MunaLuchi Issue No. 26 Featuring Danielle Brooks

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The name MunaLuchi holds a special place in our hearts. It is the combination of two African names which when fused together mean, "Beautiful Work of God"... Perfectly describing our brides...

The MunaLuchi bride is bold, beautiful, worldly...

She is witty, vibrant and free. She loves the finer things in life, and is not afraid to go after what she wants. She exudes style and grace and is determined to look her very best not just on her wedding day but every day. She yearns to embrace her culture and seeks inspiration that speaks to her. She comes in all sizes and shades. Simply put, she is beautiful no matter what skin she's in.

Our mission is to promote positive images of women of color...because we believe positive imagery is the threshold for confidence...and confidence inspires self love.

We aspire to inspire...

BY APPOINTMENT 914.359.7757 @yemikosibah
Visit us at


anuary 5, 2010 was when our very first magazine hit newsstands. It was surreal to walk into my local ShopRite store and see it on the shelves along with many other mainstream bridal magazines. I'll never forget that feeling of utter joy and appreciation.

To see a magazine like this, prominently featuring a black bride on the cover, was rare. And back in 2010, it was rare to see black women gracing magazine covers in all categories -- not just bridal.

12 years later, the wedding industry has certainly evolved. There is much more inclusivity and diversity within wedding magazines and blogs, and more of our faces gracing covers of magazines.

When I think about the journey from our first magazine to our most recent one, our 26th issue , I can't help but beam with pride. Think about it... a black celebrity couple, wearing black designers ( Danielle is wearing custom Alonuko Bridal and Dennis is wearing custom Garcon Couture ), photographed by black photographers (Reem Photography), and planned by a black wedding planner (D'Concierge Weddings) featured on the cover of a black-owned bridal magazine. How likely would this have been 12 years ago?

In this issue, Danielle shares her love story, engagement + wedding photos with us. Her 'Chocolate Love'-themed wedding is truly #weddinggoals with some of the most unique ideas and color palettes I've seen. In addition to her love story, you'll find over 100 pages of wedding inspiration from real couples, spotlights on black vendors in various categories, and sage advice from couples who have already tied the knot. As you flip through the pages, I hope you feel the same sense of pride I feel. Our community has come so far, and I'm proud to be playing a role in our growth. What role will you play in ensuring our community continues to shine? Reach out with your ideas. I'd love to hear from you!

NO. 26 | SUMMER 2022

SPECIALIST Angela Washington EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Marie Smith, Lily Taylor, Dana Miller DIRECTOR OF EVENTS Tiffany Chalk
Munaluchi Bridal Magazine
photo: nana annan photography Jacqueline Nwobu CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MUNALUCHI BRIDE MAGAZINE EDITOR@MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM editor's letter PHOTOGRAPHER: Kareem Virgo of Reem Photography WEDDING GOWN: Alonuko Bridal STYLIST: Kelly Augustine CREATIVE DIRECTOR/PLANNING: Darryl Moore of D’Concierge Weddings DENNIS’ TUXEDO: Garcon Couture VENUE: The Dupont Building MAKEUP ARTIST: Makeup by Michael HAIR: Infamous Ms Tish Cover Credits
CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jacqueline Nwobu
Wallentine MARKETING
The team at
wishes to extend their
to all of the wedding professionals who gracefully shared their
and shared with us their works of art. All
expressed by the professionals interviewed are their own and other professionals in their field may have differing opinions. While Munaluchi Bridal Magazine aims to deliver accurate expert advice, no responsibility can be taken for the opinions of others. Munaluchi Bridal Magazine does not make any representation of the quality of any products, services, information, or material represented in this magazine. We reserve the right to refuse advertising. All advertisements are accepted and published on the representation that the advertiser is properly authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. All photography not specifically credited to a photographer are courtesy of the respective company and used with their permission.


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12 FEATURES 14 Spotlight: Maritza Walton's Inspiring Journey 20 Spotlight: Black Stationers You Should Know 18 Bridesmaids Gift Ideas 24 Interview with Danielle Brooks

Floral Designer & Event Planner, Maritza Walton , Shares Her Inspiring Journey Into the Wedding Industry

Floral Designer and Event Planner, her company, the Ritz Walton Collection (established in 2018 in Bloomfield, New Jersey), is thriving. However, her business and individual success didn’t come without challenges.

MunaCoterie member, Maritza Walton, has been dreaming about weddings since she was a little girl. Growing up, she often found herself wandering the aisles of a party planning store 3 blocks up from her Great Grandmother’s home in St. Albans, Queens where she was living at the time: “I found myself in there a lot just looking around.”

Then, at the young age of 15, she found herself planning her first celebration at her Grandmother’s home: her sister Deborah’s wedding. At the time she says, “I was just providing the need, helping my Grandmother as usual, and “decorating” which was something I loved to do.”

However, even at such a young age, her first foray into wedding planning was a success. “We cleaned out the garage and used it for the DJ area. We covered the backyard and driveway with green turf… we thought we were doing something back then,” she recalls, laughing. “We rented tables and chairs and linen. Remember those paperwhite wedding bells? Well, that was the decor along with some white balloons.”

Looking back, she admits, “I knew nothing about flowers then. I was simply planning the celebration. I would have never imagined then that I would be doing what I am doing now. I didn’t know it was a profession then.”

Today, Maritza’s younger self would be overjoyed to know she is absolutely killing it in the wedding industry! As an accomplished

“The fire was first,” she recalls grimly. “I was only open in my space for about 1 year and a half. After the fire, we were displaced, homeless, and had to figure out how to continue to operate.” Luckily, insurance gave their company half of what they put into the business and they were soon offered space at the Art FACTORY (a studio space in Paterson, New Jersey). “[We] took it,” she says, “but I lost the “main focus” on my business while working out of the Factory as I began running their weddings.”

While she was grateful to be working in a new space, as all of us have come to realize, life is incredibly unpredictable and in 2020, the Pandemic arrived. In a surprising twist of fate, COVID actually helped her business; at least for a little while. “When the Pandemic hit, we actually began getting more inquiries,” she says. “Of course, we lost financially with all of the reschedulings but somehow began to get new wedding dates on the calendar.”

Pushing forward despite the odds, Maritza and her team worked to expand and re-open their showroom. She even began working on her multi-purpose event space, Casa De Flora Bar, which she planned to be a retail flower bar/ coffee shop that will also host private events.

In spite of all the excitement and an upcoming re-opening scheduled for September 2021, mother nature had other plans: “When hurricane IDA decided to hit, destroying both stores with over 5 ft of water… All new renovations were destroyed. We did not have Flood insurance and at this point, I was ready to throw in the towel.”

Without a business loan or PPP loan, she reveals, “I didn't know where the funds would come from to start all over again… I worked 2-3 jobs to build this business so when I saw it taken away that quickly it was very disturbing and traumatic.” Then, something inside of her shifted, and with the support of her family, friends, and LOTS of faith, she “...decided to rebuild no matter what it would take.”

The early days! Maritza planned her first wedding when she was 15. It was her sister Deborah's wedding held at her Grandmother's house. Can you spot Maritza in this photo above?

Fast forward to 2022 and an unexpected investor changed everything. One of her husband’s old middle school students, who they endearingly call “big Son,” saw her vision and believed in it. They formed a partnership that allowed Maritza and her team to finally rebuild their stores and set a re-opening and Grand Opening date for June 24th, 2022!

Ultimately, no matter what life threw her way, Maritza never gave up. Through hard work, determination, and never losing sight of her dreams, she is a true inspiration. We are so honored to have her be a part of our Muna Coterie! To learn more about Maritza, her inspiration, and what it takes to find success, keep reading below for an exclusive online Q&A. Prepare to be inspired!

L: When executing a couple's wedding, what inspires you? What’s your creative process?

M: The couple inspires me. Their vision and dreams are what I hold onto because I love making dreams come true. So I try to pull their vision out as much as they will allow me to. It’s not easy and some couples are just simply looking for flowers and don’t necessarily have a vision, but for those that do, I love to bring it all together. Even when dealing with planners, I love looking at their design decks and bringing them to life. I'm not a planner. My heart is in the floral design aspect only. I have planned for close friends and family, but I prefer design.

L: Speaking of weddings, how was it planning your sister's wedding? What was your favorite part about that experience?

M: So I recently planned my sister Ashley’s wedding a couple of weeks ago. We planned this wedding within 60 days. 200+ guests at the Weilyn in Brooklyn, NY. We had to bring everything in, from furniture to chairs, linen, napkins, food etc. The venue provided absolutely nothing but the space. Her ceremony took place in our Dad's church in Brooklyn on Madison and Bedford. My favorite part about planning my sister's wedding was that all she did was show up. And when she did, she adored everything. It was a true fairytale.

L: As a floral designer, why do you love working with flowers? Do you have a particular flower or arrangement that speaks most to you?

M: Flowers relax me. It's always a peaceful feeling when designing. I honestly have no particular arrangement. I just love doing new and challenging designs that allow my imagination to be free.

16 NO. 24 | SUMMER 2021

L: How has MunaLuchi and the MunaCoterie helped your company?

M: The Networking within the Coterie has been awesome. I have met so many vendors that are now my friends. I have made great connections and have developed a good portfolio of awesome and talented wedding professionals. Looking forward to attending the Coterie Retreat in December in JAMAICA!!!!!!

L: What advice would you give for other wedding planners/floral designers looking to break into the wedding industry?

M: My advice would be to remain true to who you are and what your talents are. Focus and master one, then move to the next. There is no right or wrong when it comes to modeling YOUR Business and doing business the way it feels right for you.

Do not compare yourself to companies that have been in the business for 10+ years. Don't be fooled by Social Media. Focus on the money and not the likes or followers. Give your baby time to grow, it has to crawl before it can walk and once your Baby is walking strong it can then run on its own. That may take about 2-3 years before your business can fully run without falling.

Don't be cheap with your own investment. Spend the money on things that are very important like business Insurance, quality Inventory, and marketing. You also need to hire staff, hiring helps you to grow. You cannot do it alone.

Be serious about your business. If it's a hobby, fine. But if it's a business, treat it as such. People will almost always have something to say and think they can run your business better, this will always be the case, but stay strong and stay focused and know when to say goodbye.

L: What can we look forward to seeing from you next?

M: Next is the opening of my Retail Flower Bar/Coffee Shop that will also host Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, and other events. It's an upscale Chic space designed with beautiful ceiling floral installs and gorgeous Instagrammable moments. We will sell your everyday floral gifts for all occasions. You can attend one of our Sip & Clip events and have our delicious pastries and a great cup of coffee, Latte, or glass of wine. Our Grand Opening is on June 24th, 2022. I am so excited about this new venture.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kesha Lambert PLANNER: Stacy Armand MODEL: Sevy FLORAL DESIGN: Ritz Walton Wedding Collection MAKEUP: Felicia Graham Beauty HAIR: Sirca Reaction DRESS: Pantora Bridal VENUE: Casa De Flora Bar & Ritz Walton Wedding Collection CONTACT INFO
Walton Collection & Casa de Flora Cafe 73-75 Washington Street,
Bloomfield, NJ, 07003 973-444-3288
ritzwaltonweddingcollection PHOTO CREDITS

Unique Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

If you have a dedicated crew by your side during your journey to “I do”, odds are you’ll want to show them appreciation for all their love and support throughout the wedding planning process. Whether you’re on a budget or want to splurge on your wedding party, there’s a gift that everyone will love and appreciate!

Gray Whale Gin is the perfect gift for a cocktail-loving crew. Made in California and consciously crafted, Gray Whale Gin contains six sustainably sourced botanicals that are found along the migratory path of the Pacific Gray Whale. Gray Whale Gin also aids in ocean conservation through a partnership with OCEANA, making it a gift you can feel good about giving. lace booties, combat boots, and moto-boots.

