Tuesday, January 3, 2012

title pic Create Your Perfect Wedding Ceremony – 3 Ways Wedding Presents Build a Stronger Marriage (and World)

Posted by on May 23, 2010

Let your wedding gifts change the world and create a stronger marriage. If your wedding gifts are not needed to make your household or to pay for your wedding (what did you think you were the only one doing that?), you can “register” at a place that will make a difference: your favorite charity.

As people marry later (average age is now 26 years for men and 25 for women), many people have more stuff. Which means when they marry, they need less stuff. You may like the stuff you have and not want to add a tag sale to the work you have to do before you get married.

Miss Manners suggests that asking people for money is wrong so that directing people to a charity is wrong. I love Miss Manners. But in this respect, with all due respect, she’s wrong. Registering for gifts, which has become more popular as people live at a distance from one another, is just a different way of asking people for money.

Many of you would list among the things you need a better world, a more secure world. Working with your community to make that happen will change the way people think about and support your marriage. And that will make your marriage stronger. Working together as a couple on something you believe in will also enrich your relationship. Consider:

  1. A gift of money: if you’re going to do this, it’s a good idea to consider something that your one sum of money can do. Think about something like Heifer International which buys animals for a village and teaches them animal husbandry. Or Kiva which makes international micoloans. Most cities have Microloan programs if you want to do something in your area. But honor your guests and stay away from controversial programs. If you’re a big NARAL fan, find a children’s support agency that everyone you know can support. Because you don’t want controversy, you want bonding!
  2. A gift of time — local and individual: you might ask people to donate a pint of blood as a wedding present or to support a literacy program in their community in your name and theirs. You want to keep the connection between them and you, because that makes them begin to think about your joint venture to change things. Better communities build better marriages.
  3. A gift of time — a one-time community project: you might want to ask people to join you in your community or a distressed community on a project that’s building a house or a library. Working together on a project like this can become a lifelong habit. If that doesn’t build community, and a myth about your marriage for you to live into, nothing will! (Stay away from churches because not everyone’s beliefs are the same. And that’s good, because diversity builds stronger community.)

Once you’ve decided what to do, talk about it in your wedding ceremony, commit to doing community work with your beloved and your community in your wedding vows, and watch what happens to your marriage when you keep those promises. You have so much power to do good, and doing good has so much power to support you and your beloved as you embark on your marriage!

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