Weddings Illustrated – March 2015

5 Ways to Give Back on Your Wedding Day

By Kerry Shorr

Brides, rejoice: You have designed your dream wedding, now begin your “happily ever after” by paying it forward.

From flower recycling to charity registries, we round up five charitable ways to weave good deed-doing into your best day ever.


 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Wedding at Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach

Eden Gardens State Park, Santa Rosa Beach | Photo: Aislinn Kate Photography

There may be hundreds of venues around The Sunshine State to stage a special celebration, but consider ones where philanthropy plays a leading role.

Nonprofit-managed parks, museums and aquariums offer stunning backdrops for special occasions. Pick one that will apply your event’s proceeds towards furthering its educational programs, social outreach, volunteerism, new acquisitions and more.

Charity- and donation-driven venues to consider: The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg; MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota; Florida Museum of National History in Gainesville; and Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach (pictured above).


OPEN A CHARITY REGISTRY

Photo via Big Daddy Seashell

Photo: Big Daddy Seashell

Instead of setting up a traditional gift registry, ask your guests to support a cause close to your heart.
The I Do Foundation helps marrieds-to-be establish an online charity registry so guests can make tax-deductible donations toward the bride and groom’s favorite charities.

Couples may opt to set a specific dollar amount or let their guests pick the monetary amount they prefer to give.


CREATE HAPPINESS WITH FLOWERS AND FOOD

Photo by Ashley Rose Photography

Photo: Ashley Rose Photography

Once your reception is over, arrange for flowers and food to be donated to assisted living facilities, clinics or shelters.

Flowers:

Flowers bestow many positive effects on their recipients—including the ability to heal—so try not to toss them away! Contact a flower recycling charity that will put your bouquets and table centerpieces to good use.

Based in West Palm Beach, Petals With Purpose fashions fresh bouquets from wedding florals, then delivers them to hospitals, nursing homes and shelters throughout Palm Beach County.

*For more about Petals With Purpose, click here.

Random Acts of Flowers (RAF), a “green” nonprofit in Pinellas County, delivers refurbished flower arrangements to convalescent homes, VA hospitals and healthcare facilities. Nearly 100 percent volunteer-driven, RAF is supported by private donations, grants and corporate sponsorships. To donate, click here.

Food:

First, check to see if your caterer will take comestibles to a local charity or rescue program. If not, contact a food bank, like Feeding South Florida or Second Harvest, and schedule to have the items picked up.

For more options, go to Florida Association of Food Banks to find a pantry in your area.


IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DRESS

 Photo by Moreland Photography

Photo: Moreland Photography

If you are not planning to store or repurpose your wedding gown, consider donating it to a good cause.

Brides For A Cause accepts and resells gently worn gowns and accessories. Monies are donated to its partner, Wish Upon A Wedding, which provides weddings for couples facing a terminal illness or life-altering circumstance.

Brides Against Breast Cancer accepts used dresses and donates all the profits to programs supporting cancer patients and their families.


DISTRIBUTE CHARITY WEDDING FAVORS

TisBest Charity Card

There are many creative wedding favor ideas—why not send loved ones home with a favor that will support their favorite cause?

TisBest puts a personal twist on giving to charities in lieu of wedding favors. Some guests aren’t comfortable having donations made in their name, because they may not support the charity the couple chooses. A TisBest gift card allows each guest to choose a charity that complements their personal beliefs.

How it works: Couples will customize a gift card, which can be emailed or printed and mailed (pictured above). Then, they select a monetary value and can add a personal message (optional).

When guests receive their cards, they log on to the TisBest website, survey the 350 organizations and apply the specified amount to the charity, or charities, of their choice.


Volunteer: April 11-12, 2015 – Tacoma/Seattle

We need volunteers at our Brides for a Cause charity wedding dress sale in the Seattle/Tacoma area on April 11-12 at Point Defiance Pagoda in Tacoma!  Please sign up for shifts below.  Scroll down to learn more about duties you’ll be assigned to during the event.

