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Weddings That Give Back: Catherine & Josh- Yosemite National Park, CA

April 15th- 23rd is National Parks Week and with all the fuss in the news, as of late, about the fate of our National Parks, BSB wanted to celebrate the amazing couples that intentionally choose to get married in a National or State Park and bring awareness to the gorgeous all-natural ‘venues’ all around us! Get your hiking boots on, because for the next 7 days BSB will be sharing ONLY park weddings and various park wedding round up’s! (Refer to the bottom of this post for ways to get involved this week)  Catherine.Josh.091016-1 Catherine.Josh.091016-8 Here is what Catherine shared about their National Park wedding! ‘While we were deciding where we would get married we knew that we wanted a small, low-key outdoor wedding. We thought through a few options in our home city, Cincinnati, and the city that we met, Columbus, but we weren’t completely satisfied with our options. Around that time we saw an article about weddings having to be rescheduled in Yosemite National Park because of an ongoing government shutdown. While this was a strange way to discover that we could get married in a National Park, this article is how the idea was sparked. My husband, Josh, has always been more “outdoorsy” than I am and an important part of our relationship has been about me exploring and appreciating the importance of being outside. One of our first real camping trips together was in Yosemite and that is when we both really fell in love with the park. We also discovered that the process to secure a permit for a wedding was fairly simple and inexpensive, as long as you have a small group and plan far in advance. Our wedding day was everything we hoped for and I don’t think we could have found a more beautiful, tranquil location for the wedding. One of our favorite parts of the wedding was showing our friends and family Yosemite and the Eastern Sierras. Many of our close friends and family live in the Midwest and some hadn’t been west of Chicago before our wedding. My uncle traveled all the way from England and I don’t think he had ever been above 3,000ft in elevation. It was a lot of fun to experience these “firsts” with our closest family and friends. When you’re getting married in a beautiful location it is also important to find a photographer that can balance the beauty of the landscape with “portrait” type photography and our photographer Lauren Lindley did an amazing job.  Our wedding was perfect and I would recommend getting married in a National Park to anyone looking for a unique, no –frills location.’ Catherine.Josh.091016-16 Catherine.Josh.091016-60 Catherine.Josh.091016-65 Catherine.Josh.091016-100 Catherine.Josh.091016-117 Truly love this series of images captured by Lauren Lindley! It couldn’t better represent marriage. It demands team work, compromise, uncomfortable, sacrifice… that isn’t always picture perfect, but we can’t help but think the coolest moments are the imperfect ones! Catherine.Josh.091016-188 Catherine.Josh.091016-197 Catherine.Josh.091016-202 This is not the traditional reception photo you might find in a wedding feature, but I found it incredibly important to include. The wedding couple intentionally choose to have a picnic with their intimate wedding party, instead of a formal reception. No need for chairs, chargers, linens… just each other and nature. Isn’t that what love is all about!? We think so! Catherine.Josh.091016-221 Catherine.Josh.091016-237 Catherine.Josh.091016-241 Catherine.Josh.091016-255 Catherine.Josh.091016-319 Catherine.Josh.091016-323Catherine.Josh.091016-274 Catherine.Josh.091016-293 Catherine.Josh.091016-308 Vendors: National Park: Yosemite National Park | Photographer: Lauren Lindley  | Officiant: John Paris | Flowers: Sue Paris | Makeup: Jenny Sickler ____________________________ WAYS TO GET INVOLVED DURING NATIONAL PARK WEEK! Did you know that the National Park Services has over 12 Billion Dollars of outstanding repairs and needs across the 2000 parks and forests they maintain? Go grab your annual NPS Pass today and help support the future of our planet for generations to come! April 15-16 and April 22-23 : Free Admission to any National Park in the United States April 15: Jr. Park Ranger Appreciation Day. Buy a National Park Pass (for $80). There are also FREE Passes available for active military, and students in the 4th grade, as well as discounted passes for Seniors. Learn more HERE. Find the closest park to you and volunteer or support their fund raising initiatives!

