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Tampa Charity Wedding Recipients Pay It Forward One Year Later- Wedding World Changer

Today is the one year anniversary of our first Wedding World Changer FREE WEDDING! The Wedding World Changer premise was simple, couples were nominated and shared how they are actively involved in their community. Gary is a firefighter in Palm Harbor (Tampa, FL) with a tender heart for serving others and his community, and Astrid was working towards her degree in Pediatric Occupational Therapy at the time, while also volunteering on Sundays with her local children’s ministry. They were planning for a wedding in a few years, however, Astrid’s mother’s recent battle with cancer had them seeking ways to plan their wedding sooner. Out of all the applications available the Tampa Vendor Team voted and their story touched our hearts most. Click HERE to see the full gallery from their wedding day. Peek-52 There was one major stipulation to winning the Wedding World Changer wedding. The winning couple would pledge to donate 100 service hours back into the community, within the first year of marriage. Astrid and Gary have spent the last twelve months serving others to make good on our 100 volunteer hours promise and we are thrilled to update you on their newlywed giving adventure! IMG_8517 I love what Astrid shared with BSB about the journey through giving in their first year: “We wanted to take some time to THANK YOU for the amazing experience that you have provided to us! It has been a year since Gary & I were gifted with our dream wedding, but we believe that paying the goodness forward has been an even bigger blessing for our marriage. We began our community service journey a little later than we wanted to due to our “busy” schedules. We thought the best thing to do would be to sit down and make a “plan” on what we believed would work best to complete our hours. Well, we were in for a reality check because life had plans of its own… many stressors were presented throughout the months that made it difficult for Gary & I to spend time together. It took us a couple of months to realize that life was not going to stop so that we could fulfill our promise to you. Come January, we decided we needed to just dive in and see where the journey would lead us. The moment we started volunteering changed our hearts forever. It was during this time that we both were able to forget about all of the worries in the world and focus on helping others. We no longer had excuses as to why we were too “busy”, but instead looked for moments to make a difference in someone else’s life. It brought us closer, as a couple, and in a way forced us to make time for each other. It then turned into something we were both passionate about and enjoyed doing together. Overall, the experience has helped build the foundation of our marriage and taught us how rewarding and humbling it feels to give back to those in need. We feel that giving back is now something that is instilled in our hearts and we will continue to follow this journey wherever God may lead us.” IMG_8513 IMG_8515 Astrid and Gary have touched the lives of so many in our community, thanks to this awesome 100-hour challenge! They have volunteered with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (in honor of her Mom), collected Christmas gifts for families in need with the Palm Harbor Fire Rescue, dedicated hours of hard, dirty, work at the West Pasco Habitat for Humanity Kinship Urban Farm, fed hundreds of downtown neighbors with Thorn Homeless Ministries, served at their local Goodwill, walked for ALS research, and volunteered with several other smaller fundraising events for local charities. cicis team walmart Check out the The Portos highlight video from their wedding below. Huge thanks to Jeanine Leigh Photography and Green Pearl Photography for photographing all of the sweet details from this special BIG DAY… and a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the participating vendors, sponsors, and donors that helped make our first Wedding World Changer event: Planning: Oh Hello Events | Ceremony Design: Bourbon and Blush Events | Reception Design: Amber Veatch Designs | Floral Design : Andrea Layne Floral Design | Photography: Jeanine Leigh Photography and Green Pearl Photography | Venue: CL Space Ybor | Hair + Makeup: Michele Renee |  Paper Goods: Citrus-Press Co. | Catering: Tastes of Tampa Bay | Cocktail Hour Catering: Chalk Board Special | Linens: Kate Ryan Linens | Cake : Trudy Melissa Cakes | DJ: Graingertainment | Bartending : Mix It Up FL | Ceremony Altar/Rentals: Wish Vintage Rental | Pipe and Drape: Coast To Coast Event Rentals | Smaller Wooden Signage: Aerie Lane | Rectangular Farm Tables, Chargers: Set Event Rentals | Media Partners: Creative Loafing and Marry Me Tampa Bay | Succulents: The Succulent Source | Lavender: Tin Can Event Company | Chairs, Square Tables, Dinnerware, Flatware, Glasses: A Chair Affair | Videography: The Portos | Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds Bridesmaid | Wedding Dress: The Bride Tampa | Tuxes: All Brides 2 Be Tampa | Hotel Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Ybor | _____ Stay tuned for upcoming Wedding World Changer details and Charitable BSB Events in the near future.  

