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More of What Matters, Featuring: SoKind Registry

More of What Matters, Featuring: So Kind Registry **Editor Note: Thank you SoKind Registry for your ongoing support as a National Partner and believer in the BSB Mission!** bride Friends and family. That’s what wedding receptions boil down to, right? It would be a lot less work and cost if a wedding consisted solely of a ceremony. No need to worry about finding a venue or coordinating entertainment. No need to worry about menus or seating arrangements. Yet despite the hassle, many people still choose to commemorate one of life’s biggest events with a celebration. Meredith9 Why? Because, as humans, we’re hardwired for connection. Connection is what gives our lives purpose and meaning. And connection is what we crave when we celebrate momentous occasions. We want our loved ones to share in our joy and to support us with their presence. Yet U.S. consumer culture has created an expectation in this country that weddings must be extravagant affairs in order to be special, thereby distorting some of the most important milestones of our lives. Celebrations that should be joyful and meaningful are now often occasions that generate stress, waste, and debt. Sunset chaser SoKind Registry is a registry service designed to provide options for those of us who want to plan celebrations that reflect our lifestyles, promote our values, and enhance our lives. SoKind is for people who want to host more environmentally friendly celebrations, as well as for folks who simply refuse to start a new chapter in their lives with a mountain of debt. It’s for people who don’t view their wedding as an opportunity to impress, but rather as an opportunity to involve their friends and family in one of the most important occasions of their lives. fashion-men-vintage-colorful So go ahead, be creative. What gifts do you truly want? Donations to your favorite charity? Home renovation help? Catering help for the big day? A museum membership? Through SoKind, you can register for gifts of time, experience, and skill, as well as traditional material gifts and secondhand items. The registry is entirely customizable, so the possibilities are endless! Here’s to more fun and less stuff… to more joy and less stress… and to more love and less waste! For more information about setting up your wedding, or milestone, registry visit SoKind Registry today! 

Women (& Wedding Dresses) that Inspire ~ Help Celia Grace Name a 2017 Dress Style

Our amazing friends at Celia Grace recently asked Black Sheep Bride readers to help them name one of their new 2017 fair trade wedding gowns! 
 
So we want to know – who inspires you? Celia Grace recently released their 2017 wedding dress collection and is looking for help naming one of their stunning new dress styles in honor of an amazing woman.
 
Celia Grace connects women around the world – brides get a stunning wedding gown that makes them look and feel more beautiful than ever before – and dressmakers works in safe conditions for fair pay so they can take their kids to the doctor and send their girls to school.
 
By naming each dress after an inspiring woman Celia Grace continues this cycle of building positive connections between women around the world. Some existing styles include Amelia (Earhart, pilot), Rachel (Carson, environmentalist), , Eleanor (Roosevelt, humanitarian), and more. 
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The 2017 collection features fine silks and vintage-inspired laces, illusion necklines, keyhole backs and a few dresses that convert from long to short and two organically-dyed colorful dresses.
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What we need to do is brainstorm as many inspiring women as possible after whom this dress can be named.  Public figures (past or present) are best but all suggestions are welcome.
 
The dress we are naming is this gorgeous open back lace gown shown throughout this post. 
Refer to these images and allow your creative juices to run wild with all the possible name choices! So what name would you select?
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So what name would you select? Let us know below, on our Facebook, Instagram, or email us at Hello (at) blacksheepbride (dot) com.

Herb Garden Inspired Wedding: Amy & Jean- Francis, Toronto, Ontario

One of the many joys of running Black Sheep Bride is witnessing countless wedding stories driven by selfless love, intentional community and giving back. This wedding will have you tearing up with each image. Joel Bedford’s intricate and intimate style of capturing all of these sweetly sustainable details, quiet moments and raw emotions truly captivated my heart. Thanks to our amazing BSB Vendor, Celia Grace Fair Trade Wedding Gowns, for submitting their story for us to share!
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In awe of what Amy, the bride, had to share:
‘We dubbed our wedding a DIT (do-it-together) wedding, because it was largely friends & family that contributed the food, decor, and everything really! Even our wedding bands were made by a very creative friend.  My sister-in-law, Marie-Eve Best, designed the floral arrangements and I designed our invites/stationary.  Also, our make-up was provided by Oresta Organic Skin Care, our of Ottawa and my gown was from Celia Grace Fair Trade Wedding Gowns.’
Photos courtesy of Joel Bedford Photography
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Paper Goods, Food, Cake, Decor, Wedding Bands: Bride, Friends & Family