If you're having a destination wedding, your wedding party will definitely appreciate a travel-savvy gift. A personalized travel case for jewelry or makeup will not only help your crew pack stress free, but will also be useful for their future travels. the bride and groom can even wear monogrammed Mr. & Mrs. jackets. The bridal party can join in, too.

Photographer: Nicola Style Photo: MGray Whale Gin
“SOMETHING BLUE” FOR YOUR CREW Gray Whale Gin FOR THE DESTINATION WEDDING Personalized travel case for makeup or jewelry
Photo: Nicola Style Photo: Stanlo Photography

THE COMFORT QUEEN matching silk pajamas

Having a girl's night or bachelorette getaway? Matching silk pajamas are the perfect gift for your besties. Not only are they cute and comfy, but can be worn again, making them the perfect practical, yet luxurious gift.


Beauty kit

Show your bridesmaids some love with a personalized box or bag of luxurious skincare products prior to your wedding day. Include a bath bomb and your party will be all set to restore, relax, and basque in a night of self-care. They’ll be sure to appreciate the glowing skin they’ll have on your big day!


If you’re looking for a gift with sentiment, gift your party a bracelet or necklace with a knot design that they can wear on the wedding day. It’s a symbolic and meaningful gift that your party will cherish whenever they wear it.

WINE AND A GOOD TIME A bottle of wine and a personalized wine glass

If you and your bridesmaids enjoy relaxing and having wine together, have a wine night and gift them cute, personalized glasses along with their favorite wine. The personalized wine glasses will add a special touch making it more meaningful and fun.

Photo: Stanlo Photography Photo: Karolina Grabowska Photo: Elysian Bloom Photography Photo: Elysian Bloom Photography Photo: Michela Ampolo Photo: Saliha Photo: Taha Samet Arslan

Spotlight: Black-Owned Stationery Companies to Support

These incredible black-owned stationery brands are some of the definitive companies to add to your wedding planning checklist.

According to Census Bureau statistics in 2021, there was 134,567 black-owned business in the U.S generating over $133.7 billion. With designs that draw inspiration from black culture to invitations that look like they arrived from the Palais Garnier in Paris carried by white-gloved messengers, these invites speak to every design personality.

Yes, we know digital invites have been going strong with couples looking to cut costs and be more eco-friendly; however, nothing screams “post this on IG” more than a gorgeous wedding invitation that features beautiful calligraphy, joyful watercolors, or bespoke detailing that celebrates your unique vision for your special day.



LePenn Designs understands the sensory power of paper. Because of the beauty and purpose within each unique design, the final goal is to have their stationery kept as memorable keepsakes. The full spectrum of services from the company includes save-the-date stationery to holiday cards that joyfully celebrate your first full married year. In 2022 the company had its classic design aesthetic on show with a custom acrylic sign set within a lavish floral display during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

Years in business: 15 years Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan but I service clients all over the world Website :

How did you overcome fear of failure?

The concept of "failure" is a mental state of mind that gets buried deeper and deeper the more you learn and grow in your craft. As your skillset develops, so does your confidence in yourself and the services and/or products that you are offering. The only way you can truly "fail" is if you stop trying. Making mistakes, upsetting a client, losing money etc. is not "failing" it's a necessary part of the growing pains you will go through in your business as you work towards getting to the next level. All of those things help you to grow stronger and know what to do and what not to do in the next situation that arises. The moment I understood this, the better I became in giving my business and clients my ALL every single day while working through all of the challenges that are thrown my way, even still after 15 years. God has been by my side since day one and as I always say, "Everything is Figureoutable!"

How did you get into designing wedding stationery and what inspires your designs?

My love of design and being on the computer stemmed from my dorm room days in college tinkering on social sites that were popular back then. Then once I was engaged to be married this love of design transitioned over to stationery where I decided to create my wedding programs as my first real "project". I fell in love with paper at that moment so when my husband and I decided to start a business it was a no-brainer to create a graphic design and stationery company. My clients and their events are truly my inspiration! All I need are just a few details from decor, colors/theme, personality and style and I can take it from there. The more freedom my clients give me the better I design for them!



“It is my desire to create what’s not there. ….. it all starts with my imagination, perhaps a dream."

Not only does Sandi Spells Design offer paper-based invites but acrylic designs as well. Her invitations are an opulent feast for the eyes. With her design process akin to that of iconic designer Karl Lagerfield, who famously sketched his collections from his dreams, the invites are a testament to how beautifully appointed invitations can set the tone for an event. The design studio also offers planners and books with kids stationery coming soon and accessories such as customizable cake toppers and monogrammed pillows.

Years in business: 17 years

Location: College Park, GA

Website :

How did you overcome fear of failure?

I had to convince myself that fear is inevitable and that fear is a part of life. With that being said, I changed my mindset and told myself that the issue is not fear it is confidence. Once I gained the confidence the fear started to move to the background. Failure will come so it is important that I know to try again and never get up. Also, use the failure as a teaching moment for improvement.

How did you get into designing wedding stationery and what inspires your designs?

I started designing invitations over 22 years ago... I use to be a Social Worker and my Director would ask me to do all the newsletters and visual projects for our department. As time went on, co-workers started to ask if I would do their wedding invitations. Once I did my first invite I fell in love.



With headquarters in the Boston area, AJ Williams of AJW Events prides itself on its excellence in all aspects of event design, especially wedding stationery. The company also has a “who’s who” list of celebrity clientele that has given AJW Events their stamp of approval. With their expertise in designing luxury wedding experiences, it's no secret their invitations are in a league of their own.


in business: 19+ years

Location: Boston and Nantucket Website :

How did you overcome fear of failure?

We I overcame my fear of failure by viewing failure as an opportunity to grow and learn. I set objectives and goals with deadlines and tackled each. If a goal wasn’t reached, that was an opportunity to learn and change my strategy and fix it - make it happen.

How did you get into designing wedding stationery and what inspires your designs?

As an event designer, I wanted to offer our clients more value in a competitive environment, so we added graphics design early on, and am so happy I did. Designing the graphic and logo suite in-house allows us to seamlessly implement the design into the planning. My clients are the first step with inspiration. I probe a lot and ask more about what they don’t like or elements they do not want to ensure we are on the same page, then I turn to interior design, fashion, and art for inspiration.




Photo Credits

PHOTOGRAPHY: Reem Photography

VIDEO: Tyson and Lenox Media


WEDDING PLANNER: D.Concierge Weddings

MU: Makeup by Michael

HAIR: Infamousmstish



Angela: So how did you and Dennis meet? We all love a great love story.

Danielle: Dennis and I met at my home randomly. We met at my house because I threw a game night, which I loved to do at the time. And I told my friend, who was my trainer at the time who was also single, I said, "Hey, you work at the gym. You have to meet single guys. There's got to be some eligible bachelors that are attractive. Let's put something together." And so he did, and Dennis came as a friend of a friend and he was the last one there. Very Haitian style, came late, probably two hours late. And so me and my guests, we made a joke. We said, "Whoever comes next, we're going to grill them, look at them. You know, grill them." We're going to look at them like, "why are you late?"

And so I opened the door and we all grilled the next person and nobody knew him but the friend that invited him and he was looking like, "what's going on?" And I was looking like, "this is awkward". So I scratched the whole grill session. And I did just immediately give him a huge smile and welcomed him in. And wasn't even really thinking about the potential of dating him until later that night.

So it was probably getting close to midnight and people were starting to leave. And we had a lot of men in the room, but what caught my eye was that Dennis was a gentleman and not just a man. And he asked, "Do you mind if I take out your trash?" And I was like, "What's your name? Are you single? Do you have kids? Do you have a job?" I literally asked him all three of those, well, four of those questions and he checked correctly on all of the boxes for me. And I slid him my phone, and he ended up butt dialing me that night. He says he butt-dialed me on accident. And I'm glad it was an accident, even though I don't feel to this day a hundred percent believe it was an accident. But we ended up talking for two hours and yeah, I just knew.

But what solidified it for me was the next day. And mind you, I've only known this guy for less than 12 hours and he sent me a bouquet of flowers the next day and left a card that said "it was really lovely to meet you. I hope to see you again." And I remember when the guy came to my door to deliver the flowers, I remember saying to myself, "If this card says from Dennis, I know this is my husband."

Angela: Awe.

Danielle: And it did. And I just got butterflies all from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I was like, "oh my gosh, this is happening". In just a short amount of time, I think he was able to show me how he was going to treat me in those few encounters. He was showing me the man that he was. So yeah, that's how we met.

Angela: And was the first date as magical?

Danielle: Yeah. We went to this restaurant in New York called Beautiful Love, I don't know if it's still around, but I think it's in Midtown. I remember I said, "just don't be late. I'm a Virgo. So don't be late." And he was not late at all. And I remember me coming down in this beige bodycon dress.

And him being like, whoa. His face was like, "oh, snap". And I came down, he was on time. I remember his car smelled good. His car was clean. He was clean. He smelled good. The real kicker, it wasn't a test per se, but I was interested in how he would take it, I asked him, "Can we pray over this meal?"

And we did. And that just showed me, too, what type of man he was going to be and is still to this day. And that's something that we've kept in our

relationship is we pray over every meal. And for me, that was important because it first showed me, are you connected to God at all? And second of all, it showed me that you are going to be willing to pray over our family if you can pray over this meal. It is important to us, integrating prayer into our relationship because I wanted to make sure that the foundation was solid, you know?

Angela: Right.

Danielle: And I think it does manifest in little ways. I think that's what we tend to ignore sometimes, are those ... we talk about red flags or signs of why something didn't work. But I think sometimes we have to also pay attention to the little signs, too, of why things will work and why things can work. And for me, that was a part of building a foundation of spirituality between us two.

Angela: So it wasn't one thing that let you know that he was the one, that was a number of things? Or was there a moment where you're just like, "okay, this is it."

Danielle: It was a number of things. It was a number of things I just mentioned. It was the flowers, it was the prayer, it was opening doors. It was the two-hour conversations. It was just listening to the things that I wanted as far as just being on time. It definitely was his character.

Angela: How did he propose, then? I think we saw something on Instagram. Was it during a dinner that you all were having?

Danielle: It was the day before ... it was my parents were having their 35th wedding anniversary and a renewal ceremony. All of the family was there having dinner at the rehearsal dinner for the renewal. I remember being in the church hall, the church fellowship hall, where we were dining. I remember being in that space and cooking. I was cooking fish, trying to help Mama. And he just kept standing around. I'm like, "why do you keep standing around?" Like nervous energy is going on. Like, "You need something to do?" I was trying to find something from him to do so that we could get this going.

And there was a moment after we had eaten that my parents wanted to acknowledge the elders in our family. So they had gifts for everybody. They had a gift for my aunt, my great aunt, and a few cousins and stuff. And I remember all of the bags looked the same color. They were all green. Right. And then there was one bag that was multicolored. And I remember seeing it in the house. I didn't think too much of it. I was holding my daughter who was two months at the time while my parents were giving these speeches. And my dad says, "You know what? We want to also thank Danielle and Dennis, they've been a big part of this and been very helpful. And we're going to ask Denis to come up at this time." And then my mom tries to take my daughter out of my hands.

And I'm like, "what is she doing? I got her, she fine." She's like, "no, give me the baby." And all of a sudden he is on one knee and I'm like, "what is going on?" And I remember just really being quiet to take this moment and listen to what he had to say, of why he was proposing and why he was on one knee. And I remember specifically just me being silent because my friend had just gotten proposed to a few months before. And all she did was scream the whole time. She screamed the entire time. You can’t hear anything he's saying. I'm just thinking, "if this ever happens to me I'm not going to say anything. I'm just going to say 'yes' when it's time to say 'yes'." So that's what I did. He said, "will you marry me?" And I said, "yes I will". And I remember crying and saying, "but my nails aren't done, my nails aren't done". So upset my nails weren't done. But yeah. That's how he proposed. The long version.

