For me, a wedding is such a wonderful time to share your relationship, your love, and your values with your closest friends and family. The people we tend to invite to our weddings know us from such different contexts--college, work, elementary school, summer programs, etc. A wedding is a time to synthesize those various parts and show our nearest and dearest how they have contributed to our development as people.
Matt and I tried to share our love of the outdoors by getting married by a lake and hosting our wedding weekend in the middle of the mountains.
We tried to share our commitment to eco-friendliness by setting up composting during the reception, having our rings made from recycled gold from our friends and family, planting a tree during our ceremony, making Matt's tie and my dress sash from reused fabric we had at the house, reducing our invitations to a postcard and sending electronic Save-the-Dates, making my bouquet from wild flowers growing around the B&B where we were staying, making a wedding quilt from reused fabric from our guests, using cloth napkins, giving out seed packets as wedding favors, etc.
We tried to share our commitment to community by asking guests to upload a picture and a brief message to our wedding website so people could start to get to know each other in advance, by inviting everyone to our Friday Welcome Picnic instead of having a rehearsal dinner, by making invidividualized nametags for each guests with a few interesting things about them, by writing each guest a personalized message on their invitations, by asking people to take on a small job to help make the wedding happen, by intentionally keeping our wedding smaller so that people could really get to know each other and we would have more opportunity for authentic conversation with everyone, etc.
We tried to share our appreciation for fun by hosting our wedding at a location that gave people the option to boogie down on the dance floor, play board games, relax in the hot tub, tell stories and cook S'mores around the campfire, play volleyball or horseshoes, or just sit on the deck and relax. We also choreographed a surprising (and hopefully humorous) first dance that involved our entire wedding party. Our wedding ceremony and our vows incorporated both serious and humorous elements.
Another value we have is making the world better. I wish I had known about the I Do Foundation before we got married. It would have been another way to share our values with our friends and family through the gift registry.
"By incorporating a charitable focus into life celebrations," the I Do Foundation is trying to "help families establish a pattern of giving that will last a lifetime."
Couples can register at Target, REI, and Cooking.com through the site. The organization has a deal with the three stores and each of them will donate between 5% and 10% of your guests' gift purchases to the charity of your choice at no additional costs to your guests.
How cool is that?
Has anyone used the I Do Foundation to register? I would love to hear both positive and negative feedback.