When Prince William marries Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abby, the couple’s ceremony will be followed by a celebration. Maybe royals are not too unlike commoners after all! Both the ceremony and celebration are likely to be attended by well-known figures from the royal family to Sir Paul McCartney, who is rumored to be performing at the wedding reception though the music has not been confirmed. There is one other specific aspect about this wedding that will make it different from many others – the couple is thinking about asking for charity donations in lieu of wedding gifts.
Giving the gift of a charitable donation is noble, but in the case of this royal wedding, it will also take some of the pressure off of guests. What does one buy for a Prince and Princess-to-be? Prince William and Kate Middleton are already involved in numerous charities, so it would only make sense for them to ask for donations. However, for other couples who are not tied to a charity (or have a royal status), it may seem like a bit more of a challenge. While this may be the case, according to the charitable gift giving website, The I Do Foundation, 10% of couples consistently visit the site each year to learn more about incorporating charities into their wedding day.
The I Do Foundation was founded in 2002, and in 2009 the organization merged with another charity organization, JustGive.org. Through this merger, it is the mission of both companies to make charitable giving as easy as possible. On its site, the I Do Foundation not only outlines how couples can request donations in lieu of gifts, but in an idea index, they also suggest how to “go green” and even how to book honeymoon reservations while still giving back.
If a couple is seriously thinking about requesting donations, JustGive.org has information and links outlining how to create a wedding registry for charity. In addition, donations can go beyond what guests give to the couple. The I Do Foundation also provides ideas for wedding favors. One of the suggestions is to present guests with a charity gift card whereby the guests can donate to the charity of their choice rather than the one the newly married couple has chosen to support. (This favor idea also works for other events, such as showers, birthday parties, and bat mitzvahs too!)
The coffeemaker, teapot, and china will always exist. However, the opportunity to seamlessly involve close friends and family with the charity of the couples’ choosing may not. With the help of the I Do Foundation and JustGive.org, all couples can be in the company of royalty, at least for a day, through giving the gift of charity.