Weddings that Give Back- Jennifer and Jeremy

It is always such a pleasure to feature Real Weddings that Give Back. It’s even BETTER, when they are Real Weddings on our home turf: Tampa, FL. Black Sheep Bride vendor, Marilyn of Rising Lotus Photography, recently submitted this elegant water-front wedding. The lovely bride is one of our local celebrities (news anchor) and her heart for helping others in front of the TV Camera, easily transitioned into her wedding planning process as well. Jennifer shares a little bit about the ways her BIG day gave back below:


‘While working with Fox 13, I had heard about the work Brides Against Breast Cancer did in the community. I was familiar with the organization’s mission and was blown away by all the work they do. My mom is a breast cancer survivor and anytime I can honor her journey, I do. I thought it was a great way to help out an amazing charity and get the dress of my dreams. How often do you get the opportunity to find your dream wedding dress, at a discount, and have the money go towards an amazing organization?’




‘Jeremy and I are both animal lovers and our rescue pups, Kote Boz and Otis, are members of our family. So it felt right to include them in our wedding. They both spent the morning with my bridesmaids and me while we got ready. In fact, Kote (the one with the white fur) had a great time getting extra love and cuddles from my bridesmaid Krissie. It was such a sweet moment when the boys trotted down the aisle in their little tuxedos.

I devote my time to the Humane Society and other rescue organizations by bringing awareness to the fact that there are many animals in the Tampa Bay area that need loving homes. I emcee fundraising events like Bark in the Park and Tux’s and Tails and whenever I can, I bring attention to rescue organizations and their amazing efforts on the show (Good Day Tampa Bay). It’s important to educate our audience on the wonders of pet adoption. I’d never had a dog before but I when I met Kote, I knew I wanted to give him a home. He’s been my best friend and along with our energetic, playful Otis, our family feels complete.




‘As a certified wish grantor for the Make a Wish FoundationI’ve had the privilege of meeting with children to help them figure out their biggest wishes; things like a visit to Disney World, a shopping trip in New York or the latest gadget. It’s wonderful to bring joy to a child who is dealing with so much and be part of their happy moments. I also assist when a child from out of town visits the Tampa area for their wish. I help other wish grantors present wishes, we help get donations and the items needed to grant the wishes. For the past five years, I’ve been involved in various aspects of the organization from presenting to helping make the special moment a reality.’


Wheels of SuccessPayton Wright Foundation and Feeding America are other local organizations I work with and offer support for their fundraising activities and events or whatever might be needed.’


‘Jeremy volunteers at Health Care Connections while he completes his degree in mental health counseling and social work. He’s very active in serving our community as a one-on-one mentor for those that need guidance and support.’
















Photographer:   Rising Lotus Photography//Dress Store:Alfred Angelo//Jewelry: Betsey Johnson//Dress Store: Brides Against Breast Cancer //Linens and Coverings:Fancy that Specialty Linens LLC//Bakery: Hands on Sweets//Restaurant: Jackson’s Bistro//Dress Designer:Martina Liana//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Men’s Wearhouse//DJ: Music On The Move DJs//Event Planner:The Day of Events, Inc.//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Vera Wang//Caterer: Westin Tampa Harbour Island Hotel/


Surprise Wedding for Deserving Couple | Big Fake Wedding Style

Our amazing friends at The Big Fake Wedding have done it again, but this time… It wasn’t a fake wedding… it was ‘totes’ REAL! Read the story below, from Big Fake Wedding’s founder and CEO, Callie! The best part of this story is all of the participating vendors donated their services to make this big day a success, for such an amazing couple!
‘My friend Jennifer was planning a wedding in September, but they found out that Brian was being transferred to Tokyo in June, so they started planning to secretly head to the courthouse on May 8. At a dinner in April, Jennifer was telling me about her plans and saying how she was so sad to miss the experience of her dad walking her down the aisle. She wanted Brian to have that moment of seeing her in a dress, but they knew there wasn’t time to make that possible.
I reached out to some of my favorite wedding vendors, and we started planning an amazing surprise wedding for the two of them. Jennifer knew it was happening, but she didn’t know any of the details. Brian just thought that he was going to meet her at the courthouse, but instead his dad dropped him off at the wedding location (a local park where the florist so graciously donated her yard and front porch for the celebration), and his mom was there waiting on him with a boutonniere, in front of a sign that read “Welcome to the wedding of Jennifer and Brian”. She handed him a letter from Jennifer that let him know that they would be able to experience a wedding ceremony after all, and then his parents walked him down the aisle where their family and best friends (who had come in from different parts of the country!) were waiting.
We had a musician who played their song as Jennifer walked down the aisle, and after the ceremony, the musician played as they had their first dance and dances with their parents. They then enjoyed dinner, cake and toasts on the front porch, and they ended with a coffee truck and lantern release.
The next day was their “engagement party” and they got to let everyone in on their little secret: they were married!!’
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Easily the best part for us, besides everyone donating their time to this lovely couple, is REFUGE COFFEE!!!! Refuge Coffee Company is an amazing Atlanta based Coffee Truck that provides a living wage, quality job training and mentorship for resettled refugees in the area.
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And if these amazing photos weren’t enough… grab the hankie and watch this super endearing video, courtesy of Up and Up Weddings :
Participating Vendors:  Flowers : Holland Daze Weddings | Vintage Rentals: Miss. Milly’s | Cake : GS Bakery | Catering : Farm Burger | Officiant : Bill Murray | Hand Lettering: Fleecher Designs | Photography : Jonathan and Kaye Photography | Ceremony Dress: Rent the Runway | Reception Dress: Wedding Angels | Videography: Up and Up Weddings | Music : Jonathan Wisdom | Coffee Truck: Refuge Coffee Co. | Jewelry: Chloe + Isabel by Brette  | ‘Yay Flag’ : Liddabits Design Shop

