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Weddings that Give Back- Mindy and Sam: Indian Trail Club, New Jersey

How’s the saying go again… ‘Love at first… SERVE,’ right???
Mindy and Sam met for the first time while volunteering on a soup kitchen bus. The found they shared the same passion to love those in need the most and the rest is history.  They continue to do service through their church to this day, between serving food to the less fortunate, to teaching Sunday school and other ongoing volunteer projects.When it came time to plan their wedding it was important that they incorporated giving back throughout their day. Each place setting had a card explaining that they made a donation, in lieu of favors, to Grace Care Academy. (Read further to learn more about this organization)  
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
 Mindy (the bride) shared: “Our mindset was that beauty is in the natural. From the choice of the wedding gown to the bridesmaids’ floral crowns to the sanctuary graced with white hydrangeas and candles to our lakeside venue and cherry blossom centerpieces, we wanted to keep things pure and organic, staying away from the artificial.”
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
The donation card said the following: “In lieu of favors, schoolbooks have been purchased for each child at Grace Care Academy, a K-12 school run for the orphaned and neglected children of India. Grace Care Academy is a part of Grace Care ministries that strives to provide children and abused women with education, shelter, and vocational skills in a nurturing and loving environment.”
 (C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
Thank you to Sarah Tew Photography for sharing this amazing couple’s story with BSB. Sarah shared: “There is no doubt this couple will have a world of support from their community as their journey unfolds! After a round of family photos in the front of the church we made our way to Indian Trail Club and shot some portraits of the couple down by the water during cocktail hour. After the reception kicked off with a sweet performance of ‘Blackbird’ by the bride’s brother on acoustic guitar, I was able to sneak them out again quickly around sunset when the sky was getting really pretty. I just love this shot of them under a tree with the twilight sky over the lake behind them. Another highlight was a surprise video presentation that had been made with sweet messages of congratulations from all the children that Mindy has taught over her years of service at her church’s Sunday school! Mindy and Sam, you two are a match made in heaven and I couldn’t have been more delighted to capture this wonderful celebration!”
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
(C) Sarah Tew Photography  http://www.sarahtewphotography.com
Photographer:  Sarah Tew Photography | Beauty:Christie Lee | Pre Ceremony Location: Cornerstone Christian Church | Event Venue: Indian Trail Club | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Invitation Designer:Linda Park | Groomsman Attire: Menguin | Officiant: Pastor Steve Bradley | Floral Designer: Peonia Atelier | Dress Designer: Pronovias | Band: The Pros Entertainment Services

