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Cause Marketing Your Wedding Like the Royal Couple

Prince William and his espoused, Catherine Middleton, will wed today at Westminster Abbey in London. It’s a joyous time for the young couple that has inspired lovers and romantics across the globe, along with the usual amount of commerce and, even better, some charity.

You can, for instance, get a knock-off of Kate’s engagement ring, reproductions of the pretty frocks that she wears so well, even a collectible version of the carriage that will take them past St. James’s Park, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and finally to Buckingham Palace for the wedding reception. Plus about a cajillion other really cheesy keepsakes and mementos.

You, too, can also use your wedding to do what the Royal Couple is doing and give to a number of causes. Here’s how the official Royal Wedding website puts it:
“Having been touched by the goodwill shown to them since their engagement, they have asked that anyone wishing to send them a wedding gift consider doing so in the form of a donation to the fund.”
Couples are increasingly choosing an option like this; some because they are people of means like the Royal Couple, others just don’t need all the traditional items to set up their household together. Count my wife and me in that group. We were both in our 30s when we got married and just didn’t need that much ‘stuff.’

You could certainly go to the extent that William and Kate have and set up a website that can process online donations in five or six currencies to specific charities. Barring that, you could just ask people to pledge charitable donations to causes in lieu of gifts.

There’s another option with a distinctly cause marketing flavor. Givingpal.com allows you to create a wedding registry using bookmarklets at five online stores… Amazon, Macy’s, Target, The Knot, and Cooking.com. When people buy gifts for you through Givingpal, it makes a donation of 2% to 6.5% to a cause or causes you designate.

The process is super easy for both the betrothed and would-be givers. And, of course, entirely online.

For my part I’m sending the Royal Couple a nicely-framed quote from the book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court from the great American writer Mark Twain:
“I urged that kings were dangerous. He said, then have cats. He was sure that a royal family of cats would answer every purpose. They would be as useful as any other royal family, they would know as much, they would have the same virtues and the same treacheries, the same disposition to get up shindies with other royal cats, they would be laughable vain and absurd and never know it, they would be wholly inexpensive, finally, they would have as sound a divine right as any other royal house...The worship of royalty being founded in unreason, these graceful and harmless cats would easily become as sacred as any other royalties, and indeed more so, because it would presently be noticed that they hanged nobody, beheaded nobody, imprisoned nobody, inflicted no cruelties or injustices of any sort, and so must be worthy of a deeper love and reverence than the customary human king, and would certainly get it.”

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