Spread the LOVE! / by Jenny Chang

Let’s face it… weddings are expensive! You have the ring, you said yes to the dress, you booked your venue, and everything is falling into place for your big day. Yay! But you are feeling a little guilty about all of the money being spent. No worries! There are tons of ways to make your wedding matter and say “I give” while saying “I do”.

Here Are 5 Ways to Make Your Wedding Matter:

1. Gifts that Give Back

Many couples are already living together before they get married, so gifts for the house may be unnecessary for some. Instead of a traditional registry, another option is to request donations for charities close to your heart. Not only will you be raising money for these charities, but the awareness that you can bring to things that are near and dear to you can have strong effects beyond a simple monetary donation. This doesn’t mean that you have to cancel your wedding shower either! You can request that your friends and family bring items that can be donated to local shelters or food banks of your choosing. This allows them to still bring a meaningful gift while #celebrating the bride to be!

2. Last Fling Before The Ring, after we help those suffering.

We all know the bachelorette party is your time to shine! While you are still sober enough to walk, how about a quick #volunteer sesh at your favorite non-profit! Charities are always looking for volunteers, so put your bridesmaids to work before they make you drink out of penis straws and get weird lap dances from strangers! LA Kitchen is a local non-profit that #empowers, #nourishes, and #engages the community. They reclaim healthy, local food that would otherwise be discarded, train men and women who are unemployed for jobs, and provide healthy meals to fellow citizens.

3. Favorite Favors

Couples traditionally offer wedding favors for their guests on their big day, but they will be so focused on #celebrating you that they can easily forget to bring their gift home and it will go to waste. Instead, why not spread #awareness and give them a gift that they can’t forget. You can make a donation to your charity of choice and, in lieu of favors, bring place cards that tell them about your donation.

If you want to get your guests a little something to show them your appreciation, then consider this awesome company Lotto Love. They make giving back easy and fun by selling #socialgood scratch off cards. When you give a #lottolove card, the recipient wins a charitable gift for someone in need. The winning prize of every card is a gift of basic needs: literacy tools, clean water, nutritious meals or solar energy. 100% chance of winning. Scratchers where you always win?? Take my money now!

4. I DOnate

Now...food is always a good idea and a necessity at a wedding, considering the amount of booze that may be consumed at your open bar. I am most definitely not suggesting that you starve your guests, but you can use the food that doesn’t get eaten for others who are starving. You can reach out to a local homeless shelter and arrange the leftovers to be dropped off there. You can have have your cake and let others eat it too!

5. Flower Power

You can’t have a wedding without flowers, obviously… but what are you supposed to do with them once your big day is over? This is one of my favorite ways to make your wedding matter. #Repurpose your wedding decorations by #donating your leftover flowers to a retirement or hospice home. Let the flowers that helped bring so much #happiness to your day, bring joy to those who need it.

Being able to say that you used your wedding to #benefit the lives of others is a great way to embark on the next phase of your life! Why not start your marriage knowing that you not only love your partner, but that your love was so great it was able to help others!!