Little by little, with each passing day it is becoming easier to live a socially conscious life and when it comes to your big day, it can serve as a way of sharing your joy with a lot more people than you think! A wedding comes with many moving parts and several aspects bring along the opportunity to make a choice that will benefit others thus making your festivities more philanthropic. Right from donating to charities to volunteering yourself, there are many options that one can explore.
Here are seven ways in which you can let the ‘D’ in you D-Day stand for the difference you make by allowing your wedding to be a charitable one.
1. Get your guests involved
Borrowing from the concept of wedding registries, the WeddingSutra Charity Registry is a service that lets couples who are passionate about giving to make their big day a generous one. They can choose from a range of non-profit organizations listed on the website and make their selection visible to their guests thus allowing them to make donations to their preferred charities as their wedding gifts. Given the vast amount of money spent on weddings each year, this shift from conventional gifting could move the charitable needle in a big way.
2. Direct surplus food to dishes, not dustbins/ Make your way into hearts through stomachs
In a country that is approximated to be one of the world’s 45 most hungry nations, weddings with lavish spreads serve as a great opportunity to channel extra food to those who need it the most. The recent times have seen a surge in the number of such organizations that have focused their efforts on solving this issue and a few of them include Feeding India, Robinhood Army, and No Food Waste. Not only do they bridge the gap between nuptials and the needy but also make the process a breeze for the couples.
3. Do good with the dress
A bridal outfit can be used on very few days besides one’s wedding. Instead of allowing it to collect dust in the wardrobe, it can be given a second life by donating it and allowing an underprivileged bride to dress just like she has wanted to on her big day. The NGO Goonj uses the under-utilized and excess urban household material as a tool for rural development across 23 states in the country. In addition, they also collect bridal attires to make wedding kits complete with bindis, bangles and so on and deliver it to rural communities in order to relieve them of the big expenses of their big day.
4. Opt for favors that are fair
Weddings favors are the perfect way to show gratitude and appreciation. However, purchases create an impact that trickles down the production line eventually affecting farmers and laborers. Choosing products that are manufactured by companies certified by FairTrade ensures that they are offered better deals for their produce which in turn improves their lives and future. Tea brands like Pukka and Oothu, chocolates crafted by Pascati, dry fruits, honey, coffee, etc. from various brands that meet FairTrade standards can make for great gifts. Alternatively, you could even opt out of giving favors and use the money to make a donation at a charity of your choice on behalf of your loved ones.
5. Let entertainment be altruistic
The entertainment provided at any wedding can turn out to be one of the most memorable aspects of the celebration. And choosing to connect with an NGO that works with the underprivileged to put together an act can be a more uplifting substitute to hiring just another jazz band, Sufi troupe. One such organization is the Salaam Mumbai Foundation. They work towards empowering children to make the right choices for their health, education, and livelihood and are also known to organize performances by the young, talent lot.
6. Choose a venue that gives back
If it is the wedding venue that sets the tone of the wedding, then let that be one that furthers the charitable stance of the wedding. There are several foundations that give out their spaces for celebrations and use the profits to support a cause. Mailys and Berlin hosted their big day at Assisi Farms and Training Centre, Kanyakumari. What stuck out to the couple was the fact that earnings from their nuptials would be used in the running of the venue’s rehabilitation center for women who are struggling with mental illness.
7. Make your honeymoon helpful
The giving nature of the wedding can also spill over to the honey and travels can be made more purposeful by partaking in volunteering opportunities that can be found at different locations. Serving others while traveling is a rewarding experience, however, here are a few things to bear in mind while choosing a project such as the impacts your work will make, if the program is ethically sound, and so on. If you’re going to be volunteering at a farm find out if the practice is using your free help at the cost of local farmers’ livelihood. Opt out of superficial programs that only require you to spend a few hours with a child to become a “friend”.