Four Ways to Do Good During Your Wedding
Do you ever feel like the luckiest person in the world for having found your soul mate? Do you feel like your good fortune creates a cosmic imbalance and you just need to give something back to make it right?
If you answered a resounding, "Yes!", read on. Here are four great ways to restore the balance and create good karma for your marriage.
1. Donate to Charity
Pick a charity or two and donate a portion of the gifts you receive. When we started out, we donated 10% of our Honeyfund to Doctors Without Borders and the National Mental Health Association. Organizations like the I Do Foundation have special arrangements with department stores to donate a percentage of profits on the gifts purchased foryou to a charity of your choice.
"If you use a honeymoon registry like Honeyfund, you can donate any fixed amount or percentage."
If you use a honeymoon registry like Honeyfund.you can donate any fixed amount or percentage. Let your guests know about youi| worthy cause(s) in your Honeyfund greeting, it may inspire them to give more. Or, you can create a few registry items called "Donation to ____________" at different dollar amounts.
2. Go Green! Eco-Friendly Weddings and Honeymoons
Have you heard of green travel? It's a new concept that focuses on reducing your impact on the environment while on vacation. Here are just a few tips:
- Plan your route to minimize carbon emissions—travel by train where possible, and minimize internal flights and driving.
- Remove all excess packaging (i.e. bags, tags, boxes, plastic, etc.) before you pack. Recycling is often better at home than abroad.
- Fly directly to your destination to eliminate stop-overs, the worst emissions are during takeoff and landing.
- Neutralize' any necessary carbon emissions by investing in carbon reducing projects. See Climate Care for more info.
- Local produce while abroad rather than expensive imported goods.
- See New American Dream for a comprehensive article on green tourism including several online resources.
- Here are a few ways to go green for your wedding, too.
- Use recycled and recyclable paper wedding invitations, response cards and thank-you notes.
3. Volunteer on your Honeymoon
Spending even the smallest part of your trip helping others can make you feel like a million bucks. Programs range from clearing trails in Costa Rica to building schools in Vietnam to restoring hiking trails in the U.S. For more information about volunteer vacations, visit organizations like The Sierra Club, l-to-l. The American Hiking Society, or Habitat for Humanity.
If you use a honeymoon registry like Honeyfund,you can donate any fixed amount or percentage. Let your guests know about your worthy cause(s) in your Honeyfund greeting, it may inspire them to give more. Or, you can create a few registry items called "Donation to_________" at different dollar amounts. You'll be surprised how generous people can be.
4. Random Acts of Kindness
Here are a few more things you can do to make your wedding meaningful to those less fortunate:
- In place of traditional wedding favors, make a donation to a worthwhile cause in each guest's name. Present small printed cards explaining the "favor."
- Make arrangements to donate food left over from the reception to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
- Donate flower arrangements to local hospices or nursing homes following the wedding.
- Donate your used wedding supplies and accessories—or even your wedding dress—to Goodwill or another organization in your area that collects used goods.
These are just some ideas to get you thinking. Use one or many, or get creative and come up with your own. Make your contribution as unique as you are and seize the opportunity to express, as a couple, what you truly believe in. Whatever you decide, you'll feel better knowing your karma is realigned!