*Editor Note: With Hurricane Harvey currently causing major devastation to the East Coast of Texas and the surrounding areas, we wanted to take a moment and send our Texas friends our love and prayers for safe keeping. This is a very serious situation and there is still so much work to be done. As rescue and relief teams are making their way into the hardest hit areas, we are hopeful that everyone gets the immediate help and relocation to drier ground they require. With that said, we wanted to remember one of our most beloved love stories from one of last year’s natural disaster to give a glimmer of hope, in the midst of hard times, for our Texas vendors and wedding couples impacted by this nasty storm.
It’s been almost a year since Hurricane Matthew ravaged its way through the Caribbean and coastlines of Florida, GA, and the Carolinas. This storm brought so much devastation, loss of life, property damage, demolished communities and ruined quite a few wedding plans, but one of our BSB vendors, Finny Hill Photography, used the unexpected natural landscape to bring beauty to the beastly circumstances. We reached out to Finny Hill to see if their couple would like to take a moment to tell us 5 reasons they were grateful for the way their unplanned BIG Day turned out, their responses couldn’t have melted our hearts bigger. Thank you to Stephanie and Joshua for sharing your gracious hearts with all of us.
Five reasons we are grateful to have gotten married during Hurricane Matthew (in no particular order)
1. Appreciation for Community
When things fall apart, you have a choice; you can let them stay in a heap on the floor or you can pick them back up and keep trying. Through Hurricane Matthew trying to crash our wedding, we were able to see our community (people we don’t even know personally), dear friends, family, and insanely amazing photographers/vendors, rally together to make our wedding happen- no matter the circumstances. Talk about feeling loved.
2. Unity Through The Unexpected
Josh and I rarely shy away from a challenge; we are always eager to learn lessons and strengthen our bond. This was an opportunity for us to unite together and truly see what our relationship was made of. We stayed grounded and held each other up through the many hardships are thrown our way.
3. Actively Choosing Happiness
We were able to confirm a belief we share, that we have the ability to choose happiness no matter the situation, which is exactly what we did. Even after our vendors, friends, and family cancelled on us, we kept choosing happiness.
4. Unique Story
No one will have a story like ours. Beginning our day by clearing our ceremony sight of fallen trees and debris, frantic phone calls to push the reception to Sunday
, getting married without power (in what ended up being perfect weather) with only immediate family and our closest friends, partying by candlelight and dancing to the sounds played on a Bluetooth speaker. These moments are where the memories are made.
5. Back To The (Original) Basics
From the beginning, Josh and I secretly always wanted a small wedding to celebrate our love with the people we loved most. Because of the hurricane, our ceremony was the intimate gathering we had originally envisioned.
They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck. If that’s true then a hurricane must mean the whole universe believes in our marriage just as much as we do.
This past Earth Day our amazing BSB vendor, Kera Photography
, captured the wedding day of one SUPER GREEN couple. Angela and Kyle came together at an amazing non-profit venue, St. Petersburg Woman’s Club
, to celebrate their love for each other, their community, and their environment. They intentionally choose not to purchase any new decorations for their wedding and up-cycled and thrifted the entire wedding day vision. They also used biodegradable plates and utensils and collaborated with the caterer to incorporate as many seasonal and locally sourced foods as possible. BONUS POINTS: their cake was completely vegan, and they worked with a local brewery to make the wedding day brews on tap vs. serving non-local canned/bottled brands!
Not only is wasting less and going green a large part of their lifestyles, they also serve the community in huge ways. Kyle is on the board of a non-profit called Creative Clay
, they provide resources and supplies to make art available for adults with disabilities. Angela also volunteers for several organizations supporting the St. Petersburg, FL area. Take a peek at this sweet day, you can almost smell the potting soil from here.
Photography: Kera Photography
| Planner: Special Moments Event Planning
| Venue: St. Petersburg Woman’s Club
| Hair and Makeup: Studio KG and Loft 19
| Catering: Chives Innovative Catering
| DJ, Photobooth, Lighting: Nature Coast Entertainment
| Bouquets: The Bride’s Bouquet
| Linens: Connie Duglin Speciality Linen
Earth Friendly Floral Process | Written by: Amanda Lankford of Amanda Jewel Floral + Design | Photography by: Katey P Photography
Some time ago Amanda Jewel Floral + Design had the pleasure of inviting a fellow Black Sheep Bride vendor into our studio to help us tell the visual story of floral design. Katey Penton, owner of Katey Penton Photography, brought her camera and shot our methods for two days.
At Amanda Jewel Floral + Design, we strive to be as green as possible when it comes to creating beautiful designs for each event. We would like to offer you a little insider view of how we work in our studio.
Step One | Pick up the flowers
Believe it or not, flowers don’t arrive in beautiful packages. They come in plain cardboard boxes with a lot of packing material. Luckily, we don’t mind because we reuse most of it to pack for events. Whatever is left over we recycle.
Step Two | Processing the flowers
This is one of the longer steps when it comes to floral design, and if done correctly is a key ingredient to lasting freshness. Each flower comes in a bundle and must be shed of its cellophane, rubber bands, and then trimmed and pruned. This part of the process leads to a lot of plant waste, which we use as an opportunity to add to our compost bin. We always have a lawn bag nearby for clippings and excess leaves that come off of each stem. This never goes in the trash.
Step Three | Design Day
Once our flower processing is complete, we begin designing – this is the fun part! And if you thought processing the flowers led to a lot of waste, this makes even more!
Step Four | Compost
Once our bag is full of clippings, we dump it in our homemade compost bin. This compost is then used in our cut flower bed right outside the studio. We like to keep our garden full of a variety of things which we can incorporate into our designs.
Step Five | Event Day
Surprisingly, we can reuse things on an event day instead of simply throwing them in the trash. We always try to recycle/reuse any ribbon, boxes, packaging materials, and any other hard goods that some might throw away. We turn the flower boxes into a vessel to carry bouquets and arrangements. We use these as many times as we can before they get recycled.
Step Six | After an Event
This is always the hardest part. We put so much love and care into the entire flower process that it sometimes seems like events end so quickly that the flowers have not fulfilled their entire purpose. At this point, we refuse to throw any stem away. In our consultations with brides, we offer a couple of options of what we can do with the flowers after their event. They can either take them home to enjoy, or allow us to donate them to local nursing homes, friends in the community, etc. This brings joy not only to us, but also to those who receive a fresh flower arrangement from us here at Amanda Jewel.
We hope this little insider view of the way we work inspires you to be earth friendly in everything you do. There are many aspects of weddings that are wasteful, and these are a few of the ways we strive to meet the needs of our clients without compromising the ability of future generations to enjoy the beauty of flowers.
To find out more information about Amanda Jewel Floral + Design visit their website here