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

Weddings That Give Back- Maureen & Burke (Mata Traders)

The more we explore and learn about socially conscious/ethical fashion brands the more we are excited to learn about their own personal wedding journeys and how they incorporated giving back into the planning process! Today’s Real #WeddingsThatGiveBack feature couple has an active voice in the Ethical Fashion world, since she founded and runs Mata Traders! Mata Traders is an independent fair trade company from Chicago, IL.  They work with women’s cooperatives in India and Nepal to produce beautiful hand-made clothing and accessories using traditional hand block-print fabrics and natural dyes.  Their designs are contemporary, young, and fun with bold patterns and lots of hand-stitched details.

They decided to have their intimate wedding at her in-laws home in Montana. They knew it had to be a small guest list, because they had to accommodate enough space for everyone to eat dinner on their gorgeous patio area. They ended up with roughly 60 guests in attendance. Green Door Photography was present to capture all of the gorgeously intimate (and ethical) details and the beautiful backdrop that the Montana Mountains had to offer.

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Her gorgeous gown and the groom and groomsmen’s ties were designed by one of our amazing Black Sheep Bride vendors, Celia Grace. Celia Grace is an ethical/fair trade wedding gown company devoted to empowering female artisans in Cambodia and providing clean drinking water through every eco-silk gown purchased!

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‘I brought a lot of jewelry options, as you can see. I waited until the dress was on to take care of the final touches and see what jewelry worked the best. Although a Faire Collection horn necklace from Vietnam and Mata Traders’ very own Queen of Heaven necklace were very close runners up, a simple long stranded green and brass necklace given to me by Burke’s 96-year old Grammie was the winner.’

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‘I tried to be simple about designing them and picked the Flights of Floral cut in the red petal print from the Spring ’14 collection. I think I pulled it off, and I love the fact that my girls can keep wearing these dresses post-wedding since they are just the right amount of casual.’

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Habitat Events in Missoula did the floral design – and incorporated lots of local wildflower blooms’

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The Bride’s good friend, Jen Parsons, from Tiny Pine Press created the custom place cards, menus, and the little note attached to each guest’s party favor.

‘I was so in loooove with all of it – Jen watercolored the inspiration for the floral designs herself and they were so sweet and colorful. Speaking of the party favor, I had one of our women’s cooperatives in Rajasthan hand-bock print an original Mata floral design on a napkin and add hand-embroidery. Then I found sleek bamboo napkin holders from fair trade company Zen Zen to for the finishing touch.’ FT Napkin holders  FULL table setup  Seating2MaureenWedding_Stuff1Louisa  maureen_burke      0131 0302 0339low   Magical

And here we have the lovely bride and groom at the end of the evening!

‘I am one happy camper as you can tell. I got some good advice from somebody before the wedding to remember to take a few private moments throughout the day to process, take it all in, and be in the moment. We did that and it helped! It IS one romantic, fantastic blur though, one I will recount many times over for the rest of my life. And, thank goodness for amazing photos from Green Door Photography to help remember the day!’

Wedding that Give Back- Natalie & Chris

There is one proven and universal ‘fact’ that I have learned from a very young age…. June, July and August are the fastest months of the year! Summer is officially coming to a close and we thought we would give you one last chance to savor the season with this gorgeous socially conscious-natural wedding set up, courtesy of Photography by Lauryn!

Natalie, the bride, gave some sincere thought to be socially conscious and eco-friendly in her wedding planning process. Here is what she shared with us about their Big Day:

‘Our ceremony and reception were both held at a park district nature center. It is a beautiful natural place, and the building is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certified, so we were excited to support that. We were able to be married outside, which was important to us. In lieu of wedding favors, we decided to make a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation. Every dollar plants a tree so we had one tree planted for every guest who attended.’

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‘My dress was purchased secondhand at a Brides Against Breast Cancer charity dress sale. I have plans of donating it back, as well.’
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‘I wanted to find a florist who uses locally and sustainably grown flowers, and I was very lucky to find a local and very talented grower. I basically told her our general color scheme (creams, pinks, peaches) and gave her free reign to design the bouquets with whatever seasonal flowers she had. She also did our table flower arrangements.’

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‘We tried to reduce waste and energy consumption wherever possible. We rented our table linens and dishes. We used a lot of secondhand and rented decorations. It was a great experience knowing we gave back in so many small but powerful ways.’ Broadhurst_Curtis_Photography_by_Lauryn_resized29 Broadhurst_Curtis_Photography_by_Lauryn_resized32   Broadhurst_Curtis_Photography_by_Lauryn_resized38

Photographer:  Photography by Lauryn//Dress Store: Brides Against Breast Cancer //Floral Designer: Fox Flower Farm//Caterer: Gina’s Pizza //Event Venue: Hickory Knolls Discovery Center//Baked Goods:Trader Joes//

Weddings that Give Back : Becca & Gordan

In the midst of one of the hottest months of the season, we thought we’d share a little cooler inspiration of what’s to come with fall!

When the wedding couple is studying Environmental Science, its only fair that their wedding be ECO-FRIENDLY to the umpteenth power. One of our awesome Black Sheep Bride Vendors, Tara Lynn Bridal, recently shared this earth-friendly wedding story with us and it has us ‘Green with Envy’!

Captured at The Wild Center Natural Museum in Tupper Lake, NY, Becca and Gordon live and love to share awareness of living eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. They both had very unique attire, as well as vegetarian food and setting for their wedding. The bride bought her unique wedding dress from an organic farm in Calfornia, at an auction to help support the farm. The groom’s suit was 100% hemp, made in Vermont by Tara Lynn Bridal. They used sustainable air plants for their florals and both adorned wooden wedding bands, as well.

Photography by Out of the Ordinary Photography

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