Paying it Forward on Your Wedding Day

New Orleans Destination Wedding: Have a blissful wedding day and give back to a needed cause!

On Friday a friend posted this article on Facebook that I’ve been eager to share with you guys all weekend. Said article written by Charles Howard for The Huffington Post entitled, “Ways to Make Your Wedding Amazing and Socially Conscious” really struck a nerve with me. In the piece, Howard delves into the benefits of using your nuptials to give back. (Ever notice when you help others you end up with a reward as well?)

We all know weddings can be costly and sometimes (okay, most of the time) folks spend a heap of money on things they barely remember by the time their first wedding anniversary rolls around. Why not use a fraction of whatever your wedding budget is to give back to a worthy cause? Below are a few ways Howard suggests you do this with a couple of my own suggestions sprinkled in:

  • In lieu of gifts, ask your guests to donate to a charity that you and your beloved are passionate about.
  • In lieu of favors, make donations to a charity of your choice in each of your guests’ names.
  • Ask guests to bring a non-perishable food item or children’s book to the reception and donate them to those in need following your big day.
  • Heading to the Dominican Republic after your wedding? Follow Virdina and Kevin’s lead and spend a couple days in Haiti to help rebuild the country. This one might seem like a downer on a romantic honeymoon but it doesn’t have to be with the proper planning and it might bring you and your new spouse closer.

My amiga Pamela (pictured above dancing in the street in her wedding gown) tied the knot in New Orleans nearly two years ago. She and her husband visited the city together while dating and fell in love with the music, food and all-around spirit of The Big Easy. Post-Katrina, they searched for ways to give back to N.O. and felt hosting their wedding there could help bring much needed revenue to the city. Their second line in The French Quarter between their ceremony and reception is presently on my list of the most exciting things I’ve experienced in life thus far. It was euphoric. I’m a huge fan of live bands (from Hampton University’s Marching Band to Earth, Wind & Fire) so two-stepping behind The Treme Brass Band –knowing their rich history – was truly fulfilling.

Enjoy this lil’ video below I found on YouTube of a newlywed couple enjoying a second line on their wedding day:

As my wise mother always says: You can’t beat God’s giving. Are you planning to give back to charity on your wedding day? Tell me all about it in the comments below.

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