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EVERPHOTO

‘EVERPHOTO encompasses my passion to photograph people who love themselves, eachother and their community. 

Each couple that I work with recieves a wedding thank you gift that is purchased exclusively from a business based out of the West Michigan area. This year’s gift was from a the local, artisan business Michigan Awesome. 

I also volunteer by photographing for a non-profit, West Michigan animal rescue, Pet Tales Rescue. They specialize in fostering animals using families within our community to house unwanted animals, particularly bully breeds. They then take these images to network and raise awareness against the negative stigma of our local animals. Through these efforts, many loving, forever homes have been found. Utilizing photographs, these dogs are finally allowed the chance to tell their story to the potential adoptive family. 

I am always looking for opportunities to support my community. EVERPHOTO recently collaborated with a subscription based company, Boxed GR out of Grand Rapids, MI, who only features Michigan-made products and businesses. Through this venture I am able to offer a large group of women and monthly subscribers the opportunity to seek photographs at a more affordable rate for their families and partners. 

Together we can make so much amazing shit happen. 

CHEERS, 

Emily @EVERPHOTO’

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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Photo by Image Clairity

Decomposable Bamboo Utensils vs. Polished Silver

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Photo by Emily Dykema

Ceremony Programs that double as Pop Corn Bag Holders (or any other reception treat you might choose)

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Photo: Rachel Gomez Photography 

 

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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!

Weddings That Give Back: Ashley & Josh, Michigan

One of our beloved Black Sheep Bride vendors, APaige Photography, tied the knot recently and she was truly such an example of a genuine ‘Black Sheep Bride’. Having known her plans this whole year, it has been an anxious waiting game, but now it’s finally here to share! Thanks to one of our other super-radically-epic-and-loved BSB vendors, Everphoto for being there to document the day so awesomely!

First thing we want to point out is Ashley’s dress. It was actually her mother’s wedding dress, they had refashioned by a local seamstress, Nimble Needles. Not only did Ashley wear her mom’s dress, they also got married on her parents property and on their wedding anniversary as well.

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They gifted all the ladies in the bridal party (as well as sister-in-laws and moms) with Pura Vida bracelets. Pura Vida is a California founded business that saw a huge opportunity to empower communities in Costa Rica, and surrounding areas, with bracelets that support various charities.

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Ashley and Josh worked hard to incorporate as many local based businesses they could into their wedding day, including wine from Round Barn Winery, made in Baroda, MI.

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All of their decorations were either recycled, hand crafted, and/or picked up at local thrift/consignment shops.

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They also used eco-friendly paper goods and compostable bamboo utensils to help reduce wastefulness.

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The wedding programs were designed by Anna Weekly with the intention of multi-use purposes. Once the ceremony was over guests were able to use the programs to store treats, from the custom trail mix and pop corn bars.

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Cupcakes were made by Yummy Cupcakes and totally dairy-free and vegan friendly!

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Participating Vendors:

Photography : EverPhoto | Dress Alteration/Redesign: Nimble Needles | Venue: Private Residence | Hair: Cut Out the Rest Salon & Nicole Flier | Make Up: Spatoepia Dowagiac | Cupcakes: Yummy Cupcakes | Wine: Round Barn Winery | Programs: Anna Weekly | Plates and Straws: EcoProducts

Engagements with Purpose- Ashley & Josh

Black Sheep Bride has this super mundo amazing squad of vendors in Michigan that make my heart so happy! Their hearts for helping others, amazing style and passion for couples and weddings is worthy of admiration!

Emily of EverPhoto recently photographed one of her fellow Black Sheep Bride Vendor – Friends, Ashley, of Ashley Paige Photography.

Ashley has big plans for her wedding and I just feel in love with her heart as she shared her vision for their Big Day! See what she has to say …

‘Wedding planning drastically changes when you are around weddings constantly. For me, my wedding ideas changed from completely traditional to uniquely different.  Josh and I knew we wanted a fun day, but we also didn’t want to get so wrapped up in traditions, rituals, and “things,” that we forgot why we were actually getting married.’

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‘Three years ago I changed up my lifestyle to help the planet, and reduce as much suffering as possible – this altered my thought process for my wedding as well. I didn’t want to harm anything or kill more of Earth’s resources just to celebrate on a specific day. This led me to my wedding planning alterations.

All of Josh and I’s vendors include Black Sheep Bride vendors, vendors that simply give back to the earth, charities and local businesses within our community. My bridesmaids, Moms and Sister-in-laws gifts are all bracelets produced by a company that gives back to charities around the world (Pura Vida), My dress is actually my mothers being altered by local designers, the sweetest older ladies you will ever meet, Nimble Needles.’

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‘Our wedding will be trash free for the most part – our plates are made from Sugar cane, and are compost able, we are giving the guests mason jars so that they can have one cup for the night to reduce the cost and trash of cups, our silverware is actually made of recyclable bamboo, and even our straws will be recyclable.

We aren’t having a cake but we are having vegan cupcakes. This is a major part of my life, so I wanted to make sure that I could eat these all night.. Im obsessed a bit. All crafts are recycled or used and redecorated. From wine bottles, to spaghetti jars, I am painting and crafting everything.’

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‘Our florist will be a local florist in Bridgman, Michigan, and we will focus mostly on Baby’s breath flowers -since they are cheapest and easiest to grow, and hey, pretty cute too. I also love the way my mom is taking hold of this entire idea. She has so many connections with amazing local, craft individuals who want nothing more than to help out. From people making their own local popcorn and flavors, to our friend that is a DJ. From hiring friends to create wonderful snacks and food, to family donating coffee cups to create a unique look – I am completely excited about the date.’

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But it’s not just marrying Josh that I am so excited about… I’m excited to show people that you can have a big party, while saving the Earth (or not destroying it), that you can help out 50 plus people, support their good businesses, and recycle, while enjoying a wonderful life event. We will be labeling all of our vendors and explaining why they are so amazing.’

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‘I own my own photography business, as mentioned at the beginning. I am currently doing a project “shine bright” to really take a stand on society’s perception of beauty and focus on natural, beautiful woman – showing why each woman is beautiful. Really its a stand against the porn industry and the “sex” society we have become – because lets be real – every girl feels compared – and this project is to stand against those made up , ridiculous standards. So far, every model has been overwhelmed at how beautiful they feel after the shoot and when the images are released. It’s so .. so exciting.

I also have been teaching a few newbies at photography and let them hang out with me on occasional shoots to help them on their photo journey. My entire business is about promoting self confidence and beauty. This year I am also involving myself in a few Cancer events to help promote beauty and strength in those people as well. My cousin passed away a few years back to some hard cancer – and through it all  – her strength and beauty continued to shine- which really encouraged me to show that side of people through struggles.’
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Photo Courtesy of EverPhoto – Thank you so much Emily!