Weddings that Give Back: TLove & Jeannette, Maine

In honor of Pride Appreciation, we wanted to celebrate this incredibly compassion-driven love story with you all one more time. This incredible couple used their wedding day to serve and positively impact their family, their community and the environment around them. Thank you to our BSB Vendor, Tara Lynn Bridal, for sharing their story with us and for creating the ethical wedding attire. Molly Haley captured the day in all of it’s locally sourced, organic and intentional goodness. Upon receiving their ‘giving back story’ we were blown away by the sheer magnitude of kind thoughtfulness that went into making their socially conscious wedding a success!

See what the couple had to share below:

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‘For our wedding, we wanted to infuse as much of our personalities and our consciousness into the day as possible.  We are passionate about local farms, the local economy, and local arts as well as cooperative living communities.  Our intention was nurture our guests by practicing consciousness for the environment, our community and ourselves.’

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‘Our flowers were also organic and purchased from local Maine farms and from a friend’s personal garden. We also had both of our wedding outfits custom-made out of organic hemp and cotton from Tara Lynn Bridal (Tara Lynn is not only eco-friendly, she also donates a portion of her annual profits to a Vermont-based domestic violence non-profit and a few other causes)’.

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‘As part of our ceremony, we included a group guided kaleidoscope yoga circle with over 120 participants, our guests.’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900031 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900036Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900033  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900038 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900039 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900040 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900042  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900010Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900046 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900047

‘Our dinner menu was buffet-style, vegan, organic with all produce from local Maine farms and prepared and cooked by us and our friend, who is a vegan chef. We composted everything from our community meal, including our dinner wares, and donated it to Zero Food Waste.’

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‘Our take away gifts were reusable vintage purple Ball Jars with lids to be used to drink from at the wedding day and beyond. We also held a safe and sober space for the entire weekend.’

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‘To support local arts, we hired several local musicians, a local swing dance instructor to help choreograph a group dance for our wedding party, as well as visual artists (live painters) to celebrate the day’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900055 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900056 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900060 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900061 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900062

‘For our gift registry we accepted donations for a cross country road trip to explore and document cooperative living communities throughout the U.S.. We will be compiling this trip into a video documentary screening as a way to educate and give back to our community.’

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Photographer:  Molly Haley//Event Venue: Live Well Farm//Fashion Designer: Tara Lynn Bridal//

 

 

Engagements With Purpose: Arwa + Zohaile, Joshua Tree, CA

Editor Note: Black Sheep Bride is a platform to uplift, empower and share stories of amazing people, with selfless love, and huge impact, actively involved in changing the world around them, in a variety of ways. The following engagement session is both breathtaking, as it is, highly inspirational and thought provoking. BSB encourages you to put yourself in this couple’s ‘wedding planning shoes’ and imagine the challenges they must face, when planning a multi-cultural wedding of international proportions. The present time in which we live has become a historic season of great action, great community and great love, that is why BSB is honored to share the story of how this couple, both first-generation Americans, has chosen to use their rights, passions, skills, and personal understandings to serve the least of these. Arwa is an talented Muslim Indian immigration lawyer, as is her partner, Zohaile, an Iranian-American, their love story began in NYC, but has continued onto the other side of the country, in southern California. Read their story, from Arwa’s words below. (Photography by Laura Goldenberger Photography)

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My fiancé Zohaile and I (Arwa) met in 2011 when we were both working together at a class action administration firm. He came from Southern California to New York for law school and stayed, and I was a New York native, who had taken a slight geographical detour to Paris, France to pursue a fellowship with an NGO in women’s rights in Africa and the Middle East. I was greeted, upon my return, by a failing job market and started working at this firm, because, even though the market was hard on the private practice of law, it was even harder on those who wanted to work at underfunded non profit organizations. I continued taking cases pro bono in humanitarian immigration (asylum protection for the LGBTQ community and deferred action for our country’s young and undocumented “dreamers”) and vowed to one day make this my “real job.”

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The firm was good to me, most especially, because it brought Zohaile together. After sitting near each other in an open workspace and learning we lived in the same Astoria neighborhood, we began seeing each other outside of work. We’d spend our weekends going on road trips, adventures, and camping – falling in love with each other and nature.

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A couple of years into our relationship, we decided to move to southern California. We quit our jobs, packed up our respective cars, and drove across the country over 21 magical days, camping and exploring along the way. I had always dreamed of living in California and now I was finally here. I promised myself that I would keep my word – to only work for a cause that I’m passionate about. I put it out there in the universe (and did a lot of hard work), and suddenly things started to fall into place. I was hired as the Asylum Director of a nonprofit organization in San Diego, moved into an amazing place located 5 minutes from work, and soon after found myself engaged to the love of my life.

