Something Favorable: Charity as a Wedding Favor

Wedding favors have practically become a required element of wedding day, even though most guests won’t miss or expect them. The real “requirement” is the bride and groom’s expectations, and their desire to express creativity as well as giving something back to say “Thank you” to all those sharing the special day with them.

Guests usually find their favors waiting at place settings when they take their seats for the wedding reception.

The really great thing about wedding favors is that there is nothing saying what you should get, or how much money you should spend. The only hard and fast rule on wedding favors is this: everyone should get the same thing, or very close to it. Flowers might be different colors, for instance, but they should all be the same type and the same number. In other words, don’t use your wedding favors as an excuse to snub your sweetie’s ex or give Aunt Sophie something extravagant if everyone else is receiving travel games.

Another quick tip about the giving of favors: cut costs by doubling up. Couples and families don’t really want to end up with two of whatever you’re sending home, and this will help you cut costs.

Giving From the Heart

Your wedding day is even more certain to bring wonderful gifts, showers of love and praise, and generally happiness than your birthday. Instead of sending everyone home with a wedding favor they may or may not ever use or appreciate, why not give them something that shows you really care?

Charity donations make a wonderful, truly touching wedding gift. By making a donation in each guest’s name to a charity of your choice, you’re not only making a beautiful impact on the world that has granted you wedded happiness but you’re giving your guests something they can treasure – the feeling that they’ve made a difference, to you and to the world.

Choosing a charity might be easy or a bit more difficult, depending on what kind of interests you have as a couple. If you’re both nature buffs, making your donations to the National Park Foundation would be perfectly fitting – and create a gift that would express your personality as a couple.

When you decide on the charity that you want to make a contribution to, you can usually get the favor-getting done in less than 30 minutes (compare that to trudging through stores or waiting on snail mail!). Many charities also offer printable or deliverable “gift cards” which will let your guests know what a beautiful gift you’ve given them. If the charity you choose to work with doesn’t offer gift cards, you can easily design your own with a bit of matching clip art (something with trees, for example, if you’re working with the Park Foundation) and include a short quote that expresses the gift you’ve given.

Even if you only donate $1 per wedding guest, it adds up and makes a huge difference.

Great Charitable Ideas

Take some time to find a charity that is both reputable and expresses something that is important to you and your partner, and you have the makings of a gift that really shows something about you. The following charities are just a start, but are definitely worth taking a look at.

First Book – – A literacy organization that provides low-income children new books of their own, this charity works hard to encourage our future. You can make donations online, and print out small gift cards of your own. Use clip-art of books, or a child reading, and a literary quote. Include the guest or couple’s name on it, and you have a beautiful wedding favor.

Habitat for Humanity – – Since 1976, this organization has given hope to couples and families across the country. They combine the efforts of volunteers, suppliers, and skilled craftsmen to create homes for homeless families. By making a donation to this charity, you can help another couple find hope in their own home just as you and your partner are finding yours.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – – Dedicated to saving our furry companions from mistreatment, this organization works hard all over the country. When you work with this charity, make sure that you include the website’s address on the gift card. The ASPCA offers up really helpful articles for pet owners, has a newsletter your animal-loving guests can sign up for, and even has a Virtual Pet game for the kids.

The Marine Toys for Tots – – The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation provides happiness and hope to disadvantaged children who might otherwise be overlooked this holiday season. Sponsor a toy and give a child recognition, confidence and a positive memory for a lifetime.

National Parks Conservation Association –
/NtlParksandConservationAssoc/default.asp – The mission of the National Parks and Conservation Association is to protect and improve the quality of the National Park System and to promote an understanding, appreciation, and sense of personal commitment to parklands. NPCA is America’s only nonprofit citizen organization dedicated solely to protecting, preserving, and enhancing the U.S. National Park System.

The Skin Cancer Foundation – – The Skin Cancer Foundation will deliver individual scrolls to be placed at each setting that can be given in lieu of traditional wedding favors. These scrolls are printed on elegant parchment paper and can be customized by the bride with color coordinated ribbons or wafer seals.

Other sites for info:

âÂ?¢Charity Facts –
âÂ?¢Forum for Wedding Reception Ideas –
âÂ?¢Elegant, Traditional Wedding Favors –

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