Charitable Giving

Breath of Fresh Art Fundraiser

Weddings aren’t all we do around here! I was happy to serve on the planning committee for the Breath of Fresh Art fundraiser last night. The event benefited Wish 2 Breathe, a National Foundation for Transplants’ campaign in support of Jacksonville resident Lindsey Miller. The campaign’s goal is to help raise money for expenses related to Lindsey’s double lung transplant and the lifelong care she will need as a result.

The fundraiser was held at one of Jacksonville’s newest event venues – The Fountain View Room. Several area restaurants and caterers donated food stations for the event, including Nippers Beach Grille, Davoli’s Catering, Renna’s Pizza, Red Elephant, Flippin’ Good Cookies, and Edgewood Bakery. PRP Wine International also offered wine tastings to the events’ guests.

The event also featured a silent auction (with some heated bidding at the end!) as well as an art exhibition by two local artists –  Mobarick Abdullah III and Adam Brett. It was a fun night for a great cause!








Charitable Donations as Wedding Favors

tabatha-dustin-favor-card“What do you mean, you aren’t having wedding favors?”

We hear it a lot, usually from the parents of the bride and groom. The history of the wedding favor isn’t really well known, but party favors in general have been around since the 16th century. Think back to your birthday parties as a child – didn’t you always give your friends a little sack of goodies to take home?

While there are lots of great wedding favors out there, many couples are choosing instead to donate cash to their favorite charity instead of buying little chocolates or scented candles. There are so many reasons to choose a donation over a physical favor:

  • A specific charity or cause is near and dear to your heart.
  • It’s more environmentally friendly.
  • Remember a family member with a memorial donation.
  • It’s more personal.

So how do you do it?

First, contact the charity (or charities) you would like to donate to.  Most charities have websites where you can make a donation via credit card, however if it is a local charity you may need to mail a check.

Next, find a way to let your guests know about your donation. You may chose to have a card placed at each place setting describing your charity of choice, or have two or three placed on each table. If your cause is environmental in nature, consider printing your message on plantable paper – seeds are embedded in the paper, and flowers will bloom when your guests take it home and plant it.

As an alternative, you can make a little framed sign and place it somewhere in the cocktail hour space, rather  than having cards on the tables. Most people attending your wedding will know why you chose the charity you did, so long explanations aren’t necessary.

Non-Traditional Wedding Registries

With so many couples living together before the wedding, or merging two households together, the traditional gift registry may not be the most practical for every bride and groom. We’ve put together a list of some alternative registry options for you to consider.

Honeyfund: Register for travel and activities for your honeymoon! Also, ask your travel agent if they offer a registry program.

Wed&Wish: Register for anything you want, from honeymoon travel to items for your home. All gifts are received in the form of cash, so that you can buy exactly what you want! You could even ask for money towards a down payment on a new home.

I Do Foundation: If you truly don’t want any gifts, consider a charity registry. Your guests can donate to a cause close to your hearts, and their gift may even be tax-deductible.

Whether you are registering for traditional gifts or fun adventures, be sure to keep track of the gifts you receive and send thank-you notes promptly! For gifts received before the wedding, you should send a thank-you note within two weeks.

Wish Upon A Wedding Auction

First Coast Weddings is proud to be part of The Wedding Party’s donation to the Wish Upon A Wedding auction!  Wish Upon a Wedding is the world’s first nonprofit wish granting organization providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances regardless of sexual orientation.  Our organization offers couples a chance to enjoy a very special day, without any thoughts of existing health or other serious issues, while surrounded by their closest family and friends.

Our destination wedding package valued at $5,800 is perfect for a weekday wedding with up to 50 guests.  Check out The Wedding Party’s blog for complete details, and visit the Wish Upon A Wedding auction site to bid on this and hundreds of other great items starting October 1st.

Brides Against Breast Cancer Gown Sale

The Brides Against Breast Cancer Nationwide Tour of Gowns is coming to Jacksonville! This unique opportunity allows brides-to-be a chance to find the gown of their dreams at a remarkable price, while helping to make wishes and memory-making events come true.

Most gown prices range from $99 to $799, including hundreds of beautiful new name brand and designer gowns valued up to $8,000.  More than half the gowns presented during each event are NEW designer gowns that arrived directly from designers, manufacturers and bridal retailers.

You won’t want to miss it!

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront
225 E Coastline Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Friday, July 23: 6 PM – 9 PM
$45 per Bride and guest, $20 each additional guest
In addition to getting first pick of the gowns, enjoy hors d’oeuvres,
a mini-bridal show, and a wedding expert panel discussion
Buy tickets in advance

Saturday, July 24: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, July 25: 10 AM – 6 PM
Free Admission

(this is me, volunteering at the Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale in Orlando in 2009!)