Here are some of the responsibilities you’ll be assigned to:

Duties during set-up:
• Unload dresses off the trailer and wheel them into the event space
• Arrange the racks on the sales floor
• Remove tarps off the dress racks
• Straighten up racks
• Set up accessories
• Set up fitting room area

Duties during the sale:
• Greet and check-in brides as they enter the event
• Help brides select wedding dresses
• Help brides in the fitting room try on the dresses
• Remove unwanted dresses out of the fitting room and back onto the racks
• Straighten up the dresses

Duties during tear down:
• Consolidate dresses
• Tarp the dresses
• Wheel the dresses out to the trailer and help load it
• Box accessories and tear down fitting room

HELPFUL HINTS:
What to Wear?

  • Please wear a pink or black shirt! Jeans, slacks, skirts are all accepted. Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be on your feet!

Multiple Shifts?

  • Feel free to sign up for multiple shifts and invite your friends, colleagues, family members! Men are welcome for all shifts, especially for set-up and tear down so bring them along!

No experience necessary

  • You don’t need to know anything about wedding dresses, though it’s always helpful. We are looking for fun, passionate volunteers who want to help brides find their dream dresses! Everyone is welcome!

Road Show: Tacoma/Seattle – April 11-12, 2015

_MG_9164 reworkedBrides for a Cause is returning to the Seattle/Tacoma area this April!  Our next Road Show is April 11-12 at Point Defiance Pagoda in Tacoma!  Don’t miss us while we are in town for only 2 days with over 500 unique wedding dresses that you won’t find anywhere else in Washington!

All of our wedding dresses are one-of-a-kind, offered at huge discounts (up to 75% off)!  Prices start at just $150, average price is only $500!  Can’t make it that weekend?  Learn more about our Portland Boutique open 7 days week!

VIP SNEAK PEEK
Saturday, April 11, 11 AM – Noon
Get “first dibs” on the dresses for just $5 per person!

GENERAL ADMISSION
Saturday, April 11, Noon – 5 PM
Sunday, April 12, 10 AM – 4 PM

Free admission! Bring your entourage!

Point Defiance Pagoda
5400 North Pearl Street
Tacoma, WA 98407
*The Pagoda is located in the park just off Trolley Lane

  • Featuring 500+ wedding dresses!
  • Prices start at $150, average price just $500, designer gowns 50%-75% off retail!
  • All gowns 35-75% off in sizes 0-28, Veils start at just $30!
  • Fitting room on-site to try on the wedding dresses
  • Volunteers and seamstresses to help assist you
  • Get a designer dress at half the price!
  • Most dresses are brand new, never worn from bridal stores across the US!
  • You won’t find this selection anywhere else
  • Don’t miss us while our “Bridal Store on Wheels” is in the Tacoma area for 2 days ONLY!!
  • Discounted bridal accessories available
  • Walk away with your dream dress at the time of purchase

charity wedding dress sale, tacoma, seattle, brides for a cause, tacoma parks, point defiance pagoda, cheap wedding dresses, discounted wedding dresses

Event Sponsored by:
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**Book your 2015 Wedding or Special Event during Brides for a Cause, April 11 or 12, and enjoy this special promotion valid at the Point Defiance Pagoda or Titlow Lodge:

1st rental hour fee waived $250-$300 savings
**Subject to date availability; new clients only; and valid through December 31, 2015 only. Mention “BRIDES FOR A CAUSE” at the time of reservation.

Rental Sales Office open during Brides for a Cause:
April 11: 12pm-2pm
April 12: 11am – 2pm

For more information, please contact the Rental Sales Office at 253.305.1090 or email at ChrystalM@tacomaparks.com


VOLUNTEER: Sacramento – May 15-17

We need volunteers at our Brides for a Cause charity wedding dress sale in Sacramento on May 15-17 at Studio 817!  Please sign up for shifts below.  Scroll down to learn more about duties you’ll be assigned to during the event.

Here are some of the responsibilities you’ll be assigned to:

Duties during set-up:
• Unload dresses off the trailer and wheel them into the event space
• Arrange the racks on the sales floor
• Remove tarps off the dress racks
• Straighten up racks
• Set up accessories
• Set up fitting room area

Duties during the sale:
• Greet and check-in brides as they enter the event
• Help brides select wedding dresses
• Help brides in the fitting room try on the dresses
• Remove unwanted dresses out of the fitting room and back onto the racks
• Straighten up the dresses

Duties during tear down:
• Consolidate dresses
• Tarp the dresses
• Wheel the dresses out to the trailer and help load it
• Box accessories and tear down fitting room

HELPFUL HINTS:
What to Wear?

