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Weddings that Give Back: Heather & Matthew

There are couples that get us on a level that would seem un-get-able to most, but when we find said couples, we can’t help but want to daydream about being their best friends and just enjoying their intentionally light hearted and joy-filled love stories! Heather and Matthew are one of those types of couples. Every tiny detail was planned out with intention, consideration for others, and with giving back in mind, all of which were wonderfully captured by Kelly Ginn Photography. Oh man… and I almost forgot the most important part, their 90’s memorabilia is FUN as heck! Without further adieu, here is what Heather (the bride) had to share with BSB:
‘Featuring as much fair trade and upcycled material for our wedding was of utmost importance to us, because this is the most money we have ever spent in our lives and the biggest party we may ever throw (until hopefully one day our kids let us fair trade-up their weddings).  We strongly believe that we vote with our money and I have a pledged to myself to try and only make fair trade/eco friendly purchases, when possible.  I fail at this every day, but trying it has been a great challenge and one that opens my eyes so often to how much production out there mistreats employees and gives no regard to the Earth.  I am so happy to know your blog exists to spread the word on the vendors and brands that give back and treat their employees fairly and with respect.  Thank you for being a blog that I love!! …’
‘Our engagement ring and wedding bands were purchased from Brilliant Earth with ethically sourced and recycled stones and bands. My husband made our wedding invites (as pictured underneath our rings) himself and we printed them on recycled paper, and sent them in recycled envelopes.’ 
‘My something blue and something borrowed was a small pillow that my Great Grandmother hand made herself for her own wedding passed down to my Mom, and then me. My Nana hand made our wedding quilt guest book also.’
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‘The shoes I’ve had for 6 years that my dad glued on extra fabric from the Mata Traders dresses after they were tailored to match my bridesmaids.’
‘Our florist worked with us to make a lot of our arrangements be live plants that our guests could take home. We also reused the cups that a family friend got us for our engagement party to use to blend soil from the houses we each grew up in to plant a tree.
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‘The toys for the groomsmen’s flowers and bridesmaid’s bouquets were bought from a second hand vintage toy store.’
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‘I bought all our bridesmaids dresses, and some jewelry, from Mata Traders (fair trade fashion brand, also a BSB Vendor), and the Mother of Bride, Mother of the Groom and my sisters-in-law’s dresses were from Mata Traders also.’
‘I borrowed my grandmother’s necklace that contains her wedding ring diamond and borrowed my mother’s earrings, my dad gave her when they got engaged, for my jewelry instead of buying new.’
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‘My Godson and one of my best friend’s daughters were our ring bearer and flower girl.  Kai my godson and best friend’s son was dressed as Frodo from Lord of the Rings and my mom made his here comes your precious sign.  My Nana hand made the flower girl’s pokeball flower basket.’
‘We used my husband’s parents’ cake toppers from their wedding cake and our charizard pokemon figurines to represent us, equally bad ass charizards, in our own ways.’
‘My best friend’s sister-in-law is an incredible artist who made some original art to fit our “A Tribe Called Prest..on” wedding, based on how much my husband and I love A Tribe Called Quest.’kgp-1470
‘I also scored some roller skates from a second hand used sports equipment shop to relive my glory days at the roller rink, on the dance floor at the reception.
‘Our getaway golf cart decorations came from Ten Thousand Villages in Chicago.’
Photographer: Kelly Ginn Photography
Fair trade/upcycling vendors and brands: Ten Thousand Villages | Mata Traders  | Toy De Jour | Brilliant Earth  | Ashlye McCormick  | DeepBlu