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After certain executive orders (were signed) at the end of January, I find my work becoming more challenging, crucial, and relevant. I begin my workdays a lot earlier and leave a lot later. I spend my weekends protesting, writing letters to my representatives, or finding ways to engage the non-legal community in advocacy or volunteer efforts, and thinking about every single one of my clients – potential or actual. After a bout of tears and hopelessness, I decided I was going to put my actions where my mouth was, that I was a voice for my clients and the people I serve – not just inside the immigration courts and offices, but everywhere their rights were being violated. The ban on travel from 7 Muslim countries hits home for me personally as well. Members of my fiancé’s family from Iran, who were planning to come to the United States especially for our wedding, are no longer allowed to enter the country. While I have been talked out of making my entire wedding playlist resistance and revolution songs, my spirit of dissent is ever present and will be on my wedding day. ||||

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Here are a few ways to help Arwa and Z continue to serve others:

Donate to Casa Cornelia Law Center

Consider volunteering as interpreters and translate for immigration law clients.
Connect with the congressional representatives in your area, you can visit: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. Their bio will include ways to interact with them.

Photography by Laura Goldenberger Photography

Special thanks to our BSB Vendor, ‘Cause We Can Events, for sharing this story with us!

2017 Father’s Day Round-Up

Dads are pretty rad, aren’t they? Before BSB launched, I was spending my weekend’s photographing weddings and my most favorite wedding day images were always during dad moments. It’s just fun to see grown men so uncharacteristically emotional, don’t you agree? Thanks to our BSB vendors for sharing some of their favorite DAD moments with us for this Father’s Day Round Up. Here is to all the DADS out there, furry, old, young, step, adoptive, and everything in between, wishing you all a Happy Father’s Day, near and far!

10991129_10204090044479547_5258038856232029780_n (Bride speaking to her dad, who was bed ridden on her wedding day) Bird On A Wire Photography

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Brandilynn Aines Photography

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Kyra Rane Photography

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FairyTail Pet Care | Photo: Bumby Photography

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Family Creative Imagery

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Kyra Rane Photography

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Lauren Lindley Photography

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Lauren Lindley Photography

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, Dads! 

Military Weddings that Gives Back – Michelle & Dave, Austin, TX

This Memorial Day we wanted to revisit one of our favorite military wedding features in honor of all those that have served and sacrificed their lives for our country.

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So grateful for today’s featured Real Wedding and how it brings honor and love to those that serve our country! Not only is the groom a selfless man of service, this gorgeous couple is also socially conscious. They decided to get married at the Barr Mansion, ‘The Nation’s only Certified Organic Event Facility’, and donated a portion of their budget t a charity fighting human trafficking, The Polaris Project. Talk about amazing! Their wonderful photographers, at Amanda Summerlin Photography, also pride’s themselves on being green and eco-conscious, as well as donating a portion of their profits to one of several organizations. As a gift for clients that book their wedding day, Amanda Summerlin Photography, provides their couples with a Kiva Card (which provided micro loans to entrepeuners around the world). To date they have provided the Kiva community with over 94 micro loans.

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Venue: Barr Mansion | Photographer: Amanda Summerlin | Floral: Stems Floral | Cake: Polkadots Cup Cake Factory

2017 Mother’s Day Round Up

Happy Mother’s Day, friends!

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In honor of this special day, we are celebrating some favorite Wedding Mom Moments from our BSB vendors and friends!

17620094_10212246607456161_6537423670639149283_oThis bride Sarah, is not only wearing the dress her mother, and her mother’s mother wore before her, she honored both of her grandmothers by asking them to be her flower girls! Photo: Karen J Hawley Photography

17917765_10154670321756559_4837993967453568876_oDon’t you just love the mom’s reaction in this image, after seeing her daughter in her wedding gown!? Photo: Lauren Lindley Photography

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Bride and her fur-baby on her wedding day. Submitted by: FairyTail Pet Care | Photo: Bumby Photography, LLC

18425549_1365844580165094_6431935103572596556_n Photo: Sandra Chile Photography

18449702_10211494682176129_1638470760163846057_o A mother’s job is never done! Love that this mom didn’t skip a beat, even in her wedding gown! Photo: Jeannie Capellan Photography

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Mom sharing a moment with the groom, as she puts on his boutonniere. Photo: Sandra Chile Photography

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Mother and Grandmother and the Bride spending the last few minutes before the ceremony in prayer. Photo: Monica Puryear Photography

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This bride gave her daughter this hanker chief on her wedding day, to save for her own wedding day in the future. Photo: Jeannie Capellan Photography

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Mother of the Bride getting emotional putting the bride’s jewelry on. Photo: Katey Penton Photography

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This is such a great representation of so many of our moms, on our wedding days… This mom is walking her daughter down the aisle and just as excited to see the guests as the bride is- love it! Photo: Lauren Lindley Photography

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Amber Veatch Designs on her wedding day sharing a moment with her sweet little girl. Photo: Jessica Lea Photography

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Mother and Daughter at a Destination Wedding Experience, thanks to TruBlue Travel.

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Nicky got married recently here in the US after living here for about 20 years. Her Irish mom (and the whole family) flew in for the wedding. Photo: Julie Verlinden Photography

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This bride’s mom capturing a glimpse of her daughter in her wedding dress and ended up in sweet tears.  Submitted by: Sandra Explains It All | Photo: Leah Dor Photography.

 

We wish you all a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!