Tips for Creating a Charitable Wedding

There are many ways to share your wedding commitment with your community. Here are a few suggestions from the I Do Foundation.

Thank Your Attendants

Give Your Attendants the Gift of Charity: Charitable gift cards from I Do are a great way to honor the special people in your life. It's simple—you make the donation and they select the charity.
Buy a charitable gift card

Clean Your Plate

Donate Leftover Food: Locate your local food rescue organization and find out how your leftover food can be put to good use.

Most food banks only deal with non-perishable food items, but food rescue programs pick up both perishable and non-perishable foods. Anything not being used at a wedding would fall under the heading of perishable. Food rescue programs can get leftover food from the reception to local shelters and soup kitchens that same day.

  • Feeding America
    Feeding America has an extensive on-line network of over 200 food banks and food-rescue programs. Your local soup kitchen can also refer you to food rescue programs. or (800) 771-2303

Consider Alternative Caterers: Enjoy delicious food for your wedding while empowering the lives of others.

Traditional caterers offer a multitude of food options for your wedding. Yet during your wedding tastings, why not consider a group of previously underprivileged men and women who have graduated from an accredited culinary arts job training program? With reasonable prices and fantastic food, give an opportunity to a group of caterers whose lives have been changed by food.

  • Kitchens INC
    Kitchens In National Cooperation (INC), a project of the DC Central Kitchen, is a community of programs dedicated to using food to improve lives. The site provides information on alternative catering groups across the country, and local community kitchen resources to incorporate into your wedding experience.
    Kitchens INC

Something OLD, Something NEW, Something BORROWED, Something GREEN

Eco-friendly Weddings: To create a wedding that is both beautiful and environmentally sound, incorporate earth-friendly practices into your ceremony and reception. Check out our Celebrate Green section for more resources.

  • Tips for the Eco-Savvy Bride and Groom
    Looking for ways to save money and the environment? Check out these helpful tips on making your wedding green.
    Read the article.
  • Top Ten Ways to Go Green
    Thinking about adding a little green to your wedding? Our Eco-Wedding experts have 10 great ideas to get you thinking.
    Check out the tips.
  • Portovert Magazine
    Portovert Magazine is an online resource that offers beautiful, inspired, smart wedding ideas that support an environmentally and socially conscious lifestyle.
  • terrapass
    It's easy to make you celebration carbon neutral. Buy Carbon Offset Credits through our partner,

Share Your Shower

Plan a Service Project: Mobilize your shower or engagement party guests to volunteer their time at a local organization. Use the link below to locate a service project in your area.

Make My Day

Donate Your Flowers: Check with your local nursing homes or assisted living centers to see where your centerpieces could be put to good use. The following websites will help you locate a nursing home or assisted living facility in your area.

Do the World a Favor

Alternative Wedding Favors: Make a donation in honor of your guests in place of wedding favors. Or consider a favor that will really grow on your guests - a tree seedling or plants.

  • National Arbor Day Foundation
    Your wedding guests can help the National Arbor Day Foundation in its efforts to replant lost national forest land. You can plant a tree for $1 in your guest's name. or (402) 474-5655

Don't Leave 'em Hangin'

Recycle Your Wedding Dress: Your wedding dress doesn't have to be worn just once — donate it to groups like the ones below and proceeds go to charity. Or, make a purchase that counts from these nonprofit boutiques.

  • The Bridal Garden
    The Bridal Garden's non-profit bridal boutique offers top designer gowns at reasonable prices. Proceeds benefit the Sheltering Arms Children's Services. or (212) 252-0661
  • Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation - Brides Against Breast Cancer
    By donating your wedding and bridesmaids dresses, your 100% tax-deductible gift supports the fight against breast cancer. or (503) 252-3955
  • The Glass Slipper Project
    Here's your chance to help a Chicago high school student be the "Belle of the Ball" at her high school prom. The Glass Slipper Project collects new and almost-new formal dresses and accessories and provides them, free of charge, to Chicago high school students who are unable to purchase their own prom attire.

Other Charitable Wedding Resources

  • Volunteer Vacations
    What could be more romantic than volunteering on your honeymoon? JustGive has a collection of volunteer vacation opportunities both nationally and internationally. You could do anything from teaching English to saving dolphins.
  • Fundraise through your vendors
    Create charitable competition among your vendors by requesting that they donate a percentage of their fee to your favorite charity.
  • Support local nonprofits
    Choose a reception location owned by a nonprofit, such as a nature preserve, university or museum, where the rental proceeds will go to a good cause.
One day. Big difference. Request gifts of charity to celebrate your new life together.