Groom & Groomsman Socks That Give Back

Groomsmen in wild socks — it’s a hilarious trend we love (and makes for great photos!).

Another cute idea? Give socks to your groom on the day of your wedding, to prevent “cold feet.”

If you’re thinking about giving your groom or groomsmen the gift of socks, check out these fantastic charitable socks from Charles Mark & Sons.

For every pair of socks purchased, the company — which has partnered with the nonprofit Joy of Sox — donates a new pair of socks to the homeless.

Shop now (we love the stripes and the dots!), or donate now to Joy of Sox.

Charles Mark & Sons socks

Unique Wedding Rings from Brent & Jess

halfroundexteriorblackened395

My friend Cyndi and her partner have the most unique (and personal!) rings I’ve ever seen. In fact, Cyndi’s “fingerprint” ring is so eye-catching that it is one of the first things I noticed about her.

Their rings came from Brent & Jess, a company that specializes in putting very realistic fingerprints on the outside (or inside) of rings.

Using a one-of-a-kind fingerprint impression kit, Brent & Jess capture the ridges and valleys specific to each finger—the real texture, unlike an ink print. The ring is then cast using the “lost wax casting process,” resulting in an actual impression of your finger.

If you’re looking for something a little different in your wedding rings, check out some of the styles (and sets) from Brent & Jess:

scatterbrush6mm45353 narrow milgrain235 gold narrow ring927

The wedding is over…what will you do with your dress?

What to do with your wedding dress after the wedding

While I was planning my wedding, I participated in a local online message board on The Knot. I made friends with women who were getting married at the same time I was, so we went through the entire experience—from engagement to marriage—together.

After our weddings, there was one question we all asked: What are you doing with your wedding gown?

wedding gown

Many of my fellow newlyweds paid to have their gowns cleaned and boxed, not knowing whether they’d be saving it for their daughters or just keeping it in the closet indefinitely. Some tried (usually unsuccessfully) to resell their dresses.

A couple of the more crafty women repurposed their gowns. One dyed her knee-length dress pink, hoping to wear it for another occasion. Another made pillows for her couch, and another created a quilt.

Then there were the brides like me: After the wedding, I hung my dress in the closet and left it there. For years. Over time, I pushed it further and further into the recesses of the closet, until one day I asked myself, “What the heck am I going to do with this dress?” It was beautiful, but I obviously wasn’t planning to wear it again.

After thinking through my options, I decided to donate it. My charity of choice was Brides for a Cause, which benefits Wish Upon a Wedding. I simply put my gown—garment bag and all—in a box, shipped it to Brides for a Cause, and received a donation receipt in my mailbox two weeks later. I contacted the organization after about a month or so, and was told that a very happy bride had purchased my dress. I was thrilled.

Brides for a Cause isn’t the only nonprofit organization that accepts wedding gowns. One of the most well known is Brides Against Breast Cancer, which contributes the proceeds from each sale to programs for cancer patients and their families. Another option is Brides Across America, which donates wedding gowns to military brides.

Donating my wedding gown was easy and made me feel great—it’s another excellent way to give back to charity with your wedding. I highly recommend it! Your gift may just make another bride’s day.

Celebrate Green: Ten eco-chic ideas for a stylish and sustainable wedding

Ten eco-chic ideas for a stylish and sustainable wedding from I Do Foundation

Ten eco-chic ideas for a stylish and sustainable wedding

  1.  Let it Shine – Make informed jewelry decisions by considering their source. Choose a jeweler that uses recycled materials and ask questions that help you feel good about your purchase.
  2.  Be Fashionably Green – Get a unique look with a tailored, vintage wedding dress; use organic fabrics; and choose a bridesmaids dress that they can (actually) wear again.
  3. Location, Location, Location – Select a venue rich in décor. Botanical gardens are lush with foliage and museums have objects d’art. You’ll support a non-profit and save on decorations.
  4. Gifts that Give Back – Raise money for causes you care about by requesting donations to charity as your wedding gifts. Start a charity registry with I Do so guests can conveniently give.
  5.  Eat, Drink, and Be Savvy – When selecting your meal, narrow down the options and insist on an organic caterer, local food choices, and organic wines.
  6. Flower Power – Think organic, seasonal, and potted. Use a local florist and ask your wedding party to help make DIY centerpieces and bouquets that are environmentally friendly.
  7. Do the World a Favor – Thank your guests and share your values with wedding favors that support a meaningful cause, making a difference through charity.
  8. Green your Footprint – Use one of many easy-to-use online tools to calculate your wedding’s carbon footprint, and then offset your emissions.
  9. Eco-Invite – Create your own Wedding Page. Save on printing costs by putting your save the date and RSVPs online, and include maps, lodging suggestions, and even your proposal story! If you do send invites, choose recycled or tree-free paper.
  10. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse – If it can’t be recycled, reduced, or reused . . . Rent! Ask if your vendors have a recycling policy. Plan ahead and find a shelter or retirement home for leftover food or flowers. Creatively use recycled materials throughout your ceremony and reception.