Guest Post: Sustainable Farm to Table Thanksgiving Inspiration

Sustainable Farm to Table Thanksgiving Inspiration

Written/Designed by : MiBellaRosa  | Photography by: Smith House Photography | Ribbon Accents: Silk & Willow | Paper Goods & Calligraphy: Calligraphy Cult

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We wanted to bring a bounty harvest to the table to show the au-natural beauty of what American farmers work so hard to provide for us. It’s also visually stimulating to be able to see the produce used for our Thanksgiving dinner feast as the centerpiece.

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Vegetables used were: sweet potatoes, yams, beets, radishes, carrots, parsnips, onions, and garlic. After Thanksgiving is over and done, these veggies would still be able to hold up long enough to be used in meals days and weeks after.

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Foraged greenery and berries were used to dress the veggies on the table over our own studio’s hand-dyed table linens. We used Hand-dyed ribbons from Silk and Willow that we had from other projects to tie the gold flatware.

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Michelle from Calligraphy Cult penned simply elegant place cards on handmade paper and one lucky yam to put the finishing touch on the simple table decor. The entire design was under $30 and all is completely reusable.

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For more design inspiration check out MiBellaRosa’s website here.

Designed by : MiBellaRosa  | Photography by: Smith House Photography | Ribbon Accents: Silk & Willow | Paper Goods & Calligraphy: Calligraphy Cult

9 Helpful Tips to Responsible Wedding Day Foraging, via Runaway Romance

9 Helpful Tips to Responsible Wedding Day Foraging  

Written By : Runaway Romance | Photography by: Page & Holmes Photography

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Mother Nature has so much to offer and if you look closely there is an endless supply of inspiration and small wedding day décor to be found in her.

This said, we all know how seeing nature as an ‘endless supply’ can devastate landscapes and the delicate balance of fauna and flora… so here are a few of my own tips inspired by my “foraged” Modern African elopement with its locally found bouquet, flower crown and table decor. em-490

1. Don’t repeatedly forage in the same place.

Or from the same plant. It takes time for the life cycle of plants to come full circle so make sure you aren’t cutting out any stage of that regeneration by not giving the plant or patch of nature time to restore itself.

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2. Try not take the entire plant or all the flowers or seeds from a plant.

That delicate lifecycle we were talking about needs adult plants, flowers for pollination and seeds to be spread. If you take all of them not only do you interfere with its next generation, there are tons of little creepy crawlies, bees and birds that could be affected by the lack of pollen, fruits or seeds.

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3. Try foraging things that have already fallen.

It’s always better to try and forage things that have already fallen vs still growing. This is especially true for fruits or edibles (It’s amazing to save something from waste rather than pick something that could later be eaten)

The up side to this is that once a leaf, seed or branch has fallen it is normally at its peak of interesting’ness or beauty and you can get some amazing textures and colours that are just so much more exciting than green. (I say this like green isn’t interesting but you know what I mean)

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4. Sometimes foraging is Illegal.

In South Africa it is illegal to pick wild flowers and foliage form parks, reserves and/or open public spaces. So make sure wherever you are looking to forage you have permission and aren’t breaking any laws.

Also don’t use ‘foraging’ as a nice way of stealing! If its food, crops or flowers that actually do belong to someone else do the right thing – ask them first…

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5. If it’s someone’s home leave it alone no matter how pretty it is.

Possession is nine-tenths of the law (or so I’ve heard in movies) so if that ‘oh so stunning’ something is some creature’s home admit defeat and move on… there is plenty of pretty to go around without needing to demolish a little critters home.  em-533 em-535

6. Some things are poisonous. 

So this is more for you than nature… but unless you know more than a thing or two about nature it’s always better to err on the side of caution. There are a number of plants, leaves, fruits and mushrooms that shouldn’t be touched never mind used for table decor.

Very, very basic rule of thumb – if you are in a wild area and the fruit tree or tasty looking treat you want to include in your shoot has not been touched by a bird or insect you probably shouldn’t touch it either.

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7. Know what to wash and paint and what to keep raw.

Finding your natural treasures is only the first step. The second step is knowing how to use and display them in a way that showcases the best of their natural, raw and probably rough beauty.

I know it’s tempting to foil, dip and spray everything to fit into your colour scheme…but instead try make your décor set up or creative direction work around your found treasure not the other way around.

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8. Always try to eat, or donate, the food you use in shoots or décor.

Hunger is a real thing and beauty without purpose or thought is a luxury we no longer have. Being able to eat it after you use it will also mean knowing if it is poisonous, not spraying it or painting it…

This can be (very) difficult to do when you have time constraints, when you have been on site all day and are exhausted and stuffing everything into the rubbish bin seems a lot easier than separating out edibles and recyclables…but again see it as a challenge. Do it as often as you can and don’t quit because you caved once.

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9. When getting rid of seeds, leaves or other foraged goodness try compost them in a neutral place or return them to where they came from.

Again this may seem like more effort than it’s worth especially when it’s been a long day/week/month.

But spreading seeds that aren’t local or from that area can introduce invaders. These invaders can destroy eco systems and full landscapes! Just ask Australia or any other history book that shows the repercussions of introducing animals or plants to a place they don’t belong.

I know these steps can sound like a lot of effort or a bunch of ‘hippy’ rules and nobody likes rules… but we are coming into a time when going slowly and thinking before we take or consume is important if not critical to ourselves and planet.

