Married and Generous


Make a Personal Event into Something Everyone Can Share

When Sarah Brown was married to Matthew Brown on May 19, 2011, guests were treated to a refreshing new tradition. Rather than toss the bouquet to an unmarried contingent of ladies, guests participated in a charity draw in which the bouquet became the prize.

“We abused the wedding guest’s good will by sending two very beautiful young ladies round to sell the tickets. They were 10 and 12 years of age and did an excellent job of getting money from people,” Rachel Burns, the bride’s sister told me.

The money from the draw went to St. Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourough. Founded in 1982, St. Wilfrid’s has served over 15,000 patients free of charge, providing care and comfort to those in their charge, as well as providing support for their friends and family. St. Wilfrid’s aims to care not only for the physical needs of patients but their spiritual, emotional and social needs as well.

Why did the bridal party decide to break with tradition and solicit donations from guests? And what advice do they have for others planning the same type of event?

Rachel told me, “Using a good cause that is personal always gets more support. The money from our raffle was being given to the hospice that cared for our mum before she died three years ago and obviously with it being such an emotional day without her, many people were happy to support.”

I asked Rachel what the highlight of the bridal bouquet draw was. “The smile of the bride (my sister) was my highlight and finding out after too many glasses of champagne that she wanted me to draw the winning ticket was not to plan!!” She told me.

For the draw, the bridal party chose a ticket from Eventgroove with a red rose blossoming in the background. This reflected the roses used in the actual bridal bouquet.

“The tickets were so personal that people will keep them as a memento of the day and the bride, Sarah, will be sending one to the hospice with the money and pictures to show them how we achieved raising £260.” Rachel said.

Personal events like weddings are great for bringing attention to important causes. Sarah, Rachel and their family were able to include their mother in a very special day and all the guests had the opportunity to pay homage to her memory by partaking in the bridal bouquet draw.
Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your stories and memories of your sister’s wedding! Best wishes to the bride and groom!

Donations to St. Wilfrid’s can be made here.

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