Weddings that Give Back: Megan + Chris, North Bend, WA

There is nothing more refreshing and uplifting than an outdoor wedding feature! Megan owns an amazing social enterprise jewelry brand, called Tuli, based out of Uganda and decided that her wedding would be a perfect time to debut their new bridal line of upcycled paper bead jewelry. She used her entrepreneurial resourcefulness and created one stellar DIY Wedding, and the $ saved was donated to serve others in Uganda! Read below to learn more about how they planned their day with intention and purpose.

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‘When Chris and I first met in Jacksonville, Florida, we bonded over being from the west — he’s from Denver and I’m from Seattle — and over the things we missed about our respective homes: mountains and craft beer. So, it was only fitting that we had our wedding at an old hops farm at the foot of the Cascade Mountains.’m_c49

‘I founded Tuli, a social enterprise that sells jewelry made in Uganda, and had been getting a lot of requests for a line of wedding jewelry. So, I decided to debut a new line at our wedding, and each of my bridesmaids and I wore a piece from the new collection. The jewelry is made using recycled paper and creates fair-waged, sustainable work for Tuli’s partners in Uganda.’m_c409

‘We made most of our wedding decor ourselves, with help from family and friends, and what we couldn’t make, we bought from small, independent businesses and Etsy vendors. My family owns a custom home company, so I stained and painted scrap wood leftover from job sites to make signs. My favorite was a twist on the classic ceremony/reception signpost: I included directions for Denver, where Chris is from, and Tokyo, where the two of us live and work currently.’

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‘To save money, we bought wholesale flowers and succulents and spent a day putting together the wedding flowers ourselves. It was a great way to bring all our friends and families from around the world together before our big day!’

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‘My brother built us a bar so we could have craft beer on tap for our guests — it tastes better and we didn’t have to worry about litter from bottles and cans!’m_c645  m_c391 m_c317 m_c259  m_c121m_c797  m_c866 m_c877

‘Overall, we kept things simple, fun and inexpensive. We wanted to have a small ceremony and a special day to celebrate with our friends and family, and we donated to Uganda what was left over from the money we would have used on a fancy wedding.’

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Participating Vendors:

Venue: Meadowbrook Farm, North Bend, WA | Photography: Courtney Bowlden Photography | Flowers: Blooms by the Box and SucculentsPlus | Menus, place cards, signs, etc: Designed by bride | Pint glasses: Designed by bride; printed by DiscountMugs | Food: Double Barrel BBQ | Dress hanger: Handmade by Breanna | Bar: Handmade by Father and Brother of Bride  of AJ Development | Flower girl headband and basket: Handmade by Bride | Jenga: Handmade by Bride and FOB (of AJ Development) using recycled scrap wood | Wedding arch: Handmade by Bride’s brother (of AJ Development) using a tree from bride’s parent’s property | Cake topper: Top of the Cake | Makeup: Cris Make Up | Hair: Natasha Nadvorna

Weddings that Give Back- Micah & Payne, Oregon

Two weeks ago we were tagged in an Instagram Post by Rescue Chocolate. It was a photo of their yummy, vegan chocolate goodness at a recent wedding their product was used at. Rescue Chocolate uses a portion of their chocolate bar sales to save animals in shelters. After chatting with the bride in the comments thread of the image, we knew her wedding story was a perfect fit for Black Sheep Bride’s Wedding Wednesday series. See what she had to share:
“We had a destination wedding in the middle of nowhere, Oregon. And our wedding weekend getaway was at The Historic Balch Hotel. Our dogs are a huge part of our lives, but they couldn’t (and didn’t want to) make that long trek, so we found Rescue Chocolate and had their faces put on delicious chocolate bars for all of our guests. We also chose three non-profit animal welfare groups to donate to in lieu of gifts, and bought every fleece blanket at Wal Mart for guests to cozy up with and later donated them to local rescue groups. And in keeping with true Oregonian fashion, we used freeze dried flower petals for most of the decor so no matter what the wind picked up and blew away, it would be earth friendly! As for our bouquets, we used lots of beautiful, hand-picked wild flowers and a few random fillers from Portland Wholesale Flower Market.”

