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Weddings that Give Back: Megan + Chris, North Bend, WA

There is nothing more refreshing and uplifting than an outdoor wedding feature! Megan owns an amazing social enterprise jewelry brand, called Tuli, based out of Uganda and decided that her wedding would be a perfect time to debut their new bridal line of upcycled paper bead jewelry. She used her entrepreneurial resourcefulness and created one stellar DIY Wedding, and the $ saved was donated to serve others in Uganda! Read below to learn more about how they planned their day with intention and purpose. m_c656 ‘When Chris and I first met in Jacksonville, Florida, we bonded over being from the west — he’s from Denver and I’m from Seattle — and over the things we missed about our respective homes: mountains and craft beer. So, it was only fitting that we had our wedding at an old hops farm at the foot of the Cascade Mountains.’m_c49 ‘I founded Tuli, a social enterprise that sells jewelry made in Uganda, and had been getting a lot of requests for a line of wedding jewelry. So, I decided to debut a new line at our wedding, and each of my bridesmaids and I wore a piece from the new collection. The jewelry is made using recycled paper and creates fair-waged, sustainable work for Tuli’s partners in Uganda.’m_c409 ‘We made most of our wedding decor ourselves, with help from family and friends, and what we couldn’t make, we bought from small, independent businesses and Etsy vendors. My family owns a custom home company, so I stained and painted scrap wood leftover from job sites to make signs. My favorite was a twist on the classic ceremony/reception signpost: I included directions for Denver, where Chris is from, and Tokyo, where the two of us live and work currently.’ m_c546 m_c556 m_c222 m_c214m_c474 m_c536 ‘To save money, we bought wholesale flowers and succulents and spent a day putting together the wedding flowers ourselves. It was a great way to bring all our friends and families from around the world together before our big day!’ m_c608 m_c638 m_c557 ‘My brother built us a bar so we could have craft beer on tap for our guests — it tastes better and we didn’t have to worry about litter from bottles and cans!’m_c645  m_c391 m_c317 m_c259  m_c121m_c797  m_c866 m_c877 ‘Overall, we kept things simple, fun and inexpensive. We wanted to have a small ceremony and a special day to celebrate with our friends and family, and we donated to Uganda what was left over from the money we would have used on a fancy wedding.’ m_c801 Participating Vendors: Venue: Meadowbrook Farm, North Bend, WA | Photography: Courtney Bowlden Photography | Flowers: Blooms by the Box and SucculentsPlus | Menus, place cards, signs, etc: Designed by bride | Pint glasses: Designed by bride; printed by DiscountMugs | Food: Double Barrel BBQ | Dress hanger: Handmade by Breanna | Bar: Handmade by Father and Brother of Bride  of AJ Development | Flower girl headband and basket: Handmade by Bride | Jenga: Handmade by Bride and FOB (of AJ Development) using recycled scrap wood | Wedding arch: Handmade by Bride’s brother (of AJ Development) using a tree from bride’s parent’s property | Cake topper: Top of the Cake | Makeup: Cris Make Up | Hair: Natasha Nadvorna

Wedding World Changer Day- Mass Wedding in Dominican Republic

Before I begin I want to take a moment and offer a very special, heart-felt, THANK YOU to the 4 vendors that helped sponsor this trip: Buy the Change, Vinson Images, Jennifer Jupiter Photography, Jeannie Capellan Photography… It wouldn’t have been possible without your love and support! IMG_1514 If you have been following our Instagram at all, you may have seen that we’ve been busy (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘me': Danielle, a.k.a. The Leading BSB Lady), traveling this past week in a town about an hour away from the border of Dominican Republic and Haiti, called Bara Hona. Our good family friend, and pastor, Ricky Navarro, called me one day last month and invited me to join him (and my 17 year old nephew) to help photograph a mass wedding of 27 couples at once that he was going to officiate. It was in connection with a Miami -faith-based organization founded by an amazing, dare I say ‘Saint’ of a woman, named Christine, with a heart for the hurting Haitian Communities in the midst of the political unrest in the DR. I knew little about her story (another blog post will explain soon enough) and little about what I was getting into, but man … I have been so incredibly gifted by this experience… However It is not the average wedding feature it is worthy to be shared. There were lots and lots of people, lots of sweat and lots of laughter…. I’ve never shot a wedding with so much happiness and joy like this in my life… and then multiply that by 27 couples!!!! All of the dresses, rings, tuxes, shoes, food, everything…. were donated for these couples in need. Twice a year, once in Haiti in January and once in Dominican Republic in July, they organize these mass weddings and I am so excited to further our Black Sheep Bride involvement in the future. IMG_0036 IMG_0067 IMG_0173 Here is my nephew working hard with the camera (ssshhhh… for the first time) IMG_0239 IMG_0397 IMG_0527 IMG_0548 IMG_0589 IMG_0623 IMG_0680 IMG_0690 IMG_0713 IMG_0752 And then the best part! All of the amazingly joyful and fun kisses! The crowd started off calm and then with each kiss… It got louder and louder and crazier and crazier… It was so awesome, like one massive kissing contest! and this image also gives some reference to how hot it was inside this space as well. IMG_0804IMG_0774  IMG_0923 IMG_1007 IMG_1219 So grateful for everyone that supported this trip and for helping make it a success… It was truly an honor to represent so many connected with Black Sheep Bride.

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: 2015-05-08_0018 ‘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.’ 2015-05-08_0001 2015-05-08_0002 2015-05-08_0003 2015-05-08_0004 ‘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.’ 2015-05-08_0005 2015-05-08_0006 2015-05-08_0007 2015-05-08_0008 2015-05-08_0009 2015-05-08_0010 2015-05-08_0011 2015-05-08_0012 2015-05-08_0013 2015-05-08_0014 2015-05-08_0015 2015-05-08_0016 ‘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!?’ 2015-05-08_0017  2015-05-08_0019 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