Unusual Wedding Present – Give a Charity Gift

Does the happy couple need another toaster? – Give ’em a goat


Many couples planning their wedding already have all the possessions they need for their future together, especially if they’re already sharing a well-furnished home. They don’t want their friends and family wasting money on unwanted gifts. Yet often guests insist on buying something to mark the special occasion – so more and more couples are now taking an ethical decision to ask guests to buy charity gifts instead of buying items they really don’t need.

Charity wedding lists won’t suit every couple, particularly those who still need a bit of help setting up home with the usual toaster, pots, pans, dinner sets and bed linen. But considering our relative wealth, and the vast amounts of money many couples are willing – and able – to spend on the wedding day itself, it seems like many couples could afford to sacrifice their wedding gifts for a better cause and ask for charity gifts to be sent to those who most need them

Several organisations provide couples with such a service, some even target specific gifts to those in most need.

Charity Gifts Ideas – Goats

Oxfam Unwrapped have developed a dedicated wedding gift list for people to choose charity gifts that will go directly to people who need them most.  The best selling charity gift at the moment is a goat – no kidding! This surprises many but when you consider how useful a goat – or a pair of goats can be to poor communities – providing nourishing milk and fertilizer for crops and if allowed to breed new generations to continue the goat’s good work.

You can see more unusual wedding gift ideas on the Wedding Gifts Wish List pages. Gifts that help poor people who are suffering around the world include fresh water, seeds, clothing and shelter.

Other Wedding Gifts Lists

When couples sign up at Wedding List Giving, first they decide which charity or charities they would like to support from a long list of local and national organisations, from the Alzheimer’s Society and Action against Hunger, to the World Wildlife Fund and War Child.

Couples can support organisations and communities whose cause they feel strongly about or to which they have a personal connection. Their wedding guests can then donate as much or as little as they can afford via the website – and for every pound that’s donated, at least 100 per cent of donations reach the chosen charities. If guests also ‘Gift Aid’ their donations, the charities actually receive £1.16 for every pound donated.

Giveit provides a similar service, with donations ‘wrapped up’ like gifts on the website so that guests can see what a particular donation could fund for each charity – meaning they get to see how far their money could stretch. After the wedding, couples are sent a certificate confirming the total donations to each of their chosen charities.

If there are still a few things you need for your home, you could combine charity gifts with a traditional gift list. Department store John Lewis recently launched a combined service where couples can ask friends and family for a donation to charity as well as list some traditional household gifts they still need.

Alternatively, if you would still like guests to give you gifts, but gifts with a conscience, you could set up an ethical wedding list. Fair Trade wedding gift lists are available from companies such as Ganesha which imports gorgeous home furnishings and accessories from India, sourced from co-operatives. Or you could opt for an eco-friendly gift list such as Our Green Wedding List which has a wide range of ethical and eco-friendly products.

By asking friends and family to choose from an ethical or eco-friendly wedding charity gift list you open their eyes to the responsible shopping alternatives that exist, and that may just convert a few more people into new ways of thinking – and shopping – along the way.