Wedding Planning Wednesday: Turn Your Wedding Into a Time of Giving

Why not make your wedding a time for reaching out to others in need, a time for giving and sharing. It is so easy to get lost in one’s own needs that finding ways to think of others can actually make your wedding planning less stressful! Here are a few ideas and options for you to look into!

Couples can recycle much of what was not used, or what was “gently used,” by donating food, flowers, and formal wear from the wedding and reception.

Food – Local food rescue programs will pick up leftovers from the wedding reception, and deliver them to a homeless shelter the same day. Couples should know that most food banks only deal with non-perishable food items. A food rescue picks up perishable and non-perishable foods. Anything not being used at a wedding falls under the heading of perishable. For more information and to locate a local food rescue program, please visit America’s Second Harvest (

Flowers – Centerpieces live on beyond the wedding day when donated to a retirement home or assisted living center. For local listings, please visit, and

Clothing – Bridesmaids dresses don’t have to be worn just once. Several nonprofit organizations recycle “gently used” bridesmaids dresses and groomsman’s tuxedoes into formal wear for low-income high school students. Links to a variety of local programs are provided below.

Gifts – For those couples who have everything, ask your guests to donate to one (or several) of your or their favorite charities. At there is a Wedding Registry, replete with an on line form and search engine to help even the most internet-challenged decide which charities to use. The site has over 850,000 charities from which to choose! You can even submit a picture, bio of yourself and your groom, and any details about the wedding you wish to provide. When guests make donations, your name is mentioned.

Wedding favors – are lovely and cute but many don’t even make it home with the guests! Instead of a gift, you can donate a set amount to a favorite charity in each guest’s name!

When all is said and done and you are blissfully happy with your new spouse, you can be thankful not only for what you have received on this wonderful day but at peace with yourself for the kindness and love you will have brought to others. What a beautiful way to start your new life with your beloved!

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