26 NO. 26 | SUMMER 2022
Inverview by Angela Washington (This interview took place in Fall of 2021)

Angela: Oh, that's beautiful. And congratulations to your parents on 35 years of marriage. That's amazing. That's a blessing. So how has wedding planning been so far? What are you looking forward to for your wedding day? I know two of your vendors, at least. D'Concierge, Darryl is amazing. And then Reem Photography of course is just the bomb.

Danielle: I'm really grateful. I found Darryl through Ashley Blaine. She's a good friend of mine and she recommended him. She first posted him on her Instagram. And I was looking at all of these vendors and these wedding planners, because you don't know. And so Darryl, he had a beautiful spirit. Looked at his page. It seemed like this could be a good collaboration. And it has thus far for sure. I've really enjoyed working with him. I think he's made the process much easier. I still don't enjoy the process, which is why I'm glad it's going to only happen one time in my life because it's a lot to do and a lot to think of. And like I mentioned, I'm a Virgo. So we are ... it's true. The label, for me. I am very much a perfectionist and especially for my wedding, so ...Darryl is good at helping me with that.

And Reem you know, as you've seen with the engagement pictures, they have been nothing but very lovely to work with. They really were able to see the vision that Dennis and I wanted to capture for our love story. And they made the process really easy as well. I'd totally work with them again for sure.

My goal is always been to support black artists, black creatives, and remind people who ... not remind, but allow somewhat of a blueprint for other couples to know you can use your people, you know what I mean? Like we got to be professional and we know ... we have the skillset just as anybody else would, if not greater. So to me, it's been very important to find as many people of color and women to be a part of this celebration. It's been really wonderful finding all of these vendors, which Darryl can give you a quite few more names of people that we've used when it comes to invitations and the whole nine yards. That's been really great.

Angela: Are you doing it big for your wedding? It's a Haitian wedding, so are we going big? Are you going to invite everybody you know?

Danielle: It will be full of family, which in turn makes it a big wedding in some capacity because Haitians roll deep, but we're

trying to keep the number under 200, is what we're trying to do.

Angela: And is your daughter excited?

Danielle: No. She doesn’t understand anything yet. I do look forward to seeing her in the flower girl dress. I think she does get really excited about twirling in that, but ... it's really cute though when mommy and daddy kiss and her seeing that thing that we have between each other. You can see the sparkle in her, and it's so rewarding. She wants to hold both of our hands, so it's just a beautiful thing that happens when your child gets to see what love can look like. And hopefully, she'll have that too when she comes of age.

Angela: So what is your favorite thing to do as a couple or as a family?

Danielle: Probably just spend time together. Because we've both worked so much and a lot of my work does not leave me at home. Like I have to travel for work a lot. So just getting to spend time together, whether that's going to the grocery store or watching Carmen's World together, watching Vivo with Freeya, just us being with one another, I think, is the thing that we love the most because my career has ... one of the sacrifices of what I do is being away from family. So that's important.

Angela: And what do you have next that we can look forward to? I know I mentioned The Peacemaker coming to HBO Max, but what are you excited for ... that you can share with us?

Danielle: Yeah, so many exciting things happening, but can't really talk about them. I am hosting a renovation show for Netflix. I believe that's safe to say. And I am doing Peacemaker, you mentioned, and voiceover work, but there are a few other things that will happen or be announced by January. That will be very exciting.

Angela: Okay. Any music? We want to see some music. Danielle: I'm going to try to have music in it, but I don't know if I can do another album again. But it'll have music in it. Yeah.

Angela: We'll settle for that. As long as we get some. Well, thank you so much.

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Couple: Danielle Brooks & Dennis Gelin Location of Wedding: Miami, Florida Wedding Date: January 8, 2022 PHOTOGRAPHED BY REEM PHOTOGRAPHY


wedding highlights:

Wedding hashtag: #dndeverafter

Bride & Groom entrance songs: “A Thousand Years” and “We Will Never Break” performed by Jeremy Pope and Amber Iman

Flower Girl: The couple’s two-year-old daughter, Baby Freeya

Cultural elements: Jumping the Broom & Wax Ceiling Ceremony in which they ceiled love letters to each other and will open on their 1 year marriage anniversary.

Reception theme: “Chocolate Love”

Reception entrance song: “Win” by J Rock

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“Danielle shared with me she wanted her and Dennis' wedding to reflect black excellence and ooze chocolate love. Danielle made a post on IG when she dropped her iconic engagement photos and her caption read: " Richer than Godiva, sweeter than the sugar cane of Haiti, hotter than the Carolina sun. Our love is pure and honest ....." And that's when the light bulb went off for me and I knew the EXACT direction to bring this love story to life. I wanted guests to feel like they were dining inside a box of Godiva chocolates. And working with the Birch team, I truly believe we knocked it out of the park.”

best memories...

“It's just a beautiful moment when you have Broadway singers serenading the guests and the bride and groom as they walked down the aisle. It was literally a fairytale come to life. I loved the custom Godiva chocolates gifted to guests as they departed.”



Darryl Moore on the Design and how he came up with their “Chocolate Love” wedding theme:
40 NO. 26 SUMMER 2022 COVER STORY CREATIVE DIRECTOR/PLANNING: Darryl Moore of D'Concierge Weddings FLORALS & EVENT DECOR: Birch Event Design PHOTOGRAPHER: Reem Photography LIGHTING/SOUND: LG Entertainment VIDEOGRAPHY: Tyson & Lenox Media
LOOK GOWN/JUMPSUIT: Christian Siriano
CEREMONY GOWN: Alonuko Bridal
Kelly Augustine EARRINGS: Chanel SHOES: Nina
TUXEDO: Garcon Couture
SUITS: Garcon Couture
Pantora Bridal VENUE: Alfred DuPont Building
Danielle’s hometown pastor, Pastor Baldwin MUSICIAN: Perry Richard (Saxophonist)
Byron Johnson DJ: DJ F.A.M.E
SANITIZERS: Michael Makes Scents CATERING: CJ’s Masterpiece INVITATIONS/STATIONERY: Oda Creative MAKEUP ARTIST: Michael Patterson HAIR: Tish Celestine WEDDING CAKE: Seven-layer vanilla and red velvet cake by Deja Vu Sweets BAR: Thierry Isambert FAVOR: Custom Boxes of Godvia Chocolate CEREMONY BROOMS: Bridesnbrooms vendors

London+ Shagari


WEDDING DATE: March 11, 2023

WEDDING LOCATION: The Majestic Downtown

OCCUPATIONS: London is a Digital Marketing Strategist & Shagari is a Wedding and Portrait Photographer, Owner of Achroma Studio, and a Real Estate Agent

HOW THEY MET: We met at a party in 2009 and then connected on Twitter (Shagari slid in my DMs) shortly after.

PROPOSAL STORY: We planned a trip to Tulum, Mexico for some much-needed "r&r". This was good cover as Shagari had been working nonstop. On the second day of our trip, we

started the morning at Yaan Healing Sanctuary with a two-and-a-half-hour couples treatment. It was so relaxing and therapeutic. That night we visited Kin Toh Azulik, a treehouse restaurant nestled in the Mayan Jungle. As we were being led to our nest to eat we were interrupted by the restaurant staff asking if they could take a picture of us for their social media account. We followed them across the property and settled to take photos in a beautiful secluded location near the water. While taking the photos, Shagari got down and popped the question! Turns out, the photos were not for the restaurant’s social media page! Shagari is a photographer and understood the importance of having this moment captured in time. He hired a photographer to come out

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and play along with his master plan to surprise me with a proposal. I said yes of course. We returned to our room where the staff had champagne, a beautiful bouquet of roses, and rose petals adorning the room. Our travel agent and everyone had been in on everything the entire time.

ENGAGEMENT SESSION THEME: Our engagement session took place at Little River Studios in Miami where our photographer is based. We thought it would be a great way to sneak in a little trip and get another much-needed break. We didn’t have a theme but wanted the looks to be timeless. The location allowed us to do both indoor and outdoor with several different backdrops and looks.

FIRST DATE? We got crawfish and a daiquiri and talked for hours. The key to a woman’s heart in Louisiana is to buy her crawfish.

FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? We make self-care and traveling a priority so we don’t lose ourselves in work and become disconnected. We love anything that involves food and new experiences, lol. So, it’s a pleasure when we get to combine them into one. We both enjoy traveling and trying new things. The first thing we do after booking a flight is research all the restaurants we would like to try in the area. London is a true foodie so our meal itinerary is always an adventure. We make sure to have date nights even if it’s not always out, we will plan romantic dinners at home or a backyard movie night.

HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR? Wedding planning has been easy and enjoyable since the start. We were able to secure all of our preferred vendors without any trouble. We have documents and spreadsheets set up to help us stay on track monthly with our planning responsibilities. We like to bounce ideas off of each other on how things should look or how we want people to experience things on our big day. It’s been fun to combine our creative strengths to make one of the biggest days of our lives magical. Shagari’s knowledge of weddings as a wedding photographer has been so useful in

our planning process. He’s been to more weddings than the average person and knows how the flow is supposed to go, what guests enjoy and how couples can make the most out of the experience.

TELL US WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ON THE WEDDING DAY: The first look. Both of our primary love languages are quality time and we know we will spend the majority of the day celebrating with our loved ones so this small period where it will just be the two of us is something we are both looking forward to. To make it extra special, we’ve decided to share our private vows during this time. (Shagari) I get to take the next step and become one with my best friend, a woman I have loved relentlessly. We are sharing this moment with the people that mean the most to us. My father is an ordained elder who will be performing his first wedding and it happens to be our wedding ceremony. I already felt blessed getting to marry London, but to have my loving father do this makes it that much more meaningful.

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How did you know your partner was the one?

London is everything that any man would want. She’s ambitious, smart, caring and beautiful. She’s supportive and trustworthy. Our story isn’t the perfect love story and we have had our share of disagreements and breakups in the past. In our time apart, nothing came close to the feeling of being in her arms. Nothing has ever felt quite like our love. When we disagree over trivial things I always go back to what life felt like without her. We wake up and choose one another every day. She’s already my best friend. She gets me and I always want to be better for her, myself and our future family. I admire how loving she is with her friends and family. It’s the sweetest thing to see her get excited about everyone’s special moments and how much she values family. She’ll be a great wife and mother. I love her smile and all of our inside jokes. It’s a feeling you can’t buy. So it’s not that I can’t live without her. She’s the one because I feel so much more alive with her. She’s the one I would choose over and over without hesitation. - Shagari

I knew he was the one when I felt in my soul that I was loved, safe and comfortable in his energy. I had a feeling that I could undoubtedly trust him to lead us as a family. Being with Shagari has not only made me think about our long-term future but actually plan it out by sitting down and talking through how we plan to achieve each goal or milestone in our timeline. He is kind, smart, thoughtful, loving and a great communicator. He’s my absolute best friend and I can be my whole, weird and goofy self with him. I admire his work ethic and drive to succeed. He makes me want to be better every single day. I’ve had so many friends and family tell me since I’ve been engaged that I’ve been radiating with love and lightness. He makes life easy for me. I never feel like I have to stress over a situation without him jumping in to help find a solution. We share the same values and that is what is important to me. - London

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kareem Virgo of Reem Photography MAKEUP: Tia Codrington of YSBeautyCo HAIR INSTALL: Christina Michelle of Nola Beauty TUX, SUIT & BOWTIES STYLED BY: Wayne Willis of Well Groomed Man

Brittany+ Charlie

WEDDING DATE: January 27, 2023

WEDDING LOCATION: The Majestic Downtown

OCCUPATIONS: (Brittany) Head of HR, (Charlie) Senior Marketer

HOW THEY MET: Our initial encounter could be described as the epitome of a Hollywood Love Story. We first met during the let-out of a Beverly Hills club. I was leaving with my best friend, who is my maid of honor, and Charlie was doing the same with some of his friends. While we were both waiting for our cars at the valet, Charlie and my best friend recognized each other; they attended the same college and hadn’t seen each other since they graduated 5+ years prior.

