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Weddings That Give Back: Tammy & Nathan- Pittsburgh, PA

Who said good things can’t happen on Friday, The Thirteenth?  Today’s featured wedding couple went out of their way to show kindness and intentional love with every aspect of their wedding day planning! The couple opted for a charity registry, instead of ‘more stuff’, and choose to support a local Pekingese Rescue where they adopted their dogs from. They also had a dollar dance and the money collected was donated to a rabbit rescue. They hired a farm to table caterer with a 90% vegetarian dinner and skipped unnecessary decorations. The only vendor the couple hired outside of the venue’s vendor guide was our very own BSB Vendor, Sandrachile, specifically because she is an ethical and charitable business owner. Let this story of collective generosity take root in our hearts and breathe life into actionable kindness today! 0001-DSC_0001-jackie 0001-SCP 0135-SCP_3776-Tammy0014-SCP_3660-Tammy 0020-SCP_3666-Tammy  0096-SCP_3742-Tammy 0254-SCP_3889-Tammy 0547-AAA_9957-Tammy 0580-AAA_9979-Tammy 0635-SCP_4199-Tammy 0673-SCP_4234-Tammy 0744-SCP_4305-Tammy 0763-SCP_4324-Tammy 0794-SCP_4355-Tammy   0882-SCP_4443-Tammy 0905-SCP_4466-Tammy  1126-SCP_4679-Tammy 1199-SCP_4752-Tammy 1251-SCP_4796-Tammy 1309-SCP_4854-Tammy 1410-AAA_0028-Tammy 1416-SCP_4939-Tammy 1421-SCP_4944-Tammy 1509-IMG_0075-Tammy 2190-IMG_0494-Tammy_1 2264-IMG_0532-Tammy 2352-SCP_5278-Tammy At the end of the night, once all the fun was had, Sandra (the photographer) went out of her way to deliver all of the wedding leftovers to the local homeless neighbors surrounding the area. This is the example we want to set, am I right? Sandrachile2 sandrachile Participating Vendors:  Photographer (BSB Vendor): Sandrachile | Venue: The Morning Glory Inn | Dress: Glitter and Grit, Designed by Antonio Gual | Shoes: BHLDN  | Groom’s wear: Todd Snyder  | Florals: The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers | Caterer:  Fish Hawk Acres | Cake: Gluten Free Goat Bakery  | Musician: John Parrendo | Wedding favors: Burdick Chocolate | Makeup artist: Hillary Shields | Hairstylist: Tara Mueller | Wedding Band: Samantha Skelton

Tampa Charity Wedding Recipients Pay It Forward One Year Later- Wedding World Changer

