Page 1

FALL EDITION 2017

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

Bride 130

pages of

SIMPLY CHIC DRESSES, DECOR, REAL WEDDINGS & MORE

F E AT U R I N G

CHRISTINA & D'QWELL DC L AW Y E R A N D 1 1 Y E A R N F L V E T E R A N

Inside their Tuscany Fairytale Wedding


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: SHERONDA SEAWRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY


CO N T E N T S

FALL.2017

|

4


W

ith the season changing and temperatures beginning to drop, I can't help but think about what a new season really means. For me, new seasons signify new beginnings - a chance to reset and push forward with new goals and renewed energy. So what's new with MunaLuchi? For starters, we recently launched a new application on our website called GetMatched and in just three months, we have delivered over 450 leads to our Coterie Members. It's a huge accomplishment for us and keeps us in line with our mission - to connect multicultural brides and grooms to the wedding professionals that service them with excellence. In addition, a new seasons means a new issue, and I couldn't be more proud of the unique and creative work that is featured in our Fall 2017 Issue - our 14th to date. With the last issue garnering over a quarter of a million views, I'm sure this one will push us to even greater heights. Featuring picturesque weddings in Italy to city-chic celebrations in Washington D.C., this issue is sure to provide inspiration for your wedding day or next celebration. As always, if our Fall Issue leaves you inspired, I encourage you to share it with your family and friends. Happy planning!

photo: amy anaiz

Jacqueline Nwobu CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

MUNALUCHI BRIDE MAGAZINE

FALL 2017 CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

J acqueline Nwobu PRESIDENT

Chike Nwobu CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Brooke Tidswell

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING + SALES

Nicole McKenzie

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.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Samuel Naumick MARKETING ASSISTANT

Mylinh Truong

EDITORIAL INTERN

Maggie Montalto

COVER CREDITS: Photograph by Lisa Poggi


CO N T E N T S

Engagem ents 40

TAY L O R + AU S T I N

Baton Rouge, LA

46

MEGHAN + ANTHONY

118

Washington, D.C 132

DA R S H A N A + PA N K A J

Bangkok, Thailand

Weddin g I deas 28

MODERN ELEGANCE

118

MINIMAL CHIC

7 6

CARINE + JULIUS

East Brunswick, NJ

8 6

JA S M Y N E + J U L I U S

Nashville, TN

92  J E M I L AT + H A K E E M

Real Weddings

Baltimore, MD

98

SHYVON + FRANCESCA

Manhattan, NYC

1 0 2 M E L A N I E + A M E C H E

Atlanta, GA

1 0 6 C H A R L E E TA + A N D R E 10 COV E R S TO R Y : C H R I S T I N A + D ' QW E L L

Sienna, Italy

52

B L AY N E + JA M E S

Atlanta, GA

58

L E S L I E + JA S O N

New Orleans, LA

66  N O M A S WA Z I + T H ATO

Capetown, South Africa

10

Dahlonega, GA

1 1 0

B I A N C A + JA M E S

Nashville, TN

1 1 5

NANCY + LOUIS

Negril, Jamaica

2 0

J UA N I TA + C E R L E S TO N

Washington, D.C.

52


www.bridesbynona.com


PHOTO: STANLO PHOTOGRAPHY


D E S T I N AT I O N S

FALL.2017

|

10


REAL WEDDINGS

CHRISTINA & D'QWELL SIENNA, ITALY

A PR IL 8, 2017 P HOTOGR A P H E D BY Lisa Pogg i

Text by Samuel Naumick

W

eddings are a celebration of love. Whether you’re

girl like that!’ At the reception, I saw an open seat next to the

the couple getting married or an attending guest,

beautiful woman I spotted at the ceremony and grabbed it,

you are there to witness the power of love.

and thought, ‘here’s my chance’ (Shhhh…don’t tell her that.

Though Christina and D’Qwell shared circles of friends, it

I’ve been saying for years that she sat next to me. That’s my

wouldn’t be until the weekend of July 4th 2010 at a mutual

story and I’m sticking to it!). We had a great conversation - it

friend's wedding that their paths would f inally cross forever

was refreshing to talk to a beautiful woman with substance and

changing their lives - and according to D’Qwell that moment

a sense of humor. I decided at that moment that I wasn’t going

almost never happened…

to let her out of my sight. We ended up hanging out the next night, but then I had to return back to Cleveland to get ready

“I had been traveling all around that summer and had just

for training camp...”

returned from a mission trip in Sierra Leone. I was exhausted, and called my college buddy whose wedding was coming up

“The next evening, which happened to be the Fourth of July,

to tell him that I wouldn’t be able to make it. His emphatic

we met for drinks on U Street and talked for hours and hours,”

response, ‘You do not want to miss this wedding!’ I’m so glad

Christina fondly remembers. “It was then that I realized that

I listened to him…”

D’Qwell played professional football for the Browns and lived in Cleveland, OH... I wasn’t about to travel for someone I had

When attending the reception Christina remembers how she

just met, so even though we promised to keep in touch, I had

“knew the majority of the groom’s friends were married, so

pretty much assumed that the spark between us had reached a

my expectations were low when I took my seat at the massive

dead end...I was wrong.”

‘singles table’ at their reception that had to have at least twenty women, and maybe four men... As I chatted with the other

Busy with training camp in Cleveland, D’Qwell, recalls how

ladies, D’Qwell sat in the empty seat next to me (he will tell

“over the next few months, I did my best to keep in touch with

you a different story)...”

her; I’d call her every now and then, and we’d talk for hours the way we did on that f irst fourth of July that we hung out.

D’Qwell recalls how it felt good to be “back on my old stomping

But it wasn’t until I returned to Washington DC that we really

grounds at the University of Maryland for the wedding, and to

started to spend time together…”

my pleasant surprise, saw twenty or so of the most beautiful women I had ever seen in one place at a time. I was on cloud

“A few months later, a combination of circumstances aligned

nine! But one in particular stood out... As Christina walked

and brought D’Qwell back to DC for several months. Once

by, I told my agent who was seated in front of me, ‘Who is she?

we started hanging out again, we never stopped. It was during

I like her!’ He responded, ‘Dude, you have no chance with a

those f irst few months that we made the risky decision to take

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  11


D E S T I N AT I O N S

a trip to Italy together. Though we hadn’t known each

in their relationship, Christina and D’Qwell thought it

other for that long, I had a gut feeling that we would have

only f itting that it also be the location of the wedding.

an amazing time, and we absolutely did!” Italy brought

The ceremony would take place in the Abbey San Galgano

Christina and D’Qwell closer together than ever before,

historic ruins, an exquisite 12th century gothic cathedral

solidifying the thought in both of their minds that their

in the Tuscan countryside of Siena, Italy. Without roof

meeting was more than just coincidence - that perhaps they

or windows, the sun beams light the space creating an

were always meant to be…

ethereal atmosphere, complete with perfect acoustics turning birdsong into beautiful melodies - a truly spiritual experience.

The proposal occurred in November of 2015, San Francisco. D’Qwell told Christina that he had a surprise planned. A car picked them up, taking them to the French

Within the sanctuary of this space, Christina, adorned in

Laundry in Napa for lunch, which Christina assumed

a nude colored, mermaid style dress with intricate beading

was “the surprise.” Arriving a few moments early they

and delicate lace appliques, met D’Qwell, the love of her

sat in the garden to enjoy the weather, and that’s when

life, donned in a custom Tom Ford. Before loving family

D’Qwell chose his moment...with eyes only for Christina,

and friends they became husband and wife in a stunning

lost in the beauty of the most gorgeous woman he has

and unforgettable ceremony.

ever seen, D’Qwell asked Christina to spend the rest of her life with him as husband and wife... A hidden hired

The reception took place in the Villa San Michele

photographer captured the entire unforgettable moment.

beginning with a formal coursed dinner at La Loggia, a

After the proposal they enjoyed an amazing lunch followed

15th century setting with exceptional cuisine providing

by a private wine tour with the master sommelier at Vine

stunning views of Florence. After dining, guests moved

Hill Ranch vineyard. The next day, they f lew back to

to the main courtyard where they danced long into the

DC for what Christina thought would be a small dinner

night under a clear canopy with full view of the stars.

to share the news with family. Instead, it was a huge

The reception decor included ivy adorned chandeliers,

surprise engagement party on the roof terrace of the W

white Ranunculas runner, antique gold taper holders, and

Hotel overlooking the Washington Monument, a location

marbleized stationery.

frequented earlier in their relationship. Seeing as Italy was the location of a great turning point

FALL.2017

|

12


REAL WEDDINGS

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  13


REAL WEDDINGS

FALL.2017

|

14


REAL WEDDINGS

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  15


WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM YOUR WEDDING?

For the ceremony, every moment! For the reception: 1) Dance off between the groom and his brother. 2) Go-go set. I grew up in the DC area where go-go is the local popular genre of music. It’s something we don’t get to hear often, so we all went bananas when the DJ played a few hits. 3) The moment we walked into the tent and saw all the smiles on the faces of our friends and family right before our magical f irst dance. Even with everyone there, it felt like just me and D’Qwell for a moment. WHAT IS THE BEST WEDDING ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO ENGAGED COUPLES?

1. Get a good planner (emphasis on the “planning” aspect.) So much the ability to really enjoy the process of planning your wedding, and enjoying the wedding itself lies with having a solid planner who you can trust to have everything under control.) 2. Do what makes YOU happy. Others will have a lot of opinions, but it is your YOUR wedding. 3. Make the wedding personal. Our guests loved the tiny details that were illustrative of our personalities, and appreciated them far more than what kind of plates they ate on, or the table linens or all of the other mundane decisions that brides tend to get stressed over. 4.Take pictures before you do. If we hadn't done our First Look, I am not sure when we would have had an opportunity to have some of my favorite pictures from the entire day. 5. Take it all in, as it goes by way too quickly.