Naturally, they caught up and Charlie and I were introduced to one another in the process,

but that was it. Fast forward to a year later, we ended up at a mutual friend’s (at the time) birthday dinner. Funny enough, we sat directly across from each other so Charlie swears that I was staring at him from across the table in awe as he cracked his jokes which prompted him to shoot his shot. The rest is history.

PROPOSAL STORY: March 2020 was a crazy time for us. Not only were we living through a pandemic like the rest of the world, but we also had this crazy idea to purchase a home in the middle of a national lockdown. Knowing that this would be a new chapter for us and the home would take close to a year to be built, Charlie decided to plan the proposal around our close of escrow date.

On March 20, 2021, almost a year to the exact day we first inquired about our home, Charlie pulled off the surprise proposal in front of an

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intimate group of our family and friends, inside of our new home, on the day we received our keys. Charlie got on one knee, I said "Of course I will!" and we became engaged and first-time homeowners all at the same time!

ENGAGEMENT SESSION THEME: We knew that we wanted our wedding to be an all-black, black-tie affair, so we used that as a starting point for our engagement session. When it came to location, we wanted to shoot somewhere that was beautiful but would really allow us to stand out. We wanted a desert, but with character. Joshua Tree gave us all we were looking for.

FIRST DATE? We met up to catch a movie and dinner for our first date. This was our first time really getting to talk to each other and get to know each other outside of social media, so we spent hours together talking and laughing. He’s actually pretty funny.

FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? We do a lot together so it’s hard to pick favorites, but if we had to pick it would be shopping and working out together.

HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR? It’s been great, honestly. Because we got engaged and bought a house at the same time, we decided to hold off on planning for a couple of months to give each moment its own time. We found our wedding planner, Elana Walker, in our early stages and she’s really helped us stay ahead on our planning. We're planners ourselves in all areas of our lives and knew a lot of what we wanted so we've enjoyed being hands-on with the planning but having her in our corner has made it much more enjoyable than stressful, thankfully.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Reem Photography MAKEUP: Natalie Aguirre
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Rev. Orsella R. Hughes is an ordained officiant specializing in creating unforgettable wedding ceremonies. \ Call for a consultation: 475.422.5819 or visit:

Jamekia + Austin

WEDDING DATE: June 26, 2022


WEDDING LOCATION: Clearwater Beach, Florida OCCUPATIONS: Pharmacists

HOW THEY MET: Austin and I met at Florida A & M University in 2014 when we started pharmacy school together.

THE PROPOSAL: We planned a trip last summer to a luxury resort in St. Lucia for Jamekia’s 30th Birthday. She had no idea I was also in contact with them planning the proposal. Jamekia is very hard to surprise, so I had to be careful. The trickiest part was packing all the supplies I was giving the resort to set up without her noticing. There were a few close calls like my suitcase being exactly at the 50-pound limit. If my suitcase weighed a single pound more, I would have had to open my bag and the surprise would have been ruined. But luckily, I was able to check my luggage without a problem. Jamekia didn’t have the slightest idea. She just kept asking “Why is your suitcase so heavy?”. After we arrived at the resort, we prepared for the private oceanside dinner I had arranged for her birthday. Surprisingly, she still did not suspect anything. That night, we headed over to the cabana where our dinner would be held. When she approached the cabana and saw the glowing “Marry Me” sign the tears of joy started right away. I kneeled on one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked her to spend forever with me. She made me the happiest man in the world when she said yes.

HOW DID YOU KNOW HE/SHE WAS "THE ONE"? When we were in school, we became inseparable. We studied together, stressed together about exams, and motivated each other to finish the program. We missed each other when we were apart and enjoyed our moments together. Upon graduating, we knew we did not want to

pursue life without having one another.


There are very few things we love as much as traveling and eating. Jamekia always jokes about our love language being food. We love to eat and experience different types of cuisine as a couple. Whenever we can find free time on the weekends, we look for different restaurants to try. We have also traveled all over the world as a couple. We like to have new adventures that we would not have if we stayed home.

FIRST DATE? Our first date was on Valentine’s Day. We love going to new restaurants, so we decided to try a nice fondue restaurant downtown. It was so much fun. We spent the entire night talking, laughing, and enjoying the food.

HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN? The wedding planning has been great so far, we have booked most of our vendors. And we have a great wedding planner, Tica, who has been helping us with coordinating everything. It is definitely a whole lot of work and planning but we have been enjoying every bit of it. We cannot wait to see the result of it all.

Focal Muse Photography PLANNER/COORDINATOR: Tica Rose Events VENUE: The Howey Mansion MAKEUP: Krystal Briggs HAIRSTYLIST: Dasia Johnson PURPLE DRESS: Albina Dyla RED DRESS: Miss Circle

Corddarryl+ Jeffrey


WEDDING DATE: September 4, 2022

WEDDING LOCATION: Stateview Hotel, Raleigh NC

OCCUPATIONS: Corddarryl works for the United States Postal Service and Jeffrey is a Photographer and Content Creator

HOW DID YOU MEET? I (Jeffrey) met Corddarryl (Corey for short) while leaving my apartment with my best friend/best man that had come into town for a visit. This was in 2015. We were heading to run a few errands and I saw him at my apartment mailboxes delivering mail. He caught my eye and I said Hello.

Once we returned from our errands, Corey was still delivering mail. We were gone for almost 2 hours so once I saw he was still there, I went to drop off items at my apartment and I told my best friend that I was gonna go back out and talk to him. We exchanged social media handles and he later DM’d me his number and we talked for about 3 hours that first night

THE PROPOSAL : Jeffrey was approaching his 30th Birthday in 2020 and I came up with an idea to throw him a surprise birthday celebration. I began planning in January 2020 and started reaching out to his family and friends about what I wanted for him. I wanted this to be a token of my appreciation for how he completely came into my life and changed it for the better. After figuring out the logistics and how I wanted things to be, I said to myself "what can I gift him outside of just throwing him a party?” I immediately thought "what do you give a person that's just as picky as you are, and has almost everything?" I instantly said to myself "a ring." So I turned this celebration into not only a birthday celebration but also a proposal. I felt after 5yrs of dating it was now time to make a true commitment to my love. So on top of planning for the party, I then had to figure out how I would propose to him as well (The Pressure).

I came up with this amazing idea to reach out to one of Jeffrey's industry colleagues, Jamaal Torrance (who I had never met) through social media and introduced myself to him and he knew exactly who I was. We then scheduled a call and I informed him about the surprise birthday celebration that I was planning, but that I was also going to propose at the event and needed his assistance in making it a proposal to remember. He was instantly on board and went into creative mode and came up with an amazing idea for the video. After months of planning with Jamaal, I snuck away and finally met him in person to shoot the proposal video. It was an amazing filming experience and it turned out exactly how I wanted it.

His birthday, October 25th, approached and I was a nervous wreck filled with many emotions. I had been planning tirelessly for 9 months, in the midst of planning we got hit with a pandemic that required me to make several changes. I had to pick up the engagement ring that day that I had been hiding, and try to stay as normal as I possibly could while making sure I didn't throw out any signals – it was tough! As he and I prepared ourselves that evening to go out, Jeffrey was under the impression that we were going to this new five-star restaurant that had just opened in the area, it just so happened to be near the hotel where the party was happening. I got to the restaurant and called his sister to let her know that we

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were there and asked if she arrived with their mother. She said no and that we had to pick them up from their hotel (that was the queue to let them know we were close).

We arrived at the hotel and Jeffrey was trying to piece things together. We entered the room and everyone was there belting out "Surprise”. After several hugs and everyone welcoming us in, it was now time to do the big proposal. The video that Jamaal filmed of me began to play and there we were upfront watching. As he watched me in the video, I stepped from beside him to get behind him as I prepared myself to get down on one knee. The video ended and he turned around not knowing I would be on bended knee and he immediately lost it. His mother and sister walked up with the ring box, handed me the box, and at that moment I asked if he would be willing to spend the rest of his life with me. He said “Yes!", softly through tears, and now we're here on the #ROADTOROSE.

ENGAGEMENT SESSION THEME: With me (Jeffrey) being a wedding and engagement photographer, I knew I wanted something regal, bespoke, classy, and something that not only represented us but something that was a tasteful tease of how glamorous the actual wedding would be. I knew that I didn’t want the setting to be at the same old photo locations in NC that I would normally take my own clients to, so we had to think outside the box. We ordered bespoke suits to make a statement and set the tone for our Save the Dates and for our big event.

FIRST DATE? H e (Corey) cooked for me. I was hooked lol. I think it was wings and Mac and cheese. The first date we went to publicly was Sushi Blues in Downtown Raleigh, NC. This is still one of our favorite places to dine. The sushi rolls are named after Jazz Icons and songs. Our favorites are Sweet Home Alabama, the Etta James, and the Coltrane.

FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? We love to do everything together. We love eating out, watching reality TV, spending

time with family, decorating, traveling, and exploring. We love vacations where there is water and attending concerts! We’ve seen so many of our favorites live. Beyonce, Toni Braxton, TLC, SWV, Gladys Knight, and Fantasia. Corddaryl even got a chance to perform live with the legendary Patti Labelle when she brought him on stage. He is a diehard Patti fan!

HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN? Wedding planning has been long, exciting, challenging, and inspirational. Not even 3 days after the engagement, we began looking at venues and dates. It will be exciting to finally see where our investments have gone too. I (Jeffrey), photograph weddings

often, and it's so weird to be on the other side of this process, selecting vendors and planning. We are both very particular about what we like and want. Corey is more so the planner than myself. He loves thinking outside of the box in ways that I would never consider. I mean the man had a giant ice sculpture carved at my 30th Bday Proposal party!

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO ON YOUR WEDDING DAY? We are looking forward to seeing the entire day come together with the attire, designs, decor, and having our huge families together under one roof celebrating us. We are excited to see our Groomsmaids slay in their adornment and our Groomsmen serve up the swag. We have a total of 17 in our wedding party. We are even more excited for our life together after the wedding and planning our family. First and foremost, we do not and have not ever referred to our upcoming event as a “Gay Wedding” but rather a celebration of love. We are aware that 95% of our guests have never witnessed two members of the same sex exchanging nuptials so our ultimate goal is to set the standard and enlighten others on other ways that a healthy love looks like.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cxllab Productions & Eleven03 Photography

VIDEOGRAPHER: Howard Photo and Film

GROOMS’ ATTIRE: Audacious By Arminius

MAKEUP ARTISTS: Bianca Willis of Bella Beauty Bar LLC & Jhalessa Cameron of SIlent H Makeup


Larelle + JoJuan


WEDDING DATE: September 4th, 2022


OCCUPATIONS: Larelle is a Bodily Injury Adjuster and Entrepreneur and JoJuan is an Operations Manager and Entrepreneur

HOW THEY MET: We met in 2005 as teenagers while working at Burger King.

Larelle: The first time I saw Jo I knew he was special and I was drawn to him instantly. I would get so excited to go into work to see him and be in his presence. It literally took him like 3 months to finally work up the nerve to ask me out and when he finally did ask me out he had a whole speech prepared explaining why I should go out with him. It was so thoughtful and exactly how I knew him to be. It was definitely a teenage love affair. We made it official 2/27/2006 and have been inseparable ever since.

PROPOSAL STORY: Jo: In 2016 we decided to book a trip to Greece to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. It was while in Santorini I decided to surprise Larelle with popping the question. Around this time we had adopted the tradition of sending out annual Christmas cards to friends and family using images of places we’d travel to that year so I was able to use that as a cover to get her to unknowingly participate in the proposal without my cover being blown. I was able to hire a photographer, have her get her hair and makeup done and wear a beautiful formal dress as well. She’s always told me over the years whenever I propose it had to be in a beautiful location and to make sure she looked perfect. To me it was a dream come true. Some of the images from that shoot actually went viral and were made into memes.