Today is the one year anniversary of our first Wedding World Changer FREE WEDDING! The Wedding World Changer premise was simple, couples were nominated and shared how they are actively involved in their community. Gary is a firefighter in Palm Harbor (Tampa, FL) with a tender heart for serving others and his community, and Astrid was working towards her degree in Pediatric Occupational Therapy at the time, while also volunteering on Sundays with her local children’s ministry. They were planning for a wedding in a few years, however, Astrid’s mother’s recent battle with cancer had them seeking ways to plan their wedding sooner. Out of all the applications available the Tampa Vendor Team voted and their story touched our hearts most. Click HERE to see the full gallery from their wedding day. Peek-52 There was one major stipulation to winning the Wedding World Changer wedding. The winning couple would pledge to donate 100 service hours back into the community, within the first year of marriage. Astrid and Gary have spent the last twelve months serving others to make good on our 100 volunteer hours promise and we are thrilled to update you on their newlywed giving adventure! IMG_8517 I love what Astrid shared with BSB about the journey through giving in their first year: “We wanted to take some time to THANK YOU for the amazing experience that you have provided to us! It has been a year since Gary & I were gifted with our dream wedding, but we believe that paying the goodness forward has been an even bigger blessing for our marriage. We began our community service journey a little later than we wanted to due to our “busy” schedules. We thought the best thing to do would be to sit down and make a “plan” on what we believed would work best to complete our hours. Well, we were in for a reality check because life had plans of its own… many stressors were presented throughout the months that made it difficult for Gary & I to spend time together. It took us a couple of months to realize that life was not going to stop so that we could fulfill our promise to you. Come January, we decided we needed to just dive in and see where the journey would lead us. The moment we started volunteering changed our hearts forever. It was during this time that we both were able to forget about all of the worries in the world and focus on helping others. We no longer had excuses as to why we were too “busy”, but instead looked for moments to make a difference in someone else’s life. It brought us closer, as a couple, and in a way forced us to make time for each other. It then turned into something we were both passionate about and enjoyed doing together. Overall, the experience has helped build the foundation of our marriage and taught us how rewarding and humbling it feels to give back to those in need. We feel that giving back is now something that is instilled in our hearts and we will continue to follow this journey wherever God may lead us.” IMG_8513 IMG_8515 Astrid and Gary have touched the lives of so many in our community, thanks to this awesome 100-hour challenge! They have volunteered with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (in honor of her Mom), collected Christmas gifts for families in need with the Palm Harbor Fire Rescue, dedicated hours of hard, dirty, work at the West Pasco Habitat for Humanity Kinship Urban Farm, fed hundreds of downtown neighbors with Thorn Homeless Ministries, served at their local Goodwill, walked for ALS research, and volunteered with several other smaller fundraising events for local charities. cicis team walmart Check out the The Portos highlight video from their wedding below. Huge thanks to Jeanine Leigh Photography and Green Pearl Photography for photographing all of the sweet details from this special BIG DAY… and a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the participating vendors, sponsors, and donors that helped make our first Wedding World Changer event: Planning: Oh Hello Events | Ceremony Design: Bourbon and Blush Events | Reception Design: Amber Veatch Designs | Floral Design : Andrea Layne Floral Design | Photography: Jeanine Leigh Photography and Green Pearl Photography | Venue: CL Space Ybor | Hair + Makeup: Michele Renee |  Paper Goods: Citrus-Press Co. | Catering: Tastes of Tampa Bay | Cocktail Hour Catering: Chalk Board Special | Linens: Kate Ryan Linens | Cake : Trudy Melissa Cakes | DJ: Graingertainment | Bartending : Mix It Up FL | Ceremony Altar/Rentals: Wish Vintage Rental | Pipe and Drape: Coast To Coast Event Rentals | Smaller Wooden Signage: Aerie Lane | Rectangular Farm Tables, Chargers: Set Event Rentals | Media Partners: Creative Loafing and Marry Me Tampa Bay | Succulents: The Succulent Source | Lavender: Tin Can Event Company | Chairs, Square Tables, Dinnerware, Flatware, Glasses: A Chair Affair | Videography: The Portos | Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds Bridesmaid | Wedding Dress: The Bride Tampa | Tuxes: All Brides 2 Be Tampa | Hotel Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Ybor | _____ Stay tuned for upcoming Wedding World Changer details and Charitable BSB Events in the near future.  

Weddings That Give Back: Poonam & Nishkaam- Santa Monica, CA

Did you know?
It only takes 50 cents to provide a day’s rations to a hungry child in the midst of a conflict zone.
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Poonam Kaushal and Nishkaam Mehta, of California, knew the statistics and they shared in their concern for the global hunger pandemic. Upon their exciting engagement announcement, Poonam and Nish decided to do something totally different with their $20K wedding budget. They used their wedding dollars to feed the children of Cameroon, through World Food Programme’s Share The Meal app.
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‘Right now you have 20 times more smart phones, than hungry children around the world,’ said Nish to a local Santa Monica news station. That statistic alone is mind blowing and sobering enough to make you think twice about that most recent iPhone upgrade.
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 Instead of a traditional multi-day Indian wedding and registry, the couple donated the large majority of their wedding budget to support 40,000 meals and raised hundreds of thousands of more meals through their crowd sharing campaign.  Their Million Meals for Love campaign launched on January 14 and concluded on Valentine’s Day with a simple civil ceremony and intimate reception. They have since raised 270K+ meals and are simply grateful to their loved ones and honored to be a part feeding and empowering the children of Cameroon through their Million Meals for Love campaign!
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If you would like to get involved and Share the Meal with hungry children worldwide, Download the app today and donate!   
Photographer credit: Matei Horvath Photography

