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FA L L .W I N T E R E D I T I O N 2019

T H E #1 M U LT I C U LT U R A L W E D D I N G M A G A Z I N E


welcome 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...

PHOTO:XXXXXT - MORE FROM THIS COVER STORY ON PAGE XX


Photo: Stanlo Photography


editor's letter

A

s we approach our tenth year in business, I can't help but look back on how much the wedding industry has changed since we jumped into it head f irst in 2009. Back when we started, there was no Instagram, no Pinterest, and Facebook was still pretty young. It was rare to attend a wedding where a majority of the wedding vendors were people of color. And it was extremely diff icult to f ind black or brown wedding professionals to book for your wedding day. Today, the options are plenty. Publishing brands have begun to make inclusivity a standard and there is a multitude of wedding inspiration accounts on social media that provide endless options for multicultural brides and grooms. There is still much that is needed in terms of diversity in the wedding industry, but the visibility for multicultural couples from when we started to now is much clearer. It's because of this increased visibility that couples are making conscious efforts to employ vendors of color for their weddings. Our covergirl, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, sought out to have the wedding of her dreams while utilizing black vendors -- and she did that with ease. We chose to feature her wearing a headwrap with a wedding dress (by a black designer btw) against a contrasting black background to represent bold, black beauty. It also symbolizes that our weddings are as diverse as our cultures, and that you can have a fabulous wedding while employing multicultural vendors -- just like Luvvie and Carnell did. (More from their wedding on page 54.)

photo: teshorn jackson

As you peruse through this issue, you'll f ind endless ideas and inspiration for your wedding day, as well as the vendors that helped bring these ideas to life. They represent the backbone of the wedding industry, and we'd love for you to support them. Keep us posted on your planning adventure. Happy Planning!

Jacqueline Nwobu CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MUNALUCHI BRIDE MAGAZINE EDITOR@MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM

FALL.WINTER 2019 CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

J acqueline Nwobu PRESIDENT

FA L L .W I N T E R E D I T I O N 2 019

The team at Munaluchi Bridal Magazine wishes to extend their thanks to all of the wedding professionals who gracefully shared their expertise and shared with us their works of art. All opinions 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.

Chike Nwobu

photographed by KESHA LAMBERT

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING + SALES

cinematographer: TRISTAN BARROCKS - FELICITY MOMENTS

photography assts: AUDREY WOOLARD AND NEALAN LAMBERT

Nicole McKenzie ASSOCIATE EDITOR

set/floral design: AKESHI AKINSEYE OF KESH EVENTS wardrobe stylist: AUNDREA LOVE

Samuel Naumick

hair stylist: TINIKA SADIKU

COTERIE COMMUNITY SPECIALISTS

rentals: ELLIE & ROSE

Brooke Porter, Taylor Hamilton

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makeup artist: FELICIA GRAHAM cover dress: LAURY BRIDE


CO N T E N T S

F eat u res 38

COV E R S TO R Y : L U V V I E A JAY I J O N E S

14

INTERVIEW WITH CHEF GREG

10

B R I DA L FA S H I O N T R E N D S

Engagem ents 16

AMIRA + KESTER

18

J E S S I C A + S H AW N

20

ANN-AMOI + RHIAN

20

28

In sp ir a tion 22

BOHEMIAN CHIC

2 8

SAHARA ELOPEMENT

3 4

PINK VELVET

94

MODERN MINIMAL GLAM

98

BUTTERFLY INSPIRED

1 0 2 V I N TAG E I TA L I A N R O M A N C E

18 8

39


CO N T E N T S

Real Weddin gs & vo w ren ewals 56

LUVVIE + CARNELL

Chicago, IL

66

DEANNA + QUINCY

Rockleigh, NJ

72

A M A N DA + A A D I T YA

Little Rock, AR

76

L Y N N E + JA M E S

Savanah, GA

80

ASHLEY + WILLIAM

Bouffemont, France

82

M U D I WA + C R A I G

Harare, Zimbabwe

80 56 8 4

N QO B I L E + B H E K I

CapeTown, South Africa

8 8

SYMONE + JEROME

Atlanta, GA

90

PAU L A + A N TO I N E

Bethesda, MD

108

64

PHOTO CREDIT: KESHA L AMBERT

R A S H U N DA + R AY M O N D

High Point, NC

1 1 2

C A N DAC E + G E O R G E

Bethesda, MD

114

A S H L E Y + YAW

Portland, Jamaica


Visit us at Bahamas.com/Weddings


B R I DA L FA S H I O N

BRIDAL FASHION TRENDS STYLISH ACCESSORIES Attention all 2020 Brides: New York Bridal Fashion Week has wrapped, and there was no shortage of inspirations. We at Munaluchi Bride are excited to present you with our favorite trends and standout styles for your special day. From a long sheer jacket to a blue crystal-embellished clutch, we know you will love to say "I do" in these selections. by Dana Angela-Alexis Miller

2 3 1

4

5

7

6 RESOURCES 1. Alexandra Grecco Lilith Jacket, alexandragrecco.com 2. Rosantica Crystal-Embellished Clutch, matchesfashion.com 3. Peter Langer Strapless Column Gown, peter-langer.com 4. Grace Lee Confetti Band, gracelee.com 5. Jennifer Behr Violet Tiara, jenniferbehr.com 6. YSL Studio Silver La Laque, yslbeautyus.com 7. Sophia Webster Evangeline Sandals, sophiawebster.com

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B R I DA L FA S H I O N

BOLD & BEAUTIFUL FLOWER POWER Floral patterns in the form of delicate appliqué dominated the runways during bridal fashion week and has always been popular in bridal fashion. In lieu of a bouquet, consider placing an abundance of fresh blooms in your hair.

PHOTO: MARCHESA

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2020 R U N WAY S T Y L E

ALLURING BALLGOWNS

SPECTACULAR SLEEVES

left to right, top to bottom Amsale Pnina Tornai Amsale Cushnie Sophia Tolli Pnina Tornai Amsale Ines di Santo Justin Alexander Photos courtesy of designers unless otherwise indicated

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PH O T O : E L IZA BE TH ME SSINA

D E S T I N AT I O N S

MUNA LOVE AFFAIR 2020 AN EXPERIENTIAL WEDDING SHOW BY MUNALUCHI

A T L A N T A | N J | D E T R O I T | P H I L LY | H O U S T O N | T O R O N T O | L O S A N G E L E S

SPRING.2018

more cities to be announced.

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g e t t i c k e t s at w w w . m u n a lo v e a f fa i r . c o m

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ASK THE EXPERT

Award-winning Chef Greg Taylor better known as @blackfoxceo on Instagram answers all your burning questions about your wedding day menu. Q: What’s cheaper, buffet or plated? A: It’s not about what’s cheaper it’s about the look you’d like to have. Do you want your guests walking around with plates? Or do you plan to have picky eaters who will waste pre-plated food? Having a buffet cuts down on waste because people can choose what they want and don’t want. If you’re going to have servers in the buffet line you may as well get the meals plated and have them bring your guests their plates. Although, you asked which is cheaper and honestly plated can be more expensive because you can manipulate the numbers and go with a smaller count. Q: Should we pick a kids menu? A: A lot of times kids are not the biggest fans of braised duck and a vegetable medley. Having a kids menu can be great and very inexpensive, but having that on your invitation says to guest “Bring your kids, we love having little monsters terrorizing the wedding and guess what, we’ll feed them!” (lol) No I’m kidding, as a father now I think it’s a great idea to have a backup kids menu available for your guests who you KNOW will bring their little ones. Q: Why are certain items more expensive than others? A: When you choose your menu, be mindful of the time of year your wedding will be. Certain season’s items are available and others are not so easily available it’s the same with flowers. Of course in

December flowers are more expensive in Chicago than they are in August. Fruit, fish and certain vegetables are all the same way. Yes they grow all year round, but if your wedding is in New York in December, shipments of vegetables will have to come from warmer climates now. Which makes it more expensive for the Chef. Q: When should I do the tasting? A: Most venues will ask that you do it 2 to 3 months prior to the reception. This is because, again, most items are not in season and others may not grow or taste best that season. I had a wedding in Mississippi one year and the year before I presented a delicious pecan pie for the dessert. The couple loved it and raved about it to all of their family members “I can’t wait for you to taste this pecan pie Chef Greg is doing with the pecans from his mom’s front yard.” What I didn’t know was that pecans don’t grow every year and sometimes it skips a season. So now for things like that I harvest during the good year so that I have them for the next just in case. But 2 to 3 months is a good time frame, but everyone is different. Q: Why can’t I bring in outside catering? A: Most venues have what’s called “Preferred Caterers List” This is a list of chefs and catering companies that this venue knows has their sanitation license and has all the credentials to cater an event with no interruption from the health department which could shut them down

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for business if they don’t comply. SO trust me….it’s not just you! Think of it this way….would you trust your brother’s new girlfriend with the mac n cheese on thanksgiving or do you want Aunt Carrol to take care of it because you know her abilities? Q: Beef, Pork or Chicken? A: Options are great but options are expensive. Giving more than one or two options can cost you. Guests are now Vegans and Vegetarians and Keto this and Diet that. Go with what YOU two want. You’re paying for it, keep that in mind. Also, many couples never really get the chance to sit down and eat. So make sure you cut out time just for that! Q: Do I have to be traditional? A: You can be whatever you want to pay for! Think outside of the box when it comes to your food budget. We’re living in a time of Food Truck mayhem, why not have multiple food trucks pull up and serve your guest. Set a budget, forget open bar and try open food! Q: My grandma wants to cook, but 200 guest is way too much and I don’t want to break her heart, what should I do? A: I totally understand this and the easiest way to fix this is to hire grandma as your personal chef for the couple and even the wedding party. Have her make her famous dishes just for you all. Grandma may be the best cook to you but remember she’s been cooking for you your entire life, not your guest. It may taste different to them and we don’t want Grandma’s feelings hurt on that way. Now if you’re looking to save money then sure, having family and friends take care of the food can save you. Just word of advice, still hire a personal chef to come and PLATE the items so that they look presentable. Most chefs like myself, are food stylists as well. LEARN MORE ABOUT GREGORY TAYLOR BY VISITING HIS WEBSITE. WWW.BL ACKFOXCOMPANY.COM.


