Sweet Charity!

Check out how cheap we are. We’re giving our guests paper chips as favors. You don’t think they’ll feel cheated, do you? I mean, aren’t they pretty?

lb tokens.jpg

Ok, not really. These colorful chipboard circles (or “pogs” as Mr. LB likes to call them) are actually charity tokens, which will be given in lieu of favors to each guest in wee glassine bags, like so:

lb bags.jpg

Each guest will get four tokens, worth $1 each. They will then be asked (via cleverly-worded explanatory note) to donate their chips, in any combination, to three different charities. If they want to give all $4 to one cause that they really like, they can do so. Or they can divide up their donation any way they choose.

Each charity will have its own glass bowl and accompanying sign (yet to be designed), naming and explaining the charity. As the bowls fill up, they’ll look like this:

lb bowls.jpg

At the end of the night, we’ll count the chips, tally the totals for each charity and make donations accordingly. This way, guests can feel a bit more involved in the process by having a say as to where “their” money goes. We haven’t chosen the charities yet, but there will likely be an animal cause (close to Mr. LB’s heart), a literacy/education cause (close to my own), and a humanitarian cause. Something to resonate with everyone, we hope.

Anyone who shops at Buffalo Exchange will recognize my idea thievery; for those that don’t, the resale shop offers a bag for your items or a 20-cent token when you check out. If you take a token, you choose one of three charity boxes to pop it into.

And as Miss Flamingo’s comment-riffic post proves, people have strong opinions about the whole charity-as-favor replacement issue, no matter how it’s worded. I feel pretty strongly about it, too.

I wasn’t planning on posting a how-to about our tokens because 1) I didn’t think anyone would want it and 2) I didn’t think anyone would need it (it’s wickedly easy). But then I saw how popular the topic was, so I thought what the hey.

1.25 inch chipboard circles
1.25 inch punch
sticker machine

Step 1: Pick a pack o’ pretty paper to match yer wedding palette:

lb paper.jpg

Of course, you could also just print up paper with whatever image/words you want and use that, too.

Step 2: Punch. Repeatedly. I used a 1.25 inch punch (since I’d found the 1.25 inch chipboard circles first):

lb punch.jpg

lb stacks.jpg

Though two stacks are missing in this pic, I actually made equal amounts of each color group (silvers/black and pinks) so that each token has one pinkish side and one silver or black side.

Step 3: Run circles through Xyron (or any; I don’t, like, have stock in the company or anything) sticker maker…

lb stickers.jpg

lb stickers2.jpg

…giving you perfectly sticker-iffic circles like these.

Step 4: Apply to 1.25 inch chipboard circles, such as these puppies:

lb 2007051804324852005-0518-1333.jpg

And voila! Perfect pogs! Or “Sweet Charity” Tokens, as we’ll probably call them (yes, that’s right – another chance to work in our “sweetest type” theme).

lb chips.jpg

I think it turned out as a nice way to pull out our palette, too. The chips show as a punch of color through the glassine envelopes…

lb glassine.jpg

…so I don’t know if we’ll put labels on them or just have them sitting on a short note.

And we’ll probably downgrade to smaller bowls. Though, we have only made a third of what we need. So the bowls will look much fuller than this when we’re done:

lb bowl.jpg

The cool thing about this is that it’s all really customizable: the tokens, the charities, the presentation, the value/dollar amount assigned…

So, did Lovebug gone done good?


Mrs. Lovebug

Wedding Date:
April 2008
Sad Face, Happy Face
Family Ties
Add a comment


  1. Member
    tea 2414 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:46 pm

    lovebug done great! i really like this idea. i think it’s a great spin on the charity favor…which i think you already said. plus, while your guests are at the table, maybe a righteous game of pogs might break out. hey, one can always hope!

  2. Member
    MissMandy 251 posts, Helper bee @ 12:47 pm

    Creative idea, LB! Even if it was snagged from a local store. However, you’ve made it your own and it’s a fun option for your guests.

    You’re so crafty. Can I have you come by and help out with our planning? 😉

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    beanchar, Guest @ 12:49 pm

    Yay for you for encorporating charity into your big day! And in such a clever and inter-active way.

    Can I make a suggestion that you consider making your local food bank the third charity? Food banks all over the country are being strained as never before and people often don’t realize that they can accept money as well as cans of soup. We gave/got donations to food banks around the country for Xmas this year. We got incredibly grateful notes from the food banks– often handwritten on a simple sheet of stationary b/c they are all-volunteer and don’t even have letterhead.

