This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

A growing trend in weddings these days is requesting your guests to give a donation to a charitable cause instead of giving a wedding gift.   More and more couples cohabitate before getting married and already have established households, which makes receiving a blender, serving platter, or other type of traditional gift less relevant than in the past.   In addition, many couples wish to make their wedding day something more than just about them and want to pay the wedding generosity forward.   If you are considering asking for charitable donations in lieu of wedding gifts, here are some things to consider and be aware of.

Requesting monetary gifts

Choosing Charity Over Tradition

Traditionally, if a wedding guest wanted to give you a gift, they would purchase an item from your wedding registry, or give you an envelope with money. Though it is a growing trend, the decision to request charitable donations over traditional wedding gifts may be seen as going against the social norm and could generate mixed reactions from your wedding guests. Some may love the idea.  However, some guests may be offended as they may not support your charity, or may feel you are forcing your beliefs onto them. Others may feel it is pretentious action.  While others may ignore your request completely and still bring a traditional gift. The best way to avoid offending your guests, is to let them know that your request is completely optional, and that they are under no obligation to make the donation if they do not want to.

Proper Etiquette

The next thing to consider is how to properly request your guests give a charitable donation. If you have a wedding website, this is the best place to make the request. If your chosen charity has an online donation page, you could add the link under the registry tab on your wedding website and direct them there. If not, then communicate your wishes to your family and friends and have them spread the word. The wedding shower is a great place for your friends and family to spread the word. You should not make mention on your wedding invitation as it is not proper etiquette to do so.

Choose the right charity for you

Choosing An Organization or Charity

You should choose an organization that has meaning to you personally. If you have lost a family member to an illness, you could choose a charity that conducts research for a cure, such as the American Cancer Society. Or if you have a soft spot for animals, you could choose a charity that raises money for animals in need. The most popular organizations are ones that raise money to support the arts, animals, or children. it is recommended you should stay away from political organizations as they could cause some controversy.

Making Donations On Behalf of Your Guests Instead of Giving Favors

Another trend is giving a donation to a charity on behalf of your guests, instead of giving them a wedding favor. Since guests don’t always take home their favor, or even use their favor, some couples would rather spend the money to purchase favors for something more worthwhile. Many couples have chosen to take the money they would have spent on purchasing favors and donate it to their favorite charity instead.  You could set a place card at each table setting letting your guests know a donation was made on their behalf.

Or this information can also be mentioned on your wedding program or menu. But be sure to respect your guests’ privacy and do not release their personal or contact information to the charity, unless they have given you permission to do so.

Let Honeyfund manage your wedding donations.

Bio: A Day Dream Wedding specializes in removing the stress from your wedding planning by finding the right venues and vendors, while handling all the details to make your day perfect, Certified Wedding Planner Stephanie Webber strives to make the wedding planning process fun and easy for my clients as she helps them make decisions, stay within their budget, and stay on schedule.


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