Weddings that Give Back: Kayla & Reece- Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Nothing is quite as inspiring as tender, authentic, candid and intentional wedding stories! Today’s wedding feature is officially being added to the BSB list of all-time favorites, thanks to our BSB vendor, LIV Photography. Thank you Olivia for sharing their story with us and capturing their sustainable wedding with such delicate care, it is like reaching in and literally feeling all of the tender emotions in every single image. blog-55
‘Kayla and Reece met through the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s campus chapter of International Justice Mission. They led the campus organization side by side serving as co-Presidents and developed a deep friendship with the same heart for seeing justice come for people worldwide. When Kayla took a semester off to do a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Las Vegas, their friendship turned into a relationship. It’s obvious that these two are better together and they have a joined heartbeat to serve the poor, love others well, and change the world.’
[What is International Justice Mission (IJM): IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems.
They combat slavery, sex trafficking, property grabbing, police abuse of power and sexual violence in nearly 20 communities throughout Africa, Latin America and South and Southeast Asia.
Their vision is to rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible.]
‘Their wedding day reflected these priorities. Kayla chose to do as many fair trade and ethical aspects as possibles. From thrifted and DIY decor, to foraged native florals, to a vintage custom made dress and sustainable wedding rings, they made the main aspects of their day line up with their core values. They combined budget, give-back, and amazing style together for one magical wedding.’ blog-13 blog-19 blog-23 blog-25 blog-87 blog-89 blog-50  blog-72blog-41blog-53  blog-59  blog-74 blog-76 blog-83 blog-84 blog-105 blog-106 blog-91 blog-93 blog-96 blog-98 blog-101  blog-108 blog-111 blog-112 blog-114   blog-126 blog-129 blog-130 blog-132 blog-136 blog-145  blog-157 blog-159 blog-161 blog-163 blog-165 blog-174 blog-178blog-146 Photography: LIV Photography | Dress: Andrea’s Vintage Bridal | Rings: Ingle and Rhode UK | Getting Ready: Schlegelmilch House | Ceremony: Carson Park | Reception: Bye the Willow  

NYC Celia Grace Bridal Session

We love our Black Sheep Bride vendors a whole lot! They give so much to their communities, environments and personal passions, it is always a pleasure to receive surprise submissions with their names attached to the vendor list! So when we received this beautiful sunrise Brooklyn Bridge Bridal Shoot for Celia Grace we had to share!  We thought you might like a little New York bridal inspiration to start off your work week with, courtesy of  Jerrit Pruyn Photo and Celia GraceCelia Grace is a lovely vintage inspired, handmade silk & lace giveback wedding dress collection. Each Wedding dress is fair trade, ethical & eco friendly. This also serves as an announcement- Yippeeeee! Black Sheep Bride has been invited, along side some of the world’s most popular niche wedding bloggers, to attend the New York Bridal Fashion Week (Bridal Market) next month! Our focus will be to connect with as many ethical/socially conscious wedding designers as possible during our visit and also chronicle our trip by showcasing ways to travel ethically! If you know of any brands/products interested in joining us on this social media journey, please send them our way ( __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo24 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo21 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo23__Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo26 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo10 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo11 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo12 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo14 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo16 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo8   __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo6 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo2 __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo1   __Jerrit_Pruyn_Photo_jppbridaldressdumbo19 Photographer:  Jerrit Pruyn Photo//Floral Designer: Adria//Model: Ashley Blankenship//Reception Venue: BROOKLYN BRIDGE//Dress Designer: Celia Grace//Makeup Artist: Lieth//  

Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Inspiration – Houston, Texas

When our BSB Vendor, Smith House Photo, submitted this Sustainable Stylized Wedding Inspiration Shoot we were awe-stuck by the dainty, industrial, organic softness that came with such a big message: You don’t have to sacrifice beauty and details to have a sustainable wedding! Here is what she shared with us about their vision:  ‘Our goal in planning this inspiration shoot was to encompass all that Black Sheep Bride stands for: Gorgeous weddings that support and give back in the community. We wanted to show that simply by selecting vendors who GIVE BACK, your wedding day can make a huge impact.’   2015-06-13_0001 2015-06-13_0002 2015-06-13_00112015-06-13_0012 2015-06-13_0003 2015-06-13_0004 2015-06-13_0005 2015-06-13_0006 2015-06-13_0007 2015-06-13_0008 2015-06-13_0009 2015-06-13_0010 2015-06-13_0013 2015-06-13_0014 2015-06-13_0015 2015-06-13_0016 2015-06-13_0017 2015-06-13_0018 2015-06-13_0019 2015-06-13_0020   Participating Black Sheep Bride #VendorsThatGiveBack : Celia Grace Wedding Dresses We were so excited to include Celia Grace for our bridal gowns and we couldn’t possibly describe her business better than the designer does herself on the Celia Grace Website , “Each Celia Grace wedding dress is exquisitely handcrafted using vintage-inspired lace, exclusive hand woven silks, and stunning beading and detail work. Celia Grace wedding dresses are made in safe, fair, and empowering Fair Trade conditions and we give back locally with each dress sold. Our eco silks respect and protect the environment.” On top of that, each and every gown is totally swoon-worthy. Metalicious Metalicious is an incredible, hand made jewelry company that aims to leave the world a better place for our kids and future generations. Recycled materials are used in each step of the process, from the metals to the materials they’re shipped in. Not to mention, every single piece is gorgeous. Plan Our Day Event Services Inspired by the eco-friendly wedding trend, Samantha decided to push her creative boundaries to design a wedding that would reduce waste, and support sustainability without sacrificing a gorgeous detail. Vintage plates and silverware graced the picnic-style Bride and Groom table, and each place setting had a gorgeous stemmed glass. Scrap wood placecards were adorned with names and napkins were made of recycled materials. Smith House Photo From the moment the planning process began with Samantha, Becki knew her job of capturing the details would be easy. There is nothing more exciting than connecting with other vendors who have a heart for our community, giving back and perfectly planned details.   Other Local Participating #VendorsThatGiveBack: Floral Concepts by Cynthia Cynthia, Owner of Floral Concepts by Cynthia was an easy choice for our bouquets and floral arrangements. As a small, local business owner she aims to use in-season flowers to promote sustainability and always goes above and beyond for her clients. Jolly Roger Sweets Every couple wants something unique at their wedding, and Jolly Rogers Sweets is bound to be making appearances in the upcoming wedding season. This newly launched business is Houston’s first bicycle cart that serves vegan raw cookie dough! Jolly Rogers also makes delicious Jams that would be a perfect wedding favor. Allison Katherine Designs It’s no secret that calligraphy is a hot topic in the wedding world, but Allison Katherine is not your average calligrapher. While her paper goods are beautiful, we especially love her recycled mediums and unique signage. Plus, we never turn down the opportunity to work with another local business! Tout Suite Ever since this bakery opened up in our neighborhood, we’ve been fans. They use support local farmers, serve on recycled paper goods, and have a menu that tastes as good as it looks. Model: Annie C Patten

