Weddings seems to be all about the bride and groom. From hair and make-up to the final send-off, the entire day’s events revolve around the wants, needs and hopes of the wedded couple. Their desire to be the center of attention is understandable, as newlyweds have often poured months’ worth of time and thousands of dollars into their special day.
However, given the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, fall and winter fiancés should challenge themselves to share the spotlight and consider hosting a charity-driven wedding. Unlike bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners, planning a charitable wedding doesn’t require endless hours of prep time nor does it require any additional costs. From donating your wedding dress to inviting guests to participate in a canned food drive, there is an abundance of ways to embrace the season of gratitude and give back to the Coastal Virginia community.
Donate The Dress
While wedding dresses are certainly pricey and serve as a tangible reminder of a couple’s love, these retired gowns can serve a better purpose than simply hanging in your closet. You can consign your gown, veil and other accessories to Silk Bridal Studio in Virginia Beach, or donate it to a charitable cause. Kennedy’s Angel Gowns in Virginia Beach accepts wedding dress donations that are recreated into delicate burial gowns given to families suffering from the loss of a child before, during or shortly after childbirth.
Photo by Justin Hankins
Share Your Cake With A Foodbank
Now that you’ve said your “I Do’s” and are jetting off on a romantic honeymoon, what do you do with the leftover wedding cake? The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore offers Food Industry Programs that permit local restaurants, caterers, hotels and other businesses to donate unwanted food to those in need. These perishable items are transferred directly to underprivileged members of the community to ensure no food goes to waste. Whether its pieces of your delicious three-tiered buttercream cake or hot entrees from the reception buffet, any food will help diminish Virginia’s staggering food insecurity rate.
Flowers For Friends In Need
Excess flower arrangements are sure to brighten up the lobbies of local hospitals, assistant living homes and women’s shelters, just as much as they did at your wedding ceremony. Consider delivering your bouquets to a local children’s hospital like Norfolk’s Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters or use the national delivery service, Repeat Roses, to send leftover flowers to the charity of your choice.
Photo by Katelyn James
Celebrate Your Nuptials At A Nonprofit Venue
Picking a wedding venue does require advanced planning, but narrowing down your options to nonprofit locations makes the search a little easier and guarantees your monetary support of a local charity. Most nonprofit venues also offer unique settings, such as the award-winning contemporary space at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art or the elegant landscape of Norfolk Botanical Garden.
Canned Food Versus Custom Favors
A study conducted by The Knot in 2016 showed that the average couple spends $268 on wedding favors and over $35,000 for the entire wedding experience. When ceremony costs are that high, every penny saved counts. We recommended swapping wedding favors for the collection of canned foods at your reception. Members of the Coastal Virginia community are sure to reap more benefits from hundreds of canned food donations than your guests are from personalized koozies. Find a list of local foodbanks here.
Want to learn more about the average cost of a Coastal Virginia wedding? See our financial breakdown here.