It’s coming up to wedding season again now and I’m beginning to feel a little bit nostalgic for last year when I was a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding. It was such a special day and little things are starting to remind me of it – seeing the wedding fair signs all around, hearing about upcoming celeb weddings and friends who are tying the knot this Summer.
When I look back at the wedding, one of my favourite parts of Kate & Mike’s special day was their wedding favours because they were totally unique and something that I would never have thought of before, but is becoming more and more of a trend. They chose to gift their guests with sterling silver ribbon pins with a small gem stone imbedded, sky blue for the boys (representing pancreatic cancer) and pink for the girls (representing breast cancer).
You see, cancer has touched the lives of both of these dear friends, as it has most of us, and being the uber thoughtful dudes that they are, they went outside of the box and chose to use their wedding favours, something that most people take for granted or even throw away, to give to their guests. In total I think they donated over £250 to buy their pins, a donation that otherwise would never be given because few of us have that kind of spare cash to chuck at a charity, no matter how much we would love to.
So, why am I telling you this – other than for the pure nostalgia of remembering the day?
Well, as I mentioned before this is becoming more and more of a trend among couples. Gone are the days of the sugar coated almond that no one likes and is a nut allergy hazard (my friend Kate is also allergic to nuts) and gone are the days of giving a cute packet of plant seeds to people who are struggling to find the daily will to feed their kids, never mind a plant they never wanted. So what has stepped into place?
Charitable wedding favours.
What is a wedding is not an opportunity to spread a bit of love and blinding awesomeness? That is just what we can do with charity wedding favours and if you are getting married this year I would strongly urge you to consider them. I’ve put together a little list of my favourite charity wedding favours for you to have a look at, from the small and individual (like Kate and Mike’s favours) to the big group gift, that will make a real difference to the chosen cause.
Small and Individual.
So you like the idea of something small and individual for each guest to take away with them? Try these:
Oxfam gift of Soap £5
Oxfam’s gift of soap sends a bar of of soap to a family for £5. You get a token card to give to your guests and the knowledge that you could have given someone who could only dream of the amount of money your wedding has cost, a life saving gift.
Cancer Research Pins £2 – £2.50
£2 to £2.50 per guest and there are a range of pins that will mean more to the majority of people sat at your tables than you could possibly know, not to mention the thousands of people whose lives are saved by Cancer Research.
You can order camomile seeds from Rethink, who support those with mental illness. There is also an option for collection tins and they have a specialised team to help tailor something to your wedding that will benefit both sides.
Not only are the Alzheimer pins beautiful but the charity also offers stunning jewellery for women and cufflinks for men, that makes an ideal gift for your wedding party.
Bigger is better? Group donations.
If you are wanting to make a big splash and ditch the tradition of a single favour for each gift, why not try doing one of these are a big donation gift, OR as a table by table donation?
Oxfam’s Goat Couple £50
Especially beautiful if you are animal lovers. With your donation, Oxfam gifts a pair of mating goats and helps a family learn business skills to build a livelihood from the goats. The family can breed and pass on a goat, eventually helping more and more people. This is a wonderful table by table gift, depending on the size of your wedding – if you are having a larger wedding it could be the ideal opportunity to spend less and impact more.
Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Make-A-Trip gift £100
Make-A-Wish Foundation helps make a dream a reality for children with life-threatening diseases. I can guarantee that some of the guests at your wedding will be parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents. This gift is far more special than almonds or chocolates, and can make a dream come true for a child that may never get the chance to have the white wedding dream themselves.
In Nepal healthcare is often inaccessible for many pregnant women. This money, donated through Gifts in Action (who also have a tonne of other charitable gifts like this), could help save countless lives, not to mention provide a livelihood for one woman, who can pass on her skills. A beautiful gift, especially from an expectant couple.
I’d love to know what you did for your wedding favours! Would you go for something charitable now?