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World Changing Wines- Weddings that Give Back

You’ve probably heard the term ‘Turning Water into Wine’, but have you ever heard of turning wine into water!? Several wine industry friends are joining forces with the Do- Gooder revolution and taken their spirits to new heights helping others with cancer research, clean water, food banks, and much more- one glass of wine at a time. Here are few to consider using for your wedding day wine festivities. wine 1. OneHope, Zinfandel, $18.99: ONEHOPE Wine donates HALF of their profits to make a social impact with various partnered charities.  2. Cultivate Wines, The Feast, $25: Cultivate gives back 10 cents of every dollar to help fund opportunity and hope in communities across the globe 3. Steelhead, Pinot Noir, $15: Steelhead donates one percent of its total sales to the One Percent for the Planet charity group, which is an alliance of companies all of which donate one percent of their sales to a variety of eco-charitable organizations 4. Humanitas Wines, Merlot, $20-$100: Humanitias supports the Habitat for Humanity, Local and National Food Banks and the Editch Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation with each bottle sold.

5. Cork for a Cause, Red Wine, $19.99: Each bottle purchased helps support the designated cause for that label. Labels in the past have supported free mammograms, preserving the rain forest, feeding the needy, healthcare for children, veterans in need, and emergency relief. 

Fair Trade Friday- Inspiration for Engagements that Give Back

After the proposal and before the official ‘I do’s’ comes a time in every engaged couples lives… Engagement Photo time! We all want to look stylish and hip for the camera, so why not do it up right! Here is a super awesome way to take your engagement photo day and make it fair trade! engagementclothing
Connected Fair Trade Goods (, Amazon Tribal Statement Necklace, $120. Handmade in Ecuador by Fair Trade artisans.
Invisible Children (, Kaleidescope Ring, $19. All donations and purchases fund Invisible Children’s mission of civilian protection and rehabilitation of children abducted by the LRA.
Raven + Lily (, Taupe Short Dress, $57.  Socially conscious, lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women through design with sustainable employment opportunities.
TOMS (, Black Crochet Wegdes, $69. One pair of shoes is donated to a child in need, with the purchase of every pair.
Warby Parker (, Garrett Glasses, $99. For every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
Pitico, (, Green T-shirt, $19. Supports fair trade
People Tree (, Ewan Trousers, $80. Pioneers in fair trade and environmentally sustainable fashion.
TOMS (, Black Paseo-Mids, $69. One pair of shoes is donated to a child in need, with the purchase of every pair.

Resourceful Rings- Inspiration for Weddings that give back.

‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’ One of the most exciting aspects of wedding planning, comes way before everything else… THE PROPOSAL! All the family and friends gather around the glowing bride’s hand and relish in her new found gem. Who wouldn’t be excited about the new future of this loving couple! But WHAT IF that ring could represent something more than their commitment to one another, WHAT IF it also connected them to helping others hurt by the very ring industry that is supposed to represent love. Diamond and Gold Mining is one of the most destructive and overlooked industries across the globe. It destroys ecosystems, hurts laborers, local villages, contaminates the soil and water and displaces people groups. Here are a few ring companies using their passion to make a difference and better impact the wedding ring industry. rings
1. Simply Wood Rings ( , Rosewood and Gold Wedding band set, Simply Wood Rings design eco conscious wood jewelry.
2. Coco and Chia (, Three Diamond Ring, $325, Coco and Chia use reclaimed, recycled, and ethically sourced precious metals and diamonds.
3. 22 Design Studio (, Module Ring, $100, 22 Design Studio creates wedding rings made of concrete by hand.
4. Brilliant Earth (, Sonora, $750, Brilliant Earth donates 5% of profits to help communities who have suffered from unethical practices in the jewelry industry.
5. Do Amore (, Floating Ring, $560, Every ring gives 2 people clean water for life.

A little giving goes a long way – Weddings that give back

472Brown Almost 2 years ago I helped with a nation wide shoe drive for Dando Amor… It was a huge task! I had schools collecting unwanted shoes across the city of Tampa and ended up with almost 4,000 pairs to add to the final tally (nearly 100,000 collected altogether). While picking up a car load of shoes at a local school I met a lovely teacher with a recently engaged daughter, whom also had a heart for Africa. We swapped information and not a week later Jamie and I were sipping coffee with her finance, Robbie, and we were selected as their wedding photographers. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected: 1…. Collecting unwanted shoes would lead me to one of my most cherished client/friendships in personal business history. 2. … the following summer she would also end up collecting shoes and sitting on the plane next to me heading to West Africa. There is great opportunity for Brides and Vendors to join forces for good… Take a moment to look around and see the needs you could fulfill with  your wedding partnerships and shared passions, a little giving goes a long way. 10350997_10154325961205601_5786844973546307755_n

Featured Proposal with Purpose- Jacksonville, FL

I have lived in Jacksonville, FL for a little under a month now. One of the first things I noticed while trekking to the office everyday was the amount of homeless friends I began to intake. I shared my new found insight to friend and fellow wedding professional, Amber, of Amber Veatch Designs and she immediately said , ‘Then you must meet my great friend, Mandi! Not only is she a great stylist, [Once Upon a Stylist], but she also participates in an organization devoted to homeless help!  In fact…. she was just proposed to while feeding the homeless in downtown Jax!’ Everything about her story was a reflection of the Black Sheep Bride mission. They will be using their wedding as an opportunity to give back as well, inviting a large group of their ‘downtown neighbors’ to join in their celebrations too. It doesn’t stop there- They are also planning to head over to Africa for their honeymoon and help others across the pond also! Don’t you just LOVE them! I sure do! So excited and  thankful Chloe Austin Photography was there to capture it all. 2014-08-05_0005 Every Wednesday morning Mandi, Jason and crew head downtown and feed the homeless. They have made this apart of their lives for awhile now and what started out as a styrofoam cup of coffee (origin of their non-profits name- Cup of Love) has become quite the large operation. There was no better place for Jason to drop to one knee than at the place it all began. 2014-08-05_00062014-08-05_00072014-08-05_0008 And then the hugs and sweet fun continued into their engagement session!! 2014-08-05_00022014-08-05_0003 2014-08-05_0004 This is easily the MOST EPIC photo anyone has ever captured at an engagement- Chloe Austin– WELL DONE!