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Weddings That Give Back: Tammy & Nathan- Pittsburgh, PA

Who said good things can’t happen on Friday, The Thirteenth?  Today’s featured wedding couple went out of their way to show kindness and intentional love with every aspect of their wedding day planning! The couple opted for a charity registry, instead of ‘more stuff’, and choose to support a local Pekingese Rescue where they adopted their dogs from. They also had a dollar dance and the money collected was donated to a rabbit rescue. They hired a farm to table caterer with a 90% vegetarian dinner and skipped unnecessary decorations. The only vendor the couple hired outside of the venue’s vendor guide was our very own BSB Vendor, Sandrachile, specifically because she is an ethical and charitable business owner. Let this story of collective generosity take root in our hearts and breathe life into actionable kindness today! 0001-DSC_0001-jackie 0001-SCP 0135-SCP_3776-Tammy0014-SCP_3660-Tammy 0020-SCP_3666-Tammy  0096-SCP_3742-Tammy 0254-SCP_3889-Tammy 0547-AAA_9957-Tammy 0580-AAA_9979-Tammy 0635-SCP_4199-Tammy 0673-SCP_4234-Tammy 0744-SCP_4305-Tammy 0763-SCP_4324-Tammy 0794-SCP_4355-Tammy   0882-SCP_4443-Tammy 0905-SCP_4466-Tammy  1126-SCP_4679-Tammy 1199-SCP_4752-Tammy 1251-SCP_4796-Tammy 1309-SCP_4854-Tammy 1410-AAA_0028-Tammy 1416-SCP_4939-Tammy 1421-SCP_4944-Tammy 1509-IMG_0075-Tammy 2190-IMG_0494-Tammy_1 2264-IMG_0532-Tammy 2352-SCP_5278-Tammy At the end of the night, once all the fun was had, Sandra (the photographer) went out of her way to deliver all of the wedding leftovers to the local homeless neighbors surrounding the area. This is the example we want to set, am I right? Sandrachile2 sandrachile Participating Vendors:  Photographer (BSB Vendor): Sandrachile | Venue: The Morning Glory Inn | Dress: Glitter and Grit, Designed by Antonio Gual | Shoes: BHLDN  | Groom’s wear: Todd Snyder  | Florals: The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers | Caterer:  Fish Hawk Acres | Cake: Gluten Free Goat Bakery  | Musician: John Parrendo | Wedding favors: Burdick Chocolate | Makeup artist: Hillary Shields | Hairstylist: Tara Mueller | Wedding Band: Samantha Skelton

5 Reasons This Couple was Grateful for their Disaster Wedding

*Editor Note:  With Hurricane Harvey currently causing major devastation to the East Coast of Texas and the surrounding areas, we wanted to take a moment and send our Texas friends our love and prayers for safe keeping. This is a very serious situation and there is still so much work to be done. As rescue and relief teams are making their way into the hardest hit areas, we are hopeful that everyone gets the immediate help and relocation to drier ground they require. With that said, we wanted to remember one of our most beloved love stories from one of last year’s natural disaster to give a glimmer of hope, in the midst of hard times, for our Texas vendors and wedding couples impacted by this nasty storm.  ____________ It’s been almost a year since Hurricane Matthew ravaged its way through the Caribbean and coastlines of Florida, GA, and the Carolinas. This storm brought so much devastation, loss of life, property damage, demolished communities and ruined quite a few wedding plans, but one of our BSB vendors, Finny Hill Photography, used the unexpected natural landscape to bring beauty to the beastly circumstances. We reached out to Finny Hill to see if their couple would like to take a moment to tell us 5 reasons they were grateful for the way their unplanned BIG Day turned out, their responses couldn’t have melted our hearts bigger. Thank you to Stephanie and Joshua for sharing your gracious hearts with all of us. finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_017 Five reasons we are grateful to have gotten married during Hurricane Matthew (in no particular order)

1. Appreciation for Community

When things fall apart, you have a choice; you can let them stay in a heap on the floor or you can pick them back up and keep trying. Through Hurricane Matthew trying to crash our wedding, we were able to see our community (people we don’t even know personally), dear friends, family, and insanely amazing photographers/vendors, rally together to make our wedding happen- no matter the circumstances. Talk about feeling loved. finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_009

2. Unity Through The Unexpected

Josh and I rarely shy away from a challenge; we are always eager to learn lessons and strengthen our bond. This was an opportunity for us to unite together and truly see what our relationship was made of. We stayed grounded and held each other up through the many hardships are thrown our way. finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_003 finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_015

3. Actively Choosing Happiness

We were able to confirm a belief we share, that we have the ability to choose happiness no matter the situation, which is exactly what we did. Even after our vendors, friends, and family cancelled on us, we kept choosing happiness. finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_011

4. Unique Story

No one will have a story like ours. Beginning our day by clearing our ceremony sight of fallen trees and debris, frantic phone calls to push the reception to Sunday, getting married without power (in what ended up being perfect weather) with only immediate family and our closest friends, partying by candlelight and dancing to the sounds played on a Bluetooth speaker. These moments are where the memories are made. finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_016

5. Back To The (Original) Basics

From the beginning, Josh and I secretly always wanted a small wedding to celebrate our love with the people we loved most. Because of the hurricane, our ceremony was the intimate gathering we had originally envisioned.

finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_004 finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_019

Final Thought

They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck. If that’s true then a hurricane must mean the whole universe believes in our marriage just as much as we do.

