Although it’s only the beginning of November, we can’t help but hear the murmurings of the Christmas season slowly sneaking into stores, advertisements and onto street lamp posts. Nowadays, it seems like the holidays focus a lot on gift giving, receiving and spending, but it also has us thinking about giving back and how someone could do such a thing while also planning a big money drainer, like a wedding. Over the last few years, there has been a steady movement among some brides to include philanthropy into their special day, so we thought we’d share with you three ways you can give back to your community or a cause dear to your heart, showing that romantic love and love for others can go hand in hand.

1)One way you can give back to a good cause while wedding planning is through the gown that you choose to wear. Sounds strange, I know, but there is a way. We just so happen to know the perfect people for you, our good friends at The Brides Project can help you find a gorgeous previously owned gown! When you book an appointment with TBP, you have access to a huge selection of gowns in your size and awesome people who are able to help with all your bridal needs. The best part, all proceeds from gown sales go towards cancer charities. Their tagline “Fighting cancer, one dress at a time” rings true, with over a decade of experience and $850,000 raised. Once your wedding has passed, no matter if you wore a previously loved gown or a new gown, you can consider (re)donating it and paying it forward to another gorgeous bride.

2) They say that dogs are a man’s best friend, so why not help out some adorable animals on your big day? Recently, brides and grooms have been inviting local rescue animals to take part in their big day through wedding photos. Not only do you get the added “aww” factor to add to your (digital) photo album, but you also get to give back by giving exposure to animals in need of a new home. By including rescues into your big day, you’re able to expose them to potential adoptive parents attending your wedding or give the shelter permission to use the photos to help bring more awareness to animals in need. Really, we think it’s a win-win!

3)The final one is a big one, often not everyone can afford to do, but if you can, it’s a great option to invite your guest to donate to your preferred charity, in lieu of a wedding gift. Another alternative would be to add a donation option to your gift registry. Registry companies like easily allow you to add a non-profit organization onto your list.

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