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Weddings That Give Back: Poonam & Nishkaam- Santa Monica, CA

Did you know?
It only takes 50 cents to provide a day’s rations to a hungry child in the midst of a conflict zone.
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Poonam Kaushal and Nishkaam Mehta, of California, knew the statistics and they shared in their concern for the global hunger pandemic. Upon their exciting engagement announcement, Poonam and Nish decided to do something totally different with their $20K wedding budget. They used their wedding dollars to feed the children of Cameroon, through World Food Programme’s Share The Meal app.
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‘Right now you have 20 times more smart phones, than hungry children around the world,’ said Nish to a local Santa Monica news station. That statistic alone is mind blowing and sobering enough to make you think twice about that most recent iPhone upgrade.
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 Instead of a traditional multi-day Indian wedding and registry, the couple donated the large majority of their wedding budget to support 40,000 meals and raised hundreds of thousands of more meals through their crowd sharing campaign.  Their Million Meals for Love campaign launched on January 14 and concluded on Valentine’s Day with a simple civil ceremony and intimate reception. They have since raised 270K+ meals and are simply grateful to their loved ones and honored to be a part feeding and empowering the children of Cameroon through their Million Meals for Love campaign!
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If you would like to get involved and Share the Meal with hungry children worldwide, Download the app today and donate!   
Photographer credit: Matei Horvath Photography

Vegan Weddings that Give Back: Amanda & Brandon- New York City, NY

Amanda & Brandon’s wedding tops all the charts of animal friendliness was entirely vegan. The two met in NYC at a dive bar in the east village years ago where they really hit it off. After discovering they both lived a vegan lifestyle they knew it was meant to be. They celebrated their marriage at 26 Bridge in DUMBO where every aspect of their wedding was vegan. From cocktail hour to the brides shoes, everything was animal friendly. Surrounded by friends and family they celebrated well into the evening. The bride’s gown was even made by our very own BSB vendor and amazing wedding gown designer, Rebecca Schoneveld! Thank you to Bri Johnson Weddings for submitting this wedding story for us to share with you!

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Amanda is a Former Research and Outreach Assistant to Director at Catskill Animal Sanctuary and Founder at Benevolent And Enlightened Beauty.

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Cactus Inspired Sustainable Stylized Shoot: Northern California

When a group of lifelong friends gather in a cactus grove and let their creativity run wild, magic happens. At least that is the case for today’s sustainably stylized inspiration shoot! MF-164 As a little girl, Elise of Elise Aileen Photography, fell head first into a cactus, resulting in a trip to the hospital and, many years later, the idea behind the creation of this cactus crown shoot came to life. When Elise asked our friend, Mack Floral Design, to collaborate, she was enthusiastic but unsure of how to pull something like that off. Cactus, it turns out, isn’t her go-to for crown making materials. Still, she was inspired by the varying shades of green, the richness in texture and the simple fact that she had never seen one before. After scouting for months to find the perfect Northern California wine country location, she discovered a giant cactus grove on the side of the road, coupled with an abandoned house. It was perfect. MF-119 The shoot features blooms in caramel, indigo, burgundy and blush pink tones, and is accessorized with cherished décor, sustainably sourced from their travels, thrift stores and even their families’ heirloom china cabinets! The heart of the shoot rests in the subtle personal details and in the stories of the women who brought it to life. The table is anchored with a treasured keepsake – a Fulani blanket picked up from a local craftsman in Nigeria where Mack Floral volunteered for the Rafiki Foundation (an organization that she continue to support from afar which serves orphans and widows in ten different countries in Africa). The vintage Nicaraguan cigar box pays homage to the place Elise met and married her husband, and where she continually returns to volunteer for eye care clinics. One of the models serves as an ambassador for Save the Storks, an organization that partners with local pregnancy centers to increase training, tools and resources for expecting mothers. The passion fruit cake was specially crafted by Hollie Fortkamp of Beloved Bakery and features a glass-globed terrarium with a protea perched inside. Afterward the cake was enjoyed by the San Francisco Perspectives Class, an organization that educates and empowers people to serve the global community. The flowers were repurposed (de-prickled!) and spread color and cheer at a local hospice center. MF-17 For all the creative couples looking for inspiration for their big day, we charge you: Be bold! There is beauty in abandoned places, in prickly materials, in creating your vision with the people that matter most – the ones you’ve grown up with, who understand you. Select vendors who share your values, who source sustainable products and design with purpose. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different materials and to incorporate unconventional things. At the end of the day, the flowers were beautiful, the cake delicious, and the pictures perfect, but the real joy was in the camaraderie we felt and the opportunity to share our labors of love long after the shoot was over. MF-54 MF-89  MF-112  MF-120 MF-123 MF-130 MF-49MF-131 MF-144 MF-149 MF-151 MF-162  MF-191 MF-193 MF-195 MF-199 Vendor List: Photography: Elise Aileen Photography | Floral Design: Mack Floral Design | Cake: Beloved Bakery | Hair: Ali Pedersen | MUA: Cristina Lopez | Model: Claire Dwyer | Model: Trista Ann Marie Eazell

