If you're in the thick of wedding planning, you are probably gripping on to the last shreds of your sanity. Weddings are elaborate, detailed, expensive events and they can uncomfortably and quickly morph normal brides, like yourself, into drama-creating, obsessive-Pinteresting stress balls. You may not even feel like yourself. You may have snapped at your mom over what favors to purchase last night or whined to your fiancee over the weekend that nothing seems to be going your way.
I hear ya. Weddings are supposed to be glorious affairs to celebrate your love and exercise your creativity. But sometimes, we get misguided. Sometimes, we become so wrapped up in the big that we forget the important. Sometimes, we want the right now that we forget the future. And, as a result, we see some ugly that we don't really like.
I believe that one of the best ways to combat that nasty bridezilla mindset can be giving back. Using your wedding to also bless others can help you pull your head out of the insanity and back into reality. Here are a few ways you can do that.
1. Give to charity in lieu of favors.
Perhaps one of the best favors I ever received at a wedding was a small note on the table explaining that their gift to me was helping other people in the community. Although you can buy fun favors that your guests would actually want to keep, sometimes the sweetest gift is a reminder that we're all in this together.
2. Purchase fair-trade.
It may take you a little bit of work to incorporate this into your wedding, but it's nothing that a quick Pinterest search couldn't solve. You've got an engagement ring, a wedding dress, rehearsal dress, jewelry, and paper goods to purchase. Why not go fair trade or give back? You're leaving a wake of blessing with each purchase!
3. Hire a caterer who employs the disabled.
Although this option may not be available to every one, it's worth looking into. Many restaurants have begun to employ adults with disabilities and you could be able to weave them into your wedding. Even if the restaurant may not be capable of catering a whole wedding, you could purchase breakfast there for your bridesmaids on the morning of the wedding. Or, make a reservation for friends and family the day after your wedding. Even in a small way, you can be a blessing to the disabled.
4. Write thank you notes to everyone, all the way to the janitorial staff at the venue.
I have never heard anyone regret sending or receiving a thank you card, especially after a hard day's work. Pulling together a wedding can be exhausting, so taking the time to thank people will help to keep you grounded.
5. Ask people to give to charity instead of presents.
This one may be the most outrageous way to give back. It's ok if you balk a little bit at it. I don't think I would have done this. We needed sheets and plates and towels. So if you're up to the challenge of forgoing all of your wedding gifts for charity, go for it. But if that seems a little too much, perhaps include a request to donate to charity on your custom registry (link to custom registry). Or, if you're getting new items, drop your gently used older ones at a local women's shelter.
6. Donate your dollar dance money.
It's a new thing at weddings to snag a dance with the bride or groom while slipping a twenty in a boot or basket. If you're planning on incorporating it into your wedding, maybe consider donating a portion of that to the local food bank or women's shelter. If you've already have your honeymoon completely paid for, why not?