Should your wedding favors be a donation to charity?

Should your wedding favors be a donation to charity?

First off. Hey. What's up? It's been a while. My one and only excuse is that I've been planning our wedding and apparently wedding planning is time consuming – who knew?  I'm validating my blogging absence by writing about weddings and charity donations. Enjoy.

Our wedding favors were chocolate covered dried cherries in brocade white boxes with blush ribbons. I emphasize blush as the spectrum of pink in the wedding world is eternal – like true love – and I wouldn't want you to think they were rose or salmon.

I thought about making a donation to charity in lieu of a favor for about 0.5 seconds before my stomach and sweet tooth said, "Cherries. Go with the cherries."  So I went with the cherries and it turned out my guests' stomachs and their sweet tooths (teeth?) agreed.

Where did this "make a donation in honor of your guests" come from and why do we feel a slight twinge of guilt when we "go with the cherries?"  I'm not sure. But here are my guesses why couples go for this option:

People are strapped for time and don't want to waste money –  Making an undisclosed donation to charity and printing it on a piece of paper is a lot less time consuming (and expensive) than individually stuffing and assembling 250 miniature boxes with some sort of sweet treat that half the people may not even eat (unless you get chocolate covered dried cherries - everyone likes chocolate covered dried cherries). I see their point.

People want to show their "philanthropic side" – In the never-ending quest to make your wedding the most unique reflection of two individuals in party form ever, it's possible that a donation to charity is yet another way to show your guests who you are.  As long as it doesn't get lost in all the ticket stubs from the AMAZING places you've been, photos of  your super fun life together, or in between the marshmallows in your s'more bar (what? S'more bars are cool) I suppose this is an ok reason.

People think favors are stupid – Who? What?! Not me!

People genuinely want to make a donation to charity and help a cause they care about amid an event of superfluosness and vanity – I guess they're out there and I guess they're kinda nice.

The honest reality of this choice, however, is that no one is really going to remember what your favors were. The plethora of choice surrounding wedding planning confuses couples into thinking that all of this matters when, at the end of the day, all that counts is that a marriage happened amid all this ruckus.  No one will notice that your ribbons are blush not salmon and if you chose the Chicago Cares charity over the Chicago Volunteers charity. If this occasion inspires you to make a donation – make a donation. But if you want to go with the cherries, by all means, go with the cherries.

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    Katie Lorenz Lowes

    "The Golden Rule" centers on "what's good" in Chicago with a focus on community service, involvement, and activism.

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