such as a grandparent that has passed away. What a meaningful way to honor them on such an important day in your life!

Check out the I Do Foundation for help about setting up a charitable registry, at

Give What You’ve Got

For couples that are in need of housewares, consider giving away duplicate items you receive, instead of exchanging them. You could also donate the gently-used items that you and your groom are eliminating in order to build a house that feels more like the two of you, than your single days. Chances are there are local organizations that could use those sheet sets, towels, college-day dishes, etc. to help a family get a fresh start. And animal shelters are a great place to donate more used blankets, towels and other bedding.

Share the Beauty of Your Big Day

After the wedding, while you’re enjoying your honeymoon, don’t leave dozens of beautiful floral arrangements to wilt away, or worse, just sitting in the trash at your wedding venue. Instead, ask that they be delivered to a local hospital, nursing home, hospice or other organization, where the flowers could brighten patients’ days.

You can also speak to your caterer about ways to give away any unused food. Many are involved with programs that help to feed those in need, so be sure to ask if this is an option, and arrange to have the food delivered after you say your “I do’s.”