Sustainable Stylized Shoot: Eco-Friendly, Garden Wedding Inspiration – Tampa, FL

In a setting as beautiful as an outdoor venue in Florida, you don’t have to look far for inspiration. Natural greens from area foliage and silvery-blues found in local airplants were the perfect colors for this stylized shoot, which also incorporated a pop of bright Florida orange. __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1457 Christi Winsor of Winsor Event Studio set out to create a wedding concept that incorporated sustainable and environmentally-friendly elements. “You can have an eco-conscious wedding and have it still be beautiful!”Everything was put to the test of ‘how can this be greener?’, which inspired details like the reclaimed wood tables, potted plants, recycled glass, compostible dinnerware, eco-fabric dresses made from silk and linen, and even a natural cork all-in-one invitation (with email RSVP requested to save even more paper)! __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1036 The bride wore a natural silk gown with a side-swept chignon adorned with a natural airplant. The bridesmaid dress from MSSP was a stunning shade of eucalyptus blue and made of 100% linen! __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1352__Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1048 More airplants from a nearby walking trail, along with eucalyptus and succulents comprised the cloudy blue and green hued bouquets, which paired beautifully with the twine-wrapped herb boutonnieres. __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1009  __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1019 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1022 Gentlemen looked dapper in their wool pants and cotton shirts and bow ties (all eco-friendly fabric selections). __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1487 The suspended silk draping accented with a swag of burlap beautifully framed the waterfront view for the ceremony. The aisle was lined with potted herbs and flowers, and repurposed in the vast wood planter box on the reception table to create the centerpieces. Live potted plants are a great alternative to cut flowers for an eco-conscious bride, because they live on long after the wedding day when sent home with guests or used in the couple’s home or garden!   __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1184 A display of unpolished stones atop a sheet of lush moss directed guests to their tables. The unassuming metal table was so lovely it needed no linen, and was simply dressed with a few macramé vases and recycled glass jugs filled with floral cut right from the garden venue.__Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1143__Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1144 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1350 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1375 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1376 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1340 Local Florida oranges studded with wood menu tags popped next to the charming blue patterned cotton napkins and an Italian blown-glass pitcher made for a unique table number. __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1000 The farm style dining table was created using reclaimed wood with a wash of mint paint from a previous life; a perfect compliment to the sage retro metal sweetheart chairs. Cork place mats grounded the palm-leaf plates and recycled glass tumblers. __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1453 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1467  __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1485__Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1002   __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1064  __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1086 For dinner, guests would enjoy an organic pizza truck with personal pies constructed from natural dough, sauce, and home-grown herbs, and then wood-fired on site! All topped off with assorted cupcakes in unique flavors like Florida orange marmalade, blueberry lavender cheesecake, and lemongrass basil! __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1174__Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1227__Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1151 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1202 In true Florida fashion, a beverage dispenser offered mimosas made with fresh Florida orange juice and organic sparkling wine, served in recycled glass tumblers with compostable straws. __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1155    __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1222  __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1306  __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1384 __Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1421 Everything was either local, sustainable, or recycled/repurposed! The result was truly incredible, with a Florida eco-chic style that would appeal to any couple!__Life_Long_Studios_LifeLongStudios1625 Event Planner: Winsor Event Studio | Photographer:   Life Long Studios | (BSB Vendor) Makeup Artist: Michele Renee Hair and Makeup Artist Group (BSB Vendor) Equipment Rentals: WISH Vintage Rentals  | Apparel: Isabel O’Neil Bridal CollectionBakery: Sugar Darlings Cones and Cupcakes | Floral Designer: Braun’s Fine Flowers | Reception Venue: Davis Islands Garden Club | DJ: Universal Music Entertainment | Food Truck: Secret Stash | Dinnerware/Flatware/Straws: Susty Party  

