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 Foundation, I’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.’
‘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/