10 Ways to Waste Less on Your Wedding Day!

According to Green Bride Guide the average wedding produces roughly 400-600 lbs of waste, per event. Between left over food, flowers, decor, etc there is a lot of waste that comes along with that Pinterest Perfect Wedding Board most couples desire! Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.44.02 PM   So let’s talk about 10 ways your Big Day can WASTE LESS ! 1. Food : One of the biggest wastes that can be avoided on a wedding day is FOOD! Buffets, cake, prime rib, untouched cocktail hour veggie platters, the possibilities are endless and sadly I have seen it all land in the trash! With hunger at an all time high, it seems so silly to take perfectly good food and throw it away, when there are organizations everywhere across the world taking waste food. Blog 1200px-0083 Photo by Gray Kammera Photography When I was in LA, last year, I had the opportunity to tour the L.A. Kitchen and learn how they are using unwanted waste food to make amazing dishes for assisted living communities and also employing aged-out foster kids and the previously incarcerated members of society to learn a trade in culinary arts! These places exist all around the country, find a food bank in your area via Feeding America or a food rescue center via The Food Rescue Database. Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.19.45 PM Image via Feeding America Disclaimer: It is common for caterers or food service providers to push back because of the substantial liability for such food donations. Thankfully any good-faith food donations are free from such liability due to the latest federal government law 42 U.S.C. 12672, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.   2. Flowers: Imagine the scene… The Bride and Groom are on their way off to their honeymoon and the clean up team is hard at work. As they put away the chairs and dishes they notice one thing they are unsure of what to do with…. Thousands of dollars worth of left over flowers! ‘What should we do with them, we can’ t take them back on the plane’ and the perplexed helper regretfully places piles of fresh roses and hydrangeas in the trash bin! Blog 1200px-0035 Photo by Gray Kammera Photography PLEASE FRIENDS! There are so many organizations out there ready to take your leftover flowers and uplift and inspire those in hospitals, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers. Do the research, call ahead and let them know you want to donate these blooms to their cause. They will even give you a tax-write off for your love offering! Random Acts of Flowers, Petals with Purpose, Floranthrophy, Repeat Roses are just to name a few of the organizations ready to take your blooms. Video via Random Acts of Flowers   3. Gift Registries:  Back in the day, couples would leave their parents homes and have to make a home from nothing and hence the wedding guests would bring them all the welcome home goodies their newlywed hearts would need. Nowadays the statistics show that couples are getting married later and later in life. They want to have their careers in place and independence aligned before nuptials are even thought of so most of those engaged love birds already have a lot of crap! So let us do our wedding guests a favor and skip the gifts! OR consider a gift registry that doesn’t involve wrapping paper and plastic wrap. Here are a few charitable/sustainable wedding registries that can help your wedding impact others: Heartful.ly– A gift registry that empowers couples to fund life changing projects around the world. So Kind Registry – A registry and wishlist service that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more -OR- If you do still need goodies consider a few fair-trade online options: Bambeco– Recyclable, sustainable home goods that give back. West Elm– Support fair trade and often local artisans in each store, West Elm is the perfect one stop shop for any soon-to-be newlywed’s love nest needs! ZOLA – You can combine all of the things/brands you might need for your new home under one roof and then ship all the goods at once and reduce your waste/carbon footprint. You can also fund a honeymoon, portion of the wedding costs, or donate to charity as well.   4. Transportation: Carpool, Uber, Bicycle, Smart Car, Moped, or charter a boat taxi to take your bridal party to the reception! The eco-friendly options are endless!   5. Favors: Having been to my fair share of weddings I’ve seen a variety of cheaply made wedding favors that no one will ever use again and it breaks my heart. Try sponsoring a child, or redirecting your favor budget toward the charity you plan to support, such as these sweet doggie cookies that support a local dog shelter. 1175_061213 Photo By Alissa Dineen   6. Paper Goods/Invites:  Paper goods can be one of the most obvious waste makers, but it is equally one of of the easiest parts of the wedding that can lead to positive change. There are so many options like: Recyclable/Sustainable Paper Types, design shown below by Citrus Press Co. / Photo by Regina As The Photographer Wedding-World-Changing-Day-Promo-14 Or if you are a bit more new school, try an e-vite, or video wedding invite, etc and save some trees and postage along the way!   7. Function vs. Fancy Fancy is fun, we get it! There is a certain level of exclusivity and experience that comes along with black tie affairs, however they aren’t always the most functions and sometime the more wasteful events can be those that are the highest end people with the abilities and budgets to make more sustainable choices. This is where functionality comes into play… The best things in life are simple, functional and intentional… Here are a few examples: Glass Jars to take home vs. Champaigne Flutes ALP_7608 Photo by Image Clairity Decomposable Bamboo Utensils vs. Polished Silver © EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Photo by Emily Dykema Ceremony Programs that double as Pop Corn Bag Holders (or any other reception treat you might choose) © EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Photo by Emily Dykema 8. RENT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE Renting is far more waste-preventing, and minimally impactful to the environment than flat out buying things you’ll never use or wear again. Literally there are rental options for practically every aspect of your wedding day process,  your dress, your tuxes, the bridesmaid’s dresses, your decorations, you name it and it can most likely be rented! Here are few rental companies to consider: Menguin – Tuxedos Borrowing Magnolia– Wedding Dresses Rent the Run Way– Elopement, wedding attire, rehearsal dinner garb. Happily Ever Borrowed– Rentable Bridal Accessories, Veils, jewelry, etc. BLACKSHEEPBRIDE (6 of 61) The biggest misconception about DIY Weddings is they will be better on the pocketbook, but after the time is spent buying the materials and flea market finds to put the projects together, you are in better use of your time, dollars and energy to rent the things you are trying to faux-antique and you will save yourself space after you’re married. Not only will it save you money, it will be reused multiple times by others and treated just like new! 9. Reuse/ Reduce/Recycle This is obvious friends. If you have reusable goods, save them aside, donate them to your local non-profits, half way houses, etc. Reduce and Recycle what you can! Set out separate bins for recyclable trash vs. regular trash vs. compost… When given the opportunity people will make the right choices.   10. Composting is your friend!  At the end of the day, if you aren’t able to find a non-profit locally that will take your flowers, or food…. COMPOST your biodegradable waste, so the earth can benefit from your waste in a productive and positive manner, like using it in a co-op garden vs. ‘wasting’ good soil nutrients in a land fill. COMPOST NOW has pick up services across the nation ready to grab your garbage and turn into garden goodness! 225903_446643672053078_1378420870_n BONUS! 11. Buy with Purpose! Even if you have the budget dollars in the world, or would rather buy new, do so with integrity and value businesses that put the environment and humanity first! A few examples of sustainably-minded wedding brands are Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal, MiaDonna Eco Diamonds! IMG_0179 Photo: Rachel Gomez Photography    IMG_0178     Now Happy Waste Less Wedding Planning to You and Have an Intention and Impactful Earth Day! Let us make every day about helping making the world a better place!

