Your marriage can last a lifetime--your wedding, just a day. With all the planning, money, and energy put into the perfect wedding day, it's over far too fast. At the end of the night, the details you put your heart into are cleaned up and sometimes thrown away, and you've got only the memories and photos to remember it by. But what if you could include a few special elements that live on -- and give daily reminders -- of your celebration and commitment?
The wedding and reception may be eight hours from start to finish, but here are five great ideas to make a lasting impact with your special day.
Use Your Wedding to Strengthen Your Community
Weddings are expensive ventures, no doubt . . . but if you choose to hold your wedding at a museum or nonprofit venue, your money goes toward improving the local community and providing essential programs. Bonus: Museums and botanical gardens have beautiful and timeless built-in décor, so you'll save on decorations and help support a nonprofit at the same time.
Make a Difference for Others with Your Celebration
Instead of (or in addition to) a traditional gift registry, raise money for causes you care about by requesting donations to charity as wedding gifts. Start a charity registry with I Do Foundation, and guests can conveniently give online. It's a great way to support an issue close to your heart or fund research for a disease that's affected your friends or family.
Create a Living Reminder of Your Love
Searching online, you can find a lot of creative and symbolic ceremony ideas. Instead of a candle lighting or sand ceremony, try planting a tree. You and your partner can join two types of soil (think soil from your hometown, and soil from your partner's) into one pot. By planting a tree or a small, hearty plant (a succulent, like jade, can move with you from home to home) you'll have a constant reminder of your wedding day. Plus, the symbolism is beautiful: the plant grows as you grow as a couple, and its roots represent the roots of your marriage.
Choose a Meaningful Favor
Your wedding day is about the two of you: take the opportunity to express and share your personal values with guests through your favors. Make a donation to a cherished cause or to remember a loved one in lieu of buying traditional trinkets or mints. Your guests won't miss the sterling silver wine stopper or soon forget learning about what matters to you most as a couple.
Plant a Garden Using Your Décor
Wedding day flowers are gorgeous--how sad to see your centerpieces thrown in the garbage at the end of the night when they are no longer needed! Even if you donate some to local retirement homes, they likely won't live beyond a week. Instead, opt for live plants as reception decorations, which you can plant in your garden after the main event. An even cooler idea? Use a few unique roses in your bouquet, and turn them into bushes that you can enjoy for a lifetime.
Follow Sara Olsher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/idofoundation