John C. Richards, Jr.
My Thoughts on Wedding Favors
Updated: Apr 30, 2022
Sixty-four days and counting. Unbelievable how time flies. It seems like just yesterday I was in Malibu on one knee reciting an original poem to Sheridan, asking her to be my wifey. Now, here I am, a little over two months from getting hitched. I wanted to continue my wedding reflection journey by talking about a decision Sheri and I made that personally means a whole lot to me.
Today, I want to talk about our wedding favors. This particular post really puts wedding planning in perspective for me. This probably won't be new news for you, but weddings cost money—lots of it. When we started looking for favor ideas, we discussed the various things people have done for favors. Personalized wine glasses, mints, CD compilations, and personalized chocolate bars all came to mind. But honestly, I can't tell you what I've done with half of those favors. And you probably would tell me the same thing. So as we continued to search for ideas for several months, a question continued to haunt me.
Would you pay for some dirt?
This question haunted me because it told me how serious the issue of hunger is in other countries. Around that time, a friend of mine sent me an ABC News article. In Haiti, the poor resort to eating dirt for nutrition.
Dirt, y'all!!! Not only do they eat it, but they also have to buy it!!!!!
They buy "cookies" with the little money they can scrape up. The "cookies" are made of dirt, salt, and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal. I almost wept when I read that.
Close to Home
My father is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. His parents died when he was very young. He and his brother lived on the streets in Kingston. They, too, had to beg for food. They, too, understood what it meant to go without. They wound up in an orphanage in Jamaica, but their time on the street was characterized by them not knowing where their next meal would come from. As I read this article, my mind went back to the streets of Kingston.
This caused us to re-evaluate some of the things we were doing to plan a lavish affair. Sheri and I talked, and we decided to do something to increase awareness of this issue at our wedding. In lieu of traditional favors, we are going to donate money to the hunger relief effort in an underprivileged country (likely Haiti or Jamaica). Why give folks candy w/ our names on it when people around the world are eating dirt? I can't stand to think that I'm paying a lot of money per plate for people to eat at my reception and people around the world are eating dirt. I know it's just a drop in the bucket, but we made up our mind that we have a heart for social justice and those who are marginalized in society.
This also reminded me that we oftentimes think about our own problems too much. This issue is very real. Out of sight, out of mind does not mean that it is non-existent. In fact, what things are you fretting over right now? Has the idea that people in this world pay to eat dirt caused you to reconsider your "problems"? Those problems probably don't seem so major now. I know it has deeply impacted me. I realized just how blessed I am and how much Sheri and I want to start off on the right foot by keeping things in proper perspective. Thanks for letting me get that out. It's something I have wrestled with for a very long time. I love y'all. I still have a few more issues to write about, so stay tuned as I give you my take on the whole wedding planning process.