I Do More

Increasingly, couples are using their wedding as a way to give back to their communities, instead of having just a big party. A number of new websites are helping with that effort. From the New York Times:

wedding couplePoonam Kaushal and Nishkaam Mehta share a concern for impoverished children. On Valentine’s Day, the couple are to wed at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles, swapping a traditional, religious ceremony for the opportunity to provide a million school meals to children affected by the Boko Haram violence in Cameroon.

“An Indian wedding can cost over $100,000,” Ms. Kaushal, 31, said. “The more we looked at the numbers, the more we knew we wanted to give the money to charity rather than using it for ourselves.”

While researching organizations, the couple discovered ShareTheMeal, an app from the World Food Programme where a donation of 50 cents feeds a child for one day.

The couple used $20,000 of their own money, which would have gone to paying for their wedding, to kick-start the drive. Through the program’s app, the pair created team #MillionMealsforLove. From Jan. 14through Valentine’s Day, a 30-day crowdfunding campaign has been organized so people can donate to the couple’s cause, rather than give gifts.

“An Indian wedding is really about the two families coming together,” Mr. Mehta, 31, said. “Our parents were skeptical at first. We weren’t sure they understood this would be instead of our wedding or really, the wedding itself.”

Instead of an elaborate celebration, rehearsal dinner or the numerous events that have become customary, 20 friends and relatives have been invited to the small ceremony with dinner at a local Indian restaurant afterward.