Weddings that Give Back: Kim + Jose, Rialto Theatre, Tampa, FL

*EDITOR NOTE: We thought in honor of Veteran’s Day we’d pull out of our favorite veteran weddings from 2016. Share this story of community and unconditional love, once more, couldn’t be better timed and appreciated.  Enjoy friends and thank you to all who have served our country!
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It astonishes me how generous and GOOD the wedding world truly is these days. When Hope, from Rialto Theatre , originally shared this couple’s story in the Black Sheep Bride vendor Facebook group, and asked if anyone would be interested in gifting this couple, it had instant interest, volunteers and vendors coming together to make the day possible. You see, Jose and Kim met in the Army, and have since spent the last five years together in service to this country. Even one of our BSB photographers, Brandi of Alexis June Weddings, flew in from out of state to donate her time and talent, to this couple, because she was also in the service and knew the value of these individuals sacrifice.
(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer
Jennifer Buono, of Bourbon and Blush Events, was the planning and design mastermind behind all of the magical details and logistics for the day. Here is what she had to share:
 When I think about the country we live in and the people who selflessly give their lives for the service of our country it moves me in a way that is so hard to put down in words. Their dedication and commitment to the protection of our people, their fight for our independence, their families fight; none of it goes unappreciated in my eyes. And I wanted to give back in a way that would be meaningful to them, so I donated my time, services and expertise to help plan one of the most special days of their lives. I was honored to be able to serve this couple and to create an entire day for them that they would remember forever. Every detail had it’s place and a special meaning to them.
 The Retired Jose Cabrera and active duty Kimberlee Ashton joined together and were married by Jose’s Uncle on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, June 5th 2016. It was so important to them that their family was a part of their union and celebration. (C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer Kim’s stationery was all handmade and designed around the navy details infused into her wedding, by Blush Design Studio. (C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer ©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer
Kim and Jose had never before had professional portraits of themselves. So they were deeply moved when Brandi, Alexis June Weddings, an Air Force Veteran and incredibly talented New York based photographer offered to fly down to capture their special day. In fact, one of Brandi’s favorite moments was the first look. “They were so nervous. It was such a magical moment as the two of them took that time to be with only each other.” (C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer Inna of Inna Olimpiyuk Events did such a beautiful job on bringing in a romantic and lush feel to the room. The soft ivories in Kim’s bouquet really stood out against the vibrant pops of burgundy red garden roses and navy in the bridesmaids dresses.  (C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer ©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer ©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer ©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer Kim and Jose chose to have their wedding at the historic Rialto Theatre  in downtown Tampa. The old brick walls, blue tile and painted details create the perfect combination of old and new. This venue is a gem for our city providing a grand space with 27 foot ceilings and a beautifully remodeled, historic backdrop(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer One of our favorite planning moments was being able to tell Kim + Jose that their border collies, Thor and Loki, would be able to attend their wedding as the flower girl and ring bearer, thanks to FairyTail Planning. Kim was so happy she began to tear up and at that moment we were so humbled to have been able to make such a special detail come to life for them. (C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer The floral details were carried out throughout the reception, where vibrant navy crushed satin linens provided by Kate Ryan Linens adorned the tables, complete with burgundy red dupioni napkins and the most elegant ivory china place settings from Ever After Vintage Weddings. ©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer Blush Design Studio did a beautiful job of incorporating a calligraphy escort card display, menu cards and stationery suite.(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer ©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer
©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer
(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer
(C)AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer
The Icing on the Cake to their whole day, was that the couple PAID IT FORWARD and donated their wedding registry to Fisher House Foundation. The Bride shared why Fisher House Foundation was important to them as a couple:
‘We chose Fisher House because it helps accommodate military members, and their families, while they visit their loved ones being treated in the hospital. These houses offer rooms at no cost to the families. We both have a personal connection to this foundation because in early 2014, less than a year after we got back from deployment, I got a call from Jose’s Mom that he was in the ICU due to having acute pancreatitis. He was in excruciating pain and was losing too much fluid. They pushed fluid and he literally ballooned up from water weight to keep his organs from shutting down.
 
After almost a week they were finally able to move him from ICU to a normal room. He was in Georgia still at this point at Fort Gordon. His mom could only be with him for a couple of days, but I packed a bag and drove up to be with him for the remainder of the time he was hospitalized. I had no idea how I was going to be able to afford a hotel room for 2 weeks. Luckily, Jose’s Mom found out from one of his surgeons that they secured a room in the Fisher House for me to stay while taking care of him. I came very close to losing him that week. Had it not been for Fisher House, I would have been stuck and he wouldn’t have had support after his Mom had to go back home.
 
