Becoming and remaining socially conscious in your everyday life is becoming easier and easier. We can buy jewelry, bags, headphones and candles that will help improve the lives of others. When it comes to your wedding — a day that’s mostly all about you — it’s nice to know you extended your joy to the lives of others even if it was in a small way. You can contribute in the gifts you give to your wedding party, the wine you choose to serve and even with the dress you walk down the aisle in. Say “I Donate” while saying “I Do” with these 18 ways to give back.
1. Seeded Invitations: Print your invitations on seed paper, then your guests can plant it and watch the wildflowers (or herbs) grow by the time you say “I do!” No one has to feel bad about contributing to the growing waste problem because you gave back in a very green way. Eco-friendly invites are also a cool environmentally and socially responsible route to take. (via Botanical Paperworks)
3. Charitable Wine: Serve others while you serve drinks. Benefit Wines and One Hope Wine lets you shop by cause, and a percentage of the proceeds are donated to the charity of your choice. (Photos via Benefit Wines and One Hope At Home)
5. Caffeinated Causes: If you’re having a barista at your wedding or are giving beans away as a favor, choose a company that’s helping make the world and the lives of others a better place. (via Jack Boyd Art)
6. Plan a Charitable Outing: Instead of hosting a bachelor/bachelorette party or luncheon, consider having a charitable outing where you can all bond over something more meaningful than making wedding favors. (Photo via Lucky Shops)
7. Donate Your Flowers: Companies such as Full Bloom “recut, repurpose and recycle donated, gently used blooms into beautiful bedside bouquets for patients in hospitals, hospice care, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.” (via Full Bloom)
8. Little Gifts: A great addition to gift baggies for your girls on your bachelorette or wedding day can include an organic/fair trade lip balm such as these from Poppy Soap Co. 5% of the sales go to women shelters in the U.S. (via Poppy Soap Co)
9. Donate or Buy a Wedding Dress: Companies such as The Bride Project have a collection of used dresses and bridal salon-donated dresses for sale. Plus, proceeds go to families affected by cancer. (via The Brides Project)
10. A Gift Within a Gift: You can give back without leaving your guests empty handed by gifting them a card with the donation on their behalf, a sugar cookie for humans and a treat for their pup. (via Marry This)
11. A SoKind Registry: Here’s a registry where you can personalize what you really need and care about as opposed to just products. Registry items include experiences, homemade goods and charitable donations. (via SoKind Registry)
13. Cards for Causes: Even when the wedding is over, you can continue to give with your “Thank You” cards. CFC donates “20% of the revenue generated by a customer’s order to a charity selected by the customer.” (via Cards for Causes)
16. Donate Leftover Food: Many food pantries, banks and rescue programs will benefit from the food you would have otherwise thrown out. Check with your local food bank and caterer about what kind of food is accepted. (via The Daily Meal)
17. Charity Wedding Venues: If you haven’t booked a location yet, consider choosing a venue such as a historical home, university, museum or nature preserve owned by a non-profit. Your rental fee will go toward a good cause. Or try a charity-owned venue that’s set up to give part of your rental fees to a righteous cause. (Photo via Luke & Mallory Photography)
Have you found other meaningful ways to make a difference? If so, share them with us in the comments.
(Additional reporting by Ginger Rudolph)