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What to Say When NOT Giving A Wedding Favor

Updated on June 16, 2014

Wedding Favors...Not!!!

As a wedding planner for the first time, I planned to do a wedding cake tower of favor boxes ala Martha Stewart. Nadine and Greg, the happy couple have chosen to do a contribution to charity instead of giving out favors. I guess I've finally gotten over the fact that my lovely little wedding cake tower of wedding favors is not to be....Wah! but charity is good and a lot better than giving people one more candle or matchbook! They have decided to add a candy buffet, so I think that's as good as a favor and a whole lot more fun!

Tent Cards For The Tables

I've tried to search for some little verses to use on cards that will be placed on the tables at the reception to let people know that Nadine and Greg will be giving a donation to their favorite charity in lieu of favors. And here's what I've come up with so far...

Thank you for sharing our special day with us. We would like to return the favor by sharing with others so in lieu of favors, we have decided to make a charitable donation to ____________________________ in the name of each of our guests.

So what do you think? Not bad, huh? There are actually some charities that provide cards for you to use at your reception, so you don't have to create your own such as the American Diabetes Association or he ASPCA. However, some people consider letting guests know through a card or scroll at their place setting that money is being given to a charity instead of a favor is downright...tacky. Their rationale is if you're giving to charity, you should do it quietly and not make a deal of how great you are because you donate to charity. Tough call...oh, the decisions in the life of a wedding planner!

Brides Against Breast Cancer

Brides Against Breast Cancer offers an option for brides to sponsor a "Pink Envelope" reception. For a minimum donation of $100, the foundation will send you a set of favor cards to display at your reception. Brides Against Breast Cancer says the norm for most couples is $3 - $10 per guest, but even $1.00 per guest when you have 100 guests would help you meet the minimum donation. You need to give what your budget can afford. The foundation also will provide envelopes and cards for you to give out at your reception for guests to make donations to the charity. If cancer played a significant role in your life and you know your guests well enough to know they would not find this offensive, I would say try this, but use caution, since a wedding is not normally a place one would be asked to make a donation. However, it's definitely less offensive than a money tree where all the money goes straight to the couple!

Give To Charity & Reduce Waste

There are other ways you can find to give to charity through such a special event as a wedding. How many times have you seen a wedding with a ton of food leftover at the end of the night and relatives having to find a place to put it all in their freezers where they'll probably forget about it till next June? Why not make arrangements ahead of time for the food to be picked up by a local homeless shelter?

What To Do With Your Wedding Dress After The Wedding

Or what about that gorgeous dress you wore? What exactly are you going to do with it after the wedding besides have it dry cleaned and let it sit in a box where it will travel to your next five homes with you? Why not donate it to a bride who can't afford a dress or to a charity like Brides Against Breast Cancer or the Bridal Garden in New York who donates the gown proceeds to helping with underpriveleged children's programs? Brides Across America is another charity which helps military brides to have their dream wedding when they may not have the time or money to shop for the perfect dress. is another organization with charity gift cards and charity wedding registries. Let others appreciate how beautiful your dress was and keep passing it on!

And what about the flowers? So many times, flowers are thrown in a dumpster after the wedding, but they would do a lot to cheer up someone in a hospital or a nursing home.

Weddings can easily turn into huge gimme fests with brides thinking that they have to have the best and the most expensive of everything, because it's THEIR day. Why not make some memories for yourself and others by making your wedding a celebration of love..AND giving?


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    • DIYweddingplanner profile image

      DIYweddingplanner 6 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, KK. What a great idea and a nice way to start married life by showing interest in a combined passion!

    • kkflowers profile image

      kkflowers 6 years ago

      Great hub!

      I love the idea of giving to charity with all the money flying around throughout a wedding. My husband and I gave a portion of the gift money we received for a wedding gifts to a local wildlife rescue.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image

      DIYweddingplanner 6 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      FC, I appreciate your comment and considering your business and the articles you have written here, I understand your motivation for advocating for them. However, many people believe wedding favors are wasteful and the money could be used better elsewhere toward helping someone in need. Surely you don't really think $500 worth of chocolate that will be eaten in a day would be better than giving to help a worthy charity. Once again, I appreciate your comment, but there is enough waste and excess in the world already.

    • FirstCommunion profile image

      FirstCommunion 6 years ago from US

      Wedding favors are really important for wedding and to have the best wedding event.

    • profile image

      Jen 7 years ago

      What a great idea. I'd much rather the money go to a good cause than be wasted on a personally labeled hershey's chocolate bar that will end up in the trash in a few weeks.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image

      DIYweddingplanner 7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Hysterical! I couldn't agree more!

    • profile image

      Tess 7 years ago

      I think most people will people will say, think, "That's cool. I wish I thought of that." Saying nothing is alright to because I don't think anyone is sitting aroudn the reception thinking, "Damn, where's my jordan almonds! I bought that thing on their list from Bed, Bath and Beyond, and all I ask in return is a few measly jordan almonds in an organza bag!"