Bridezilla-Free Zone

Photo courtesy of Renaissance Studios Photography, Toronto

It’s only “the happiest day of your life.”  “The biggest, most important party you’ll ever host.” And “the beginning of your life together.” Okay, no pressure there. So it’s kind of understandable that most weddings get completely out of control, both economically and emotionally, leading inexorably to the infamous Bridal Meltdown — a virtual wedding tradition. (Guilty as charged.)

Kyle French & Alicia McDonald

But somehow I think that Alicia McDonald and Kyle French of Sedona, Arizona, are going to dodge that nuptial bullet. They are taking a vow to make their October 15 wedding a celebration that will raise awareness of people in need, raise funds for great causes, and help others. “We’re not the kind of people who love to be the center of attention,” Alicia says, “so we’d like our wedding to recognize something bigger than ourselves.” To that end, Alicia & Kyle have created the Charity Wedding – and it’s a totally engaging idea.

Charity wedding -- sweet!

In lieu of wedding gifts, they are asking people to donate to charity – and they’ve included a list of wonderful causes on their Charity Wedding blog.  Then they’ve invited wedding vendors to donate all or part of their time and services – and Alicia & Kyle will give all of that money to charity as well, up to their $10,000 budget.

The response has ranged from incredulous (friends asking: Are you serious? Is anybody going to respond to this??) to incredible: with everyone from the best wedding photographer in town, to the most delicious cake-maker, to a video production team, event planner, and restaurant owner (that would be Kyle’s parents) stepping up to volunteer their services.

Wedding gifts

Together, the vendors and the McFrench duo voted on the beneficiary of all this largesse: Camp Soaring Eagle an Arizona camp that allows kids with serious illnesses and their families to experience laughter, nature and fun in a medically safe setting, free of charge.

How cute are the McFrench's?

Kyle is just starting his practice as a chiropractor, and Alicia works in the office, so it’s not like they have tons of money to spare. They’ve just decided to share what they have with people less fortunate. What an amazing way to start a life together!

The average cost of a wedding in America today, not including the ring or the honeymoon, is $23,657. If even 10% of that were donated to charity, we could educate girls around the globe, prevent 4500 children from dying every day of water-related diseases, and teach sustainable farming to those living on less than $1 a day.

Wow, makes me want to say “I do!”  To donate to Camp Soaring Eagle, click here:   To donate to Alicia’s other favorite cause, go to charity:water To learn more about the fabulous Alicia & Kyle, find them on  facebook or Twitter.