Fisher House homes are normally built within walking distances of the hospitals on base. They have full kitchens – full of food, laundry rooms with supplies and the rooms are fully furnished. These houses can have a few rooms. I think the one I stayed in had maybe 8. So it can be very difficult for families to get a room here, but when they do, it is one of the best gifts family of military can get, because it is completely free accommodations for the guest/s.’
Thank you to the amazing vendors that made this day possible for this deserving couple!  
Planning + Design: Bourbon and Blush Events // Photography: Alexis June Weddings // Linens: Kate Ryan Linens// Catering: Tastes of Tampa Bay // Venue: Rialto Theatre  // Floral: Inna Olimpiyuk Events // Table and Chair Rentals: A Chair Affair // Lounge Furniture: Danilyn Vintage Rentals // Dishes and Decor: Ever After Vintage Weddings // Stationery & Ceremony Backdrop: Blush Design Studio // Pet Sitting: FairyTail Planning // Wedding Cake: Trudy Melissa Cakes // Transportation: His and Hers Limousines // Entertainment: DJ Jenks // Mini Desserts: Sweetly Dipped Confections

Weddings that Give Back: Rayna + Jon, Tampa, FL

We featured an engagement session a few months ago, of this lovely couple doing big, intentional and wildly purposeful things in their community, with their non-profit, Four Letter Word! You can catch up on that side of their wedding story here. Fast forward a few months and they’re now married and had one heck of a socially conscious wedding to boot! The amount of thoughtful consideration that went into every, I repeat… EVERY, aspect of their BIG day is absolutely awe-inspiring! Grateful for this couple’s hearts for others, the bride’s amazing recap (shared below), and our BSB vendor, Savannah Lauren, who was there to capture every moment! raynajonyborwedding-492 ‘Including our community and the environment into our wedding day was a very special experience. We did this not only to bring awareness, but it is important to us, and a lifestyle we pursue daily. We learned a lot about people and got to know our community in a more intimate way. We experienced humility, and we are thankful for the efforts everyone put in, to not only making our day great, but making our community great. Our hearts are to bring not only us, but also our community, together as one. jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-1
We met many local vendors and got to talk about values and giving back in Tampa Bay. It is great to see a group of people that are now collaborating because our wedding was just the catalyst to many great relationships in our community.
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We saw our neighbor cutting up his fallen oak tree and asked him to cut us a few “slivers” it was refreshing to be outside talking to the people who surround you. We often forget to do life this way.
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We made our signs in the garage, and got excited to see progress every week. It was hot, but we got to encourage each other to keep going, even when we wanted just to go buy what we were making.
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We planted our own babies breath, because we wanted to learn something new about gardening and farming, it was an unsuccessful harvest, but we tried our best. We used seed paper in our invitations to get people to do the same.
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We chose Amazing Love Ministries, because we serve there and know the homeless that come in and out of their doors every week to get a hot meal. In fact, that’s where all our leftovers went.
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We made our ceremony unplugged because we wanted people to pause for a brief moment and enjoy their surroundings, to share the moment with us, and remember our voices and our faces.
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We got to connect with many vendors through word of mouth recommendations. It was a “treasure hunt” where one person would lead us to the next. Honestly it was one of the most fun parts of wedding planning, and we had so many wonderful surprises and we made life-long friends through the process.jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-104 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-105 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-108 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-114 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-115 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-117 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-122 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-125 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-127 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-129 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-142 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-149 jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-152
We used compostable plates because instead of filling up a land-fill with paper and plastic, we can use the nutrients to grow, healthy, sustainable food in our garden.
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We harvested pine cones on our walks around the neighborhood at night, holding hands and talking about our future, then eventually our hands would be full of prickly pine cones. We learned you can really only hold so many, we made a lot of trips.
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The Bride and Groom chose to Give Back directly to following non-profits: Amazing Love Ministries, Tampa Christian Fellowship, Tampa Bay Harvest, and their own non-profit, Four Letter Word. And the giving didn’t stop there, here are the amazing vendors and aspects of their day and how they give back in their own way:
