(Closed) Donate to charity instead of traditional wedding favor

posted 7 years ago in Favors
Post # 31
978 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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Post # 32
41 posts
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’ve seen this done at a couple of weddings and I love the idea. I honestly don’t even remember what the favours were at most of the weddings I’ve been to… the ones I remembered were the cards indicating that a donation had been made instead. I much prefer to see a couple giving money somewhere that it is needed rather than wasting money on trinkets that won’t really mean anything to me beyond “oh, isn’t that cute”.

Post # 33
2865 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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MrsSmith12:  I want to love this idea and I really, really hate favors, but I have some problems with it. First, not alll charities I agree with, so doing it in my honor seems strange. Second, it seems really goody-two shoes. I don’t know how to phrase it, but it is like when you go over to your sister’s house for Christmas and are all prepared to do a gift exchange. Then she gives you a card saying that she donated to a charity of her choice in your name. That’s wonderful– you are a generous person and she is a generous person– but this was supposed to be a gift exchange and she cancelled that tradition and made you feel shallow by bringing a material gift. And everyone says how wonderful she is for doing the charity thing– and she is– but you were kind of expecting an ugly sweater that you didn’t want and now feel awkward that she bought you a charitable donation to her favorite charity. Especially when you don’t really feel strongly about that charity. 

In terms of pet peeves, it is a very, very small one. I would much prefer no favors or a tiny favor than being told that instead of there being a favor there was a donation to a charity of the bride and groom’s choice. That’s not a favor, it is awesome and I don’t need a favor, but calling it a favor to me doesn’t make it a favor. Just give to charity, don’t do favors, and no one will notice or be offended.

Post # 34
1575 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

We did it. We didn’t throw it in people’s faces though. We had one 8×10 framed sign in the cocktail area that said a donation had been made. Everyone loved it. We also had a photobooth and guests got to take home a film strip with their pictures, so we also had a more traditional favor.

Post # 35
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I am amazed at the WIDE variety of things that bother people on this website.  If I were at your wedding, my reaction would be “oh, that’s nice.”  I wouldn’t use any more brain power on this, and I would like to think that the vast majority of your guests wouldn’t work themselves into a tizzy over your choice of “favor.”

Post # 36
30402 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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iDesigner:  The OP asked for feedback. She’s getting it.

Post # 37
934 posts
Busy bee

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MrsSmith12:  I’ve always liked when a couple donates to a charitable cause, but thats me. And I appear to be in a minority. It’s your day, do what you want. Your guests are there for you, so they’ll respect your decision even if they don’t agree with it.

Post # 38
4113 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

If you donate to a cause and don’t tell everyone, is it not as satisfying?

I just don’t get this need to make a donation and call it a wedding favor. Just donate to a cause near and dear to your heart and don’t use your wedding as a vehicle to let everyone know how generous you are.

Post # 39
9427 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I’m adding in my 2 cents to the “don’t do it” crowd. People won’t miss it if you skip the favor all together, but if you chose a charity they find offensive they’ll be in a bad mood at your wedding. OR you pick a charity they do support, because of a personal connection and it makes them sad (i.e. a cancer charity reminding them of a recently deceased family member). 

The only time I’ve seen charity as a “favor” and liked it was my bridal shower. And they actually had physical favors for the guests as well, so it was more of a gift to me than anything that they made a donation to a charity that is very near and dear to me (as well as my grandmothers who have both since based and it’s something that makes me feel close to them that we all support it). 

Post # 40
572 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Maybe I’m in the minority, or it could just be my social circle/family, but I don’t want some trinket to bring home and clutter up the house or some food that I shouldn’t be eating anyway. I got to see loved ones get married, I was given food, booze, and dessert. And I got to dance all night with people I love. I don’t need a favor.

I wouldn’t do it “in honor” of your guests because unless you’re actually donating in each and every one of their names, it’s not in their honor. We are donating to the Alpha-1 foundation in lieu of in his dad’s honor who died 2 years ago. Everyone we’ve told so far loves it and comments that they don’t really want a favor anyway.


Just remember: everything you do at a wedding is tacky. SOMEONE is going ot be offended and think something is tacky. You can’t please anyone, so please yourself.


Post # 41
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Donating to charity can be a wonderful and very fulfilling action (and I do love that Jewish tradition you mentioned). But donating to charity is not a thank-you to your guests, it is just a donation to charity.

Many of your guests may have different feelings about a chosen charity (even the best ones have opponents, and not because they disagree with the cause necessarily, but how they go about trying to effect change). So for them, the donation would not be “in appreciation of/in honor of” them whatsoever. 

I disagree that a wedding cannot be a place to express your social and political opinions as a couple (though I do believe it’s not the primary place). I just think that pretending it is a thank-you to your guests is disingenuous.

If you want to do more, that is great. Buy a used dress, cut down on the number of tiers in the cake, skip the sparkler exit, don’t have centerpieces, use online invitations instead of paper ones..use that money and give it to the nonprofit of your choice. And if you still want to tell your guests and make it a part of the wedding, then put a little note at the center of each table saying “in lieu of centerpieces we have donated to XYZ nonprofit”. Or have a little XYZ nonprofit logo button on your used dress/make cufflinks out of them. Put a note somewhere on your wedding website saying that instead of mailing out invites you sent the money you would have used on gorgeous letterpress to XYZ nonprofit, and (even better!) here’s the link for more information..

..but don’t pretend it’s about your guests.

Post # 42
1 posts
  • Wedding: July 2015

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barbie86: We are planning on doing something similar for our guests with RSPB pin badge favours and as we are both big supporters of their bird and wildlife conservation work. It means that guest still have a physical favour (which matches our theme as the cake has bird on too!) but a charity is benifiting rather than just a shop. We are going to have a candy bar too so I think that more than covers it favor-wise!

Post # 43
3880 posts
Honey bee

I love this , do it . 

Post # 44
20 posts
  • Wedding: November 2016

I’m honestly surprised by all the negativity here. I think it’s a beautiful idea – I’ve been to weddings where it has been done, and no one had a problem with it at all. I think your heart is in the right place and the money would do better in a charity than it would going to cheap junk most people just throw out after the wedding is over anyway.

Post # 45
632 posts
Busy bee


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glitterfixation:  So why not donate the money to the charity, skip the favors, but *not* announce it to everyone?

What, exactly, is the benefit of showcasing the donation to all the guests?

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