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Giving to Charity In Lieu of Wedding Favors
Giving vs. Getting
Have you thought about favors for your wedding? From boxes of Jordan's almonds to candles to cookies, people give all sorts of favors at their weddings. My thought for Nadine and Greg, whose wedding I am planning, was that we do a stack of favors in the shape of a wedding cake, i.e., from Martha Stewart weddings. Her mom (my boss!) liked the idea and I was brainstorming ideas of what to put in the boxes since Greg is Jamaican. Hmmm...pineapple candy....Jamaican rum balls??
Another cute idea we almost went with was to buy a big box of white 4 x 4" tiles and decoupage squares of scrapbooking paper to them, put them in a stack of four, tie the stacks together with twine and give as sets of coasters. Simple, very cute, and everyone goes home with something usable instead of something fattening! My eyes did glaze over at the thought of decoupaging that many tiles (150 x 4??!) and hauling those heavy things into the wedding reception...
Decoupaged Tiles As Wedding Favors
Charity Instead Of Favors?
After thinking it over, Nadine and Greg decided to nix the whole idea of favors and give to the charity of their choice. OK, as the wedding planner, that sounds easier and less time consuming than wedding favors (just one more thing to make!) However, now I'm looking for a cute way to let guests know that in lieu of favors, they are making a charitable donation in each guest's names. Found some ideas for wording...now thinking of an adorable design once they decide on the charity they most want to give to...maybe American Heart since Greg is a cardiologist? Hmmm...
The "Green" Wedding
With everyone "green"-ing everything these days, you would only expect green weddings to follow. Everyone keeps talking about reducing waste and "our carbon footprint" on the planet. Sure, if you get candy in a box for a favor, you're going to eat them, but then there's 150 little boxes in a landfill somewhere. Those little mint boxes might hang around in the bottom of your purse after you eat all the mints, but before long the lid is gonna be broken and rolling around the floor of your car somewhere and, if you have kids, joining the Cheerios and McDonald's french fries stuck down in the seats or on the floorboard!.
Some of the charities, especially environmental organizations, have really jumped on the bandwagon to make it easier for brides to contribute to their cause including the American Diabetes Foundation, the Arbor Day Foundation, and the Green World Foundation. Many brides are opting to give flower seeds, so guests can plant them to beautify the earth instead of adding to what's going to be hauled away at the curb. Some charities even provide a very nice card to explain the donation, but Nadine and Greg are doing their own since they are donating to TWO different organizations, one because Greg's sister actually lost her life to a rare disease and the other since Nadine's father suffers from another disease.
Charity Is Less Fattening!
However, here's the thought...are people going to be feel robbed if they don't get favors? Do people come to weddings just for free food and the favors? How many Jordan's almonds can a person really eat anyway? As someone who hand-painted over 150 glass votives with tiny palmetto trees for my niece's wedding and wrapped them in little tiny pieces organza bags, I can tell you a lot of votives got left on the table at the end of the night. At my friend Tess's wedding which had a chocolate and coffee theme, we filled tiny dollar store Cinderella shoes with chocolate covered espresso beans tied off with the ever popular tulle. There were some left over there as well. (Ask me later about the pre-wedding fiasco of Tess's dogs helping themselves to the box of chocolate covered espresso beans inadvertently left on the kitchen table within their reach. Yes, It was UGLY!
Do People Really Care About Wedding Favors?
What I'm getting at here is this: Do people come to weddings for free food and drink? Sad to say...absolutely. Do people come to weddings for the favors? Unless you're living the lifestyles of the rich and famous and are giving away I-pods as favors...doubt it. Most people don't even think about the favor and are surprised when they receive one. So what's the reason they come to weddings?
I really like to think they come because they care about the couple and want to be there to witness two people make a loving commitment to each other... a rare thing in today's gimme-gimme world.
So...say yes to charitable donations. They will have a more long lasting effect...even more long lasting than dogs eating five pounds of chocolate covered espresso beans!