Weddings are time of giving and receiving – whether that’s the love shared between the happy couple, the gifts purchased by family and friends from the registry, or the little wedding favours handed out to each guest on the big day. With this wellspring of generosity and love, many couples are choosing to deviate from traditional registries and bomboniere, using them instead as an opportunity to raise funds and contribute to a more meaningful cause. Here, Kirrily Ireland discusses the charity-based options for wedding gifts and bomboniere with Sarah O’Neill, digital fundraising officer at Cancer Council Victoria, and discovers how these precious donations can keep on giving long after the celebrations are over.

Between its renowned cancer-prevention campaigns, support line, and countless research projects that help with preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer, Cancer Council Victoria has made a huge difference to the people and families dealing with this devastating disease. With so many people diagnosed every year, it’s rare to find someone who hasn’t been either directly or indirectly impacted by some form of cancer; a donation to this wonderful charity in addition to, or in lieu of bomboniere or gifts, is the perfect way to help and honour those battling this illness, making your wedding day even more meaningful.


Charities like Cancer Council Victoria offer a few different services to brides- and grooms-to-be seeking make a difference during their wedding day. Instead of registering for cookware and linen, considering asking your guests to make a donation on your behalf. O’Neill explains that when couples set up a fundraising page with Cancer Council Victoria, they will receive a kit with posters, a donation box, thank you cards and a handbook to help them get started. The thank you cards will give you a chance to express your gratitude for your guests’ donation in a personal and intimate way.

Cancer Council Victoria also offers a beautiful bomboniere alternative, perfect for those who love the charm of the thank you token. “For the bomboniere option, couples can choose to purchase a suitable quantity of elegantly designed daffodil pins, which come attached to a freshly designed card,” O’Neill says. “There is also the option to add personal details to the card commemorating the wedding.” The money from purchasing these ornate pins will go towards Cancer Council Victoria’s much-needed efforts in researching and fighting against cancer – what better way to celebrate your joyous day of love and unity than making a lasting contribution to thousands of affected Australians.

O’Neill agrees that a charitable bomboniere is a path worth travelling. “Not only are Cancer Council Victoria’s bombonieres a beautiful commemoration of the wedding day itself, they also have the added benefit of spreading awareness and raising funds for an important cause [and can] be a token of memory, or honour, of a loved one. The feedback we’ve received also shows that the bombonieres are less likely to be simply left behind on the table, which leads to less waste.”

If you’re unsure of fundraising on your wedding day, or looking for other ways to incorporate a few charitable moments during this special time, bridal showers, hens and bucks nights are all suitable wedding milestones for slipping some fundraising in. “With a donation page set up for a wedding, there’s great opportunity for hens and bucks parties to work in a fundraising component during games, or set up ‘fines’ that will be tallied up and donated toward the wedding fundraiser,” O’Neill affirms. After all, every dollar counts!


As a unique option for wedding gifts and bomboniere, donations have the power to make a real difference, spanning long beyond the conclusion of the wedding. “These much-needed funds have the potential to change the lives of countless Australians affected by cancer,” O’Neill explains. “This includes helping to fund ground-breaking cancer research programs, and our compassionate, supporter-funded cancer nurses who are available to call on our 13 11 20 line. It can also go towards helping get our world-leading prevention messaging out to those who need it most.”

No matter how much you end up raising, every little contribution helps to “prevent cancer, empower patients, and save lives”. O’Neill’s breakdown of where each dollar goes includes donations anywhere from twenty-five dollars to five thousand. “Twenty-five dollars can help us update GPs and other health professionals with the latest evidence about cancer prevention, screening and diagnosis,” the fundraising officer lists. “Five hundred dollars helps pay for the collection and ongoing storage of a tumour sample to use in studies to improve the way we prevent and detect cancers. One thousand dollars can help equip a research team working in a laboratory on a new cancer treatment, [and] five thousand dollars can help purchase materials for a lab-based cancer project for one year.” This means even if you purchase just ten bomboniere pins for a small, intimate wedding, you’ll be making a meaningful impact.

O’Neill and the Cancer Council Victoria team have found that the gift that keeps on giving has had a surge in popularity due to more couples “embracing the opportunity to make their day of celebration even more meaningful”. “It means you can donate to a good cause and particularly something close to your heart [if it’s] in memory or in honour of a loved one,” she says. “I also feel there is more awareness in reducing the amount of waste created by unwanted wedding favours. This trend will definitely grow in the future.”

During such a heartfelt time where you and your spouse-to-be have so much love to give, consider incorporating a charity such as Cancer Council Victoria into your wedding planning; giving back to those in need will be sure to set a compassionate and benevolent tone for newly married life.

Image courtesy of Cancer Council Victoria