I was talking with one of my brides today who asked how she could suggest her wedding guests give a gift to a local charity instead of giving a traditional wedding gift to her. She is not the first to ask, and it made me feel very lucky to have clients like her. How wonderful that a bride would use her wedding to help others, and how wonderful for me to have the honor of helping her do it.
I directed her to an organization called the I Do Foundation: http://www.idofoundation.org/. This website gives brides many options for helping others. If a bride wants to register for wedding gifts, the foundation has partnered with Target, REI and cooking.com to donate 10% of every purchase to her favorite charity. If a bride decides she has everything she needs and wants guests to donate to a charity in lieu of gifts, the website guides her through the process of setting up an online donation registry. It also offers wedding favors and invitations that give 10% back to charity.
A few years ago, I worked with a couple who raised over $20,000 for charity by asking for donations instead of wedding gifts. Here’s what Miriam & Jake Hodesh had to say:
“We were standing in the aisle of a department store wondering if the curve of the plate that we had registered for would go well with the glasses that we had registered for. We looked at each other and started laughing … And so, we deleted our registries, to the dismay of some, and the awe of others.” The couple added, “We feel honored to have had the opportunity to affect change. We hope that our vision will continue to change the lives of a people many miles away.”
Certainly Miriam and Jake are the exception and not the norm, but the spirit of giving in any amount is an admirable way to make the world a better place.