Did you know February is National Weddings Month? Weddings have changed a lot over the years in large part due to technology. Couples are now hashtagging their big day, using Pinterest to plan every detail, and even hiring drones to capture the perfect wedding day picture.
While that’s all well and good, I’m most excited that the newest participatory approach to weddings is the ability to incorporate charity into the mix. Here are four easy ways couples are celebrating their love for each other as well as their love for their community.
1. The I Do Foundation is the nation’s first wedding-focused nonprofit organization that allows couples the opportunity to celebrate generously by helping them raise money for the charity of their choice. Some of the ways couples can do this are:
- Charity Registry: Couples can select causes they are passionate about and encourage their guests to make a donation as a wedding gift.
- Charity Favors: Couples can donate the money they would have spent on traditional wedding favors to a charity of their choice.
- Charity Gift Cards: Couples can select a monetary amount and add a personal message to GiveNow gift cards, which they then give to their guests who can choose from more than 1.8 million charities to donate the card’s funds to.
- Gift Registry: Couples wanting a traditional gift registry can sign up through the I Do Foundation’s partner, Wedding Channel, and register with its popular partner stores – up to 3% of every purchase goes to the charity of their choice.
In the past 10 years, approximately 75,000 couples have sent more than $6.5 million to over 5,500 charities. That is amazing!
2. Some stores and websites have also made it easy for couples to build charity into their wedding planning:
- Macy’s: Macy’s has an incredible section called Gifts That Give Hope. Any one of these items would make a beautiful wedding gift.
- Zola: While this wedding registry site does not give back itself, it does allow couples to choose gifts from any site to include on your wish list, which means you can include items from places like Servv. Servv sells only ethical fair trade gift and crafts products from a range of developing countries.
- AmazonSmile: This is a simple and automatic way for your guests to support your favorite organization (at no extra cost!) while they’re perusing your Amazon wedding registry.
3. Some couples are forgoing wedding gifts altogether in favor of creating Crowdrise fundraisers to support the organization(s) they believe in. By the looks of it, guests are more than happy to support their friends’ causes.
4. For some, donating funds is just the tip of the iceberg to giving back. Instead of honeymooning with tropical drinks and siestas by the pool, they opt to jump right in and volunteering for an organization near and dear to their hearts. Whether it’s building a school in Vietnam, preserving hiking trails in America, or helping with biodiversity research in the Amazon, there are plenty of adventurous options out there.
Whether you’re planning a wedding or attending one, it is so easy (and fun) to give back. What better way to celebrate love is there than that? Leave your ideas for additional ways of giving back during the wedding season here or on my Facebook page.
Happy National Weddings Month, y’all!