Thankful Thursdays- Jennifer Juniper Photography, Daytona, FL

Thankful Thursday’s is a series we started at the beginning of 2016 to bring awareness to our amazing BSB Vendors that Give Back and share how they use their businesses to serve the environment and their local and global communities! Today we are sharing The Giving Back Story of one of our newest BSB vendors/photographers, Jennifer Juniper Photography. Jennifer Juniper Photography provides Wedding Photography in Florida – Orlando, Daytona Beach, and surrounding areas and is actively involved in giving back to her community. 12716093_774783595956175_3597218092598964552_o Outside of her photography business responsibilities she also founded a non-profit, called FLOWERFLOWER is a local non-profit organization based in Volusia County, Florida, composed of some of the area’s most talented wedding and event professionals. They believe that by coming together, they can help their local community through events, seminars, wedding-related fundraisers, and charitable acts.  They are not only working to improve their businesses, but also improving the lives of the people around them who allow them to do what they love to do every day. They recently held a charity dinner benefiting a local soup kitchen and provided an elegant dining experience for some of Daytona’s homeless neighbors. FLOWER-0007 crop FLOWER-0023 crop FLOWER-0027 crop Visit Jennifer Juniper Photography and FLOWER to learn more about their upcoming events! Thank you Jennifer for using your wedding business and passion to serve others!