  4. canary Member
    canary 682 posts, Busy bee @ 12:53 pm

    what a great idea! i love that it’s interactive and guests can choose who they’d like to support.

  5. Member
    Angel 1263 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:55 pm

    Not only is it cool…it’s a conversation starter. *applause*

  6. Hydrangea Member
    Hydrangea 414 posts, Helper bee @ 12:56 pm

    I really think that is a clever way to donate as your gift. I love the idea!

  7. toucan Member
    toucan 1326 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:01 pm

    this is a GREAT IDEA!!! Major props!

  8. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:13 pm

    Oh miss lovebug you are so brilliant!!!

    Like you said sooo many comments on my charity favor post… Im still trying to find a way… this my be an option. Maybe I can do a spin-off of that idea.

    Love it!

  9. Member
    ninanina 85 posts, Worker bee @ 1:13 pm

    You’re idea is really good and the chips are cool. One thing-there is a ’60’s movie called Sweet Charity about a hooker that starred Shirley Maclaine. Your older guests might well know the movie so I’d call it something else to avoid jokes.

  10. Member
    ChicagoSarah 159 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:31 pm

    I love this idea! It will definitely inspire interesting conversations too – I work in fundraising for a big university, and we did a little exercise like this in one of our staff meetings, talking about how we would decide which part(s) of the university we would support – it was fascinating! I would love the opportunity to make such a decision as a wedding guest. That said, I think we’re still giving to Cubs Care and our guests will get their blue bracelets as favors – I’ve reached the point where I’m unwilling to complicate anything further. :) I must say, I was awfully tempted by the idea of Thoreau stamps though…

  11. Member
    EastportBride 41 posts, Newbee @ 2:02 pm

    This is a great idea for those who want to do a charity donation in lieu of a favor! Also, as I’m reading this, I’m thinking, I’ve seen this somewhere…where….and then you graciously provided it–BUFFALO EXCHANGE! I lived in Tucson for one summer and totally fell in love with that store. thanks for the trip down memory lane and kudos on the great idea!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    ErinMarieMack, Guest @ 2:02 pm

    Anything that involves guest involvement is sure to be a huge hit:) I also love the way you tied in your colors and your crafting abilities!

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Kira, Guest @ 2:04 pm

    When I first saw the picture, I definitely thought, “Miss LB is giving out pogs as a favor?”

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Yach, Guest @ 2:13 pm

    What a fantastic idea! I love that the guests are somewhat interactive with your favor. LOVE IT.

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    Katy, Guest @ 2:35 pm

    I love this. You get to be crafty, your guests get an interactive experience, and everyone feels good because it goes to a good cause.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Mollie, Guest @ 3:18 pm

    I assume the “Sweet Charity” title reference is intentional, no? It is about a hooker, but it’s also a musical — “Hey Big Spender” is the big number, so you could argue it’s apt. I think it’s cute.

  17. lovebug Member
    lovebug 712 posts, Busy bee @ 3:44 pm

    Thanks, all!

    Tea: Oooh, impromptu pog would be bitchin’ indeed.

    beanchar: definitely something to consider; thank you for the suggestion. It would be nice to have something local…

    MissMandy: anytime! Me and my Xyron are at your disposal.

    Ninapina: Mollie is right – the “Hey Big Spender” tune was actually what we had in mind. :)

  18. lollipop Member
    lollipop 74 posts, Worker bee @ 4:18 pm

    Fantastic idea! This is a great way to get around complaints about charity favors.

  19. Member
    brendalynn 154 posts, Blushing bee @ 4:52 pm

    Love Buffalo Exchange! Love-love the whole donate to charity in lieu of a bag thing! And totally love your appropriation of the whole deal to take your guests into consideration–its almost like a game. (Well, almost.)

    Thanks for sharing your great idea! (read: I’m totally going to steal this one…)

  20. tulip Member
    tulip 662 posts, Busy bee @ 5:32 pm

    Great, great, great idea! You’ve completely solved the “charity choice” problem, and in such a cute/fun way!

  21. Member
    pancy 287 posts, Helper bee @ 10:15 pm

    i LOVE it! I just may ditch my singular donation to the ACS and steal your idea in order to keep from having to choose just one org.

    have you thought of a clever way to use the pogs as a keepsake after the wedding?

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Jessica Lynn, Guest @ 11:10 pm

    What a GREAT idea! So creative and innovative! Love it.