D E S T I N AT I O N S

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E N G AG E M E N T S

Amira + Kester PRINCETON UNIVERSIT Y

THE PROPOSAL: Kester planned a romantic getaway to the

Catskill Mountains to celebrate our f ive-year anniversary in one of the most beautiful Fall locations. Leading up to the trip, Kester made sure he found a way to hide the ring so I wouldn't f ind it by mistake while we were unpacking. When we arrived at our private getaway in the Catskill Mountains, we prepared a dinner together and danced to Afro Beats. The evening couldn't have been more perfect. While I was getting dressed to continue to celebrate, Kester strategically placed a camera in front of the dinner table and pressed record to make sure he captured the entire surprise moment. When I came out to enjoy the dinner, Kester suggested that we exchange anniversary gifts. He gave me a large box to open f irst, and as I

WEDDING DATE: April 23, 2020

struggled to open it, Kester went to get the ring from his secret hiding spot. I pulled out a t-shirt from the box and read the note

WEDDING LOCATION: Pompton Plains, NJ

inside that said "A Forever Love." As I was holding the t-shirt up

HOW THEY MET: It all started on October 26, 2013. I was at Shannon

covering my face, I didn't realize that Kester was on one knee behind

Rose having a girls night with some of my closest friends. I was enjoying

it! In pure astonishment, denial, and excitement, I slowly put the

the single life, and wasn't planning on being in a relationship any time

shirt down and listened to Kester as he said the most heartfelt words

soon. One of my best friends, who always invites her boyfriend to girls

and concluded with "Will You Marry Me?" I experienced every

night, didn't miss a beat in doing the same thing that evening. When

emotion in that short moment, and 20 minutes later (literally), I

she got up to meet him at the door and didn't return, I went looking

f inally said "Yes, Duh!" We spent the rest of our anniversary trip in

for her, and as I turned the corner I saw a group of guys and thought to

pure bliss and couldn't wait to share the news with our family and

myself, so they came rolling deep. I walked up to the group to be polite

friends!

and introduced myself to them and said, "Hi, I'm Amira." One of the guys was Kester! After I greeted them, I turned away and started talking to one of my friends. Kester came back up to me and as I turned to face him, I accidentally hit him in the face with my left hand (coincidence?). I apologized profusely and then he said, "it's okay now you have to dance

FIRST DATE? Kester and I went rock climbing on our f irst date.

We are far from clichĂŠ and wanted to do something adventurous for our f irst outing together. It allowed us to get to know one another without being in an awkward sit down environment. .

with me." I thought, oh that was smooth. We brief ly danced and then he

FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE?

offered to buy me a drink, and I thought, oh wow a gentlemen too. We all

travel to serene locations. We love the mountains, amazing

headed to a mutual friend's house afterwards, and Kester and I exchanged

scenery, and architecture. We also enjoy quality time with

numbers before the night was over. The rest is history!

one another by simply relaxing at our new home in front of

Kester and I love to

the f ireplace, and watching movies together. HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN? Wedding planning

has been amazing! Kester is a phenomenal partner. He is always asking what's next on the list to ensure we are keeping things moving. I love how involved he's been in the entire planning process, and seeing him so happy to get things done, is so amazing to see. For myself, I have a planner personality and I also do project management for a living, so I am truly in my element with keeping things moving. Hiring a professional wedding planner was never even a thought. The overall process has been seamless, and all of our vendors have been great to work with so far. We've been adamant about ensuring our wedding is organized and fun! We want our wedding to be a big dance party f illed with love and positivity.


"Kesha Lambert is a true icon. The moment we stepped onto Princeton's beautiful campus she already found the perfect locations for our backdrop. My fiancĂŠ is not a fan of taking photos but somehow, Kesha was able to get him to smile, dance, and shine through every photo. The entire shoot was energetic, well thought out, and extremely positive. Kesha is amazing at her job and has a phenomenal artistic vision." - A mira

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

PHOTOGRAPHER Kesha Lambert KESHA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY www.keshalambert.com _ Dress: Alamour The Label Makeup: Beat by Twiggy


D E S T I N AT I O N S

Jessica + Shawn WASHINGTON D.C. WEDDING DATE: August 21, 2020 WEDDING LOCATION: The Mansion at Noble Lane OCCUPATIONS: Project Manager and Full Time MFA Graduate

Student at Rutgers Universit / Housing Specialist for African American Planning Commission

HOW THEY MET + PROPOSAL STORY:

Shawn and I met at work. After working

together for a month, Shawn left the job and then asked a mutual friend for my contact information. The mutual friend at the time, mentioned that Shawn was interested in me and wanted to take me out on a date. I shared my number, not expecting it to go anywhere. Shawn called me, we had a few conversations, he took me out on a f irst date, and we have been together ever since that day. The proposal was magical and very unexpected. Last August 2018, Shawn mentioned that he wanted to do a family trip with his sisters and his brother’s family. We did a cruise to the Bahamas. On the night departing from the Bahamas, after dinner, Shawn arranged to have the room decorated with rose petals, champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries. The proposal took place on our room balcony with the ring in the champagne glass. The proposal was very intimate and romantic. It was truly us! He had a camera set up in the window for us to show my family as well as his. DESCRIBE YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION. Shawn and I came ready to have fun and

make this a memorable experience. We enjoyed the time leading up to it by picking the studio that stood out to us, coming up with clothing concepts, buying champagne as a way of celebrating and as a prop, and creating a playlist that would bring out the fun and excitement for us both. Sequoyah really knew how to make us feel comfortable and really encouraged, inspired and built conf idence in us to want to try even more. With her artistic eye, we ended up taking pictures outside as well, breaking away from the original plan.

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

Shawn and I really wanted to represent Black Excellence in two different ways. We wanted the idea of legacy and partnership to really show in our pictures and Sequoyah truly captured that for us. From our chic moment to one of our favorite movies, Coming to America, we wanted our culture, pride, and friendship, and love to be represented. FIRST DATE? Shawn and I went out for dinner and then

drove to a pier where we had a chill conversation in the car. One of my favorite moments from that night was when he asked my permission to kiss me. HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR?

Wedding planning has been amazing so far. I have an amazing wedding planner who has truly been our guide, motivation, sanity, and realistic advice in every part of the process. God has truly blessed our relationship in so many ways and we are experiencing his peace, love, and grace through every part of this process.

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

PHOTOGRAPHER Sequoyah Daniel SEQUOYAH DANIEL PHOTOGRAPHY www.sequoyahdaniel.com _ Makeup: Tailor Made Faces Venue: FD Photo Studios

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

HOW THEY MET: I met Ann-Amoi at her grandmother's church where my

Ann-Amoi + Rhian

brother and I visited regularly, if you ask me too regularly, but hey, now that I look back I couldn’t be happier. In the beginning, I had seen her in passing. For years it was for the most part a “hi” and “bye” kind of relationship where I referred to her as “the skinny, pretty girl with long hair.” After a few years, my little brother joined her church and I had an excuse to go there more regularly. One particular summer my brother, my best friend, and a few others, went to a BBQ at her house. We both kind of felt uncomfortable even though we knew most of the people there. We were standing in a corner just chilling, vibing out and then Ann came along with this huge smile and bubbly personality. She single-handedly made that night better. Good food and good company is the way to go! After that night I secretly had a crush

NEW YORK TRANSIT MUSEUM

on her but I wasn’t going to make it hot. I had to keep up the “cool guy”

WEDDING DATE: June 26, 2020

together in church. Yes, my focus was still on God but this was a plus! Finally,

WEDDING LOCATION: Somerset, New Jersey

after a youth convention, I got the digits. That same weekend we went to

OCCUPATIONS: Educator & Electrician

personality. A couple of years went by and “hi” and “bye” turned into sitting

Lindenwood Diner where I put her on to Chance the Rapper. I knew that something real was there so we texted for a while. Then, I asked her on a date and went to dinner and a movie. For days I googled the perfect restaurant


D E S T I N AT I O N S

which she didn’t even really like but it was late so it was a great excuse on my part. For weeks we sat in the car for hours talking and having real conversation which showed me she had a good head on her shoulders. After a while, we were dating and now, poof! We’re getting married! DESCRIBE YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION. The only goal

we wanted for the shoot was to be different from all the other shoots we have seen. Our wedding planner Alicia sent us over different options of potential places for the photoshoot. We quickly started to look through so we could decide; as we were browsing together we fell in love with the metropolitan feel that the Transit Museum offered. Once we arrived it was better than we expected and seen in the photos. The whole session was hot and steamy but still f illed with an abundance of fun. Our photographer Nana was phenomenal, her eye for each shot was captivating - she captured our personality, and gave us great direction which allowed us to feel comfortable in each pose. After our session was done we were both so excited and could not wait to see the f inal results. HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR?

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

So far wedding planning has been delightful we can't complain thanks to the fact from the very beginning we decided to go with a wedding planner the lovely Alicia from Ile Events has made it enjoyable. TELL US WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ON THE WEDDING DAY: We are most looking forward to

PLANNER Alicia Mae ILE EVENTS www.ileevents.com

becoming husband and wife and sharing this pure true love we have for one another with our family and closest friends. PHOTOGRAPHER Nana Annan NANA ANNAN PHOTOGRAPHY www.nanaannan.com

MAKEUP ARTIST Melanie Brown BRIDES BY MELANIE B www.bridesbymelanieb.com __ Bride Hair: Klips Hair Care


W EDDING IDEAS Bohemian-chic never looked this stunning! Get into this inspiration shoot serving loads of wedding day inspiration for you and your bridal party. Photographed by Nana Annan Photography


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View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

FLORAL DESIGN Maritza Walton RITZ-WALTON COLLECTION www.ritz-waltoncollection.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Nana Annan NANA ANNAN PHOTOGRAPHY www.nanaannan.com

COORDINATOR/CAKE Denise Grant HACTAC EVENTS

VIDEOGRAPHER Jason Martin J MARTIN WEDDINGS www.jmartinweddings.com

MAKEUP ARTIST Felicia Graham FELICIA GRAHAM MUA www.feliciagrahambeauty.com

HAIR (FOR MARITZA) Nidiyah THE MANE LOFT www.themaneloftnj.com

SUITS/TUXEDOS Ilbert Sanchez GARCON COUTURE www.garconcouture.com

CREATIVE TEAM FLORAL & DESIGN: Ritz-Walton Collection COORDINATION/DIRECTOR & CAKE: Hactac Events PHOTOGRAPHER: Nana Annan Photog raphy VIDEO: J Martin Weddings MUA: Felicia Graham Beauty HAIR FOR MARITZA: Nidiyah of The Mane Loft BRIDE MODEL: Asia M Little GROOM MODEL: Aff Bruddah FLOWER ANGELS: Rye & Yaan ADDITIONAL MALE MODEL: Kyle BRIDES GOWN: Maplewood Bridal HEART/BACKDROP & FLOOR: Avi Desig n HAIR: Sirca Reaction SMOKE EFFECTS & SPARKLES: Love of Music Entertainment STYLIST FOR MARITZA: Sincere Armani MAKEUP FOR MARITZA: Faces by Nydia MARQUEE LETTERS: Slay Displays ENGAGEMENT CLOTHING: Bucco Couture SUITS: Garcon Couture PIPING AND DRAPE: Beyond Linen Rentals

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W EDDING IDEAS A stylized Sahara desert elopement Photographed by Brittany Boote


D E S T I N AT I O N S

T

he Sahara is absolutely one of the most surreal & captivating places in the entire world. The beauty of the setting sun in the desert is hypnotizing. You immediately become totally consumed

by joy, awe, and gratitude. It was a 13-hour drive across the country of Morocco, passing through the merging and fast-growing African towns. The road trip may have been my favorite part of this journey. The feeling we had when we finally saw the desert begin was just unreal. I had learned so much not only about this beautiful part of the world, but about the people in it. To have the opportunity to create, document love and learn in this environment was a total dream come true."