Weddings that Give Back: Rayna + Jon, Tampa, FL

We featured an engagement session a few months ago, of this lovely couple doing big, intentional and wildly purposeful things in their community, with their non-profit, Four Letter Word! You can catch up on that side of their wedding story here. Fast forward a few months and they’re now married and had one heck of a socially conscious wedding to boot! The amount of thoughtful consideration that went into every, I repeat… EVERY, aspect of their BIG day is absolutely awe-inspiring! Grateful for this couple’s hearts for others, the bride’s amazing recap (shared below), and our BSB vendor, Savannah Lauren, who was there to capture every moment! raynajonyborwedding-492 ‘Including our community and the environment into our wedding day was a very special experience. We did this not only to bring awareness, but it is important to us, and a lifestyle we pursue daily. We learned a lot about people and got to know our community in a more intimate way. We experienced humility, and we are thankful for the efforts everyone put in, to not only making our day great, but making our community great. Our hearts are to bring not only us, but also our community, together as one. jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-1
We met many local vendors and got to talk about values and giving back in Tampa Bay. It is great to see a group of people that are now collaborating because our wedding was just the catalyst to many great relationships in our community.
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We saw our neighbor cutting up his fallen oak tree and asked him to cut us a few “slivers” it was refreshing to be outside talking to the people who surround you. We often forget to do life this way.
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We made our signs in the garage, and got excited to see progress every week. It was hot, but we got to encourage each other to keep going, even when we wanted just to go buy what we were making.
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We planted our own babies breath, because we wanted to learn something new about gardening and farming, it was an unsuccessful harvest, but we tried our best. We used seed paper in our invitations to get people to do the same.
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We chose Amazing Love Ministries, because we serve there and know the homeless that come in and out of their doors every week to get a hot meal. In fact, that’s where all our leftovers went.
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We made our ceremony unplugged because we wanted people to pause for a brief moment and enjoy their surroundings, to share the moment with us, and remember our voices and our faces.
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We got to connect with many vendors through word of mouth recommendations. It was a “treasure hunt” where one person would lead us to the next. Honestly it was one of the most fun parts of wedding planning, and we had so many wonderful surprises and we made life-long friends through the process.jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-104 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-105 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-108 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-114 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-115 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-117 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-122 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-125 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-127 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-129 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-142 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-149 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-152
We used compostable plates because instead of filling up a land-fill with paper and plastic, we can use the nutrients to grow, healthy, sustainable food in our garden.
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We harvested pine cones on our walks around the neighborhood at night, holding hands and talking about our future, then eventually our hands would be full of prickly pine cones. We learned you can really only hold so many, we made a lot of trips.
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The Bride and Groom chose to Give Back directly to following non-profits: Amazing Love Ministries, Tampa Christian Fellowship, Tampa Bay Harvest, and their own non-profit, Four Letter Word. And the giving didn’t stop there, here are the amazing vendors and aspects of their day and how they give back in their own way:
Wedding Coordinator: Rhonda Abdalla, From Yes to I Do and Events
“Rhonda at a young age was giving back to the community, growing up she spent most of her weekends with her family volunteering. She volunteered making meals for the homeless or arts & crafts and playing board games with the pediatric wing of her local hospital. Rhonda says, “ she was lucky enough to understand how important it was to give back, it’s truly a priceless and liberating feeling!” When Rhonda launched From Yes To I Do, she had no doubt in her mind that she wanted to incorporate this into her business. Rhonda proudly coordinates events for local nonprofit organizations. Having the opportunity to give back through her business is a dream come true and something she always planned on doing. Rhonda says she lives by the motto “you make a life by what you give to others” and because of this she can truly say her life is full of peace and prosperity.”
