It’s summer. That means wedding season and wedding season means thousands of couples will be getting married across the country. If you, like them, are in love and about to walk down the aisle, here are five ways you can fight poverty with your wedding:
1. Forgo traditional gifts.
Use your big day to fight poverty by asking guests to donate money to advocacy organizations such as The Borgen Project. Follow these instructions on how to set up a page to donate your wedding.
2. Register with fair trade companies.
If you are financially unable to forgo gifts, then make a fair trade registry and make sure your gifts have a purpose and are ethical. Companies such as Amani ya Juu, Serrv and Ten Thousand Villages offer registries you can use to support impoverished workers from Kenya to Guatemala to Vietnam.
3. Have a dollar dance.
In many cultures, the bride and groom traditionally have a dollar dance where they tell guests they can pay a dollar or two to dance briefly with the bride or groom. Pick a few fun songs and set up baskets on both sides of the dancefloor. Donate the money from your dance to your cause of choice.
4. Take a responsible, eco-friendly honeymoon.
Every time you travel, you have the opportunity to help the people around you. Take a honeymoon that not only makes memories for you and your spouse but also creates a better place for locals to live. Use websites, like Responsible Travel,to make sure you support conservationism and human rights while you “travel like a local.” Companies, like Tribes, plant trees on your behalf and guarantee living-wage incomes to local employees.
5. Give to charities instead of favors.
Instead of giving your guests personalized candles or bags of coffee, make donations in their names to The Borgen Project or nonprofits like it. Through Heifer International, you can donate shares of larger animals for $10 to $85 or flocks of chicks for $20. Your wedding could provide eggs from hundreds of chickens to impoverished families across the world.
– Sally Nelson
Sources: The Borgen Project, Amani, Serrv, Ten Thousand Villages, Responsible Travel, Tribes, Heifer International