Guest Blogger: Caroline Ro

Making Your Wedding About Something Bigger

Photography: Lucy MacLeish

The wedding industry is one that justifies the amount of time you spend Pinning and planning, your ideas for centerpieces and the extent you go to make sure things are just right. With so many resources expressing that this day will never happen again, magnifying the weight of your wedding day, it’s difficult to keep your eyes on the bigger picture; it’s difficult to remember that you don’t have to do things the same. Despite the pressure and trends telling couples to center the wedding day around themselves, it’s nice to do just the opposite. While planning your wedding, take the time, energy and maybe even funds to make your wedding about something bigger than yourself. Agree to start your marriage by giving back.

Here are a few ideas about how to do just that:

-Purchase accessories that give back: purchasing a pair of Toms isn’t the only way to incorporate giving back into your wedding day attire. Jewelry companies such as Story Company and 31 Bits  (who has a beautiful wedding line) create trendy pieces that empower and give jobs to women in tough circumstances.

-Skip the favors: in lieu of sending guests home with a small favor that they may not appreciate nearly as much as you do, use those funds toward a donation that will make a huge difference. Charity:Water for example has private donors that cover their operating costs so 100% of donations help give clean water to those without. Although tangible in a different way, you can let guests know how many people now have clean water due to your donation.

-Make sure the coffee is fair: many caterers or venues offer a coffee bar later into the reception to perk up your fading guests. Go the extra mile to make sure that coffee is good for the earth and for others by bringing in your own fair trade coffee. Fair trade coffee can be purchased locally at stores such as Target or even family-owned roasters.

-Use recycled paper products: Use your wedding planning process as an opportunity to decrease your carbon footprint. Seek out designers on etsy or printers online that offer the option of recycled paper and make Mother Earth smile. On a tight budget? Nix those paper invitations all together and send out e-vites to your guests

-Straight up budget it in: Just like any other important wedding aspect, if there’s a cause or organization on your heart, plan to incorporate it from the beginning of the planning process.

Budget in a donation-large or small-and feel good knowing you we’re able to give back during your engagement

Regardless of your budget, theme or location, giving back is such a beautiful way to start a marriage and new season of life. In an industry that advocates splurging on oneself, remember that your wedding can stand for something beyond the flowers, cake and late-night dancing; giving back shows your guests that your marriage is bound to be loving, open-hearted and giving.

Caroline Ro is a wedding photographer currently based in Charleston, SC. She works as an associate for Riverland Studios as well as runs her own photography business, aptly named Carolinero! Follow her adventures on her facebook as well. She’s a gem and we love her.

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