SO do what you can, tell other people about what you learn and don’t underestimate the bigness of your small actions (…and also ENJOY some of our favorite highlight images from this gorgeously sustainable elopement)

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Participating Vendors:

Proposal with Purpose: Andrew and Miki- Hudson Valley, NY

When two socially conscious entrepreneurs fall in love… they go HARD! I just love the sweet intention and community-minded thoughtfulness that went into this surprise proposal, one of the many perks of owning a crowd sourcing, tributary, video montage platform, I suppose!
On August 20th, Andrew instructed 30 of their favorite people to show up at his house in Brooklyn wearing white, then he bussed them all up to a house in the Hudson Valley to propose to his amazing girlfriend, Miki. See for yourself…

With all their loved ones gathered around Andrew and Miki committed their love to each other and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see what socially conscious wedding plans are in store for their future!

Andrew founded Tribute, a social video platform. A Tribute is “ the most meaningful gift on Earth.” It is a video montage of friends and family sharing their gratitude for someone they want to celebrate. Our collaborative video technology makes it easy to invite friends, collect videos and compile the final video.

Tribute started as a simple gift from Miki to Andrew. Miki sent an email to 20 of Andrew’s friends and asked them to send her a video telling him why they loved him. The result was a 20-minute video montage that brought Andrew to tears. After hearing how difficult it was for Miki to create the video, Andrew had the light bulb moment, “it shouldn’t be this hard to create the most meaningful gift on earth.” Tribute was born and we set off on our mission to spread gratitude around the globe.
Miki is the founder of both Tushy and Thinx, two amazing socially conscious start-up companies devoted to the hush-hush, dare I say ‘naughty,’ areas of our daily lives. Thinx offers high quality undies that absorb your period and every purchase also helps girls in developing countries. Tushy.me is bringing us out of the dark ages, and revolutionizing the way we look at bidets. They are also helping save trees, water, the environment and our overall health along the way.
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I love what Andrew has to say about their wedding vision: ‘We are both social entrepreneurs and create with the purpose of helping people and advancing humanity in a positive way. We create conscious products and we want to consume them…so naturally, our wedding will be an extension of that mindset.’
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 For more information about their amazing businesses, visit their websites here: TushyThinx or Tribute. Photo credits: Bridget Collins

Sustainable Bridal Style Inspiration : Alt Beauty via Sandra Chile

We love the positive response that has come from a recent bridal session with one of our BSB Vendor, Sandra Chile. Her heart to challenge the status quo, giving back and empower others around her can not be measured by words alone! She had this idea to bring awareness to all forms of beauty and came to the vision for this magical bridal session, with Vida Mechelle. Since she initially shared this shoot, it has been featured on over 4 publications, across the globe, including Huffington Post! BSB couldn’t be prouder of you Sandra! Here is what she had to share:

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‘In a society lead by fitness maniacs, diet pills and shakes, plastic surgery obsessions, and extensive emphasis on corrective makeup (hello contouring) ; we have been told that the value of each individual relies strictly on the looks, with absurd standards imposed by an unrealistic media.’ 

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‘As a wedding photographer, I am always faced with the need to digitally “perfect” the human body. A body that is already perfect in its nature.

I am one of the very few photographers who does not offer retouching services, not because I can’t, but because I believe what makes people pretty is who they are, and how they embrace candid life (not how smooth their skin is, how white their teeth can be, nor how many stretch marks they “don’t” have).’

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‘Since she was 8 years young, Megan has suffered from Alopecia Areata Universalis, a condition that affects her along with 6.6 million Americans, which makes her hairless.

However, Megan is beautiful, and she has tried since a young age to open the door to the modeling industry, an industry that has the door only halfway open to her.’  

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‘Until the day I photographed Megan, she had never posed without her wig, but the beautiful dresses and accessories of Kata Banko Couture, the amazing flowers of Sapphire & Lace and the support and talent of Mashaida Tran from Anywhere and Somewhere Photography convinced Megan to embrace her beauty “boldly”, and to scream out to a world that sees hair as a beauty statement, that ANYONE can be gorgeous!’ SCP_6418

‘It was a special and memorable day. Not because it was the hotest day of the year, nor because it rained or stormed on us. It was a memorable day because this beautiful lady decided, for the first time ever, to put her insecurities aside and become vulnerable in front of my camera. She is one of the 6.6 million Americans that live with Alopecia, a condition that makes her bald.’

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‘And I would like to personally dedicate these pictures to all the girls struggling with their image. Whether it is weight, height, acne, skin, hair or anything else: You are beautifully perfect!’

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Participating Vendors:

Photo: sandrachile.com | Dress: Kata Banko Couture | Model: Vida Mechelle | Headpiece crown: Anywhere and Somewhere Photography | Florist: Sapphire & Lace

‘Fall’ in Love with Your Partner’s Kindness First: Bri & Chris, PNW Engagement

When I first read this couple’s story below, I was touched. Then I looked at the photos by Eleven Eleven Films and Photography and I was moved, captivated and inspired, for so many reasons, see for yourself.

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‘Chris and Bri met on a hike. She was hiking with her friends and twisted her ankle and Chris happened to be hiking close by to see her fall. He helped her walk the 3 miles down the mountain, and the two hit it off. Now, hiking is one of their favorite things to do together even after that rocky start, and they wanted their engagement session to showcase the great outdoors.’

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Black Sheep Bride may be a ‘wedding blog’ for all practical purposes, however we are far more inspired by relationships led with passion, sacrifice and giving back. We could care LESS about your wedding decorations and more about your intentional core foundation, as soon-to-be newlyweds!

Love can be hard, it can be messy, and even hurt sometimes, but that’s why it’s called love… Strong love can only be fostered when we are willing to roll with the punches, get dirty, give with all your soul, embrace each moment, and improvise along the way! This engagement session couldn’t better embody all of the characteristics we should strive for in life: To live with undetering Imperfectly Perfect Love!

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Thanks to ElevenEleven Films and Photography for sharing and capturing their story for us all to be inspired by!