REAL WEDDINGS


EVENT PL ANNER/DESIGNER

Nathalie Cadet-James LUXE FÊTE EVENT PLANNING & DESIGN STUDIO www.luxefete.com

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

vendors Abbey San Galgano, Siena, Italy Belmond Villa San Michele WEDDING PLANNER: Luxe Fête Event Planning & Desig n Studio WEDDING STATIONERY DESIGNER: LetterHeads WEDDING GOWN: Inbal Dror BRIDAL SALON: Carine’s Bridal GROOM’S TUX: Tom Ford EVENT DESIGN: Luxe Fête Event Planning & Desig n Studio FLORAL PRODUCTION: Vincenzo Dascanio RENTALS: Vincenzo Dascanio FAVORS: Connubivm CATERER: Belmond Villa San Michele CAKE DESIGNER: Amazing Pastry Chef Belmond Villa San Michele CEREMONY MUSIC: String Quartet PHOTOGRAPHY: Lisa Pogg i VIDEOGRAPHY: Marco Caputo HAIR AND MAKEUP: Lara Navarrini TENT: Le Coperture

CEREMONY LOCATION:

RECEPTION LOCATION:


JUANITA + CERLESTON WA S H I N G TO N , D. C . APRIL 19, 2017 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y R a y " N e u t ro n " S p e a rs

Text by Samuel Naumick

E

ven though Juanita and Cerleston had resided in the same Miami-Dade suburb during high school they never truly connected until almost twenty years later when Cerleston reached out to Juanita via Facebook, asking her to give him a call. Their hometown connection quickly drew them together and the sparks f lew, but with Juanita now living in Washington DC the relationship would have to be long-distance. For two long years they dated longdistance, rejoicing in every moment spent together, and never wanting to hang-up the phone when apart. Unable to remain apart any longer, Cerleston decided to pack up and move his life to where his heart already resided - with Juanita in Washington DC. There they would begin a new journey together… Cerleston knew that leading up to the proposal he would have to tread lightly considering Juanita’s “keen female intuition.” So, while in Miami on the day after Thanksgiving, while preparing for another family visit, Cerleston suggested Juanita get her hair and nails done. This was a curious suggestion to Juanita considering that the family had already been together the night before for Thanksgiving, if she were to have paid a visit to the salon it would have been for yesterday’s holiday. Juanita’s suspicions continued to grow throughout the day, feeling like a proposal was imminent… But much to her surprise there was no proposal that night. Juanita was more shocked than disappointed that her intuition was wrong, as she always trusts her intuition. The next day, with her guard down, they prepared to go to the home of Cerleston’s best friend for a gathering. Also accompanied by her own best

friend, it was shaping up to be a memorable evening just how memorable Juanita was soon to f ind out… As dinner and drinks were being served, and all friends present, Cerleston suggested that everyone in turn talk about what they are grateful for this holiday season. Juanita went f irst, followed by the others. When it came time for Cerleston’s turn, he began by stating all that he was grateful for, including, and most especially, having Juanita in his life. As he was concluding, Cerleston got down on bended knee and before all of their friends asked if she would have his hand in marriage. Juanita was caught in complete surprise, answering with an emphatic “yes!” For Juanita, with the help of her wedding designer, Roxanne Bellamy, wedding shopping was “pretty straightforward...Roxanne knew I was adamant about using all minority-owned businesses, and found the perfect dress for me.” While not her typically preferred style, the ethereal and romantic Marlo Ford low-cut with plunge neckline gave off a “sexy edge” that would be a style inf luence for the rest of the wedding. Culturally, Juanita and Cerleston wanted to incorporate elements of all their combined cultural heritages of British, Ghanaian, American, and Bahamian. British hot tea was served throughout the event. Invitations, menu cards, and gobo lighting was a design that consisted of Adinka (Ghanaian) marriage symbols to tie in their African heritage. And the menu was a Bahamian inspired meal including escovitch red snapper and pigeon peas and rice.


D E S T I N AT I O N S

FALL.2017

|

22


REAL WEDDINGS

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  23


QUICK FACTS:

BRIDESMAIDS/ GROOMSMEN GIFTS: Each bride

received a make-up bag

with various goodies and spa gift cards. For the Matron of Honor who prides herself on home-cooking I included a gift card from Williams & Sonoma and a Ticketmaster gift card

for the Maid of Honor who loves music festivals .

FIRST DANCE SONG: “This is Why

I Love You” by MAJOR – chosen by the groom. Cerleston was

driving home one night and it came on the radio. It was his first time hearing it. He called me

saying “this is our song, it’s perfect! It’s why I love you.” It was a touching moment, it was my first time hearing it as well. It feels special to us.


WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER

Roxanne Bellamy ROXANNE BELLAMY EVENTS www.roxannebellamy.com

CAKES/DESSERTS

Natalie Thames DÉJÀ VU SWEETS www.dejavusweets.com

VIEW MORE COTERIE MEMBER PROFILES ON OUR WEBSITE. VENDORS.MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM

v endors EVENT PLANNER + DESIGNER: Roxanne Bellamy VENUE: Carnegie Institute of Science. Washington, DC CATERERS: Sensory Delights CONFECTIONER: Déjà vu Sweets EVENT RENTALS/LIGHTING: Rayne Events PHOTOGRAPHER: Ray “Neutron” Spears Photography VIDEOGRAPHER: Pope Weddings SOUND: Elite Mixers SOLOIST: VIOLA PLAYER: James Harman and the Urban Musician VOCALIST: Taryne DRESS: Alea Lovely Gowns MAKEUP: Nikki Fraiser – Beauty n’ the Bride EVENT SITTER: Kids Contigo FLORAL DESIGN: The Simon Design STATIONERY: Made Divine TABLETOP RENTALS: The COVETED Co.


WEDDING IDEAS A modernly elegant editorial shoot where allwhite luxe florals take center stage. Photographed by Sheronda Seawright Photography


D E S T I N AT I O N S


WEDDING IDEAS

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  31


D E S T I N AT I O N S

FALL.2017

|

32


WEDDING IDEAS

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  33


WEDDING IDEAS

FALL.2017

|

34


D E S T I N AT I O N S

t he look

“I often gather inspiration from many of my real life luxury Just B Beautiful brides and this shoot is no exception. Many of today's brides are not only making dress changes for the reception but also changing up their entire beauty look as well. For the ceremony portion I decided to give the 'bride' a true bridal look taking cues from the innocence of the beautiful Pronovias gown. The f loral details and cathedral length veil were perfect accessories to the sleek strait hair and youthful makeup look. For the second look again taking from my real life brides, it's time to party! Giving our bride a truly modern, sleek, and sexy intricate updo that plays on the deep-v and details of this stunning reception. Also not to be upstaged by his bride for our 'groom' Kenny we decided to give him a sleek dapper hair look that paired so very well with his navy blue suit. The overall look is clean, f lawless skin, with bold details that truly makes this a Modern Elegant look." - B Wilson / Just B Beautiful

the design “Modern Elegance was initially going to be called Garden Luxe, but as I sat down and planned the design with the rest of the team the shoot evolved into Modern Elegance. After visiting the venue Tyler Garden all I could visualize was all white with hints of silver which is bold within itself but it turned out beautifully. The inspiration came from digging deep to show a look that is uncommon in this twists that you would never expect but at the same time, it can be easily replicated for a wedding or special event without going too crazy with inspiration.” - Eilena of Event Loft


WEDDING IDEAS

CREATIVE TEAM VENUE:

Tyler Gardens

// STYLIST:

Yoko Jak

// EVENT & FLORAL DESIGN:

// MODEL BRIDE:

PROVIDED BY Philadelphia

Event Loft

Talisa Baptiste //

Bridal Company :

// INVITATION SUITE AND MENUS:

MALE MODEL: Kenny

DESIGNER:

April Lynn Desig ns // FLOATING CAKE: Desserts by Dana

// HAIR & MAKEUP:

Just B Beautiful

Gamble // PHOTOGRAPHER: Sheronda Seawright Photog raphy // VIDEOGRAPHY: Love Struck Pictures

Pronovias // RENTALS: Newtown Party Rentals

// RECEPTION CHAIRS:

AFFAIRS, TYLER GARDENS // GROOM SUIT PROVIDED BY Natalie

Vision Furniture ; SWEETHEART CHAIRS: Event Loft , OPEN AIR

E Kennedy FROM Style by NK

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

HAIR/MAKEUP

PHOTOGRAPHY

EVENT DECOR/FLORALS

B Wilson

Sheronda Seawright

Eilena Mercier-Ehman n

JUST B BEAUTIFUL www.justbbeautiful.com

SHERONDA SEAWRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY www.sherondaseawrightphotography.com

EVENT LOFT www.eventloftpa.com

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  37

// DRESSES


SECTION TWO

SAY I DO TO A GOLDEN GLOW Commit to Flawless, Radiant Skin with Makari 24K Gold

Replenishes. Rejuvenates. Renews

JUNIPER | 39

www.makari.com


E N G AG E M E N T S

college sweethearts

TAY L O R + AU S T I N Baton Rouge, LA

BRIDE-TO-BE: GROOM-TO-BE:

Taylor Wilson Austin Sanders

Bride - Clinical Assistant, Groom SubContractor Supervisor

OCCUPATIONS:

WEDDING DATE: WEDDING LOCATION:

August 25, 2017

Elegant Affair in Gonzales, LA


D E S T I N AT I O N S

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  41


E N G AG E M E N T S

FALL.2017

|

42


D E S T I N AT I O N S

T H E F I R S T E N CO U N T E R "On July 18, 2012, Austin and I both attended freshman orientation at Southeastern Louisiana University. After checking in on the f irst day, our group was dismissed to one of the conference rooms in the student union. The room was furnished with one of those long meeting tables (which is where I sat) and chairs lined along the wall (which is where Austin sat). I f irst noticed him when the orientation leader asked him to be the f irst person to introduce himself to the group. As he began to speak, his voice caught me by surprise :)! I immediately turned around to match the voice with a face. He happened to be sitting next to one of my middle school friends . I gave her one of those "girl, who is that ... he's kinda cute" smirks. Shortly after, it was time for lunch. That's when I knew I had to make my move before it was too late! I purposely walked slow so that I could introduce myself. When we f inally made it to the cafe, we somehow ended up sitting at the same table, but I didn't take the opportunity. After lunch we were given an afternoon break, which was my second chance to "go with the move". I told Austin that I would need help getting back to the conference room and that we needed to exchange numbers ... The next day came and it was time to go home. Austin helped me get my things to the car and told me that we should keep in touch. I honestly did not think that we would, but to my surprise he texted me to make sure I'd made it home safely. From that day forward, as the saying goes, 'the rest was history.'" - Taylor

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

 

|  43


E N G AG E M E N T S

"I am looking forward to finally saying 'I do' to the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. � - Austin

THE PROPOSAL:

"Austin and I got engaged on St. Patrick's day. The plan for the night was to go skating and then go to dinner. So Austin texted me and said that he was outside, which usually he comes inside before we go anywhere. Though it was different from the usual, I go with it. When I walked outside, Austin stood in the driveway waiting for me with the biggest smile. I walked closer and he handed me a dozen of roses and a card. As I opened the envelope to f ind the card posing the question "will you marry me ", I could see Austin getting down on one knee. I could not believe that the moment was here and immediately went into a shock of laughter. After f inally getting all of the giggles out, I answered with a yes!" - Taylor

FALL.2017

|

44


E N G AG E M E N T S

WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR FIRST DATE? " Our f irst date was simple, but sweet. Austin picked me up from my dorm room and took me to a dinner at a hibachi restaurant. We were both nervous, but excited at the same time. After dinner, we sat in the parking lot talking for a while and just smiling at each other for the most part." - Taylor WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE?

