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Bridal Party Gifts that Give Back – Featured Social Enterprise: Latch Co.

Continuing with our Sustainable Summer Series, we wanted to share an awesome social enterprise company called LatchCo. They have all the goods to help make your sustainable bridal party gift giving complete! LatchCo is a one stop shop for all things socially responsible. Each item has a story and helps a specific cause. The idea for the site came when Founder, Jenny Long was traveling abroad assisting with humanitarian causes. Realizing just how many socially responsible companies and products were out there, she wanted to not only help promote these great companies that are giving back, but make it easier for the socially responsible shopper to find great products. Each product at LatchCo has a story; bags that give to education, eco-friendly eyewear that plants trees, jewelry made by women that have escaped human trafficking, coffee that funds adoption projects.. and much more. In addition to searching the site by product categories, shoppers can search by region benefiting from the purchase or initiative benefiting from the purchase. Here are a few LatchCo gift ideas for your wedding day pose: The Bridesmaid Gift: Brave Collection (multiple colors)
This delicate, handcrafted cotton and brass bracelet  says “Brave” (Klaa-han) in Khmer and was handmade in Cambodia by a local artisan to empower women across the globe. 10% of their profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia.
Brave Bracelet
The Groomsman Gift: Socks to Give Clean Water
The purchase of these unique and ethically made socks provides 18 months of clean water to someone in need through water.org.
socks clean water
This elegant, white beaded drop necklace is made by women in Uganda. Giving them employment enables them to provide food and education for their children.
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Proceeds from the purchase of this handmade, cotton linen necktie go towards building water wells in Nicaragua.
La Flor necktie
Proceeds from these handmade leather sandals support clean water efforts in Guatemala. Bonus – they come in just about any color you want. Sandals
If you would like to see more socially responsible gift and bridal products, check out LatchCo.

Real Weddings That Gives Back: Julia + Matthew, Iowa

Instagram is a MAGICAL place, full of inspiration, empowerment and most importantly… new friends! Julia, from J. Lovan Goods, ran across Black Sheep Bride on Instagram over a year ago, before she was even married and we have been anxiously awaiting the day to share her intentional, heartfelt, and socially conscious wedding with you ever since! Read their ‘Giving Back Wedding Story’ below.
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‘Matthew and I both try to live simply, but in different ways. He’s an old-soul curmudgeon who uses a quality bag or pair of shoes until it’s on its last thread, while I compost even tiny fabric scraps and try to upcycle anything.
I wanted a unique and beautiful wedding, but I also wanted to make it as sustainable as possible. My greatest wedding planning asset was my sewing, craft skills and help from my mom. I designed and created my dress, the bridesmaids dresses, the ties and vests, while my sister-in-law, Lorraine Goddard, made an adorable matching mini-wedding dress for the flower girl, my new niece Lucy, as well as the ringbearer’s pillow.’
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‘We bought our wedding invites that I absolutely adored, from the graphic designer Pretty Little Papers. Other things I loved buying from small businesses were our wedding favors, they were wildflower seed paper hearts made by my friends at Fancy That Loved. I hand-lettered a love quote by Mother Theresa.’ _IMG_3280
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‘Matthew purchased my lovely rose gold, fair trade, conflict-free wedding ring from Chicago-based Rosado’s Box.’1D8A5991
‘I did my makeup myself after hours of research on organic makeup and watching tutorials. I have an all-natural makeup setting spray I made myself that is amazing and makes my skin dewy and younger-looking.
Being so picky about my dress, six days before the wedding, I got a little too anxious, so I took it apart and started on a new top, but in the end used the original design anyway! I finished the dress the night before the wedding. (And on a whim had the idea to have my mom hand stitch a belt onto it. She finished 30 minutes before showtime.)’
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‘My bridesmaids and friends went above and beyond to arrange our bouquets the day before the wedding, under the direction of my special-events planner and bridesmaid, Dawn of Los Angeles-based, Tribe of Asher. I got items like ribbon from Something Blue, a bridal consignment shop in Ankeny, Iowa.’1D8A67311D8A6797_S8A8140
‘I love cake, so I wanted to have a whole cake bar. We had 11 different cakes with buttercream frosting to choose from, all thanks to my amazing friends, Melissa and Dianne. The cutest thing I saw was a few small finger skid marks on one of the cakes. Some little guests were hungry I guess! Melissa also made a gluten and dairy free chocolate cake that I heard was gone in the blink of an eye.’ S8A8454
‘Years ago I saw photos of a crepe paper wisteria tree that my über creative friend Ruthi made for Anthropologie, and I knew I wanted to include that in my wedding. For months I twisted purple and lavender crepe paper while I Skyped with Matthew (he lived in California while I lived in Iowa), with no end in sight! My family and friends helped finish it, and I just love how it looked hanging from the huge copper tree at Tournament Club of Iowa.’
Participating Vendors: Photography: Lasting Memories Photography and Laura Lachman Photo | Videography: Rano Lovan | Hair: Linda Wright of Moda Salon Des Moines Iowa and Kierra Taylor | Wedding Venue: St. Augustin Catholic Church | Ceremony Music: Vanessa Burdine | Reception Venue: Tournament Club of Iowa | Sound: Jimmi Van Luong

