When the wedding invitations start going out, one of the first things that comes to mind for guests are gifts. What should they get the bride and groom? What does the couple need? To solve the problem, many couples set up a registry at various businesses, which lists gifts on their wish list. Traditionally, these gifts are for the couple’s home, such as dishes, linens and small appliances. For the couple that wants to give back, these gifts can be charitable donations of some sort.
While some couples do set up a registry and ask for tangible gifts for the home, others choose to go a different route and ask guests to make a charitable donation in lieu of a tangible gift. When Prince William and Kate Middleton got married in April 2011, for example, the couple selected some of their favorite charities and requested guests to make a donation to one of them instead of purchasing them a tangible gift.
Couples today are getting married later in life, often in their late 20s and early 30s, and many live together beforehand. As a result, they already have the dishes, linens, small appliances and other items needed to set up a home. In some cases, they may even be combining households and have more than enough. Rather than end up with a houseful of items they don’t need, it just makes more sense to give to those who are truly in need.
There are many ways couples can go about charitable gifting. They can select some of their favorite charities and request donations to them in lieu of gifts, either through word of mouth, a formal announcement or a website. They can set up a charity registry, which will allow guests to make a secure online donation to the organizations of the couple’s choice. The couple can even specify a dollar amount. They can set up a charitable gift registry, which will allow guests to purchase an actual gift for them with a portion of the proceeds donated to charities of the couple’s choice. This option works really well for couples vying for a more traditional wedding. Depending upon the size of the wedding and their preferences, couples may even be able to set up both a charity registry and a charitable gift registry.
For couples that cannot bear the thought of asking guests to make a monetary donation of any kind, there are other ways to give back. They can donate any unused food from their reception to food banks. They can make a charitable donation in guests’ names in lieu of wedding favors. This option is growing in popularity and there are many websites that now offer charitable wedding favors.
Whether a big wedding or small, exchanging vows in front of loved ones can be magical. You can add to the magic by giving back. Explore the possibilities!