DESCRIBE YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION. Larelle: We really wanted our engagement session to be 3 things. Timeless, Classic, and something we’d never done before as we are lovers of new experiences. We’d never been photographed in a desert-like area before so it was exciting and perfect for what we were looking for. Jo kept it classic with a

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black tuxedo and I opted to wear a classic sparking gown.

Reem captured us beautifully and he was a joy to work with. He gave us so much direction, and attention. He even took the time to make little behind the scene stories of our session for us to post on IG! He is a MASTER of his craft and we're so grateful we were able to work with him. We’re so in love with our photos and without a doubt, we know they’ll age beautifully! So MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

FIRST DATE? Larelle: Geez it was so many years ago and we were so young and thoughtless we genuinely can't remember. We met in 2005 in a world of much simpler times and neither of us was technically looking for “the one.” We were also teenagers with limited resources and I also was not allowed to date openly lol so by the time we had a real first date I think we had already been a couple for some months.

FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? We love to travel. We bond so deeply through the new adventures and experiences. We've had the pleasure of vacationing in France, Italy, Greece, Columbia, and all over Central America

and the Caribbean. We’ve also visited 36 of 50 U.S states. We hope to knock out the final 14 before we start having kids.

HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR? Larelle: Wedding planning this time around has been a breeze since we hired Darryl of D'Concierge. With his services we’re kinda on the outside of the process (thank God) otherwise I probably would just quit again lol. This is actually our 3rd time on the wedding planning journey. We started initially when we 1st got engaged in 2016 and I quit when things became too overwhelming (I'm kinda big on self-care), then again in 2019 when covid broke, so of course that halted us. So it's 2022 and now we're here and I've always heard the 3rd-times-a-charm so we can’t wait to get to the aisle. Currently, we're just selecting vendors from options that are sent to us by our planner and paying invoices..

TELL US WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ON THE WEDDING DAY. Both: Getting Married!!!!! Finally tying the knot, celebrating our love, and moving forward into the next phase of life. Both of our families think we’re pretty overdue for children so we’re looking forward to starting our family as well.


Larelle: TBH I hated life before I met Jo. Around the time we met there were so many things going on in my life that were negative that I had no control over. He was also in a similar situation where we were the underdog so we bonded closely over our misfortune (we both had lived in foster care before and had also been homeless for a period of time).

I felt as if we had our own world that only we existed in and he was the only person I ever felt comfortable talking to about my life and its complications. Prior to him, I felt myself giving up on life, but he was my mustard seed and I developed a totally new outlook, joy, and faith in life. I undoubtedly knew Jo was the one when he made all my problems his problems.

He wasn’t only interested in the good or beautiful parts of me but he was also willing to get his hands dirty and put himself in uncomfortable situations that would help me and make my life better. He was willing to do anything he could to contribute to my happiness or overall wellbeing. Even in parts of my life that didn’t directly involve him, he involved him. Jo literally solved all my problems within a year or so of us meeting. He literally became my superhero. He became the 1st person in my life that I could undoubtedly depend on. 16 years later he’s still

here giving me something to be grateful for and making miracles happen daily.

JoJuan: So I was hanging out late with my friends one night and I got this call from a number I didn’t recognize, so I let it go to voicemail. When I checked the voicemail it was her calling me from a payphone; as soon as I heard her voice I dropped everything I was doing and rushed to her.

I immediately went into protective mode even though she wasn’t in danger and I felt sad that I missed her call. I felt like I missed the most important call of my life; even though in her voicemail she was just calling to say "Hi" lol, but this was the day I realized she was the one. I felt responsible for her safety, happiness, and well-being. I bought her a cell phone the next day so she would never have to use a pay phone again. 16 years later she still has the same phone number.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Reem Photography WEDDING PLANNER: Darryl of D'Concierge MAKEUP: Charniq G HAIR: Tenia of Black Eyon Beauty VENUE: White Sands National Monument & The Plaza Hotel Of El Paso BRIDES ATTIRE: Me for Me GROOMS ATTIRE: Nifty Niche & Company BRIDE'S SHOES: Amina Muddani & Tom Ford GROOM'S SHOES: Christian Louboutin & Gucci



Photo: Megan McGreevy Photography

Wedding Ideas

Set before lush backdrops, this colorful boho chic editorial shoot was inspired by a secret garden vibe with modern elements including an infinity pool, floating acrylic table, and luxurious tablescape design.

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TEAM PLANNING AND DESIGN: Anyvent Event Planning PHOTOGRAPHY: Meredith Coe VIDEOGRAPHY: Rivion Weddings (Claude Robinson) VENUE: The Clifton FLORAL DESIGNER: The Posey Detail BAKERY: Commonwealth Cake Company MAKEUP: Erica Vats BRIDAL DESIGNER: Neta Dover BRIDAL GOWN BOUTIQUE: Love Couture Bridal GROOM FASHION: Bar III STATIONERY: Green Mango Kraft CALLIGRAPHY: If So Inklined RENTALS: MS Events MODELS: Ian Dillard & Mahogany Eaton

Wedding Ideas

The unique industrial venue of Kinsey Vintage Market in Pittsburgh set the scene for this wildly colorful balloon-styled shoot!

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Inspiration behind the design by Event Planner, Jenna Shuknecht, of Wildly Loved:

“People need to know that weddings are a celebration of love and they can be as fun and as unique as the couple getting married! At Wildly Loved, I am all about being uniquely you and not being afraid of bringing that out when it comes to planning your wedding day. This was another reason why having a real couple model for the styled shoot was really important. Engaged to be married in September 2023, Cydney and Kalion’s real love helped bring my vision to life. One of the best parts was when Kalion, our groom, asked his future Bride, Cydney, if they were having balloons at their future wedding. The fact that he loved the idea so much and wanted it for his own wedding made my heart fly!”

64 NO. 26 | SUMMER 2022 WEDDING IDEAS PLANNING & DESIGN: Wildly Loved VENUE: Kinsey Vintage Market PHOTOGRAPHER: Megan McGreevy Photography VIDEO: Supercut Creative BALLOON DECOR: The Cheerful Balloon Co. LIGHTING: EF Lighting FLORALS: GreenSinner CAKE: Cakes by Colby STATIONERY DESIGN: K. Flowers Designs RENTALS: All Occasion Party Rental & Marbella Event Rental LINENS: Lendable Linens DRESS BOUTIQUE: Blanc de Blanc Bridal DRESS DESIGNER: Rue De Seine SUIT: Men's Wearhouse WEDDING RINGS: Skelton Jewelry HAIR & ARTISTS: Ju Lea Lash NAILS: La La's Salon & Spa OUR BRIDE MODEL: Cydney OUR GROOM MODEL: Kalion CREATIVE TEAM

Wedding Ideas

Composed before the regal backdrop of the Carlton House Terrace in London, this Bridgerton-inspired shoot captures the essence of romance and elegance with a burgundy and blush color palette, bespoke attire, a harpist, and stunning decor.

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PHOTOGRAPHER: John Nassari Photography VIDEOGRAPHER: Meros Productions CONCEPT, PLANNING & STYLING: The Bailey Events Company FEMALE MODEL: Sabs Fai MALE MODEL: Dami Tolaoluwa ASSISTANT ON THE DAY: Roberta Burcheri Events HAIR STYLIST: Ghab Pro MAKEUP ARTIST: Makeupology HEADPIECES: Saint Beth Official CAKE DESIGNER: Nina of Erzulie Cakes WEDDING DRESS: Mirror Mirror Bridal Couture EVENING GOWN: Millia London VEIL: Dolecka Bridal WARDROBE ASSISTANT: Darnell C. Holder SUIT: Prince Made Bespoke FLORIST: OMF Events EARRINGS: Lola Knight BRIDAL SHOES: Diane Hassall LINEN AND NAPKINS: Northfield Linen CANDLES: Candle Flair FURNITURE RENTAL: Be Amazed Events CAKE TABLE: Graziela Sanches Events HARPIST: Soraya Vermeulen STATIONERY & CALLIGRAPHY: Lynda Loves CROCKERY RENTALS: The Bailey Events Company CHANDELIERS: Crescent Moon Events SILK RIBBONS: Cfleurs Design VENUE: 10-11 Carlton House Terrace DIGITAL ILLUSTRATOR: Roberta Burcheri Events CREATIVE

Wedding Ideas

Telling the story of a couple who met and fell in love in New Orleans, this lively colorful wedding shoot at the Chateau LeMoyne Hotel includes an intimate private ceremony followed by dinner with family against a backdrop of lush floral arrangements. Boozy popsicle treats and a decadent charcuterie board spread are just a few details that make this shoot the epitome of a Louisiana wedding!

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MUNALUCHI BRIDE 69 INSPIRATION PLANNER & DESIGNER: Amanda Price Events PHOTOGRAPHER: Theresa Elizabeth Photography VENUE: Chateau LeMoyne FLORAL: Hummingbird Floral Studio LIGHTING: Firefly Ambiance RENTALS: True Value Rental CAKE: The Cake Artistry LINEN: BBJ Linen POPSICLES: Le Doodle STATIONERY & SIGNAGE: Invitobella HAIR: Traelle Hair Salon MAKEUP: Melissa Vaccaro CATERING: Messina’s Catering and Events WEDDING GOWN BOUTIQUE: Wedding Belles WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER: Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal TUXEDO: John’s Tuxedos TUXEDO DESIGNER: Allure JEWELRY: Brilliance in Diamonds MODEL – FEMALE: Whitney MODEL – MALE: James CREATIVE TEAM

Wedding Ideas

Captured by Jennifer Nicole Photography & Films at the Luxmore Grande Estate, this Styled Shoot Across America and Intrigued Events Workshop set the scene for a colorful summer shoot bursting with vibrant florals! Highlights include a huge floral arch in front of the venue's iconic fountain, a second arch for the inside dining area, a fireplace overflowing with flowers, and a gorgeous multi-tiered cake with acrylic tiers by LuBelle’s Cakes. The model couple, Alexandra & Lucas, and one solo bride, Carranita, brought the shoot to life in traditional attire and a multi-tiered pink dress.


"Sarah Campbell travels the country (and beyond) helping florists grow their design businesses, and these incredible florals are the result of their hard work!

Students came together to create all of these amazing designs, which are then used for Styled Shoots Across America.

Sarah is known as the Color Queen, if you saw her on Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight, you know what I’m talking about!

As always, there were such fun colors being utilized here. Flowers always set the tone of the event, so this shoot was nothing but joyful and exciting."

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Inspiration behind the design by Florist, Sarah Campbell, of Intrigue Designs: shoot was led by Heather Benge of Styled Shoots Across America and Sarah Campbell of Intrigue Designs

VENUE: Luxmore Grande Estates

PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER: Jennifer Nicole Photography & Films

FLORAL DESIGN: Sarah Campbell of Intrigue Designs

CONCEPT & PLANNING: Styled Shoots Across America / Heather Benge

HAIR & MAKEUP: Brittany Boscana

LINENS: Nuage Designs Inc.

CAKE: LuBelle's Cakes

STATIONERY: Papier Handmade

WEDDING GOWNS: White Blossom Bridal


STYLING MATS: Replica Surfaces

RING BOXES: The Mrs. Box & Lovely Ring Boxes

SHOES: Bella Belle


COUPLE MODELS: Alexandra Jane & Lucas N. Salazar




Stanlo Photography


Shadasia and Khalil’s wedding day was a dream come true. After postponing their original wedding date for two years because of the pandemic, they finally said “I do” in an intimate elopement on a beautiful Vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa at the Cavalli Estate.