" Both

Austin and I work a lot, so our favorite thing to do as a couple is to go to the movies and just enjoy each other's company." - Taylor+Austin

LOOKING FORWARD TO:

" For

me as a bride, the moment I am looking forward to the most is Austin's reaction when coming down the aisle." - Taylor As the groom, I am looking forward to f inally saying 'I do' to the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with." - Austin

PHOTOGRAPHER Shagari Jackson MOSAIC BY MG www.mosaicbymg.com

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  45


D E S T I N AT I O N S

FALL.2017

|

46


E N G AG E M E N T S

a DC love story MEGHAN + ANTHONY Washington, DC

BRIDE-TO-BE: BRIDE-TO-BE:

Meghan Mason

Anthony Leonard

Meghan is a Director at a Financial Services Firm, Anthony is a Restauranteur and Owner of Southern Blues Restaurant OCCUPATIONS:

WEDDING DATE: WEDDING LOCATION:

September 16, 2017

The Fairmont, Washington DC

THE FIRST ENCOUNTER:

They met at a friend's summer event.


E N G AG E M E N T S

Meghan and Anthony were celebrating their f irst Christmas together. Anthony had already proven that he liked to spoil Meghan, but this Christmas appeared as though it may be particularly fruitful. He presented her with several boxes, some athletic shoes, head phones other small items, and f inally (or so she thought) a Rolex box... with nothing in it. Anthony f inally presented Meghan with a ring box with the gorgeous engagement ring and asked her to be his wife. She of course responded Yes! THE PROPOSAL:

FIRST DATE :

For the couple's f irst date they went to one of Meghan's favorite DC restaurants, Maestros. FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE:

"EAT and Travel!"


ENGAGEMENT SESSION DETAILS: Meghan and Anthony wanted to ref lect the theme of their wedding throughout the multiple events associated with their big day. Because the theme of the wedding is an enchanted forest, we decided to venture to a historic landmark in Hempstead, NY. The location was breathtaking, featuring regal architecture and stately grounds. One of the features that they really loved was the preservation with it's beautiful trees covered in foliage, which fell perfectly inline with the aesthetic of the event.”

HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR?

"Wedding planning has been a whirlwind. It seems like we were just engaged yesterday! Overall it has been pleasant. Natalie Melton with Event Design Group has been a God Send and a pleasure to work with. She's made this experience run smoothly." - Meghan

WEDDING PLANNER Natalie Melton EVENT DESIGN GROUP www.theeventdesigngroup.com

PHOTOS:

Joshua Dwain Photography

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  49


LOOKING FORWARD TO...

"What we're looking forward to most on the wedding day is the party!! We cannot wait celebrate our union with family and friends. We're SO EXCITED!!! " meg h an + a nth o ny


404.585.8775 | www.byBrianGreen.com | @byBrianGreen


REAL WEDDINGS

BLAYNE + JAMES AT L A N TA , G A OC TO B E R 8 , 2 0 1 6 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y M i l a n e s P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

I

t was late 2011 in Atlanta at the annual Mayor’s Ball. Four-time Emmy Award nominee, and Washington-based NBC News Channel correspondent, Blayne Alexander was new to the city, having just recently relocated, looking to meet new people and f ind a community of friends. A mutual friend of hers and future husband, James Bailey – private equity f irm founder and emerging philanthropist, introduced the two. A connection was immediate and they spent the next two years developing a beautiful friendship with the increasing potential to become much more.

After two and half hours of sailing off the coast of Charleston, the crew captain asked to take a picture of Blayne and James near the sunset. It was at this moment that James admitted the truth of the situation, “I’m sorry, I lied,” he said, “there is no speaking engagement - this is our engagement.” Silhouetted by the setting sun, on the waters off the South Carolina coast, James dropped to one knee, ring in hand, and asked Blayne to spend the rest of her life with him as husband and wife. Completely shocked, Blayne dissolved into tears as she crumpled to the deck of the boat - responding with a heartfelt “yes!”

Just how much more, would be revealed one night towards the end of 2013 while attending another gala together, because during this particular event the sparks f lew! Blayne and James recall how they “loved how much we could laugh together.” A friendship built on years of caring and support would be the foundation for what became a loving relationship, with a shared passion for life and vision to make the world a better place.

For Blayne, wedding dress shopping was a true joy, with her mother and most of her bridesmaids at hand when she found “the one.” Initially wanting a “very bedazzled” dress with an “incredibly long train,” she ended up selecting a dress with the exact opposite style. She was informed that the bridal boutique just received a new dress that would be absolutely perfect for her. With the dress on and eyes closed, she was positioned in front of the full length mirror...her mother and bridesmaids by her side, she opened her eyes to see a stunningly beautiful bride starring back at her - adorned in a classically elegant, form-f itting gown with a statement-making skirt. Blayne “couldn’t have imagined a more perfect dress!”

In December of 2015, James orchestrated an elaborate surprise proposal – having to go to great lengths to surprise Blayne as she is inquisitive by trade. Being a frequent public speaker, James told Blayne that he was engaged to speak at a workshop in Charleston, South Carolina. With the help of friends, he created a fake event complete with f lyer and email. Blayne was f lown up to Charleston to “support the event.” James stated that he’d “made a friend who wanted to take the couple out on his boat before the workshop dinner.” The reality was that the boat was actually a charter company with all of the crew pretending to be a part of the workshop.

FALL.2017

The ceremony of Blayne and James incorporated such cultural elements as jumping the broom, and a serenade of the traditional songs from their Alpha and Delta Greek organizations. They also displayed their love for the city of Atlanta in their photos and ceremony venue. Overall Blayne and James “just wanted a live music experience and truly happy time” with the people they love.

|

52


D E S T I N AT I O N S


FALL.2017

|

54


QUICK FACTS:

Bridesmaids - Lounge robes, scarves, wedding jewelry and personal journals for each to record special moments going forward / Groomsmen personalized cigars

BRIDESMAIDS/GROOMSMEN GIFTS :

Our mac and cheese bar. And the cake, of course!

FAVORITE ITEM ON THE MENU:

FIRST DANCE SONG:

Lady in My Life by Michael Jackson

TOP ADVICE: Enjoy the engagement season! Don't make it all about planning. Take the time to absorb and truly remember all the love you receive from family and friends during your engagement and wedding period. It truly is a special time!


REAL WEDDINGS

FALL.2017

|

56


WEDDING PLANNER

Brian Green BY BRIAN GREEN www.bybriangreen.com

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

vendors PLANNER: By Brian Green BRIDES DRESS: Rosa Clara BRIDAL SALON: Sweet Elegance Bridal DESIGN AND FLORAL: Edge Design CATERING: Epting Events PHOTOGRAPHY: Milanes Photography VIDEOGRAPHY: Up and Up Weddings ADDITIONAL DESIGN: Coco Studios CAKE: Sweet Cheats Bakery INVITATIONS AND PAPER: Papered Wonders VENUE: Hangar at Peachtree (reception) LIGHTING AND DRAPES: Unique Event ELEMENTS MAKEUP: Makeup By Tierra BAND: John Beal and the Funkestra BARTENDING: The Perfect Bartender STRING QUARTET: Etude Entertainment


LESLIE + JASON NEW ORLEANS, LA JUNE 24, 2017 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y Ma r t h a R a m i re z - U D S P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

I noticed Leslie at the spot while out with my teammates,” NFL veteran Jason Williams fondly remembers, “I made up my mind that I was interested and I would f ind a way to get her attention...”

“I never went out much until I moved to Dallas, and met a few friends,” Leslie recalls, “I honestly don’t remember who I was with the night I met Jason besides a few coworkers…I knew that night would be extremely fun-f illed. However, I did not know that I would be meeting my husband-to-be…” This night would mark the beginning of Leslie and Jason’s love story; a relationship in the making spanning numerous years, long-distance, and multiple professional NFL football teams. “The spot” was a social venue in Downtown Dallas formerly known as the Velvet Room. “In an effort to let her know I was interested, I bumped her a few times but she simply moved each time. I tried bumping her again and I knew I had her when she turned around and said, ‘excuse you.’” “I was quite agitated,” Leslie remembers, “because in the midst of having fun, I felt continual bumps in my back by this massive elbow and I was sure the individual behind me had the stature of a linebacker. I noticed that despite adjusting my seating, moving, making noticeable signs of frustration, he was still extremely adamant about getting my attention. After turning around and asking that he excuse himself from bumping me, he took that interaction as an opportunity to introduce himself and ask if he could buy me a drink…” “I then asked her to allow me to get her a drink and she expeditiously declined. Despite her refusal to accept my offer, I reached out my hand and introduced myself. I did not let her hand go, but guided her to my section since she and her coworkers were right next to mine. At that moment, I made up my mind that I had to have her…Leslie had a spark that made her constantly stand out in a


MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  59


D E S T I N AT I O N S

room. I did not know the night that I initially met her that I

Yes to the Dress is f ilmed. Leslie didn’t want a “typical dress,”

would meet someone so genuine, sincere and loving…”

and although their gowns were stunning she wanted a more customized vision to come to life. From there they traveled to

“After more small talk, he asked me for my contact info and I

Winnie Couture and after the f irst three dresses Leslie wanted

politely declined but offered to take his information, saved his

them all in one with two other additions added. The planner

number in my phone, said goodbye, left the spot and that was

worked with the designer to create the custom dress of Leslie’s

that for a few weeks. Finally, about two weeks later, I decided

dreams – a custom Winnie Couture mermaid, comprised of

to reach out to Jason with a simple ‘good morning,’ to which

f ive gowns mastered into one. Her second dress was a Thurley

he replied, ‘what took you so long, light-skin?’ Even in that

off icially from Australia - it was the f irst time Thurley sent a

moment I chuckled, responded, and we’ve been in each other’s

dress to the United States.

lives ever since…” BEST MEMORY FROM THE WEDDING: For months, Leslie had some inclination that Jason would propose, it was no secret that he loved her and planned to make

"Every portion of our wedding was a best memory. From the

her his wife. But after several talks and ongoing conversations,

elegance of the Romeo and Juliet candlelight ceremony to the

there was still no formal proposal. Little did Leslie know

crystallized, blinged out reception that was a celebration and

that Jason was planning the perfect proposal… On April 23,

party all in one." - LESLIE

2016, Leslie and Jason were celebrating Jason’s birthday while also attending a golf ing event. Catching Leslie by complete

WEDDING ADVICE FOR COUPLES:

surprise, and surrounded by hundreds of his Western Illinois alumni, Jason, on bended knee, expressed his absolute love for

"Be patient and supportive to one another more often than

Leslie and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him as

usual. Make sure marriage counseling is a priority and joining a

husband and wife...

church to have more support, backing and guidance." - LESLIE

For Leslie, wedding shopping was “awesome!”

