From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:
Paisley McDonald and her fiancé, Chris Madsen, know exactly what they want in a wedding celebration. Engaged in February, they made quick work arranging the details, including a small May beach ceremony on Amelia Island in Florida and later a party for up to 300 in Atlanta, where they live.
They also know what they don’t want: presents.
The couple has instructed loved ones to mark the nuptials with a donation to Compassion International, a Christian organization that works with impoverished youths.
“We mutually said, ‘Let’s not do gifts,’ ” explained the 28-year-old Ms. McDonald, an interior designer. The groom already sponsors children through the organization, and they both felt it would be “something other people would care about, too.”
The couple is among what event planners and charity leaders describe as a small but growing number of Americans integrating charity into wedding and other milestone celebrations. They are typically well-educated people already active with religious organizations or causes. They often have strong ties with specific charities and are motivated to share the missions with their social networks.