How to use your wedding day to GIVE BACK!

A guide to planning a wedding while giving back...

As a wedding photographer and a part time prevention director with an anti-trafficking non-profit in Denver, giving back is a deep passion of mine. Raising awareness for fair paying wages in factories, and in countries around the world, is another deep passion of mine. I'm so thankful that being immersed in the wedding industry gives me the opportunity to education brides and grooms on how to creatively use your wedding day for something SO MUCH BIGGER.

I wanted to create a list of some realistic and inexpensive ways to do so from companies that I know and love --

We'll start with accessories and such for the BRIDE!!                                                  

PURPOSE JEWELRY                                                                                                                                                    

100% of the proceeds for Purpose go towards women being rescued from sex trafficking. They sell beautiful jewelry that's so reasonably  priced you should never have to shop at Charming Charlie's again! *Purpose is a great option for bridesmaids gifts.  

UNCVRD JEWELRY

UNCVRD fights sex trafficking in California with the jewelry they sell. UNCVRD is a little higher on the price range, but they give 40% of their  sales to their partner non-profit organization. *UNCVRD would be a great option for a brides jewels!                                                                    

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THE SPARROW STUDIO

For you Denver brides, the Sparrow Studio is based in Denver and two lovely ladies with a passion for fair trade started it. They have  beautiful, and very ethnic looking jewels. Depending on what kind of theme you have going on for your wedding, these pieces could be  perfect. *Denver based, supporting a local company that's supporting artisans overseas!                                                                    

DEAR SURVIVOR                                                                                                                                                         

Another jewelry company that fights sex trafficking in California. Their companies proceeds give back to a non-profit called Generatehope,  and soon they will be able to let survivors be part of the creative process. *Higher priced jewelry, but all made with good materials!

SUDARA

A company that is mostly known for their Punjammies, which are beautiful Indian pajamas. Sudara's clothes are made in India by  women who are either at a high risk to be trafficked or are survivors. Every purchase goes towards job-training and empowerment of these  women to build a new life for themselves and their children. *Higher priced, but would be a great gift for yourself as something to lounge in  on your honeymoon, OR a generous gift to all your bridesmaids for pre-wedding activities. 

MATA TRADERS                                                                                                                                                      

This company sells both dresses and jewelry, but for a wedding I would check out their dresses as there could be some unique options for  bridesmaid dresses. Mata Traders is an ethical clothing company, and if you are in Colorado, Fair Trade Winds (basically the same store) has a  location in Boulder on 1625 Pearl St. *Fair trade and reasonably priced, made with beautiful fabric and great for bridesmaid dresses 

NAJA                                                                                                                                                                                    

Naja is an ethical lingerie shop that seeks to empower women. The women who make Naja's lingerie are mostly single moms, and Naja pays them above market wages and gives them healthcare benefits. Through the sale of their underwear Naja employs women in the slums of Columbia as well as supporting the garment workers children, who receive all schooling paid for (books, school supplies, uniforms and meals). *Ethically made lingerie, helping women, and their prices are comparable to Victoria Secret, but their lingerie is WAY cuter. 

 

Moving on to GROOM accessories, and gifts.

 

UNITED BY BLUE

United by Blue, is currently one of my favorites brands. All of their apparel is made ethically, and with each product sold they remove a pound of trash from the ocean. I bought a ton of their products for my family for Christmas. *A pricey option, but great durable apparel. Their socks would be perfect for groomsmen gifts.

NISOLO

Nisolo sells beautiful, handmade ethical shoes. Their women's shoe options are incredible as well, and I think they will be my summer shoe this year. *Great option for a groom's shoe choice. Higher priced, but shoe's on your wedding day are a good thing to invest in. You want your groom to be comfortable.

KATHRINE ZEREN  

Sustainably made tie's, made in Texas!! Awesome hipster tie's with a mission. Apart from ties and bowties, they sell all things needed for a means suit accessories - lapels, pins, handkerchiefs, pocket squares. Check them out!

AMES & OATES

This company is a great guide for small gift options for groomsmen and for bridesmaids, some fun and unique options. 10% of every order goes to support Pencils of Promise, which builds schools and funds education overseas in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos. *Great gift options for bridal party, and reasonably priced!

 

Now moving on to VENDORS for your wedding day, the people who make your vision come to life. This section is mostly dedicated to Colorado brides, but I will make a list of vendors who I know that specifically give back. *If you are a wedding vendor reading this blog, please send me an email to learn more about ways to let your wedding packages give back.

 

PROJECT FLORAL

I know the owner of this floral business personally, and she's incredible and has a heart of gold. Tristin, believes in giving back, specifically to the community in Denver. With every wedding, she donates two fresh floral arrangements to men and women in the community. She partners with many organizations in the Denver area, and they deliver flowers to single-mothers, safe-home, refugee families, elderly and people facing severe illness. "We think that it is appropriate that every wedding we design flowers for fuels the same message of love to our community."    -Tristin

 

PURE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

As you may know, I donate 5% from my wedding packages to a non-profit in Nepal that is fighting sex trafficking. You can check out more about my give back here. 

 

SWEET JUSTICE PHOTOGRAPHY

Emily is a wedding photographer in Fort Collins and has a huge passion for fighting sex trafficking and helping non-profits share their stories. She's a visual journalist for all things justice related. Check out her story here.