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Weddings that Give Back: Sally & Susannah- Sequoia Retreat Center, CA

This week BSB will be sharing ONLY national park weddings and various park wedding round up’s, in honor of National Park Week (4/15-4/23)!
(Refer to the bottom of this post for ways to get involved this week)
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Truly in love with this couple’s passion and connection with sequoias and how they incorporated these magnificent trees into their wedding day vision! See what they had to share below!
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‘Redwoods are special. We each developed an appreciation for nature and forests early in our lives thanks to hours and weeks of family time spent hiking and camping in the woods of Texas, Colorado, New Hampshire, and many other beautiful and sacred spaces.
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Susannah’s first job out of college, as part of her Greencorps Fellowship, landed her in the California Sierras, running a campaign to protect California’s old growth Redwoods – one of our greatest assets in the fight against climate change. The aim was to stop Sierra Pacific Industries, a company that owns 1.7 million acres of the most Redwood dense land in the west, from clear-cutting, an unsustainable logging practice that along with taking down our big carbon defenders has and continues to destroy the economic centerpiece of communities throughout the Sierras- communities built on a foundation of sustainable logging. The campaign was not won nor has it been this many years later, but it was these trees – the same ones that we’ll stand tall above and around us on our wedding day – that Susannah made her long-term commitment to the work.
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We knew it was the spot the first moment we stepped foot on the grounds of the Sequoia Retreat Center.
The Sequoia Retreat Center is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains deep within a forest of redwood trees. The land has been held sacred since 1949. This is a place where much love has been experienced and a place where the deepest meaning of life may be explored in an atmosphere of quiet and beauty.’
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Photographer: Carmen Alvarez Photography | Venue: Sequoia Retreat Center | Coordinator: Samar Hattar-Blissful Events | Officiant: Jerusaha, Susannah’s sister | Caterer/Cake: Sequoia Retreat Center | DJ: Santa Cruz DJ Company | Florist: Laughing Gal Floral
____________________________ 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 Buy a National Park (Forest) 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 fundraising initiatives!

Central Florida Wedding Vendors Provide Free Wedding to Deserving Couple: Daytona, FL

Today’s wedding feature is a very special one, not only because of the personal impact it has had on my personal community (Central Florida), but also the amazing energy and kindness that went into gifting this special couple with a well deserved big day! One of BSB vendors, Jennifer Juniper Photo, founded a non profit organization based out of Daytona Beach FL, called FLOWER (FLorida Organization of Wedding and Event Representatives).
FLOWER is a group of Daytona/New Smyrna based wedding and event professionals joined together to use their unique skillsets to better serve their local community. One of the ways they choose to give back this year was to find a deserving couple and provide a dream wedding for them, completely FREE!!!  They interviewed numerous couples, and finally landed on Heather & Paige. They are absolutely adorable, and FLOWER was honored to be able to make their dreams come true.
The organization ultimately chose this couple based on their story, the love that they share, and how easy they were to work with. Little did they know that Heather and Paige would become the ‘poster couple’ for what happened at Pulse Nightclub, in Orlando. We have since seen their iconic image of their heart around the Pulse sign in many news articles regarding the shooting at the nightclub, and various follow up articles, from Huffington post, to WESH. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the Pulse victims, but we also wish to share this silver lining. Heather and Paige were married on Sunday, January 15th, in an iconic Florida beach ceremony, along with a dream reception immediately following.
FILE PHOTO --  Heather Raleigh (L) and Paige Metelka make a heart shape as they pose during a photo shoot outside Pulse nightclub following the mass shooting last week in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
Heather Raleigh (L) and Paige Metelka make a heart shape as they pose during a photo shoot outside Pulse nightclub following the mass shooting last week in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
This couple also serves their community in quite a big way! Heather volunteers with the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, as well as the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. They also do a lot of work with Disney VoluntEARS: “Our mission is to develop opportunities for Disneyland Resort cast members and their families to contribute personal time, expertise and effort to make a positive impact on our community while furthering the ideals of The Walt Disney Company.” All of their centerpieces were also donated to an assisted living community in Deland, after their reception.
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Participating Vendors: Jennifer Juniper Photography  |  Classic Photography   |  Ceremonies by the Sea  | Delectable Delights  | Carefree Catering  | The Residence Inn Oceanfront by Marriot  | Lisa Pinto at the Daytona International Speedway | Pink Flamingo at Petals

Weddings that Give Back: TLove & Jeannette, Maine

We’ve been awaiting a real wedding feature like this one since we first launched, so today marks a milestone worthy of celebrating. Today we are sharing an amazing story of how one couple used their wedding day to serve and positively impact their family, their community and the environment around them. Thank you to our BSB Vendor, Tara Lynn Bridal, for sharing their story with us and for creating the ethical attire worn by the loving couple. Molly Haley captured the day in all of it’s locally sourced, organic and intentional goodness. Upon receiving their ‘giving back story’ we were blown away by the sheer magnitude of kind thoughtfulness that went into make their socially conscious wedding a success! See what the couple had to share below: Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900002 ‘For our wedding we wanted to infuse as much of our personalities and our consciousness into the day as possible.  We are passionate about local farms, local economy and local arts as well as cooperative living communities.  Our intention was nurture our guests by practicing consciousness for the environment, our community and ourselves.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900007   Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900044 ‘Our flowers were also organic and purchased from local Maine farms and from a friend’s personal garden. We also had both of our wedding outfits custom-made out of organic hemp and cotton from Tara Lynn Bridal (Tara Lynn is not only eco-friendly, she also donates a portion of her annual profits to a Vermont-based domestic violence non-profit and a few other causes)’. Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900017 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900018 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900021 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900024 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900025 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900026 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900029 ‘As part of our ceremony, we included a group guided kaleidoscope yoga circle with over 120 participants, our guests.’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900031 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900036Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900033  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900038 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900039 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900040 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900042  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900010Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900046 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900047 ‘Our dinner menu was buffet-style, vegan, organic with all produce from local Maine farms and prepared and cooked by us and our friend, who is a vegan chef. We composted everything from our community meal, including our dinner wares, and donated it to Zero Food Waste.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900008Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900050Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900053 ‘Our take away gifts were reusable vintage purple Ball Jars with lids to be used to drink from at the wedding day and beyond. We also held a safe and sober space for the entire weekend.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900004 ‘To support local arts, we hired several local musicians, a local swing dance instructor to help choreograph a group dance for our wedding party, as well as visual artists (live painters) to celebrate the day’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900055 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900056 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900060 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900061 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900062 ‘For our gift registry we accepted donations for a cross country road trip to explore and document cooperative living communities throughout the U.S.. We will be compiling this trip into a video documentary screening as a way to educate and give back to our community.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900066 Photographer:  Molly Haley//Event Venue: Live Well Farm//Fashion Designer: Tara Lynn Bridal//