353- Ethical Weddings- Giving Back While Saving Money

by Aleisha

Though it seems countercultural or out of the norm, you can have success planning an ethical wedding. In this episode of Bridechilla, Aleisha shares how you can give back and make a positive impact in the world while celebrating your wedding. Aleisha revisits her conversation with Danielle Calhoun, wedding photographer and founder of Black Sheep Bride (now called More than Lovely). Listen as they talk about creative ways to plan an ethical wedding.

Listen to episode 353 of Bridechilla

The passion to inspire change

Danielle started Black Sheep Bride out of a passion to see change in the wedding industry. While using her photography skills on humanitarian trips overseas, Danielle felt an incongruence with her job back home as a wedding photographer. She noticed how much unnecessary waste was being produced during weddings while people in third world countries were poor, hungry, and in great need. Out of her passion and desire to help other people, she started a business to help connect couples with vendors who value giving back.

“Make your own rules. Make it count.”

Planning an ethical wedding and making an impact

So you want to find ways to give back and make an impact while planning your wedding? Where do you start? What are some ways you can make a difference? During this episode, Danielle shares some great ways to avoid waste and make better use of the resources around you so that you can be successful in planning an ethical wedding. She notes that it isn’t about how much money you spend, but how you spend your money.

Photo by Caroline Veronez

Making little changes to make big changes

The secret to planning an ethical wedding is making small changes that can make a big difference. You don’t have to be a superhero to pull this off. During this podcast, Danielle Calhoun shares some practical ways that you can reduce your environmental footprint and make a positive impact. She is a proponent for renting or borrowing items rather than buying new. She also encourages couples to look for ways to donate their time, money, or items from the wedding that can benefit people in need. Making a difference doesn’t require a formal program, it simply requires looking for an opportunity.

“It doesn’t matter the amount of money spent, it’s all in how it’s spent.”

The 2 Components of Ethical Wedding Planning

If you are trying to plan an ethical wedding, Danielle says there are two components that you should consider. The first is vendor choice. When selecting vendors, choose those who are responding to their obligation to positively impact the world. The second component is product choice. Danielle encourages couples to avoid buying fast fashion or other products that are produced in sweatshops or environments hostile to workers. Also, select products that aren’t going to be thrown away immediately after the wedding. Danielle says that everyone has the potential to give back in some capacity using their resources and skill sets.

Photo by Tallie Robinson 

Show Highlights

  • [0:30] What is the bridechilla podcast all about?
  • [1:35] This episode of the bridechilla podcast with guest Danielle Calhoun is about ethical wedding planning
  • [3:50] Introduction of Danielle Calhoun, founder of BlackSheepBride.com an online connects couples with vendors who value giving back
  • [8:28] How passion drives Danielle to help create change in the wedding industry
  • [11:00] What are some easy ideas for how a couple can start implementing ethical, environmentally friendly planning ideas
  • [17:26] Since many couples don’t need much stuff, Danielle suggests using gifting and registries devoted to charity and giving back
  • [22:32] You don’t have to have tons of stuff for your wedding. Declutter and prioritize.
  • [27:44] There are businesses devoted to recycling wedding dresses and decorations that can help you reduce waste and help others
  • [33:10] Danielle describes the two components that describe a black sheep bride
  • [38:58] Aleisha shares the about the broadening Bridechilla community in 2019

Memorable Quotes

  • “I am so anti-sentimental. So I’m probably not a good reference to say ‘oh you need those napkins with your names on them’. I do not believe that. I think that is a waste of money”
  • “It doesn’t have to be anything formalized, there is opportunity anywhere you look if you just have the eyes for it.”
  • “Everyone has the potential to give back in some capacity.”

Meet This Episode’s Guest

Danielle Calhoun is a wedding photographer and founder of Black Sheep Bride, an online community which she recently sold. Black Sheep Bride was designed to connect couples with vendors who are giving back and making a difference in the world. Danielle was a guest on the Bridechilla Podcast Episode 133. She is a humanitarian and change maker who saw the need for a more ethical and socially conscious mindset in the wedding industry.

Episode Resources

Photo by Dmitry Schemelev

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