Although they opted to elope, the couple thought big in terms of style and culture. Working with one of the best bridal stylists in the industry, Selina of Vainglorious Brides, Shadasia looked stunning in a gorgeous fit-and-flare mermaid gown. Khalil looked equally handsome sporting a one-of-a-kind black tux. Overlooking the vineyard, a twoperson orchestra serenaded them as they exchanged vows before an arch of luscious flowers. After the ceremony, the pair celebrated their love by dancing the night away with a group of Zulu dancers beneath the stars!

Ultimately, eloping isn’t for everyone, but Dasia and Khalil’s wedding proves it can be an amazing experience centered around just the two of you. As Dasia shares, “People thought we were selfish for eloping but I wouldn't change that aspect of my wedding at all!” It was a joyous night they’ll never forget!

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wedding highlights

Gifts for one another: My husband gifted me with a Louis Vuitton & Gucci Purse. Ceremony entrance song: "Fall For You" Lela James

First dance song: "You Give Good Love" Whitney Houston

on incorporating culture

"We held our wedding in Africa so it was imperative that we honor the culture of not only the Continent but also South Africa. In addition to our custom acrylic menus shaped like the continent, we also had a Zulu minister officiate our wedding followed by Zulu dancers during the reception."

best advice

"I began planning my destination elopement in 2019 and was forced to postpone it until 2021. Two years of planning, stress, and changes followed that were simply out of my control due to the Global Pandemic. My best advice is to invest in vendors that you can verify are professional; I had vendors that flew to South Africa from the United States and Canada. With so many changes that occurred, including flight changes the week of, my vendors handled everything without adding more stress to my wedding week. I would also advise couples to remember their wedding day should be centered around them. People thought we were selfish for eloping but I wouldn't change that aspect of my wedding at all!

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MUNALUCHI BRIDE 79 WEDDINGS PLANNING & DESIGN: Mon Amour Events VENUE: Cavalli Estate FLORALS: Fleur Le Cordeur PHOTOGRAPHY: Stanlo Photography VIDEOGRAPHY: Verve Fillms MAKEUP: YS Beauty Co HAIR: HairByEstylez BRIDAL FASHION STYLIST: Vainglorius Brides CUSTOM ROBE: Mauchiokutz Galleria GROOMS TUXEDO: Connaisseur Paris STATIONERY: Secret Diary Designs WEDDING CAKE: Wades Cakes LOUNGE FURNITURE: Event Architect" RECEPTION CHAIRS: Goeters Lounge LIGHTING & STAGING: In And Out Events GLASSWARE: The Hire Haus TABLEWARE: Muse Concepts EARRINGS & ACCESSORIES: Kendra Scott & Kenneth Jay Lane BRIDAL SHOES: Aquazzura ALTERATIONS: Cleah Murray STRING QUARTET: Shout Music Company ZULU DANCERS & ENTERTAINMENT: The Wedding DJs RINGS: David Yurman & Jewelry Artisans vendors



A’ngelique and Michael’s elegant multi-day wedding celebration in the Riviera Maya in Mexico incorporated Eritrean and American wedding customs and traditions.

The couple’s paths first crossed at an East African networking event in New York City. Although Michael’s first words to A’ngelique were a comment she'd often heard before, there was something different about Michael’s energy that made her want to chat longer.

After four amazing, travel-filled years of dating, Michael proposed on a trip to Aruba

completely taken by surprise, she shares, “I left him on one knee in the sand for exactly 2 mins and 10 secs,

until reality hit me and I finally said "YES!".”

Villa La Joya in Playa Paraiso was the perfect location for the couple to bring their family and friends

their guests to feel comfortable and have an amazing cultural experience so they incorporated a

to American wedding customs.


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during a romantic 5-course private cabana dinner. A’ngelique was repeatedly asking him "What Are Doing?" together for their multi-day celebration. They wanted traditional Eritrean entrance, music, and attire, in addition

wedding highlights

Gifts for their bridesmaids and groomsmen: We did not have traditional bridesmaids and groomsmen for our wedding but instead had “tribes” to assist in various duties throughout the day. Gifts for one another: Following the celebration, we gifted ourselves a honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Ceremony entrance song: Processional song: "Still" by Mali Music – performed live by India Tyree Entrance of the bride song: "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie – performed live by Visuddha Entertainment Harpist Recessional song: "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King – performed live by Visuddha Entertainment Harpist First dance song: “Ordinary People” by Tems

best memories...

"We really wanted our day to feel like an elegant, unique event with endless entertainment. We included everything from guests being greeted with a champagne wall prior to the ceremony to a floral swing set at cocktail hour to a 360-degree photo booth and live DJ during the reception and cold fireworks during our first dance – the entire day was a dream. The moments that stuck out the most were seeing the culmination of all of our wedding designs and planning coming to fruition, experiencing our families and friends coming together for the first time, and having my 86-year-old grandmother travel outside of the country for the first time."






BRIDE SHOES: Badgley Mischka

GROOM’S ATTIRE: Abe’s Formal Wear

GROOM’S SHOES: Brunomagli


PHOTOGRAPHY: Luxart Wedding Studio

VIDEOGRAPHY: One Cameraman

PLANNING: Lucy Gallagher Boutique Weddings with the help of Arlenis Ruiz Weddings

FLORALS: Cherry Blossom


DJ: Plug In Audiovisual

CATERING: Tomas Soberanis from Gourmet Soberanis

WEDDING CAKE: Lali Pasteles

SPECIAL EFFECT FIREWORKS: Pyrotech Special Events Mexico


HARPIST: Visuddha Entertainment

OFFICIANT: Christian Carballo

STATIONERY: Shutterfly / Etsy

WEDDING DAY TRANSPORTATION: Paradise Transfers & Tours

TRAVEL AGENT: Playa Bella Weddings + Travel

HOST HOTEL: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya


(WELCOME EVENT): H2Oh Sun Cruises




After Tyronda waved a friendly goodbye to Anthony after a church service, he couldn’t help but reach out and eventually ask her out on a date. Since that day they have been practically inseparable. Tyronda shares, “I knew Anthony was the one when I started to become more self-aware & recognize my flaws & actually wanted to take steps to be a better person for him.”

What Tyronda thought was a typical date turned out to be much more when Anthony surprised her with a sweet and romantic proposal. After enjoying a lakeside picnic at a park, Anthony planned for a photographer to ask them to model and Tyronda obliged without any suspicion. When they got to a scenic bridge Anthony faced Tyronda and made his proposal speech. Tyronda shares, “Anthony turned to me, gazed into my eyes…at that moment I knew what was going on and the tears began to fall.”.

Tyronda and Anthony’s heavenly garden-themed wedding in Memphis, Tennessee featured classic white florals and beautiful romantic details. At the end of the night, the couple had a special last dance alone, where they could soak in the day and appreciate the love they received from family and friends.

wedding highlights

Favorite item on the menu: Parmesan Risotto

Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Customized Gift boxes with perfume, lip gloss, Champagne, hair clips, a Venus flour rose & a handwritten card for the ladies, and Custom gift boxes with customized cuff links, tie clip, socks, & small bluetooth speaker for the guys.

First dance song: One Day at a Time- Sam Smith

advice from the bride...

"My advice for future brides is don't be afraid to pause & take everything in. Your wedding day is going to go by extremely fast & honestly most of it was a blur for me. So just soak in every moment of it that you can."

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APRIL 3, 2021



BRIDE'S SHOES: Aquazurra





DRESS: Vainglorious Brides
SALON: The TyLux Experience
The Flour Garden CATERING: Chef Phillip Dewayne
VENUE: Orion Hills
& Events
DECOR/DESIGN: Wells Design Company
ENTERTAINMENT: YAS Entertainment, Sounds by Bounds
PLANNER: Wells Design Company
FLORALS: Wells Design Company
GROOM'S ATTIRE: Juliette Pocket Squares
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Juliette Pocket Squares HAIR: Jasmine McGraw & Shama Anderson LIGHTING: Paradise Productions LINENS: White Door Events MAKEUP: MakeUp by Asabee, MakeUp by T, MakeUp by Ariel C PHOTOGRAPHY: Second Shots
& Events RENTALS: White Door Events, Ivy
Rentals, Curtain Call Midsouth STATIONERY: Papered Wonders VIDEOGRAPHY: Second Shots
ILO Photo Booth
BARTENDING: Cocktail Cuties


JULY 05, 2021

This Bajan and Nigerian wedding gave us something to cheer about! Set at the Iron Manor in Texas, the couple’s huge celebration of two cultures and two families coming together was effortlessly captured by Nana Annan photography. Not only was the wedding giving us major feels but the bride’s train was unanimously a showstopping addition to an already luxurious wedding day.

Ricardo and Funke met initially at a friend’s graduation and subsequently, their relationship went from strength to strength culminating in an intimate and romantic outdoor proposal ending with a fantastic engagement party attended by family and friends of the bride and groom to be.

From their dazzling first look to the oh-so-cute flower girls to the groom serenading the bride during the reception, these forever memories we’ve shared from Ricardo’s and Funke’s wedding are precious moments that are sure to get you inspired for your own upcoming wedding day. And can we just take a second to give their incredible wedding cake its own round of applause – enjoy!

wedding highlights:

Gifts for their Bridesmaids & Groomsmen: Bridesmaids received robes & Groomsmen were given Lapel Pins

Favorite item on the menu: Stuffed Salmon & the Cake

First dance song: "Sideways" - Cleo Sol


best wedding advice:

Make wedding decisions that will make YOU happy at the end of the day and don't sweat the small details, your guests probably won't even notice. Also, make sure you eat, drink and actually have fun with each other on your day!

86 NO. 26 | SUMMER 2022 PLANNER: Dure Events PHOTOGRAPHER: Nana Annan Photography VIDEOGRAPHER: Henry Adewale Films DECOR: Flora + Eventi DRESS: Impression Bridal GROOM SUIT: Olympus Stylings HAIR: Hair by Hannah MAKEUP: Double Dutch Beauty & Chelle Glams CATERING: Pangea CAKE: Cakes by Gina VENUE: Iron Manor, Walters Wedding Estates BRIDAL ESCORT: Segun Gele MC: Prof B DJ: DJ Auditory STATIONERY: 8one Design Studio vendors



FEBRUARY 20, 2022

Chad and Joane’s nuptials were truly a “But God” moment. Going back before the OMG moments of their miracle wedding day, the pair’s paths crossed way back in middle school. Although they were not officially middle school sweethearts, Chad was definitely crushing extra hard on Joane by showering her with adorable handwritten love notes. It wasn’t until 15 years later through a DM on Facebook that they re-sparked a connection.

The two finally decided to make things official after their first real date in London and a whirlwind romance ensued! In spite of Joane’s self-professed nosey girl instincts, she was completely surprised when Chad popped the question!

Fast forward to their wedding week and several things that were finalized months in advance were not set in stone for their big day. On top of that, Joane’s wedding dress never made it for her to wear down the aisle! As Joane declared during their wedding week, “But God.” She instead wore an incredibly sumptuous bejeweled burnt orange bridal robe created by Sue Vogues Bridal which became the perfect fairy tale gown and flawlessly matched their Caribbean “Sunset Romance” themed vision of the wedding itself.

wedding highlights

Gifts for their bridesmaids & groomsmen: Goodness, what didn't we give them. Myself and Chad personally curated our proposal boxes since we couldn't find a complete box on the market that met our needs. We also bought jewelry, shoes, tie bars and cufflinks, and bottles of champagne and Jamaican Lion for our bridal party.

Ceremony entrance song: Groom: U move, I move John Legend and Jhene Aiko Bride: Everytime Cait Fairbanks

First dance song: Running to you Chiké and Simi




RECEPTION DRESS: Allettante Bellezza Bridal and Designer Gowns

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Amazon since original gowns were damaged during shipping

MAKEUP/HAIR: Jolie, Stenza, Latonia and Edherlie CEREMONY AND RECEPTION

LOCATION: The Mansion at Tuckahoe

PHOTOGRAPHY: Focal Muse Photography

WEDDING PLANNER: Taylor Couture Creations


CAKE: Sandra's Cakes

STATIONERY: Basic Invites

EVENT DESIGNER: Taylor Couture Creations and ASA Events

GROOM’S ATTIRE: The Gentlemen's Closet

GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: The Gentlemen's Closet

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. c o m
t r e n e f o r b e s



A classic royal wedding was the theme of Vanessa and Djhael’s Christ-centered nuptials.

