Supplier case studies

Give It - charity wedding gift lists

Give It - charity wedding gift lists

Name: Andy Hickey
Location: Hertfordshire

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business
Give It was set up in 2004 by myself and my partner - we operate a number of charitable gift list services, where instead of toasters and kettles, or pots and pans, all the gifts are donations to a wide variety of different charities - couples pick a group of charities, guests then pick a gift to the charity of their choice from the couples list.

Our services include The Alternative Wedding List, The Scottish Wedding List, The London Wedding List and, our most recent addition, The Green Gift List. Each service features a range of different charities, meaning couples can pick the service that suits them, and can select their own list of charities within each service.

We have over 50 charities participating in the services.

  • Charities including Barnardo's, Breast Cancer Care, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Samaritans, Save the Children, War on Want and many more appear on The Alternative Wedding List.
  • A selection of environmental and conservation charities such as Save the Rhino and Garden Organic appear on The Green Gift List
  • Couples looking for charities closer to home can take a look at our Scottish or London services.

Charities don't pay any upfront fees or other charges to be part of the service - charities are selected to provide choices for couples and guests and to continue to develop different gift lists.

Give It pass 100% of donations made through the service to the charities, and use the Gift Aid that can be reclaimed on a large proportion of these donations to cover the costs of the service. Once all the costs are covered the remainder of the Gift Aid is also passed to the charities. Our not-for-profit nature (we're not in this for ourselves) has meant that we are often described as a 'social enterprise' (but we're happy with any positive description!).

What or who inspires you?
On a personal level, my three girls (all daughters - that's three times I'll have to give one of them away!).

From a business point of view, my partner and all those other volunteers who have supported what we do by offering their help and guidance, and standing for hours upon end at dozens of wedding shows talking to thousands of couples about our various services.

What do you enjoy most about running your business?
Getting great feedback from couples who have used the service and from charities grateful for the funds those couples have generated.

What is the most challenging aspect?
The challenge of working in an industry where most suppliers encourage couples to spend, spend, spend - being part of the ‘counter-culture' does feel good though!

What do you feel you bring to an ethical wedding?
A great alternative - our wedding lists won't suit all couples (as so many young couples could still do with a bit of a start with the old pots and pans and bed linen) but when you consider the country we live in, and how well off most of us really are, then we think it's something that more and more couples will consider using.

How do you see the wedding industry changing over the next five years (if at all)?
More and more bespoke - couples having their wedding just a little bit different to everyone else's.

More and more ethical - I really hope that weddings will become less about how much you spend and more about the couple themselves and what THEY want out of the big day.

Find out more about Give It - charity wedding gift lists