Many believe that one’s wedding should be a day that is centered around the bride and groom, and though the day is a celebration of their love, I think it is also a fantastic opportunity to give back in a number of different ways to those less fortunate. Below are a few ideas on how you can use your special day to help those around you in need.

Create a Charity Registry

Lets all take a lesson from Prince William and Kate! In place of gifts the couple asked guests to donate to a fund for 26 charities, many of which supported under-privileged inner-city children, a cause that has long been near and dear to their hearts. The I Do Foundation is a fantastic organization for those interested in setting up a charity registry. Their website provides you the opportunity to choose a charity or a few charities of your choice and, similar to a gift registry, guests can log in and make a donation to the charity in place of a wedding gift to you. After all it is so much better to give than to receive!

Philanthropic Favors

The I Do Foundation website also has a section devoted to choosing a charity for your favors. At your reception, you can let guests know that a donation has been made to a certain charity in their name in a cute and creative way. For example, one animal-loving couple crafted a small bag of bone shaped candies that was accompanied with a card stating that a donation was made to the Humane Society in their name. The key when coming up with your philanthropic favors it to keep it personal – choose a charity or cause that both you and your fiance are passionate about and your guests will likely remember and cherish the favor even more.

Gown Giving

Your wedding gown is such a precious and memorable piece of your wedding day, but after that one-time wear it will likely sit in the back of your closet or in a dusty attic in a plastic garment bag or cardboard box. Why not take part in blessing someone else with your gorgeous gown? There are many organizations that focus on providing wedding gowns to brides in need and even organizations that will resell your gown and donate the proceeds to the charity of your choice.  Want to learn more about gown donations? Below are a few reputable organizations to look into.

Brides Against Breast Cancer

Brides Across America  (Supports Military Brides)

The Brides’ Project