With her

mother and wedding planner present, they f lew from Chicago to Atlanta to visit Lori’s Bridal where the television show Say


REAL WEDDINGS

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  61


FALL.2017

|

62


D E S T I N AT I O N S

FALL.2017

|

64


REAL WEDDINGS

VENDORS WEDDING DRESS DESIGNER: Custom Winnie Couture WEDDING DRESS SALON: Winnie Couture (Atlanta) BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Bella Bridesmaids Chicago HAIR: Kyra Duhe - Urban Suite Salon - New Orleans, LA MAKEUP: Chamonique Short of Glam by Cham - Dallas, TX SHOES: Louboutin CEREMONY & RECEPTION LOCATION: Royal Sonesta New Orleans PHOTOGRAPHY: Martha Ramirez UDS Photography VIDEOGRAPHY: Prime Design Films WEDDING PLANNER: Tiffany Cook of Tiffany Cook Events FLORIST: Nola Florist CANDELABRAS, CANDLES & DANCE FLOOR: Firefly Ambiance CAKE: Melissa’s Fine Pastries STATIONERY: Sandi Spells Designs EVENT DESIGN & DÉCOR: Tiffany Cook Events DJ: DJ K Tim SECOND LINE BAND: Kinfolk Brass Band INSTRUMENTAL TRIO: Harry Hardin PHOTOBOOTH: Boogie Booth


NOMASWAZI + THATO C A P E TOW N , S O U T H A F R I C A MARCH 18, 2017 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y S c hw e d e - P h o t o d e s i g n

Text by Samuel Naumick

T

he love story of Nomaswazi and Thato began in

was Nomaswazi. In his words, “I saw the love of my life at

primary school at the tender age of ten years old.

church. Her walk was poised and elegant, her beautiful big

It was love at f irst sight for Thato, who knew, even

brown eyes sparkled, and my heart raced with excitement of

then, that Nomaswazi would one day be his wife… It all began

f inally seeing her all grown and beautiful as ever after such

on the school bus. Thato had wanted to talk to Nomaswazi

a long time apart.”

for sometime, and one day f inally built up the courage to say, “hello, I saved a seat for you next to me.” Nomaswazi

Thato was beside himself, anxious to talk to her and thankful

greeted him back but chose another seat next to her friend.

the service was soon to end, as he now could not concentrate

Determined to speak with her but also not wanting to be an

on anything except her. But to his disappointment, at the

annoyance, Thato pursued a different angel…

conclusion of the service she was nowhere to be found in the parking lot. Wasting no time, he drove as quickly as he

So on the following week he politely told the girl sitting

could to her parents house, boiling over with excitement.

next to Nomaswazi that she was occupying his seat and

Their reunion was absolute bliss...drinking in the sight of

would appreciate it if she moved. Needless to say the other

each other with thirsty, wide-eyes. Their love for each other

girl was surprised considering she had been sitting next to

never faded, and Thato promised himself that day that he

Nomaswazi all along. Unconcerned with being a bother to

would never again lose sight of her.

the other girl, he continued to request that she f ind another seat until she f inally gave in and moved. Thato took the seat next to Nomaswazi and he fondly recalls, “that was the beginning of our friendship with my lifelong crush.” In time Thato had to change schools, which meant riding a different school bus, but they continued to see each other at church and home - both living in the same neighborhood. Though this too would also change, as Nomaswazi was scheduled to leave for boarding school. Prior to her departure they made a promise to someday get married and have a family together. During this time their main means of communication were through writing letters and phone conversations. This continued throughout high school and post-secondary school. With their lives taking them in different directions they lost contact over time. Until in 2013, while visiting home, Thato decided to attend his childhood church. It had been some time since returning due to living and working in Pretoria. To Thato’s absolute delight, also in attendance


Their intimate and romantic proposal would take place a few years later. On a sunny Saturday morning, Thato ordered delicious breakfast food from their favorite restaurant for a picnic. While enjoying the peaceful ambiance of nature and melodies of the birds, Thato, on bended knee, told Nomaswazi that he could not live without her and asked her to be his wife. On that beautiful day a childhood promise came full-circle‌ For Nomaswazi, she wanted a simple but elegant wedding dress. The ceremony dress was a form f itting Quiteria & George with f lower embellishments, airy and easy to walk in - with a dramatic long veil. To complete her simple elegance look, Nomaswazi chose to walk barefoot in the ceremony, accenting her feet with pearl beading, and her ears with heart-shaped diamonds. The reception dress was by Kobus Dippenaar with a pearl headdress. The dress was form f itting with great movement for dancing the night away with family, friends, and her husband. The theme of the wedding was inspired by the picturesque beautiful venue in Hermanus, Cape Town. Nomaswazi and Thato had a garden wedding ceremony with bold color f lorals. The same elements of the exterior were brought to the indoors for the reception, complete with African drummers and cultural dancers.


SECTION TWO


vendors BRIDE'S RECEPTIONS DRESS: Anna Georg ina by Kobus Dippenaar BRIDE’S CEREMONY DRESS: Quiteria and George BRIDE’S HEADPIECE: Pearl Headdress BRIDE'S SHOES: Call It Spring BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: QuiteriaandGeorge CAKES/DESSERTS: Krummels Sugar Art CATERING: Two Chefs Catering CEREMONY VENUE: Bona Dea Private Estate EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Yes! Exclusive Weddings & Events ENTERTAINMENT: Event Music Solutions EVENT PLANNER: Trunk events FLORALS: Yes exclusive flowers GROOM'S ATTIRE: Quiteria and George GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Quiteria and George HAIR: Leoume Vos LIGHTING: Event Music Solution LINENS: Bona Dea private estate MAKEUP: Leoume Vos PHOTOGRAPHY: Schwede-Photodesig n RECEPTION VENUE: Bona Dea Private Estate STATIONERY: Trunk events VIDEOGRAPHY: This is epitome


SECTION TWO

full page ad the sutherland elana walker events

Find Your Vendors

MUNALUCHI'S EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION OF PREFERRED VENDORS. View more vendors on our website Viewvendors.munaluchibridal.com more vendors on on our website www.munaluchibridal.com/vendors

Volume 01  No. 01  Jan 2016 


For Your Special Day

SECTION TWO

Creating a memorable wedding is easy with our Naked Wedding Cakes! Sold with cascading sugar owers, our Naked Wedding Cakes are visually elegant with an unmatched distinctive taste. Without covering or extra sugar, the cake is moist just standing alone. Treat the guests at your wedding with the Naked Cake and/or the tasty Favors made with a difference.

The Black Cake Company

The perfect gift for any time, any reason, any season... the perfect gift for any time, any reason

Weddings of course, but anniversaries and birthday celebrations too!! Order your cake or wedding favors today! JUNIPER | 75

| 888.740.6376


D E S T I N AT I O N S

FALL.2017

|

76


REAL WEDDINGS

CARINE + JULIUS EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ JULY 5, 2017 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y N a n a A n n a n P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

F

or Carine and Julius, theirs is a love story whose paths

Calling and checking on each other often it seem that

almost didn’t cross, and it all began at the off ice.

circumstances beyond control pushed their friendship to

While Carine was presenting her letter of resignation,

the next level. Slowly they began dating and soon realized

Julius was being hired to start working his f irst day. On the

they “completed” each other. They found themselves already

verge of leaving, Carine’s co-workers kept telling her about

“identifying the other person as a ‘best friend,’ ‘better half,’

the new guy from Africa just hired in f inance. Being from

‘darling,’ and ‘one and only love.’” In Carine’s words, “we

Africa herself, many thought she may easily identify with

can name all the adjectives one can use to describe two

the new guy.

people who are actively in love…” A work trip to Cameroon for Julius would only conf irm their feelings and beliefs as

Still, their paths remained uncrossed, even on her last day

the difference in time zones and work schedules made it

when the entire off ice turned out for her farewell party,

diff icult to reach the other, and both felt they “needed the

Julius was the only one not there. Nevertheless, “being

other person so dearly.” This was a def initive sign of the

so prudent,” he decided to treat Carine to a special lunch

vital role they played in each other’s life.

just for the two of them, and she “happily accepted the invitation.”

Upon return from his business trip, Julius knew that his life had to always include Carine. He invited her to the same

This lunch date would leave a permanent impression on

restaurant in which they had their very f irst lunch together.

them both. An immediate connection was formed, realizing

As they enjoyed a lovely lunch, relishing each other’s

that they had more in common than previously thought.

company after the time apart, Julius looked into Carine’s

Not only were they both from Africa, but also from the

eyes, and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him as

same country of Cameroon. At this point the conversation

husband and wife…

became more personalized, talking of life back home, and feeling increasingly comfortable with each other. Both

For Carine, wedding dress shopping was not a pleasant

agreed that they had a very “nice time” and wished the other

experience… “I live near NYC, so it's not like I didn't have

well in their respective careers while departing.

options. I had plenty of options and I just didn’t have the time and patience to go around trying dresses. So I started

A month would pass before seeing each other again. Either

dress shopping online shortly after we got engaged. I f igured

completely by chance, or perhaps an act of fate, they were

it would be something I could knock off the list quickly,

both invited to the baptism of a mutual friend’s baby.

but I don't think my vision of the day (or budget) was clear

Completely unaware that they were invited to the same

enough at this point to really f ind the dress I wanted. That

event, it was the most pleasant of surprises when entering

being said, I just didn't want to wear a strapless dress ( or

the church in Manhattan to f ind the other also there. After

anything too poofy), and, surprisingly, that was harder to

the baptism ceremony numbers were exchanged and from

f ind than I had thought. I wanted to be different, unique,

that day on the communication between them “intensif ied.”

elegant and sophisticated, of great quality and good price.

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  77


REAL WEDDINGS

FALL.2017

|

78


REAL WEDDINGS

I am a true African girl with wide hips and a small waist, so I felt like it would be almost impossible to f ind my dream dress. No matter how much you clip that dress, it's really not ever going to look like the real thing when you put it on me…” After turning to Pinterest and Instagram, Carine found a picture of a bride with a shape similar to her own and a dress she absolutely loved. After a little research she found the designer and style details of the dress, only to discover that it was twice her budget. With the assistance of her event planner Carine was guided to Pantora Bridal Boutique at which all of her wedding dress dreams came true. Carine and Julius’ ceremony included such cultural elements as prayer and songs in Lamnso and Ewondo - the off icial languages of the respective Cameroonian tribes from which Julius and Carine stem from. Cameroonian music was featured during the cocktail hours, as well as dancing and songs during the reception particular to their African cultures. A most notable cultural element was the changing into traditional Cameroonian outf its as part of the last phase of the ceremony. For Carine and Julius this, “made us do a true reminiscence of who we are and where we are heading to...to celebrate and dance to our own cultural wedding musics. It was really a blessing and true happiness to have had this part during our ceremony...”

