Ethical Wedding Gifts

You’re planning to blow a fortune on your wedding day and feeling a bit guilty about it? No need – the growth in alternative, ethical wedding lists mean that the money spent on your wedding gifts can help someone in the third world. A great idea, yes, but where do you start and what schemes are available?

Oxfam Unwrapped

Goats as awedding giftOxfam Unwrapped Weddings offer a wedding list with a unique twist. You could go for a couple of goats, plant the perfect community garden, or maybe even kit out a whole classroom or two. Whatever’s on your list, every single gift is guaranteed to make a big difference way beyond your big day. On setting up an Oxfam Unwrapped gift list on-line you’ll receive fifty notification cards to slot into your wedding invitations so you can tell all your guests about the gifts you have chosen. You’ll receive a card from each guest who has participated and two-weeks after the ‘big day’, we’ll send you a list showing what was bought and by whom.

The initiative helps people to give twice – once to the happy couple and secondly directly to those who need it most. Oxfam will use the funds to purchase the specified item or service and tackle poverty in communities around the world.

“Goats and chickens have captured the imagination of many people,” said Douglas Graham, new products manager at Oxfam. “People like the idea of giving something so unusual. They can also see how goats, chickens, bicycles and seedlings can make a real difference to people struggling against poverty.”

Oxfam Unwrapped Wedding Favours

Oxfam Unwrapped Wedding FavoursOxfam Unwrapped now also offer unique, wedding favours packs. Each pack costs £106 and buys an amazing list of world-changing gifts from the Oxfam Unwrapped catalogue. Packs come complete with 50 assorted table cards in eight different designs.

They make the perfect place settings, guaranteed to raise a smile and get those tables talking. Oxfam Unwrapped gifts are a great way to say a big thank you to your best man or bridesmaid. Additionally, you could treat your guests to a wedding favour they won’t forget.

World Vision

World Vision Alternative GiftsThe Alternative Gift Catalogue from World Vision offers a real way for supporters to buy gifts for their friends and family. It also provides families and communities in the developing world with a way to work their way out of poverty. World Vision is a Christian charity and one of the world’s leading relief and development agencies, currently helping more than 100 million people in nearly 100 countries in their struggle against poverty, hunger and injustice, irrespective of their religions beliefs.

The actual gifts – goats, mosquito nets or fish farms are provided through World Vision via the long term programmes in the developing world. The communities World Vision work with request all the gifts in the catalogue.

World Vision say “By choosing alternative gifts you are making a truly lasting difference to families in poverty around the world. Instead of worrying about doubling up on gifts or finding all the interesting gifts are gone from the wedding list, your guests can easily order a gift from World Vision, who will dispatch within 24 hours a beautiful customised wedding card to either the guest or the couple directly. What a great gift to give a newly married couple as they start their new life together!”

Newly weds Joanna and Lindsay Marshall, from Nelson in Lancashire, said, ‘We chose malaria tablets and chickens over a blender for our wedding gifts!’

Joanna explained, ‘We were already living together and had everything we needed. We knew these gifts would help others. We also sponsor a child in Africa called Nicolas through World Vision. We would never have used something like a blender and our guests thought it was a great idea to benefit others!’

Great wedding gifts include a Cheese Making Kit to provide a family in Sudan with a new source of income, and Reunite a Child with their Family to reunite street children in Cambodia with their family. For a groom who is crazy about fishing, get Fish Stock for 6 Families to provide fish for a new fish farm. Or for a gardening bride, give a Sri Lankan family a healthy start with Seeds, Tools and Training to Set up a Garden.

World Vision’s Alternative Gift Catalogue has a range of over 70 gifts to choose from, which will directly benefit nineteen of World Vision’s community projects in poor countries across Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as gifts that really save the day for use in major disasters and emergency aid situations.

** Please note that World Vision no longer offer a dedicated wedding list service but the on-line gift catalogue has been expanded to include many more gift ideas for all occasions – not just weddings.

UNICEF Inspired Gift List

UNICEF Inspired GiftsPrevent the problem of unwanted gifts and share your wedding day with the world’s children! Every 6 seconds a child dies from a an easily preventable cause. UNICEF works to prevent this by helping children receive the health care and education they need to survive. By opting to mark your big day by creating a gift list with UNICEF you will be giving your guests the opportunity to help some of the worlds most vulnerable children.

A gift list with UNICEF is easy to set up and, more importantly, it’s easy for your guests to use too! There is a wide range of gift options to choose from. Examples include:

  • For just £9 you can provide pencils for a whole school
  • £50 provides an immunisation kit for 1,000 children
  • £20 provides a blanket for 10 babies
  • £14 helps a child orphaned by AIDS
  • There are many more examples and options, at prices to suit most pockets.

About UNICEF: UNICEF is the leading children’s organisation, reaching children in more than 150 less-developed countries around the world. They work with local communities, organisations and governments to make a lasting difference to children’s lives. UNICEF believes that every child should have clean water, food, health care, education, and a safe environment in which to grow up. UNICEF  rely on voluntary donations to fund their work for children worldwide.

Part and Parcel

Children's charity gift listsPart & Parcel is a new virtual gift giving website which aims to raise funds for one of Scotland’s leading children’s welfare charities Children1st. The charity has been established for more than 120 years and aims to support children and families under stress, protect children from harm and neglect, and campaign for family related issues.

By asking your guests to buy a virtual gift from Part & Parcel you’ll be helping the charity in it’s continued good work as well as providing a real benefit to a young person or family in need. Virtual gifts range from a gift of art materials costing just £10 to a big break costing £800 which provides a group of young carers with some well deserved holiday time away from their everyday worries.

Buying a virtual wedding gift form Part & Parcel is really simple, your guests simply select a virtual gift from the list available and then choose a gift card which can be personalised with their own message. The card can be sent to their address so they can present it on the wedding day or directly to you.

For more information visit the Part & Parcel website: and to learn more about the work of Children1st visit:

Cancer Research UK – Give in Celebration

Cancer research gift listsGive in Celebration is a unique way to raise money for a good cause – create a free personalised web page for your big day and invite your guests to leave a message and make a donation. The concept is ideal for couples who already live together and have everything they need.

Setting-up your own page is simple to do and you can add a personal message with details of your forthcoming wedding. You can also include a photo of you and your intended and display a list of people who have donated together with the total raised so far. You’ll also be able to download special donation slips to send out with your invitations. Your guests can donate on-line, by phone or by post and each can leave a special message of support on your page.

Personalised Wedding Favours

Cancer Research UK are now offering couples the opportunity to order personalised wedding favours in return for a donation to the charity’s campaign. For a small amount per guest you’ll get a personalised table card together with a choice of one of four special pin badges like the one shown here.

Global Giving Wedding Gift Registry

Wedding and Gift Lists from Global is a web-based charity which enables people to donate to one or more of a range of causes throughout the world. Projects  include disaster recovery, education programs, micro-finance schemes, direct help for vulnerable children, and many more worthy causes too numerous to list here.

The Global Giving Wedding Gift Registry provides couples the opportunity to ask their guests to donate to a  selection of projects. It’s simple and quick to set up and you’ll have your own personal web page where your guests can read about your chosen cause (or causes) and make a donation.  Donations can range from as little as £5 to as much as you like and with over 350 current projects to choose from you’ll have no problem finding a selection to suit. was founded in 2001 and, so far, has raised over £17 million for around 1,500 projects. A registered charity, Global Giving have a wide range of partners and supporters which include Google, eBay, Merril Lynch and The Guardian.

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