Bring your values to your wedding

I was so excited when I read recently about a bride who, not wanting a traditional bridal shower, came up with a celebration that reflected her values in a very creative way. She decided that instead of receiving gifts, she and her bridal party would give them. So on a gorgeous sunny day in Saratoga Springs, NY, Gail Picillo and her bridesmaids and bridesguys (as she calls them) roamed the streets of the town handing out gifts. They gave lottery tickets, tokens for the local carousel, cash tips to restaurant workers, and quarters to folks in the Laundromat. They even had treats for the dogs!

This story made me happy all week long. The piece in The Saratogian newspaper, quoted the bride, who said: “We believe in living within our means, so we have a simple life together, one for which I am really grateful.”

By the way, the groom didn’t participate because he was busy making lunch for the group! They dubbed the event ‘The Shower of Joy’ and the couple and their friends hope this idea will catch on. So in the spirit of sharing their kind and giving outlook on life, I’m sharing their story with you.

I’ve written about alternative ideas like this before because I believe there are real opportunities to celebrate your wedding in new and meaningful ways.  You can incorporate your passions and values by requesting gifts go to the charity, or donating to one yourself, in place of favors. And of course you can be inspired Gail Picillo’s ‘Shower of Joy’ and give that a try!

In a culture that over emphasizes material possessions and keeping up with the Kardashians, it’s good to stop and remember what really matters the most in your marriage and in this world. Gee, even Kim Kardashian gave away her wedding gifts to charity.

So if you don’t need another toaster – check out Just Give or Changing the Present  and the many other organizations that can help you give charitably gifts. In fact, Brides Against Breast Cancer  is having an event at the Lehigh Valley Mall (Allentown) on Oct 27th. There you can choose from hundreds of new or lovingly worn designer gowns that have been donated to raise money for cancer research.

By all means have a beautiful, magical, fairy-tale wedding, but also take a moment to remember those who are going to bed hungry tonight. All of life is a balancing act. You can balance your wedding too.

The bride and her bridal party give out gifts for their 'shower of joy'

Photo credit: Ed Burke/ The Saratogian

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