More and more couples are finding new and unusual ways to support their favourite charity as part of their wedding day. We asked Anthony Townsend from Alzheimer’s Society why it has become so popular and to reveal the top five ways in which brides can help defeat dementia for good…

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With over 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK, half of whom haven’t been diagnosed, our work is ongoing. So many people have a loved one who has been affected by dementia, which is why many happy couples want to make a difference during their happy day; to honour someone close to them and help raise awareness.

The kindness and support so many people give Alzheimer’s Society is extremely moving, and makes a huge difference to the work we undertake. Here are top five ways people have made Alzheimer’s Society part of their special day…

Wedding favours

Some couples choose to make a donation to Alzheimer’s Society by ordering from our special range of wedding favours – choose from pin badges, trolley coin key rings, magnetic picture frames or table cards. Placing these at your guests’ table settings will add an extra point of conversation and help raise awareness about dementia.

Rebecca and Leigh made a donation to the Society and chose to give our special pin badges to their wedding guests as favours. “Seeing everyone wearing the badges ignited something in my heart,” says Rebecca.

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Donations instead of a gift list

You could send out our celebration collection envelopes with your wedding invitations, create an online collection page at JustGiving.com, or hold a collection on the day. Marina and Darren invited their guests to donate to us instead of buying wedding gifts.

“We’re not really wedding list kind of people, so the obvious choice for us was to ask for charity donations in lieu of gifts,” explains Marina. “Alzheimer’s Society is particularly important to me as my Nan had dementia before she passed away in 2007, a few months before I met Darren, so we felt this was a fitting tribute.”

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A sponsored event during the honeymoon

Whether it’s a sponsored walk, swim, cycle ride or your own unique idea, take a little time to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society, and make your honeymoon just that little bit more special. Caroline and Steve did a sponsored 150 mile coast-to-coast cycle ride as part of their honeymoon, asking for sponsorship instead of wedding gifts.

“My parents have both accessed advice and assistance through Alzheimer’s Society over the past few years,” says Caroline. “Steve and I have gained so much pleasure in raising funds for Alzheimer’s Society, knowing they will be well spent and would encourage anyone planning a wedding to consider doing the same thing.”

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Setting up a Tribute Fund

A Tribute Fund is an inspiring way to celebrate the life of a loved one, helping Alzheimer’s Society provide care today and find a cure tomorrow. A Tribute Fund collects together all donations made in memory of the honouree, giving a focal point to the kind support given to the Society in your loved one’s name.

A collection at your wedding would be a perfect way to do that. Tribute Fund holder Glyn tells us: “It’s lovely to think that we’re donating in memory of Mum, but the ultimate goal is to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society and the good work it does. It’s nice to feel that, through Mum, we can make a difference.”

Become a dementia friend

Finally, you could become a Dementia Friend and help make your wedding guests more aware of the needs of people living with dementia around the UK. Visit the Dementia Friends website to find out how.

Are you thinking of having a charity gift list for your big day? Here are some more ideas. Or what about an ethical honeymoon where you help others as you holiday?