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  79


D E S T I N AT I O N S


PHOTOGRAPHY

Nana Annan NANA ANNAN PHOTOGRAPHY www.nanaannan.com

PLANNER/DESIGNER & FLORIST

Johanne Piverger JP EVENTS AND DESIGN www.jpeventsanddesign.com

WEDDING DJ

Mchael Williams MIKE MUSIC www.iknowmikemusic.com

MAKEUP ARTIST Mother of Bride, Bridal party

Danielle Henry DANIE AND THE BLOOM www.danieandthebloom.com

VIDEOGRAPHER

Ben + Natasha Davis YAMEAN STUDIOS www.yameanstudiosfilms.com

VIEW MORE COTERIE MEMBER PROFILES ON OUR WEBSITE. VENDORS.MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM

vendors BRIDE'S DRESS/HEADPIECE: Pantora Bridal BRIDE'S SHOES: INC International Concepts FLOWER GIRLS DRESSES: Elanya Jewels BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Dolly Skeppings CAKES/DESSERTS: Palermo Bakery CEREMONY/RECEPTION + CATERING: Park Chateau GROOM'S ATTIRE: Connaisseur Paris GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Connaisseur Paris HAIR: Jacky International LIGHTING: Park Chateau LINENS: Beyond Linens MAKEUP: Your Face My Canvas (Bride, Bridal party) + Danie and the Bloom (Mother of Bride, Bridal party) STATIONERY: Vividesig ns by Alero CUSTOM MENUS + TABLE NUMBERS:

Prp Luxury Group FURNITURE RENTAL: Elite

Events NJ GROOMING: Your Face My Canvas

best memories "To be candid, there has never been a day in our lives like this day. Surprisingly, many people get stressed during such events but we were so confident and happy everything was fine. There was no other reason for the stress-free wedding but the fact that we got an excellent wedding planner Johanne of JP Event and Design. She made us go to the event as if nothing depended on us. We both felt we were Royal Highness's that evening. All memories - inclusive - of the day from beginning to end are best memories. We will want to live the day again." - CARINE


MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  83


photo: In His Image Photography

presented by MunaLuchi

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2017 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM THE HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY JULIA IDESON BUILDING

featuring

RECORDING ARTIST

MAJOR. MR. “WHY I LOVE YOU" RSVP AT BIT.DO/MUNALOVEAFFAIR


D E S T I N AT I O N S

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOMON PHOTO

STRESS FREE & FABULOUS

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  85


JASMYNE + JULIUS NASHVILLE, TN JUNE 3, 2017 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y E l l e D a n i e l l e P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

T

he love story of Jasmyne and Julius began on the

Vera Wang Katarina Chapel, and an exquisite Vera Wang

campus of the University of Tennessee. Julius

Chelsea crystal grosgrain sash added the f inishing touch.

was a graduate assistant football coach, a similar

position previously held at one point by Jasmyne’s father,

BEST MEMORY

Jerry - an inductee into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the current General Manager of the New York Giants.

"Too many to decide so I have narrowed it down to 3! 1.

Jasmyne was a transfer student when Julius f irst laid eyes

First Look. Initially, we weren’t really sure if we wanted to

on her, immediately reaching out in a private message on

do a First Look. I wanted the “oohs and ahhs” to be reserved

Instagram. Ignoring him at f irst, Julius’ polite persistence

for when I walked down the aisle. I am so happy we decided

eventually paid off as he began to win over her heart. Before

to have the f irst look. That special moment with just the

long they started dating and the sparks f lew as their feelings

two of us was priceless. The expression on my f iance’s face

for each other grew. Jasmine and Julius soon discovered

when he saw me for the f irst time was truly unforgettable.

that this relationship was something special - feeling as if

2. Special moments with my father. Before the ceremony

they were always meant to be together…

begin, but after the wedding party had entered, it was just my dad and I. He jokingly said “Are you sure you wanna do

It was on a summer trip in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

this?” We smiled and laughed and even took self ies. It was a

where Julius decided would be the perfect location to

special time for us. 3. Entrance. Walking into the ceremony

take their relationship to the next level. Along with two

surrounded by all of my family and friends, feeling like

other couples, who were in on the proposal plan, they all

a princess, and seeing my future husband waiting for me

enjoyed everything the beautiful Caribbean Sea city has to

with his eyes f illed with tears was simply the best moment

offer. Deciding to have a balcony “photo shoot” at sunset,

ever." JASMYNE

everyone took turns getting their picture taken. When it came time to Jasmyne and Julius’ turn, standing on a

BEST WEDDING ADVICE

balcony, a beautiful ocean sunset in the background, Julius dropped to one knee and asked Jasmyne to spend the rest

"My best advice for an engaged couple is to enjoy the process.

of her life with him...

After all, you are planning to marry your best friend! Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small. Be prepared for the

When dress shopping, although Jasmyne spent half the day

“this-wasn’t-supposed-to-happen” moments, but know

at Kleinf ield’s of NYC, when she walked into the Vera Wang

that it will all work out – perfectly! Oh, if possible, bring

Bridal salon she knew right away what would be the perfect

onboard a fabulous wedding planner." - JASMYNE

dress for her. Jasmyne said yes to a ivory tulip chantilly lace mermaid Lillian gown with a hand-pieced circular f lange train and mum garden hemline. The veil was a stunning


MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  89


D E S T I N AT I O N S

WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER Tiffanie Elliott ELLIOTT EVENTS www.elliottevents.com

VENDORS

WEDDING PLANNER: Elliott Events PHOTOGRAPHER: Elle Danielle Photography FLORIST: Elliott Events VENUE: Loews Vanderbilt CAKE/DESSERTS: Tis So Sweet PAPER GOODS /INVITATIONS: Designs in Paper VIDEOGRAPHY: Loomis Films MAKEUP: Millicent Payne Beauty HAIR: Dani Anderson RENTALS: Music City Tents and Events & Quest Events LIVE EVENT PAINTING: Vicki Babb DRESS: Vera Wang

EVENT

DECOR/DESIGN: Elliott Events GROOM/ GROOMSMEN: Men's Warehouse

FALL.2017

|

90


D E S T I N AT I O N S

WWW.LILYVEVENTS.COM


CO N T E N T S


CO N T E N T S

JEMILAT + HAKEEM BALTIMORE, MD APRIL 15, 2017 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y Tu n j i S a r u m i

Text by Samuel Naumick

S

ocial media truly brings the world together, but

feelings, decided to give their relationship a chance - and

sometimes it also helps you realize that the person

neither have looked back ever since...

of your dreams may actually be closer than you

think - in this case just a mutual friend away... One

On January 2nd of 2016, Jemilat returned home tired

day while perusing Facebook, Hakeem’s attention was

from a long day at work to f ind the house sparkling

completely captured by the prof ile picture of Jemilat.

clean. Hakeem had cleaned the f loors, vacuumed,

Gee, a mutual friend of Hakeem and Jemilat’s, told him

cleared the dishes, even washed the bathroom - in

all about her and the more Hakeem heard the more he

retrospect all of this should’ve set off mental alarm bells

knew he had to meet her.

as Hakeem has a tendency to clean when nervous, but she was understandably exhausted. Hakeem requested

Gee, being a good friend, asked Jemilat if it was okay

that they go to 1789 for dinner, an upscale restaurant in

to give Hakeem her number. Jemilat recalls how she

Georgetown. Being tired, Jemilat was not in the mood to

“politely said ‘okay,’ knowing this is likely not going

go out, especially if it involved getting dressed up. So she

anywhere.” This not being the f irst, or even the second

asked if they could go to some place more casual. They

time, that Gee tried to introduce her to someone he

f inally agreed to go to Zaytinya.

knew, and considering the last time was “a disaster,” the deck was already stacked against Hakeem.

During dinner Hakeem asked that they share a picture together to capture the moment. Jemilat came over to

Jemilat made it clear from the start just how much the

sit beside him as he handed his phone to the couple

odds were playing against him - his being introduced

next them to assist with taking the picture. As to what

by Gee being a large factor of that, and the other half

happened next, Jemilat fondly recalls how, “I was looking

understandably being that she just began the f irst year of

forward to the camera smiling but I noticed it was taking

a fellowship and did not want any distractions. Wanting

too long to take the picture and everyone around had

to be a part of her life, and most certainly a positive part

stopped what they were doing and were looking our way.

at that, Hakeem was happy to promise a friendship with

I turned to look at him and he was on his knees with

Jemilat.

the most beautiful ring ever and he asked me to marry him...”

As their friendship f lourished, Hakeem’s promise of just remaining friends became more and more diff icult to

For their wedding they chose the theme of “Spring

maintain - as he knew in his heart they were meant to

Bling,” incorporating spring f lorals and glittering

be much more. Their calls increased in frequency, and

elements. Culturally, their wedding incorporated Yoruba

Hakeem even took trips to Baltimore to see her… After

Nigerian elements - a shared heritage ref lected in the

six months Jemilat, f inding it diff icult to ignore her own

food and music.


D E S T I N AT I O N S

VENDORS

VENDORS

PLANNER:

FTKkonnect

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Tunji

Sarumi

VIDEOGRAPHY: Femster MC: Comedy Jedi DJ: Phemstar DECOR/FLORALS/CHAIR RENTALS/DANCEFLOOR: Lily V Events VIDEOGRAPHER

CAKE: Mon delice DESSERT TABLE: Sugar Bakers CATERER:

Femster

Divine Catering COCKTAIL HOUR: Chopsbyrera STATIONERY AND LOGO: Vivid Designs by Alero 1ST DRESS: Enzoani from

FEMSTERIMAGES PRODUCTION www.femsterimages.com

Betsy Bridal 2ND DRESS: Terani Couture from NIle boutique

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

FALL.2017

|

96


REAL WEDDINGS

ad


REAL WEDDINGS

SHYVON + FRANCESCA M A N H AT TA N , N YC JULY 22, 2017 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

I

t’s June of 2013 in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where

as diff icult as it was they continued to keep a certain level of

Shyvon and Francesca are attending a destination wedding.

emotional distance between them seeing how Francesca, regardless

For Shyvon, one of the brides is a former connection found

of its conf lict, was still in a relationship.

on a dating website - nothing romantic ultimately came from their meeting but a good friendship was formed. Francesca at the time

Those diff icult moments before leaving for the airport weighed

was in a relationship coming apart at the seams. She was the plus-

heavily on them both, Francesca seeking out Shyvon to exchange

one of her then girlfriend who was a friend of the same bride as

contact information - looking for any excuse to remain close to

Shyvon.

each other...

