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November 3, 2010

The Gift of Giving Back | Donations in lieu of wedding favours

Filed under: Bridal Blog,Favours — Tags: , — WeddingGirl @ 12:34 pm

Inspired by Chelsey Cook, of Designer Delights and the Alzheimer Society of Niagara

Weddings are a time to celebrate! and with this in mind,  the Alzheimer Society Niagara Foundation is pleased to introduce their Celebration Program.

Chelsey (from her day-time job at the Alzheimer’s Society of Niagara) writes, “In lieu of favours why not give the gift of giving back?” Through this very special program you can donate to the Alzheimer Society Niagara Foundation rather than giving guests the traditional chocolates, candles, and picture frames.  This option is becoming more and more popular among couples and your guests will truly appreciate the thoughtfulness behind it!”

As a wedding planner, I’ve seen more and more donations being made on behalf of the bride, groom, and their wedding guests. Often these are in lieu of favours, and sometimes we put a spin on traditional kissing games by having guests give a donation to get the bride and groom to kiss. We’ll have MC’s announce, “The bigger the donation, the better the kiss!” and include a few staged examples. WG couple Kelly and Morgan raised money for the Lincoln County Humane Society, while Megan and Chad donated money to the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.

Most charitable organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Society, will custom-design information cards to be placed at individual place settings, or on your guest tables, to explain the donation and cause the bride and groom are supporting. These cards can be designed to match your wedding colours, theme, and event design to match every element of your special day.  Some groups even offer small accompaniments to give your guests, such as the One.org campaign that provides you with rubber, LiveStrong-inspired bracelets.

WG bride, Sarah, gave guests plantable pink ribbon seed-paper favours in support of breast cancer.

If your charity of choice doesn’t offer note cards or accompaniments, you can design your own!

WG couple Suzanna and Geoff chose to support the Celiac foundation, and accented their DIY favour note with Christmas-wedding inspired candy canes based on this photo:

I also love the idea of acknowledging support for a charity with giving guests a token of the support – for example, leaving a yellow daffodil on every ceremony seat or at every place setting during the Cancer Society’s daffodil fundraiser!

If you can’t decide on a single charity to donate to, why not choose a few? I love love love Donation Boards… where guests denote which charity they’d like to support, and are informed that the bride and groom will make a donation on their behalf. What a fantastic conversation starter! – so be sure to put your Donation Board somewhere central (i.e. by the doorway, or the bar!)

Regardless of which charity you choose, how much you donate, or how you choose to share with your guests that a donation has been made on their behalf, your gift really will keep giving back – and this is definitely good cause to celebrate!

– A special Thanks goes out to to Chelsey for suggesting this blog post idea!

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