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"Morocco also has the best food I have ever had anywhere in the world. We stayed at Kam Kam Dunes in Merzouga. The Kam Kam dunes camp is basically a mini luxury experience right in the middle of the desert. If you have any interest in exploring this country, camping here is the absolute way to do it. Mae & Co Creative designed this gorgeous and fitting tablescape, along with the decor dancing in the wind. Brier + Ivy had the perfect touch with these dried florals for a bouquet."

-

Brittany Boote


I N S P I R AT I O N

creative team PHOTOGRAPHER:

Brittany Boote Photography

& Anni Graham

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DRESS: Elizabeth

Dye

FLORALS:

VIDEOGRAPHY:

Brier + Ivy

PLANNER/DESIGNERS:

Jessica Heron Images

Kam Dunes, Self Discovery Travel Morocco

Mae & Co Creative

VENUE/ACCOMMODATIONS: Kam

MODELS: Ronye

& Dom


D E S T I N AT I O N S

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WEDDING IDEAS What's not to love about this sophisticated pinkinspired inspiration shoot? It's loaded with ideas for your wedding or bridal shower. Photographed by Kristen Weaver Photography


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View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

EVENT PLANNER Vanessa Hayward VANESSA HAYWARD EVENTS www.vanessahaywardevents.com

CREATIVE TEAM EVENT PLANNER: Vanessa Hayward Events PHOTOGRAPHER: Kristen Weaver Photog raphy VENUE: Luxmore Grande Estate BRIDAL SHOP: The Bridal Finery VIDEOGRAPHY: Seltzer Films FLORALS: Blueg rass Chic Weddings MODELS: Jamarius & Lainey of Modern Muse Models MAKEUP & HAIR: Jazz It Up Artistry STATIONERY: Two Peas Desig ns CAKE: Couture Cakes by Lia GLASSWARE & SILVERWARE: Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals LINENS: Over The Top Rentals Linens TABLE & CHAIR RENTALS: Longwood Weddings & Events BRIDAL GOWN DESIGNER: Ines Di Santo VEIL: Girl and a Serious Dream


D E S T I N AT I O N S

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COV E R S TO R Y

WE'VE GOT A

LUVV JONES She's married now!

Luvvie Ajayi Jones, your favorite side-eye sorceress, put

down her pen and paper (she's in the process of writing her second book) for a day of glam and luxury. In the bio on her award-winning website, Luvvie is described as NYTimes Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Techie, Professional Troublemaker, Podcast Host, Wacky Wordsmith, Side-eye Sorceress, Witch of Wit. Can we add model to that? She effortlessly served look after look in our #MunaLuvv fashion editorial. Enjoy the inspiration and head to our website for an exclusive interview with Luvvie and her husband Carnell.

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Photographed by KESHA LAMBERT photography assts: AUDREY WOOLARD AND NEALAN LAMBERT cinematographer: TRISTAN BARROCKS - FELICITY MOMENTS set/floral design: AKESHI AKINSEYE OF KESH EVENTS wardrobe stylist: AUNDREA LOVE hair stylist: TINIKA SADIKU makeup artist: FELICIA GRAHAM Rentals: ELLIE & ROSE


COV E R S TO R Y

DRESS: Gali Karten ​​B OUTIQUE: Dimitra’s Bridal Couture ​​V EIL: Dimitra’s Bridal Couture MUNALUCHI BRIDE

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SUMMER.2019

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DRESS: Kosibah ​​EARRINGS: SuReina Bridal ​​H EADPIECE: SuReina Bridal


COV E R S TO R Y

interview by jacqueline nwobu


D E S T I N AT I O N S

DRESS: Berta Bridal via Dimitra's Bridal Couture HEADPIECE: Aundrea Love Collection EARRINGS: Aundrea Love Collection SHOES: Aundrea Love Collection


COV E R S TO R Y

She is...

DRESS: Stephen Goudeau ​​EARRINGS: Aundrea Love Collection ​​S HOES: Christian Louboutin HAT: Aundrea Love

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DRESS: Laury Bride ​​EARRINGS: Aundrea Love Collection HEADWRAP: Tinika Sadiku


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DRESS: Laury Bride ​​EARRINGS: Aundrea Love Collection HEADWRAP: Tinika Sadiku FALL.WINTER.2019

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TABLESCAPE DESIGN: Kesh Events STATIONERY: By Dami Studios RENTALS: Ellie & Rose

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"I am thankful to have a partner who matches me

in passion,

zeal, and zest for life." - LUVVIE

VISIT MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM FOR MORE FROM OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LUVVIE AND CARNELL. -

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DRESS: Pantora Bridal​​ EARRINGS: Dimitra’s Bridal Couture


REAL WEDDINGS

LUVVIE + CARNELL C H I C AG O , ILLINOIS SEPTEMBER 29, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y K e s h a L a m b e r t

I

t all started with a beard pull. Yup, you read that right. When Luvvie and Carnell f irst met, she pulled on his beard to get his attention when he walked

past her. Of course he was stunned, and truthfully, so was she at how bold she was. Carnell's response is what set them on their journey to love. He replied to her acknowledgement of pulling his beard and said, "If you're gonna do, then do it like you mean it." They exchanged numbers right after that and have been together ever since. With a huge social media audience, a NYTimes best selling book, I'm Judging You, and a TED talk that has garnered over 4 million views, Luvvie Ajayi has built a massive empire of fans and admirers across the globe. It's no surprise that her Instagram post announcing her engagement went viral very quickly. Fans were overjoyed to learn of her engagement to Carnell Jones and wanted to know more. They had been dating for several years before Carnell popped the big question in Paris in November of 2018, but only those close to her knew any details about their relationship. Although Luvvie has kept her private life tightly secured and out of the eyes of her massive audience, she felt the need to let us all in on what would be one of the most sacred moments in her life -- the #LuvvJones wedding. When they started the wedding planning process a few months after their engagement, they vowed that their wedding would be "good vibes, good food, and good music" and it turned out to be everything they wanted and more. Their hashtag #luvvjones was a perfect play on the movie Love Jones while incorporating elements of both of their names (Luvvie Ajayi and Carnell Jones). "I know I’m biased, but it might be the best wedding hashtag of all time." Luvvie states during episode 33 of her podcast Rants and Randomness. During the wedding planning process, which was made painless by her wedding planner and designer Akeshi Akinseye of Kesh Events, Luvvie and Carnell went through every single detail of their multi-wedding day. They had roughly six months to plan a traditional Nigerian wedding AND a Western Wedding. (It's diff icult enough to plan one wedding. Try planning two and having them occur on the same day in

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the same venue.) "Wedding planning and weddings in general feel like life bootcamp. It kind of feels like you’re being thrown into a f ire, and hopefully, you walk out of it not being too charred. But at the end of it is this thing, which is ultimately why you’re doing it, which is coming together in front of people with somebody you love. I had two whole weddings on that day." The wedding day timeline started with the Traditional Nigerian Wedding from 9am - 12pm, followed by the Western Wedding from 6pm - midnight. The purpose of the Yoruba traditional wedding is for the groom to ask for (or beg for) the bride's hand in marriage in front of her family and to promise to take care of her and treat her with the respect she deserves. It's the off icial merging of the two families, and is f illed with colorful outf its, lots of prayers and plenty of love. Each family wears distinct colors and outf its (AsoEbi) to represent either the bride or groom. Luvvie had her Asoebi squad wear gold while Carnell's wore burgundy. All of the gorgeous Asoebi outf its were custom made with inticately hand-stoned fabrics from Nigeria. Luvvie and Carnell wore turquoise with hints of gold and burgundy. Guests were served passed hors d'oeuvres that included traditional Nigerian delicacies. On the top of the cake were f lags that represented all of the countries that Luvvie and Carnell traveled to as a couple.


REAL WEDDINGS

"[The] f irst time I cried was when I kneeled in front of his mom for her to pray for me. It was such a humbling moment. Everything about the traditional wedding was humbling…" - luvvie

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Following the Traditional Wedding, guests headed back to their hotels for a quick wardrobe change and Luvvie and Carnell got ready for the Western Ceremony. Before the ceremony, they opted to do a f irst look. "We didn’t want to wait until walking down the aisle to see one another," recalls Luvvie. The ceremony was absolutely stunning with romantic candles and cascading white roses. Luvvie was walked down the aisle by her mom over a lush carpet of over 1000 white rose petals. The song was Lauryn Hill’s “Tell Him” sung live by Emmy Award winning actress and singer Cynthia Erivo and accompanied by a violinist. "Her voice is touched by the Gods," states Luvvie. The off iciant, Rev. Dr. Appianda Arthur, mother of Bozoma Saint John, started the ceremony by greeting everyone in ten languages. During the unplugged ceremony, Luvvie and Carnell read vows they wrote for one another. At the end of the heartfelt ceremony, they jumped the broom to honor Carnell's African-American culture. The precursor to the wedding was the lit cocktail hour with yummy cocktails provided by St. Germaine. It lasted for an hour and a half while Akeshi and her design team f lipped the room for the third time to get ready for the wedding reception. It was a whole lituation as Luvvie would say, and had guests already hyped before the reception began.


"MY MOM WALKED ME DOWN THE AISLE. SHE HAS BEEN MY ANCHOR AND MY GROUNDING. THERE WAS NO OTHER CHOICE THAN TO HAVE HER WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE." - LUVVIE

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At the reception, the room was transformed into a luxe, romantic dinner for the 270 guests with oversized white blooms accented with lush greenery. Gold large vases and gold accented chairs added the perfect touch of glam to the romantc design. The 2nd wedding cake was a classic white and gold cake with subtle drawings of the Eiffel Tower, an ode to where they got engaged. Dinner was phenomenal with a dual Nigerian and Soul Food menu. The couple served staple dishes like Jollof rice, mashed potatoes, Efo iro (spinach stew), stewed chicken and Catf ish. Guests indulged in the 5 tier cake (which had 5 different f lavors) and a frozè station. There was hardly a guest in their seats as the DJ played all the top hits throughout the night. Remember that swag/surf Luvvie initiated at the White House? Her wedding swag/surf was even more epic. As guests left for the evening they were gifted custom chocolates from black chocolatier Phillip Ashley and bottles of Mambo sauce -- favorites of Luvvie and Carnell. "We just wanted to make sure all of our guests felt loved," says Luvvie. Good vibes, good food, good music. The couple over exceeded their wedding day goals. For Luvvie, "We had an incredible time. Our wedding was full of love. I knew I would be surrounded by the people I love, but I underestimated how much love I would feel from it." When asked if she'll change her last name, Luvvie says, "Yes, I will be going by Luvvie Ajayi Jones." Welcome to the married life Mrs. Jones! FOR MORE ABOUT LUVVIE' AND CARNELL'S WEDDING, LISTEN TO HER PODCAST, RANTS AND RANDOMNESS, ANYWHERE WHERE PODCASTS ARE STREAMED. YOU CAN ALSO VIEW MORE IMAGES FROM THE WEDDING AND READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE COUPLE ON MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM.

