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Weddings that Give Back: TLove & Jeannette, Maine

In honor of Pride Appreciation, we wanted to celebrate this incredibly compassion-driven love story with you all one more time. This incredible couple used their wedding day to serve and positively impact their family, their community and the environment around them. Thank you to our BSB Vendor, Tara Lynn Bridal, for sharing their story with us and for creating the ethical wedding attire. Molly Haley captured the day in all of it’s locally sourced, organic and intentional goodness. Upon receiving their ‘giving back story’ we were blown away by the sheer magnitude of kind thoughtfulness that went into making their socially conscious wedding a success! See what the couple had to share below: Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900002 ‘For our wedding, we wanted to infuse as much of our personalities and our consciousness into the day as possible.  We are passionate about local farms, the local economy, and local arts as well as cooperative living communities.  Our intention was nurture our guests by practicing consciousness for the environment, our community and ourselves.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900007   Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900044 ‘Our flowers were also organic and purchased from local Maine farms and from a friend’s personal garden. We also had both of our wedding outfits custom-made out of organic hemp and cotton from Tara Lynn Bridal (Tara Lynn is not only eco-friendly, she also donates a portion of her annual profits to a Vermont-based domestic violence non-profit and a few other causes)’. Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900017 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900018 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900021 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900024 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900025 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900026 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900029 ‘As part of our ceremony, we included a group guided kaleidoscope yoga circle with over 120 participants, our guests.’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900031 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900036Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900033  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900038 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900039 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900040 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900042  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900010Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900046 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900047 ‘Our dinner menu was buffet-style, vegan, organic with all produce from local Maine farms and prepared and cooked by us and our friend, who is a vegan chef. We composted everything from our community meal, including our dinner wares, and donated it to Zero Food Waste.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900008Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900050Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900053 ‘Our take away gifts were reusable vintage purple Ball Jars with lids to be used to drink from at the wedding day and beyond. We also held a safe and sober space for the entire weekend.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900004 ‘To support local arts, we hired several local musicians, a local swing dance instructor to help choreograph a group dance for our wedding party, as well as visual artists (live painters) to celebrate the day’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900055 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900056 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900060 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900061 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900062 ‘For our gift registry we accepted donations for a cross country road trip to explore and document cooperative living communities throughout the U.S.. We will be compiling this trip into a video documentary screening as a way to educate and give back to our community.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900066 Photographer:  Molly Haley//Event Venue: Live Well Farm//Fashion Designer: Tara Lynn Bridal//    

