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Weddings That Give Back: Michelle and Joe- Key West, FL

One of our very own BSB Vendors, friends, and ethical fashion advocate, Michelle, of Michelle For Good and Co-Founder of The Tote Project, recently tied the knot in South Florida to her amazing guy, Joey!
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 True to form, Michelle and Joey made sure to incorporate as many ethical, charitable and sustainable wedding day details as they could and used their intimate destination wedding to shop small, waste less and serve others. Read more about how they were intentional throughout the post.
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Shop Small: ‘We are both advocates of fair trade and the sweatshop-free movement, so we tried to shop small when we could. We bought the flower girl basket and guest book from designers on ETSY, and I surprised Joey with a wedding day gift of a Brackish Bow Tie, (another amazing BSB find).’
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Michelle’s Bridal Jewelry: Her awesome bridal jewelry was designed by her good friend Destiny, of Destiny Conner Jewelry.  ‘She designed a custom hair piece and earrings for me. She donates 10% of her profits to the Imagine Foundation.’
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The Venue: The couple choose to get married at The Ernest Hemingway Home in Key West, FL.  The venue is a non-profit museum. The house was built in 1851 and purchased as Hemingway’s home in 1931, all of the furniture is preserved in it’s original form. The estate still remains to be the single largest residential property on the island of Key West.
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The Bridesmaids Gifts:  ‘I bought my maids of honor (I couldn’t pick just one, all my bridesmaids were maids and matrons of honor haha) Purpose Jewelry for their gifts and asked them to wear the pieces in the wedding. Purpose Jewelry is made by human trafficking survivors and 100% of the proceeds go to them. I also surprised them with Sand Cloud towels to go with the destination wedding theme. They donate to protect marine life.’
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Tuxes: The Wedding Party Tuxes were rented from Generation Tux.  ‘We didn’t initially see a give-back component on their site, so I tweeted at them and asked if they’d be willing to donate if we chose them as a vendor. They agreed and donated 10% of the price we paid to UNICEF to support Syrian Refugees. They also said they are working to incorporate giving back into their business model..woohoo!’ (<<<< TALK ABOUT CHANGE MAKER! Go Michelle and Joey!)
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Wedding Rings: ‘My engagement ring and wedding band were from Brilliant Earth, and Joey’s band was from another Black Sheep Bride vendor, Tenzabelle. It was super important to us to get conflict-free rings and Brilliant Earth gives back to communities negative affected by the illegal diamond trade.’
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Photographer: We chose Andrew Abajian as our photographer. He’s not only a great friend of ours, he also does humanitarian work and has photographed the efforts of Saddleback/Rick Warren around the world.
Wedding Invitations: We ordered recycled paper wedding invitations from Minted.
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All Photos courtesy of Andrew Abajian.

Resourceful Rings- Inspiration for Weddings that give back.

‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’ One of the most exciting aspects of wedding planning, comes way before everything else… THE PROPOSAL! All the family and friends gather around the glowing bride’s hand and relish in her new found gem. Who wouldn’t be excited about the new future of this loving couple! But WHAT IF that ring could represent something more than their commitment to one another, WHAT IF it also connected them to helping others hurt by the very ring industry that is supposed to represent love. Diamond and Gold Mining is one of the most destructive and overlooked industries across the globe. It destroys ecosystems, hurts laborers, local villages, contaminates the soil and water and displaces people groups. Here are a few ring companies using their passion to make a difference and better impact the wedding ring industry. rings
1. Simply Wood Rings (www.simplywoodrings.com) , Rosewood and Gold Wedding band set, Simply Wood Rings design eco conscious wood jewelry.
2. Coco and Chia (www.etsy.com/shop/cocoandchia), Three Diamond Ring, $325, Coco and Chia use reclaimed, recycled, and ethically sourced precious metals and diamonds.
3. 22 Design Studio (www.22designstudio.com/tw), Module Ring, $100, 22 Design Studio creates wedding rings made of concrete by hand.
4. Brilliant Earth (www.brilliantearth.com), Sonora, $750, Brilliant Earth donates 5% of profits to help communities who have suffered from unethical practices in the jewelry industry.
5. Do Amore (www.doamore.com), Floating Ring, $560, Every ring gives 2 people clean water for life.