Weddings That Give Back: Tom + Dustin- New York City, NY

This is the love story about the parents of a cute Maltipoo. Her name is Captain.


Captain’s parents, Tom and Dustin, met while attending Yale University and fell in love on an adventure-date hiking to the top of East Rock in New Haven. From that day on, they were inseparable and their adventuring continued with their beloved pup right by their side. February 11th, 2016 holds special significance for their story. On this day there was a worldwide announcement that a LIGO experiment discovered gravity waves. Tom is a mathematics teacher at a collegiate school in Brooklyn and Dustin is also in the field of science and math, as a Data Scientist for Capital One. February 11th was also the day they got engaged in their home in Washington, D.C.! As they planned their intimate wedding day they intentionally choose to focus on their love and their community more than anything else. They wanted to be true to who they were and what was important to them, and their wedding reflected accordingly.


They kept their attire simple and encouraged their wedding party to wear what they wanted, so long as they rocked out black leather bomber jackets. They wanted the Rare Book Room to speak for itself, as it did, and added minimal florals and punk-rock accents to make it their own. They choose BSB vendor, Modern Rebel Co., to plan and coordinate their day and through her giving-back business model donated a portion of their wedding budget to Homes for the Homeless. This donation benefits a homeless youth summer camp that empowers and equips youth through a variety of programs and services. Tom and Dustin also donate regularly to MSF and SPLC. They are also incredibly passionate about education and making STEM accessible to all students. BlackSheepBride_0034 BlackSheepBride_0035 BlackSheepBride_0036 BlackSheepBride_0037 BlackSheepBride_0038 BlackSheepBride_0039 BlackSheepBride_0040 BlackSheepBride_0041  BlackSheepBride_0043 BlackSheepBride_0044 BlackSheepBride_0045 BlackSheepBride_0046 BlackSheepBride_0047 BlackSheepBride_0048 BlackSheepBride_0049 BlackSheepBride_0050 BlackSheepBride_0051 BlackSheepBride_0052  BlackSheepBride_0054 BlackSheepBride_0055 BlackSheepBride_0056 BlackSheepBride_0057 BlackSheepBride_0058 BlackSheepBride_0059 T&DWedding-316BlackSheepBride_0060 BlackSheepBride_0061 BlackSheepBride_0062 BlackSheepBride_0063 BlackSheepBride_0064 BlackSheepBride_0065 BlackSheepBride_0066

Participating Vendors:

Wedding Planner: Modern Rebel Co. | Photography: Aaron and Whitney Photography | Paper Goods: Penny Ann Designs | Venue: The Rare Book Room at Strand Book Store | Florals: Brooklyn Blooms | DJ: 74 Events | Catering: Red Egg NYC | Cake: Baked NYC | Rings: Macha Jewelry

Weddings That Give Back: Tom + Dustin- New York City, NY

Going Zero Waste Elopement: San Francisco, CA

In the midst of one of the wildest seasons of disasters, between earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires, we have never been more encouraged by our audience of change making, waste-reducing, intentional living, and loving couples. We see you! Your attention to the environment, the waste, the need, and the love you have to offer the hurting world around you has not gone unseen. Thank you all for using your love to love others and waste less. Today we’re sharing a zero waste elopement from none other than the founder of Going Zero Waste and we couldn’t be more inspired by their story! Read what she had to share below.
We had a big zero waste wedding planned in November. But, we decided to call it off and move it up to May and we eloped.
We did a big backyard bbq to celebrate with friends and family. Our goal was to produce no trash and we were really successful!
We did the backyard bbq potluck style. We bought a whole bunch of bread from the baker in our own cloth bags. I took my crockpot down to the butcher and had it filled with brisket. I also made a whole bunch of pulled jackfruit and let everyone else bring the sides.
We rented cornhole boards for entertainment. The day after we ferried into the city and met up with our immediate family for our City Hall ceremony.
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I wore a dress I got second hand. Justin wore a suit he’s had for a while. My mom picked up the flowers and the cake plastic free from whole foods. She brought my cake carrier to get the cake to-go to avoid a single-use disposable one.

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 After our intimate ceremony and photos, we had brunch at Kitchen Story SF and ate cake on real plates with real forks, of course.
Participating Vendors:
Bride: Going Zero Waste | Photography: Allison Andres | Cake and Florals: Whole Foods

Weddings that Give Back: Ashley + James – Holyoke, MA

BSB is always grateful for couples, like Ashley and James, that value planning weddings that give back. Our amazing BSB vendor, Liz Washer Makeup, was chosen to help the bride with her wedding day look. The couple also skipped formal favors and donated to a charity near and dear to their hearts (details below).


Ashley shared this about their decision to donate to charity:

‘My husband and I wanted to do something with a bit more of an impact than giving our guests a bottle opener or trinket. My husband volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house in the past and we have both been impacted by close family members dealing with serious medical conditions. We thought that donating to the Ronald McDonald house was the ideal fit for us so that we could give a little bit of assistance to a family in need who’s relying on their services.’