Most of the wedding guests were direct friends of both brides,

In the time after Mexico the succession of everyday life re-

many of whom were part of the LGBTQ community. Everyone

absorbed Shyvon and Francesca who remained in sporadic touch

was staying at a beautiful LGBTQ boutique hotel with the

through social media. Francesca still tryed to make the most of

exception of Shyvon, who elected to stay in a separate hotel by the

things in regards to her relationship but ultimately it would go no

beach out of love for beach views.

further than a few months following their return from Mexico. It was just a few days before New Year’s Eve that she informed

Both Francesca and Shyvon distinctly remember noticing each

Shyvon of the breakup, Shyvon offering some much-needed

other - a sudden gravitational pull instantly drawing them

comfort. They began speaking more regularly, often daily over

together. Francesca fondly recalls how unforgetable Shyvon

stretches of time, but only as friends…

looked in a white dress, and how she was “immediately attracted to Shyvon’s energy, kindness, and charisma,” not surprised to later

Neither had truly confessed the depth of their feelings for the

learn, due to her “lovely and comforting disposition,” that Shyvon

other, and now that Francesca was f inally single, and she and

was a nurse. Over the course of the next few days of the wedding

Shyvon were in consistent communication, Shyvon was now

trip they quickly became friends.

in a relationship of her own. They both continued to struggle with the emotional weight of it all, regularly fantasizing about

For Francesca it was all so bitter-sweet as her and her girlfriend at

being in a relationship together. Francesca attentively listened to

the time were barely interacting, a divide forming between them,

Shyvon’s desires to end her relationship, and though her heart

leaving Francesca with feelings of rejection. After witnessing a

screamed “yes, leave her and be with me,” she couldn’t bring

series of their “tense interactions,” Shyvon approached Francesca

herself to say the words aloud… Out of respect for her relationship

telling her how she had noticed the harsh treatment and that “if

with this other woman, and since they were too close for her to

you were my girlfriend, I’d never treat you that way…” In that

disappear without notice, Francesca did what she felt was her

moment they both realized it was more than just a consoling

only option, and told Shyvon over the phone, hoping to hide

statement, the feelings behind Shyvon’s words were genuine, and a

her sobs, “Shyvon, in all this time that we have grown close, I

seed of possibility was planted in their minds that refused to stop

have developed strong feelings for you. When I’m over it, maybe

growing…

a month or two, I will reach back out and we can resume our friendship...”

Francesca and Shyvon’s feelings and attraction for each other continued to grow as they spent more time together, enjoying

Immediately following their conversation, Francesca began to

great conversation over long walks on the beach. Nevertheless,

grieve the loss of her best friend and the only woman she felt so


D E S T I N AT I O N S

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  99


deeply for, while Shyvon thought long and hard about her words - knowing that she too felt the same… It would be a few days later after the heartfelt confession that Francesca received a call from Shyvon. Francesca, seeing who the caller was felt her heart beat heavy as she answered the call…“I broke up with her,” Shyvon exclaimed, “Francesca, it’s always been you! I had feelings for you the moment we met, but I never thought we could be together!” In late May of 2014, almost exactly a year after their f irst meeting, Francesca visited Shyvon in NYC after not having seen each other since Mexico. Both very nervous and with thoughts of uncertainty running through their minds, such as “what if she’s no longer romantically attracted to me,” Francesca entered Shyvon’s apartment. Sitting a little too far apart on the couch at f irst, a few relaxing drinks would help them unwind and quickly dispel the insecurities of their reunion jitters. They soon found themselves in each other’s arms, all the troubles of the past year washing away in waves of emotional joy - what once was just a seed of possibility now blossoming into love… With Francesca working on her PhD in Madison, Wisconsin and Shyvon on her Masters in NYC, their relationship would remain long-distance until August of 2015 when Francesca moved to Brooklyn with Shyvon. In the summer of 2016, after falling into a harmonious rhythm from a year of living together, thoughts of marriage began to take shape. Knowing already that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, they forwent a formal proposal and went directly to ring shopping - announcing their engagement to family and friends. And on July 22nd of 2017, Francesca and Shyvon were joined by marriage in an intimate Chelsea loft ceremony in Manhattan, New York. Shyvon and Francesca’s wedding shopping experience was “very different,” Shyvon recalls, “Francesca is pretty laidback and would have gotten married in jeans and a t-shirt at a backyard barbecue. We went into Bloomingdales and it took all of 20 minutes for Francesca to make a decision on what to wear. I grabbed a dress and exclaimed, ‘I think this is the one for you!’ And it was. I on the other hand was more meticulous with my search. The jacket down to the jewelry had to be perfect. My outf it took many back and forth trips over numerous days, but it was well worth it in the end!”


D E S T I N AT I O N S

“Remember, this celebration is all about your love for each other, not how much you spend, or the glitz and glamour, do not try to impress anyone. Always keep in mind that your love for each other is what you're celebrating.” - SHYVON

WEDDING ADVICE

When working at an LGBTQ clinic, one of Shyvon's patients told her that the best marriage advice she could offer was to go to couple's therapy before tying the knot. "Even though we didn't feel like we "needed" it, after the first session we understood why this was such a great recommendation. It's something we now advise to anyone! It was so nice to talk about, and work

PHOTOGRAPHER

Kesha Lambert KESHA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY www.keshalambert.com View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

VENDORS

out, our differences; it's amazing how your childhood and adult experiences influence who you are as an individual, and how different traumas can play out in your relationship without your knowing. It feels very intimate, and we always left each session with a deeper understanding of, and more in love with each other."

BRIDE'S SHOES: Aquazurra and Louis Vuitton CAKES/DESSERTS: Stone Fruit Botanicals in Brooklyn CATERING: Chef Wayne Clarke of Global Chefz

CEREMONY VENUE: Aloft in

Chelsea EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Amanda Paul, Calabash Events ENTERTAINMENT:

Ian

Director of Hamilton)

Weinberger

on

Piano

(Associate

Music

EVENT PLANNER: Amanda Paul, Calabash

Events FLORALS: Melia Poehlmann, Stone Fruit Botanicals HAIR: Carell Pierre, Locktician (for Shyvon) and Elan Salon and Day Spa (for Francesca) LINENS: Big Dawg Party Rentals MAKEUP: Sokphalla Ban STATIONERY: Paperless post


REAL WEDDINGS

MELANIE + AMECHE AT L A N TA , G A MARCH 18, 2017 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

S

ometimes those closest to us may perhaps know us even

This would not be the end of what was already a life-changing

better than we do ourselves. An outside perspective

evening. Followed by the proposal another surprise awaited, a

offers one the ability to view a person or situation in

surprise birthday party attended by their friends and family.

total. It is exactly this perspective that provided a mutual

Family that traveled from both New Orleans and North

friend of Melanie and Ameche to believe that they would

Carolina to celebrate this most special occasion. They danced

make a good couple. According to Melanie, “they were so

and laughed the night away.

right about us!” For Melanie, “wedding shopping was fun at f irst and then It was, as they say, “love at f irst sight,” on that f irst date

overwhelming. I ended up picking a small shop, the Atlanta’s

of dinner and dancing. Melanie recalls how Ameche made

Virginia Highlands, Suite Bridal. The ladies there were sweet,

her laugh the entire evening, and she also couldn’t help but

patient and welcoming. I def initely preferred this type of

notice how good of a dancer he was - owning both the dance

shop as compared to the larger more glitz and glam shops.”

f loor and her complete attention that night. From that point

Melanie said yes to a f it and f lare dress with two layers of lace

on they became a permanent part of each other’s lives, and

and beautiful buttons along the back. After several trips to

as their commonalities continued to be revealed, so did their

the seamstress the dress was a perfect f it.

feelings for each other continue to grow. Culturally, Melanie’s family is from New Orleans so they Over the years they talked about marriage and looked at rings

incorporated many traditional elements associated with

but when it came time for the proposal, Melanie was caught

NOLA culture. Elements such as beautiful cake-pulls, charms

completely off guard… It was Melanie’s birthday and Ameche

layered into the base of the cake - pulled up by the attending

took her out for a lovely dinner at Oceannaire, an elegant

single ladies. And of course, a NOLA event is not complete

top-of-the-catch seafood restaurant, just the two of them. If

without a fantastic second-line band.

you were to ask either of them what they ate on that special evening neither would be able to provide a concrete answer, for even though the food was delicious, it would not be the most memorable part of the night… As they f inished their meal, Ameche, leaning towards Melanie, looked into her eyes and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him as he revealed the most gorgeous of rings. Tears f illed her eyes as she responded with an absolute yes.

FALL.2017

|

102


MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  103


PHOTOGRAPHER

LaJoy Cox LAJOY PHOTOGRAPHY www.lajoyphotography.com View more Coterie Member profiles on our website. vendors.munaluchibridal.com

VENDORS WEDDING DRESS AND VEIL: Suite Bridal NAILS: Nouvelle Nail Salon STATIONERY: Minted.com HAIR: Rikya Taylor of Keep in Natural Studios EVENT VENUE: DeKalb History Center WEDDING PLANNER: Janel Elise Events CATERER: Derrick Tims of Endive FLORIST AND DESIGN: On Occasions of Atlanta BAKERY FOR WEDDING CAKE: Goodness Cakes MINISTER: Jeremy Abernathy DJ: Premier Entertainment Atlanta


CHARLEETA + ANDRE M O N TA L U C E W I N E R Y | DA H L O N E G A , G A , OC TO B E R 1 6 , 2 0 1 6 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y A n d re B ro w n P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick


REAL WEDDINGS

I

n places where you least expect it… Love can be

Charleeta recalls, “we decided it was best to go to

found in many places, quite often in places and

the courthouse and get married. However, we knew

at times when you least expect it. In the pursuit

it wasn't over because my father always dreamed

of love we will attempt to look our best, hang out

of giving his youngest daughter away and we also

in the known social settings, and yet that sought-

wanted to celebrate in front of our close friends and

out moment with someone special may present

family.”

itself under the most trivial of circumstances. For Charleeta that meeting would take place at a local

Charleeta and Andre’s wedding took place at the

bank, “at the time, I owned a small business and

Montaluce Winery in Alpharetta, Georgia. The

needed a new credit card processor,” she fondly

rolling hills and vineyard scenery were the perfect

remembers, “as soon as I walked into the bank,

ethereal backdrop for this intimate and stylish

Andre offered a helping hand and of course later

ceremony. The rustic wine culture decor and white

asked for my number. As days went on, we spent

f lorals were complemented by the cream, earthy

countless hours chatting on the phone until our

greens, deep reds, and dark purple color themes.

f irst date. Long story short, Andre' has been a great helpmate ever since our chance encounter at his

After an exhausting search for the perfect gown

job.”