Wedding Coordinator: Rhonda Abdalla, From Yes to I Do and Events
“Rhonda at a young age was giving back to the community, growing up she spent most of her weekends with her family volunteering. She volunteered making meals for the homeless or arts & crafts and playing board games with the pediatric wing of her local hospital. Rhonda says, “ she was lucky enough to understand how important it was to give back, it’s truly a priceless and liberating feeling!” When Rhonda launched From Yes To I Do, she had no doubt in her mind that she wanted to incorporate this into her business. Rhonda proudly coordinates events for local nonprofit organizations. Having the opportunity to give back through her business is a dream come true and something she always planned on doing. Rhonda says she lives by the motto “you make a life by what you give to others” and because of this she can truly say her life is full of peace and prosperity.”
  Ceremony Venue:Amazing Love Ministries, Ybor
 “Amazing Love Ministries feeds over 300 people in the Ybor City area every week. In addition to providing hot meals and cold drinks, people are also given a to-go bag full of food to take with them. The ministry also provides many of the items that people need to live on the street: clothing, backpacks, shoes, blankets, toiletries, etc.”
  Reception Venue:CL Space, Ybor
 “Creative Loafing focuses on connecting the Tampa Bay area through their free online and print publication, which is a great source for events, restaurants, concerts and shows, Visual Arts reviews, news and opinions.”
  Caterer:Holy Hog BBQ 
 “Holy Hog BBQ is heavily involved in the local communities surrounding our stores in and around Tampa. The Hog donates various products and services to numerous organizations through out each year. We offer a 15% discount to all military and police including Fire and EMS all day every day. We most recently donated to the One Orlando Fund and and participated and Eat, Drink Red last year as well. We believe it is important to give back and help support the local community in any way possible.”
  Photographer:Savannah Lauren
“Savannah is affiliated with Feeding America, she volunteers her time and donates her photography services to food kitchens and underprivileged communities, she even created a series called The Intrepid Sessions.”
Second Photographer: Ivana Cajina
DJ/EmCee:Will Jackson
Will Jackson is the Creative Director for Grace Family Church in Tampa, Florida. He invests in youth and worship ministries, he is very passionate about his career in ministry and serves well as a leader to his community.   Officiant:Sixto and Susan Ward  
Violinist: Sarah Taylor
“Sarah gives back by supporting Ezra/Beat NB (A childhood cancer research foundation) and by donating her old clothes and furniture to Salvation Army. Sarah has a career as a music teacher in Hillsborough County, Tampa a truly finds passion in teaching the next generation music.”   Transportation:Jolley Trolley    Cake:Publix Bayshore
 “The founder of Publix, George Jenkins was once asked what he thought he would be worth had he not given so much away. Humbly, he answered “Probably nothing”. Publix gives to thousands of local non-profit organizations, tailoring giving to the needs of each local community. We put the weight of the company behind these campaigns; Special Olympics, Food for Sharing, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, Food for All, United Way, Tools for School and many others. If you shop at Publix, there’s a good chance you support them, too. “
  Hair: Sally Bakalyar “Sally donates time at her salon to give free back-to-school haircuts. She serves on the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. Sally also advocates for the homeless, women’s shelters, and is involved with many churches and charities in the Tampa Bay area.”
  Small Paper Flowers: Made from old recycled bibles and hymn books, bought locally at Oldsmar Flea Market, crafted by Rayna and Robin Cohen – also seen in Brides Bouquet, Grooms Boutonnière, and Centerpieces.  
Makeup: Maribel Guisto InvitationsForever Fiancés  Envelopes: Recycled paper bag envelopes from Amazon RSVP and Details: Designed by Rayna, printed locally by Ashtay Printing/Zebra flyers  Bride Rings: Bought locally from a Gemologist, conflict-free diamonds Grooms Ring: Alamea, crafted from sustainable harvested Koa wood from Hawaii Bouquets and Hair Pieces: Babies Breath – grown in the Brasier garden and filled with additional babies breath from Carlstedt’s Confetti: Made from the remnants of the paper flowers Large Paper Flowers: Bought second- hand. Artist: Yanet Ademan Centerpieces: Wood rings – from a neighbor’s fallen tree, Manzanita – from Blooms and Branches Pallet Signs: Painted by Beverly Bakalyar  Party Favors: Trail mix bar, local fruit bought from Bearss Groves and dried by Rayna and Jon Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Ybor Pipes and Drape/Uplighting: BayStage Live (www.baystagelive.com) Tables/Chairs/Linens: Rent All (www.rentallcity.com) Broccoli Bouquet: Bearss Groves Market Grooms Bowtie: Two Guys Bowties  Groomsmen watches and sunglasses: TreeHut  Bridemaids Skirts: Space46 Boutique  Dress and Veil:Allure – CC’s Bridal Boutique Featured local craft brews: Cigar City Jai Alai, 3 Daughters Beach Blonde, Florida Avenue IPA, Green Bench Brewing Sunshine City IPA All other goods made by the bride and groom, bought locally, or supported skilled artisans; bridesmaids robes, parent gift photo albums, garter, hour glass, flower girl basket, stamps, pearl head piece. ________________ To learn more about the bride and groom’s desire to serve others with their non-profit, Four Letter Word, visit their website!

