The most popular month historically to say “I do” is coming up in less than thirty days so I wanted to share some resources for happy nuptials not only for the lucky couple but also the charity of their choice.
Have you heard of charity wedding registries? They are the hippest way to share your joy with those less fortunate. A couple makes a charity registry when they choose a charity or more than one and ask their friends and family to make donations in lieu of wedding gifts.
There are several places that allow you to do them like JustGive.org and the Wedding Channel, but they are all supported through the I Do Foundation. Working with nearly 50,000 couples a year, the I Do Foundation has granted more than $6 million to charity from its start in 2002 to 2009.
Besides charity registries, the I Do Foundation also allows you to give wedding favor cards showing that a donation has been made by the happy couple for their guests. You can order cards or print the cards out yourself to put out at the wedding or have the cards emailed to your wedding guests. There are fees from the printing company for the printed cards and some smaller fees for the e-cards or the cards you print yourself.
The I Do Foundation also offers GiveNow cards for attendant gifts. These cards are like the Good cards I mentioned at Christmas time. You choose the amount of the card and the receiver chooses the charity to which it goes. Like the wedding favor cards, you can email or print the cards, choosing your own design, or have the cards mailed for you using the standard one. There’s a five dollar fee for each GiveNow card.
If you want to do something for charity, but are a couple that needs gifts, you still have the option to have a percentage of what others spend on your gifts go to charity. You can choose stores when you sign up like Macy's, Crate & Barrel, Target, Bloomingdale's, Pottery Barn, Belk and more. Right now if you go through the I Do Foundation, you can get up to five percent of the gift’s value given to a charity, but that’s only through August.
Starting in September, the I Do Foundation will no longer do the gift registries, only the Wedding Channel will. They only provide up to a three percent donation on gifts. The Wedding Channel charges a 12 percent fee for donations to the charity registry, while the I Do Foundation only charges eight percent (and they will keep doing them after September).
You can also do both a charity and a gift registry at the same time. One of the nice things about the Wedding Channel program is that you will get an email for every donation to the charity registry so you can thank the donors and you can also limit the number of gifts to the charity registry if you like.
For those of you who followed the royal wedding last year, Oxfam and Ebay are also doing a special auction through next Wednesday of wedding services and gifts to benefit Oxfam Unwrapped. Some of the items cannot be shipped to the United States, but for any of my British followers, there are an array of flower, photography, makeup, travel and pampering services for sale, as well as headbands, earrings and tiaras for everyone.
I’ve been married for 15 years now so these services weren’t available when I tied the knot, but I wish they had been. For any of you out there looking to spend the rest of your life with the love of it, get started off right by sharing your love with others.