Special Gift, Special Day
It’s 2019 and culture is changing. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and instead apply this idea solely to the context of wedding registries.
Many couples are making charitable giving a part of their wedding plans. This may mean the couple donates funds to an organization in lieu of wedding favors, food at their after party, upgraded napkins, or any other detail they feel they would have otherwise included if they did not consider the charitable gift more worthwhile.
Commonly, and most meaningfully, these donations might be made in honor of a loved one who has passed, or a family member or friend who has faced a significant challenge.
Additionally, the average age of couples getting married has risen and has always been higher in the New York area, where the greater majority of our clients reside. Couples have already made a life for themselves that obviously includes flatware and bedding, so they are forgoing signing up for wedding registries, instead suggesting places where guests can make donations in the couple’s name, or in their own. Furthermore, it is uncomfortable asking people to purchase things for you at the quality you would perhaps purchase for yourselves. You also do not want to accumulate more stuff just to accumulate more stuff, that does not feel good, especially if you live in a NYC apartment.
We know there are many nonprofits and charitable platforms out there, so ADE is here to help you get a head start on choosing one! JustGiving.org, crowdrise.com and CharityNavigator.org are all search engines to use to start your search if you are in love with the idea of setting up a charitable registry but still need to find an organization. You can give back, or encourage your guests to give, to any charitable organization you love, such as Charity: Water, OceanX, FeedingAmerica, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and American Cancer Society just to name a few we love. You can do this quite simply by making a mention of this donation on the bottom of your menus, on the back page of your ceremony program, on your website, on the details card within your invitation suite, or by making an awareness table that shares literature about this organization. An awareness table can be placed near the entrance and exit of your venue. We have seen couples forgo the awareness table and instead include the literature for the organization in their hotel welcome bags. You may also opt, instead, to put literature about this organization out at brunch the day after your wedding.
Below are just a few organizations, or companies, that sell products that give back. These items can be given as favors as well. We write “organizations” because nowadays not all companies that give back are necessarily non-for-profit. Some are for profit, so that they can sustain themselves better while giving back. They can hire more capable talent for their teams, and those teammates can be grateful for being paid what they deserve, while also having work that is real. They can hire employees who need salaries themselves to get back up off their feet and enter the workforce again. The Giving Keys is an organization that does just that. Ashley herself has a few of the long necklaces from The Giving Keys and gave them as holiday gifts to vendors in 2018. The terrain of ‘give back’ companies is changing and, with for-profit companies sprouting up, perhaps giving back will become part of the norm and soon we can all do our part to contribute to closing the opportunity gap in this country and beyond.
4Ocean: This organization was created by two surfing friends, Alex and Andrew, while away on vacation in Bali, a small fishing village in Indonesia. Simply constructed, fisherman remove plastic out of the ocean with their nets, so that they can save their livelihood, the fish. The cost of each bracelet, made from recycled materials, helps to clean up 1 lb of plastic from the ocean.
The Giving Keys: This company was created on a social impact employment model. Instead of raising funds through the products they sell they sell products that provide jobs to those transitioning out of homelessness - hence giving keys; keys to someone’s future.
Truffles for a Cause can help you create the perfect wedding favors that will give back to a charity of your choosing! Within their box of chocolates is a charity card which provides details of a charity. This can be a small but rewarding detail to add to your special day.
One Hope Wine was created over the love of wine but also to bring communities all over the world together. “To date we have made more than $3 million in donations, provided 46,000 people with global health care, 49,000 forever homes for shelter animals, 1.8 million meals for children, 163,000 life-saving vaccines and much more.”
Repeat Roses is a wonderful for-profit organization that we have worked with many times since its inception in 2014. It is a no brainer - you pay a fee for their staff to pick up, rearrange and deliver your flowers to a nearby organization of your choice. With this service you have the opportunity to claim a good portion of your flower bill as a charitable donation. If your flower bill is high enough, it is a win-win. You are even sent pictures of your flowers the next day, in their new location, making someone else’s day a bit brighter and albeit fragrant.
Some more non-for-profits we love and want to shed some light on are as follows….
Wish Upon A Wedding “has helped over 125 couples say ‘I Do’ since its launch in January 2010.” This particular non-profit provides couples who are struggling with serious illnesses with grants for weddings and vow renewals.
Changing the Present is a company that helps to channel funds to nonprofits through a donation given in a friend’s name. Instead of purchasing a birthday gift or a wedding gift, this company seeks to make the experience of donation feel like a rewarding gift.
Vow to End Child Marriage is an organization started with the assistance of Girls Not Brides, The Ford Foundation and Hive. The mission of this organization is to end child marriage by raising funds that support local organizations across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Both Vow and Girls Not Brides are active in working to end child marriage across the world.
The charities listed above are only a few of the many remarkable organizations you can choose from. We applaud your choice to add charitable giving to your special day and hope we can help you find an organization that best fits your vision.
Ashley Douglass Events Team!
Written by Christina Madden, Spring 2019 Intern and Ashley Douglass