Our wedding was a success in every sense of the word. We had a wonderful time, we felt loved, supported and truly special. All the details came together without a hitch. But more importantly the day made a major impact on several charitable organizations which was the plan all along. When we came up with “The Charity Wedding” we really had no idea what we were getting into, we made up the rules and went with it. Planning a wedding is stressful, planning a wedding that doubles as a fund raiser added a whole separate set of work. However I do not think I could have made it through the planning without knowing that it would be doing some good for others. I would not have changed one thing and I would do it again in an instant. The impact of the day is as follows:
- Somewhere in Africa, a community will drink fresh clean water for the first time ever, thanks to our Charity Water Campaign. This means children will be able to go to school as opposed to spending their day collecting water and disease will be reduced immensely. $980 was raised with thanks in large part to my Grandma’s sorority sisters and we donated $40, for a total of $1020.
- Somewhere in South America at least 4 children that did not have any shoes will receive a new pair, thanks to Tom’s Shoes. We asked the Groomsman to wear them and Kyle and two of them did just that. I also purchased a pair so that one more child would get a pair of shoes!
- Somewhere in Iraq a soldier knows that a group of people in Arizona care about him and support what he is doing for this country. We had a “Care Package Drive” and shipped two large boxes of things to him. I bet he is still chewing on bubble gum!
- Several people in the Sedona area got to eat thanks to a very successful food drive.
- Awareness was raised for both Heart Disease and Autism during two of our monthly charitable efforts.
- At least one child with a serious illness was able to discover the healing power of laughter thanks to our “Send a Kid to Camp Campaign” which raised $1000.
- We donated along the way to several of the charities that we highlighted on the blog including the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, The Steps Foundation, and diabetic children to name a few. The total donated to several charities through the planning process was $409.
- Several ladies wore red shoes including our bridesmaids in honor of Kim Duncan’s mother who lost her life much too soon to heart disease. Hopefully this allowed some women to think about their hearts and take care of their health!
- Of our budget of $10,000 (The budget only included main wedding expenses not things like travel, hotel rooms, and random expenses) we had $4,000 left over which will be split among The American Heart Association, Camp Soaring Eagle and Second Chance Center for Animals.
The Grand Total for money raised or contributed through the whole process: $6429.00
This number does not include what guest’s donated in lieu of gifts or the percentage of money that went to charity from our registry through the I Do Foundation.
We know this process made us better people and gave us a reason to actively find ways to give back. We have had the opportunity to organize several fund raising or charitable efforts that would never have been organized otherwise. We were able to volunteer directly with both Camp Soaring Eagle and Second Chance Center and I do not believe we would have done that if we had not decided to theme our wedding in such a way. This process has been a major blessing to us and we are so grateful to have met all the people that we have along the way. We can not think of a better way to celebrate our love than to come together to show love to others. Many people thought we were crazy which made the support we received from so many others even more important to us. Thank you to everyone who supported this unconventional wedding, without you we would have never succeeded! Our hope is that this process proved that we can all do more to give back in at least some way. A wedding is guaranteed to change a couple’s lives forever, we find joy in knowing that it changed several other lives forever as well.
All because two people fell in love. What can your wedding do?