Guest Post: Karissa Barber | 3 Tips to Finding Ethical Bridesmaid Dresses


Bridal fashion is a huge industry with many manufacturers, designers and retailers all trying to tell you, the bride what you should wear and how you should style your bridesmaids. Your wedding is about your style and what you find important. Do you not feel dressed up unless you are wearing heels? Does the idea of a strapless gown make you gag? Do you break out in hives in lace? Ditch all the wedding magazines and fashion suggestions on and think about what you want your day to say about you. Since you are visiting The Black Sheep Bride, it’s safe to assume that you want to give back to the world around you. That is the message you want to send about who you are by the way you plan your wedding. Way to go! One way to give back while still retaining your sense of style is to choose bridesmaid dresses that are eco-friendly and ethical. Ethically sourced online boutiques are all over the Internet and make great fashion AND fair trade available wherever you call home. Say good-bye to the local cookie-cutter bridesmaid dresses and hello to a style that is all your own.   3 tips for finding ethical bridesmaid dresses   1. Buy a fair Trade Dress Typing in a quick Google search with “fair trade” will bring up a lot of options, which is a great thing. It’s exciting to see so many people paying attention to the wages of the artisans, seamstresses and garment factory workers that produce the clothing we put on our backs. Here are a couple of our favorite fair trade options.
  1. Mata Trader
  2. People Tree
  3. Imagine Goods
  4. Nomads
  5. Passion Lilie
_96A9666__13187.1412476081.1280.1280 2. Search for organic cotton or made in the UK/USA Organic or USA/UK are great ways to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum. Without the use of chemicals to grow the cotton, you are reducing the amount of run-off pollution needed to produce the dresses your bridesmaids will wear. And by purchasing dresses that are made in the USA/UK, you are ensuring that the company is paying their employees equitably. Here are a few USA companies that caught our eye:

1. Dainty Jewell

2. ModCloth

3. EcoSkin

  3. Try gently used bridesmaid dresses Usually worn once for a couple of hours, bridesmaid dresses can have a new life in your wedding. Instead of filling a landfill, you have an opportunity to revive gowns that are finished their first wedding by making them apart of your’s. This is a great environmental choice as well as a budget friendly one, since you are not paying full price. Here are several used bridesmaid dress listings:

1. Tradesy

2. Used Only Once

3. I Do Gowns

There are so many more options out there for sustainable, ethical and eco-conscious fashion. Do a little research before you take the plunge. And ask your bridesmaid for their input! After all, the best bridesmaid dress is the one they will wear again. Happy hunting!   ‘Karissa Barber is an actress turned mother of 4 navigating life’s adventures of adoption, intentional living and the stage. Adopting from the country of Uganda changed her views on how and where her clothing is made. Her passion has become fair trade and eco-friendly fashion on a teacher salary budget. She writes about fair trade fashion, adoption/motherhood and central Florida fun at’