Weddings are a big investment, so a major part of the planning process is keeping a tab of your spending to ensure you stay within your budget. But after months of preparation, the wedding day will come and go, and you’ll be left with the wedding gown, all of the flowers, decorations, and centerpieces. Sadly, whatever is left behind at the venue gets trashed. Such a shame, right? Thousands of dollars thrown away. Happily, that doesn’t have to be the case. By giving back to the community, there are ways to write off some of your wedding expenses as tax breaks.
So, what exactly is tax deductible? We reached out to some of our trusted wedding planners and coordinators to learn more. “It needs to go to a charitable organization that can give you a receipt that can be used to write off a donation,” says Anthony Navarro from Liven It Up Events. “You would have to give to a Goodwill or another organization that is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 group that can do that for you. Also, some venues are not-for-profit and will give you a receipt for a portion of the payment you make to them.” These include museums, zoos, churches, and more.
Here are ways to give back and get money back on your big day.
Have a church ceremony
“Sometimes if you are paying a ceremony fee, it may be tax deductible,” says Carla Friday from Details Made Simple. “Check with your church and CPA.”
Donate your wedding gown
Don’t want your wedding gown taking up space in your closet? Friday suggests donating your dress to a non-profit organization, such as Making Memories, the I Do Foundation, or even Brides for a Cause. “Your wedding day coordinator can bring the dress to these companies on your behalf,” she says.
Send your flowers to those in need
It’s a shame to watch your wedding day flowers wilt away. “You can give your bouquets and arrangements the second act if you will with companies like Rebloom, Petals With Purpose and Repeat Roses.” Friday says. “Some of these amazing companies will pick up the flowers directly from the location of your wedding and repurpose them for other weddings that weekend or use them to bring a smile to patients in hospitals and nursing homes.” Either way, receipts of your donation are provided for tax purposes.
Forget traditional favors
According to Friday, this is the most common write-off. “In lieu of giving the traditional wedding favor—which, let’s face it, most guests will either leave or throw away eventually—couples are donating to a charity that is near and dear to them in honor of the guests that attended their wedding,” she explains. “This is not only helping others, but also garnering yourself a tax deduction at the end of the year. It’s a win-win.”
This post originally appeared on BridalPulse.com.