Get Involved: Weddings at Work

By Jessica Ruhlin
In Feature, Style

Say “I Do” to these organizations to help local couples in need.

 

Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting experiences of a lifetime—that is, if you’re lucky. But, sometimes life is unpredictable, and getting to that happily ever after is more difficult than expected, or even impossible. Fortunately, these local wedding organizations make it possible to help couples create that special day—and encourage others to use their own celebrations to support charities close to their hearts.

Wish Upon a Wedding
Based on the principle that no one who is in love should be denied the opportunity to marry his or her soul mate, Wish Upon a Wedding organizes dream weddings and vow renewal ceremonies for couples who have encountered life-altering circumstances—particularly when one of them has less than five years to live. It helps people focus on their day of celebration, even when life has dealt them a rough hand. Only the cake itself could be sweeter, and anyone can get a slice of the action. Consider adding your name or company to the St. Louis chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding’s list of resources, donated services and products to join the cause. You can also get involved by attending or donating to the annual “Blissful Wishes Ball” and auction, or by hosting your own fundraiser. Don “something blue” with the organization’s popular wish bracelets and wishing star pins, the proceeds of which benefit the organization. Or, select from charitable merchandise, like bookmarks and logo pins, to use as favors at your own wedding—or as inexpensive, charitable anytime gifts.

The Gifted Wedding
Two years after its launch, The Gifted Wedding puts together three Missouri weddings a year, joining couples of all religions, races and sexual orientations as they face illness, disability, military service and even natural disasters. Justin Knight, a quadriplegic, and his new wife and mother of two, Julie, married last July in Chesterfield with the help of The Gifted Wedding. A strong believer in the idea that the three most important things in life are family, friends and love, The Gifted Wedding invites anyone to become a part of the family. You can help by donating your talent, including photography or dance lessons, food and beverages, or reusable décor such as candles and vases—which are not only used for ceremonies, but can also serve as auction items to raise money for other parts of the preparations.

The “I Do” Foundation
With the “I Do” Foundation, engaged couples create registries with participating companies (such as Target, Macy’s, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma), which donate a percentage of their profits to the couples’ choice of over 1.5 million charities. “I Do” also offers gift cards to present to wedding guests, so each individual can redeem his or her card toward a cause that’s personal to them. Incorporating charitable giving into events is a “great way to share love with the world on a special day,” says Candy Culver from JustGive, the company that powers “I Do” donations. Culver speaks passionately of how a wedding is a chance for couples to celebrate their union and also show their values—charity and joy make one happy marriage. Donations are always accepted, but Culver says another way to help is simply through spreading the word. If not wedding fever, then wedding “fervor,” at least, is catching on.

For more info, and to get involved with these organizations, visit wishuponawedding.org/st.louis, thegiftedwedding.com and
idofoundation.org.

 

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Justin and Julie Knight, beneficiaries of The Gifted Wedding

Justin and Julie Knight, beneficiaries of The Gifted Wedding

 

Photo credit: Photo by Under Grace Photo

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