The ‘Kindness Trend’ In Weddings: One of the Hottest Emerging Wedding Trends
(PRLEAP.COM) Tabloid favorite Angelina Jolie has apparently given her stylist the word to find her a wedding dress. Tongues are wagging that it means she and Brad Pitt are getting closer to becoming a real-life “Mr and Mrs”. But for wedding expert Linda Kevich, editor of the popular online wedding guide SuperWeddings.com (www.superweddings.com), the most intriguing part of this story is where Jolie, who earns millions of dollars for each of her box office hits, intends to get her dress.
No Versace for this celebrity bride-to-be; according to reports, the controversial actress turned humanitarian wants to purchase her wedding dress from a Goodwill store (Goodwill Industries International). That way the profits go to help the needy. Jolie is presumably hoping that the publicity generated by this move will spur other brides to do the same.
Linda Kevich predicts they just might.
According to Kevich, there is a hot new wedding trend in which more and more couples are incorporating a charitable element into their big day – and it’s not just celebrities who are doing this. Kevich coined the term “kindness trend” to refer to the growing number of couples everywhere who are doing something generous for a good cause as part of their wedding celebration.
“This is a trend I am really thrilled to see taking off”, says Kevich, who is also the director if The International Institute of Weddings (www.instituteofweddings.com) and the developer of an international distance education program for professional wedding consultants. “Weddings have a very self-indulgent element to them, and so it’s exciting to see couples generously opening their hearts to others on their wedding day. What a wonderful way to celebrate the love they share – by sprinkling some of that love out to others by doing good”.
Kevich believes that kindness is contagious.
“With any trend, the more people see of it, the more likely they are to adopt it. But, I think that a lot of people feel inspired by the good deeds of others. It makes them want to do something good too. When you think about it, it’s a really beautiful way for a couple to start their new life together. You’ve got to admit, it’s got a good vibe to it”.
Kevich predicts that the trend will continue to pick up momentum over the next 12 months, but unlike other trends that fade completely after reaching their peak, she feels the concept behind this one has some staying power. “Trends, by their very nature, are flaky”, she says. “One day everyone’s doing a particular thing, and before long it’s never seen again. But fortunately kindness never completely goes out of style. I think that this current trend will show people how easily charitable elements can be incorporated into weddings, and I expect those ideas will continue to be seen at weddings long after this is no longer the ‘it’ thing of the moment ”.
On a more personal note she adds, “Frankly, I wish this trend had started back when I got married in ’92. I personally have a lot of concern for the well being of animals. Looking back, making a donation in each of my guest’s names to a no-kill shelter would have been more meaningful than all those pretty little wedding favors we gave away. Sure, the favors were gorgeous, but doing something to make a difference would have been an unbeatable feeling. Unfortunately, no one thought of doing this fifteen years ago”.
Having made weddings her business since 1991, Kevich admits the message of the wedding industry is often spend, spend, spend. “It’s not often that you’ll hear someone who makes their living from weddings suggest that brides spend their money in a place where there is no profit to be made. At SuperWeddings.com we have an online store where we sell wedding favors, but you know, if a couple is willing to put their money into something charitable instead of buying our do-dads, I’m good with that. That makes me very happy”.
So what’s the impetus behind this growing trend? Kevich has a theory. “In recent times, we’ve witnessed a lot of really harsh realities. September 11. America at war. The Tsunami. Then Katrina. I think that as they spend all that money on a big one-day celebration for themselves, and revel in their own happiness, a lot of caring, socially conscious couples are trying to reconcile that with the suffering many others are enduring in these times. There may be a little pang of guilt, or simply a genuine desire to share their blessings with others who are nowhere near as fortunate”.
Kevich adds, “Today more and more couples use the details of their weddings to paint an intimate self-portrait of themselves. Through the many wedding-related selections they need to make, they strive to make a statement about who they are so that their wedding day becomes a meaningful reflection of themselves. Certainly, including a charitable element, says something very special about a couple”.
Kevich offers these ideas on how couples everywhere can incorporate the kindness trend into their own weddings:
* In place of traditional wedding favors, make a donation to a worthwhile cause in each guest’s name. At the reception, present each guest with a small nicely printed card explaining that this has been done.
* Suggest that instead of wedding gifts, guests make a contribution to either a charity of your choosing, or a cause that is important to them. Pop star Christina Aguilera did this when she wed last December and requested that guests make donations to Hurricane Katrina victims rather than giving wedding presents. The popular comic strip character Cathy also did this last year when she asked her guests (and readers of the strip) to make a donation to a particular California shelter for homeless animals.
* Some gift registry services will donate a percentage of all gifts purchased through their service to the charity of your choice – look for one that offers this.
* Make arrangements to donate food left over from the reception to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
* Donate flower arrangements to local hospices or nursing homes following the wedding.
* After the wedding, donate your used wedding supplies and accessories –or even your wedding dress – to Goodwill (Goodwill Industries International) or another charitable organization that collects used goods.
* Or, like Ms. Jolie, shop Goodwill stores (Goodwill Industries International) in your area for your wedding gown and related accessories.
As this ‘kindness trend’ continues to gain speed, Kevich says it will be interesting to see the different ways that couples will come up with to incorporate a charitable aspect into their weddings. To encourage couples to share ideas with one another, SuperWeddings.com is running a contest where people can submit their plans or ideas for including acts of kindness as part of their weddings. Each submission will be entered into a drawing for a surprise gift – proving, Kevich says with a smile, “that sooner or later kindness really does come back to those who give it”. Anyone who visits the site and submits an idea is eligible to win.