5 Ways To Give Back on Your Big Day
April 20, 2015
California
Reason #893 I love our LBBers? They're sweet, selfless and kind-hearted beyond words, and they send us amazing topics like this one from Kate Siegel Fine Events. It's so easy to stress over detail upon detail, but today, Kate is bringing us back to reality with how you can make your day truly meaningful. From flowers to food, we hope these ideas will inspire you to use your Big Day as a way to give back!
Photography: KT Merry | Floral Design: Beauty in the Making

From Kate Siegel Fine Events... I have helped many brides plan their dream weddings. Recently, I have come across a number of brides who are also interested in using their “Big Day” as a way to give back to the community. Giving back does not need to diminish your wedding in the least. In fact, bringing joy to other people can be a great way to make your wedding day even more special and meaningful. Throughout your wedding, there are many opportunities to help various charities and non-profit groups.

FLOWERS


One of my absolute favorite things about a wedding are the flowers! Unfortunately, flowers are rarely enjoyed once a wedding is over. Many couples depart for their honeymoon right after their wedding and leave the flowers to be discarded. A wonderful alternative is to donate your flowers to a hospital, nursing home or church. If you need a little more help finding the perfect location, check out www.nursinghomeinfo.com, or www.assistedlivinginfo.com. Both sites will help you find the ideal location for your post wedding flowers, sure to put a smile on someone’s face. An additional incentive to donating flowers, you may now be eligible for a tax write-off.

Make sure you coordinate with your florist ahead of time regarding flower donations. Your florist may need to adjust the flower stem length to fit into a standard sized vase; just the bloom with an inch stem will not fit a standard vase. Additionally, if your vases and other vessels are rented, the florist will need to pull out and bundle the flowers before they are donated.
Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Venue: James Leary Flood Mansion

VENUE


There are so many beautiful wedding locations! Why limit your search to for-profit venues? Some of the most breathtaking locations are owned by non-profit organizations. Parks, museums, botanical gardens, schools and universities offer breathtaking options. By hosting your event at such a venue, you can help support a good cause. Here are a few of my favorite locations: Flood MansionLegion of Honor and Balboa Park.
Photography: Erin McGinn | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jim Hjelm | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Floral Design: Dogwood Floral Design

ATTIRE


Even though you believe your bridesmaids’ dresses are flattering, your bridesmaids may not feel the same way. Often a bridesmaid will never wear the dress again. Even if she loves it, she may always see it as a bridesmaid’s dress. This same feeling is true for groomsmen. The color coordinated bowtie and matching vest will most likely only be worn once.

Giving your wedding party an option to donate their wedding ensemble is a great way to go! Many cities around the country have organizations that will accept bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s attire and repurpose it for students who could not otherwise afford to go to the prom. One such organization is The Princess Project in San Francisco. But search online for “donate prom dress” in your city and a similar non-profit organization is sure to pop-up!
Photography: KT Merry

FOOD


Some catering companies may be reluctant to donate your extra food after an event, as some are worried about potential liability. As a result, it is important to communicate to a potential caterer your desire to donate extra food before you sign a contract. Some states, such as California, have laws to limit liability when donating to a non-profit charitable organization.

Feeding America is a good resource for finding a local food rescue program. Some programs will send volunteers (food runners) to pick up extra food right after your event and deliver the food to those in need the very same day.
Photography: Laura Clarke Photography

GIFTS & FAVORS


Instead of traditional wedding presents, consider asking your guests to donate to one of your favorite charities! If you don’t want to forgo all of your gifts, you might consider creating a charity registry on a site such as JustGive in addition to your regular registry.

Perhaps consider giving a gift to charity in lieu of wedding favors for your guests. If you work at a large company, look into their matching program. Some companies have only a certain amount of money set aside for matching, so make sure to send in your request as soon as possible.