The Earth Friendly Floral Process via Amanda Jewel Floral and Design

Earth Friendly Floral Process | Written by: Amanda Lankford of Amanda Jewel Floral + Design | Photography by: Katey P Photography  Some time ago Amanda Jewel Floral + Design had the pleasure of inviting a fellow Black Sheep Bride vendor into our studio to help us tell the visual story of floral design. Katey Penton, owner of Katey Penton Photography, brought her camera and shot our methods for two days.   At Amanda Jewel Floral + Design, we strive to be as green as possible when it comes to creating beautiful designs for each event. We would like to offer you a little insider view of how we work in our studio. Step One | Pick up the flowers Believe it or not, flowers don’t arrive in beautiful packages. They come in plain cardboard boxes with a lot of packing material.  Luckily, we don’t mind because we reuse most of it to pack for events. Whatever is left over we recycle.   Amanda Jewel BSB-13 Step Two | Processing the flowers This is one of the longer steps when it comes to floral design, and if done correctly is a key ingredient to lasting freshness. Each flower comes in a bundle and must be shed of its cellophane, rubber bands, and then trimmed and pruned.  This part of the process leads to a lot of plant waste, which we use as an opportunity to add to our compost bin. We always have a lawn bag nearby for clippings and excess leaves that come off of each stem.  This never goes in the trash. Amanda Jewel BSB-56 Amanda Jewel BSB-35 Amanda Jewel BSB-65 Step Three | Design Day Once our flower processing is complete, we begin designing – this is the fun part! And if you thought processing the flowers led to a lot of waste, this makes even more! Amanda Jewel BSB-86  Amanda Jewel BSB-89Amanda Jewel BSB-111 Amanda Jewel BSB-119 Step Four | Compost Once our bag is full of clippings, we dump it in our homemade compost bin.  This compost is then used in our cut flower bed right outside the studio.  We like to keep our garden full of a variety of things which we can incorporate into our designs. Amanda Jewel BSB-76 Amanda Jewel BSB-83 Step Five | Event Day Surprisingly, we can reuse things on an event day instead of simply throwing them in the trash. We always try to recycle/reuse any ribbon, boxes, packaging materials, and any other hard goods that some might throw away.  We turn the flower boxes into a vessel to carry bouquets and arrangements. We use these as many times as we can before they get recycled.   Amanda Jewel BSB-127 Amanda Jewel BSB-131 Step Six | After an Event This is always the hardest part. We put so much love and care into the entire flower process that it sometimes seems like events end so quickly that the flowers have not fulfilled their entire purpose.  At this point, we refuse to throw any stem away. In our consultations with brides, we offer a couple of options of what we can do with the flowers after their event. They can either take them home to enjoy, or allow us to donate them to local nursing homes, friends in the community, etc. This brings joy not only to us, but also to those who receive a fresh flower arrangement from us here at Amanda Jewel. We hope this little insider view of the way we work inspires you to be earth friendly in everything you do. There are many aspects of weddings that are wasteful, and these are a few of the ways we strive to meet the needs of our clients without compromising the ability of future generations to enjoy the beauty of flowers.  To find out more information about Amanda Jewel Floral + Design visit their website here.

