An Ethical Wedding for the Mindful Couple

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30 million.
That’s how many people are victims of human trafficking today.
As part of the wedding industry, Amanda + Emily want to make the world different for women living under the devastating grip of sex trafficking.
For the men working day in + day out in slave labor.
For the children shackled to a life of exploitation.
And we believe that is possible.

You see, the annual revenue of the wedding industry is $300 billion, double the $150 billion human trafficking rakes in. By mobilizing the wedding industry to be rooted in the empowerment of all beings, we have a lot of power.

Change is possible by incorporating companies doing good. This is a practical wedding day guide for brides, put together by two wedding photographers, to create an inexpensive, simple, and chic wedding. There are multiple honest brands creating products for just about every wedding day need, and we’ve also brought in other inspiration making wedding day decor more sustainable. 
But we didn’t just stop at brands making a difference. We’ve also incorporated vendors giving back a portion of earnings from every single wedding to combat trafficking. Photographers, florists, artists, videographers, and more accomplish this through Love Gives Way, a platform rallying wedding vendors all over the country giving to anti-trafficking causes.
These mindful weddings begin with the couple’s story + end with someone else's. When couples partner with Love Gives Way, the message of hope + action continues with a common goal of seeing people set free. The vision of Love Gives Way is simple–you will always need vendors for your wedding, so why not choose ones who are giving back to world changing causes, for the same price.
Everything you see in this styled wedding is fairly traded, ethically made, and changing the world. We included potted plants as table decor because, unlike most floral accents, they survive long past the wedding day! You can borrow them from your plant-crazy friend, invest in new ones for your home, or use them as gifts for people who helped out with your day.
The name cards placed on each dinner plate were torn from an old thrift store book. The options for decor with these adorable vintage pages are endless!
Whatever decor style you’re going for, there’s a furniture rental company suiting it. Rental companies support sustainability through the reuse of material goods. You can take pride in knowing none of your decor is ending up in a landfill.
Passion + character. Those were the ideals of this extravagant cheeseboard, bringing the ultimate color bomb to your wedding decor. Fair trade chocolate + wholesome ingredients from your local natural grocer create a mouth-watering centerpiece that guests can snack on during cocktail hour.
The ultimate goal of this ethically-styled wedding was to activate the wedding industry toward good. We are promoting the idea that fighting injustice begins with what we buy into. When we choose to shop fair trade + purchase from brands employing artisans for a fair wage, we are killing slavery. When we buy ethical products made by women, we are rescuing them from sex trafficking.
So we put our money where our mouths are–we stand up for fair trade, ethical business models, and products benefitting more than the consumer. We give back. And we hope for justice.

*written by Emily Coffey with Sweet Justice Photography

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The invitations we used for this shoot are from @farmettepress who employ refugees to make their invitations, and all of their paper goods are environmentally friendly. Our calligrapher, Abbey Ratcliff, is a Denver based invitation designer who has a heart for the fight against sex trafficking. Abbey gives back a portion of her proceeds to a non-profit that fights sex trafficking. 

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The items included in this photo start with the wedding ring from Sarah O. Jewelry. This is an ethically sourced Sapphire. The earrings are from UNCVRD, a California based jewelry company that seeks to bring hope, freedom, and restoration to women and girls living in slavery. The perfume included is from Give Scent the proceeds from this perfume company go to empower all women!

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The image above is inspiration for bridesmaids gifts. Eleventh Candle Co employs women who have once been trafficked in Columbus Ohio. The candles themselves are made in a small village in Ethiopia. By purchasing these candles you are empowering women both in US, and overseas.

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United by Blue are a great for groomsmen gifts. United by Blue is hands down one of my favorite companies. I love their mission, but I also love their clothing. For every product sold, United by Blue removes a pound of trash from the ocean. They are very outdoors focused, and all of their patterns have a very outdoorsy theme to them. Great for the men!

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For our table decor we tried to keep this very practical, to make it so a bride could replicate this idea without spending thousands. A sustainable way to decorate your wedding tables without breaking the bank is using potted plants. You can borrow potted plants from a friend, OR you can consider the potted plants you purchase your new home decor. You can never have too many plants in your home!

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We also accessorized the table with larger candles from Eleventh Candle Co. 
If you'd like to offer your guests a party favor, Eleventh's smallest size candle (2oz) is a great option for that!

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As mentioned previously, we worked with a wedding rental company. This is such a great way to make your wedding simply sustainable. We worked with Plank & Pearl. 

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For place cards, Abbey, wrote the guests names on a section of a book page. This is a creative way to change up the name cards, and reuse something. You can easily find an old book at a thrift store to use. Try not to use a classic though!!

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Our florist, Justine from Jaelemae made this gorgeous bouquet, the boutonniere, and the flowers in the brides hair. Justine also gives back to an anti-trafficking non-profit by donating flowers. 

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The shoes! The brides shoes are clogs from Lotta From Stockholm which is another one of my favorite companies. These clogs are handmade in Sweden, the base is 100% Alder wood from sustainable forests in Sweden. The leather is chrome-free and vegetable tanned. Lotta's clogs are perfect for casual wear AND for dressing up. It's nice to choose a shoe for your wedding day that you can wear again and again. Lotta's clogs are also very comfortable!
The grooms shoes are from Nisolo, another phenomenal company. Nisolo's shoes are all leather and ethically made in Peru. Nisolo has a large team of producers in Peru who make their shoes from every area of the supply chain, because of their ethical policies they are able pay their artisans a very fair wage.

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This quartz ring is another piece from UNCVRD Jewelry

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The brides dress is from Wear Your Love 
All of their dresses are made in the US with organic cotton or silky soft bamboo. 

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Finding formal ethically made clothing for men isn't easy, therefore I would stick with these brands. The blazer, is from Apolis it's wool and made in the USA. Apolis is mostly known for their market bags which supports female artisans with each purchase. The groom's navy button down is from Taylor Stitch, and all of their clothing is sustainably made. Most of their shirts are made with organic cotton and recycled polyester. They are very transparent about the process of how their clothes are made on their website, so you can read all about it. The grooms bow tie is from Kathrine Zeren. They sell bow ties, pocket squares and ties, and all of their products are handmade in the US with sustainably sourced materials.

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My hope is that this blog can be a practical resource for brides and grooms planning a wedding and want to be more conscious about the things they are purchasing and the people they are hiring to capture their wedding day. 

Let's change the wedding industry for good

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Amanda NeigesComment