Bride-to-be Blogger Alyse: As Penn State Alums, Making Donations In Lieu Of Favors

To say that anything wedding related was not on my mind this past week would be a major understatement. For several reasons, the wedding planning thing was just not happening.

For starters, I began a new job assignment last week, which included a new office, a new commute, and of course, a new wardrobe. During this transition, I was also fighting off a cold that I couldn’t shake for almost two weeks. The week was book-ended by weekend visits from both my parents and Kevin’s parents, which required lots of planning and apartment cleaning.

And then there was the other thing … Both Kevin and I went to Penn State. Many of our best, or at least most carefree, memories are from the four years we spent there. Both of my parents also went to Penn State, so it is safe to say that a good amount of my total memories include times spent in the once-Happy Valley. So last week, the mental capacity that I did have left was spent trying to figure out what the heck happened, how I felt about it and what to do.

Like the proud alumni from many universities, Kevin and I were planning on incorporating our alma mater into our wedding. I wouldn’t consider myself the type to have the mascot crash the reception or to have the school band play at cocktail hour, but there would definitely be more than one reference to the college and memories that Kevin and I shared. Right now, many of those ideas will be put on hold, because they could benefit from some more time and perspective—but there is one thing that I have definitely decided to do.

I attended a good friend’s wedding last year where, instead of having a traditional favor, the couple donated to THON, a Penn State student-run philanthropy (the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, actually) benefiting families of children with pediatric cancer. I was very involved with THON all four years at Penn State, and thought about doing this myself. In the wake of the scandal, a grassroots campaign began encouraging PSU alumni to donate to RAINN, an anti-sexual violence charity. So along with donating now, to help them reach their $500,000 goal from PSU alumni, I plan to donate the favors at my wedding to THON and RAINN. There isn’t much more to say about this other than it was one of the easiest wedding-planning decisions I have made so far.

Are you planning on including your schools into any aspects of you wedding? Are there any charities that are close to you and your fiance that you would consider donating to instead of providing a favor?



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