Weddings that Give Back

Submitted by lex on September 11, 2013

Many people say they prefer giving gifts to receiving them, and an increasing number of newly-weds are putting this philosophy into practice by holding charity themed weddings. Instead of receiving a large pile of new home-ware, guests can donate to a charity of the bride and groom’s choice and give back to those in need.

Even if you plan on getting married far form home, adding a charity-theme to your wedding is a great way to make sure that the joy of the big day reaches far beyond just you and your guests.

Young couples can take the idea of a charity themed wedding as far as they like, from sponsored activities to themed party favours, and many couples donate to a charity that has touched their own lives in some way.

For those that choose Thailand for a destination wedding, there are a good number of reputable charities that rely on the goodwill of visitors to sustain those in need. Here are a few ideas on how you can make your wedding day more giving.

Leap of faith

If you are one of those couples that doesn’t mind a walk on the wild side, why not organise a sponsored bungee jump on your wedding day? On Thai islands like Phuket and Koh Samui, guests can sponsor the bride and groom to do bungee jumps and all the money raised can be donated to a charity of their. On Phuket, the bride and groom can take a 50 metre plunge from a tower at the Jungle Lagoon near Kathu Beach. The tower is set over a small lake surrounded by lush vegetation, and provides excellent photo opportunities for guests. If you are tying the knot on Koh Samui, head over to Samui Bungee Jump and take in the sights of surrounding Chaweng Beach as you plummet towards Southern Thailand’s deepest swimming pool.

The perfect party favour

Another fun and memorable way to introduce giving into your wedding celebrations is by opting for charitable party favours that guests can take home. Couples can give out charity pins from the cause they have chosen to donate to, or go for something a little sweeter by providing delicious chocolaty treats with donation cards for guests, sourced from a long list of well known charities, including Unicef, Breast Cancer Research and WWF. In Thailand, guests traditionally donate towards the cost for he wedding party and these envelopes can be easily sourced and used for charity collection.

Time to play

Including a couple of party games is a great way to spice up the entertainment at your wedding reception, as well as to raise a little cash for charity. One popular game that was traditionally used to raise money for the bride and groom at Polish weddings is known as the Dollar Dance, where male guests pay for the privilege of dancing with the bride by pinning dollars onto her dress or veil.  Another idea could be to have a wedding auction, where guests bid to take home the bride’s garter, veil or flowers, even the groom's tie and trousers if you want to add a bit of comedy, with all the money raised going to a good cause.

Charity of choice

If you are getting married in Thailand and set on the idea of a charitable wedding celebration, but are stuck for ideas on where to donate the proceeds of your wedding, worry not. The Kingdom is home to a large number of reputable local charities and donating to a local organisation is a great way for the bride and groom to give a little back to the land that made their wedding day so special.

For animal enthusiasts, Friends of the Asian Elephant helps elephants throughout Thailand by improving their living conditions. On Phuket, the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project at Bang Pae Waterfall is also happy to accept donations, which go towards making a better life for an animal that is becoming ever more endangered. Guests can even visit the friendly primates whilst on the island to see how their donations can help. If you are tying the knot on Koh Samui, Project AWARE Foundation has been working in the field of underwater conservation for two decades and regularly organises beach and marine clean up days around the island.

Planning ahead

Of course, couples who prefer to keep things simple can opt to have their guests donate money to their own charity of choice, in lieu of receiving gifts. Brides and grooms that want to keep fundraising activities completely separate from their big day can even set up their own website so friends and family can donate before or after the wedding. This is also a good option for destination weddings, as it allows those who cannot make the trip to participate in a positive way.





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