Photos by Claire Diana Photography
Danielle Calhoun of Black Sheep Bride Inspires Couples to Use Their Weddings as an Opportunity to Give Back
The estimated $40 billion wedding industry has some engaged couples wondering how to divert those dollars to causes close to their hearts. Enter Black Sheep Bride, an online wedding publication that challenges engaged couples to be conscientious consumers by exclusively featuring weddings, vendors, and products that give back. The “Do-Gooder” Directory helps couples find vendors who produce environmentally sustainable products, give a portion of their revenue to a charity, or donate their time and skills pro-bono.
Founder Danielle Calhoun is inspiring couples to approach their weddings with “depth and purpose” beyond throwing an awesome party.
One such couple is Gina and Edward Kim, who found ways to include eleven vendors dedicated to giving back. Gina says, “When we started the budgeting process for the wedding, we were thinking to ourselves that this was such an incredible sum for one day! We thought about the whole courthouse marriage and donating the money we would’ve used for the wedding, but we both wanted to celebrate with family and friends, so we tried to look for vendors who give back.”
In lieu of wedding favors for our friends and family, we decided to spend that money on toys, supplies, and equipment for kids in Cancun.
A portion of Gina’s and Edward’s photography and coordination packages was donated to a local Atlanta organization that fights sex trafficking in the community. Gina’s engagement ring was purchased from MiaDonna, a company that assists regions affected by diamond mining to grow food instead.
Gina and Edward also opted for a joint volunteer trip rather than a traditional bachelor(ette) party. Even the food truck they chose for their cocktail hour snacks, Freckled & Blue, donates proceeds to feed hungry Atlantans.
The average engaged couple faces enormous pressure to not only plan a meaningful ceremony and throw an awesome party, but also to infuse originality into every personalized detail of their wedding. Black Sheep Bride isn’t discouraging couples from getting creative; rather it challenges us to find deeper meaning by using our spending power on “the biggest day of our lives” to give back to our communities and our world. What better way to celebrate love?
This article originally appeared in Volume Two of Catalyst Wedding Magazine.