Real Wedding That Gives Back: Elizabeth Joy + Greg, Greensboro, NC

This wedding is everything. The charming farmhouse and vintage wedding gown incorporated with the clean and classic suit, and modern design elements, could not have been better paired. We are so in love with the heart felt details and intentional consideration that went into making this beautiful day, but that is nothing in comparison to the adoration we have for this couple’s love for empowering others!
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The bride and groom are live in Ethiopia, running a non-profit called “The Paradigm Project.” The Paradigm project combats poverty, improves health, reduces deforestation and global climate impact and fosters economic growth in the developing world. Through no fault of their own the poor account for over 25% of global CO2 emissions. The Paradigm Project helps off set these emissions by providing clean energy technologies in Africa and Latin America. If that wasn’t enough, the bride also has her own small etsy business, which helps create jobs for women in Africa. Her business, Eliza and Co., creates jobs for women in Malawi while bringing their culture to you. The bride partners with a local Malawian, named Nancy, to design and craft these unique comforters and duvets from curated African wax cloth.
Their wedding took place on the bride’s family farm and almost all of their centerpieces and details were found at antique stores, including the large collection of quilts used for the ceremony seating. The bride’s wedding gown belonged to her grandmother, and even their wedding rings were family heirlooms (except the bride’s wedding band which was hand crafted in Ethiopia by the groom.) The floral design was provided by The Farmers Wife, they have a major focus on sourcing local and in season. The bride’s mother arranged all of the table arrangements and potted the succulents herself. All of the candelabras and afghans were salvaged at Goodwill and the bride’s father made the Chuppah and kneeler from logs from their property.
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Participating Vendors:
Photography: Mackensey Alexander Photography | Florist: The Farmer’s Wife | Venue: Private Residence | Dress: Vintage | Rings: Heirloom & Hand Crafted in Ethiopia | Decor: Goodwill | Food: Food Trucks

Real Weddings that Give Back: Sarah and Max, Grand Rapids, Michigan

One of our founding BSB Vendors, Apaige Photography, recently photographed a wedding at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market for a couple not only desperately in love with one another, but equally in love with helping others. See what Apaige had to say about their amazing wedding: ‘I met Sarah and Max a year ago, for a photo session in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they both just graduated to become doctors. Talk about power couple! The whole morning of the wedding, Sarah kept saying how she couldn’t wait to see Max. Usually brides get wrapped up in what they look like, or what their groom will think of them, but she was just utterly excited to see Max, to hang out with Max, and to be with Max on the day they become one. I seriously love these two, and I don’t know how to put it all in words. But I am beyond honored to have been the one to capture them becoming one.’ Sarah and Max felt it was EXTREMELY important to hire local and business that give back. She bought her dress from The Brides Project US in Ann Arbor, a non-profit organization that sells donated dresses (used or sample gowns) and a portion of their profits fund the Cancer Support Network of Ann Arbor. Her flowers were locally sourced rom Eastern Floral, aka BoKay at the Downtown Market and their catering was by Blue Spoon Catering, a division of Goodwill Industries. Their wedding was held at Grand Rapids Downtown Market also, not only is their produce green, from ground to the rooftop, they are an environmentally friendly facility. In fact, they are the first LEED-certified market in the U.S.A.. www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.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.comwww.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com www.apaigephotography.comwww.apaigephotography.com Photographer:   Apaige Photography//Floral Designer: Eastern Floral//Event Venue: Grand Rapids Downtown Market//Musicians: Music Host Entertainment//Dress Store: The Brides Project US//Hair/Makeup: Serendipity Hair Design//Cake: Cascade Confections  

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//