Thankful Thursdays: Michele Renee The Studio, Tampa, FL

Thankful Thursdays is a series we started at the beginning of 2016 to bring awareness to our amazing BSB Vendors that Give Back and share how they use their businesses to serve the environment and their local and global communities! Today we are sharing The Giving Back Story of one of our Tampa BSB vendors, Michele Renee The Studio. When I first heard about Michele many years ago, she was holding a fundraiser for wells to be drilled in India and I knew she was my kind of gal! Fast forward several years and I couldn’t be more honored to have a part of our BSB Vendor Family!  13699595_10209222232260326_534650161_o Photo by Amita S. Photography Michele Renee The Studio is an on location hair and makeup studio specializing in weddings. However, even though they are hair and makeup artists, they believe that beauty comes from the inside out. Not only is it important to have a “beat” face and eyebrows on “fleek,” but it is also important to do good in your community. Michele Renee The Studio encourages giving throughout the year. Whether it is raising money for wells in India or collecting soup cans for Thanksgiving, Michele Renee The Studio is committed to giving back 10% of their profits each and every year. Peek-9 Photo by Jeanine Leigh Photography One charity Michele Renee The Studio is especially close to is a grassroots organization in Tampa Bay, where they’re headquartered, called My Hope Chest. My Hope Chest is the only national 501c3 social service organization focused on reconstructive surgery for uninsured and under insured breast cancer survivors. They are moved to ACT and our goal is to heal and provide closure to the breast cancer journey. By enabling those who desire reconstruction to have it, My Hope Chest works to help all survivors return to a “new” normal with feelings of hope, self-worth and completeness. 329141_10150364563826654_7108681_o My Hope Chest was founded by Alisa Savoretti in the fall of 2003. A breast cancer survivor and Las Vegas Showgirl, she was 38 and without insurance at the time of her diagnosis. Following a mastectomy and only 5 months after finishing her chemotherapy, Alisa returned to the Las Vegas stage and her career as a professional dancer – this time however, minus one breast. Billing herself as the “Lop-sided Showgirl”, Alisa shared her personal story and plans for an organization as a result of it, gaining media attention through a news story on the local CBS affiliate. Alisa had to wait nearly 3 years to acquire her own reconstruction. She realized then that there is a huge gap in treatment that existed for “uninsured” women suffering from a mastectomy. “I realized how my own self-esteem, confidence and self worth, as a woman, returned when I could look in the mirror and see my whole “physical” being once again. It was my healing, a restoration in body mind and spirit.” 13694146_10209222233180349_912319819_o For more information about booking Michele Renee The Studio for your next wedding hair and makeup needs, visit them HERE. If you would like to get involved with My Hope Chest or donate to their effort, visit their website: My Hope Chest.

Tampa Wedding Vendors Give Back to Homeless Couple in Need

A few months ago we read a story from a local new site sharing how a police officer, Officer Dan McDonald Tampa Police Department’s Homeless Liaison, purchased a marriage license for a couple that had been together for over 22 years. This license was important to them, not only because of how much time they had been together, but also because it would assist them in receiving the housing help they required, and stay together with their pooch! The local wedding community was so touched by their story that they decided to throw them the true wedding they deserved and so they got to work! One April 1st an amazing vendor team joined together and donated their time and services to give back. Evelyn and Rocky now have the second chance they so longed for, a loving spouse and a safe home, thanks to the amazing heart of Officer McDonald and the vendors that helped make their wedding day so special. 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 003 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 005 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 006 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 009 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 010 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 016  4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 019 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 020 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 030 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 031 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 034 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 0704_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 040 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 046 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 048 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 051 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 052 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 053 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 054 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 059 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 060 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 061 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 062 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 066  4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 079 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 080 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 081 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 084 4_1_16 Rocky and Evelyn Cross Creek Ranch Wedding 088 Loved watching their wedding day video as well!   Venue  | Cross Creek Ranch | Wedding Day Hair & Makeup | Collective Creations | Salon Services | Marissa Bernal | Bridal Headband | Be Free Hair Apparel  | Gown | The White Closet | Videography | Imagery Wedding Films | Cake | Alessi Bakeries | Transportation | Tampa Airport Transportation | Flowers | Alta Fleura | DJ | Grant Hemond | Harpist | Kristen Hoyos | Catering | Hungry Harry’s | Hotel | Hilton Garden Inn Tampa/Brandon | Wedding Rings | The Gold & Diamond Source | Spa Services | Devine Designs | Tuxedos | Men’s Warehouse | Laundry Services | Engage The Current