Weddings that Give Back- Jen & Rishi

A few months ago we featured an amazing engagement session for a couple of love birds looking to show love to others and with utmost excitement… TODAY… We get to share their awesome 2-day long wedding festivities! Check out what the bride had to share about her wedding planning process and how she conscious incorporated vendors and products that gave back!

‘The Sangeet (night before the wedding) was held at a local venue, sponsored by an organizations called Source MN, whose goal is to bring hope and opportunity in the city. They work with homeless people and do anti-trafficking awareness and education. We love being able to use a space that is doing good in our community.’

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I bought my wedding dress from a local consignment shop (in an effort to be more eco-conscious) called Bridal Aisle. 

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‘My engagement ring + both of our wedding bands: Blue Nile which has a  zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds.’

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‘I worked with Gracie over at Miriam Designs {who we sell at Paisley + Sparrow} to get rings and necklaces for my ladies. Miriam Designs works with women who have overcome addiction. My sister (MOH) wore the Kana necklace directly from my shop. It is made by Purpose Jewelry who works with women who were formerly trafficked. Bridesmaids also received lip balm from Honest Company who makes sure they make sure every vendor operates according to GMP standards which mandate fair labor wages and working conditions. Their products are good for your body, the environment and the people making them!’

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‘We had leftover envelopes from our invitations so I folded them over and wrote numbers on them for table numbers! The envelopes otherwise would have gone to waste. We also used succulents paired with candles (from the consignment shop) for half of our table centerpieces instead of flowers. We hated to throw away beautiful flowers after only using them for a day! I found pots at local thrift shops and painted them gold so they all matched. We gave away some and the rest are in various places around our home! :)’View More:

‘For our wedding favors we decided to gift each guest with a bar of Hand in Hand Soap – For each bar of soap we give, one bar will be given to a child in need. {also found in my shop!}’

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‘However we did registered for some gifts, we also gave the option to donate to International Justince Mission – a human rights agency that is bringing rescue and freedom to victims of slavery, sex trafficking and other forms of violence. We raised over $300!’

‘The rest of our vendors we went with small locally owned businesses rather than larger corporations. My Hair/Makeup was done by Jen Santoro Rotty, Invitations and Programs were done by Libby Design , Photography : On3Design for Photography and our videography:  Acowsay

To find out more about Jen and her amazing socially conscious boutique, visit: Paisley + Sparrow.

Weddings that Give Back: Morgan & Ryan

Central Florida based Black Sheep Bride vendor, Soltren Photography, sent us this awesome ‘Weddings that Give Back’ submission that immediately had us giddy with giving-back excitement! ‘Why is that?’ You might ask… Well, for many reasons: 1. Soltren Photography shot the wedding and we know how much they love to give back to their community via Help Portrait and the Heart Gallery… 2. The bride and her mother own this super cool boutique that we’ve had several folks tell us to check out, for their socially conscious goodies (Man Cans, Bourbon and Bowties, etc) and last, but not least, 3. They used one of our favorite caterers ever… Duo 58 (meal for meal business mission)!

Here what the bride had to share about their wedding and how they give back!

‘One of the things that attracted me to Ryan in the first place was his kind heart. He was so involved in helping others any way he could. He put his friends first before himself and his servants heart was so evident. As cliche as it sounds he has always made me want to do more for others.’

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‘We were so happy to come across Duo 58 in our search for wedding caterers. Nathan and his team were incredible … He is definitely using his God given talent to cook! When we went to our tasting we knew without a doubt that we wanted to use him – his mission and his heart was evident that he was using his abilities in order to serve others, and we knew we wanted a part in that right away! We believe God puts people and in this case, Nathan, in your path for a certain reason. After our reception, Nathan fed people outside of our venue who may not have known where their next meal was coming from. That alone made our night!’

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‘Ryan and I are constantly looking for ways to contribute in ways that we feel led. We team up with some other friends every Christmas season to find a family in need of toys, and gifts under their tree. On Christmas Day each year we spend our morning putting food together for the Florida Baptist Children’s home – each cottage has about 12 children and so helps the house parents not to have to spend their whole morning cooking a lunch for their families. My mom and I own two businesses and through that we have a lot of opportunity to give back in our community – we have all been so blessed – it’s the absolute least we can do to just give a small portion of what The Lord has blessed us with!’2015-06-05_0028 2015-06-05_0029 2015-06-05_0030 2015-06-05_0031 2015-06-05_0032 2015-06-05_0033

Vendors: Photographer: Soltren Photography | Venue: Winter Park Farmers Market | Caterer: Duo 58 | DJ: Latin Touch Entertainment  | Jewelry: Fringe Boutique