Weddings are all about giving. You give your heart and life to your spouse. You are given gifts from family and friends that support you. And you (as the gracious bride and groom you are) give thanks, food, and entertainment to those same individuals for their love. But being a gracious bride and groom can expand past just the family and friends invited to the event.
Let’s look at party favors for instance. Most of the time, favors are left on the tables, or tossed out. But what if 100% of your favors to your guests will get used? What if, your favors are actually helping others in need? A great alternative to the traditional candy or trinket wedding favor, is to donate to your favorite charity in honor of your guests. I had one couple, who love animals and wanted their fur babies incorporated in the wedding somehow. Instead of trying to force them down the aisle with a pillow tied to their collar, they honored them and their guests by using the money they would have spent on favors, and donating it to the local animal shelter that their pets came from, and even included a picture of their precious pups. The caption at the bottom of their menu card at each place setting read:
“Thank you for sharing in our special day! In leui of favors, we are donating to The Capital Humane Society in your honor.”
Asside from everyone having a feel good feeling about giving, this favor idea also doesn’t break your bank. It makes sure your budget stays in check by donating only the exact amount you have budgeted for.
Did you also know you can fundraise through your vendors too? Simply ask your vendor if they would consider donating a portion to charity. Not all vendors will say ‘yes’. But some will, and some like Michael Herod Photography, already includes this in their everyday business practice. Not only is Michael an exceptional photographer, but he is also an extremely kind hearted and generous individual. For every job he gets, 5% of it is always donated to charity. In fact, he even lets the client pick out which charity they want their funds to go to!
So up until now, you’ve been a gracious and generous bride and groom. Making sure that good deeds and thoughtfulness are cast out into every aspect of your wedding. But once you’re perfect day has come to a close, what then? The food is packed up and flowers boxed. Chances are, you have not put a second thought into where those things will go after your wedding. And chances are, they end up getting thrown out or spoil before bringing any further enjoyment. However, there are many places in which you can spread your love and generosity EVEN FURTHER! Try donating the leftover food and flowers to charities that could really use it for people in need. Here is a list of some local places that will take such donations:
Food Net strives to stop the waste of food and fufill human needs. They provide mostly perishable items to needy families. They are a volunteer non-profit organization that receives NO government funding. A single call, and they will personally pickup all the donated items within one hour. You can contact them at foodnetlincoln.org or 402-416-4979.
The People City Mission is a Christian based non-profit organization whose purpose is to assist with providing basic human needs through food, clothes, shelter, and ministry. Drop offs can be made anytime by contacting the location you are nearest to. More information can be found at peoplescitymission.org or by calling 402-475-6888.
Fresh Start is transitional shelter that empowers homeless women to change their lives by recognizing and utilizing their strengths to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. They also accept drop off donations and can be reached at freshstarthome.org or 402-475-7777.
Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach is a faith based hunger relief and outreach program that is devoted to serving homeless and near homeless men, women, and children by providing meals twice daily, every day of the year. They do take drop-offs, but only during the weekdays. They can be found at mtkserves.org or by calling 402-477-4116.