Real Wedding That Gives Back: Elizabeth Joy + Greg, Greensboro, NC

This wedding is everything. The charming farmhouse and vintage wedding gown incorporated with the clean and classic suit, and modern design elements, could not have been better paired. We are so in love with the heart felt details and intentional consideration that went into making this beautiful day, but that is nothing in comparison to the adoration we have for this couple’s love for empowering others!

The bride and groom are live in Ethiopia, running a non-profit called “The Paradigm Project.” The Paradigm project combats poverty, improves health, reduces deforestation and global climate impact and fosters economic growth in the developing world. Through no fault of their own the poor account for over 25% of global CO2 emissions. The Paradigm Project helps off set these emissions by providing clean energy technologies in Africa and Latin America. If that wasn’t enough, the bride also has her own small etsy business, which helps create jobs for women in Africa. Her business, Eliza and Co., creates jobs for women in Malawi while bringing their culture to you. The bride partners with a local Malawian, named Nancy, to design and craft these unique comforters and duvets from curated African wax cloth.

Their wedding took place on the bride’s family farm and almost all of their centerpieces and details were found at antique stores, including the large collection of quilts used for the ceremony seating. The bride’s wedding gown belonged to her grandmother, and even their wedding rings were family heirlooms (except the bride’s wedding band which was hand crafted in Ethiopia by the groom.) The floral design was provided by The Farmers Wife, they have a major focus on sourcing local and in season. The bride’s mother arranged all of the table arrangements and potted the succulents herself. All of the candelabras and afghans were salvaged at Goodwill and the bride’s father made the Chuppah and kneeler from logs from their property.

Participating Vendors:
Photography: Mackensey Alexander Photography | Florist: The Farmer’s Wife | Venue: Private Residence | Dress: Vintage | Rings: Heirloom & Hand Crafted in Ethiopia | Decor: Goodwill | Food: Food Trucks

Real Weddings that Give Back: Sarah and Max, Grand Rapids, Michigan

One of our founding BSB Vendors, Apaige Photography, recently photographed a wedding at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market for a couple not only desperately in love with one another, but equally in love with helping others. See what Apaige had to say about their amazing wedding:

‘I met Sarah and Max a year ago, for a photo session in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they both just graduated to become doctors. Talk about power couple! The whole morning of the wedding, Sarah kept saying how she couldn’t wait to see Max. Usually brides get wrapped up in what they look like, or what their groom will think of them, but she was just utterly excited to see Max, to hang out with Max, and to be with Max on the day they become one. I seriously love these two, and I don’t know how to put it all in words. But I am beyond honored to have been the one to capture them becoming one.’

Sarah and Max felt it was EXTREMELY important to hire local and business that give back. She bought her dress from The Brides Project US in Ann Arbor, a non-profit organization that sells donated dresses (used or sample gowns) and a portion of their profits fund the Cancer Support Network of Ann Arbor. Her flowers were locally sourced rom Eastern Floral, aka BoKay at the Downtown Market and their catering was by Blue Spoon Catering, a division of Goodwill Industries. Their wedding was held at Grand Rapids Downtown Market also, not only is their produce green, from ground to the rooftop, they are an environmentally friendly facility. In fact, they are the first LEED-certified market in the U.S.A..



Photographer:   Apaige Photography//Floral Designer: Eastern Floral//Event Venue: Grand Rapids Downtown Market//Musicians: Music Host Entertainment//Dress Store: The Brides Project US//Hair/Makeup: Serendipity Hair Design//Cake: Cascade Confections


Weddings that Give Back- Emily & Brian, Columbia, SC

Happy Cinco de Mayo! We thought today would be the perfect time to do a #TBT and share this sweet Mexican themed wedding! Enjoy!
Meet Emily & Brian. They recently got married in a beautifully renovated Organic Warehouse in Columbia, SC and incorporated a festive and fun Mexican theme (with mexican paper flags and maracas) to honor the groom’s heritage. Nicole at  Ava Moore Photography submitted their wedding to us and thought they were a perfect fit for Black Sheep Bride… She couldn’t have been more right! :)
Emily shared a little bit about their hearts and how their stories came together. Giving back was incredibly important to their big day, because so many had give back to them with through their relationship. Read a little bit about their story via Emily: Welfare_Sanchez_Ava_Moore_Photography_11151422865
‘Brian and I met when I was visiting my college roommate for a few days over summer break in Lexington, South Carolina. She took me to her friend’s house where Brian was living at the time. I remember thinking how extremely attractive he was but I didn’t really think twice at the time because I was in school about 10 hours away. However, a few summers later, I accepted a summer internship at a Children’s Home back in South Carolina. Secretly, when I found out I would be living there for the summer, that handsome face did come to mind! Brian pursued me pretty boldly almost immediately after arriving in South Carolina. It was hard not to give in. You’ll see why when you look at that smile of his 😉 We dated for three months before I had to go back to school for one more semester. We spent those agonizing months apart and Brian proposed the day after I got back into town.’