BSB Vendor Round-Up: Giving Tuesday

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is called ‘Giving Tuesday’ and is one of our favorite days of the year. Giving Tuesday is all about dedicating your holiday time, love, energy, $, to a non-profit near and dear to your heart vs. spending money on useless decorative soap sets for your grandparents, for the sake of checking them off the gift list. In honor of today, we wanted to take a moment and identify how some of our vendor-friends are using their businesses to GIVE BACK on this great occasion. 2016-gt-logo-wdate1 Love Offering: Well we had the people in my lettering workshop write Christmas cards to the military. And tomorrow we will finish passing out our thank you cards from the summer to our Police Department. 14289911_1146256025451336_9018032491357709239_o 15271746_10208466669412435_1390219805_o  Finny Hill PhotographyFinny Hill will be selling Limited Edition prints and donating a portion of all sales to the A21 Campaign, that Danielle will also be supporting this December, through the Dressember Challenge. screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-09-08-am Larkspur + Laurel: I’ve committed to donating 10% of all sales from 11/24-11/29 to Standing Rock. 15085728_734939663324751_1257517735511006459_n Pop Goes The Party : We are supporting Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County personally and through our business. Affordable housing in Pinellas County is a significant challenge for families! Angie is also a participating member of the Hammers & Heel’s Women’s Giving Circle. 14715010_1248176781871119_5735347939341573751_oangie The Tote Project: 50% of our sales will be going to Two Wings to help them reach their fundraising goal. Two Wings uses education, mentoring and life coaching to empower at-risk youth and survivors of sex trafficking in achieving their dreams. 13988162_1007929565971289_1584816689078178980_o Carla Ten Eyck: I just recently found out my friend Erica and her three sons were living in a shelter for the past 3 weeks. She has a 2 month old son, Dante who is in kindergarden, and Memphis who is a happy fourth grader. I offered up my home to them until she can land on her feet and get a job and an apartment, but there are many things that she and her family need. My Giving Tuesday efforts will be dedicated to them. Want to help, visit their Go Fund Me here. 15110887_10158019749190495_2957676593737299875_o Chalk Board Special Mobile Event Service: Chalkboard Special Food Truck will be on-site serving up eats at Hidden Springs Ale Works, as a fundraiser for Current Initiatives Affordable Christmas Project in Tampa, FL.  14457423_1586842244675500_3676371723386532867_n Styled by Kelsey V : Announcing that all of our 2017 Q1 profits will be going directly toward materials and teaching tools for Shear Love International in Thailand. These tools include: curling irons, bobby pins, hair pins, rat-tail combs, teasing combs, round brushes, paddle brushes, crocodile clips, etc… plus shipping costs to get these materials to Thailand. Shear Love International is designed to educate and empower women (in all walks of life) by providing an education in hair design. 14495394_1597581757211887_5605051319150517188_n SandraChile Photography: I am encouraging my current couples to take a discount from what they owe me by helping others. “This Giving Tuesday, donate $50 to Too Young to Wed, show me the receipt and I will discount $100 off your balance.” All of today’s donations will go to “Too Young to Wed“. 12322926_977500949061896_2808444523007082491_o Shelby Wright- Trades of Hope: I am donating 25% of sales to Love Not Lost . We also have a huge Fair Tuesday special throughout the day, as well. 15284022_10101187092893640_3084120494592341323_n Imagine Goods: 25% off the entire site. Code “CyberAndFair”. 15181355_10211113909143189_4485705851011401064_n Vinson Images: We are discounting our prints, and on top of this giving 25% of proceeds back to a handful of organizations! 15195857_10100220947362315_5401256830458810092_o Sasa Designs: Get 10% off all Sasa Designs today with code “DREAMBIG”, and your purchase will support GROW (Girls’ Right to Opportunity Worldwide) by donating a percentage of each sale to the program. Every dollar raised provides a girl with one day of education at the primary or secondary level, which includes the cost of uniforms, books, tuition, room and board, safe travel to school, and any number of other typical barriers to a girl’s education. http://eepurl.com/cpTDo5 15193500_10104400641106835_4193423966947779708_n15194326_10104400655557875_7385656284240436741_o APaige Photography: In honor of #GivingTuesdayAPaige Photography is giving away an engagement OR couple shoot to be booked in the month of March! Check out our FB Page for the rules. 15195931_1446686402009924_7856179256745671691_o Karen J Hawley Photography: Today I will be making my annual donation to World Vision. As a Black Sheep Bride vendor I have chosen to give a portion of each wedding to World Vision, and their micro-loan program for women who need a boost up for their families, and their future. unnamed-71 We’ll be sure to be sharing more ways to give as the day progresses, so keep your eyes peeled!

World Animal Day BSB Vendor Round Up

We’re a little late to the party, but today is World Animal Day! We wanted to take a moment and appreciate all those furry critters in our lives and offer a fun BSB Vendor Round Up of some of our fave furry wedding guests! If you are looking for a great way to save a life and grow your family, consider adopting a shelter animal, visit World Animal Foundation today! 14572490_10209412329558615_529809022_o Jeannie Capellan Photography 14570625_10105396112808521_2381241647519578419_o Green Pearl Photography 14570268_10100927868971934_2437436241923687794_n Smith House Photography 14560060_10208062034442679_3227229533003016195_o Michelle Feileacan Photography 14542515_1133228273426727_6143159025914862000_o Sandra Chile Photography  14536811_10209412329518614_1877354338_o Jeannie Capellan Photography  14522759_10100927869036804_7163045491430509336_n Smith House Photography 14522398_10209412330318634_940034898_o Jeannie Capellan Photography  14500321_10105396032763931_3516176749772934485_o Green Pearl Photography 14480549_10105396025952581_4457866666044924716_o Green Pearl Photography screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-11-04-57-am MG Hair and Makeup (Photo by: City Love Photography14600745_10209412330558640_1126563175_o Jeannie Capellan Photography  14525123_10154648425479216_86534074960878172_o Mercedes Morgan Photography  14572130_10154648416934216_1185104617654808558_n Mercedes Morgan Photography  14566189_10210420196757035_6161640068825210512_o Karen Hawley Photography Check out World Animal Foundation today!