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The Marriage of Cause Marketing and Weddings

It’s wedding season and what with Prince William and Catherine Middleton celebrating their second anniversary this month (and the coming birth of their first child) it’s time to think again about the marriage of weddings with cause marketing.

William and Kate’s marriage lead to an avalanche of collectables for sale. You could, for instance, have purchased 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.

But maybe you don’t want to do that at your wedding.

You might, however, consider using the occasion of your wedding to do what the Royal Couple did and give to a number of causes. Here’s how the official Royal Wedding website puts it at the time:
“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.

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