Being connected in their Faith and the Church, the pair first bonded through youth conferences, leadership, and their passion for ministry. Over time, Vanessa shares, “While in service of the Lord, our friendship grew, eventually leading to a blessed courtship and the most thoughtful proposal in front of family and close friends.”

Set at The Grove, a luxury wedding venue in New Jersey, Vanessa’s royal wedding dreams came true on July 6, 2021! Guests dressed in all-black formal attire with bridesmaids slipping into sleek gold gowns and groomsmen wearing a black suit and tie or bow tie. The décor complimented their theme with gold, white, and cream accents. Other highlights included stunning floral arrangements, great food, and performances by international singer, Felina Backer, accompanied by pianist, Assel Jean-Pierre, and a string quartet at their ceremony and reception.

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Gifts for one another: Djhael gave a watch to Vanessa and she gave him a boudoir photo album. Ceremony entrance song: Air From the Water by George F. Handel played by the string quartet. First dance song: "If You Could See You Through My Eyes" by Kenny Lattimore.

wedding highlights on incorporating culture

During cocktail hour, we served Haitian foods such as fried plantains, fried goat, and Haitian Pickled Vegetable Relish. In Hatian Creole (Bannan Peze, Tassot ak Pikliz). We also had Black Mushroom rice (Riz Djon Djon).

92 NO. 26 SUMMER 2022 WEDDING PLANNER/ COORDINATOR: Annie. V of Stylish Affair Events FLORAL DESIGER: Sarcon Flower Couture VENUE: The Grove INVITATIONS & MENUS: Boxed Wedding Invitations PHOTOGRAPHY: Amy Anaiz Photography VIDEOGRAPHY: Luxor Wedding Films HAIR STYLIST: Modimel Weddings BRIDE’S MAKEUP ARTIST: Ashley Jay Beauty BRIDESMAID MAKEUP ARTIST: I Am Jennyfer Pierre BRIDE’S GOWN: Enzoani BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Seng Couture GROOM’S TUXEDOS: Garçon Couture BRIDE’S ROBE & SLIPPERS: Mia Elena Couture Bridal Boutique BRIDE’S HAIRPIECE: Bridal Styles Boutique CUSTOMIZED SNEAKERS: Stylish Affair Accessories BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES/TAILOR/ SEAMSTRESS: House of Daveanand LAPEL PINS: Jewelry By Ilia QUARTET: Wendy kerner Harpist BAND & DJ: JP Sonic GROOM/GROOMSMEN ATTENDANT: Guinsly Damas COORDINATORS: Carmelle at Stylish Affair Events DANCING ON CLOUD & 360 PHOTOBOOTH: Kenny DJK NYCE SEATING CHART & DANCE FLOOR WRAP: GoToShout FLOWER GIRLS DRESSES: Kingdom Boutique GROOM & GROOMSMEN SUITS: MOATTARI Menswear PERSONAL WEDDING VOWS: Ave Creations LUXURY LINENS: The Finishing Touch Luxury Linens DRAPING: Perez Events LUXURY RENTALS: Glam Party Rentals BAKERY: Palermo Bakery MC/HOST: Pastor Gregory Nelson BAND, SOUND SYSTEM & DJ: JP Sonic BAND LEAD SINGER: Felina Backer vendors Gifts for your bridesmaids
and groomsmen: Bridesmaids were given custom boxes which included champagne glasses with their names, accessory holders, scented candles, and customized robes. Groomsmen received customized boxes that included luxury bow ties from the groom’s small business, customized gold lapel pins, and cuff links.
DESTINATIONS MUNALUCHI BRIDE 93 The Fork Goes on the Left “Not Your Ordinary Wedding Fare” (718)-390-7468



OCTOBER 1ST + 2ND, 2021

Danya and Mike’s love story is unlike most millennial couples today. Instead of meeting on a dating app, through social media, or even via mutual friends, they truly met by chance. In the right place at the right time, the couple’s paths fatefully crossed in 2018 at an event hosted by the International Rescue Committee, a charity close to both of their hearts. Danya noticed Mike first and boldly joined his group's conversation. Her confidence paid off as Mike’s attention was captured! By the end of the night, he asked for her number in front of a crowd. She instead gave him her business card. Undeterred, Mike promptly called her the next day - and so began their journey to forever!

Fast forward to 2020, and Mike surprised Danya with an intimate proposal at a family cookout. Of course, she said yes! In October 2021, the couple celebrated their love and commitment in a Traditional Nigerian Engagement followed by a wedding the next day on October 2nd. Both celebrations took place at non-traditional venues to create a unique experience for their 250+ guests and allowed them to share their Nigerian and Jamaican cultures with the people they love. At the end of the night, Danya also shared an exciting update: she’s pregnant! We couldn’t be more excited for these two!

Day 1: Traditional Nigerian Wedding

Day 2: White Wedding


WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER: Camille Plummer of JunePlumm Events


PHOTOGRAPHER: Amy Anaiz Photography

VIDEOGRAPHER: Yamean Studio Films




DJ: Pulse Sounds

FLORAL DESIGN: Deniesha Joseph of Fun Fete Fabulous Events

WEDDING CATERING: Chef Wenford Simpson of The Simpson Restaurant & Bar in Brooklyn, NY


GROOM’S STYLISTS: Mr. Baldwin Style

STATIONERY: Le’Penn Designs


WEDDING VENUE: Art Factory Studios

LINENS: The Finishing Touch



DRAPING/LIGHTING: Shades of Grey Productions


WEDDING OFFICIANT: Sean McLean with Weddings By Aretha

CAKE: Ambrosial Confections


EVENT SERVICE TEAM: Ezee Event Services

wedding highlights:

Gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen: The bridesmaids all received the Amina gold hoops from Lola Ade, owned and operated by Pamela Adewoyin in Los Angeles. Gifts for one another: A lifetime commitment!
You Get Enough"
Ceremony entrance song: "Don’t Stop ‘Til
- Michael Jackson First dance song: "Nothing Even Matters" - Lauryn Hill & D’Angelo



JUNE 26, 2021

Chedna and Fanes' met in the cutest way possible while they were in grade school. The couple, who were introduced by Chedna’s brother, finally started seeing each other after Fane slid into Chedna’s DM’s. After Fanes' initial proposal plans were altered, the couple enjoyed a romantic Valentine’s Day proposal at Fanes’ home where the groom-to-be surprised the blushing bride-to-be with an enchanting display of candles and roses.

Captured by Gregoire Jules, this regal wedding gave us loads of picture-perfect forever memories! First guests arrived at the gorgeous waterfront wedding inside the exclusive Boca Lago Country Club in Florida and were treated to a royal-inspired wedding.

Designed by K&R One Stop Bridal, the ceremony featured lavish displays of fuschia, lilac, and purple-toned floral arrangements that coordinated perfectly with the gold decor accents of the indoor ballroom reception. With a huge crystal chandelier welcoming guests, the reception featured long-stemmed glass wedding candles with gold oval open back chairs and magnificently oversized white and gold wedding throne chairs fit for this king and queen!

96 NO. 26 | SUMMER 2022



wedding highlights

MUNALUCHI BRIDE 97 BRIDE'S DRESS/VEIL: Bridal by Marly BRIDAL SALON: Hair Chemistry Miami BRIDE'S SHOES: Sophia Webster BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Bridal by Marly CAKES/DESSERTS: Tacha’s Cakery, LLC CATERING: Boca Lago Golf and Country club CEREMONY VENUE: Boca Lago Golf and Country club EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: K&R One Stop Bridal ENTERTAINMENT: Singer, Saxophonist EVENT PLANNER: Kerline Luc (K&R One Stop Bridal) FLORALS: W&W Flowers and Events GROOM/GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Rich men Looks HAIR: Hair Chemistry Miami LINENS: K&R One Stop Bridal MAKEUP: Chemxbeauty PHOTOGRAPHY: Imagery by Jules RECEPTION VENUE: Boca Lago Golf and Country Club RENTALS: Imperial Party Rental / Luxury Prestigious Rentals STATIONERY: Boxed Wedding Invitation VIDEOGRAPHY: Angles by Djouny FLOOR WRAP AND STAGE: MPE Event Group
perfume set
Wedding flowers: Roses
Orchids Bridesmaids/groomsmen
received shoes for the wedding.
got a
and a
dance song: "Vitaa & Slimane" - Avant toi
wedding planner
advice: Start planning early and find a
that can make your dreams come to life. Don’t settle for



JULY 18, 2021


Text by Lily Taylor vendors

When Christina and Dacia met at work, their first exchange was anything but warm. Still, Christina wanted to get to know Dacia better and turned to her coworker for help, asking him to invite Dacia to hang out. The pair slowly began to develop a friendship during their shifts and eventually grew closer and closer. Christina shares, “We started out as friends, getting to know each other better each time we worked, and then exchanged numbers, it was like talking with my best friend… We fell in love and it's been growing each and every day!”

On Christina’s graduation day, Dacia surprised Christina by proposing during a private dinner with all of their family and friends present. It was a precious and nervewracking moment that the couple will never forget. “It was definitely magical and I could not help but cry…Just being surrounded by people that genuinely love you is the best feeling ever.”

Their glam Tiffany blue wedding celebration in St. Augustine, Florida was nothing short of wow, featuring plenty of bling, elegant decor, and a jaw-dropping grand entrance through a vault door. Being surrounded by their loved ones made their big day that much more perfect.

wedding highlights

Bridesmaids gifts: rainbow fanny pack, liquor, a rose, champagne glass that said team bride, bridal shirts that said Bride Squad and Groomette Squad, hangover emergency kit, and necklaces and earring set to go with their dresses. First dance song: Faith Evans - Never Let You Go

Advice for brides: Everyone can't come to the wedding and that's okay.

VENUE: The Treasury on the Plaza

PHOTOGRAPHER: Angelita Esparar Photography

PLANNER: Coastal Coordinating

VIDEOGRAPHER: Adam Pressly Films


FLORIST: Parker's Events

BAKERY: Taylor’d Flare

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT: McGee Entertainment

RENTALS: Connie Duglin Specialty Linen

PHOTO BOOTH: Shutter Booth

HAIR: Reneka Daniels

MAKEUP: Kimmy's Touch

ATTIRE: Inna Designs


Your wedding vendor search just got easier. Try our new vendor matching service where we match you with a MunaCoterie Member (one of our preferred wedding vendors) that fits your criteria. It’s that simple!





100 NO. 26 SUMMER 2022

While Kreasha and Michael both attended Texas State University for 5 years, they didn’t have their first interaction with one another until it was almost graduation time. Two weeks before Kreasha was set to graduate, they crossed paths on a party bus. Mike boldly shot his shot, but Kreasha wasn’t having it. Then, ironically one week later, they had their first real conversation on campus and soon after their first date at the movies.

Kreasha shares, “I knew Michael was the one for me from our first date. Everything felt so easy and effortless. He felt like a best friend I’d never known about but who knew me for a lifetime.” Micheal shared the same feelings, admitting, “When we went back to my spot and stayed up talking until 3 o’clock in the morning about life, school, and our dreams and visions, that’s when I knew she was the one.”

The lovely couple said “I do” on September 25, 2021 at the Prospect House in Texas. Their boho themed wedding with modern twists, including lots of candles, low dimmed lights, and delicious food, was a beautiful testament to their forever love.

