Giving Thanks by Helping Others: Ideas for Giving Back on Your Wedding Day

In the years to come, you’ll look back with pride, knowing your most important day made so many lives better.


A holiday wedding is about more than fun, holiday cheer, and family. It’s about being thankful for everything you have: a new loving husband, a beautiful party, friends, a safe home, and a bright future. And it’s about remembering that not everyone is as fortunate as you are. Having an eco-friendly wedding is a wonderful way to give back to the Earth, but you can also give back to other people in the process. Consider expanding what eco-friendly means to include protecting the less fortunate. There are many ways that you can give back without giving up anything that matters—your leftovers and used items can do so much good. In the years to come, you’ll look back with pride, knowing your most important day made so many lives better. Here are some ideas.

There are so many incredible charities out there that will give your gently used wedding dress to a bride who can’t afford her own. You know how happy that dress made you—how beautiful and special it made you feel. Every bride should feel that beautiful on her wedding day! Brides Across America gives wedding gowns to military brides, so the families that sacrifice so much for our country can enjoy the weddings of their dreams. If you can’t stand the thought of parting with your gown, this charity also accepts monetary donations.

No matter how carefully you plan your menu, it’s impossible to predict exactly how much your guests will eat. So, inevitably, you’ll be left with extra food—delicious, gourmet wedding food that shouldn’t go to waste. Donate your leftovers to a local shelter or soup kitchen, a children’s hospital, or a nursing home. Make a few calls to find local organizations that will accept the donation. Most will be happy to come pick it up too. Feeding America is an organization that will help you find a local food rescue program.

Do you really need that toaster? Are you really going to use a set of twenty fancy dinner party dishes? Maybe you will. But if you’re a little overwhelmed by the materialism of the traditional American wedding, consider registering for charities instead. You can choose absolutely any organization that speaks to your heart, from Amnesty International to your local animal shelter. 

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