Today’s blog post is all about the hot topic of charitable wedding donations. I decided to write this piece in anticipation of the upcoming Royal Wedding. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to ask for charitable wedding donations from guests, instead of gifts. My own recent involvement in fundraising for a children’s charity also made this the perfect blog post for this week.
So I have put together a few points on what exactly giving to charity on your wedding day is all about. The reasons why people choose to do it. And how you can put it into action should you wish to follow in the footsteps of the royals and ask for charitable wedding donations on your big day.
Charitable wedding donations: on the up in the wedding world
Many couples are considering the idea of supporting a charity on their wedding day. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are asking for charitable wedding donations to be made to several selected charities instead of receiving presents. Unfortunately we aren’t all in their position though. Most of us welcome and are grateful of the financial help provided by family and friends on our wedding day. After all, you have just paid an obscene amount of money to pay for them all to be there. Of course it would help massively if they could contribute to your honeymoon in return!
It doesn’t have to be about forfeiting your much appreciated newly weds fund. There are other ways to show your support for charity or cause that is close to your heart on your wedding day.
Why would you ask for charitable wedding donations?
Supporting a charity is a wonderful thing. I used to be one of those people who hid behind the sofa and turned all the lights off when the local Rotary club came round collecting at Christmas. (shocking, I know…IT’S CHRISTMAS) It’s not until you have a reason to sit up and take notice of the amazing work that charities do, that it actually becomes important to you.
I’ve recently had my eyes opened to the work of Ronald McDonald House Charities who Vintage Twee is currently supporting. They provide free accommodation for families with children in hospital so they can rest, sleep and eat right down the corridor from each other. When my mum was poorly, I spent weeks eating, sleeping and working on hard hospital chairs just to be by her bedside.
On our last night with her, we even rotated use of a camp bed between 4 of us in her room – just so we could get an hours sleep.
So my point is this. There are many reasons why we should give to charity but there are many different reasons why we actually DO.
You already have everything you need.
For those lucky few, this may well be the case. You may feel that you don’t need another kettle or set of bath towels. You may have already paid for your honeymoon and have all your spending money. So you may decide to do a full on Harry and Meghan, go all out and ask for charitable wedding donations instead of gifts.
You have a personal motivation.
I’d say this is probably the main reason why couples are opting for donating to charity on their wedding day. There may be a specific charity that is important to you and your family for personal reasons. You may have needed their support first hand or they might have been there for someone in your life. You may feel their benefit greatly outweighs your own or you may just want to involve them as it keeps the memory of someone you lost close by. Whatever the reason, the charity strikes a chord with you and you choose them to support on your wedding day.
You want your guests to feel important and involved.
As much as they love you, most guests would be thrilled to know their money is going towards helping a worthwhile cause. People tend to be less reluctant to engage in acts of good will than to choose a material item from a random wedding gift list. It’s nice for them to have the option at least. Giving a gift to charity will create a sense of meaningful contribution for your guests to remember, long after the kettle breaks and the bath towels get holes.
How on earth do you ask for charitable wedding donations?
Ask your guests to make a donation instead of a gift.
You can inform your guests about your charitable mission by including a sentence or two on the information card sent with their wedding invitation. Briefly state:
– your chosen charity
– how their money will help and what it will do
– how and where to send the donation. For example, send a cheque or direct them on an online fundraising page
And don’t forget to say thank you!
You make the donation instead of a wedding favour.
Now being the person who actually makes wedding favours, I don’t wan’t to do myself out of business…! However, I’m a nice person. A lot of my couples choose to donate a certain amount of money per guest to a chosen charity, instead of buying their guests a gift. I have printed many messages of support which are left at a guest’s place setting to inform them of their indirect contribution. Of course, it’s nice to give your guests a present to show them you are grateful for their attendance on such an important day. But for those of you who are not into favours, it’s a great way to help raise money for a cause that matters to you.
Give guests a gift purchased from a charity.
A popular choice is a pin badge which can be lay at their place setting as a favour. They can then wear the pin as a sign of their support on your wedding day. You can even pop them in a beautiful box to make it an extra special gift.
You can generally request these for free from your chosen charity and display them at your venue or next to your guest book. Even designate your most attractive guests as Chief Charity Collectors and send them round the tables after everyone’s had a few drinks….
Finally, decide if charitable wedding donations are right for you
So that just about sums it up! Donating to charity on your wedding day is not for everyone. But it’s definitely something to think about if you have a particular cause that is close to your heart. Charities do the most amazing work and I certainly have become much more aware since needing their support myself. If you have everything you need and everyone you want around you, consider those who haven’t and who don’t. You may surprise yourself 🙂