Sustainable Stylized Shoot: Where The Wild Things Are, Colorado

The best part about what we do at Black Sheep Bride is sharing the giving/sustainable story to wedding content. When we received this submission in our inbox, we had a feeling it was going to be a great fit for you guys, our readers. Taking inspiration from the cherished childhood story, Where the Wild Things Are, this vendor team couldn’t have put together a better wedding interpretation. From the moss table runner, to the wild flower fields and the branch crown, we are simply overflowing with delight! The even best part about this shoot, is how are large portion of the vendor team gives back and uses these products, skills/services, design elements to help others. Read along to learn more about this stylized shoot, orchestrated by MAG EventsElizabeth Cryan Photography, and an amazing team of charitable vendors (highlighted throughout). __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_1ecryanphotography1908 Elizabeth Cryan Photography values the importance of using her skills to give back and regularly donates sessions to raise money for fundraisers such as ALS, cancer research, education, etc. __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_72ecryanphotography1620 D’Lola Couture: Every dress is designed and made, by hand, in Colorado… this is one of the keys to success for D’Lola Couture as all the wedding gowns made are manufactured by hand near Denver, Colorado. Each design is hand cut, individually for each order, and hand crafted for each individual bride. __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_6ecryanphotography1174 Brackish Bowties: Every tie is handcrafted in South Carolina by a team of 50 artisans and production assistants. And because every single feather is hand selected, no 2 Brackish bow ties are exactly alike. Every tie is a sustainable work of art. __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_10ecryanphotography0841 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_12ecryanphotography1012 Bella Calla uses locally grown, sustainably farmed flowers, succulents and plants wherever possible in its designs. They are committed to making the environment as beautiful as possible, not only by filling it with plants and flowers, but also by preserving it for future generations of flower lovers! They recycle, compost, and use the most sustainably farmed flowers they can find, from as many local sources as they can! They use a local grower in Arvada, Colorado for many of their flowers. Their greenhouses allow us to get the freshest, most ecologically friendly product available in Denver! Aside from their sustainable practices, they also educate and encourage their brides to donate their leftover flowers and offer delivery to the hospital nearby (St Joes). __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_25ecryanphotography1805 Ashley Schenkein Jewelry works closely with a Denver-based charity, Women’s Bean Project, collaborating on a collection that is sold exclusively by the charity to offer job skills and support to women in need. Also in celebrating the life of a dear friend, Emily, a four time cancer survivor and an inspiration to others, 25% of the proceeds on Emily’s birthday, May 2nd, will be donated to Livestrong Colorado. __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_18ecryanphotography1679__Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_20ecryanphotography0949 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_26ecryanphotography1856 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_29ecryanphotography1071 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_31ecryanphotography1861 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_33ecryanphotography1290   __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_3225ecryanphotography1289copy2 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_3424ecryanphotography1271 4th Kind Entertainment offers their services to a Denver based charity group, called Food For Thought__Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_3523ecryanphotography1254copy __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_3614ecryanphotography1894 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_3720ecryanphotography1236 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_3822ecryanphotography2025 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_4021ecryanphotography2011 Kelley Kakes donates to New Hope Cattle Dog Rescue of Colorado, as well as fosters dogs through their rescue.  They’ve fostered 62 dogs, thus far!  They also purchase all of their eggs through local (as in neighborhood) folks, as well as all of their berries (when in season). They also donate cakes through a non profit organization called Icing Smiles: they make cakes for terminally ill kids, very sick kids, and their siblings. __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_4126ecryanphotography1291 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_4228ecryanphotography1373 As for the venue and this gorgeous location backdrop: Piney River Ranch LLC is located 9,350 feet above sea level at the end of a dirt road, maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. Set on the edge of Piney Lake, and nestled at the foot of the majestic Gore Range, Piney River Ranch LLC is a private, forty-acre Rocky Mountain retreat, long known as a favorite wedding and day-trip destination. They are located just twelve miles north of Vail Village, surrounded by thousands of acres of backcountry wilderness within the White River National Forest. Piney River Ranch LLC holds active partnerships with both the National Park Service and the Denver Water Board, each established to preserve the natural beauty of the ranch and its surrounding areas.__Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_45ecryanphotography2074 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_43ecryanphotography1354__Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_46ecryanphotography1338  __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_49ecryanphotography2175 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_51ecryanphotography1409  __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_56ecryanphotography1988 __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_5417ecryanphotography1191__Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_55ecryanphotography1983 Participating Vendors: Photographer:  Elizabeth Cryan Photography//Dress Designer:D’Lola Couture//Cinema and Video: 4th Kind Entertainment//Invitation Designer: Anthologie Press//Jewelry: Ashley Schenkein Jewelry Design//Floral Designer: Bella Calla//Apparel: Brackish Bowties //Model: Garrett Kidd//Cake Designer: Kelley Kakes//Event Planner: MAG Events//Model: Olivia Ritchie//Veils and headpieces: Opam inc//Other: Patina Preferred: A Vintage Rental Boutique//Reception Venue: Piney River Ranch LLC//Dress Store: The Bridal Collection//Makeup Artist: the parlour//