5 Great Washington Wedding Charities

Get to know these bridal-themed charitable organizations and the causes they support.

Giving back to the community is another way to make your wedding day even more special. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user allyrose18.

Whether you’re searching for a good use for your old wedding gown or want to turn your nuptials into an opportunity to give back, there are plenty of wedding-related charities willing to help. We’ve rounded up some of the best operating in our area.

Wish Upon a Wedding

The website of this nationwide nonprofit organization states it “provides weddings and vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation.” The DC Chapter of WUW covers approximately 250 miles from the DC city center, including Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. Since its founding in 2009, WUW has granted more than 21 wedding wishes to couples in need. WUW offers people a variety of ways to help, including fundraisers, volunteering, and donating to WUW in lieu of wedding favors. 

Brides Across America

Looking for a way to support active-duty military couples longing for a beautiful wedding? Brides Across America is a national charitable organization that brings together bridal salons around the country to donate wedding gowns to qualified military brides. Brides Across America helps women who are engaged to someone who recently has been or will be deployed as well as brides who have been or will be deployed themselves. The organization hosts gown giveaway events around the country, including in Maryland and Virginia. For more information, or to donate a wedding gown, visit the Brides Across America website.

Brides Against Breast Cancer

If you want to donate your gently used wedding gown to a worthy cause, look no further than Brides Against Breast Cancer (BABC). The mission of BABC is to contribute to programs benefiting cancer patients and their families, and one of the ways BABC accomplishes this goal is via wedding gown sales, a smart and eco-friendly way to pay it forward. The organization hosts more than 32 yearly sales around the country, including an upcoming sale September 28 through 30 at the Dupont Circle Hotel in DC (register online). At BABC sales, brides can snag designer gowns at a discount while feeling confident that the funds are going directly to a worthy cause. If you’re interested in donating a gown, veil, or other part of your wedding day ensemble, check out the donation guidelines at BABC’s website.

St. Anthony’s Bridal

Located in Bethesda, St. Anthony’s Bridal is a local nonprofit dedicated to helping “brides on tight budgets achieve beautiful and affordable weddings.” St. Anthony’s provides the free use of reception items and wedding gowns to low- and middle-income brides who have been qualified by the organization as needing financial assistance to have the wedding of their dreams. To donate a gown, visit the St. Anthony’s shop in Bethesda or fill out the tax-deductible form available on the website.

The I Do Foundation

The I Do Foundation, a nonprofit based in DC, allows engaged couples to give back with their wedding, either through their gift registries or travel packages or by doling out parting favors that benefit charitable causes. The organization, founded in 2002, encourages couples to “celebrate generously” by hosting “celebrations where couples incorporate their socially conscious values into their wedding planning.” Through the I Do Foundation, couples can, for instance, make a charitable donation in lieu of favors or create a charitable registry through which guests can donate to a charity chosen by the couple. For the environmentally conscious bride and groom, the foundation also offers options for couples to incorporate earth-friendly choices into their celebrations. Find more information on the website.