"He doesn’t complete me, because I already felt whole before him.

It was his wholeness and mine that made

marriage to each other attractive." - luvvie


D E S T I N AT I O N S

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

WEDDING PLANNER/FLORIST Akeshi Akinseye KESH EVENTS www.keshevents.com

PHOTOGRAPHER Kesha Lambert KESHA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY www.keshalambert.com

CINEMATOGRAPHER Benjamin + Natasha Davis YAMEAN STUDIOS www.yameanstudiosfilms.com

CATERING (SOUL FOOD) Gregory Taylor BLACKFOX CEO www.blackfoxcompany.com

GROOM'S TUX Ilbert Sanchez GARCON COUTURE www.garconcouture.com

vendors PLANNING, FLORAL & EVENT DESIGN: PHOTO:

Kesha Lambert

VIDEO:

Yamean Studios

CAKES: HAIR:

Edet Okon

Felicia Leatherwood Jasmine Bruessard

BRIDE’S MAKE UP:

Sheena Marie Beauty

BRIDESMAIDS MAKEUP:

Pantora Bridal

BRIDE’S DRESS:

BRIDE’S 2ND DRESS: TRADITIONAL OUTFIT:

DJ:

Garcon Couture

DJ Bonsu

Nkechinyere Urum Jombo Vocals by Cynthia Arivo

BRIDE GRAND ENTRANCE: SAXOPHONIST: VENUE:

Yinka Owolabi

Moonlight Studios

WEDDING STATIONERY: CHAIRS & RENTALS: LIGHTING: CATERING:

STAFFING:

Ellie & Rose

Black Fox Company African Kitchen

Jewell Events Catering

LATE NIGHT STATION: STYLING: FAVORS: PHOTOBOOTH:

By Dami Studios

Sound Investment

CATERING:

"Our wedding was full of love. I knew I would be surrounded by the people I love, but I underestimated how much love I would feel from it." - luvvie

Tope fnr Bimmms24

Pritti Desig ns Co.

JEWELRY:

GROOMS TUX:

VIOLINIST:

Kesh Events

Sweet Kiwi Yoghurt

Seg un Gele

Phillip Ashley

Freckled Dragon Entertainment

HAIRCUT:

Illustrious Cuts


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DEANNA + QUINCY R OC K L E I G H , N E W J E R S E Y JUNE 1, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y K e s h a L a m b e r t P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

D

eanna and Quincy’s love story began when a mutual acquaintance (Deanna’s cousin and Quincy’s former New York Jets teammate) exchanged their Instagram information, connecting them over social media. After a few “f lirtatious DM’s” and text message conversations they were formally introduced at a birthday party where the chemistry between them was palpable. “I knew Quincy was the one given how respectful he was to me, my family, and his family,” Deanna recalls, reminiscing on when she began to realize Quincy was the love of her life. It was on New Year’s Eve of 2017 that Quincy would take their relationship to the next level. Prior to seeing the f ireworks display in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Quincy exited their limousine leading Deanna along the waterfront. Looking up to see the f ireworks she instead saw the words “Deanna will you marry me?” on the side of the Harrah’s Resort Hotel & Casino. “I don’t really remember what Quincy said, I just remember crying, screaming, and then crying about ruining my makeup!” Deanna and Quincy were pronounced husband and wife in a gorgeous garden ceremony on a historic estate in New Jersey. Their Peurto Rican and Nigerian heritages were incorporated throughout the evening, ref lected in the attire, music, and cuisine. Deanna was stunning in a Galia Lahav gown with soft lace applique, plunging neckline, and open-back. Surrounded by the love of family and friends, Quincy, stylishly handsome in a custom pink and black 18th Amendment tux, awaited his Bride at the altar where their love was eternally united. BEST MEMORIES: "How can I possibly choose one?! I would say our entrance! I decided to use the dry-ice clouds for our entrance instead of f irst dance, and we came out to Offset and Cardi B’s song “Clout,” which was super fun and unexpected. I think I did a pretty good Cardi B impersonation! Our guests loved it and it set the tone for the rest of the evening." ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: "Honestly, stay true to who you are individually and as a couple. Your wedding truly represents the both of you so it’s important to be honest about what works for you and what doesn’t. I know how challenging that can be, but it’s your wedding at the end of the day. One example was struggling to f ind a 2nd gown and accessories for it. I knew I wanted something simple that allowed me to dance at our after party, and I knew I wanted to do a high ponytail with gold hoop earrings. Although others were worried about it not being “wedding appropriate,” it was something I would totally wear – wedding or not. Looking back at my photos, I have zero regret and it was one of my favorite looks of the night! I had other brides-to-be tell me that I encouraged them to be true to themselves as well! You can never go wrong if you’re being honest."

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" Your wedding truly

represents the both of you so it’s important to be honest about what works for you and what doesn’t.” - Deanna


D E S T I N AT I O N S

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER Kisha A. Barner K.BARNER EVENTS www.kbarnerevents.com

PHOTOGRAPHER Kesha Lambert KESHA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY www.keshalambert.com

vendors EVENT DESIGNER & WEDDING PLANNER: K. Barner Events CINEMATOGRAPHERS Benjamin + Natasha Davis YAMEAN STUDIOS www.yameanstudiosfilms.com

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kesha Lambert Photog raphy CINEMATOGRAPHER: Yamean Studios Films DJ, SAXOPHONIST, HORA LOCA: Mike Music OFFICIANT: Married by Rev. Roxy FLORIST: Pedestals Floral Decorators CAKE: Jadore Cakes VENUE: The Rockleigh MAKEUP: Farzana Zaman HAIR: Hairinel & Styles by Niq J BRIDAL STYLIST: Vainglorious Brides GROOM’S STYLIST: The Groom's Garcon GROOM'S BARBER:

DJ, SAXOPHONIST, HORA LOCA Michael Johnson MIKE MUSIC www.iknowmikemusic.com

Triggaace WEDDING GOWN: Galia Lahav from Bridal Reflections BRIDE & GROOM’S SHOES: Tom Ford GROOM’S CUSTOM TUX: 18th Amendment GROOMSMEN TUXES: The Black Tux GROOMSMEN SHOES: Duke and Dexter BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Jessica Angel BRIDESMAIDS’ SHOES: David's Bridal ASO OKE: MadameKofo 3RD GOWN: Justin Alexander INVITATIONS & DAY-OF STATIONERY: Little

OFFICIANT Roxanne Birchfield MARRIED by REV ROXY www.marriedbyrevroxy.com

Black Dress Paperie DANCEFLOORS & ACRYLIC SIGNAGE: Bombshell Graphics RINGS: Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier JEWELRY: Gucci, Al the Jeweler, and Givenchy PHOTO BOOTH: MVS Studio - Fobo RING BEARER SIGNAGE: Castle Inn Desig ns


AMANDA + AADITYA L I T T L E R OC K , A R K A N S A S

FEBRUARY 22-24, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y J a n e t H o wa rd S t u d i o

Text by Samuel Naumick


We enjoy each other so much. There was not an ‘ah-ha’ moment, but rather a culmination of all the little things that matter,” Amanda fondly recalls, looking back on the time spent with Aaditya, leading up to where they are today as husband and wife. It all began on the campus of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where they were matched for residency as interns. Quickly becoming friends, it was that friendship that provided the perfect foundation for them to easily fall in love with each other. It was during a New Year’s Eve party in which they f irst noticed the spark of romance, which continued to grow that following year into the embers of love.

Amanda and Aaditya celebrated their union in both traditional western and Hindu ceremonies, including a Sangeet celebration prior to the wedding. Their traditional ceremonial elements of a wedding of India incorporated everything from the Groom’s Baraat, to the Mehendi ceremony for the Bride. Their western wedding was a traditionally elegant affair hosted within a modern architectural venue - creating a lovely balance of the two concepts. Amanda was gorgeous in a strapless Lazaro ballgown with sweetheart neckline, and embroidered pearl bodice. With the love and support of family and friends, they were forever pronounced husband and wife.

On March 11th, 2018, both Amanda and Aaditya’s lives would forever be changed when, following a day of romantic indulgences including a delicious brunch and relaxing couple’s massage, they returned to Amanda’s apartment. As she stepped out onto the landing she noticed rose petals paving her way. Following their path, she then saw Aaditya on one knee. Taking her hand in his, Aaditya looked into the eyes of the love of his life and asked if she would do him the honor of being his wife. With all of her heart, Amanda answered with a resounding “yes.”

BEST MEMORIES: “There are so many. Probably reciting our own special vows to each other at the Christian ceremony, performing our dance at the Sangeet, and my procession into the Hindu wedding surrounded by my sister, nieces, and bridesmaids. That was a special moment.” ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: “Get a planner if possible. Make sure to stick to what it is you want and not to be too inf luenced by other family members, because it is you and your future husband's day.”

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View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER Katherine Shell Benson BELLA BAXTER SPECIAL EVENTS www.bellabaxterevents.com

vendors WEDDING PLANNING & DESIGN: Bella Baxter Special Events PHOTOGRAPHY: Janet Howard Studio VIDEOGRAPHY: The Montoya Collective WESTERN EVENT VENUE & CATERER: Clinton Presidential Center CAKE: The Blue Cake Company FLORIST: Tanarah Luxe Floral LIGHTING/ DRAPING/SOUND: CWP Productions VENUE/ CATERER: The Little Rock Marriott EASTERN SANGEET CATERER: Taj Mahal Indian Kitchen, Little Rock LINENS/NAPKINS: BBJ Linen RENTALS: Hanks Event Rentals WESTERN EVENT DJ: DJ Derrick SANGEET & BARAAT DJ: M4U SUNDAY BRUNCH BAND: Bijoux and Rodney Block STATIONERY: Mrs. Post GLAM SQUAD: Aaron Charles SUNDAY BRUNCH FAVORS: Cocoa Belle Chocolates GETAWAY CAR (FRIDAY): Arkansas Destinations OFFICIANT HINDU CEREMONY: Priest Uttam Sloka Das Ji WEDDING DRESS SHOP: Bridals by Lori DRESS DESIGNER: Lazaro Wedding


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Lynne + James

S AVA N N A H , G E O R G I A

SEPTEMBER 21, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y D e s t i ny ' s C re a t i o n s P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick


V OW R E N E WA L

L

ynne and James celebrated their 20th year wedding anniversary with a cute and stylish vow renewal in Savannah, Georgia. Surrounded by the love and support of family and friends they expressed a love for each other grounded in twenty years of devotion and support. Looking back on their life together thus far, both Lynne and James agree that the number one element for a successful marriage is putting God f irst as the foundation of your relationship. Lynne adores James’ humor and supportive nature, and James is eternally appreciative of how his weaknesses are Lynne’s strengths - creating a perfect balance.

and friends was so special to us. It was a blessing to be able to bring all of our favorite people to our favorite destination, Savannah, GA.

