You are spending a fortune on your wedding and all the things that go with it, flowers, gowns, etc. And the good news is that you can get some tax deductions or at least benefit some deserving charities. To deduct charitable donations you will have to file a Schedule A. Unfortunately if your parents are paying for your wedding they can't take the donation. But they could give you a gift that is tax deductable and pick up a deduction that way. The biggest deduction is for renting a publicly owned historical landmark or museum. This applies to a number of historic landmarks and homes, museums, and even some nature centers. You need to get a written statement from the nonprofit organization which states the amount of your contribution. Goods and services received must be deducted from this, if applicable. Your reception locale will be able to give you further information on this. Also talk to your accountant to see what venues will count as a tax deduction. Since many rental fees of non-profit organizations go to help keep up the space you are renting they can be deducted. Another potential deduction is a charitable deduction for donating your flowers to a nursing home or a hospital. (This idea is courtesy of Martha Stewart who offers many ways to save money on your wedding.) Why not make someone else smile on your special day? Another suggestion is after the wedding instead of packing away your gown for posterity, donate it to a charity resale shop that sells wedding gowns. The retail value of the dress will be a tax deduction. See the following websites:
Along the same vein bridesmaids can also donate their dresses(and even shoes) to charities that give gowns to unprivileged teens at prom time. Usually they'll accept accessories to go with these dresses as well. One organization that does this is The Fairy Godmother Organization located in many major cities.
One of my favorite ways to give back is through the I DO foundation at http://www.idofoundation.org./
They can help you set up a memorial fund or make donations to your favorite charity when your guests purchase your gifts from Amazon, Target, Mikasa, Home Depot, Gaiam, JC Penney, Sears etc. The list can be found on their web page. On the same site you can make donations in your guests names as a wedding favor. You can also fund raise by setting up a competition among your vendors to donate a portion of their profits to your charity. While this won't help your tax bite, it will make you wedding day a day of giving back to your community. Also you have the option of shopping with vendors who donate to charities you want to support. While this may not garner you a tax deduction, it will help out your favorite charity. Many museum gift shops support their museum. And some vendors are well known for the charities they support. Touch base with your vendors and explain that you are planning on finding vendors who support 'XYZ Charity' Find you local food rescue organization that can use your leftover food for a good cause. While food banks deal only with non-perishable food items, food rescue programs will come and pick up both perishable and non-perishable foods. The food rescue groups can pick up leftovers from your wedding a drop it off at local shelters and soup kitchen the same day. Remember, receipts are critical to claiming anything as a tax deduction. Get amounts, dates and who you donated it to. Make April 15 a day to celebrate!
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