10 Ways to Waste Less on Your Wedding Day!

According to Green Bride Guide the average wedding produces roughly 400-600 lbs of waste, per event. Between left over food, flowers, decor, etc there is a lot of waste that comes along with that Pinterest Perfect Wedding Board most couples desire! Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.44.02 PM   So let’s talk about 10 ways your Big Day can WASTE LESS !   1. Food : One of the biggest wastes that can be avoided on a wedding day is FOOD! Buffets, cake, prime rib, untouched cocktail hour veggie platters, the possibilities are endless and sadly I have seen it all land in the trash! With hunger at an all time high, it seems so silly to take perfectly good food and throw it away, when there are organizations everywhere across the world taking waste food. Blog 1200px-0083 Photo by Gray Kammera Photography When I was in LA, last year, I had the opportunity to tour the L.A. Kitchen and learn how they are using unwanted waste food to make amazing dishes for assisted living communities and also employing aged-out foster kids and the previously incarcerated members of society to learn a trade in culinary arts! These places exist all around the country, find a food bank in your area via Feeding America or a food rescue center via The Food Rescue Database. Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.19.45 PM Image via Feeding America Disclaimer: It is common for caterers or food service providers to push back because of the substantial liability for such food donations. Thankfully any good-faith food donations are free from such liability due to the latest federal government law 42 U.S.C. 12672, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.   2. Flowers: Imagine the scene… The Bride and Groom are on their way off to their honeymoon and the clean up team is hard at work. As they put away the chairs and dishes they notice one thing they are unsure of what to do with…. Thousands of dollars worth of left over flowers! ‘What should we do with them, we can’ t take them back on the plane’ and the perplexed helper regretfully places piles of fresh roses and hydrangeas in the trash bin! Blog 1200px-0035 Photo by Gray Kammera Photography PLEASE FRIENDS! There are so many organizations out there ready to take your leftover flowers and uplift and inspire those in hospitals, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers. Do the research, call ahead and let them know you want to donate these blooms to their cause. They will even give you a tax-write off for your love offering! Random Acts of Flowers, Petals with Purpose, Floranthrophy, Repeat Roses are just to name a few of the organizations ready to take your blooms. Video via Random Acts of Flowers   3. Gift Registries:  Back in the day, couples would leave their parents homes and have to make a home from nothing and hence the wedding guests would bring them all the welcome home goodies their newlywed hearts would need. Nowadays the statistics show that couples are getting married later and later in life. They want to have their careers in place and independence aligned before nuptials are even thought of so most of those engaged love birds already have a lot of crap! So let us do our wedding guests a favor and skip the gifts! OR consider a gift registry that doesn’t involve wrapping paper and plastic wrap. Here are a few charitable/sustainable wedding registries that can help your wedding impact others: Heartful.ly– A gift registry that empowers couples to fund life changing projects around the world. So Kind Registry – A registry and wishlist service that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more -OR- If you do still need goodies consider a few fair-trade online options: Bambeco– Recyclable, sustainable home goods that give back. West Elm– Support fair trade and often local artisans in each store, West Elm is the perfect one stop shop for any soon-to-be newlywed’s love nest needs! ZOLA – You can combine all of the things/brands you might need for your new home under one roof and then ship all the goods at once and reduce your waste/carbon footprint. You can also fund a honeymoon, portion of the wedding costs, or donate to charity as well.   4. Transportation: Carpool, Uber, Bicycle, Smart Car, Moped, or charter a boat taxi to take your bridal party to the reception! The eco-friendly options are endless!   5. Favors: Having been to my fair share of weddings I’ve seen a variety of cheaply made wedding favors that no one will ever use again and it breaks my heart. Try sponsoring a child, or redirecting your favor budget toward the charity you plan to support, such as these sweet doggie cookies that support a local dog shelter. 1175_061213 Photo By Alissa Dineen   6. Paper Goods/Invites:  Paper goods can be one of the most obvious waste makers, but it is equally one of of the easiest parts of the wedding that can lead to positive change. There are so many options like: Recyclable/Sustainable Paper Types, design shown below by Citrus Press Co. / Photo by Regina As The Photographer Wedding-World-Changing-Day-Promo-14 Or if you are a bit more new school, try an e-vite, or video wedding invite, etc and save some trees and postage along the way!   7. Function vs. Fancy Fancy is fun, we get it! There is a certain level of exclusivity and experience that comes along with black tie affairs, however they aren’t always the most functions and sometime the more wasteful events can be those that are the highest end people with the abilities and budgets to make more sustainable choices. This is where functionality comes into play… The best things in life are simple, functional and intentional… Here are a few examples: Glass Jars to take home vs. Champaigne Flutes ALP_7608 Photo by Image Clairity Decomposable Bamboo Utensils vs. Polished Silver © EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Photo by Emily Dykema Ceremony Programs that double as Pop Corn Bag Holders (or any other reception treat you might choose) © EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto Photo by Emily Dykema 8. RENT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE Renting is far more waste-preventing, and minimally impactful to the environment than flat out buying things you’ll never use or wear again. Literally there are rental options for practically every aspect of your wedding day process,  your dress, your tuxes, the bridesmaid’s dresses, your decorations, you name it and it can most likely be rented! Here are few rental companies to consider: Menguin – Tuxedos Borrowing Magnolia– Wedding Dresses Rent the Run Way– Elopement, wedding attire, rehearsal dinner garb. Happily Ever Borrowed– Rentable Bridal Accessories, Veils, jewelry, etc. BLACKSHEEPBRIDE (6 of 61) The biggest misconception about DIY Weddings is they will be better on the pocketbook, but after the time is spent buying the materials and flea market finds to put the projects together, you are in better use of your time, dollars and energy to rent the things you are trying to faux-antique and you will save yourself space after you’re married. Not only will it save you money, it will be reused multiple times by others and treated just like new! 9. Reuse/ Reduce/Recycle This is obvious friends. If you have reusable goods, save them aside, donate them to your local non-profits, half way houses, etc. Reduce and Recycle what you can! Set out separate bins for recyclable trash vs. regular trash vs. compost… When given the opportunity people will make the right choices.   10. Composting is your friend!  At the end of the day, if you aren’t able to find a non-profit locally that will take your flowers, or food…. COMPOST your biodegradable waste, so the earth can benefit from your waste in a productive and positive manner, like using it in a co-op garden vs. ‘wasting’ good soil nutrients in a land fill. COMPOST NOW has pick up services across the nation ready to grab your garbage and turn into garden goodness! 225903_446643672053078_1378420870_n   Now Happy Waste Less Wedding Planning to You and Have an Intention and Impactful Earth Day! Let us make every day about helping making the world a better place!

