Weddings that Give Back- Marielle & David

The most exciting part about receiving a Black Sheep Bride Real Wedding submission is learning the couple’s story.  Love always shines through each story and when it comes to giving back, the size and presentation of the giving is never a variable … because every ounce of quiet/humble or big/loud love invested in others is helping the greater good! I love that this couple donated all of their left over flowers to Random Acts of Flowers and also their left over food to KARM Knoxville. They also requested their guests to skip buying them a wedding present and making a donation to their favorite charity instead.

Jewels Photography (based out of Knoxville, TN) recently shared a wedding with us that was the perfect fit for Black Sheep Bride. Here is the fun wedding story she shared with us:


‘Marielle and David have a love for each other that is so true and lively you can feel it just being around them.  The bride and groom chose to have a non-traditional wedding at The Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville, TN. The venue is a unique place in itself as an art and culture museum.’





‘Marielle and David focused the entire day and night on what the event was really all about — their love. The wedding was truly a celebration among the ones that were closes to them in a way that was unique and special to them. It was all about love — one love — and that’s all that mattered is that they were getting married! By 6:00 pm, guests filled the room for a cocktail hour that the bride and groom would join in the celebration. Yes you heard right, the couple would be joining in festivities BEFORE the ceremony. With an open bar, Marielle’s aunt provided the reception with sparkling wine from her Beverly Hills based wine company, Moreno Sparkling Wine.’

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‘One of Marielle’s long time friends, Lindsay, was ordained to perform some personal wedding ceremonies. Every word of the vows were wrote by Marielle herself and presented just as she wanted them to be. After the introduction of Mr. and Mrs. David Tordone, the celebration continued. Love filled the air as family and friends hugged and congratulations were expressed. After an evening of amazing food (including an awesome pizza bar baked on spot) catered by All Occasion Catering, drinks, and celebration — the night did not end. The guest were invited to join the bride and groom in an after party at Soccer Taco in Market Square. The restaurant arranged for a private party with the band Diva and The Black Tie Affair to perform. The night was a hit with dancing and everyone having the time of their lives. I will have to say my favorite part of the after party was when I snuck a few shots of the bride and groom at the end (before they realized I was watching) as they stood at the end of the bar in a private moment looking at their wedding rings and having a “we are married and I love you” moment!?’

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Photographer:  Jewels Photography | Floral Designer: Abloom Florist |Caterer: All Occasion Catering LLC | Equipment Rentals: Campbell Tent & Party Rentals | Band: Diva and The Black Tie Affair | Bakery: It’s Easy As Pie | Hair Stylist: Just A Tease | Other: Moreno Sparkling Wine | DJ: Ogle Entertainment | Other: Soccer Taco | Event Venue: The Emporium Center


Weddings that Give Back- Sandra & Aaron

Florida based photographer, Leah Dorr Photography recently submitted an awesome ONE themed beach wedding that was THE PERFECT EXAMPLE of Giving Back- Goodness!

Leah shares a little about the couple and the wedding day details:  ‘Sandra volunteers for the campaign ONE, which advocates for the world’s poorest. She is very involved in the campaign and her wedding details showed how giving back is important to both the bride and groom. While planning her wedding, Sandra asked all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen to wear TOMS shoes on the big day as part of her ‘give back wedding’. Sandra rocked a pair of TOMS wedges herself! TOMS is a one for one company, which means for every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give one to a person in need. The groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen all wore shirts and dresses made by one of ONE’s favorite partners, Global Mamas. The company’s goal is to change the lives of women in Africa through selling handmade products of the highest quality. Each bridesmaid got to chose which style dress she wanted to wear! The shirts and dresses were beautifully made and definitely added a unique alternative to traditional bridesmaid dresses and groom/groomsmen suits. The bride and bridesmaids also wore the ONE Beaded Bracelet from Relate, a South African Not-For-Profit social enterprise that creates social investment opportunities to change lives. Sandra also has a love for all things Peter Pan, so there was a Neverland theme at the reception, and boy was it beautiful! The cake was probably my favorite detail! When it was cut into, fairy dust came out…fairy dust! The big hit of the reception was when Sandra sang a song (a twist on Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’) to their wedding guests spilling the beans that she and Aaron were already hitched! The guests cheered and loved her unique way of sharing the news!’

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They also asked all of their wedding day guest to help speak out and help ONE furtherer their cause. ONE created cards where they asked Senator Marco Rubio to support the Electrify Africa Act that could provide up to 50 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa electricity for the very 1st time with no cost to the US taxpayer. (See attached image) They put the cards at the bar so everyone would see them! And ONE Campaign Regional field director, Abby Sasser, even flew in from DC to talk to the wedding guests. ONE even featured their BIG DAY on the ONE site and can be seen here.

Rubio Card

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Vendors: Photography : Leah Dorr Photography | Venue: Atlantic Center for the Arts

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