 

Photography by Tegyn Friedman Photography | Videography by: Unveiled Productions

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Vendor Spotlight: Sierra Ford Photography gets Engaged!

If you haven’t already noticed, we truly treasure and appreciate our Black Sheep Bride Vendor Family. They are the ones that fight for our vision, advocate and promote socially conscious wedding consumerism on a national/international scale. They also lead the trends, by their own examples, and have been redirecting the industry’s path towards purpose and impact. It makes us proud to have this little do-gooder army at our side! It also makes our hearts even more abounding when one of our very own gets engaged!

Sierra Ford Photography is based on Central Florida and has a true passion for helping others. When she isn’t busy running her wedding photography business, she is actively outside exploring nature and also volunteering at HOPE Helps with her camera in hand. We thought we would take a moment and share her proposal story and how she plans to use her wedding to impact others and the environment.

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What started out as a fun weekend on the water, ended up with the sweetest surprise of a lifetime. Mad Props to ‘Mr. Sierra Ford Photography’ for all the planning, custom ring design, and personally hand crafted cedar ring box… I think she has a keeper on her hands folks!

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As for their wedding plans… they are already in the works:

‘Almost all of my decor and my dress will be “recycled” from thrift stores. My mom and Grandma have been collecting old table cloths, lace, candleholders etc. and my dress is being sewn by Vintage Opulance out of old laces and such. We plan to have natural party favors and place settings, such as air plants and succulents for each family! I’m also going create an in depth wedding website to inform people of all the ways we will be choosing to conserve, give back and avoid wastefulness.’

For more information about their proposal story or her work, check out her site for more details.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Shower- Holland, MI

Ashley Paige of APaige Photography has been one of the most active and encouraging vendors we’ve had on Black Sheep Bride, since our conception last year. She proves not only to ‘talk the talk’, but also to ‘walk the walk’ straight down the aisle, as a soon-to-be socially conscious bride. We featured their eco-wedding plans and engagement session a few months back and you can take a peek here.

As the soon-to-be’s draw closer to their October ECO-Wedding date, they decided to have an Eco Wedding Shower to start up the wedding festivities with a green spirit! Not only was the wedding shower eco-friendly, she also took a break from the Bridal Spotlight to capture all the fun/decor, camera in hand, and caught some of the sweetest moments with her beautiful guests!

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Here is what she had to say:

‘When people have weddings, tons of food is thrown out, tons of trash is created, and a ton of lives are harmed (for food)… and that has never been okay with me. I have never wanted more damage to be done because I Was getting married… The more I talked to my mom about this, the more she just hopped on board with my idea. I have been so blessed to have her because I am crazy busy focusing on other bride’s weddings, that it’s been hard to focus on my own. So she took off running. Finding every eco-online store we could – thinking about where we could buy or make our simplistic food – and how to recycle/upcycle as much as possible. It’s been a great experience and I’m just really looking forward to my wedding day, because it’s on my mom and dad’s wedding anniversary (and even at their home), and I get to wear her refashioned wedding dress as a big thank you to all she has done for me through this process.’

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She wanted to put a lot of focus on thrifted, local and upcycled planning decisions. All of the wild flowers came from a local stand that they found down their road, the cupcakes were made by a local vegan-friendly cupcakery, Yummy Cupcakes in South Bend, and a large majority of the goods were thrifted from a local antique shop in Holland, MI called Not So Shabby .

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The mason jars were almost all exclusively owned by her grand parents, they cleaned and recycled them and all of the guests brought a coffee cup for the coffee bar at the wedding, so those will be on display for their actual wedding use as well. APA_2391APA_2442APA_2443

They also used bamboo utensils and decomposable plates made from sugar cane, which will be used for the wedding fun as well!

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And when she wasn’t running around taking photos of her guests and awesomely thrifted decor, she snagged a few sweet moments with her groom, friends and family! APA_2460APA_2520APA_2438APA_2346APA_2526

And this pretty much sums up the cuteness of the day! You can feel all the love that surrounded them as they celebrated their upcoming vows! Can’t wait to share their wedding. Self 08