Weddings that Give Back- Stephanie & Daniel

Our amazing Black Sheep Bride vendor, Lauren Lindley (of Lauren Lindley Photography), recently shared this awesome west coast wedding with us and we just love what she had to say about this great couple and how it impacted her and her business for good.

‘Stephanie and Daniel are two of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. They are adventurers, athletes and travelers.  They are full of laughter, love and are super laid-back. They spend countless hours of their lives volunteering and donating time and efforts to the non-profit that Dan is the executive director for Hope Shines.

Hope Shines strives to offer children in need continuous opportunities for empowerment, encouragement, and supplementary education through meaningful activities with strong role models, both foreign and local to their communities. They promote long-term mentorship in areas of health, hygiene, education, and self-esteem through week-long summer day programs, year-long tutoring programs and health and hygiene support and education. Every year, Stephanie and Dan travel to Rwanda to support the program and will be doing so again this summer, but for the first time as a married couple.  Stephanie is the organizations Volunteer Organizer, as well as their Chief Medical Advisor.’

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‘My (Lauren Lindley) life has been significantly enriched after spending their wedding week with them. They decided to wed in a Destination Wedding in South Lake Tahoe, CA at the recently opened The Landing Resort and Spa. The after party went on until they kicked us out of the bar at 2:30 AM and the dance party was epic.

I (Lauren Lindley Photography) decided in 2015 to give a percentage of every wedding to one non-profit for the year. Because of my close relationship with Dan and Stephanie after photographing their wedding, I chose Hope Shines to be the inaugural non-profit of my choice and the beneficiary of my donations for the year.

Photographer:  Lauren Lindley Photography//Officiant: A Wedding Ceremony from the Heart//Makeup Artist: Alter Ego Make-Up//DJ: Ascent DJ Productions//Hair Stylist: Indigo Salon//Linens and Coverings: La Tavola Linen//Floral Designer: Lavish Floral//Cake Designer: Tahoe Cakes By Grace//Event Venue: The Landing Resort and Spa//Musicians: The String Beings//Event Planner: Tamara J Events//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Weddings That Give Back- Carmen & Justin

Today’s Real Wedding Couple comes courtesy of Lawrence Photography and seriously couldn’t be cooler… literally. And if you know Carmen and Justin, then you know how fitting a January wedding in Milwaukee was for them. They both work at Montana State University (Justin is from Wisconsin so the wedding locale worked out great!) & are extremely fond of winter weather and all the activities that come with it. Heck, they even commute to work on their super rad snow bikes! No amount of snow, cold weather, or bitter temperatures would put a damper on their day. If anything, it enhanced it!! They live such an adventurous, spontaneous, healthy, and active lifestyle… giving back just came hand and hand. Their wedding embodied all of the characteristics that make Carmen & Justin the wonderful people that they are! In lieu of a first dance, C & J opted for a Matrimonial Mile with their guests around the Urban Ecology Center. The run was their way of getting all their guests active before celebrating at the reception.

The Urban Ecology Center is an environmental education center located in Milwaukee. This “green” environmental community center was once a vacant tavern at 37th and Pierce. Designed by Uihlein Wilson Architects, the branch will soon open to serve eight schools and grow to serve 22 south side schools who are clamoring for our Neighborhood Environmental Education Project. Gin & Gingers, Montana & Wisconsin craft breweries on site, along side coffee (purchased from farmer and co-op partnerships) from Colectivo, baked goods from Troubadour Bakery, and great conversation filled the venue. They absolutely nailed it!

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On top of everything else they incorporated into their Big Day plans… The groom’s ring is a Mokume Gane Ebb and Flow Solstice ring (made from recycled metals and representative of the ebb and flow of nature) and her ring is a YOGO Sapphire from Alara Jewelry (100% recycled precious metals) located in Montana. Fun Fact: The Bride is a food & nutrition professor at Montana State University and the sapphire is local to the Bozeman, Montana region.

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Thanks to Lawrence Photography for sharing this gorgeous day with us and fun fact … They also gives back!

‘Aside from being a wedding photographer, I am also a behavior Therapist for children with Autism and every year we donate a portion of our profits to Autism Speaks. I have a HUGE passion for children with autism and love that Autism Speaks goes above and beyond to research Autism, increasing awareness and providing advocacy.’

Vendors: Photography: Lawrence Photography | Hair: Samantha Harden  |  Makeup: Desiree Byker  |  Venues: The Iron Horse Hotel & The Urban Ecology Center  | Food: Colectivo Coffee & The Troubadour Bakery also drinks by New Glares Brewing  |  Dress: Anthropologie

NYC Wedding Venue with Purpose

In leau of last week’s National Women and Children’s Aid’s Awareness Day, we wanted to share with you this super sweet wedding, with a even sweeter wedding venue, Housing Works Bookstore, that actively supports Aid’s Awareness and Causes that Fight for Aid’s Research and Survivors. Thank you to Sarah Tew Photography for sharing this awesome couple and venue with us!

