Post # 1
I am deciding between a food favor (persian cotton candy), or donating a small amount of money in my guests’ names to my sister’s charity. She is intimately involved with a women’s group in Kenya, and the small town has an aids orphanage. My FI and I sponsor one child who was able to go to secondary school, but there are others who need help or, really, even something as small as cheap flip flops.
I know that 100% of the donated money goes directly to the children and the families in need since she not only travels there, but runs the program. I would love to take the money we would have spent on favors and put it into the program, but is this bad etiquette? Do people expect favors?
Post # 3
I don’t think people expect favors at all (or at least, I don’t!), and it’s becoming very, very common for people to donate to various charities in lieu of actual favors. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do!
Post # 4
I think a donation is a really nice alternative to a traditional favor.
Post # 6
I think that’s a great idea. I’m all for charity favors, and I would do it but we’re not close to any charities ourselves.
Rather than making several small donations in each of their names, I would just make one lump sum donation in the name of “Guests of HisName/YourName Wedding” or something to that affect.
You’re still donating it in their honor, but you don’t have to stress with each individual donation.
I would just set an amount per person and then donate the lump sum based on how many guests you have. (Example: $5 per guest with 100 guests would be $500 total donation)
Post # 7
I agree with tinylittlebird: just make one donation in the name of your wedding guests generally.
I would also see if your sister can provide you with any brochures for the organization or mention their website on your program, menu, etc- anywhere you can slip it in. You are likely to interest someone who will follow up with further support.
Post # 8
I think one step better might be donate it now and provide some information as to what the money did for someone. Maybe a short article on each table in a frame… donations are common, but since you are so close you can provide intimate details of the person or things it bought. I think people would love that.
Post # 9
Not offensive at all. There are many people who believe that donations should not be made as favors. I disagree with them. Unless the organization is of a controversial nature (planned parenthood, the NRA, political party, etc…), I think that donations as favors are very nice. Most guests would prefer your money be spent on something that is going to help out a cause rather than some useless chotchkie that they’re probably going to leave behind anyways. I think its sweet that you want to donate to a cause thats dear to you. I would definitely go for it!
Post # 10
Not offensive in the least! Especially because many guest leave their favors behind. I lagged at my cousin’s wedding so that I could pick up the left behind favors so that the couple wouldn’t notice.
It’s a wonderful thing to do especially seeing as your sister is so close with the organisation.
Post # 11
making a donation in your guests’ names is a very common favor idea, so what would make you think anyone would be offended? If someone is offended that they didn’t get some trivial treat because you decided to help children in need then they need to seriously re-evaluate their life! In other words: i doubt any of your guests are that selfish 🙂 And since it’s your sisters charity it makes it all the more special and meaningful. Good idea!
Post # 12
I totally agree! Just think of how many times you went to a wedding, came home with something dumb as a favor, and threw it away. A donation is a super cdute idea and a good way to spend the money, in my opinion!
Post # 13
I think it’s great, especially since it’s a charity so close to your heart.
Post # 14
I’ve never been to a wedding where a couple did this and I’m not saying that I don’t agree with it or would get offended myself, but I can see how some people would find it offensive, especially if they’re not very tuned-in to the wedding world and how much of a trend this is right now. If your great Aunt Zelda is a traditionalist, she might feel that you’d rather give money to your sister (for her charity, but you could see this from this negative perspective) then spend money on your guests who drove so far / took time off work / bought you a gift / etc. It could be taken as bad etiquette, unappreciative and a little cheap.
I’m not saying don’t do it or anything like that. I just think you should take a look at what kind of guests you have and decide if this is the sort of thing they would understand and appreciate. In a lot of cases it is. I know that I wouldn’t be able to do it.
Post # 15
It’s pretty regular these days to make donations in their names. However, the only concern I would have is it’s your sister’s charity. People may be like… oh so she’s giving her sister money over us… or something dumb like that. I wouldn’t really care either way, but there are guests out there that may think so. I’d say go for it 🙂
Post # 16
I don’t really know what my opinion on this issue is personally, but because this is all about helping each other, I’m going to tell you what the etiquette expert Miss Manners says.
Miss Manners is against giving donations as presents unless you know for sure that the person adores the charity and wants to see it thrive. Unless those things are true, it just really isn’t a gift at all.
In the old days, the wedding favor was just a slice of leftover cake that people took home in a box. To this day, it need not be something very fancy at all. The “thank you for coming all this way” was the reception! That’s the whole point of the reception – to say thanks for coming to the wedding part! Do not feel that you need an extra present for the favor.
Ultimately, since you don’t need the favor, the donation is a non-present for a non-necessary-present. It could be construed as a little strange.
Now that said: for me as a person personally, I wouldn’t mind at all getting a note saying that the favor was a donation the bride’s sister’s charity. It depends, I think, on how much traditional etiquette means to you.