Engagements With Purpose: Arwa + Zohaile, Joshua Tree, CA

Editor Note: Black Sheep Bride is a platform to uplift, empower and share stories of amazing people, with selfless love, and huge impact, actively involved in changing the world around them, in a variety of ways. The following engagement session is both breathtaking, as it is, highly inspirational and thought provoking. BSB encourages you to put yourself in this couple’s ‘wedding planning shoes’ and imagine the challenges they must face, when planning a multi-cultural wedding of international proportions. The present time in which we live has become a historic season of great action, great community and great love, that is why BSB is honored to share the story of how this couple, both first-generation Americans, has chosen to use their rights, passions, skills, and personal understandings to serve the least of these. Arwa is an talented Muslim Indian immigration lawyer, as is her partner, Zohaile, an Iranian-American, their love story began in NYC, but has continued onto the other side of the country, in southern California. Read their story, from Arwa’s words below. (Photography by Laura Goldenberger Photography) i-TnKZwpS-X4JO9C0183 My fiancé Zohaile and I (Arwa) met in 2011 when we were both working together at a class action administration firm. He came from Southern California to New York for law school and stayed, and I was a New York native, who had taken a slight geographical detour to Paris, France to pursue a fellowship with an NGO in women’s rights in Africa and the Middle East. I was greeted, upon my return, by a failing job market and started working at this firm, because, even though the market was hard on the private practice of law, it was even harder on those who wanted to work at underfunded non profit organizations. I continued taking cases pro bono in humanitarian immigration (asylum protection for the LGBTQ community and deferred action for our country’s young and undocumented “dreamers”) and vowed to one day make this my “real job.” AN4A5632i-w3FCH6V-X4 The firm was good to me, most especially, because it brought Zohaile together. After sitting near each other in an open workspace and learning we lived in the same Astoria neighborhood, we began seeing each other outside of work. We’d spend our weekends going on road trips, adventures, and camping – falling in love with each other and nature. i-QSBrwhB-X4AN4A5294  AN4A5199 A couple of years into our relationship, we decided to move to southern California. We quit our jobs, packed up our respective cars, and drove across the country over 21 magical days, camping and exploring along the way. I had always dreamed of living in California and now I was finally here. I promised myself that I would keep my word – to only work for a cause that I’m passionate about. I put it out there in the universe (and did a lot of hard work), and suddenly things started to fall into place. I was hired as the Asylum Director of a nonprofit organization in San Diego, moved into an amazing place located 5 minutes from work, and soon after found myself engaged to the love of my life. AN4A5921    i-zc5S3JZ-X4  i-zfrcM4T-X4 After certain executive orders (were signed) at the end of January, I find my work becoming more challenging, crucial, and relevant. I begin my workdays a lot earlier and leave a lot later. I spend my weekends protesting, writing letters to my representatives, or finding ways to engage the non-legal community in advocacy or volunteer efforts, and thinking about every single one of my clients – potential or actual. After a bout of tears and hopelessness, I decided I was going to put my actions where my mouth was, that I was a voice for my clients and the people I serve – not just inside the immigration courts and offices, but everywhere their rights were being violated. The ban on travel from 7 Muslim countries hits home for me personally as well. Members of my fiancé’s family from Iran, who were planning to come to the United States especially for our wedding, are no longer allowed to enter the country. While I have been talked out of making my entire wedding playlist resistance and revolution songs, my spirit of dissent is ever present and will be on my wedding day. |||| AN4A5229 Here are a few ways to help Arwa and Z continue to serve others: Donate to Casa Cornelia Law Center
Consider volunteering as interpreters and translate for immigration law clients.
Connect with the congressional representatives in your area, you can visit: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. Their bio will include ways to interact with them.
Photography by Laura Goldenberger Photography Special thanks to our BSB Vendor, ‘Cause We Can Events, for sharing this story with us!

2017 Father’s Day Round-Up

Dads are pretty rad, aren’t they? Before BSB launched, I was spending my weekend’s photographing weddings and my most favorite wedding day images were always during dad moments. It’s just fun to see grown men so uncharacteristically emotional, don’t you agree? Thanks to our BSB vendors for sharing some of their favorite DAD moments with us for this Father’s Day Round Up. Here is to all the DADS out there, furry, old, young, step, adoptive, and everything in between, wishing you all a Happy Father’s Day, near and far! 10991129_10204090044479547_5258038856232029780_n (Bride speaking to her dad, who was bed ridden on her wedding day) Bird On A Wire Photography 18814859_226911144480614_6169942867411730108_o Brandilynn Aines Photography 18766580_226908307814231_2576506713223363562_o Brandilynn Aines Photography 18766530_10158739779105123_1199248283080367833_o Kyra Rane Photography 18765803_1599385926740248_5389344399058615927_n FairyTail Pet Care | Photo: Bumby Photography Tam_Padovan_FamilyCreativeImagery_WinnieDanny10012016145 Family Creative Imagery 18740748_10158739793580123_3640019752012206951_n Kyra Rane Photography 18739218_10154812999231559_3563518197155298894_o Lauren Lindley Photography 18156819_10158739787320123_596766822232149729_o Kyra Rane Photography 18836812_10154813000651559_6357498400476366727_o Lauren Lindley Photography HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, Dads! 