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Photographer: Sarah Tew Photography | Venue: Housing Works Bookstore | Florals: Montano Grant | Cake: Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery  | DJ: Scratch Weddings

Engagement with Purpose- Anthony and Kayla

One of our amazing Atlanta-based BSB Vendors, Shutter Sweet Photography recently shared this amazing engagement story with us that will leave you inspired. Read what Ashley, from Shutter Sweet Photography, had to say about her amazing clients.



‘This couple just got engaged, but their love story started years ago when they both went on tour to volunteer for the African Children’s Choir. Anthony is from Uganda and is a leader with the choir. Kayla volunteered to be a leader/chaperone for the 16 months they were traveling around the US and Europe. They built a strong friendship on the tour and after the tour was over, tried to visit each other as much as possible as they continued growing closer despite the long distance. They just got engaged at the beginning of the year and are excited to plan their wedding and plan for the future.’






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‘They both have huge hearts and are beautiful servants to those around them. I was able to meet them while I photographed the choir and enjoyed getting to know them as a couple during the engagement shoot. The best part about this amazing organization that ignited their love story is… an upcoming documentary at the Atlanta Film Festival, called Imba Means Sing, will be sharing the journey of the African Children’s Choir and the film is donating 100% of the profits back to the organization.’

IMBA MEANS SING Trailer from imba means sing on Vimeo.


Shutter Sweet’s Photography Gives Back program donates 10% from each session to non-profit organizations and we also donate our time and talents to serve organizations like Imba Means Sing and the African Children’s Choir, Help-Portrait, and families in need.

Engagements with Purpose- Ashley & Josh

Black Sheep Bride has this super mundo amazing squad of vendors in Michigan that make my heart so happy! Their hearts for helping others, amazing style and passion for couples and weddings is worthy of admiration!

Emily of EverPhoto recently photographed one of her fellow Black Sheep Bride Vendor – Friends, Ashley, of Ashley Paige Photography.

Ashley has big plans for her wedding and I just feel in love with her heart as she shared her vision for their Big Day! See what she has to say …

‘Wedding planning drastically changes when you are around weddings constantly. For me, my wedding ideas changed from completely traditional to uniquely different.  Josh and I knew we wanted a fun day, but we also didn’t want to get so wrapped up in traditions, rituals, and “things,” that we forgot why we were actually getting married.’


‘Three years ago I changed up my lifestyle to help the planet, and reduce as much suffering as possible – this altered my thought process for my wedding as well. I didn’t want to harm anything or kill more of Earth’s resources just to celebrate on a specific day. This led me to my wedding planning alterations.

All of Josh and I’s vendors include Black Sheep Bride vendors, vendors that simply give back to the earth, charities and local businesses within our community. My bridesmaids, Moms and Sister-in-laws gifts are all bracelets produced by a company that gives back to charities around the world (Pura Vida), My dress is actually my mothers being altered by local designers, the sweetest older ladies you will ever meet, Nimble Needles.’






‘Our wedding will be trash free for the most part – our plates are made from Sugar cane, and are compost able, we are giving the guests mason jars so that they can have one cup for the night to reduce the cost and trash of cups, our silverware is actually made of recyclable bamboo, and even our straws will be recyclable.

We aren’t having a cake but we are having vegan cupcakes. This is a major part of my life, so I wanted to make sure that I could eat these all night.. Im obsessed a bit. All crafts are recycled or used and redecorated. From wine bottles, to spaghetti jars, I am painting and crafting everything.’





‘Our florist will be a local florist in Bridgman, Michigan, and we will focus mostly on Baby’s breath flowers -since they are cheapest and easiest to grow, and hey, pretty cute too. I also love the way my mom is taking hold of this entire idea. She has so many connections with amazing local, craft individuals who want nothing more than to help out. From people making their own local popcorn and flavors, to our friend that is a DJ. From hiring friends to create wonderful snacks and food, to family donating coffee cups to create a unique look – I am completely excited about the date.’








But it’s not just marrying Josh that I am so excited about… I’m excited to show people that you can have a big party, while saving the Earth (or not destroying it), that you can help out 50 plus people, support their good businesses, and recycle, while enjoying a wonderful life event. We will be labeling all of our vendors and explaining why they are so amazing.’






‘I own my own photography business, as mentioned at the beginning. I am currently doing a project “shine bright” to really take a stand on society’s perception of beauty and focus on natural, beautiful woman – showing why each woman is beautiful. Really its a stand against the porn industry and the “sex” society we have become – because lets be real – every girl feels compared – and this project is to stand against those made up , ridiculous standards. So far, every model has been overwhelmed at how beautiful they feel after the shoot and when the images are released. It’s so .. so exciting.

I also have been teaching a few newbies at photography and let them hang out with me on occasional shoots to help them on their photo journey. My entire business is about promoting self confidence and beauty. This year I am also involving myself in a few Cancer events to help promote beauty and strength in those people as well. My cousin passed away a few years back to some hard cancer – and through it all  – her strength and beauty continued to shine- which really encouraged me to show that side of people through struggles.’
Photo Courtesy of EverPhoto – Thank you so much Emily!