  • Please wear a pink or black shirt! Jeans, slacks, skirts are all accepted. Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be on your feet!

Multiple Shifts?

  • Feel free to sign up for multiple shifts and invite your friends, colleagues, family members! Men are welcome for all shifts, especially for set-up and tear down so bring them along!

No experience necessary

  • You don’t need to know anything about wedding dresses, though it’s always helpful. We are looking for fun, passionate volunteers who want to help brides find their dream dresses! Everyone is welcome!charity wedding dress sale, sacramento, brides for a cause, studio 817, cheap wedding dresses, discounted wedding dresses

 


6 Ways Your Wedding Can Actually Make The World A Better Place

huffpostweddings

6 Ways Your Wedding Can Actually Make The World A Better Place

 |  By
Posted: Updated:
WEDDING

Weddings can be expensive. In many states across America, couples are spending over half of their yearly income on the big day.

But there’s a way to extend the life of your pricey celebration beyond the hours-long party, and that’s using your wedding as an opportunity to give back to the community. The organizations listed below help couples donate some of the most important elements of a wedding after the last guest has left the building. After all, there are many people who can benefit greatly from a donated gown, used flowers and even leftover food.

Check out the list below for different ways you can use your special day as an opportunity to give back.

1. Donate your dress to breast cancer patients.
wedding dresses
Brides Against Breast Cancer is an organization based in Sarasota, Florida that accepts used wedding gowns (dated from 2009-present) and donates them to women who are battling breast cancer. All gown styles, slips and veils are welcome. Garments can either be dropped off at one of their upcoming events or can be mailed to the headquarters in Sarasota.

2. Donate your wedding flowers.
wedding flowers
Organizations like Floranthropy (in Seattle, Washington) and Random Acts of Flowers (in Knoxville, Tennessee) collect floral arrangements from weddings and bring them to shelters, hospice care centers, retirement homes and even schools for other people to enjoy. Sure, many brides might want to keep their bouquet, but think of all the other flowers at a wedding that can be recycled. On average, Random Acts of Flowers donates over 2,700 bouquets a month.

3. Instead of pricey wedding favors, make a donation instead.
wedding table
The I Do Foundation empowers brides and grooms to skip out on expensive wedding favors and instead put the money toward a good charitable cause. Place little notes on the tables at your wedding explaining that a donation has been made; your guests are bound to be touched and inspired.

4. Donate your gown to help families grieving the death of a newborn child.
nicu helping hands
Often, babies who don’t make it home from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a hospital are so small that they don’t have the proper clothing to be buried in. Lisa Grubbs of Fort Worth, Texas came up with the idea to use the fabric from donated wedding gowns to make smaller garments for the babies to wear. Grubbs is married to a specialist for premature babies and calls the mini creations “angel gowns.” Brides can donate their wedding dresses to NICU Helping Hands and families and hospitals across the country receive the angel gowns free of charge. Due to the generosity of many, the organization is currently at capacity and is not accepting new donations, but brides can resume their giving on September 1, 2015.

5. Donate leftover food
wedding table
Two Caterers in Columbus, Ohio transports leftover wedding food (as long as it meets safety guidelines) to local organizations like the YWCA or the Ronald McDonald House. Ask your caterer if they have a donation program and if they don’t, maybe they are willing to start one.

6. Help provide a wedding for the terminally-ill.
wedding rings
You loved your wedding day, so why not help make others’ wedding wishes come true? The organization Wish Upon A Wedding provides weddings for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-changing circumstances. “Most of our couples have less than five years to live when we grant their wedding wish. Time is of the essence,” Kasey Skobel-Conyers, National Wish Coordinator for Wish Upon A Wedding, told The Huffington Post via email.

“The reality is that their married life may only be a month or a year together before one of them is no longer with us. That’s why when we grant a wedding wish, we want to make sure their day is one that they can think back on and remember all the joy and love they felt that day with no worries about illness, treatments, medical bills, or the short amount of time one of them has left to live.” There are many ways to get involved — find out more here.

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