7 ways to make your wedding bigger than you

August 9 | Guest post by Janessa White
Weddings for good causes: 7 ways to make your wedding bigger than you
In Lieu of Favors Donation Signs from iDoTags

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

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.

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