2016 Weddings That Give Back Review

What a fun year 2016 has been! We’ve shared so many great articles, guest collaborations, stylized shoots, and most importantly our real wedding features! Nothing validates our mission to change the wedding industry for GOOD, quite like sharing stories of REAL couples using their love to love others, through their wedding planning process! With that said, we want to celebrate this year’s couples with you all, cause their good deeds deserve extra LOVE! via GIPHY You know what I love most about what we do? I’ll tell you, our BSB love stories break boundaries like nothing else in the wedding industry that I’ve ever seen. BSB is extra special, because it is an amazing platform that brings people of all different walks of life, backgrounds, beliefs, passions, together as one, with one single thing in mind: SERVING OTHERS and living a life of gracious, generous intentionality. There is no style, or aesthetic, the only thing that aligns these couples is their KINDNESS, not our decorations, budgets, wedding designers, ethnicities, religions, political stances, lifestyle choices, nothing, but selfless love for others binds us together! I am so proud of what we have become over the past two and a half years, here is to many more!   Here is a recap of this years featured couples, and for those on our waiting list awaiting to get published, we are grateful for your patience and stoked to share your stories in 2017! TFP-m+p-4984 Micah and Payne, Oregon | Photography by Tegyn Friedman Photography | Videography by: Unveiled Productions | Venue: The Historic Balch Hotel FINEARTENGAGEMENT-28 Michelle and Joey, California | Photo Andrew Abajian Photography Hudacko_Capel_Paige_Schaberg_Photography_AmySteffanengagement138 Amy and Steffon, South Carolina | Photo Paige Schaberg Photography Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900042 TLove and Jeannette, Maine | Photographer:  Molly Haley | Event Venue: Live Well Farm | BSB Vendor and Wedding Fashion Designer: Tara Lynn Bridal m_c801 Megan and Chris, WA | Venue: Meadowbrook Farm, North Bend, WA | Photography: Courtney Bowlden Photography | Flowers: Blooms by the Box and SucculentsPlus   918_061213 Alyssa and Matt, Connecticut | Make Up: Makeup Artistry by Liz | Photography: Alissa Dineen | Prep: Simsbury Inn | Venue: The Riverview | Cinematography: JPod Films | DJ: CT Party Pros | Hair: Salon 511 12771921_10157033738520497_1411709455819282290_o Antoinette and Martin, Ohio View More: http://gypsyrainphotography.pass.us/emilieandbryan Emilie and Bryan, North Carolina | Photo: Gypsy Rain Photography Bira_Bira_Imageclairity_CM14301dug000604R9139 Kim and Ben, Missouri | Photographer:  Imageclairity | Reception Venue: Weston Red Barn Farm JD1_7116 Erin and Kevin, California | Planning: ‘Cause We Can Events | Photography: Danto Photography | Makeup: Nicol Artistry  | Flowers: Brie’s Honey Bees and Flowers |Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris Ashley and Chris, Ohio | Photography: Janelle Putrich Photography | Event Design & Planning: Oak & Honey Events | Venue: Hines Hill Conference Center | Floral: Twig Floral + Event Design | Wedding Dress (skirt): Something White | Cake: Hummingbird Bake Shop | Caterer: Spice of Life Catering | Makeup: MKleinman Artistry | Hair: Fringe and Foundation Studio | DJ: DJ Goodwin | Bartender: Sweet Water Caravan | Tent and Rentals: Miller’s Party Rental Center www.apaigephotography.com Sarah and Max, Michigan | 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 SPENCER-426 Elizabeth Joy and Greg, North Carolina | 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 1D8A6508 Julia and Matthew, Iowa | 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 Peek-31 OUR FIRST WEDDING WORLD CHANGER RECIPIENTS : Astrid and Gary, Florida | 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/Escort Card Display/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 Events | 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 | ©AlexisJuneWeddings | Kim + Jose Married, Rialto, Tampa Florida | NYC + Destination Wedding Photographer Kim and Jose, Florida | 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 _DSC1149 Katie and Adam, Pennsylvania | Participating Vendors:  Photography: Radian Photography | Catering: Jerry’s Kitchen | Composting: Bennett Composting | Invitations: VistaPrint | Wedding Dress: Cape May Antique Center | Venue: The Ridgeland Mansion | Dessert: Federal Donuts | Rings: Katie Carder Fine Jewelry | Flowers: Triple Tree Flowers  jakejill_engagement_jakeandkatie_158 Jill and Jake, Maine | Photo Jake & Katie blog-163 Kayla and Reece, Wisconsin | Photography: LIV Photography | Dress: Andrea’s Vintage Bridal | Rings: Ingle and Rhode UK | Getting Ready: Schlegelmilch House | Ceremony: Carson Park | Reception: Bye the Willow jonraynayborcityclspacewedding-103 Rayna and Jon, Florida | Photographer: Savannah Lauren Goux_Schindele_Eleveneleven_Films_and_Photography_BriChris67 Bri and Chris, PNW | Eleven Eleven Films and Photography 0101_Joel Bedford Photography-0101 Amy and Jean- Francis, Ontario | Dress: Celia Grace Fair Trade Wedding Gowns | Florals: Marie-Eve Best | Paper Goods, Food, Cake, Decor, Wedding Bands: Bride, Friends & Family | Make-up: Oresta Organic Skin Care
kgp-438
Heather and Matthew | Photographer: Kelly Ginn Photography | Fair trade/upcycling vendors and brands: Ten Thousand Villages | Mata Traders  | Toy De Jour | Brilliant Earth  | Ashlye McCormick  | DeepBlu
finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_stephjosh-wedding_015 Stephanie and Joshua, Florida (day after Hurricane Matthew hit) | Photo Finny Hill Photography em-564 Eco Elopement, South Africa | Photographer: Page & Holmes | Concept, styling & flowers: Runaway Romance | Venue: Emily Moon River Lodge | Décor: Amatuli Artefacts | Stationery: Rebelove Wedding Stationery | Hair & Makeup: The Art of Makeup | Bridal gown: Loca Vintage Bridal | Jewellery: Katy Valentine | Hike and getting ready outfits – Stitch & Steel | His & Hers Mini Cakes: Clare’s Cakes | Cocktails: Emily Moon River Lodge dsc_3937 Andrew and Miki, New York | Photo Bridget Collins chrisgabbyfilm_11 Gabrielle and Chris, California | Photographer: Chloe Moore Photography | Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden (non profit/botanical garden) | Hair/Makeup: Nicol Artistry | Styling: Circa Vibes  | Dress: Sugarcloth US …and so many more to come in 2017! Here is to a new year, full of amazing love stories that serve a bigger purpose in helping the planet and our global community!!!