WHAT WAS YOUR WEDDING LIKE?

When it comes to everyday meals we both will cook. James is the dessert king! The man throws down on some sweet potato pies and cheesecakes.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO AS A COUPLE?

We love to travel. Being able to get away and experience different cultures, try things we have never done before and eat good food. We always scope out restaurants to try from Food Network or Instagram to try while we are traveling. WHO COOKS?

Our f irst wedding was at the courthouse with our parents and James's best friend Mike. AS YOU CELEBRATE YOUR ANNIVERSARY, WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY?

Lynne: “The love in the room was infectious. We only invited our closest family and friends. These are our people. The ones who would go to war with us. To hear their hearts and how our marriage and life has impacted their lives was overwhelming. We counted it an honor to celebrate what God has done with all of them. The vows were also very memorable. I knew my husband would cry and when the f lood gates opened it did not shut. He allowed himself to be vulnerable and his vows carried a weight that was so sincere and powerful.” James: “My wife's vows were an example of the grace she walks daily. She has covered me at times I didn't deserve it and her vows reminded me that I made the best decision ever by choosing her as my wife. Our story of redemption is a true act of God's love and it gleamed throughout this day.” WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY FOR YOUR WEDDING THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO DO WITH YOUR VOW RENEWAL?

Actually being able to share this day with our close family

DO YOU HAVE ANY CHILDREN OR PETS?

We have two miracle children; Christian, age ten, and Janai, age nine. WHEN IT COMES TO CAREER, WHAT DO BOTH OF YOU DO AND HOW DO YOU MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER?

Lynne: “I am a wedding & event planner and I also work for my church as the Operations & Ministry Director. We are very intentional about our time together. We are a google calendar family. If it’s not on the calendar it's not happening. We make sure at least once a month to have a weekend where we can just be.” James: “I work in sales for Coca Cola and I am the owner of F8thful to the Assignment, a business that connects people, churches and ministries to resources that help them walk in their God given assignment. We do date nights when we can get a sitter for the kids. In the evening we often stay up late, laughing, netf lixing and chilling.” WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE?

We believe God is the number one element for a successful marriage. If both the husband and wife put God f irst, the MUNALUCHI BRIDE

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husband then stands as the foundation and loves his wife as Christ loves the church and they both submit to honesty, faithfulness and communication. PHOTOGRAPHERS David and Diana DESTINY'S CREATIONS PHOTOGRAPHY www.destinycreationsphotography.com

VENDORS PHOTOGRAPHER: Destiny's Creations Photog raphy FLORAL DESIGNER: LJ Desig n Studio EVENT PLANNER: LJ Desig n Studio EVENT DESIGNER: LJ Desig n Studio DRESS STORE: Camille's of Wilmington BAKERY: Gig i's Cupcakes Savannah EVENT VENUE: The Alida Hotel

HOW DO YOU KEEP THE SPARK IN YOUR MARRIAGE?

James: “Lynne is very intentional about showing love. She will take my phone out my hand and shut the TV off and sit on me so she has my undivided attention. She can be so goofy sometimes but she knows what sparks my f ire.” Lynne: “Sometimes James will send me text throughout to day to let me know he is thinking of me. Often if I am gone for a long day he will put a post on Facebook to let me know he needs my attention at the house.”

TELL US ABOUT THE VOW RENEWAL. WHAT INSPIRED IT? James: “When we

were 19/20 years old we had the option of the wedding or our own place. We opted for an apartment. So the real vow was to give my wife the wedding she wanted and deserved.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT EACH OTHER?

James: “The fact that my wife's strengths are almost all my weaknesses.” Lynne: “He makes me laugh and is very conf ident in who he is. One thing about James is he supports everyone, even those who don't show him love.” WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE FOR NEWLYWEDS? Understand the expectations of

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ASHLEY + WILLIAM BOUFFÉMONT, FRANCE AUGUST 27, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y A l a i n M b o u c h e

Text by Dana Angela-Alexis Miller

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shley and Willie were introduced to each other by a mutual friend to work together on a project for one of Willie's businesses for sports marketing in Los Angeles, California. They did not know what each other looked like because they solely communicated over the phone and email. Willie asked Ashley to lunch at a restaurant in Hollywood to discuss logo designs for his company. That day was the start of a beautiful relationship that rapidly evolved into an incredible romance. They are inseparable at work and in their personal lives. The same day they met to work together, it was the same day Willie told his business partner he was going to marry Ashley, knowing very little about her. Ashley also felt that the moment they met they were going to be a part of each other's lives forever. Their love journey has been emotional, soulful, and spiritual. They have an unbreakable connection that has been built and protected by God. To celebrate two years of dating and Willie's 30th birthday, they took a trip to London and Paris. It had always been their dream to get married in Paris, France. They jokingly discussed getting married on their trip. However, everything fell so seamlessly into place that they knew it was meant to be, and their dream wedding became a reality in just one week. Ashley and Willie were pronounced husband and wife during an

intimate, yet romantic ceremony at the Château Bouffémont in Bouffémont, France. Ashley walked down to meet her husband in a stunning and elegant full-length, lace mermaid gown designed by Enzoani. Her dress was complemented with a custom-made veil by Sima Couture Paris. They plan on having a traditional Middle Eastern style reception to celebrate with their families next year. BEST MEMORIES: The best part of the wedding was right after we kissed, as we walked back into the Chateau, hand-inhand, f illed with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, love, and oneness. It was the moment we both felt that we are now each other’s forever. ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: Three words: patience, respect, and trust. These are the three key things that make up a successful relationship. When we say successful, we do not mean perfect. We mean longevity and happiness. Strong relationships are not easy because nothing worth f ighting for ever comes easy. They require time and understanding. The love is already there if you want to be with this person, but it takes more than that. So again, patience, respect and trust, and you’ll be able to get through almost anything together.

vendors BRIDE'S DRESS: Enzoani BRIDAL SALON: Sima Couture Paris BRIDE'S HEADPIECE/VEIL: Sima Couture Paris BRIDE'S SHOES: Jimmy Choo BRIDESMAID DRESS: Zara CEREMONY VENUE: Château Bouffémont EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Château Bouffémont FLORALS: Caroline Love GROOM'S ATTIRE: Suit Supply GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Suit Supply HAIR: Cristal Tshibang u MAKEUP: Magalli Maho PHOTOGRAPHY: Alain Mbouche RECEPTION VENUE: Sima Couture Paris VIDEOGRAPHY: BKT Films OFFICIANT: Aude Abadie HOTEL: The Westin Paris- Vendôme


MUDIWA + CRAIG HARARE, ZIMBABWE JULY 20, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y P i c t u re H u b Z i m

Text by Samuel Naumick

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I poured my heart out and told him of my intentions, hopes and feelings for him...I always laughed at couples that would say ‘when you know, you know,’ and I was now the one not laughing as I knew that day he was the one.” Fondly looking back on the day of their f irst date, Mudiwa recalls that moment when she realized she had discovered the love of her life. Their love story began at the wedding of Craig’s sister, for which Mudiwa’s mother was a planner - who, unbeknownst to them, was also planning their match-making.

Mudiwa and Craig were married in a stylish and sophisticated ceremony with modern edged decor. The red f lorals popped against an ebony and gold themed color palette. Mudiwa was gorgeous in a mermaidinspired Vonve Bridal Couture gown with lace applique and detachable over-the-top ceremony skirt. Craig was debonair at the altar in a stylized black Jan-Jam tux, where awaited his bride. Surrounded by the love and support of family and friends they said “I do” to happily-ever-after.

Though the sparks didn’t f ly during their initial introduction at a planning meeting, and only casual conversation took place between them during the rehearsal and wedding, Craig decided to ask Mudiwa on a date about a week later. Surprised by the offer, Mudiwa agreed and together they experienced a “magical” evening that has come to change both their lives for the best. Craig recalls how the “conversation was stuttered at f irst, then it began to f low effortlessly and I have no idea where the time went, all I knew is that I didn’t want it to end.” Within two months Craig knew that Mudiwa was meant to be his wife, and during an intimate private breakfast with her father Craig asked Mudiwa for her hand in marriage.

BEST MEMORIES: One of the most beautiful moments of my day was having my dad drive me to the wedding ceremony and the whole ride there was just us ref lecting of where God had brought me from and walking down the aisle with him to meet my soon to be husband. I said I wouldn’t cry, but I couldn’t hold the tears in. ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: Make sure when you start planning the wedding to live within your means and work within your budget. In the end there’s life after the wedding. Remember the wedding is a celebration of your love.

vendors BRIDE'S DRESS: Vonve Bridal Couture BRIDAL SALON: Lee-Anne's Hair & Beauty Salon BRIDE’S HEADPIECE AND/OR VEIL: Vonve Bridal Couture BRIDE'S SHOES: BHLDN BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: K8o Fashions CAKE: Rhys Cake CREATIONS CATERING: Pomeg ranate Zimbabwe Ceremony VENUE: St Gerard’s Catholic Church EVENT DECOR/DESIGN/COCKTAIL FURNITURE/DECOR ITEMS: VIP Hosting Tendai Kevin Zhou ENTERTAINMENT: Adrian Tate Music EVENT PLANNER: Petronella Tshatedi Tsho Tshatedi Elysian Event Productions FLORALS: Tangerine Co Zillah Roshelle Chilowa GROOM/ GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Jan-Jam Men's HAIR: Amare Boutique LIGHTING: Davies Events LIVE LINENS: VIP Hosting Tendai Kevin Zhou MAKEUP: Tsungai Makwanya PHOTOGRAPHY: PictureHubZim RECEPTION VENUE: Parklands Business Park STATIONERY: Moniq Paperworks VIDEOGRAPHY: Mirazvo Multimedia Productions SOUND & PYROTECHNIC: Divine Concert Sound Divine LUXURY CAR: Premier Autoservices TABLES: Lux Hire GHOST CHAIRS/CUTLERY/CHARGERS: Lucy

Dlodlo GLASSWARE/FLORALS/DECOR: Kuyana Event Desig n Kudzi Mutero CROCKERY & HIRE EQUIPMENT: Ydt Hiring MC: Maimba the MC

