Your Guide to Giving Back on your Wedding Day Showing your guests how much you appreciate their presence on your wedding day is important. Some couples choose to give chocolates or scented candles to their guests, and who doesn’t love that, right? However, there is a new favor option that is growing in popularity with couples everywhere. Brides and grooms are now starting to thank their guests by giving something a little less tangible than edible goodies or knick-knacks; they’re focusing on charitable donations. Giving a charitable donation is a wonderfully gracious way to give back while celebrating one of the most important days of your life. While you are being surrounded by love and support on your wedding day, giving a charitable donation in lieu of party favors will do your heart a world of good, too. Charitable favors will impress your guests and leave them with those warm, fuzzy feelings that you want everyone to leave your wedding with. My Wedding Chat would like to help you nourish your philanthropic soul by walking you through this new favor idea. Determine what charity to give to. When deciding to give a charitable favor, one of the first things that needs to be determined is what charity or group do you want to give to. Consider giving to organizations that are special to both of you, or a local community organization that could use the help. If you are still unsure of what organization you would like to support, websites such as the Better Business Bureau, www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national or Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org, can help you find reputable charities to give to. Decide the dollar amount. Once you have narrowed down which charity or charities you want to give to, determining how much you want to give is next. In the early stages of your wedding planning, you have probably already determined how much money you are going to allocate for your party favors. Most charities are more than willing to accept any amount you can give so you need not worry how much you can give. Some determine the amount based on their total wedding budget, such as 10% will be designated for favors, or some determine it by their guest list, meaning they spend a certain dollar amount for each guest in attendance. However you determine the amount you are going to donate is up to you and your fiance. Just remember that it is not about the amount you can give but the gift you are giving in the first place. Do something good. Giving a charitable monetary donation doesn’t have to be the only way that you as a couple can give back at your wedding. Some people are planting trees in honor of each guest instead of giving a cash donation. Organizations such as the National Arbor Day Foundation, www.ArborDay.com, and Greenpeace, www.GreenpeaceUSA.org, and many others allow you to give back through planting trees and other options for a fee. This is a wonderful way for you to make your guests feel special by planting a tree in each of their names. Let your guests know. If you do choose to give charitable favors versus the traditional ones, it is still nice to provide your guests with a little something at the table just to explain to them what you and your fiance have decided to do. For example, create cards that may double as place cards, and simply state what charity you have donated to. You could word it with something like, “Thank you for sharing in this special day with us. In recognition of your love and support, we have made a donation in your name to (Name of Charity).” That way each guest will be easily informed of your donation without you having to make an announcement about it. Giving a charitable favor is just one small way you can give back during one of the biggest days in your lifetime. On a day when everyone around you is pouring out love, you can join them by giving a gift that truly does keep on giving. For more information on how to give a charitable wedding favor, visit www.idofoundation.org and keep checking back to My Wedding Chat. Want more? “Like” Wedding Shoppe Inc. on Facebook and “Follow” Wedding Shoppe Inc. on Twitter.