Wedding For A Cause
Welcome to our wedding #DunnDifferently! New to this story? Let me explain. First, for those of you who don’t know me personally, the name is just a play on my maiden name, Dunn. As you can imagine, this name has played a large part in other campaigns, like #GetterDunn.
Now that we are all on the same page, this is how this idea all came about. Before we were even engaged, Rob and I knew how much of a financial burden a wedding could be. So, we started to consider ways to make it more affordable. However, after pondering on it a little more, we wanted to take it one step further. If we are going to spend this money, we thought, we might as well try and put the money toward something good, a greater cause. So, once we finally decided on when and where to get married, we dove a little deeper into researching companies that gave back. Here is what we found;
Note: If you work in the wedding industry, this could be a great opportunity to break into an almost non-existent niche!
Tina Phillips– As if our videographer wasn’t bomb already, she also has a heart of gold. In fact, she began her journey in film because of her work in Haiti. Bèl Zèv, meaning “beautiful art” in Haitian Creole, inspired the name of her company. She now continues to donate to the villages she worked with.
“It was [Haiti] that I made my first video, I had never edited or filmed anything before, and it is still my most favorite video to date. This beautiful place changed me, and it is from this incredible experience in my life that Bèl Zèv Films was born.”
Registry– This is something that all The Knot users should look into! When linking your registry(s) to your website through The Knot, you can choose an organization to donate to. When guests buy gifts directly from your wedding website, The Knot will donate to your selected organization.
“Select your favorite charity from 100+ organizations. Give back for FREE — it’s a no-brainer.”
Project 7– Each of our guests got a welcome bag which included Rob and my favorite snacks, sunglasses, and this delicious gum. Project 7 was gracious enough to provide us with the Sparkling Mimosa gum for our big day. The company’s name comes from the seven causes they support; environment, hunger, clean water, homelessness, health, education, and peace. Aside from gum, they also sell gummies and candy-covered chewies.
“Little purchases when added up, can pull many people together and make life changing impacts every day of the week.”
Brides For A Cause– This bridal salon is unique in the sense that they not only re-sell gently worn gowns, but they also donate a portion of their proceeds to support women in a myriad of capacities; self-esteem, workforce, education, military, cancer, and heart disease. Currently, they have locations in Portland, OR, Seattle, WA and Tacoma, WA.
“About 90% of our net income goes to directly to helping other charities. Since 2012, we’ve collected over 10,000 wedding dresses and have given over $700,000 (and counting!) to charity! In 2018, we gave away a record-breaking $175,000 for the year!”
Saved By The Dress– This is an online boutique, which sells women’s clothings for everyday wear. They, too, donate a portion of their proceeds, but their focus is on children in need. The donations help provide clean water, combat human trafficking, support hunger relief, and provide education.I found the perfect dress to wear for our rehearsal dinner.
“Together, we can enrich the lives of others by providing education, nourishment, empowerment, and Protection to children and their communities that need our help the most.”
TOMS– The OG of the one for one rules. If you don’t know, for every pair of shoes sold, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. These sandals (seen above) added as the perfect party sandal for the reception.
“What began as a simple idea has evolved into a powerful business model that helps address need and advance health, education and economic opportunity for children and their communities around the world.”
Vagabond Denim– This hand-crafted denim jacket was the cherry on top of my ensemble. The unique colorful textile is sourced fair-trade, and stitched onto the back of a vintage/ thrifted jean jacket. Plus, the company donates a portion of their proceeds to feeding hungry children in Honduras.
“Just know that as you purchase items from Vagabond Denim, 20% of proceeds go to I was Hungry. We believe that it is important to practice the kindness you wish you see in the world.”
Knotty Tie Co.– When looking for the groomsmen’s ensembles, I knew we would have a difficult time finding a) the colors we wanted and b) a company that believed in social impact. Knotty Tie Co. was so easy and fun to work with.
The best part about them, however, is that the company was built “to create employment opportunities for resettling refugees based upon their existing skills.” You can read more about their employee’s stories here.
“By creating opportunities for arriving refugees to work in their trade, and in a supportive work environment with flexible schedules, fair wages and generous benefits, we’re removing barriers for them and their families to become economically self-sufficient and culturally assimilated.”
Sexy Socks– The pineapple socks not only matched our wedding colors, but also coincided with the tropical setting we were in. The fun-patterned South African made socks provide a pair of socks to school children in South Africa.
“That is what Sexy Socks is all about – warm toes all round.”
Alex and Ani: Charity By Design– Since moving to the East Coast, I have fallen in love with Alex and Ani. When researching bridesmaids gifts, I found their Charity By Design and was sold.
Furthermore, they partnered with organizations that were near and dear to almost all of my bridesmaids and mother/ mother-in-law’s heart. For example, they had a crown charm bracelet that donated to Girls On The Run, which was my sorority’s philanthropy. They also had a lotus flower charm, that (very ironically) benefited the hospital in Rhode Island where my husband was born.
“We are a humanitarian company. Spreading POSITIVITY around the world through collaboration, determination, and inspiration.”
The Shine Project– I found these beautiful necklaces (seen above) at a local boutique (Purpose), and was able to order the appropriate letters online. When running into a snafu online, their customer service team was so helpful and quick to respond. The reason they caught my eye is because the company supports first generation college students and each piece of jewelry is packaged and signed by the student it supports.
Ivory Ella– I wanted to give my bridesmaids a pajama set or robe that gave back, but again couldn’t find anything. When I can across Ivory Ella, I found these t-shirt dresses that also double as swimsuit cover ups. They only came in two colors, which just so happen to be pretty dang close to our wedding colors.
“Ivory Ella has committed to donating a minimum of 10% of our profits and thanks to the avid support and engagement of our loyal community, Ivory Ella has been able to donate over $1.7 million over the past four years.”
Keep Nature Wild– This Arizona based company caught my eye a few years ago, when it started to sell creative original clothing. When we started to discuss whether we wanted to do bachelorette shirts, the idea of baseball hats came up (since I collect them.) I circled back to Keep Nature wild because they donate their proceeds to nature clean up. I knew they sold t-shirts, but I was pleased to find that they did in fact sell baseball hats too. The Pine to Desert hat ended up being perfect for us, seeing as we came from the Washington pines to celebrate in the Arizona desert.
“We physically pick up one pound of trash for every product sold. Since 2016, we’ve enlisted tens of thousands of volunteers to help keep this promise and our collective goal is to remove 1,000,000 lbs. of trash by 2023.”
One Hope Wine– Who doesn’t love some good bubbles, a sparkly bottle, and a good cause. One Hope Wines combines all three. They are most well-known for their glitter bottle champagne, but they sell an array of whites, reds and champagnes (Among my recommendations is the peach champagne!).
Aside from taste and aesthetic, the causes are what takes this company to the next level. On each bottle, the cause in which it benefits is stamped on the front of the bottle. They’re major causes include children, animals, education, global, health, veterans, and women.
“Our One Hope is to bring together a community that makes the world better through memorable wine and experiences.”