DJ: DJ Cuzindred MOTHER OF BRIDE DRESS: Sigal Sandton City Shop MOTHER OF BRIDE Fascinator: Monica Kumalo FATHER OF BRIDE SUIT: Balmain Amare Closet Boutiquè BRIDESMAIDS MAKEUP: Beauty Redefined BRIDESMAIDS HAIR: Hair by Julie WINE: Amaani Blue Wines DECOR ELEMENTS: Greyed Out DESSERT CAKE: Spoon and Maiden

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NQOBILE + BHEKI C A P E TO W N , S O U T H A F R I C A SEPTEMBER 22, 2018 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y Z a ra Z o o P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick


It’s diff icult to explain,” Nqobile ref lects on her coming together with Bheki, “it’s as if the universe shifted everything

to ensure we would meet...I knew that I would never want to be with anyone but him.” The path towards each other began when the boyfriend of a best friend decided to set Nqobile on a blind date. In Nqobile’s words, that blind date turned out to be “the f irst and worst blind date” she had ever been on. Feeling terrible about the negative experience, that same acquaintance decided to try setting her up on another blind date. When Bheki f irst entered the room as the second blind date, Nqobile recalls praying; “God, please let that be my blind date,” somehow knowing deep down that she was about to meet her future husband. As it turned out, for Nqobile the second time was the charm, with her connection to Bheki feeling entirely natural. Within each other they had both discovered a best friend, soulmate, and the love of their life. Nqobile and Bheki remained engaged for f ive years, honoring during that time Zulu tradition with ceremonies such as the Lobola; the bringing together of both families to honor the gift that is the bride, the Umembeso; the giving of gifts to the bride’s family, and the Umabo; the traditional Zulu wedding ceremony. For their western wedding, Nqobile and Behki were married in a gorgeous garden ceremony at a vineyard in the heart of wine country in Cape Town, South Africa. Nqobile was stunning in a strapless Pronovias Princess dress with a striking layered tulle skirt, sweetheart neckline, lovely train, and completed with a traditional veil. Bheki awaited his bride-to-be at the altar in a handsome classic ivory Tom Ford tux where they were joined, happily ever after, as husband and wife. BEST MEMORIES: Coming down the aisle and being walked by my mother, having my two little boys run up to meet me halfway and looking up to the altar and seeing my dreams become a reality…the sense of family and the love that I felt will forever be unmeasurable. ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: No need to stress about details, enjoy the process and have fun on the day. That moment is about you and will forever be etched in your hearts so what better way than to enjoy the journey together. Take your time so as to avoid f inancial woes later, rather take longer and pay for everything through cash then to be indented after your special day. We took a whole f ive years because we knew what we wanted and were not under pressure to say I do - take your time!


vendors BRIDES DRESS: Pronovias BRIDAL SALON: Fancy Claws (Durban) BRIDAL HEADPIECE/VEIL: Bride & Co BRIDAL SHOES: Prada BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Treasure Cindi (Durban) GROOM ATTIRE: Tom Ford GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Tom Ford HAIR: Pats Perfect Beauty MAKEUP: Poutbig Mobile Makeup Studio (Cape Town) CAKE: Wades Cake CATERING: Two Chefs CEREMONY VENUE: MolenVliet Oosthuizen Family Vineyards DÉCOR & DESIGN COORDINATION: Wedding Concepts ENTERTAINMENT: Khanya Sosibo (MC) Felix Hlophe (Comedian) FLORALS: Aspen & Co STRUCTURAL DÉCOR & LIGHTING: Something Different LINENS: Tablecloth Hiring BESPOKE HIRING: Two Birds BESPOKE HIRING: Distinctive Event Furniture Hire FURNITURE HIRING & STYLING: A|Create DRAPING: Event Draping Company PHOTOGRAPHER: ZaraZoo Photog raphy VIDEOGRAPHER: ZaraZoo Photog raphy RECEPTION VENUE: MolenVliet Oosthuizen Family Vineyards STAFFING & HIRING: Urban Tonic STATIONERY: Lara's Desig ns


D E S T I N AT I O N S

SYMONE + JEROME AT L A N TA , G A SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y L a j o y P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

W

hen Symone and Jerome were f irst introduced at work

her rock in the storm. “I had seen him be my support system

“it wasn’t exactly love at f irst sight,” Symone recalls, “he

at my best,” she recalls, “but seeing him by my support system

barely said a word and he def initely didn’t make a move so we

at my worst, that is when I knew he was the one for me.” For

both continued on our way.” A few months later they reconnected

Jermone, Symone was the person that helped him stretch beyond

over social media when Symone saw Jerome tagged in the post of

his comfort zone, “becoming a more emotional and expressive

a mutual connection and decided to follow him. “One double-

person,” he states, “she helped me be a better version of myself.”

tap led to another” and casual conversation evolved into playful

And so it was, at the base of Stone Mountain, along a lakeside,

banter and f lirtations. A f irst soon followed strengthening their

where Jerome asked Symone for her hand in marriage - followed

bond even further and they’ve remained together ever since.

by a surprise engagement celebration where their entire family

Symone knew Jerome was the one when throughout the diff icult time of her mother’s battle with breast cancer, Jerome became

awaited. Symone and Jerome jumped-the-broom in a vintage-glam wedding

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in Atlanta. Creating a family tradition, Symone serenaded Jerome with a vocal performance prior to walking down the aisle, as her mother did for her father at their own wedding. Symone was gorgeous in a f itted and beaded Crystal Designs gown with a plunging neckline, seamless overskirt and cathedral veil. Jerome awaited his bride at the altar, looking dapper in a classic blax tux, where they were forever pronounced husband and wife.

vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: LaJoy Photog raphy PLANNER: Emore' Campbell EventS VENUE/CATERING/CAKE: Spring Hall VIDEOGRAPHER: Champag ne Love Stories FLORIST: Xpressions Floral Desig n HAIR: Sew Serious MUA: Makeup by Kimaris DJ: DJ A Plus ENTERTAINMENT: Orchestra

BEST MEMORIES: Jerome: “My favorite moment was hearing her sing to me and seeing the

joy on everyone’s faces in that moment.” Symone: “Listening to his vows, they were so heartfelt and I just remember feeling so present in that moment.”

Noir TRANSPORTATION: Safe Way DriverS PIPE & DRAPE/DECOR: Event Drapery PHOTOBOOTH: Selfie Mirror ATL ACCESSORIES: Gre Dee Arts ACRYLIC SIGNAGE: Branded by Bernel STATIONERY:

ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: Two things I would recommend; f irst, def initely hire

Creatively Olivia BRIDE'S LASHES: Everlasting Lash3ss TRANSPORTATION:

a wedding planner! Our planner, Emore Campbell, was heaven sent! She was intentional in

Special Day Limos TRANSPORTATION: ATL

making sure that we were present in the moments that matter, which leads me to my second

Sprinters COOKIE TABLE: Sweet Details

piece of advice: be present. Weddings are over in the blink-of-an-eye, so be intentional to spend

BRIDE'S DRESS: Crystal Desig ns

moments with each other, take a step away from the pictures and the production and just ref lect in the moment of your union. We even planned a last “single” date the week of the wedding before everyone started to come in town, we just wanted our moment before we had to share it with all of our family.

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

PHOTOGRAPHER LaJoy Cox LAJOY PHOTOGRAPHY www.lajoyphotography.com


D E S T I N AT I O N S

PAULA + ANTOINE B E T H E S DA , M A R Y L A N D M AY 2 4 , 2 0 1 9 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y I r i s Ma n n i n g s

Text by Samuel Naumick


A

ntoine was the newest company team member

It was the week of Paula’s birthday when the perfect

when Paula took him under her wing, teaching

proposal opportunity presented itself to Antoine in

and guiding him through processes and policies. “She

the form of a surprise birthday trip to Miami. Making

quickly became the person I wanted to talk to and spend

reservations for a romantic dinner, Antoine repeatedly

most of my time with,” Antoine fondly recalls. Overtime

went over his “gameplan” in his mind, perfecting the

their work relationship evolved into a friendship,

details. Throughout the evening they reminisced about

with Paula and Antoine becoming “movie buddies.”

their time together before Antoine gave Paula her

Paula remembers the moment their friendship become

birthday gift of a personalized story book f illed with the

something even more, “he used the movies as his way in

memories they had made. The atmosphere was charged

to try to pursue me. I called him out one night when I

with emotions as she f lipped through the book. On the

asked him, ‘are you trying to date me?’ He replied yes

last page was a picture she had taken of a Ring-Pop with

and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”

the added caption “You’re worth the real deal.” It was

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at this moment that Antoine rose from their table before getting down on one knee in front of her to ask if she would do him the honor of being his wife. Wedding dress shopping for Paula was a “fun and emotional” experience, taking to the bridal salons with her parents and friends. Originally intent on a ball gown, it was at a bridal salon in Maryland, recommended by her mother, where she fell in love with something outside of her original vision and more f itted. “I knew this was the dress when I walked around the store and cried,” Paula recalls the f irst time she wore her lace and beaded Martina Liana gown with detachable straps, “I felt like a princess...I felt like a bride.” Antoine, dapper in a traditional black tux with modern edge, jumpedthe-broom with his gorgeous bride in a beautiful ballroom wedding, forever uniting them as husband and wife. BEST

MEMORIES:

Paula:

“The

best memory from our wedding was us reading our personalized vows to each other. They were thoughtful and heartfelt. It was crazy that we had some of the very same wording. When Antoine began to cry as he was saying his vows my heart melted. The f irst look moment with my Dad is a strong second!”


REAL WEDDINGS

Antoine: “The best memory from my wedding would be sharing our vows. Our vows were

very

emotional

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website at vendors.munaluchibridal.com

and

heartfelt. We shared similar sentiments to each other in our vows which made me feel even more solidif ied in my decision to marry her. I choked up a bit when it came time to commit myself to her before our family

FOR

STATUESQUE EVENTS www.statuesqueevents.com

vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: Iris Mannings

and friends.” ADVICE

PLANNER/DESIGNER Feyisola Ogunfemi

VIDEOGRAPHY: Henry Adewale Films

ENGAGED

COUPLES: We would advise every engaged couple to soak in the process as it goes by pretty

fast. Find a wedding planner

PLANNING & DESIGN: Statuesque Events HAIR: Christian Adior MAKEUP: Shiedha O Beauty of Hellooo Gorgeous FLORALS & DECOR: Beau Decors VENUE: The Bethesda Ballroom HOTEL: The Mandarin Oriental BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Dessy Group

who can execute your vision.

BRIDE'S DRESS DESIGNER: Martina Liana

Work together to make both of

BRIDE'S SHOES: Badgley Mischka

your visions come to life. Allow

GROOM'S TUX: Henry Couture Paris GROOM'S SHOES: To Boot New York

there to be some give and take

GROOMSMEN SUITS: Men's WearHouse

on both ends, and do not get

BRIDE'S DRESS SHOP: Betsy Robinson Bridal

hung up on every small decor detail. The day is for you to

TRANSPORTATION: Uptown Bus CATERING: Putting on the Ritz COCKTAIL HOUR CATERING: Chops by Rera

bring your friends and family to

CAKE: Mon Delice

celebrate your union and have

DJ: DJ Schemes (from DC Radio Station KYS DC)

an unforgettable time. Don't try to please everyone, just please each other.