  23. lovebug Member
    lovebug 712 posts, Busy bee @ 12:33 am

    Pancy – I haven’t, no. I’m open to suggestions, though. 😉

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    jnicholea, Guest @ 12:41 am

    This is a great idea. I do think it is terrible to make guests feel like you gave money to a charity they don’t believe in, but I think bells and cupcakes are a waste of money. After gorging on your delicious food at your wedding, do I really need to add insult to injury by stuffing a cupcake down my face when I get home?

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    kbok, Guest @ 1:17 am


  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Tiah, Guest @ 2:20 am

    I love this idea so much. Where did you find the punch and the pre-cut chipboards?

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Meredith, Guest @ 11:55 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! I think it is a great way to involve your guests. Add me to the list of brides who plan on using it also! (I even passed the idea on to my wedding planner.) Thank you so much!

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    wsukarebear, Guest @ 7:08 pm

    I didn’t see this until now (months later!) but it is definitely a great idea. People love choice!

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    Get This Delicious Monkey Off My Back. » Weddingbee, Guest @ 12:30 pm

    […] 1. You, along with your sidekick C&H Pure Cane Sugar (in the Easy-Pour Carton), give me the much-needed jolt to my bloodstream necessary to make 280 charity token pogs. […]

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    Birdy, Guest @ 4:18 pm

    i LOVE this twist on the charity favor… especially since i think the gripe about donation favors is that people feel like their freedom to donate to the cause of their choice is jeopardized and this makes that argument moot. they have to like at least one of the charities you choose… or else they’re bad people 😉

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    The Blitzkrieg Blog » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 3:50 pm

    […] These will be tucked into everyone’s napkins, to explain our crazy charity tokens-as-favors: […]

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Small Steps to a Greener Wedding « Miss Radish’s Wedding Adventures, Guest @ 2:44 pm

    […] Favors – don’t have the time/energy/money to make eco-friendly wedding favors? Then just skip favors altogether or give a charity favor like Mrs. Lovebug! […]

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    In Loving Memory » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 10:23 am

    […] due to complications related to multiple sclerosis. We considered replicating Ms. Lovebug’s great Sweet Charity idea but we decided to stick with one charity because the wedding will be small (60-70 guests) and […]

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Genevieve, Guest @ 10:18 am

    Please do tell… what wording did you come up with for your cards???

  35. lovebug Member
    lovebug 712 posts, Busy bee @ 11:07 am

    Genevieve – just check out my post from a few weeks later called “Blitzkrieg Blog” – it has all the card wording. =)

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Swiper, no swiping!r « Nick & Nat’s Wedding, Guest @ 8:34 pm

    […] favours!  Courtesy of the incomparable Mrs. Lovebug.  The whole idea here is to give each of our guests tokens worth a loonie ore a toonie.  Then […]

  37. Member
    miss sweets 77 posts, Worker bee @ 11:47 am

    adorable and thoughtful idea! and they are very pretty too :o)

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    One Lucky Day, Con’t.: Details and Whatnots » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 7:15 pm

    […] set up, I’d chucked the plan of tucking our “Sweet Charity” cards into the napkins – I just couldn’t cover up the gorgeous letterpress. So I just sort of set them […]

  39. Guest Icon Guest
    The Taffy Favors » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 8:31 am

    […] deciding on an object to give people for voting purposes (of course, with my luck, I didn’t read Mrs. Lovebug’s post about her favors until we had already found one). We found inspiration in these wooden tokens from […]

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily, Guest @ 9:52 am

    Sorry – I’m going to be the lone dissenter here. Charity is a wonderful, wonderful thing – I give every single year. The handiwork you did with the charity chips is beautiful; however, the idea of a “charity” wedding favor has never sat well with me. Either you give a favor or you don’t – I wouldn’t make the choice to inform someone that their “favor” is a donation to a charity. It may be of kind, generous, and selfless intention, but it certainly isn’t a favor. It rubs off as patronizing.

    While your idea is certainly creative and well-executed, informing guests that they have to give instead of receiving a favor can appear rude. The common justification for these charity “favors” is that most wedding favors (tealights, jordan almonds, packets of seeds) are junk that people toss anyway. That’s completely true. So why waste the money at all? I would have made the decision to just quietly donate the money I would have spent and not give favors at all – not say “Hey, this is your favor — now give it away.”

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    ToddD, Guest @ 3:17 pm

    Interesting idea, good job

  42. Guest Icon Guest
    Angie Pena, Guest @ 6:46 pm


    We are doing the same for our wedding favors, but are struggling with the wording. How did you word your note to let your guests know what the tokens were for?

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