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!

Guest Post: 5 Organizations Fighting Against Child Marriage, via Heartful.ly

Planning a wedding is exciting! From Pinterest perfection to generations of family and traditions, weddings are the ultimate celebration of love. And while planning your dream wedding can be stressful, I’ll wager that the easiest decision you ever made was saying YES! when your partner popped the question. Unfortunately, this is a distant fairytale for far too many brides-to-be. An estimated 39,000 girls become child brides every single day. This stat is almost too difficult to process. You might even be thinking, of course this awful, but what difference can you and I really make? What I’ve learned as a former Peace Corps Volunteer and founder of an organization that works with over 1,000 nonprofits worldwide, is that the world’s problems are not insurmountable when we tackle them together. There is good news. Hundreds of nonprofits and thousands of dedicated, passionate people around the world are fighting to ending child marriage. Below are five nonprofits in particular that are doing fantastic work. Learn about their efforts and consider incorporating these worthy organizations into your wedding day or bridal shower.  Too Young to Wed sinclair_workshop-11-1024x684 Source: TooYoungToWed.org Too Young To Wed’s (TYTW) mission is to protect girls’ rights and end child marriage. Through the use of powerful portraits and short films of child brides, TYTW serves as the bridge, connecting girls’ stories to governments, policymakers, and the public. TYTW’s Adolescent Girls Photography Workshops provide survivors and girls at-risk of child marriage a chance to heal, tell their own stories, and return to their communities as leaders in the fight against child marriage. Global Grassroots screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-2-03-25-pm Source: GlobalGrassroots.org Global Grassroots’ Young Women’s Academy for Conscious Change offers a curriculum for vulnerable yet motivated recent high school graduates in Uganda who wish to initiate social change in their communities. They focus on issues such as early marriage, teen pregnancy, street children & school drop-outs. Partnered with Cornerstone Development, the Academy offers social entrepreneurship skills, leadership training, personal transformation exercises, mindfulness practices & university scholarships.   CREA pict_large Source: CreaWorld.org CREA’s “It’s My Body!” campaign will inform 200 adolescent girls in India about their sexual and reproductive rights through the medium of sports. Through empowering young girls, CREA hopes to initiate the process of building an understanding among the girls on connections among control over their own bodies, sexuality, health, leadership, diversity, and rights.   Kakenya’s Dream 5663431096_4f3d78e434_z Source: KakenyasDream.org The Kakenya Center for Excellence seeks to empower and motivate young girls through education to become agents of change and to break the cycle of destructive cultural practices in Maasai, Kenya such as early forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Each camp session instills leadership skills, team building, and basic health education, while also teaching at-risk girls to speak up and prevent harmful traditional practices.   Afghan Institute of Learning pict_original Source: AfghanInstituteofLearning.Org Each year, the Afghan Institute of Learning aims to provide education, health services and training in human rights, leadership and health to at least 70,000 adolescent girls. By training girls a variety of vocational and leadership skills, the organization hopes to provide women with a greater degree of independence and put them on a trajectory of success. _______________________ About The Contributor: Kate Glantz is the co-founder and CEO of Heartful.ly, a wedding registry for charitable giving. Heartful.ly connects generous couples and their communities to over 1,000 development projects around the world. Learn how you can share your happily ever at www.heartful.ly.