WALL DESIGN: Ten23 Desig ns FLOORING: The LightSource Company OFFICIANT: Ceremony Officiants STATIONERY: Minted


WEDDING IDEAS

WE D D I NG I D E AS Modern minimal wedding inspiration with a touch of glam. Photographed by Theresa Elizabeth Photography


The inspiration... "New Orleans’s Cajun cuisine, distinct French and Spanish influenced architecture, Jazz music, and Second Line marching bands, sparks a great deal of inspiration. Surrounded by the magic of New Orleans I wanted to design an elegant yet vibrant look as a nod to this beautiful city. The color palette of gold and white throughout was inspired by the city’s timelessness and rich heritage. Lush all-white floral arrangements and candelabras from Blucid Floral resulted in beautiful textures and height to the tablescape. The gold-mirrored Cartier chairs from Chair Couture were the perfect accent to complete the design. Orchids, roses, and greenery were used throughout to create a cohesive look between the stunning invitation suite by Exquisite Events and the classic Gambino's Bakery cake surrounded by a garland created by Leaf and Petal Floral Design. The Monastery was such a gorgeous blank canvas that allowed for a clean, refined look. The creative team a part of this editorial was amazing to work with and the opportunity to attend the Inspire Design Workshop was one to remember!" -

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Faith Folayan


View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

PLANNER/DESIGNER Faith Folayan THIS LOVE WEDDINGS www.thisloveweddings.com

CREATIVE TEAM EVENT: Inspire Desig n Workshop BEAUTY: Just Face it LLC DRESS DESIGNER: Berta Bridal DRESS STORE: Town & Country Bridal INVITATION DESIGNER: Exquisite Events FLORAL DESIGNER: Leaf + Petal NOLA CAKE DESIGNER: Gambino's Bakery EQUIPMENT RENTALS: Chair Couture NOLA EQUIPMENT RENTALS: Event Rental RECEPTION VENUE: The Monastery FLORAL DESIGNER: Blucid Floral EVENT PLANNER: This Love Weddings PHOTOGRAPHER: Theresa Elizabeth Photog raphy


WE DDING I DEAS Luxe inspiration inspired by butterflies with hints of the Pantone 2020 Color, classic blue.

Photographed by Chip Dizard


WEDDING IDEAS

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The inspiration... "Beauty is relative to the person it captivates and can be found in all things! My original inspiration for the design was built around the chandelier room! I was determined to create a romantic, yet dramatic love story using collaboration of color, boasting lush, vivid florals in hues of navy blue, plum and mauve plus gold accents, candles and butterflies... Blue is my favorite color and the gray slate table had so much personality, I refused to cover it with linen. So, I simply accented it with navy blue velvet runners to add depth, as well as coordinate with the navy blue satin napkin and menu cards at each place setting. From the gold flatware, polka dots lined china and purple velvet chair cushions, to the cake and specialty drink... Every single detail was carefully thought out to create dimension and texture to my design. The bride and groom are a married couple and brought their genuine love, splendor, and dedication to the shoot. It was important to me that the bride wore her hair in big, bold natural curls and had a personality to match! Khristena did not disappoint! She’s a natural beauty that gave us a lot to work with! It was also important that the groom wore navy blue suit and bowtie, which is a core color of the design. Kelvin wore it well his suit well. A perfect complement to the bride, the design and the shoot." -

nikiya alexander


View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

PHOTOGRAPHER Chip Dizard CHIP DIZARD WEDDINGS www.chipdizardweddings.com

FLORIST Angie Wright EMBELLISHED DETAILS www.embellisheddetailsva.com

VENDORS PHOTOGRAPHER: Chip Dizard FLORIST: Embellished Details CAKE: The Cake Courtesan DINING CHAIRS: Lux Event Rental FLATWARE, GLASSWARE, CHINAWARE & CHARGERS: Party Rental LTD STATIONERY: Fingers In Ink SPECIALTY COCKTAILS: Molecular Cocktails STYLIST: New Vintage by Sam MAKEUP ARTIST: Shannie on the Beat PLANNING & DESIGN: Joli Events LLC CALLIGRAPHY: Callig raphy Dame VENUE: LaVie DC

CREATIVE TEAM

MODEL: Khristena Marcus MODEL: Kelvin Marcus


W EDDING IDEAS Vintage glamour with hints of blush and ivory. Photographed by Trene Forbes


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WEDDING IDEAS

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The inspiration... "This stylized shoot represents elegance, vintage glamour, and romantic details that captivate us every time. These details are a perfect match for a gorgeous vintage Italian Wedding theme. The details are plush, with a hint of blush tones, the roses and hydrangea florals chosen are as beautiful as they are uncommon + the relaxed Italian vibe shines through the images in such a pretty way. With a vintage blush tablecloth, we have grand floral arrangements on gold vases with beautiful candelabras with hanging crystals. Beautiful vintage white and gold chargers, small floral arrangements set in gold vases captivated this tablescape. This is the perfect dose of inspiration that can translate to a picturesque celebration. This shoot was produced at The Grand, which is one of the most iconic event venues located in Baltimore, MD."


View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

FLORAL DESIGN/DECOR Roberta Salcedo BELLA FIORI www.bellafioriflowers.com

TRENE FORBES Trene Forbes Photography TRENE FORBES www.treneforbes.com

CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Trene

Forbes Photography

DÉCOR, DESIGN & FLORAL INSPIRATION:

Bella Fiori VIDEOGRAPHER: Profess Multimedia CAKE DESIGNER: Whimsy Cakes COORDINATING AND PLANNING: JEWL COUTURE EVENTS AND DESIGN VENUE:

The Grand Baltimore TUXEDO: Miguel Wilson Collection BRIDAL GOWN: Modern Trousseau MAKEUP ARTIST: Inner Diva By Reva FEMALE MODEL: Eryn Paige MALE MODEL: Isaiah Austin


D E S T I N AT I O N S

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CO N T E N T S

RASHUNDA + RAYMOND HIGH POINT, NC JUNE 8, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y I n H i s I m a g e P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

Raymond came into my life at a time when I was done with dating. I was living a Joshua 24:15 life. However, when he came along he was real. Raymond loves me the way I’ve always wanted to be loved,” Rashunda fondly recalls, looking back on when they f irst started crossing paths at the Prince George’s Church of Christ in Landover, Maryland in 2015. Although they regularly attended church together they only casually communicated, exchanging a brief “hello” from one week to the next. Connecting over social media and the game Words with Friends, Rashunda and Raymond spent the next six months getting to know each other on a more personal level. Their casual communications became meaningful conversations until both of them realized it was time for that f irst date.

“I knew Rashunda was the one because I love everything about her; spiritually, physically, mentally - the whole package,” Raymond reminisces, thinking about the evening he proposed on New Years of 2017. Being stationed in Germany for the Army, Raymond asked Rashunda to come spend the end-of-year holiday with him there. NY E of 2017 fell on a Sunday that year so after attending chapel on the Army base they had a “wonderful romantic” dinner at the Edelweiss Lodge located in the heart of Germany’s beautiful Bavarian Alps. “After one of the big f ireworks displays, Raymond told me that he wanted to give me the second part of my Christmas gift,” Rashunda recalls of the big moment. Blindfolding her for a minute, Raymond then instructed Rashunda to remove the blindfold, revealing that he was down on one knee. After proclaiming his love for her,

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REAL WEDDINGS

Raymond then asked Rashunda if she would do him the honor of becoming his wife. Rashunda and Raymond jumped-the-broom in an elegant and gorgeous royal purple and ivory themed ceremony set within a modern industrialchic loft in High Point, North Carolina. Rashunda, along with the assistance of her mother, said yes to her perfect dress at Kleinfeld New York. She lit up the altar in a beautiful Pnina Tornai dress, where Raymond awaited, looking debonair in his classic custom suit. With the love and support of family and friends they were forever pronounced husband and wife.

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View more Coterie Member profiles on our website at vendors.munaluchibridal.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Dajuan Jones IN HIS IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY www.inhisimagephotography.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Nishaka Proctor EVENTSBY NISHAKA www.eventsbynishaka.com

vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: In His Image Photog raphy PLANNER & DESIGNER: Events by Nishaka CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE: The Loft at Plant Seven MAKEUP ARTIST: Teah Chin HAIR STYLIST: Tia Marie Hastye FLORIST: Blossom Artistry RENTALS: Pomp Posh Event Decor & Rentals DJ & PHOTOBOOTH: DJ Paradime of Cool Receptions CATERING: Triton Catering & Creations CAKE DESIGNER: Edible Artistry VIDEOGRAPHER: Chaz Reid Films LIGHTING & PRODUCTION: Carey Sound TRANSPORTATION: Sterling Carriage BARTENDING SERVICES: Oak City Bubbly RENTALS: Party Reflections WEDDING DRESS DESIGNER: Pnina Tornai Dress Desig ner STATIONERY: Minted WEDDING DRESS SALON: Kleinfeld Bridal Store BRIDES SHOES STORE: DSW BRIDES SHOES DESIGNER: Imag ine by Vince Camuto GROOM'S TUXEDO: Suit Supply

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BEST MEMORIES: Rashunda: “While walking down the aisle, I look into the crowd and see my great uncle crying, then seeing Raymond crying - it was so beautiful, it was everything.” Raymond: “Seeing Rashunda walk toward me; I couldn’t help myself!” ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: Be present in the moment. Take in every aspect of your wedding day and remember, your wedding is perfect because the two of you love each other and are celebrating with the people that love you as a couple.


CHIPDIZARDWEDDINGS.COM


CO N T E N T S

CANDACE + GEORGE B E T H E S DA , M D JUNE 1, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y C h i p D i z a rd

Text by Dana Angela-Alexis Miller

C

andace was introduced to George at her cousin Anna's 50th birthday party in Glassboro, New Jersey. After they met, their love story quickly took off from there. When Candace and George began dating, she was a single mother of two. She knew that George was the one after he stepped in and helped her. It allowed her to know that not only was he there for her, but also her children. For George, the day Candace grabbed his hands to pray, he knew they would be together forever. Fast forward after eight years of dating, Candace and George's relationship would turn into a lasting romance. One day while both of them were home, George came into the kitchen when Candace was washing the dishes. He told her that they needed to talk. When she turned around, George asked Candace if she loved him, and she responded by saying "yes". He got down on one knee with the ring and asked her to marry him. After she hollered and ran out of the


REAL WEDDINGS

kitchen, she returned to him while he was still on one knee, and she said "Y ES". Candace and George said, "I do" during an exquisite and stunning ceremony with a glittering Swarovski Crystal Chandelier and a beautiful array of purple and pink f lowers at The Ballroom in Bethesda, Maryland. Candace looked breathtaking as she walked down the aisle in a blush mermaid style dress. Her wedding bouquet had memorable photo charms of her deceased Mother and Great Aunt. The photo charms allowed her to have a piece of both of them on her special day. BEST MEMORIES: I have two best memories, one is seeing George's face light up for our f irst look, and the second is seeing all of our friends and family that came to witness our special day with us. ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: Enjoy the planning process, remember it is your wedding and plan it as both of you see f it. Have lots of fun while doing so and don't compare your wedding or marriage to anyone else. Communicate effectively and be patient with each other.

