You’ve seen the movie Pay It Forward, right? The idea behind it is to do something nice for someone, and rather than asking for a favor in return, suggest that they repay the kindness by doing something nice for someone else – “paying it forward”. Well special events like weddings and Bat Mitzvas are usually a time when people focus on the happy couple or the teenager and make them the center of attention – but occasionally these stars decide to use their good fortune as a chance to bless others. Let’s take the special events of last weekend as examples.
This past week we had the pleasure of photographing two very special events. The first, a coming of age celebration; the second, a coming together of two great people in marriage. While each event was very different, both took the time to take the focus off themselves and use this as an opportunity to pay the love forward to someone else.
Ellie’s Bat Mitzvah
Now, when a young girl turns 13, she is thinking about a lot of things, but usually those things do not include other kids who have cancer. But maybe Ellie is not your typical 13 year old. After the ceremony, Ellie skipped the beginning of her reception and had a stylist come to the temple to cut over 10 inches of her hair to donate to Locks of Love, a charity that helps make wigs for children with cancer and other ailments. Not only did she get a fabulous new haircut and style just in time for her party, but she also helped make life a little brighter for someone else in the process.
Fara and Jon’s Wedding
Fara and Jon also found a way to take all the love they experienced and pay it forward. Rather than distributing wedding favors, which if we are honest with ourselves often end up in the trash bin, Fara and Jon made a donation to St. Jude’s in each guest’s honor.
What other ways could you pay it forward? Consider some of these ideas:
1. For couples who already have all the appliances and towels you might need, register for charitable donations instead of gifts for yourself (great idea Prince William and Catherine – way to pay it forward!). Or register only for items needed at a local shelter and donate all your gifts directly to the shelter.
2. Apply for a credit card that makes a donation to your favorite charity and pay for all your wedding items on that card. Then everytime you spend money you can save a whale too.
3. Donate your leftover wedding decorations to a church or community center and help less fortunate brides have a spectacular wedding
4. Donate leftover food to your local food bank, or if it isn’t allowed send it home with guests as their favor.
5. Wear Toms Wedding Shoes. Super comfy, definitely not traditional, and Toms will donate one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase. Outfit your whole wedding party in Toms shoes and you can help a gaggle of kids who need shoes. Plus you will find it easier to be on your feet all day, part of the added perks of paying it forward.
Have more “Pay it forward” ideas? Leave a comment and let us know! Whatever your bend toward altruism, we think it is worth it to take a moment out of your planning and consider how you can use this special time in your life to touch someone else. So go on, pay it forward!