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10 Ways to Waste Less on Your Wedding Day!

According to Green Bride Guide the average wedding produces roughly 400-600 lbs of waste, per event. Between left over food, flowers, decor, etc there is a lot of waste that comes along with that Pinterest Perfect Wedding Board most couples desire! Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.44.02 PM   So let’s talk about 10 ways your Big Day can WASTE LESS ! 1. Food : One of the biggest wastes that can be avoided on a wedding day is FOOD! Buffets, cake, prime rib, untouched cocktail hour veggie platters, the possibilities are endless and sadly I have seen it all land in the trash! With hunger at an all time high, it seems so silly to take perfectly good food and throw it away, when there are organizations everywhere across the world taking waste food. Blog 1200px-0083 Photo by Gray Kammera Photography When I was in LA, last year, I had the opportunity to tour the L.A. Kitchen and learn how they are using unwanted waste food to make amazing dishes for assisted living communities and also employing aged-out foster kids and the previously incarcerated members of society to learn a trade in culinary arts! These places exist all around the country, find a food bank in your area via Feeding America or a food rescue center via The Food Rescue Database. Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.19.45 PM Image via Feeding America Disclaimer: It is common for caterers or food service providers to push back because of the substantial liability for such food donations. Thankfully any good-faith food donations are free from such liability due to the latest federal government law 42 U.S.C. 12672, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.   2. Flowers: Imagine the scene… The Bride and Groom are on their way off to their honeymoon and the clean up team is hard at work. As they put away the chairs and dishes they notice one thing they are unsure of what to do with…. Thousands of dollars worth of left over flowers! ‘What should we do with them, we can’ t take them back on the plane’ and the perplexed helper regretfully places piles of fresh roses and hydrangeas in the trash bin! Blog 1200px-0035 Photo by Gray Kammera Photography PLEASE FRIENDS! There are so many organizations out there ready to take your leftover flowers and uplift and inspire those in hospitals, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers. Do the research, call ahead and let them know you want to donate these blooms to their cause. They will even give you a tax-write off for your love offering! Random Acts of Flowers, Petals with Purpose, Floranthrophy, Repeat Roses are just to name a few of the organizations ready to take your blooms. Video via Random Acts of Flowers   3. Gift Registries:  Back in the day, couples would leave their parents homes and have to make a home from nothing and hence the wedding guests would bring them all the welcome home goodies their newlywed hearts would need. Nowadays the statistics show that couples are getting married later and later in life. They want to have their careers in place and independence aligned before nuptials are even thought of so most of those engaged love birds already have a lot of crap! So let us do our wedding guests a favor and skip the gifts! OR consider a gift registry that doesn’t involve wrapping paper and plastic wrap. Here are a few charitable/sustainable wedding registries that can help your wedding impact others: Heartful.ly– A gift registry that empowers couples to fund life changing projects around the world. So Kind Registry – A registry and wishlist service that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more -OR- If you do still need goodies consider a few fair-trade online options: Bambeco– Recyclable, sustainable home goods that give back. West Elm– Support fair trade and often local artisans in each store, West Elm is the perfect one stop shop for any soon-to-be newlywed’s love nest needs! ZOLA – You can combine all of the things/brands you might need for your new home under one roof and then ship all the goods at once and reduce your waste/carbon footprint. You can also fund a honeymoon, portion of the wedding costs, or donate to charity as well.   4. Transportation: Carpool, Uber, Bicycle, Smart Car, Moped, or charter a boat taxi to take your bridal party to the reception! The eco-friendly options are endless!   5. Favors: Having been to my fair share of weddings I’ve seen a variety of cheaply made wedding favors that no one will ever use again and it breaks my heart. Try sponsoring a child, or redirecting your favor budget toward the charity you plan to support, such as these sweet doggie cookies that support a local dog shelter. 1175_061213 Photo By Alissa Dineen   6. Paper Goods/Invites:  Paper goods can be one of the most obvious waste makers, but it is equally one of of the easiest parts of the wedding that can lead to positive change. There are so many options like: Recyclable/Sustainable Paper Types, design shown below by Citrus Press Co. / Photo by Regina As The Photographer Wedding-World-Changing-Day-Promo-14 Or if you are a bit more new school, try an e-vite, or video wedding invite, etc and save some trees and postage along the way!   7. Function vs. Fancy Fancy is fun, we get it! There is a certain level of exclusivity and experience that comes along with black tie affairs, however they aren’t always the most functions and sometime the more wasteful events can be those that are the highest end people with the abilities and budgets to make more sustainable choices. This is where functionality comes into play… The best things in life are simple, functional and intentional… Here are a few examples: Glass Jars to take home vs. Champaigne Flutes ALP_7608 Photo by Image Clairity Decomposable Bamboo Utensils vs. Polished Silver © EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Photo by Emily Dykema Ceremony Programs that double as Pop Corn Bag Holders (or any other reception treat you might choose) © EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Photo by Emily Dykema 8. RENT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE Renting is far more waste-preventing, and minimally impactful to the environment than flat out buying things you’ll never use or wear again. Literally there are rental options for practically every aspect of your wedding day process,  your dress, your tuxes, the bridesmaid’s dresses, your decorations, you name it and it can most likely be rented! Here are few rental companies to consider: Menguin – Tuxedos Borrowing Magnolia– Wedding Dresses Rent the Run Way– Elopement, wedding attire, rehearsal dinner garb. Happily Ever Borrowed– Rentable Bridal Accessories, Veils, jewelry, etc. BLACKSHEEPBRIDE (6 of 61) The biggest misconception about DIY Weddings is they will be better on the pocketbook, but after the time is spent buying the materials and flea market finds to put the projects together, you are in better use of your time, dollars and energy to rent the things you are trying to faux-antique and you will save yourself space after you’re married. Not only will it save you money, it will be reused multiple times by others and treated just like new! 9. Reuse/ Reduce/Recycle This is obvious friends. If you have reusable goods, save them aside, donate them to your local non-profits, half way houses, etc. Reduce and Recycle what you can! Set out separate bins for recyclable trash vs. regular trash vs. compost… When given the opportunity people will make the right choices.   10. Composting is your friend!  At the end of the day, if you aren’t able to find a non-profit locally that will take your flowers, or food…. COMPOST your biodegradable waste, so the earth can benefit from your waste in a productive and positive manner, like using it in a co-op garden vs. ‘wasting’ good soil nutrients in a land fill. COMPOST NOW has pick up services across the nation ready to grab your garbage and turn into garden goodness! 225903_446643672053078_1378420870_n BONUS! 11. Buy with Purpose! Even if you have the budget dollars in the world, or would rather buy new, do so with integrity and value businesses that put the environment and humanity first! A few examples of sustainably-minded wedding brands are Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal, MiaDonna Eco Diamonds! IMG_0179 Photo: Rachel Gomez Photography    IMG_0178     Now Happy Waste Less Wedding Planning to You and Have an Intention and Impactful Earth Day! Let us make every day about helping making the world a better place!

