6 Ideas To Do Good And Give Back To Society At Your Wedding In Singapore
As much as we love celebrating romance, weddings can get a bad reputation sometimes for its self-indulgent nature—horror stories of bridezillas and their bridal mania, or overzealous parent who try to dictate the wedding are not unheard of.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Weddings can also be the perfect opportunity to pay your blessings forward, whether it is a monetary donation or passing on flowers, food, or even your wedding dress to people in need. In celebration of their wedding last year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asked anyone who wanted to mark the occasion to donate to a charity of their choice, instead of sending a wedding gift. Interested to make a difference? Here are some ways your big day can also brighten up the lives of others.
1/6 Gift wedding favours that give back
Make your wedding favours all the more meaningful with gifts that will benefit the disabled. Minds Social Enterprise trains individuals with intellectual disabilities in motor skills like craft and baking to create gifts and favours that include cookies, candies, tile magnets, and keychains. Proceeds from these products go towards paying a monthly allowance for the makers as well as their lunch expenses during training.
Until December 31, Mandarin Oriental Singapore is also in partnership with mental health organisation Mindset to offer customised confectioneries from Sticky, with finishing touches on each jar put together by Mindset’s clients. Proceeds go to Mindset to benefit individuals and families in need.
2/6 Put a smile on someone’s face with a bouquet of flowers
Fresh flowers are a big part of every wedding, but they often go to waste once the festivities are over. So why not maximise its fleeting beauty by putting a smile on someone else’s face too? Social enterprise Bloomback does just that by collecting flowers from weddings and repurposing them into bouquets for charities.
Each couple pays at least $100 to cover the transport and material costs incurred, but at least your flowers will brighten the faces of many beneficiaries. Bloomback also helps to empower marginalised women by training them in floral arrangement or administration to run a florist business.
(Related: What Can You Do With Your Flowers After A Wedding?)
3/6 Share a meal with the needy
Another perishable that is often wasted at weddings is food. While food redistribution programmes tend to accept only new and pre-packaged foods, you can check with your caterer or hotel if they are in any partnership with a food rescue program.
The standards are strict, however, for the sake of health and hygiene—The Food Bank Singapore’s Food Rescue Project for example, only collects excess cooked food from the kitchens of partnering F&B establishments, such as Marina Bay Sands. Anything that has been exposed to the general public cannot be collected. Otherwise, consider donating unopened edible wedding favours that are in excess to The Food Bank Singapore or Food from the Heart.
4/6 Pass on the blessings with your wedding dress
If you purchased a beautiful dress for your big day and have no more occasion to wear it, consider passing on your blessings to someone in need. Singapore-based platform Angel Hearts collects wedding dresses and repurposes them into “angel gowns”—burial clothing to send angel babies off—in the hope of bringing love and comfort to bereaved families.
The gowns are hand-sewn by volunteers and then delivered to partnering hospitals including KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Mount Alvernia Hospital, and Singapore General Hospital.
(Related: The Descendant Of Napoléon Bonaparte Held A Lavish Wedding In Paris—These Are The Royal Guests Who Attended)
5/6 Celebrate your engagement by volunteering with your friends
Planning a bachelor or bachelorette party? Why not spread the joy by volunteering together? With so many non-profit organisations and social enterprises in Singapore, there are plenty of opportunities to do good, whether on an ad-hoc basis or long-term.
Willing Hearts, for example, operates a soup kitchen that is open 365 days a year to benefit the elderly, disabled, low income or poverty-stricken families and other needy. Volunteers help to prepare ingredients, pack the lunch boxes, and clean up the kitchen. Voluntary welfare organisation Beyond—which benefits children and youths from underprivileged families—and the Salvation Army offer opportunities for volunteers to organise outings or celebrations for beneficiaries.
6/6 Donate your wedding gifts to a good cause
Instead of receiving gifts or angbaos, ask your guests to make a donation to a charity of your choice instead, like Prince Harry and Meghan did. If you don’t already have a cause or charity in mind, take your time to research and find out how the donations are put to use, so your guests are also informed about who or what they are benefiting. Choose an organisation or a list of charities that resonate with your beliefs the most—whether your interest is in social welfare, animal welfare, or the environment—and make sure that they are registered.