Engagements with Purpose

At first glance this amazingly cute couple looks like any other couple you’d find strolling the shore of some super cool North Western, Coastal, Hipster Town…. but wait.. there’s more than what the eyes can see. Thanks to Samantha McFarlen Photography for sharing these images and connecting us with their story !

Karlie and Sam have Big Plans for their Big Day! Giving Back has been a huge pillar in their relationship, as Sam is a firefighter and volunteers to fight forest fires each season. They plan to show their love for the forest by incorporating baby Cedar trees as centerpieces at their wedding day. They are also donating a portion of their cash gifts to the local Clallam County Humane Society in Washington State, where they reside.

As they continue to plan for their wedded rad’ness… They are also researching ways to donate their leftover food/flowers from reception to local organizations looking for love.

And seriously … You gotta love the STACHE! :)














Weddings that Give Back- Puppy Love

Black Sheep Bride photography vendor, Brandilynn Aines Photography, recently shared one of her couples amazing love stories and we couldn’t refuse to share.

Christine and Tim adore their pups,  just as much as they adore each other. Emma, their Alaskan Malamute rescue, was so important to their love story, they used their Big Day as a way to advocate for the Dog Rescue they got her from.


Read Christine’s story and take a peak at their gorgeous Bayside wedding on the water.

‘In the summer of 2011, I had asked Tim to get me a dog for my birthday coming up. I didn’t care what breed as long as we could adopt. Tim and I both grew up with dogs, all of which were rescued. He knew he wanted an Alaskan Malamute. He has always loved the breed for various reasons. Mals are “pack” animals and want to be with their family. They are charming, intelligent, and loving. They are also a large and physically powerful breed. After researching online, Tim found the non-profit organization, Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection (CHAAMP) working to rescue Alaskan Malamutes and connect them with a new owner.

On August 29, 2011, we took a trip to Shepherdstown, WV to visit CHAAMP. The staff was incredibly nice and welcoming. We were able to tour the facility, which was surprisingly very clean. We were introduced to two Mals before meeting our sweet girl Emma. I knew instantly she was the one. We share the same birthday, August 8th, and she was the 8th dog in the litter. She was friendly, the right size, and not aggressive towards our other dog Jack. A perfect fit! Before we could officially adopt her, the rescue includes an application process and a home visit. We appreciated this as Alaskan Malamutes are not for every owner. They require training and a lot of exercise. The dog should be a right fit for the owner and vice versa. This is just one example how genuine and hardworking CHAAMP is with adoptions. Emma has been an incredible addition to our family ever since and we couldn’t imagine life without her.

When Tim and I were planning our wedding, we knew from the beginning we wanted to donate to an organization as opposed to giving traditional favors. It’s important to us to give back to those in need. We also figured our guest would appreciate a donation as opposed to a box of matches with our initials on it that they would probably throw away afterwards J We decided to donate to CHAAMP in their honor. CHAAMP solely relies on donations and their work has helped hundreds of Mals find their forever home. We considered it a simple act with a big impact. It was also a way to incorporate our love for animals into the wedding. We would have had our two dogs there if they were allowed!’


























Photographer: Brandilynn Aines PhotographyVenue: Harbourtowne Golf Resort and Conference CenterInvitations & Stationery: Belle Hannah PaperieBridal Salon: Brides and GroomDJ: EventPro | Hair & Make Up Artist: Jordan Thomas SalonGroom’s Attire: Jos A Bank | Invitations & Stationery: Swell & Grand

Second Shooter: Norman Photo and Paperie




Allison & Brandon’s Winter Wedding – Georgia Wedding Vendors Design Dream Wedding

It’s pretty common for people to bring hankies and tissues to weddings, is it not? We all well up as we watch the soon to be’s look eyes down the eisle as they catch a glimpse of their soul mate for the first time. We are happy to see their love, we witness their commitment and believe in their future together. Today’s wedding feature is in a lot of ways no different than most wedding day stories, but this one has one key component that stands out…. The entire dream day was donated by the vendors to show the couple their support as the groom battled against cancer.  Today’s featured wedding is intended to give the utmost respect and honor to this groom and his wonderful bride, for his fight is no longer and he has since lost his battle to cancer. This is the reason we share these to stories and talk about couples, vendors and inspiration that gives back… There is so much amazing love that can be shared, when we rally together and give with our all!















DSC00935 copy

DSC00966 copy

Vendors: Photographer: Andie Freeman Photography | Venue: The Barn on Belmont | Makeup: Bombshell Creations | DJ: Osbourne DJ | Catering : The Blind Pig Tavern & Buffalo’s | Event Design: Hydrangea House Events



Weddings that Give Back- Cup of Love

A few months ago Black Sheep Bride shared a proposal unlike most witnessed on Pinterest and You Tube these days… Its was set in the middle of a homeless outreach event and the engagement ring delivered in a styrofoam cup. Why you might ask? Well because that is where this couple’s love was founded, helping others and providing warmth through coffee and hot cocoa to their ‘downtown neighbors’ (the Downtown Jacksonville homeless) via the groom’s non-profit, called Cup of Love. It was something that resonated deeply with me, because I was living in Downtown Jax at the time and quickly became friends with a lot of the homeless folks this couple served every week! So when it was time to tie, you better believe I was excited to see the wedding day photos!















And this is the part of the feature where you are going to want to pull out your tissues, because when I saw these photos of the couple serving their Guests of Honor (the downtown homeless guests) before anyone else… It was such an amazing example of love and selfless kindness to consider someone doing on their Big Day. What a great way to start off their marriage right, by sharing kindness and care to others.




Vendors: Photographer: Chloe Austin Photography | Wedding Planner: Dairing Events | DJ: Jacob Towe | Make Up: Jill Stonier | Hair : Amanda Burke | Cater: Southern Grill | Florist: Lynda Vaderson | Venue: South Point Community Church | Decor:  Ten23 designs, Lotions & Potions,  Amber Veatch Designs

Operation Shoebox Match Making Across the World

When I was nearly 19 years old I decided I would fundraise and go volunteer in the squatter camps of CapeTown, South Africa. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a trip so impulsive would shape the heart of my existence and create a passion so big to help others. While I was there for 3 months, we received a super fun surprise…. A HUGE crate of thousands and thousands of Operation Shoebox shoeboxes, filled with treats, hygiene items and gifts for children,  was on its way to the Congo and was redirected to South Africa. We were responsible for delivering this unexpected shoe boxes to over 5 townships.

Most of the children receiving these shoeboxes had never received a single gift in all their lives. They opened the boxes with awe and wonder and what was surprising to me was that out of all the goodies, the little candies, trinkets, books, etc… the most valuable thing in those cardboard boxes was the letters and photos from the person that sent it. The children clung to those letters and pictures as if they knew that person on a level deeper than any relationship they ever had. Those children were so grateful that some random stranger across the ocean cared enough to send them those things and you could just feel the love with every letter read.

That experience changed me…. so when I saw this story I was not surprised at the passion Joana expressed (and the dedication) in sharing her gratitude with Tyrel, but I was also beyond over the moon excited to share it with you all!

In the year 2000 a sweet 8 year girl, named Joana, received an Operation Shoebox in the Phillipines, from a 7 year old boy, named Tyrel from Idaho…


After several failed postal attempts to reach Tyrel and express her gratitude for his generosity, Joana turned to Facebook nearly a decade later… and low and behold… The rest is history!

Want to read about their journey from Shoebox to Now… Read the full story here.


*Disclaimer:  Black Sheep Bride is a mainstream & inclusive wedding publication…. We are lovers of all people and have an audience that share, support & respect both non- faith and faith based non-profits that give back! *