Ten ways to make your wedding more charitable

It’s not just charity pin favours! Doing your bit on the big day has never been easier with these altruistic ideas

1. Snap up a bargain at a charity shop

EDINBURGH, UK - 22nd July 2014: Brides-to-be hoping to find their dream dress will be able to bag a bargain while helping another good cause after Red Cross opened Edinburghís first dedicated charity wedding boutique. The charity's Stockbridge store has managed to gather hundreds of designer and vintage gowns which will go on sale at a fraction of the original price. Pictured Rachael Forbes leaves the store with one of the wedding dresses. (Photograph: MAVERICK PHOTO AGENCY)

Forget the occasional ’80s wedding dress lurking on the charity-shop rails – Edinburgh is home to one of the UK’s only British Red Cross designated bridal shops. With everything for the bride and groom, and the MOBs and guests, there are fantastic bargains and vintage gems to be snapped up.

2. Head to the world wide web

Still on the hunt? Check out Oxfam’s online wedding shop – we spotted gowns from couture designers such as Pronovias, Ronald Joyce and Ian Stuart, and all for under £250. There’s a mix of pre-owned and ex-sample gowns available online.

3. Donate your dress

Loving Hands started as a charity knitting group, with members knitting blankets for the elderly, warm clothes for children living in poverty and even tiny bags for puffins blown off-course! The group is now accepting donations of bridal and bridesmaid gowns to make into burial gowns for babies and infants that have passed away.

4. Pick a National Trust for Scotland venue

NTS Brodie Castle IMG_5695

By having your wedding at one of National Trust for Scotland’s historic landmarks, you get a stunning backdrop to your photos, but you also help to preserve the heritage of important buildings like Brodie Castle. Hosting weddings is a major source of funding for the expensive upkeep of these world-renowned attractions.

5. Register a charity gift list

Do you really need a new toaster? Gift lists are great if you’re setting up home for the first time, but most couples will have already been living together for several years. Charities like Save the Children offer their own gift lists to help children in poverty and those in conflict zones, and guests can pick from loads of essentials such as a birthing kit for midwives (£15), a baby hat and blanket (£10) or even two goats (£36).

6. Shop ’til you drop with charity credit card


You’ll be splashing a fair bit of cash on your big day, so why not make major purchases on an MBNA Breast Cancer Now credit card? With donations made when you open the card, and every year thereafter, plus 25p contribution for every £100 you spend, it’ll all add up to help those suffering from breast cancer.

Spending on a credit card also gives you payment protection, and allows you to pay off any debts incurred from your wedding steadily, rather than eating beans for a month because you booked your band!

7. Do some fit fundraising

If you are finding it difficult to muster the motivation to start your pre-wedding health kick, why not join one of the running or cycling events for the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation? The charity raises money to give people with terminal illnesses the chance to have their dream wedding day.

8. Donate your bridal blooms

Your wedding flowers will be beautiful, so why not donate them after the day to a hospice or care home? Most hospitals don’t accept them, so check beforehand that where you’re planning to share them will.

9. Sweeten up your stationery

MacmillanThank you note cards

We love these cute thank-you cards from Macmillan (£5.95 for ten), and we’re sure your guests will thank you for supporting such a worthwhile cause. The charity also sell place cards, invitations, favours and other decorative items in its shop.

10. Help while on honeymoon

KAYA_Thai honeymoon volunteers

Kaya Honeymoon Volunteers specialise in responsible ’moons – so whether you want to help with marine conservation projects in Thailand or volunteer at a day-care centre for poverty-stricken children in Nepal, there’s something for everyone. Unless you prefer bingo and being bullied into playing poolside games by pushy reps.