30+ Favorite Wedding Gift Ideas via SoKind Registry

SoKind Registry isn’t like other registries. With SoKind, you can register for anything you want. Really. Anything! You can register for concert tickets, guitar lessons from a talented friend, DIY help, a secondhand stand mixer, a monthly date night, a favorite recipe…you name it, and a SoKind user has probably registered for it! Meredith15 Here are some real gifts from real SoKind Registries that we absolutely love: Fun Experience Gifts
  • Canning lessons
  • Graceland tickets
  • Live music fund
  • Craft party
  • Treasure hunt at a junk yard with us
  • CSA Share
  • Marathon fees
  • Brew lessons for two
Meredith9 The Right Stuff
  • Sunscreen for the honeymoon
  • Coffee from your city. (“If you have a favorite roaster, buy a bag and we can have a coffee collection to enjoy this year.”)
  • Wedding ring tattoos
  • Tiny home fund
  • Organic Beer Kit
  • Meyer lemon tree
  • Ancestry DNA Kit
mc2 Heartfelt handmade and helpful gifts
  • Pre-wedding guest hosting
  • Board game loans for the wedding reception
  • Stock our bar
  • Three decorating divas on our wedding day
  • Moving help
  • Write us a story!
  • Relaxation tips for newlyweds
  • Wedding scrapbook
  • Dig up perennial plants from your yard  (“We would love to think of you when we head outside and see your beautiful plants in our yard. Hook us up with your flowers and herbs!”)
  • Music list for DJ
  • Pet staycation while on our honeymoon
  • Nerd help (“We’re both interested in learning skills related to small business website design and server maintenance.”)
fashion-men-vintage-colorful More-than-just-money gifts
  • “Get out of jail free card” (“Help us when our car breaks down on our road trip honeymoon.”)
  • Help repaying student loans
  • Potluck rehearsal dinner contributions
  • “The last-minute mishap fund”  (“This is a fund to cover all the last-minute expenses that we know will come up in the last few days of wedding planning.”)
  • Big tip to the best waiter or waitress of our honeymoon trip (“Help us give a huge tip to an unsuspecting waiter/waitress.”)
  • Foster an elephant
  • Papal Blessing of Our Marriage
SoKind Registry was designed as an alternative to the traditional, retail-based gift registries. SoKind Registry wanted to create a platform that allows registrants to receive meaningful, customized gifts from their loved ones while still making the process for the gift-givers easy and elegant. And SoKind Registry knows they’ve succeeded based on all the amazing gifts that SoKind Registry users create. We hope you’ll join their incredible community of couples who want more fun and less stuff! Create your SoKind Registry today! 

Military Weddings that Gives Back – Michelle & Dave, Austin, TX

This Memorial Day we wanted to revisit one of our favorite military wedding features in honor of all those that have served and sacrificed their lives for our country. Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031714 So grateful for today’s featured Real Wedding and how it brings honor and love to those that serve our country! Not only is the groom a selfless man of service, this gorgeous couple is also socially conscious. They decided to get married at the Barr Mansion, ‘The Nation’s only Certified Organic Event Facility’, and donated a portion of their budget t a charity fighting human trafficking, The Polaris Project. Talk about amazing! Their wonderful photographers, at Amanda Summerlin Photography, also pride’s themselves on being green and eco-conscious, as well as donating a portion of their profits to one of several organizations. As a gift for clients that book their wedding day, Amanda Summerlin Photography, provides their couples with a Kiva Card (which provided micro loans to entrepeuners around the world). To date they have provided the Kiva community with over 94 micro loans. Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding2013110345 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding2013110369 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103203 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103249 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103390 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103454 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103536 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103618 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103784 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103810 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103822 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103826 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103837 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103842 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103857 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103870 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031073 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031171 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031344 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031682 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031686 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031708 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311032482 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311032572 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311032911 Venue: Barr Mansion | Photographer: Amanda Summerlin | Floral: Stems Floral | Cake: Polkadots Cup Cake Factory