Tying the Knot for Good

With many couples waiting until they’re comfortable in their careers, sometimes until their early to mid-thirties, to get married, the tradition of collecting weddings gifts is catching on to a new charitable trend.

Most newlyweds are already comfortable in their homes. If not already living together, couples have furniture from past living accommodations (or they have money to purchase objects suited to their own taste). They are eager to resist needless gifts; all destined to become kitsch and clutter. Instead of wedding registries filled with Vitamixes and duvet covers, many newlyweds now choose to support philanthropic causes in lieu of receiving lavish gifts.

How can you create your own charitable wedding?

1.  Ask for charitable gifts

  • Fait La Force Blanket ($425) This collaboration with textile designers and local Haitian artisans uses traditional techniques and natural materials to provide jobs, skills and access to markets by bringing modern design to indigenous craft.
  • FEED Wine bag ($22) One wine bag provides five school meals to children worldwide, in countries like Cambodia and Guatemala. The bags are made by artisans in the countries the foundation supports and each is marked with the number of meals donated.

2. Take donations instead of gifts

  • IDoFoundation.org, Founded on Valentine’s Day in 2002 this nonprofit strives to change the wedding sector by giving couples and their guests the tools to give back to their favorite charities. Some of the top charities used by IDoFoundation.org include Doctors without Borders, American Cancer Society, Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, and Save the Children.

3. Make the day a charitable affair

  • Host the event at a nonprofit-owned space (here’s a list of some in NYC). Museums, historical sites, and botanical sites are good options. However, they do get booked far in advance.
  • Spend a day with your bridal/groom party volunteering at your local soup kitchen or Habitat for Humanity.
  • Donate flowers and decorations after the celebration to a nearby hospital or nursing home.
  • Consider donating your wedding gown to other women in need.