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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: Ashley & Josh, Michigan

One of our beloved Black Sheep Bride vendors, APaige Photography, tied the knot recently and she was truly such an example of a genuine ‘Black Sheep Bride’. Having known her plans this whole year, it has been an anxious waiting game, but now it’s finally here to share! Thanks to one of our other super-radically-epic-and-loved BSB vendors, Everphoto for being there to document the day so awesomely! First thing we want to point out is Ashley’s dress. It was actually her mother’s wedding dress, they had refashioned by a local seamstress, Nimble Needles. Not only did Ashley wear her mom’s dress, they also got married on her parents property and on their wedding anniversary as well. (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto They gifted all the ladies in the bridal party (as well as sister-in-laws and moms) with Pura Vida bracelets. Pura Vida is a California founded business that saw a huge opportunity to empower communities in Costa Rica, and surrounding areas, with bracelets that support various charities. (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Ashley and Josh worked hard to incorporate as many local based businesses they could into their wedding day, including wine from Round Barn Winery, made in Baroda, MI. (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto All of their decorations were either recycled, hand crafted, and/or picked up at local thrift/consignment shops. (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto They also used eco-friendly paper goods and compostable bamboo utensils to help reduce wastefulness. (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto The wedding programs were designed by Anna Weekly with the intention of multi-use purposes. Once the ceremony was over guests were able to use the programs to store treats, from the custom trail mix and pop corn bars. (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Cupcakes were made by Yummy Cupcakes and totally dairy-free and vegan friendly! (C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto(C) EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Participating Vendors: Photography : EverPhoto | Dress Alteration/Redesign: Nimble Needles | Venue: Private Residence | Hair: Cut Out the Rest Salon & Nicole Flier | Make Up: Spatoepia Dowagiac | Cupcakes: Yummy Cupcakes | Wine: Round Barn Winery | Programs: Anna Weekly | Plates and Straws: EcoProducts