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Weddings that Give Back: TLove & Jeannette, Maine

In honor of Pride Appreciation, we wanted to celebrate this incredibly compassion-driven love story with you all one more time. This incredible couple used their wedding day to serve and positively impact their family, their community and the environment around them. Thank you to our BSB Vendor, Tara Lynn Bridal, for sharing their story with us and for creating the ethical wedding attire. Molly Haley captured the day in all of it’s locally sourced, organic and intentional goodness. Upon receiving their ‘giving back story’ we were blown away by the sheer magnitude of kind thoughtfulness that went into making their socially conscious wedding a success! See what the couple had to share below: Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900002 ‘For our wedding, we wanted to infuse as much of our personalities and our consciousness into the day as possible.  We are passionate about local farms, the local economy, and local arts as well as cooperative living communities.  Our intention was nurture our guests by practicing consciousness for the environment, our community and ourselves.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900007   Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900044 ‘Our flowers were also organic and purchased from local Maine farms and from a friend’s personal garden. We also had both of our wedding outfits custom-made out of organic hemp and cotton from Tara Lynn Bridal (Tara Lynn is not only eco-friendly, she also donates a portion of her annual profits to a Vermont-based domestic violence non-profit and a few other causes)’. Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900017 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900018 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900021 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900024 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900025 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900026 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900029 ‘As part of our ceremony, we included a group guided kaleidoscope yoga circle with over 120 participants, our guests.’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900031 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900036Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900033  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900038 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900039 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900040 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900042  Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900010Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900046 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900047 ‘Our dinner menu was buffet-style, vegan, organic with all produce from local Maine farms and prepared and cooked by us and our friend, who is a vegan chef. We composted everything from our community meal, including our dinner wares, and donated it to Zero Food Waste.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900008Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900050Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900053 ‘Our take away gifts were reusable vintage purple Ball Jars with lids to be used to drink from at the wedding day and beyond. We also held a safe and sober space for the entire weekend.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900004 ‘To support local arts, we hired several local musicians, a local swing dance instructor to help choreograph a group dance for our wedding party, as well as visual artists (live painters) to celebrate the day’Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900055 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900056 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900060 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900061 Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900062 ‘For our gift registry we accepted donations for a cross country road trip to explore and document cooperative living communities throughout the U.S.. We will be compiling this trip into a video documentary screening as a way to educate and give back to our community.’ Smith_Richelson_Molly_Haley_Haley2015082900066 Photographer:  Molly Haley//Event Venue: Live Well Farm//Fashion Designer: Tara Lynn Bridal//    

Military Weddings that Gives Back – Michelle & Dave, Austin, TX

This Memorial Day we wanted to revisit one of our favorite military wedding features in honor of all those that have served and sacrificed their lives for our country. Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031714 So grateful for today’s featured Real Wedding and how it brings honor and love to those that serve our country! Not only is the groom a selfless man of service, this gorgeous couple is also socially conscious. They decided to get married at the Barr Mansion, ‘The Nation’s only Certified Organic Event Facility’, and donated a portion of their budget t a charity fighting human trafficking, The Polaris Project. Talk about amazing! Their wonderful photographers, at Amanda Summerlin Photography, also pride’s themselves on being green and eco-conscious, as well as donating a portion of their profits to one of several organizations. As a gift for clients that book their wedding day, Amanda Summerlin Photography, provides their couples with a Kiva Card (which provided micro loans to entrepeuners around the world). To date they have provided the Kiva community with over 94 micro loans. Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding2013110345 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding2013110369 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103203 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103249 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103390 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103454 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103536 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103618 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103784 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103810 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103822 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103826 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103837 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103842 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103857 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding20131103870 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031073 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031171 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031344 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031682 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031686 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311031708 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311032482 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311032572 Bouvier_Myers_Amanda_Summerlin_Photography_Wedding201311032911 Venue: Barr Mansion | Photographer: Amanda Summerlin | Floral: Stems Floral | Cake: Polkadots Cup Cake Factory

Weddings That Give Back: Poonam & Nishkaam- Santa Monica, CA

Did you know?
It only takes 50 cents to provide a day’s rations to a hungry child in the midst of a conflict zone.
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Poonam Kaushal and Nishkaam Mehta, of California, knew the statistics and they shared in their concern for the global hunger pandemic. Upon their exciting engagement announcement, Poonam and Nish decided to do something totally different with their $20K wedding budget. They used their wedding dollars to feed the children of Cameroon, through World Food Programme’s Share The Meal app.
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‘Right now you have 20 times more smart phones, than hungry children around the world,’ said Nish to a local Santa Monica news station. That statistic alone is mind blowing and sobering enough to make you think twice about that most recent iPhone upgrade.
 170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00088 170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00053 170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00074 170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00077  170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00097 170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00092 170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00006170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00011170213ENG_POONAM_NISH_MHP_00015
 Instead of a traditional multi-day Indian wedding and registry, the couple donated the large majority of their wedding budget to support 40,000 meals and raised hundreds of thousands of more meals through their crowd sharing campaign.  Their Million Meals for Love campaign launched on January 14 and concluded on Valentine’s Day with a simple civil ceremony and intimate reception. They have since raised 270K+ meals and are simply grateful to their loved ones and honored to be a part feeding and empowering the children of Cameroon through their Million Meals for Love campaign!
170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00002  170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00075170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00078 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00115 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00138 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00144 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00158 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00183 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00211 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00267 170214WED_POONAM_NISHKAAM_MHP_00298
If you would like to get involved and Share the Meal with hungry children worldwide, Download the app today and donate!   
Photographer credit: Matei Horvath Photography

Eco- Friendly Wedding that Gives Back: Ashley and Chris

Happy Earth Day to all of you! What a great day to encourage and remind us to use our planet wisely and with more intention every day of our lives and not just once a year! We wanted to feature a wedding that was sensitive to sustainability, giving back and eco-friendly alternatives and we found just the one, courtesy of our amazing BSB vendor, Oak and Honey Events. View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris We love what the bride had to share about why it was important to have a sustainable wedding day: ‘Chris and I have always been very eco-minded, but after purging most of our belongings and moving to Costa Rica in 2012, we had a whole new appreciation for reducing waste in the world. Chris proposed with an estate ring from the 1930s—we both love that it has a story and a history. From there, we found Melanie Tindell of Oak and Honey Events, who specializes in sustainable events, and she guided us toward a day we could really be proud of!’ View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris The couple was committed to keeping their wedding as environmentally friendly as possible by up-cycling a lot of their wedding decor, as well as sourcing locally. Spice of Life Catering provided delicious, sustainable, and locally grown food for the couple’s big day. Ashley and Chris also re-sold their wedding items at The Recycled Wedding Boutique, so that other couples could give their items a second life. In addition, prior to their wedding, the couple volunteered at the national park at which they were to be married, planting trees. View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris       View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris PhotographyJanelle Putrich Photography | Event Design & PlanningOak & Honey Events | VenueHines Hill Conference Center | FloralTwig Floral + Event Design | Wedding Dress (skirt)Something White | CakeHummingbird Bake Shop | CatererSpice of Life Catering | MakeupMKleinman Artistry | HairFringe and Foundation Studio | DJDJ Goodwin | BartenderSweet Water Caravan | Tent and RentalsMiller’s Party Rental Center

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 BONUS! 11. Buy with Purpose! Even if you have the budget dollars in the world, or would rather buy new, do so with integrity and value businesses that put the environment and humanity first! A few examples of sustainably-minded wedding brands are Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal, MiaDonna Eco Diamonds! IMG_0179 Photo: Rachel Gomez Photography    IMG_0178     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!