This year we’ve taken some inspiration from Black Sheep Bride and fellow industry friends that are joining in the movement to GIVE BACK! We are not only taking the step ourselves to give back, but also encouraging our couples to join the movement as well! If you are not familiar with ways to give back with your engagement or wedding, follow us for some of our favorite ideas or visit Black Sheep Bride’s blog to see what others are doing to give back and how you can incorporate it into your wedding planning!
1. Save a portion of your wedding planning & give back to your favorite charity. The average wedding, according to BSB, costs $28,000. Now take a second..let’s take this in….$28,000 is just the average, imagine if each couple chose to give 10% of that back. Up front, choose to set a portion (whatever it may be) of your budget aside for your favorite charity!
2. Seek out vendors that choose to give back! If you are committing as a couple to give a percentage back, ask your vendors if they’ll match you. Although this may not be feasible to everyone, maybe this could spark a movement for them! This year, we’ve made a commitment to give back a certain portion from each wedding to a few of our chosen charities.
3. Maybe you’re not able to give back financially, give back your time. I believe giving of time is just as, if not MORE important! Take your future wife or hubby-to-be and volunteer for the day! Let’s face it, wedding planning can be exhausting! Take a break and volunteer with your fiance at the local food drive, church for their next clean up or whatever it may be, but get out there and embrace giving your time! I believe so much can be contributed to a relationship when choosing to do something for the good of others with your significant other!
4. Think & plan ahead. Now, you might be thinking…plan ahead…what do you think I’ve been doing for the past 8 months? Just don’t forget about the smaller things. Think of all the decor that may be thrown away or wasted after your day has come and gone. Plan to use those extra items you purchased or made & reuse them, donate them to another bride / groom or your local church or stop by local shelter to see if they have use for them! You might think this is an easy task, but let me be transparent for a second…after our wedding day, we had tons of candles and vases that I kept in the garage for who knows how long before a “light” came on in my head & I decided that these items could be put to a much better use! Don’t disregard something that you think may not be usable….
5. Be socially & environmentally conscious! Giving your bridesmaids & groomsmen gifts? No need to remove that from your budget, but think socially & environmentally conscious! There are several great companies that dedicate their time to give to others. They make products that have a purpose for you but have a purpose for someone else too. One of my favorite places is: 31 Bits. They create gorgeous & unique necklaces, bracelets, footwear..I mean the list goes on!
6. Catering in? Let me tell you what usually happens here….Plan, plan plan for your beautiful day, choose a caterer that you love, enjoy your wonderful food at your reception, and maybe enjoy some more after your reception, throw leftovers in fridge after an exhausted night of fun, leave for your honeymoon the following day, then come back from your honeymoon and open your fridge to a world of leftovers. Hey, maybe it’s still good, maybe you were smart and threw it in the freezer even, but consider choosing to donate those leftovers the night or following day! Imagine the day you can make of family in need or giving to a local shelter.
7. Putting together a wedding registry, add the option to donate to one of your favorite charities! Several sites will set up reminders on how many days you have til your wedding or birthday (i.e. 100 days to your wedding or birthday, 100 days for family, friends, & guests to donate!) One of my favorite charities that does this and basically makes your set up effortless: Charity Water
8. Take the challenge! Visit some of these sites or check out some of your own favorite charities and see how you can join the movement and get involved. The ones I’ve listed are just a small fraction of how many great companies there are to work with that give back. If you don’t know where to start and want ideas from other couples, visit Black Sheep Bride’s blog! By giving (financially or your time), you’re choosing to make your wedding day even more memorable!
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35-40