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Guests Who Give Back: Incorporating Fundraising into Your Wedding
March 27, 2024

One trend becoming increasingly popular among couples is incorporating fundraising and donations into their weddings. Giving back can create a lasting impact and contribute to a cause close to your heart.

A recent study examining "giving back" behaviors of 1,000 engaged couples showed that 64% are likely to support a charitable cause as part of their upcoming weddings or associated events, such as bridal showers and gift registries.

If you're looking to start your marriage in a meaningful and impactful way, a charitable wedding registry is one of the best ways to include fundraising in your wedding plans.This way, instead of receiving traditional gifts you may not need, you can support those in need.


However, there are many other charitable wedding ideas, so let's look at how you can include donations on your special day. 

Why Incorporate Charitable Donations?

Your wedding day is a celebration of love, and what better way to honor that love than by spreading kindness and making a positive difference in the world? Incorporating charitable donations into your wedding allows you to support causes that are meaningful to you and your partner. It's a beautiful way to start your married life with a spirit of giving and generosity.

Many couples opt to support a cause as part of their wedding registry by requesting donations in addition to or instead of gifts. Another option is to make a charitable donation in honor of your guests as part of your wedding favors. Instead of traditional wedding favors that may be forgotten or discarded, you can offer your guests a meaningful gift supporting a cause. 

It's a win-win situation; your guests will appreciate the sentiment, and your chosen charity will benefit from the donations.

Choosing the Right Charity

When selecting a charity for your wedding donations, choosing a cause that resonates with you and your partner is essential. Take time to reflect on the values and causes important to both of you. Whether you're passionate about environmental conservation, children's rights, or supporting underserved communities, you will find a charity that aligns with your values.

To make an informed decision, research each charity thoroughly. Look for transparency and accountability, and consider how the organization uses the funds it receives. Websites like Charity Watch provide detailed information and statistics about charities, helping you make an informed choice.

Consider taking a VOW for Girls. As a part of the Vow for Girls movement, you can support efforts to end the international child marriage crisis and empower girls worldwide. Through education, job training, and life skills programs, Vow for Girls ensures girls can shape their futures.

"Now more than ever, couples are looking to align their purchasing dollars and their values -- including with their wedding. By aligning with nonprofit organizations like VOW for Girls around their weddings, couples have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a positive impact." - Clay Dunn, CEO of VOW for Girls

Incorporating Charitable Donations into Your Wedding 

After you've chosen a charity, it’s time to creatively incorporate charitable donations into your wedding. We’ve also added a few extra unique charity ideas to the list!

1. Donation Cards

Donation cards are one simple and elegant way to incorporate charitable donations into your wedding favors. These cards can be beautifully designed and placed on each guest's table. The cards can include a heartfelt message about the chosen charity and encourage guests to make a donation in lieu of a traditional favor.

2. Customized Tokens

Create custom tokens representing your chosen charity and serving as a meaningful wedding favor. For example, you could design unique pins, keychains, or bracelets that symbolize the cause you're supporting. These tokens can be given to guests as a reminder of the impact they've made through their donation.

3. Seed Packets

Promote sustainability and environmental conservation by giving out seed packets as wedding favors. Choose seeds native to your region or support pollinators like bees and butterflies. 

Attach a note explaining that a donation will be made to your chosen charity for every seed packet given.

4. Personalized Charms

Create personalized charms that guests can attach to their keys, necklaces, or bracelets. Engrave the charms with the name or logo of your chosen charity. Not only will they serve as a beautiful keepsake, but they will also spark conversations about the cause you're supporting.

5. Fair Trade Goodies

Support fair trade and artisan communities by offering fair trade goodies as wedding favors. Choose products like organic chocolates, handmade soaps, or ethically sourced coffee. Include a note explaining that guests support fair wages and sustainable practices by enjoying these treats.

6. Donation Booth

Set up a donation booth at your wedding reception where guests can contribute to your chosen charity. Decorate the booth with information about the cause and provide envelopes or digital options for guests to make their donations. This interactive approach allows guests to participate actively in your giving journey.

7. Virtual Donations

In the digital age, it's easier than ever to incorporate virtual donations into your wedding registry. Create a charitable wedding registry and add it to your wedding website. Share the link with your guests and encourage them to contribute in honor of your special day.

8. Charitable Photo Booth

Transform your photo booth into a charitable experience. Instead of traditional photo booth props, provide guests with props representing your chosen charity. For every photo taken, a donation will be made. This fun, interactive approach will create lasting memories and support a meaningful cause.

The possibilities are endless for incorporating charitable donations into your wedding. Get creative and think outside the box to find a unique and meaningful way to support your chosen cause.

Communicating Your Charitable Wedding Plans

Once you've decided how to incorporate charitable donations into your wedding, it's essential to communicate your plans to your guests. 

Here are some ways to inform your guests about your charitable wedding ideas:

1. Wedding Invitations

Include a note in your wedding invitations explaining that you've chosen to incorporate charitable donations into your wedding favors. Briefly describe the cause you're supporting and invite guests to join you in making a positive impact.

2. Wedding Website

Create a dedicated section on your wedding website to share more detailed information about your chosen charity. Include a link to the charity's website, stories of their impact, and ways for guests to contribute.

3. Table Cards

Place table cards on each guest's table setting that provide information about your chosen charity. Include a brief message and encourage guests to visit the donation booth or make a virtual donation. Consider adding a QR code that directs guests to your wedding website for more information.

4. Thank You Cards

Express gratitude to your guests for their presence and support by including a note in your thank you cards. Mention the impact of their donations and share stories of how your chosen charity has benefited from their generosity.

Make a Difference With Your Wedding

Incorporating charitable donations into your wedding is a powerful way to make a difference and create a memorable and meaningful event. By giving back, you and your partner are starting your marriage on a foundation of generosity and compassion. 

Your wedding day becomes more than just a celebration of your love; it becomes an opportunity to support causes that matter and create a positive impact in the world. By embracing this growing trend, you can make your special day even more memorable while leaving a lasting legacy of giving.

Remember, your wedding begins a lifetime of love and shared values. Embrace the power of charitable giving and let your wedding day reflect the change you want to see in the world.

VOW Couple, Maggie and Jeremy were married September 10, 2022 on a beautiful day in Minnesota. Maggie and Jeremy “VOWed” their wedding by creating a charitable registry that they shared with their guests and raised over $3,300 for VOW! (add photo of couple)

Join the Movement

Whether through donation cards, customized tokens, or fair trade goodies, your charitable wedding favors will leave a lasting impact on your guests and contribute to a cause you believe in. Start planning your ethical, charitable wedding today and make a difference in the lives of others.

Join the Vow for Girls movement and be a part of ending the international child marriage crisis. Together, we can create a world where every girl can live a life she loves.

About VOW for Girls

From wedding registry donations to partner product purchases, everything donated to VOW (that’s 100% of donations!) goes directly to community-driven efforts to help girls around the world. Our grantees, which are mainly women-led local organizations, use the funding we provide to directly support girls.Twelve million girls a year, some as young as 8, become child brides. VOW is a global movement of the wedding industry community, partners and couples who are dedicated to a world where no child is ever a bride and where every girl has the chance to live the life she loves.If you’re in the wedding industry and you’re interested in becoming involved, please find more wedding inspiration and advice in our blog, consider becoming a VOW Pro partner and learning more about VOW’s mission to end child marriage. If you’re an engaged couple and want to learn more about supporting VOW, please visit our couples page. We can’t wait to see what good we can do together!