I first got thinking about making a donation in place of a gift at a wedding with my oldest (twin…by 25 minutes) daughter’s wedding. Let me explain a bit. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a kidney disease when she was three. Luckily, it is one that she has been able tomanage easily with age and a healthy lifestyle, but there were some really difficult times when she was younger. Her older sister was a witness to these difficulties, and I can’t even begin to describe how touched our family was when her older sister made a donation to the National Kidney Foundation in place of gifts.
Donations can be a wonderful and touching thing to make in place of a gift. However, gifts can also be fantastic, and making the decision is one that needs to work for you! Here, I’m going to talk about some themes I’ve seen in the decision to make/ask for donations in place of gifts. The key to this post that you will undoubtedly get is that is a deeply personal decision, and there is no right or wrong decision!
The first thing to clarify is that there are two ways in which this can work. I’ve seen couples ask others to make a charitable donation in place of asking for gifts. In this instance, I encourage couples to evaluate what is important to them, and where they are in their lives. Are they early in their careers? Financially tight? Or just in desire of some new kitchenware?! (There’s no shame in this, no matter your financial situation!) The second way this can work is for the
couple to make a donation in place of favors they would give their guests, which is the choice I see more often.
As I’ve said before, I believe this is a profoundly personal decision for anyone going into their wedding. However, I’ve had couples who have a strong belief or personal cause to encourage a donation or make one in place of gifts or favors. The biggest takeaway I’ve had is this – your guests will never be disappointed. If you’re doing it in lieu of gifts, you can always recommend a donation in place of gifts, which allows guests the options to decide if they’d like to get you a gift, or make the donation (I’ve also seen guests do both!). In terms of favors, I will leave you with this. NEVER, have I seen a guest disappointed that they left the wedding without a favor when the money went to a donation. The decision is yours – and always remember you have options out there for what feels right to you.
Cheers and love from ME,