Post # 1
OK, here is the deal. When we first starting planning our wedding, we had decided that we were going to make a charitable donation rather then favors. So here is the issue. We are both choosing a charity. My Fiance chose to make a donation to the church under his father’s name. His dad died when he was 3, and this is a common thing to do in his religion. My charity has always been about cancer. My grandmother passed away 2 years ago from cancer. At first I said that I was going to go with the American Cancer Society, and now I am thinking about donating to the local hospice center she was at when she passed away. My only problem is I am wondering if donating to the hospice is too personal where the cancer society is a broad range? Please let me know your thoughts on this!!!
Post # 3
Donations are not favors. If you want to donate to any charity, which there is nothing wrong with, it should be done privately, as your guests do not need or want to know that information, and despite your best intentions otherwise, it does have the potential to come across as “look what we did” even if that is not what you want to imply at all. A donation is not something that guests can take home, which is what a favor is.
Favors are totally optional and many people skip them and no one misses them if they are not there. Also, if you do decide to donate, do it in your names only, not your guests’ names. Reason being is that when the charity looks for future donations, they will seek out your guests as those names were used initially, not your own.
Post # 4
@Selene221: I completely disagree, I think donations as favors are a great option. Better the couple give to a charity they have a personal connection to than waste money on something I will probably throw out in three days. I think donating to the hospice center will be nice as you have a link to the organization.
Post # 5
I personally think it is a very nice idea. I am one of those people that HATE wedding favors I think that they are a waste of money 99% of the time, IMO. It may not be proper wedding etiquette to do a donation instead of a favor but I don’t think guests would have anything bad to say about it.
Post # 6
I think there are two separate questions here. First, would it be better to spend $X on favors, or to make a donation of $X? You can clearly decide to make the donation, and I would applaud you for it.
Second question: Should you be announcing your charitable contributions to your wedding guests? This is where I have the issue. Your donation is not a “favor”–it is not something they get to take home from the wedding. Saying that it is in lieu of a favor implies that you would have been required to provide favors if you had not made the contribution, which is not true. It is just way too easy for this to come across as, “We want to let everyone know what philanthropic people we are,.”
Just as an analogy: If you were giving a dinner party in your house, would you announce, “In lieu of serving wine tonight, we are making a contribution to the XYZ Foundation”? I suspect not. You might decide to serve only soft drinks. You might simultaneously decide to make charitable contributions. But you would not suggest to your guests that they should do without wine and shut up about it, because the wine money went to a much more worthy cause.
Post # 7
While it’s true that wedding favors are not obligatory, it’s also true that they are extremely common, and as a result, many people have come to expect a favor at a wedding. (Oh, don’t get me started on wedding expectations! LOL) In fact, I would venture a guess that many guests actually believe they are dictated by etiquette.
If you believe that is the case with your particular guest list, and you have made a decision to spend the money on a contribution instead, I think it’s perfectly fine to put a brief note in your program that says something like, ” In lieu of favors, we have made donations to two organizations that are close to our hearts…” and mention the two charities. I agree that you shouldn’t actually make the donations in guests’ names, though.
As for which charities to choose, there is no wrong decision here. Go with your heart.
Post # 8
Well I appreciate your comments, but, I am not asking about thoughts on the donation in lieu of favors. My reasoning for the posting was to ask about if the hospice was too personal to do. Where as the Cancer Society could touch a lot of people. This is not an uncommon thing to do. I have been to a number of weddings where they have done this and I was very thankful. And thank you LGenz and Notyour for actually answering this for me!!
Post # 9
I think a donation in lieu of a favour is a great idea. I for one love to see a note on the table from the bride and groom saying that they’ve made a donation to XXX charity. There’s a lot of money that flows through the wedding industry and I love to see when the couple puts some of their money towards a charity close to their heart.
A friend of mine had a really cool idea at her wedding. She and her husband chose three charities, each one very personal to them, and each guest had a wicker ball at their place setting. On the ball was a little tag asking the guest to put the ball in a vase for one of the charities. The bride and groom then donated money based on the number of balls in each vase (so 55% to Heart and Stroke, 30% to local theatre group, 15% to local eco fund, or whatever). It was a really neat way to get the guests to participate and learn more about local charities and what each stood for!
Post # 10
@jhair1111: I think it would be very nice of you to donate to the hospice center if that is important to you. If there are other people who are coming to the wedding that have been affected by cancer, it could be nice to donate to the Cancer Society. I would look at what your mission is behind this favor – is it honoring your grandmother or finding something people invited to your wedding would want to get behind as a charity?
I love this idea and would think any charity you chose would touch your guests.
Post # 11
I think you should choose the charities that YOU want to donate to. It may be in lieu favors for your guests, but you don’t have to choose they charities that you think THEY would want. It’s not their money; it’s yours. If you want to give to the hospice, go for it.
Post # 12
I disagree with @Selene as well. I think donations as favors are a great idea and there is nothing wrong with saying “look what we did”. You are choosing to give the money that you would normally have spent on a favor that people probably wouldnt have wanted anyway to a good cause and I think thats commendable.
As for choosing the charity, if it were me I would probably go with the American Cancer Society just because so many people have been affected by cancer in one way or another. Your guests will be able to relate to the charity more than they would the hospice but it really comes down to what you want. If you want to give to the hospice go for it. Either way its going to a good cause.
Post # 13
I think that a donation is a wonderful idea and to donate to an organization that means so much to you and is a representation of someone who couldn’t be at your wedding is touching, heartfelt and your guests will certainly understand and appreciate that.
Post # 14
@bakerella: What a cool idea! I love it! We are already encouraging donations in lieu of gifts, or I would so consider doing this…
Post # 15
I really like NotYourTypicalBride and Bakerella’s suggestions. I would be really touched as a guest if you made a donation instead of favours. In terms of the hospice, that’s just wonderful. It’s true that it might not “touch” as many people as the cancer foundation, but it will be meaningful to the people at the hospice that you think is worthy, and I think that’s lovely.
Post # 16
I think the hospice center is a great idea, and that it would be a nice touch for your charity to have personal meaning for you.