By Dorothy Wickens
There’s a Friends episode in which Phoebe, newly engaged to guest star Paul Rudd, says that instead of spending money on a big wedding, she’d rather donate it to charity. But of course, as any bride-to-be might, Phoebe eventually realizes she wants a real wedding. After several trips to their chosen charity and the help of the very annoyed man working there, she decides to keep the money and have her day.
Real-life couples might be tempted to try the Phoebe route and say, “Let’s just donate the money instead!” However, it is possible to incorporate charitable giving into your big day, whether it’s in lieu of favors, your registry, or simply choosing the right florist.
Minneapolis-based wedding florist Petalum planted a program this spring called Petalum Gives Back. The small company, operated mostly out of co-owner Sarah Bauer’s home, is donating up to 15 percent of its profits to clients’ charity of choice. Bauer and her business partner, Rebecca Ross, say they wanted to include something memorable in their bridal deliveries. The most memorable gift they could give, Bauer and Ross concluded, is a donation in the couple’s honor.
The florists aren’t supporting a storefront, so they call this endeavor a good opportunity to support local causes. Plus, it’s a great way to provide some closure after working with a bride. “We have so much communication with the bride on that event," Bauer says. "Then, we deliver the flowers and then we do the donation—and it feels like we finish off that process."
Since April, most of Petalum’s newlyweds have opted in to the donation program. Bauer and Ross have directed the funds to organizations such as Feed My Starving Children, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Faith’s Lodge, and Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.
“This way, we feel like we’ve done one more thing that’s meaningful to [the couples],” Bauer says. “It’s a nice way to honor a new beginning.”
Petalum, 612.385.1399, petalum.com
Photo credits (from top): Spencer Combs Photography, Ellierose Photography, Matt Blum Photography, Rachel Boe Photography.