Charitable Donation as Wedding favours?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
42182 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

sandy85:  Generally, I am the first one to say “A donation is not a favor. It is an alternate use of your money in lieu of a favor. I suggest that if you want to make a donation, just make it. There is no need to tell your guests about it.”

I still fail to understand why couples feel the need to tell their guests that they have made a donation. We all donate to various causes throughout the year and do not tell our friends and family about it. I get that it coud be argued that it raises awareness of the issue and the cause.

I disagree with your FI. I don’t think most people really want what is commonly given as a favor.

In your case because of the personal association with your father. I say go ahead if you want.

Post # 3
12905 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I never understood the donations on someones behalf in lieu of favors.  Regardless of the reason, if you don’t want to do favors, I think it’s all right to just not do them.  Personally, I wouldn’t care either way if you had a favor or not or if you want to do a donation if in lieu of favors.  Favors arent something you HAVE to spend it on, so I don’t feel the need to justify not having them by saying that I donated to charity instead.   If you want to donate to it, just donate, but I dont see why one should feel the need to substitute an optional favor to donate on “my” behalf.

Post # 4
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

In Canada a favour is something you give your guests to thank them for coming, to me that couldn’t be substituted by giving money to something else. You could put on your invitation that instead of money/gifts at your wedding you want people to donate to that charity but you have to give them the choice.  You can’t donate as your “thank you” to them.

my church supports a orphange in Kenya and what me and my FI are doing is for the “kissing game” people need to put change in a jar that we will be donating to the orphanage

(Kissing game is something guests need to do to get the bride and groom to kiss, usually people just clink their glasses but we wanted to have our charity involved too)

Post # 5
247 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

sandy85:  I think it is a really sweet idea to honor your dad, who can not be there on your special day. My aunt committed suicide last year and I thought about doing the same thing. Please do not feel that your dad’s death is not worthy of a donation card..I think your guests will feel honored and also, won’t have to bring home a box of cookies or bubbles as their favor. It’s YOUR wedding and what better way to honor him than to donate to a cause that will help others in need?

Post # 6
15 posts

I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your dad, I know how difficult it is. I will also say that you should do what makes you feel good and what makes your wedding feel “right” for you. We opted to recognize a charitable donation for our wedding this weekend. Both my dad and my fiance’s mom lost their battles with cancer and I am currently being treated. We are featuring a great picture of each of them on our guest book/escort card table with a small sign that acknowledges the donation. People who want to notice it will, though I truly can’t imagine any of our guests being snarky about our decision. Your guests love you and support you. 

Post # 9
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think that donating money in your guests’ names in lieu of a favor is a bit presumptuous. In my opinion, it would be better to make a donation to the mental illness fellowship part of your gift registry, so guests who CHOOSE to donate can do so.

Post # 10
2803 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think this is only appropriate when the bride and groom have a personal connection with the organization, like you do.  I would probably put it on the programs though, and not as something at every place setting.  Just a line at the bottom of the program “In loving memory of sandy85‘s father on sandy85‘s wedding day, a donation has been made to The Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria.  For more information (url)”  This way you are still giving to an organization that you like, and are letting people know about it, but you aren’t saying it’s a favor to them.  It’s just something you did.

Your FI is right, there is a lot of charities that I don’t necessarly and other people might not necessarly agree with 100%.  It is much safer to give to a charity that you have a speical conneciton to so people will keep it to themselves.

Post # 11
1532 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

It’s not tacky. And I don’t think anyone should judge which charity you choose to donate to. It is certainly not more or less tacky depending on wether or not you are “saving puppies” etc. I think what you want to do is very touching.

However, I am the type of wedding guest that looks forward to the favors. I’d be sad to have no favor.

Post # 12
2174 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Misswhowedding:  +1 This.

Put it in the programs or on a sign, and don’t call out that you did it for your guests or in replacement of favors.

Honestly, I would rather not receive a favor than someone make a claim that they donated to a charity “for me.”  It didn’t do any benefit for me- I don’t even get the feel-good aspect of donating.

Post # 13
428 posts
Helper bee

I’m vehemently opposed to donations-as-favors.

It is acceptable to request donatiosn to a charity in lieu of someone giving something to you. That’s why it’s okay to request that people donate instead of giving funeral flowers, for instance.

It is entirely different to replace a gift that you are supposed to give someone else with a donation to charity. This no longer remotely resembles “a favor”, and no one should pretend that it is one.

I’m very sorry for what you’ve gone through, and I think it’s admirable that you want to include the memory of your father, and raise awareness. This is simply not the appropriate way to do it. Remember that favors are not required by etiquette, so if you simply want to have no favors, that’s completely fine. It’s also entirely appropriate to have some sort of ‘in memory’ something for your father. There’s simply no reason to attempt to connect the two.

Post # 14
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think it’s wonderful that you want to donate to charity and I think you should do it.  However, I don’t think you should say that it’s in lieu of a favor since it’s not really a favor for your guests – it’s a favor for you.  I would do something else for favors (or just skip them all together because they aren’t really necessary), make the donation, and either put in the program or have a nice sign by the guestbook.

Post # 15
1062 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think it’s great that you want to donate money towards that charity. However, it shouldn’t be considered a favor. You should just donate $X amount without publicizing it.

And I definitely think it would be very sweet if you included your father on the program, photo slides, etc., but it’s better to not give out wedding favors at all than to donate money towards a charity that the guests don’t even get to choose from. 

How about some cookies or candy? You can easily DIY edible wedding favors for your guests.

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