Ultimate National Park & State Park Wedding & Engagement Round Up

“From California to the New York Island From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters…”
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We are so grateful to each and everyone that took the time to share their National and State Park weddings, engagements and proposals with us this week. As National Park Week comes to a close, please don’t stop there. Our National Park Services are in desperate need of our love and support, so let us do our part and honor the land that was made for you and me (cheesy, much?)
We hope you enjoy our National Park Week Finale Round Up! (Credits below each image)
White In Revery | Ocala National Forest, FL
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Laura Goldenberger Photography | Joshua Tree National Park, CA
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Bergreen Photography | Yosemite National Park, CA
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The Hearnes | Zion National Park
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Dave Shay Photography | Lake Raleigh Park, NC
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Jessica Schilling Photography | Planning + Styling: Moxie Bright Events | Florals: Martha Claire Floral Design |Signs + Invitation: Calligraphy Nerd Sweets: Nicole Bakes Cakes | Dresses: Solstice Bride (white dress) and Joanna August (black gown) |Hair + Makeup: Angelina Panelli | Joshua Tree, CA
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NV Maui Media  | Maui Rainforest, HI
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Rachel Gomez Photography | Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal | Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
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 A Tale Ahead Photography | Uvas County Park, CA
www.StevenMillerPix.com | Steven Miller Photography Orlando
Steven Miller Photography | Grand Canyon, AZ
View More: http://tabmccausland.pass.us/karlaanddavid
Tabitha Photography | Moss Park, FL
View More: http://christopherjulie.pass.us/lisa-and-shaun
Christopher + Julie | Designed/Planned: Oak and Honey Events | Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
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Carmen Alvarez Photography | Butano State Park, CA
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A Tale Ahead Photography | Yosemite National Park, CA
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Cat Lemus Photography & Cinema | Castlewood Canyon State Park, CO
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Bergreen Photography | Sequoia National Forest, CA
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Amanda Matilda Photography | Colorado National Monument, CO
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Kristina Staal Photography | Montauk Lighthouse National Monument, NY
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Logan Smith Photography | Mt. Rainer, WA
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Square 8 Studio | Somewhere Between Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park
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WAYS TO GET INVOLVED DURING NATIONAL PARK WEEK!
Did you know that the National Park Services has over 12 billion dollars of outstanding repairs and needs across the 2000 parks and forests they maintain? Go grab your annual NPS Pass today and help support the future of our planet for generations to come!April 15-16 and April 22-23 : Free Admission to any National Park in the United StatesBuy a National Park (Forest) Pass (for $80). There are also FREE Passes available for active military, and students in the 4th grade, as well as discounted passes for Seniors. Learn more HERE.Find the closest park to you and volunteer or support their fundraising initiatives!

Eco- Friendly Wedding that Gives Back: Ashley and Chris

Happy Earth Day to all of you! What a great day to encourage and remind us to use our planet wisely and with more intention every day of our lives and not just once a year! We wanted to feature a wedding that was sensitive to sustainability, giving back and eco-friendly alternatives and we found just the one, courtesy of our amazing BSB vendor, Oak and Honey Events. View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris We love what the bride had to share about why it was important to have a sustainable wedding day: ‘Chris and I have always been very eco-minded, but after purging most of our belongings and moving to Costa Rica in 2012, we had a whole new appreciation for reducing waste in the world. Chris proposed with an estate ring from the 1930s—we both love that it has a story and a history. From there, we found Melanie Tindell of Oak and Honey Events, who specializes in sustainable events, and she guided us toward a day we could really be proud of!’ View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris The couple was committed to keeping their wedding as environmentally friendly as possible by up-cycling a lot of their wedding decor, as well as sourcing locally. Spice of Life Catering provided delicious, sustainable, and locally grown food for the couple’s big day. Ashley and Chris also re-sold their wedding items at The Recycled Wedding Boutique, so that other couples could give their items a second life. In addition, prior to their wedding, the couple volunteered at the national park at which they were to be married, planting trees. View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris       View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris PhotographyJanelle Putrich Photography | Event Design & PlanningOak & Honey Events | VenueHines Hill Conference Center | FloralTwig Floral + Event Design | Wedding Dress (skirt)Something White | CakeHummingbird Bake Shop | CatererSpice of Life Catering | MakeupMKleinman Artistry | HairFringe and Foundation Studio | DJDJ Goodwin | BartenderSweet Water Caravan | Tent and RentalsMiller’s Party Rental Center