View more Coterie Member profiles on our website at vendors.munaluchibridal.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Chip Dizard CHIP DIZARD WEDDINGS www.chipdizardweddings.com

vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: Chip Dizard VIDEOGRAPHER: CSpot Media Weddings WEDDING GOWN: Pantora Bridal GROOM TUX JACKET: Mig uel Wilson Collection RECEPTION DRESS: Tyleah Miller BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Tyleah Miller VENUE: Bethesda Ballroom CAKE: The Icing Bakery Company DÉCOR: The Floral Guru BARTENDER: WithaTwist Mixolog ist DJ: DJ Reece WEDDING PLANNER: Master Plan Events FLOORING: The Light Source ROBE: Sherah Online DANCER: Zalia Hutchinson MONOGRAM DESIGN & INVITATIONS: Ijorere ELEGANT FOR THE ESTATES BY: Eden Event Party Rental TABLE NUMBERS & MENUS: Dami Studios NYC VENUE: Bethesda Ballroom WEDDING PROGRAMS: Marry Me Magazine


D E S T I N AT I O N S

ASHLEY + YAW P O R T L A N D , JA M A I C A JUNE 15, 2019 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y Me r r i c k C o u s l e y

Text by Samuel Naumick

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I never would have thought that I would meet the

menu options. When it came to wedding shopping the

love of my life in a library,” Ashley reminisces,

third choice was the charm for Ashely when selecting

“but that’s exactly how it all unfolded eleven years

her wedding dress accompanied by her mother, sister-

ago.” It was Ashley’s f irst week of college during her

in-law, and best friend. Ashley was stunning in an

work-study at the Syracuse University library when she

off-the-shoulder, lace mermaid Pronovias gown. Yaw

assisted Yaw with his account. “From that day forward,

was dashing at the altar where he awaited his bride in

we started building a friendship as he walked me to my

a classic blue Frere NYC tuxedo. In the company of

classes and we shared many meals together.”

loving family and friends, on the gorgeous island of

It was when Ashley attended graduate school overseas

Jamaica, Ashley and Yaw’s love was made eternal.

that their friendship blossomed into a long-distance

BEST MEMORIES: The day went by extremely

relationship, “we spent many hours on the phone,”

fast but my best memory was the moment that I

Ashely recalls, “talking about marriage after my return

ascended from the water’s edge to the front lawn

from graduate school...” Despite their discussions,

where my husband-to-be stood. I remember becoming

the timing never seemed right, with something always

overwhelmed with emotion as I locked eyes with Yaw,

preventing their dreams from coming true. Instead of

and then as my dad took my hand to walk me down the

delaying any further, Yaw used these roadblocks to his

aisle. In that moment, nothing else mattered. It was as

advantage, incorporating a car accident earlier that year

if time stood still and God aff irmed that this man was

into a cover story for postponing the proposal. And so

destined to be my husband.

it was, that during his usual monthly visit with Ashley in Cleveland, she was completely surprised when as they were enjoying a walk through the botanical gardens Yaw got down on one knee to tell her that she was “the apex of his world” before asking if she would do him the honor of being his wife.

ADVICE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES: Once you are engaged, be sure to spend a lot of quality time together outside of wedding planning. Always consult with each other about the budget and the items that are “nice to have” versus “need to have”. Most importantly invest as much time thinking about the marriage as you do

Ashley and Yaw were married in a dreamy destination

the wedding. The wedding day goes by quickly but the

wedding in Jamaica. They incorporated their cultural

marriage is what should last forever!

heritage with a traditional Ghanaian engagement ceremony a week prior to the wedding to honor Yaw’s family and honored Ashley’s Jamaican heritage during the wedding through music, a signature cocktail, and

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PLANNING/DESIGN/DECOR

Ophellia McKnight

THE DESTINATION COLLECTIVE www.thedestinationcollective.com View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

VENDORS PLANNING, DESIGN & DECOR:

VENUE: PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Destination Collective

Luxury Event Rentals

RENTALS:

The Trident Castle

Merrick Cousley Photog raphy

DJ:

876 Sounds

ENTERTAINMENT (FIRE BREATHER): OFFICIANT & MC:

Brain Star Entertainment

Damion Austin of On Call Weddings

BRIDE'S DRESS: BRIDAL SALON:

Pronovias

Kleinfelds NYC

GROOM'S SUIT:

Frere NYC


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D E S T I N AT I O N S

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

MUNA SERENADE 2019 To Serenade is to entertain one's love by display of talent in hope of winning their deepest affections. In our journey to inspire love, MunaLuchi has created Muna Serenade: A Curated Couples' Date, to present the opportunity for engaged couples to experience the serenading together in an unforgettable date night experience. Produced by members of the Coterie, MunaLuchi's curated collective of elite wedding vendors, selected couples are provided with a photoshoot, videography, fine dining, and more. The evening begins with a beauty session for the brides-to-be, provided by professional Makeup Artists; spending time with each client to inspire their outer beauty to highlight the beauty within. During which the grooms-to-be sit down with wedding and event videographers, telling the story of their engagement while declaring their love for their significant other. Stories of support, trust, partnership, hope, overcoming obstacles, enduring long-distance, career changes, the good times and the struggles - and how through it all their love endured. The evening then moves to personal sessions with a professional photographer in which each couple receives a private engagement-shoot. A cocktail hour often follows the photo-session in which the couples are introduced to the other selected couples, getting acquainted and often forming long-lasting friendships. The evening’s pièce de résistance is of course the fine dining experience, in which expert culinary artists craft delectable dishes of divine taste. Together, couples experience good drinks and great food while sharing a fews laughs over friendly conversation. Event planners go above and beyond, adding personal and unique touches to ensure the romantic evening is a most unforgettable experience. Additions have included performance art, ballet dancing, portrait artists, couples games, and more. Following dessert, a Serenade evening often finishes with dancing the night away to music provided by a guest DJ. Years later, couples still talk about how amazing their Serenade experience was - almost always employing one or more of the vendors for their own wedding or events. We are showcasing a selection of the 2019 Muna Serenades on the following pages. To learn more about Muna Serenade and view more Muna Serenade photos and videos at MunaLuchiBridal.com Text by Samuel Naumick

PHOTO: LINDA MCQUEEN PHOTOGRAPHY

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EVENTS


EVENTS

muna serenade LINDENHURST, NY

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Thanks to all of our couples and partners! creative team Planning and Design: HerKreations Day of Coordinator: Chef Jeff Photography: Linda McQueen Photography Videography: Luxor Wedding Films Venue: Bisou Event Space Ice Sculptures: Okamoto Studio Florals: ARJ Signature Design & Event Planning Cake: Lovely Layers Catering: The Fork Goes on the Left Bartending: WSJ Bartending Furniture: Long Island Party Rentals Accent Decor: Accent Decor Rentals Draping: Lap of Luxury NY Production: Pristine Sound Productions Band: Malika-Mo and the Band of Soul Hair: Hair by Denise Renee Makeup Artistry: Daurisa Tessier Bridal Stylist: Tamz Jord Stylez Groom Stylist: Fontaine Concierge

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EVENTS

muna serenade TORONTO CA NA DA

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Thanks to all of our couples and partners! creative team Creative Director, Producer & Planner: In My Elyment ~ Event Planning & Design Tablescape Design: In My Elyment ~ Event Planning & Design Videographer: Felicity Moments Photography: Nolasco Image Productions Cake & Favors: Fruitilicious Cakes Makeup Artist: DollfaceDredie Florals: Elle et Lui Events Designs Plinths & Floral Backdrop: Simply Lavish Events Plate Rentals: Plate Occasions Luxury Linen Rentals: Have a Seat Stationery: Castlefield Design DJ: DJ Gusto Caterer: Spiked Punch Calligraphy: Pinya Letters

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

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EVENTS

muna serenade LONG ISLAND, NY

Thanks to all of our couples and partners! creative team Videography: Luxor Wedding Films Photography: Linda McQueen Photography Florist: Cape Lily Floral Design Decor Rentals: The Finishing Touch NY & Jai Weddings and Events Drapery: About The Details Wedding and Event Styling Lighting: Shades of Grey Productions DJ: Crick Daddy Entertainment Singer: Kedena Thompson Massage Therapists: ProLuxe Fitness and Anoz Spa Caterer/Venue: Glen Cove Mansion Mixologist: RED Hospitality Staffing Cake: Naime Cakes Stationery: A. Merisier Event Coordination and Design Hair & Makeup: Carrel Beauty Swag Bags: A. Merisier Event Coordination and Design Coordination: A. Merisier Event Coordination and Design

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EVENTS

muna serenade TURNERSVILLE, NJ

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Thanks to all of our couples and partners! creative team Planning: SoLi Events Photography: Sequoyah Daniel Photography Videography: Allen House Studios Chef: Too Blessed to be Stressed Catering Venue: Reflections Furniture Rentals: Vision Furniture PHL Bridal Designer: Lillie Couture Wedding Favors: The Simple Shoppe Makeup Artistry: Ijeoma Ezinne Beauty Bartender: Jelly Kisses Entertainment: GP Entertainment Makeup Artistry by Makeup by Kyanna Gourmet Desserts: Making the Event: Just Desserts Cake: Cakes Plus Cookies: Sugarluxe by Babycakes Officiant: Wedding Bliss Ceremonies

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EVENTS

muna serenade ORL A NDO, F L

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Thanks to all of our couples and partners! creative team Venue: Luxmore Grande Estate Planning & Design: Oh Niki Occasions Floral Design: Leah T Williams Events Photographer: Reem Photography Cinematography: Bridges Cinema Culinary: The Black Fox Company Officiant/Couples Activities: Married by Rev. Roxy Musician: Marlon Boone Makeup Artistry: Jo Michelle Artistry Furniture Rentals: Rentals by RW Events Linens: Over The Top Gifts: Sonia’s Vokalized Kreations

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CO N T E N T S

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CO N T E N T S

GETMATCHED Try our new vendor matching service where we match you with a Coterie Member (one of our preferred wedding vendors) that fits your criteria. It’s that simple! GET STARTED at VENDORS.MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM/GETMATCHED

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Photo: B rittany B oote


CO N T E N T S

The Islands of the

BAHAMAS fly away

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Profile for Munaluchi

MunaLuchi Fall/Winter 2019 Edition featuring Luvvie  

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