7 ways to make your wedding bigger than you #Advice#charities August 9 | Guest post by Janessa White In Lieu of Favors Donation Signs from iDoTags Related Post Doing good while getting wed: wedding charity ideas to support your favorite causes "In lieu of a gift registry, what are some of the options/ideas to ask people to give to charity? My partner and I met volunteering... Read more When it comes to weddings, it’s usually a whole lot of getting. Getting the cake, getting the attire, getting the flowers, getting gifts. Cue brain overload! But what about giving? With the average wedding cost in the U.S. now up over $35,000, couples are re-thinking their wedding and deciding how to incorporate a cause into the planning and execution. Weaving charity into weddings isn’t hard and is a great way to share the love. Use these starting blocks to brainstorm how you can fold charity into your big day… Non-profit, big impact Shopping for a wedding venue is a whole beast in and of itself. If you want to give back to the community in a direct way, invest in a non-profit location to host your wedding. Local museums or art galleries make for amazing locations, and check into nature preserves if you want a more outdoor celebration. Flower power Related Post How to donate your wedding flowers to hospitals, shelters, or the elderly Donating flowers, leftover catering, and dresses is totally a thing, and you can get in on it. We'll talk fashion and catering another day, but... Read more It can be hard to part with your wedding flowers. Many couples think their guests will want to take them, but if guests are traveling, chances are they’ll forgo them or even forget them when leaving. Make sure someone else can enjoy those gorgeous blooms before they fade. Local nursing homes, visiting angels programs, or children’s homes love receiving floral donations for their residents. Head to the donation station You may be convinced your bridal party will wear their suits and dresses again. Chances are, by the time an occasion rolls around for them to reuse it, it won’t fit any more. If your bridal party is okay parting ways with their attire, work with a local thrift store to set up a donation drop off before everyone leaves after the wedding weekend is over. Someone out there will be thrilled to wear the clothing again, which I think we all can agree that that’s much better than having it sit in a closet for years. Get in the competitive spirit A little hustling and hecklin’ never hurt anybody. When it comes to raising money for charities, get your bridal parties in on the action. Break out into two teams. Each group picks a charity and raises as much money prior to the wedding as possible for that charity. Whether you rally friends and family to pitch in a few bucks or you are at your local car dealership showing off some leg for an impromptu car wash, do whatever it takes to raise that cash. At the wedding, create a slideshow or video showcasing to your guests how you all raised the money and crown the winning team. Re-gifting… it’s okay! Even with your gift registry, you somehow ended up with another blender and toaster. Instead of worrying about the hassle of returns, donate some of your extra gifts. Local churches, families in need, and even soup kitchens are always in need of appliances and household items. Giving mad props Go for gold with your photo booth by purchasing “props” you can donate! Dog toys, like in this post, are fabulous if you are pet lovers, or you could find really unique stuffed animals for kids to donate to a local church, mission, or shelter. Put a little sign at the photo booth to let people know these props are going to good use after the wedding. Dollar dance upcycled The Dollar Dance is a long-standing tradition in certain parts of the wedding world. Long story short, people will pay money to dance with you for a song, and usually the money goes to the couple to help them start their life together. But it’s also a great way to raise money for a charity. Wedding as a political act: 8 ways to show your wedding is part of the resistance We've talked for years about folks who've used their weddings as political statements, most notably with marriage equality back before it became legal nationwide... but we're in a different era… Read More Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Janessa White Janessa White is a wedding concierge for Simply Eloped, where she helps couples elope in New York City and New Orleans. http://simplyeloped.com PREVIOUS Unique men's wedding bands for rockstars, nature-lovers, and everyone else! NEXT An intimate Derby Day wedding (with handmade rings!) Show/Hide comments [ 0 ] Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via emailGet only replies to your comment, the best of the rest, as well as a daily recap of all comments on this post. No more than a few emails daily, which you can reply to/unsubscribe from directly from your inbox. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. 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