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Gratitude and Giving Back During Your Wedding

“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” -Alice Walker

There are so many friends and family that come together to make your wedding day one of the most special days of your life and it is easy to get caught up in all the attention. So, what can you do to show appreciation and gratitude during, before and after your wedding and how can you use your big day to give back? We asked a couple of our local New Orleans wedding professionals for some ideas on how couples can say “Thank You” along with their “I Dos”.

Your Bridal Party:

Made up of some of your closest friends and family, your bridal party is thrilled to be a part of your wedding. But it is important to remember that it is not always an easy commitment for them. The cost and amount of time involved in each of the wedding and pre-wedding activities can be a bit overwhelming, so you want to make sure that you let your bridesmaids and groomsmen know just how much their involvement means to you. A great way to do this is to give each of them a useful “thank you” gift. Giving them something to wear or use on your wedding day is always a wonderful idea. If your best man and maid of honor are in town, you can plan to spend some quality time with them before the wedding. Or give a shout out and dedicate a special song to your entire bridal party at the reception. The “gift” does not have to be big, expensive or material, but you should do your best to make it meaningful. Giving each a handwritten, personalized note is also a wonderful and thoughtful idea.

Bridesmaids totes, available at Fleurty Girl | PHOTOGRAPHER: Studio Tran

Your Parents:

As your biggest supporters, mom and dad have been right there with you through, well, everything. So, you want to make sure they know just how much you love and appreciate all that they do. Say “Thank You” by having your photographer put together a custom photo album from images taken throughout your wedding day. Or you can commission artwork based on a photo of your father/daughter and mother/son dance using the lyrics of the song you danced to. Have tissues on hand for that one! Another great idea is to treat them to a relaxing day that will melt the stress of planning a wedding away. A spa day for mom and a day of golf for dad or a gift certificate to one of their favorite restaurants. If gifts are not in your budget, think of ways to incorporate your parents into your big day in a truly meaningful way. You can carry family mementos with you down the aisle or share some of your favorite childhood memories of them at your reception either through stories or pictures. Whatever you do, the most important thing is to thank them for everything that they have done for you on your wedding day and on every day before.

A collage of wedding photos of the bride and groom’s parents and grandparents | PHOTOGRAPHER: GK Photography

Giving Back on Your Big Day:

In today’s modern world, some couples already have most of their household goods prior to getting married. So, instead of creating a gift registry, many are asking their guests to support their favorite charity instead! Danielle, from My House Social, loves this idea saying that “doing a charitable donation through your registry is a great way to make an impact” as well as “making a donation in lieu of wedding favors.” We agree that it is an amazing opportunity to give back in a selfless way on a day that is, customarily and understandably, all about you.

Each Other:

When asked what she thought about being grateful on your big day, Kara Tucker from Féte Planning Co., offered this advice: “Even though your wedding is a wonderful day, the celebration is nothing compared to what is being celebrated: spending the rest of your life with your person. The food, music, flowers, and dress are all important, but the opportunity to make a vow to love and cherish your favorite person in front of all your family and friends is what really matters!” Writing your own vows is an amazing way to express your love for each other in your own words. For a more private experience, you can choose to write those words in heartfelt letters to each other and exchange them on the morning of your wedding. Or, simply remember to take time in between all the photos, dances and talking with guests to say “thank you for loving me.”

A bride wrote a sweet letter to her husband the morning of their wedding | PHOTOGRAPHER: North Photography

What do you think of our ideas? We’d love to hear yours so please share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Looking for more wedding advice? Here are some of our other posts that we think you will enjoy:

Makeup Tips: Look Dazzling on Your Wedding Day
Invitations 101: The Basics of Wedding Stationery
Incorporating Pets at Weddings

Or visit our blog archives for all of our “Helpful Advice!”

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Jennifer Vogel

Jennifer Vogel was raised in Metairie, LA. Now living in Ohio, she still draws from her New Orleans roots for inspiration in her work. Jennifer freelances in web design / development, graphic design and, now, writing for New Orleans Weddings Magazine.

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