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


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.


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.


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.


And then the hugs and sweet fun continued into their engagement session!!



This is easily the MOST EPIC photo anyone has ever captured at an engagement- Chloe Austin– WELL DONE!

Wedding Notecards that Care- Weddings that Give Back.

Snail Mail is where it’s at party people… When you need to say a quick Hello, Thank You, or maybe a heartfelt sonnet to your special someone …. Choose one of these notecards to jot down your well wishes…. While you are sending notes of love, they are sending hope to the hopeless.

Swahili Wholesale– Upcycled Heart ‘Love’ Cards- Used discarded paper and cardboard waste to make these upcycled pieces of art.

I Want Cookies– Hearts and Stripes, $17.50, Using their business to help bring awareness and support to Autism.

Raven & Lily – Uzma Card Set, $14. Raven & Lily are Empowering marginalized Women in Northern India. 

Village Artisans – Assorted Paper, $9.95. Village Artisans lovingly handcrafts all their goods in the homes of women artisans in North India.

 Indego Africa– Mini Textile Cards, $20- Supporting women in Rwanda through economic empowerment and education.

Charolette Layne- Lightning Bold, $21.50- CL gives 25% of their sales to Angel’s Among Us Pet rescue.



Inspiration – Necklaces for the Needy – Wedding Accessories that Give Back.


There is nothing more monumentally important in a girl’s wedding day details quite like her accessories… And these awesome jewelry & accessory companies use every purchase to fulfill equally awesome purpose!

1.Lydali, Monogram Necklace, $30, Made and manufactured right here in the USA… Employing and Restoring women off the streets of Nashville and giving them an opportunity to live a better life.

2. The Giving Keys, Never Ending Necklace, $55,  Employing those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles… with repurposed keys jewelry.

3. Noon Day Collection, Minted Necklace, $28, Empowering artisans around the globe, in Uganda, Ethiopia and Ecuador through jewelry.

4. 31 bits, Havana Trim, $42, Giving displaced women in Northern Uganda an opportunity to combat poverty through fashion.

5. Rose & Fitzgerald, Golden Spikes, $88, Works with master hand-craftsmen in Africa to create and curate unexpected, beautiful pieces mixing traditional craft with a stylish flair.

6..Trades of Hope, Sorbet Teardrops, $36, Empowers women to create sustainable businesses worldwide.



10 Ways to SAVE… the world! Weddings that Give Back!

Let us pretend for a moment… that we ALL fall into the average wedding budget category. According to Wedding Stats the average wedding in 2014 cost roughly $28,671… and if you took 10% of that budget and dedicated it to completely selfless awesomeness… that would be $2,867 !! 2014-07-17_0003

Here are some ways to take your 10% and Change the World!

1. 102 orphans could be fed for 30 days. (Dando Amor)

2. 28,000 trees planted (Trees for the future)

3. 10 girls would be able to attend school (Heifer)

4. 1892 meals will be provided to the homeless.

5. 143 people will receive clean water (Let it flow)

6. 5 oncology  family support groups/Dinners (for up to 100 people)  can be organized for children diagnosed with cancer.  (Children’s Cancer Center)

7. 76 children sponsored for one month. (Compassion International)

8. 50 Microloans rewarded to impoverish women to start a business. (Global Giving)

9. 2,867 of Malaria Treated lives saved (malarianomore.org)

10. 11,468 children everywhere will get one meal to eat. (Feeding Children Everywhere)

Isn’t it crazy how such a small number… 10%… can make such a big impact on others! How will you use your 10% of wedding change to make world change?