Advice for brides:

"Take your time, plan early, save money, and do not go into major debt for your wedding. Do what feels right for you and make sure you take small moments throughout the night to actually savor the moments because it flies by so quickly. Oh, also make/pack an emergency kit with thread, needle, extra buttons, boob tape, and wet wipes (Tide pencil) you never know when you will need it." - Kreasha

wedding highlights

Wedding flowers: Pampas Grass and lots and lots of dried florals in whites, creams, & neutrals Favorite item on the menu: Beef short rib Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids received Chanel Earrings, customized robes, Fenty lipgloss, and Versace perfume. Groomsmen were given a customized cigar box, shades, a cigar cutter, and a flask.

First dance song: "Slow Jams" - Usher ft. Monica

PHOTOGRAPHY: Esther Makau Photography

RECEPTION VENUE: Prospect House Dripping Springs, Tx

RENTALS: LOOT Rentals Austin Texas

VIDEOGRAPHY: Agave Creative Austin Texas PHOTOGRAPHER: Esther Makau Photography PLANNER: Eclipse Event Co WEDDING INVITES: Joy Collab design

VENUE: Prospect House Dripping Springs, Tx CATERING: Soho Catering BAKER: Michelle Patisserie EVENT DECOR/FLORAL DESIGN: Good seed floral BAND: Charmin Greene Band

PHOTOBOOTH: Oh Happy Day Photo Booth


LINEN RENTALS: Premier Events Rentals

BRIDES GOWN: Pronovias Dione Dresses

BRIDE'S SHOES: Jimmy Choo Thyra 100


GROOM'S SUIT: Soto and Co Austin Texas



BRIDAL SALON: Pronovias The Domain in Austin Texas


VEIL: Amazon Fashion

CAKES/DESSERTS: Michelle's Patisserie Austin Texas

CATERING: SoHo Catering


RECEPTION DJ: Texas Premier DJs


EVENT PLANNER: Eclipse Event Planning by Lauren Chumbley

MAKE-UP: Carla Taylor Make-up

BRIDE’S HAIR: Slayedbyraa


GROOMS HAIR: Gabrielle Lynnette




How far would you go to impress someone? For Jaquan, when he first met Jessica, a beautiful, intelligent Haitian woman who knows how to speak another language, he thought he’d have to pull out all the stops to impress her. Little did he know, Jessica knew he was the one when they first met.

Nevertheless, when she asked Jaquan if his family came from another background, he naturally said yes. Jessica recalls, “He told me that he was Jamaican and his mom and aunts had a little business selling plates of Jamaican food.” For the next few weeks, Jaquan came bearing delicious ‘homemade’ Jamaican dishes. Then, one day, he nervously came clean: “I’m not really Jamaican, I was just trying to impress you… but I think I’m Jamaican because I know all of their dances.” Jessica burst out laughing! She could not believe he went through all that just to impress her.

Laughter is one of many things that bond these two and they can’t imagine a more perfect person to spend the rest of their lives with!

102 NO. 26 SUMMER 2022
JULY 11, 2021

wedding highlights

Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts:

Bridesmaids received custom robes and earrings

First dance song: U Move, I Move

John Legend Feat. Jhene Aiko

Advice for brides: Do not overthink anything and never make decisions alone. Always consider what your partner wants also.

Best wedding memory: Had to be my Husband removing my garter! He tipped my chair back and I knew he would never drop me! Everyone got so scared and ran to catch my chair but Quan looked at everyone like I got her… I ALWAYS got her!


BRIDE'S DRESS: Galia Lahav

BRIDAL SALON: Bridal Reflections

BRIDE’S VEIL: Boutique De Voile

BRIDE'S SHOES: Badgley Mischka

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Doll House Bridesmaids

CAKES: J’adore Cakes

DESSERTS/FAVORS: Taste by Spellbound

CATERING: Aria Wedding & Banquets



EVENT PLANNER: K. Barner Events

FLORALS: Pedestal Floral Decorators



PINSPOT LIGHTING: JB Lighting Production

LINENS: The Finishing Touch


BRIDESMAIDS MAKEUP: Keonna & Diamond Markerlla


PHOTOGRAPHY: Beauty & Life Captured

CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE: Aria Wedding & Banquets

RENTALS: Luxe Event Rentals & ABC Fabulous Events

STATIONERY: Zatorie, Truly Inspired Paper Co. & MVC Designs

VIDEOGRAPHY: JayNandez Films Inc.

OFFICIANT: Gary Knighton

DAY-OF SIGNAGE & TABLE NUMBERS: Monique Paper Art & Fran Johnson House





Jasmine and Divayesh’s meeting was a total made for tv moment when his sister, who was the bride-to-be, posed that question to Jasmine who was serving as one of her bridesmaids.

Three years later on Valentine’s Day, the happy couple said their I’Do’s in front of their friends and family at the breathtaking El Dorado Royale at the Generations Resorts in Riviera Maya captured by Ptaufiq Photography.

The couple’s gorgeous fusion wedding mixed glam Valentine’s Day vibes with their traditional American and Indian heritages. They incorporated a traditional Indian (Hindu) wedding with Gujarati traditions and also a traditional American (Christian) wedding with Jasmine’s father serving as their officiant.

Seeing their destination wedding in Cancun with beautiful oceanside landscapes, white sand, and palm trees, has us ready to pack up for our own romantic resort getaway in Mexico!

wedding highlights

Officiant: My father (Jasmine’s father) married us during the American wedding.

Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids received a monogrammed beach towel, jewelry for both weddings, bridesmaid’s bouquets, personalized tumblers, and “Bride Squad” PJs. Groomsmen received personalized toiletry bags, private label Crown Royal, Flasks, shot glasses, and a custom towel with their car business logo.

First dance song: When I first saw you by Jamie Foxx ft. Beyoncé


AMERICAN: Maggie Sottero

BRIDAL SALON: Ivory and Beau


BRIDE'S SHOES: Betsy Johnson



INDIAN: Radhika Collection

CAKES/DESSERTS: Patravali Cancun

CATERING: Patravali Cancun and Chef Kaushal

CEREMONY VENUE: El Dorado Royale at the Generations Resorts in Riviera Maya


ENTERTAINMENT: Drums in Paradise & MVP DJs

EVENT PLANNER: Unique Stories Weddings

FLORALS: Grupo Gama Cancun

GROOM'S ATTIRE: Richmen Looks


AMERICAN: Jims Formalwear

INDIAN: Radhika Collection

HAIR & MAKEUP: Sara Tamargo Makeup and Hair

LIGHTING: Desi DJ Weddings

LINENS: Grupo Gama Cancun



RENTALS: Grupo Gama Cancun

STATIONERY: Lucky Lady Paper, Puff Paper Co & Creative Union Design


JEWELERY: Kiian Silver

HENNA: Lemons and Mehndi

VENUE COORDINATOR: Weddings by Lomas Travel

“Wouldn't it be great if you were my sister-inlaw?"
"Where Natural Hair and Healthy Hair Meet!" Salon Noa Inc. 3780 Virginia Beach Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (757) 340-7555


Despite going to the same high school, Vonsia and Jamison never spoke until after they graduated when Jamison decided to spontaneously DM her. This led them to go on their amazing first date, where they had dinner and talked all evening until the restaurant closed. From that point, they both declared their intentions and dated for eight wonderful years before their wedding day.

On the night of the proposal, Jamison had two surprises in store for Vonsia. Vonsia thought she was attending an office Christmas party with her mom, when in fact, Jamison organized a surprise birthday party with all her closest family and friends. What was already an amazing night turned out to be even more special when Jamison asked Vonsia to join him in front of everyone and got down on one knee. Vonsia shares, “Everyone started screaming. I knew then what he was about to do…It was absolutely perfect and unexpected.”

106 NO. 26 SUMMER 2022

vendor love...

"Dajuan is the best photographer around. Don't debate me on this. He captured my bridal portrait, wedding day photos, and we also took photos in Asheville/craggy gardens a week after our wedding. We hiked up a cliff to get the best shots/angles. Mind you I hiked in my wedding dress, and Jamison hiked in his tuxedo. What amazing memories we have made. The pictures on the cliff are to die for. I was so proud of Jamison, considering he stepped out of his confront zone by being on that cliff. I'm more of the daredevil in the relationship... lol. Dajuan's professionalism, experience, guidance, direction, and funny personality are top of the line. He will always have us as clients." - Vonsia

wedding highlights

Bridesmaids and/or groomsmen

gifts: I provided my bridesmaid with earrings to wear on the wedding day. The groomsmen were provided with initial cufflinks and gold lapel chains

Wedding favors: Chick-fil-A Chicken nuggets and dipping sauce.

Bride entrance song: The one he kept for me

Groom entrance song: Real Big by Nipsey Hussle

Wedding Party ceremony entrance: For you by Kenny Lattimore

Bride & Groom reception entrance: Jamison and I came out at the reception to Going Bad by Meek Mill and Drake

First Dance: Looking for love by Mul-ty



In His Image Photography PLANNER: Elana Walker Events VENUE: The Loft Congdon Yards PREP VENUE: The Cardinal WS DESIGN: J.L. Evans Consulting
ATTIRE: Robert Jamison Collection ATTIRE: Winnie Couture MUA: Edwina Wallace HAIR: The Final Kut CATERING + DESERT: Cake Couture NC VIDEOGRAPHER: Chaz Reid Films ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Mike Lang & Bigg B
Their beautiful spring wedding featured warm orange hues and elegant decor, enhanced by candlelight and the perfect amount of sparkle. The love and positive energy from their family and friends made the celebration even more memorable.



APRIL 21, 2021

Bianca & Wilbert’s bohemian wedding was an intimate affair set along the Bayou, Slidell in Louisiana. After their original wedding plans in Mexico were delayed because of the pandemic, they decided a smaller traditional wedding was a perfect solution.

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, they tied the knot surrounded by 75 of their closest friends and family. The date was especially significant for them as it was Wilbert’s birthday and also the anniversary of his favorite artist, Prince’s death. A highlight for the bride herself was gifting her husband with a surprise visit to Paisley Park, a unique museum dedicated to Prince’s life.

Inspired by rustic bohemian flare, their wedding decor included neutral colors, wooden accents, and romantic florals. They even asked their guests to wear shades of neutral tones. The pair also paid tribute to their New Orleanian roots with some of Louisiana's world-famous cuisines on their wedding menu and a “second line” brass band to end their reception. They couoldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!

Gifts for one another: Wilbert gave Bianca jewelry and she surprised him with a trip to Paisley Park.

Wedding flowers: LaMonette Flowers

Favorite item on the menu: The wedding cake martini

Ceremony entrance song: “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce

First dance song: "Adore" by Prince

Advice for brides: Take the moment all in because it will go by fast.

My best memory from the wedding is surprising my husband with his wedding/birthday gift to visit Paisley Park because he is an uber Prince fan.

108 NO. 26 SUMMER 2022 BRIDE'S DRESS : Rue De Seine BRIDAL SALON : Unbridaled BRIDE’S HEADPIECE AND/OR VEIL : Rue De Seine BRIDE'S SHOES : Steve Madden CAKES/DESSERTS : D' Taste of Elegance CATERING : Palmetto's on the Bayou CEREMONY VENUE : Palmetto's on the Bayou EVENT DECOR/DESIGN : Dkay Designs ENTERTAINMENT : DJ Chicken & One Mind Brass Band EVENT PLANNER : Dkay Designs FLORALS : LaMonette Flowers GROOM'S ATTIRE : Ralph Lauren HAIR : Daizhan Rainey, Esly Guillen MAKEUP : Corian Coston PHOTOGRAPHY : Christopher Horne RECEPTION VENUE : Palmetto's on the Bayou RENTALS : Party Rentals Delivered STATIONERY : Holly Loves Paper VIDEOGRAPHY : B. Bryant Films
What is your best memory from your wedding?

MUNA coterie


The Islands of the BAHAMAS fly away

110 WINTER 2021

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