Romance Wanderlust: Wedding Venues that Make a Difference

Romance Wanderlust - a yellowed and burnt edge map with a compass in the corner, with Romance Wanderlust written across itThis month in Romance Wanderlust, we are visiting wedding venues. Specifically, wedding venues that donate their profits to charity. As always, this is neither a review nor and endorsement of any of these places, because I haven’t actually been to most of them. There is one exception: Casa Garden, where I had my own wedding almost twenty years ago.

Casa Garden, in Sacramento, California, is a restaurant and event venue staffed entirely by volunteers. All the proceeds from Casa events go towards the Sacramento Children’s Home. It gave my husband and I a great sense of pride to know that our wedding was going to benefit others, but honestly the decision to have our wedding there was primarily self-serving. We loved the garden (which is where we had the ceremony ). We loved the restaurant and the food. We loved that we could transition straight from ceremony to reception instead of going from place to place. We had the ceremony at twilight, dinner in the restaurant, and dancing in the garden as soon as the chairs from the wedding were cleared.

Also we loved the volunteers, who were so sweet to us and to all who attended. It was an affordable venue, which was very important to us since at the time we pretty much lived off of Top Ramen and we didn’t want to go into a lot of debt. It was so lovely that two other couples who came to our wedding subsequently decided to have their own weddings at Casa as well.

Casa Garden

If you are interested in having your wedding be an event that incorporates giving to others, the Internet is your friend. A lot of nonprofits raise money by hosting weddings. You can find lists of venues all over the country on websites like You can also have a registry that asks for charitable donations instead of gifts, donate your flowers, give donations instead of favors, and donate frequent flyer miles. Sites like and have a lot of ideas.

One World Theater Plaza Wedding, Austin Texas
One World Theater Plaza Wedding, Austin Texas

Non-profit wedding venues tend to be affordable, and they can be found in every part of the country, accommodating wedding parties of every size. Having a wedding at a non-profit venue can allow you to incorporate your values and interests into your day and share those values and interests with your guests. Since I worked with kids at the time of my weddings, and my husband worked with environmental issues, we had the wedding at a place that supports kids and asked for contributions to World Wildlife Fund. On a larger scale (in terms of number of guests and amount of money) my mom once went to a wedding at the California Academy of Sciences which sounds AMAZING. I may have to renew my vows just so I can take them in front of a bunch of penguins.

California Academy of Sciences

This post is California heavy because of my location, but similar venues can be found all over the place. Where was your wedding, and how did you incorporate giving (if you did)? Did you elope? Was Elvis involved? Penguins?! Or did you have the full-scale, tons of guests extravaganza? Let us know!

Aviary, Pittsburgh, Tables and flowers
National Aviary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The post Romance Wanderlust: Wedding Venues that Make a Difference appeared first on NeedaBook.


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