Christina Aguilera did it for her wedding. Angelina Jolie has said she’ll do for her wedding to Brad Pitt. And now, couples everywhere are including acts of kindness as a part of their weddings too, making this one of the hottest emerging wedding trends of this year. It’s the “Kindness Trend” in weddings.
When tabloid darling Angelina Jolie reportedly gave her stylist the word to find her a wedding dress, tongues started wagging that it she and Brad Pitt were that much closer to becoming a real-life “Mr and Mrs”. But what we here at SuperWeddings.com found most interesting was where Jolie, who earns millions of dollars for each of her box office hits, intends to get her dress.
[Above, in place of wedding favors, cards are placed at each table setting at the wedding reception, stating: “In lieu of favors, a donation has been made in your name to….”. Why not do this for your favorite charity? Don’t have a worthy cause you support? Its time to GET one! Giving is an important part of living! It feels amazing to be part of making the world better, if even just is some small way!].
No Versace for this celebrity bride-to-be. According to reports, the controversial actress turned humanitarian wants to purchase her wedding dress from a Goodwill store (Goodwill Industries International). That way the profits go to help the needy. Jolie is presumably hoping that the publicity generated by this move will spur other brides to do the same.
We suspect they just might indeed.
More and more couples right now are incorporating a charitable element into their big day – and it’s not just celebrities who are doing this. A wave of couples everywhere are making the choice to do something generous for a good cause as part of their wedding celebration.
Weddings have always had a self-indulgent element to them, and so it’s exciting to see couples generously opening their hearts to others on their wedding day. What a wonderful way to celebrate the love they share – by sprinkling some of that love out to others by doing good.
Kindness is contagious.
With any trend, the more people see of it, the more likely they are to adopt it. But a lot of people really feel inspired by the good deeds of others. It makes them want to do something good too. When you think about it, it’s a really beautiful way for a couple to start their new life together. You’ve got to admit, it’s got a good vibe to it.
We predict that the kindness trend will continue to pick up momentum over the next 12 months, but unlike other trends that fade completely after reaching their peak, the concept behind this one has some staying power. Trends, by their very nature, are flaky. One day everyone’s doing a particular thing, and before long it’s never seen again. But fortunately kindness never completely goes out of style. Chances are this current trend will show people how easily charitable elements can be incorporated into weddings, and those ideas will continue to be seen at weddings long after this is no longer the ‘it’ thing of the moment.
Once people try it they find that doing something kind for others actually feels amazingly good. And that makes them want to do more of it.
On a more personal note, frankly, I wish this trend had started back when I got married in ’92. I personally have a lot of concern for the well being of animals. Looking back, making a donation in each of my guest’s names to a no-kill shelter would have been more meaningful than all those pretty little wedding favors we gave away. Sure, the favors were gorgeous, but doing something to make a difference would have been an unbeatable feeling. Unfortunately, no one thought of doing this fifteen years ago.
So why this trend at this time? Here’s our theory. In recent times, we’ve witnessed a lot of really harsh realities. September 11. America at war. The Tsunami. Then Katrina. An economic crash, more natural disasters, mass shootings… (not meaning to depress you here…)
As they spend all that money on a big one-day celebration for themselves, and revel in their own happiness, a lot of caring, socially conscious couples are trying to reconcile that with the suffering many others are experiencing in these times. There may be a little pang of guilt, or simply a genuine desire to share their blessings with others who are nowhere near as fortunate.
Today more and more couples use the details of their weddings to paint an intimate self-portrait of themselves. Through the many wedding-related selections they need to make – the decor, the food, the flower, the favors – they strive to make a statement about who they are so that their wedding day becomes a meaningful reflection of themselves. Certainly, making kindness a part of their weddings or including a philanthropic element says something very special about a couple.
More and more couples everywhere are taking the opportunity to show kindness to others when they exchange their vows. You can do this too, and we highly encourage it! Make a charitable donation in the name of each of your guests in place of traditional wedding favors. Or ask guests to make a donation to the charity of your choice, or theirs, in place of wedding gifts. Sooner or later, kindness is always returned to you, ten fold. We promise!
Here are some ideas on how you can make kindness a part of your wedding:
- In place of traditional wedding favors, make a donation to a worthwhile cause in each guest’s name. At the reception, present each guest with a small nicely printed card explaining that this has been done.
- Suggest that instead of wedding gifts, guests make a contribution to either a charity of your choosing, or a cause that is important to them. Pop star Christina Aguilera did this when she wed last December and requested that guests make donations to Hurricane Katrina victims rather than giving wedding presents. Even comic strip characters are taking a shine to this trend; the popular comic strip character Cathy also did this last year when she asked her guests (and readers of the strip) to make a donation to a particular California shelter for homeless animals!
- Some gift registry services will donate a percentage of all gifts purchased through their service to the charity of your choice – look for one that offers this.
- Make arrangements to donate food left over from the reception to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
- Donate flower arrangements to local hospices or nursing homes following the wedding.
- After the wedding, donate your used wedding supplies and accessories –or even your wedding dress – to Goodwill (Goodwill Industries International) or another charitable organization that collects used goods.
- Or, like Ms. Jolie, shop Goodwill stores (Goodwill Industries International) in your area for your wedding gown and related accessories.
Kindness is Contagious! Tweet this Trend! Share it on Facebook. Tell Someone about this trend so it keeps growing!