VOW & The Wedding Industry: A Perfect Match

Jan 5, 2019 ,

How did VOW for Girls come to be and why does VOW partner with engaged couples and the wedding industry to end child marriage? These are common questions we receive so we’re taking you on a trip down memory lane to where it all began!

It Started At A Wedding

VOW for Girls, engaged couples and the wedding industry have always been a perfect pairing — we’ve been together since our 2018 launch and the honeymoon phase shows no signs of stopping. In fact, the idea for VOW was conceived at a wedding and the organization was designed to work with the wedding industry, so it’s no surprise we go together like vanilla cake and buttercream.

VOW co-founder Mabel van Oranje, a human rights activist, noticed during her travels that most organizations working to end child marriage were chronically underfunded — she knew she had to help. At a wedding of two friends, where the couple asked for donations in lieu of gifts, inspiration struck: what if Mabel could marry the wedding industry to the cause she championed and end the global child marriage crisis? It seemed only right that as couples celebrate choosing each other, they could help girls around the world choose love on their own terms. She instantly saw the potential and recruited Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, to co-found the organization with her. VOW was officially born.

A Perfect Match

Launched in October 2018 at The Knot Gala (originally known as VOW to End Child Marriage), VOW for Girls is tied to the wedding industry on every level, from conception story to subject matter to our choice of partners– the list goes on and on.

To date, there has been no charity of choice for the wedding industry globally. VOW aspires to be that partner between engaged couples looking to support a charity through their wedding planning process and the wedding industry who is seeking to support a worthy cause. That’s why our methods of raising funds and creating awareness to be the preferred wedding charity were built specifically with engaged couples and wedding vendors in mind.

Our years of experience collaborating with couples and wedding vendors across the globe have shaped the many seamless ways we’ve designed our partnerships, and we’re thrilled to have so many wedding insiders join us in ending child marriage around the world.

The Knot Gala, 2018 Steve Clark Photography

Become A VOW Couple

Who better to understand the importance of choosing love on their own terms, which is central to VOW’s mission, than those in the process of making that choice?

We offer engaged couples looking to support social change a charity wedding registry that can replace or be added to their traditional wedding registries, as well as perfect products for all parts of the marriage journey.

VOW also offers unique ways for engaged couples to offer support through their planning process, such as donating to VOW in lieu of wedding favors for their guests, or donating to VOW as a part of wedding gifts to each other, wedding party or their family. Check out some of our blog posts for more practical ideas to support VOW with your wedding.

VOW Couple Elsa & Ryan, Alicia Mink Photography

Join Us As A VOW Pro

For wedding professionals, we know Gen Z and millennial clients want to support businesses who align with their values. We give wedding pros easy ways to activate with us through our VOW Pro program, such as badges to display on company websites and flexible per-client donation structures, to help socially-conscious clients find compatible vendors like you.

We’re fortunate to work with wedding professionals, from wedding planners, photographers, wedding registry companies, florists, wedding dress designers and more in 19 countries, and we’re just getting started. As they help engaged couples celebrate choosing each other, wedding professionals can help girls the world over choose love on their own terms.

VOW Pro, Jenna Wren Photography

100% Of Your Donations

From wedding registry to gift donations, everything donated to VOW (that’s 100% of donations!) goes directly to community-driven efforts to help girls around the world. Our grantees, which are mainly women-led local organizations, use the funding we provide to directly support girls.

From covering school fees and increasing their personal safety, to leadership programs and job training, local leaders identify what would best help girls in their communities build bright futures.

Our innovative resources designed specifically for wedding vendors and couples will easily allow you to work VOW into your wedding, whether you’re planning one for yourself or for your favorite client.

About VOW for Girls

Twelve million girls a year, some as young as 8, become child brides. VOW is a global movement of the wedding industry community, partners and couples who are dedicated to a world where no child is ever a bride and where every girl has the chance to live the life she loves.

If you’re in the wedding industry and you’re interested in becoming involved, please find more wedding inspiration and advice in our blog, consider becoming a VOW Pro partner and learning more about VOW’s mission to end childhood marriage. If you’re an engaged couple and want to learn more about supporting VOW, please get involved with VOW. We can’t wait to partner with you next and see what good we can do together.


Header photo credit: BlueSpark Photography