Charleeta sparkled as she was escorted beside her proud father down the aisle in a stunning trumpet-

Sometimes the perfect proposal is no proposal;

style gown with sweetheart neckline, graphic lace,

a couple may just know without question that

and sequins in a intimate and emotional ceremony.

spending the rest of their lives together as husband

For their f irst dance the newlyweds chose “Can’t

and wife is a def inite future. This was exactly the

Get Enough” by Tamia. A favorite menu item of the

case for Charleeta and Andre, “after two and a half

evening was classic shrimp and grits.

years of dating and him being away in the Navy,”

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  107


VENDORS BRIDE'S DRESS: Essence of Australia BRIDAL SALON: New Natalie's Bridals BRIDE’S HEADPIECE: David's Bridal BRIDE'S JEWELRY: Givenchy BRIDE'S SHOES: Jimmy Choo CAKES/DESSERTS: Cakes by LaMeeka CATERING: Le Vigne at Montaluce Winery Restaurant CEREMONY VENUE: Montaluce Winery EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Flowers From Us ENTERTAINMENT: DJ E Clazz FLORALS: Flowers From Us GROOM'S ATTIRE: Men's Wearhouse GROOM'S SHOES: Gucci HAIR: Robert Lee Rooks GROOM'S HAIR: DJ (Owner of Krucial Kuts) LIGHTING: Montaluce Winery MAKEUP: BRIDE'S MAKEUP - Robert Lee Rooks FAMILY'S MAKEUP - Ashley Green PHOTOGRAPHY: Andre Brown Photography STRING QUARTET: Idalia Strings RECEPTION VENUE: Montaluce Winery STATIONERY: Wedding Paper Divas


D E S T I N AT I O N S

Bringing your dreams to life MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME Suada Studio is the premiere boutique event venue located in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta. We create

Š 2017 Suada Studio,

Photography by Joespeh Stevens Photography

authentic weddings and special celebrations. Our team works with you to provide expert advice for any aspect of your wedding or special occasion. At Suada Studio your interest, is ours. We are dedicated to helping you create the occasion of your dreams. Together Suada Studio will become the event space that will remain a part of your memory and ours.

721 Miami Circle Suite 102|103 Atlanta, Georgia 30324 www.suadastudio.com | celebrate@suadastudio.com | 404.458.6880 @suadastudio

/SuadaStudio


REAL WEDDINGS

BIANCA + JAMES NASHVILLE, TN MARCH 18, 2017 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y S h a n n o n B a n k s t o n P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

H

igh School sweethearts, Bianca and James Stone

It seemed a date night like any other, but with the added

were destined to be. In Bianca’s words, “It is safe

sweet sentimentality of returning to the restaurant of their

to say that I knew James would be my husband the

f irst “fancy date.” After enjoying a lovely meal together with

f irst time I saw him...” Sharing an Advanced Biology course

great conversation and many moments being lost in each

together, Bianca recalls how within a room full of many types

other’s eyes, they were making their way towards the exit.

of people James still stood out, “he could make anyone smile

Along the way James stopped Bianca, held her close to him

and he had a humbleness that shined through, even when he

and kissed her with a love saturated with the memories of

was the center of attention.” Little to Bianca’s knowledge,

every moment spent together… Looking her in the eyes, the

James was the center of attention often, even then being a

eyes of his future wife, he got down on one knee, revealed the

star athlete, a star athlete who would eventually go on to be

ring of her dreams and asked Bianca to spend the rest of her

a professional football player - currently a member of the

life with him as husband and wife…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wedding shopping for Bianca was an emotional moment in Being a year ahead of Bianca in high school, when James left

which she was accompanied by all of the special women in

for college she remembers telling him how, “I only wanted

her life... “It was very important to me that each of them

to be friends. I was not looking forward to sharing him with

be present as I accepted the dress. I am very spiritual and

college girls while I was his ‘back home girlfriend.’” But

ritualistic so i believe whole-heartedly that each heart in the

James is a genuine person, having made it very clear to Bianca

room will forever keep me guarded! I knew it was the dress

early in their relationship that he only had eyes for her. The

when I saw it. It was lace, it accentuated my best parts, it was

dedication of James to Bianca was demonstrated time and

modest enough for my grandmother, and it made me cry. It

again, driving eight hours a day just to come home for a kiss,

was perfect!

only to return back to college for practice the very next day. For Bianca and James, their wedding day was a dream. Seeing Bianca admits that, “like any other high school couple we

the planners and designers prepare the church the night

were disgustingly obsessed with one another. When we

before was a surreal sight, leaving Bianca thinking, “is this

weren’t playing sports or doing work we were professing our

really happening, just for us…?” The excitement of seeing

love to one another.” She recalls when James took her on their

all of their hard working come to fruition in a phenomenal

f irst “fancy date.” It was at a small local restaurant called

reveal completely blew them away… “The day was f illed with

Firef ly. Accustomed to casual dining, Bianca remembers with

magic! James and I were spiraled in love. Our vows to one

a smile how they were “blown away by our $60 ticket.” Since

another settled any of the nervousness we may have been

then their dining experiences have grown, but Firef ly was a

feeling. We were meant to be, our day was meant to happen…”

special place for them, representing a vision for growth and new experiences. It would one day come to hold even more signif icance…

FALL.2017

|

110


MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  111


WEDDING ADVICE

"I'm having a hard time getting this down to one specific thing! There are two favorite memories that will stick with me for always! His vows were so beautifully written and specific to my love for him and his love for who and what I am. My second favorite memory would be that I forgot to wear my blue underwear as my something blue and right before walking down the aisle I noticed that my son had a blue bow tie. His father took him to get fitted for his tux and I told him to let our son choose the color he wanted to wear, and he chose the perfect blue!" - BIANCA

VENDORS PHOTOGRAPHER: Shannon Bankston Photography CEREMONY LOCATION: Faith United Methodist RECEPTION LOCATION: Hutton Hotel BRIDAL GOWN: Glitz BridaL CAKE: Couture Cakes and Sweets CATERER: Hutton Hotel WEDDING PLANNER: Paige Brown Designs MUSIC: DJ Benji Rich FLOWERS: Paige Brown Designs DRAPING: Southern Design Works and Visual Elements LIGHTING: Nashville


INSIDE

WWW.PAIGEBROWNDESIGNS.COM


NANCY + LOUIS NEGRIL, JAMAICA M AY 1 3 , 2 0 1 7 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

R

egardless of when, you are always fortunate to have met your soulmate. Whether it is from the beginning of life in childhood or middle-aged and beyond, being able to say that you have truly found your soul’s mate isn’t something everyone will be able to do… For Nancy and Louis, not only can they say they’ve found their perfect match in each other, but have the great fortune of having met the other at the ages of nineteen and twenty – giving them more than a lifetime to cherish their relationship together. Having been aware of each other by way of mutual friends through social media, Nancy and Louis had never actually spoken or met until one day when Louis, guided perhaps by more than intuition, sent her an online message – creating a pathway to what began as an instant friendship. It wouldn’t be long for that friendship to blossom into a relationship of love. For almost six years the couple lived in different states, Nancy in New York and Louis in Connecticut – spending the majority of their time together during the weekends. The weeks apart were long, feeling like months, until f inally the weekend would once again arrive bringing them back together with a euphoria akin to a lung full of air after holding your breath under water. Though a physical distance were between them, those six years brought them closer together, strengthening their love. The proposal happened on an afternoon like any other, or so it seemed. Louis picked Nancy up from the train station after work, as usual, but didn’t take the normal route home. Nancy assumed they were just going for a drive to relax. The car f inally stopped before a gorgeous garden park that Nancy is fond of, often asking if they can go there for the beautiful serenity. They slowly strolled through the garden, enjoying the peaceful moment, when at the garden’s center, Louis dropped down to “tie his shoelace.” After a moment more of taking in the f loral scenery, Nancy glanced down at Louis to f ind him on one knee, open ring box in hand, and asking her to spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife… For Nancy, dress shopping was the most stressful part of her wedding experience, though ultimately she did end up wearing her dream wedding

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  115


D E S T I N AT I O N S

dress… “A year before my wedding, I tried on and ordered a blush colored dress that I saw featured on a bunch of bridal sites and the sample looked amazing on me. The f irst time the dress was completed (yes, I said ‘f irst time’), it was the wrong color! It was re-made, but when I received my actual dress, it looked nothing like the pictures or the sample! A few months before my wedding, I was frantically searching for a new dress and found my dress designer at Versailles in Brooklyn. It took a few tries but the dress came out exactly how I wanted! My wedding dress style was what I like to call ‘Island Princess.’ I wanted my dress to ref lect my creativity and slightly out-of-the-box style, so I knew it had to be something I didn’t see too many other brides wearing. All the dresses I loved were way out of my budget, so I ended up going the custom-made route. The result was the dress of my dreams!” Culturally, Nancy and Louis are of Jamaican decent (Louis being directly from Jamaica), so they wanted to incorporate the Jamaican culture within their wedding. Nancy recalls how “we wanted to bring our friends and family together in an atmosphere where people felt like

they were right at home,” so a destination wedding in Jamaica was the perfect setting. The dinner menu was Jamaican cuisine, including oxtail, stewed snapper, coconut chicken, and rice with peas. Welcome bags for the guests contained treats like banana chips, ginger wine, coconut drops, and the favors were DIY brushedgold acrylic miniatures of the island, laser inscribed with each guest’s name. The overall theme of the wedding was “Art, Nature, Music” - things that play a big role in who the bride and groom are, both individually and as a couple. The art aspect was ref lected in custom invitations, the wedding website background, guest sign-in, and custom poster signs all completed by local Jamaican and family artists. Nature was incorporated by choosing a venue on the West End cliffs of Negril, Jamaica, surrounded by gardens and greenery, overlooking the beautiful Caribbean Sea. And the wedding music featured lots of reggae, lover’s rock, and dancehall music that “kept our guests dancing all night!”