‘We would not have made it to the altar without our faith in Jesus Christ and we would be ignorant to think we could stay committed to each other for life without first being committed to him. God has been with us down some difficult roads and one of those roads led to Charlotte Rescue Mission. We chose to use our wedding day as a platform to give back to them. Charlotte Rescue Mission has men’s and women’s recovery programs for individuals who struggle with various addictions. They provide counseling, meals, pastoral services and more to the men and women whom they serve. As way to give back to them for everything they have done for us, we skipped wedding favors and donated those funds to them. The services they offer will make a far more eternal difference than anything we could have offered our guests.’

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In addition to that I am planning to donate my gown to Angel Gowns (after I have a one year anniversary twirl in it). Angel Gowns uses wedding gowns to make beautiful burial gowns for babies who die in the hospital. I am a Child Life Specialist at the local children’s hospital. One of our many roles is to offer bereavement and support for families who lose their children and to help children themselves understand the concept and meaning of death. It can be gut wrenching at times but very fulfilling as well. So when I heard about Angel gowns, it was immediately something that tugged at my heart strings. I think this is such a beautiful ministry to be a part of and am so happy that my dream dress will make a family’s most difficult moments just a little bit sweeter.
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‘The last way we were able to “give back” was to make a donation to our church (Lexington Church of Christ). It doesn’t even feel worth mentioning because there is absolutely NO WAY we could even pretend to do life without them. The things they did to support us through our engagement and even allowing us to have our rehearsal dinner there for free….come ON..we are spoiled. We also donated our wedding flowers to them as well.’
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Also take a moment and watch their highlight video via James Desuyo Photography & Digital Storytelling … Spoiler Alert: You will be in tears!

Photographer:   Ava Moore Photography | Reception Venue: 701 Whaley | Floral Designer: American Floral | Caterer: Captial City Catering | DJ:Epic Entertainment | Cinema and Video: James Desuyo Photography | Cake Designer: Parties To Go,LLC |


Tampa Wedding Vendors Give Back to Homeless Couple in Need

A few months ago we read a story from a local new site sharing how a police officer, Officer Dan McDonald Tampa Police Department’s Homeless Liaison, purchased a marriage license for a couple that had been together for over 22 years. This license was important to them, not only because of how much time they had been together, but also because it would assist them in receiving the housing help they required, and stay together with their pooch! The local wedding community was so touched by their story that they decided to throw them the true wedding they deserved and so they got to work!

One April 1st an amazing vendor team joined together and donated their time and services to give back. Evelyn and Rocky now have the second chance they so longed for, a loving spouse and a safe home, thanks to the amazing heart of Officer McDonald and the vendors that helped make their wedding day so special.

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Loved watching their wedding day video as well!


Venue  | Cross Creek Ranch | Wedding Day Hair & Makeup | Collective Creations | Salon Services | Marissa Bernal | Bridal Headband | Be Free Hair Apparel  | Gown | The White Closet | Videography | Imagery Wedding Films | Cake | Alessi Bakeries | Transportation | Tampa Airport Transportation | Flowers | Alta Fleura | DJ | Grant Hemond | Harpist | Kristen Hoyos | Catering | Hungry Harry’s | Hotel | Hilton Garden Inn Tampa/Brandon | Wedding Rings | The Gold & Diamond Source | Spa Services | Devine Designs | Tuxedos | Men’s Warehouse | Laundry Services | Engage The Current

Weddings That Give Back: Ashley & Josh, Michigan

One of our beloved Black Sheep Bride vendors, APaige Photography, tied the knot recently and she was truly such an example of a genuine ‘Black Sheep Bride’. Having known her plans this whole year, it has been an anxious waiting game, but now it’s finally here to share! Thanks to one of our other super-radically-epic-and-loved BSB vendors, Everphoto for being there to document the day so awesomely!

First thing we want to point out is Ashley’s dress. It was actually her mother’s wedding dress, they had refashioned by a local seamstress, Nimble Needles. Not only did Ashley wear her mom’s dress, they also got married on her parents property and on their wedding anniversary as well.


They gifted all the ladies in the bridal party (as well as sister-in-laws and moms) with Pura Vida bracelets. Pura Vida is a California founded business that saw a huge opportunity to empower communities in Costa Rica, and surrounding areas, with bracelets that support various charities.





Ashley and Josh worked hard to incorporate as many local based businesses they could into their wedding day, including wine from Round Barn Winery, made in Baroda, MI.


All of their decorations were either recycled, hand crafted, and/or picked up at local thrift/consignment shops.


They also used eco-friendly paper goods and compostable bamboo utensils to help reduce wastefulness.





The wedding programs were designed by Anna Weekly with the intention of multi-use purposes. Once the ceremony was over guests were able to use the programs to store treats, from the custom trail mix and pop corn bars.






Cupcakes were made by Yummy Cupcakes and totally dairy-free and vegan friendly!


Participating Vendors:

Photography : EverPhoto | Dress Alteration/Redesign: Nimble Needles | Venue: Private Residence | Hair: Cut Out the Rest Salon & Nicole Flier | Make Up: Spatoepia Dowagiac | Cupcakes: Yummy Cupcakes | Wine: Round Barn Winery | Programs: Anna Weekly | Plates and Straws: EcoProducts