  Ceremony Venue:Amazing Love Ministries, Ybor
 “Amazing Love Ministries feeds over 300 people in the Ybor City area every week. In addition to providing hot meals and cold drinks, people are also given a to-go bag full of food to take with them. The ministry also provides many of the items that people need to live on the street: clothing, backpacks, shoes, blankets, toiletries, etc.”
  Reception Venue:CL Space, Ybor
 “Creative Loafing focuses on connecting the Tampa Bay area through their free online and print publication, which is a great source for events, restaurants, concerts and shows, Visual Arts reviews, news and opinions.”
  Caterer:Holy Hog BBQ 
 “Holy Hog BBQ is heavily involved in the local communities surrounding our stores in and around Tampa. The Hog donates various products and services to numerous organizations through out each year. We offer a 15% discount to all military and police including Fire and EMS all day every day. We most recently donated to the One Orlando Fund and and participated and Eat, Drink Red last year as well. We believe it is important to give back and help support the local community in any way possible.”
  Photographer:Savannah Lauren
“Savannah is affiliated with Feeding America, she volunteers her time and donates her photography services to food kitchens and underprivileged communities, she even created a series called The Intrepid Sessions.”
Second Photographer: Ivana Cajina
DJ/EmCee:Will Jackson
Will Jackson is the Creative Director for Grace Family Church in Tampa, Florida. He invests in youth and worship ministries, he is very passionate about his career in ministry and serves well as a leader to his community.   Officiant:Sixto and Susan Ward  
Violinist: Sarah Taylor
“Sarah gives back by supporting Ezra/Beat NB (A childhood cancer research foundation) and by donating her old clothes and furniture to Salvation Army. Sarah has a career as a music teacher in Hillsborough County, Tampa a truly finds passion in teaching the next generation music.”   Transportation:Jolley Trolley    Cake:Publix Bayshore
 “The founder of Publix, George Jenkins was once asked what he thought he would be worth had he not given so much away. Humbly, he answered “Probably nothing”. Publix gives to thousands of local non-profit organizations, tailoring giving to the needs of each local community. We put the weight of the company behind these campaigns; Special Olympics, Food for Sharing, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, Food for All, United Way, Tools for School and many others. If you shop at Publix, there’s a good chance you support them, too. “
  Hair: Sally Bakalyar “Sally donates time at her salon to give free back-to-school haircuts. She serves on the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. Sally also advocates for the homeless, women’s shelters, and is involved with many churches and charities in the Tampa Bay area.”
  Small Paper Flowers: Made from old recycled bibles and hymn books, bought locally at Oldsmar Flea Market, crafted by Rayna and Robin Cohen – also seen in Brides Bouquet, Grooms Boutonnière, and Centerpieces.  
Makeup: Maribel Guisto InvitationsForever Fiancés  Envelopes: Recycled paper bag envelopes from Amazon RSVP and Details: Designed by Rayna, printed locally by Ashtay Printing/Zebra flyers  Bride Rings: Bought locally from a Gemologist, conflict-free diamonds Grooms Ring: Alamea, crafted from sustainable harvested Koa wood from Hawaii Bouquets and Hair Pieces: Babies Breath – grown in the Brasier garden and filled with additional babies breath from Carlstedt’s Confetti: Made from the remnants of the paper flowers Large Paper Flowers: Bought second- hand. Artist: Yanet Ademan Centerpieces: Wood rings – from a neighbor’s fallen tree, Manzanita – from Blooms and Branches Pallet Signs: Painted by Beverly Bakalyar  Party Favors: Trail mix bar, local fruit bought from Bearss Groves and dried by Rayna and Jon Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Ybor Pipes and Drape/Uplighting: BayStage Live (www.baystagelive.com) Tables/Chairs/Linens: Rent All (www.rentallcity.com) Broccoli Bouquet: Bearss Groves Market Grooms Bowtie: Two Guys Bowties  Groomsmen watches and sunglasses: TreeHut  Bridemaids Skirts: Space46 Boutique  Dress and Veil:Allure – CC’s Bridal Boutique Featured local craft brews: Cigar City Jai Alai, 3 Daughters Beach Blonde, Florida Avenue IPA, Green Bench Brewing Sunshine City IPA All other goods made by the bride and groom, bought locally, or supported skilled artisans; bridesmaids robes, parent gift photo albums, garter, hour glass, flower girl basket, stamps, pearl head piece. ________________ To learn more about the bride and groom’s desire to serve others with their non-profit, Four Letter Word, visit their website!