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

BSB Inspiration Shoot- Winthrop Barn Theatre, Riverview, FL

Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0066 In leau of the Black Sheep Bride Debut… I put together a stylized shoot that out-shined all the rest. The purpose of the shoot was to inspire, challenge and encourage wedding couples/vendors to consider their day a gift… not completely for themselves, but rather a gift for those in need, they help with each vendor/product choice they make in the process.  Each participating vendors helps on a local or global level in their giving and each choice made in the planning process was with the intention of taking each $ and making it count for GOOD. Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0069 Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0071 Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0074 Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0073 Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0067 Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0068 Jerdan Photo Winthrop Barn_0072 Participating Vendors: Accessories: The Giving Keys Dress: Rent The Runway Cake/Treats: Piquant Venue: The Barn Theatre at Winthrop Paper Goods: Invitation Consultants/Oh Hello Events Furniture/Rentals: Anna Jane Styling Shoe Drop Off Organization: Dando Amor Confetti Wands: Oh Goodie Design and Events Flags/Cake Topper: I Heart Flags Photography: Jerdan Photography (and the lovely help of Out of the Box Photography) Cinematographer: John Roquemore Florals: TaylorMade Wedding and Event Flowers  Succulent pieces: Flowers on the Fly Ceramics: Don Sizemore Ceramics Turf Table Top: Forever Lawn Tampa