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Weddings that Give Back: Amanda and Andrew – Elberta, MI

Black Sheep Bride has one of the most amazing community of Vendors That Give Back that I’ve ever seen in the wedding industry, however I’m a little biased, since this is my ‘brain child’ and all. The raw talent and purpose-filled passion that exudes in our BSB Vendor Community often leaves me breathless and equally empowered. It is vendors like Apaige Photography that remind me why I launched Black Sheep Bride in the first place. Her passion for the environment and serving her community is LOUD and her personality, style and branding attracts the wedding clients that best represent our mission: Using your love to love others! Grateful to Apaige Photography for sharing this sweet Weddings That Give Back story with us today!  Apaige Photography shared this with BSB, in her submission, ‘AJ and Andrew basically did everything themselves, along with involving as many give back, and local businesses, as possible. From including family members and friends as much as possible, to AJ baking her very own cake – this wedding was my dream and I am so glad I could be included in it.’ www.apaigephotography.com The bride had this to say about her wedding planning: ‘Flowers for Dreams is a Chicago based company that designed all of our bouquets. It was important to have some of Chicago with us on our big day. The company features a new, amazing, local charity each month and contributes 25% of their proceeds to that non-profit organization. We have both worked with or admired many of the agencies they benefit, so it seemed only fitting. The remainder of the flowers came from the Elberta/Frankfort Famers Market. We made all the desserts and rather than a receiving line, we served everyone dessert. Our friend, Patches, officiating also and our toasts were accompanied by a lambic-style sour beer, which we brewed over a year ago.’ www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com The couple also chose to invest in ethical jewelry made by Mineralogy. Mineralogy is a collection of limited edition, conflict free, and one-of-a-kind jewelry designed and handcrafted by Chicago metalsmith, Theresa Cowan. Mineralogy creates unusual statement and heirloom quality pieces that pay tribute to the beauty of natural gems and minerals. www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com Their ceremony and reception were held at the Elberta Life Saving Station, a local historic landmark, known for their long standing support of the community, on Betsie Bay, in Elberta, MI. www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com The couple, alongside their loved ones, made all of the desserts for their wedding guest, as gifts. Instead of a traditional receiving line, they handed out these charming little jar cakes instead. www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com They also invested in Crystal Lake Catering Co. and they incorporate as many local, fresh, farm to table elements as possible in their menu selections. www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com www.apaigephotography.com Photographer (BSB Vendor):   Apaige Photography //Caterer:  Crystal Lake Catering Co.//Reception Venue: Elberta Life Saving Station//Floral Designer: Flowers for Dreams//Dress Store: J. Crew//Jewelry: Mineralogy Jewelry//Hair Stylist: Salon 415 //

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.

Surprise Wedding for Deserving Couple | Big Fake Wedding Style

Our amazing friends at The Big Fake Wedding have done it again, but this time… It wasn’t a fake wedding… it was ‘totes’ REAL! Read the story below, from Big Fake Wedding’s founder and CEO, Callie! The best part of this story is all of the participating vendors donated their services to make this big day a success, for such an amazing couple!
‘My friend Jennifer was planning a wedding in September, but they found out that Brian was being transferred to Tokyo in June, so they started planning to secretly head to the courthouse on May 8. At a dinner in April, Jennifer was telling me about her plans and saying how she was so sad to miss the experience of her dad walking her down the aisle. She wanted Brian to have that moment of seeing her in a dress, but they knew there wasn’t time to make that possible.
I reached out to some of my favorite wedding vendors, and we started planning an amazing surprise wedding for the two of them. Jennifer knew it was happening, but she didn’t know any of the details. Brian just thought that he was going to meet her at the courthouse, but instead his dad dropped him off at the wedding location (a local park where the florist so graciously donated her yard and front porch for the celebration), and his mom was there waiting on him with a boutonniere, in front of a sign that read “Welcome to the wedding of Jennifer and Brian”. She handed him a letter from Jennifer that let him know that they would be able to experience a wedding ceremony after all, and then his parents walked him down the aisle where their family and best friends (who had come in from different parts of the country!) were waiting.
We had a musician who played their song as Jennifer walked down the aisle, and after the ceremony, the musician played as they had their first dance and dances with their parents. They then enjoyed dinner, cake and toasts on the front porch, and they ended with a coffee truck and lantern release.
The next day was their “engagement party” and they got to let everyone in on their little secret: they were married!!’
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Easily the best part for us, besides everyone donating their time to this lovely couple, is REFUGE COFFEE!!!! Refuge Coffee Company is an amazing Atlanta based Coffee Truck that provides a living wage, quality job training and mentorship for resettled refugees in the area.
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And if these amazing photos weren’t enough… grab the hankie and watch this super endearing video, courtesy of Up and Up Weddings :
Participating Vendors:  Flowers : Holland Daze Weddings | Vintage Rentals: Miss. Milly’s | Cake : GS Bakery | Catering : Farm Burger | Officiant : Bill Murray | Hand Lettering: Fleecher Designs | Photography : Jonathan and Kaye Photography | Ceremony Dress: Rent the Runway | Reception Dress: Wedding Angels | Videography: Up and Up Weddings | Music : Jonathan Wisdom | Coffee Truck: Refuge Coffee Co. | Jewelry: Chloe + Isabel by Brette  | ‘Yay Flag’ : Liddabits Design Shop