Participating Vendors:

Makeup: Liz Washer Makeup  | Venue: The Delaney House | Photographer: Seth Kaye | Hair: Wendy P., The Lift | Flowers: McClelland’s Florist | Dress: Bridal Corner


>>> Weddings that Give Back: Ashley + James – Holyoke, MA

Weddings That Give Back: Carmela + David- Sarasota, FL

Thanks to our BSB Vendor, Misty Miotto Photography, for sharing is this community-driven wedding celebration with us! Misty is an amazing testimony to community service and has helped organize the Central Florida Heart Gallery and countless other non-profit events for years. She is also one of the first cheerleaders and supporters of BSB and we are forever grateful for the encouragement she has poured out onto our mission from the very start of our journey.
He was a College professor with a Ph.D. from Harvard University who’s ideas could make the world a better place, she was a free-spirited bird who had a heart that could wrap around the world three times over. They met through their love of music and are both a part of an amazing band called Passerine. Together they had a love that could change the world. David teaches at the New College of Florida in Sarasota (where they were married) and Carmela is a birth worker at the Rosemary Birthing Home in Sarasota and she helps to bring babies into this world in the most beautiful natural way. Oh and that Big White ball of fur well that’s Gryphon and if you couldn’t tell already he’s part of the family. The bride found her dress at a local consignment shop and reinvented it to be her own. Their rings were designed by a Sarasota based artisan jeweler also. They had the groom’s son make the cake, he worked for years with a local cake baker. The couple opted for a potluck reception and involved their community of family and friends every step of the process.  When these two lovebirds have time off they can be found traveling the world on different adventures and giving back!

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Photography: Misty Miotto Photography  | Flowers: With Flourish | Rings Crafted by Sarasota Artisan Jeweler: Ocean Lily Studio | Cake: Made by son of groom | Food: Community Potluck  | Ceremony: New College of Florida | Reception: Fogartyville Community Media and Art Center | Dress: Good as New Consignment and Bridal Shop | Suits: Joseph Banks
Weddings That Give Back: Carmela + David- Sarasota, FL

Plastic-Free Wedding: Amber + Tyler- Daytona, FL

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Our uber talented and kind-hearted BSB vendor, Jennifer Juniper Photography, recently photographed a plastic-free wedding on the East coast of Florida and we are so excited to share highlights of their day with you all. The couple was passionate about going plastic-free because they have a sincere adoration for sea turtle and ocean conservation. Read what Amber had to share about her Plastic-Free Wedding below.
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‘The decision to have a plastic-free wedding was an easy one for us. My husband is a HUGE Jack Johnson fan, and we recently attended a few of his shows. Jack made his events more than just about the music and celebration, he made it about how gathering a group of people together is the perfect audience for talking about issues in our world. Part of our inspiration came from that belief, and the other half came from my EXTREME love of turtles. I used to work for a non-profit humane society in the area, so animals are a BIG part of our lives. During my time at the humane society, I took a group of camp students to a local marine science center. During my FIRST visit to the Marine Science Center, I watched a volunteer teach a group of 5-year-olds about the impact a plastic bag has on a Sea Turtle. She talked about how a Sea Turtle can’t see the difference between a plastic bag and a jellyfish and how the bags can make the turtles very sick. That was my moment. I went home that day and vowed NEVER to use plastic bags again. Since then, I’ve been able to convince my friends and family about stopping the use of single-use plastic bags and either bringing their own, using paper or just skipping the bag altogether.
From both of our ideas, we began to think of ways that we can make an impact on the audience we had in front of us on our special day. What if… we could make a small difference? So we did! We began to drum up ideas that could make this event a success. My favorite was the art we created from our beach cleanups (shown below). Jack Johnson had done something similar for his tour, so we grabbed some inspiration from this. We did regular beach cleanups leading up until the big day, and I took only a small portion of what we collected and used it for inspiration to make an art piece to display to our guests on our big day.
We also gifted our guests’ cookies in addition to our favor donation to a local marine science center. The cookies, of course, would have been wrapped in plastic. So we had to find an alternative, which wasn’t hard to find with a little research.’


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‘You may ask if having a plastic-free wedding meant we “saved” money. We didn’t really “save” money because when it came to this initiative we weren’t going to take no for an answer. We replaced A LOT. Trash bags, straws, coffee stirrers, etc. In the aspect of “saving money,” we did a lot on our own. Tyler is incredibly handy and loves to spend time in the garage wood-working. So together, we created some really cool pieces for the big day. All of the signs and decor we had were made from upcycled wood from a local shop. A local succulent artist dedicated to the conservation of the beach helped me create beautiful succulent pieces. To purchase things of this nature would have probably been more expensive, and they wouldn’t have any underlying meaning to them. We did save money when we said no to things like balloons, fake flowers, etc. It’s crazy, but during our beach cleanups, we found SO many fake rose petals cluttering the beach. Do I think this event cost more from going plastic-free? Yes. Do I think it was worth it? Yes, I didn’t spend an unheard of amount of money, a few dollars here and there to know we’re making a bigger impact.’
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Tyler and I REALLY loved making this day the way it was. We were also sponsored by the Sea Turtle Conservancy and Naked Turtle Rum company in our efforts for the sea turtles and going plastic free. Naked Turtle Rum provided our guests with custom cocktails and items for use in our recyclable bag favors, and the Sea Turtle Conservancy set up the partnership with Naked Turtle Rum and provided us resources for our guests to learn more about their efforts. In addition to favors, we adopted a Sea Turtle from the Marine Science Center.  DSC_9619 DSC_9625