REAL WEDDINGS

“Throughout our wedding weekend, we were surrounded by family, friends, love, and great energy. The weather was beautiful, which we found funny because the morning after the wedding there was heavy rainfall that lasted all day and for days after we left. It was like the rain waited so we could have the perfect day!” - NANCY

VENDORS WEDDING DRESS: Emmanuel Whitmore WEDDING DRESS BOUTIQUE: Versailles Brooklyn VEIL DESIGNER: Orchid Eccles JEWELRY: Givenchy, Pandora, & Melanie Marie BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES & SHOES: Fashion Nova & Lulu’s GROOMS/GROOMSMEN SUITS: Combatant Gentlemen MAKEUP: Tricia Taitt BRIDE’S SHOES: Badgley Mischka GROOM’S SHOES: Aldo CEREMONY+RECEPTION: Rockhouse HoteL PHOTOGRAPHY: Merrick Cousley VIDEOGRAPHY: Safel Peterkin MUSIC/DJS: Big Red (Music: Sound Illusion Entertainment) and Max Glazer (Federation Sound) WEDDING COORDINATOR: Alecia Eastwood FLORIST: Floral Fantasies Jamaica STATIONERY: Drawn/Designed by Daraja Eccles Art; Printed by Wedding Paper Divas CUSTOM WELCOME SIGNS: Nurse Signs

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  117


W E D DING I D EAS Less is more in this Minimal Chic editorial shoot. Photographed by Kind Hearted Images


MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  119


CREATIVE TEAM

CALLIGRAPHY:

The Crafting Casa // MAKEUP: Tristany Lee // RENTALS: Esmae Event Rentals // BRIDAL JEWELRY: Atzi

Bridal // HAIR STYLIST: Shear Passion Salon // WEDDING RINGS: Earth And Rock Jewels // FLORIST: Esmae Event Floral Desig n // WEDDING DRESS: La Soie Bridal

// VENUE:

Deer Creek // MALE MODEL: Luke Chong // FEMALE MODEL: Nia

Assata // PHOTOGRAPHY: Kind Hearted Images // FLORAL CROWNS: Empress Crown & Jewels


HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT THE GANTT CENTER

Contact Chanel Davis: chanel@ganttcenter.org or call 704.547.3768 551 South Tryon Street • Charlotte, NC 28202 704.547.3700 • www.ganttcenter.org


FALL.2017

|

122


CityScapes journey with us to

SOUTH AFRICA In this edition of CityScapes, MunaLuchi shines the spotlight on South Africa, focusing specif ically on the cities of Johannesburg, Capetown, Durban, and Pretoria. Host destination of the 2017 MunaLuchi Coterie Retreat, and the southernmost country of Africa bounded by gorgeous coastlines along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South Africa is the twenty-f ifth largest country in the world. Rich in culture and religion, South Africa recognizes eleven off icial languages and has a history that has resonated throughout the rest of the world - being the birthplace of countless inspirational f igures.

BELMOND MOUNT NELSON IN CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  123


.CityScapes

DURBAN

Known for its African, Indian, and Colonial influences, Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa and the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. A major center of tourism, the city is accustomed to warm subtropical temperatures and is famous for its gorgeous beaches. Enjoy a day of sun and sand along the “Golden Mile,” or take in an event at the renowned Moses Mabhida Stadium.

PLACES TO EAT

1. 9TH AVENUE BISTRO - Fresh locally sourced cuisine 2. GREEDY BUDDHA - Asian inspired food with f lavors of Eastern and Western cuisine 3. JACK SALMON FISH HOUSE - Where sea meets the land. Colorful, worldly cuisine.

GREEDY BUDDHA RESTAURANT

9TH AVE BISTRO

PLACES TO STAY

- Iconic beachfront hotel in Durban. 2. PROTEA HOTEL EDWARD 3. OYSTER BOX HOTEL 1.

SOUTHERN SUN ELANGENI & MAHARANI

OYSTER BOX HOTEL

PLACES TO BE

1. MOSES MABHIDA STADIUM - Enjoy and epic event and take in the beautiful views at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Featruing a sky car, the biggest swing in the world, and adventure walk, and Segway gliding tours, the Moses Mabhida stadium will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. 2. GOLDEN MILE - Popular stretch of beachfront stretching from South Beach to Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World. 3. UMGENI RIVER BIRD PARK


CityScapes

PRETORIA The administrative capital of South Africa, also known as Jacaranda City for its thousands of Jacaranda

ANOTHER NAME FOR THE PRETORIA IS “JACARANDA CITY” AS IT'S KNOWN FOR ITS SIGNATURE PURPLE JACARNDA TREES.

trees, Pretoria serves as the seat of the executive branch of South Africa’s government, and has a reputation for being an academic city - housing

PLACES TO BE 1.

NATURE RESERVE

- Book a game drive to see some 1600 game including

zebra, waterbuck, reedbuck, and more. 2.

UNION BUILDINGS

- Considered a

modern day Acropolis, the buildings

facilities. Enjoy the city’s unique urban landscape featuring a diversity

are built at the highest point of

of architectural styles and influences,

Pretoria and form the off icial seat

stroll through the breathtaking National

of South Africa's government and houses The Presidency. 3.

multiple universities and research

Botanical Garden, or hike one of the

NATIONAL

ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS OF SOUTH AFRICA

natural reserves - coming face to face

- 85 hectare zoo in Pretoria considered

with the beautiful wildlife of South

the largest zoo in South African and

Africa.

the only one with national status.

PLACES TO EAT:

1. KREAM RESTAURANT - Trendy upmarket restaurant 2. RESTAURANT MOSAIC - Award winning Chef Chantel Dartnall - voted SA's Chef of the Year - combines modern f ine dining with a unique twist. 3. HARISSA BISTRO Mediterranean North African fusion bistro KIEVITS KROON HOTEL

PLACES TO STAY

1. KIEVITS KROON - Tranquil country estate with luxury accommodations. 2. ILLYRIA HOUSE - Serene with a classical twist. 17th centry interior design and achitecture and colonial lifestyle experience. 3. MENLYN BOUTIQUE HOTEL Luxury and artistic hotel. ILLYRIA

NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN


M U N AT R AV E L

CityScapes

CAPETOWN

As the seat of the Parliament of South Africa, Cape Town is also the legislative capital of the country. Known for its harbor, Cape Town is located on the shore of Table Bay, and features such famous landmarks as Table Mountain, Cape Point, and Robben Island. Explore the numerous natural features and scenic views of this stunning city, or stroll through the gorgeous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront - boasting more than four hundred and fifty retail outlets and over eighty eateries in a place referred to as the most multicultural city in the world.

PLACES TO STAY 1.

VICTORIA & ALFRED HOTEL

- Landmark hotel situated in the heart of the Victoria &

Alred Waterfront and neat Table Mountain. You'll be in walking distance to excellent retail shopping, restaurants and nightlife. 2.

BELMOND MOUNT NELSON HOTEL

- Situated

at the foot of Table Mountain, this resort is the perfect blend of modern elegance. Considered one of the top f ive start hotels in Capetown, with nearby beaches, retails and amazing views. 3.

LA RESIDENCE

- Located in historic Franschhoek and surrounded

by vineyards and orchards, this hotel is the perfect location for intimate relaxation and world class service. THE NEW ZEITZ MOCAA

FALL.2017

|

126


LA RESIDENCE

POTLUCK CLUB RESTAURANT

LA RESIDENCE

SAVOY RESTAURANT

PLACES TO EAT 1. PIGALLE RESTAURANT - Portuguese, Mediterranean Seafood. Great restaurant for a stylish evening out with live entertainment and fresh seafood. 2.

THE POT LUCK CLUB

- International f ine dining situated at the top f loor of the Silo of the Old Biscuit Mill. Since its opening, it runs at capacity of 120 guests during both high and low season. 3.

SAVOY CABBAGE

- Creative contemporary

cuisine in an historic Table Mountain stone and old brick dating back to the 18th century.

AN AERIAL VIEW OF CAPETOWN

PLACES TO BE 1.

TABLE MOUNTAIN ARIAL CABLEWAY

- Considered a National Park and World Heritage

Site, Table Mountain is a must see. Take the cableway to the top or if you're adventurous, challenge yourself with a hike to the top. The views from the top of Table Mountain are worth the hike. 2. POINT NATURE RESERVE BELMOND MOUNT NELSON

CAPE

- Located at the tip of the Cape Peninsula, the Cape Pointe nature reserve boasts

rich and varied f lora and fauna and over 250 species of birds. 3.

VICTORIA & ALFRED WATERFRONT

- For

shopping and sightseeing, make a stop at the Waterfront. Here' you'll f ind over 450 retail outlets. It's also a great location for nightlife and entertainment. 4. ROBBEN ISLAND - Although it may be a sobering experience, visiting the Robben Island should be top of your list. It's the site where Nelson Mandela was held captive and today, houses a museum outlining the history of the island.

5.

BOULDER BEACH

- Head

over to this stunning beach and you'll see the colony of African Penguins. A small conservation fee of 40 ZAR (about $5) is required. 6.

ZEITZ MOCAA

- The newest museum to open in Capetown, Zeitz Museum of

Contemporary art is already considered a must-see when in capetown. While there, you'll see African Art in TABLE MOUNTAIN CABLE CAR

over 100 galleries, Before leaving the museum, enjoy breathtaking views from the rooftop while indulging in tasty cuisine. The restaurant is set to open December 1st, 2017. MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  127


MCO U NN AT TE RN AV T SE L

Nelson Mandela’s arrest in 1962, a few kilometres outside Howick KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has been marked by an outstanding sculpture by South African artist Marco Cianfanelli.

CityScapes

JOHANNESBURG Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, and host city to the 2017 MunaLuchi Coterie Retreat, is one of the fifty largest urban areas in the world, and the seat of South Africa’s constitutional court. The thriving art scene of Johannesburg is home to numerous galleries and museums, including the Apartheid Museum - illustrating South Africa’s long struggle for equality in a segregated society. With a deliciously diverse culinary milieu, luxury hotels, and a bustling nightlife - Johannesburg is an unforgettable experience always waiting to happen.

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  129


CO N T E N T S

PLACES TO STAY 1.

PALAZZO HOTEL

- Award winning hotel in Johannesburg with Tuscan

appeal. The Palazzo is considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic hotels in South Africa. 2. PROTEA HOTEL FIRE & ICE JOHANNESBURG Melrose Arch - Stay here and you'll be immersed in the vibrant urban lifestyle right in the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa. 3. MELROSE ARCH HOTEL

AFRICAN PRIDE

- Also situated in the heart of Johannesburg, the

African Pride Hotel blend luxury without compromise.

PALAZZO HOTEL

BOTANICAL GARDENS

PLACES TO EAT 1. MOYO - A top destination for unique African dining experience, Moyo is inspired by ancestral traditions and values. 2.

SAKHUMZI RESTAURANT

- Located in Soweto, Sakhumzi Restaurant is one with

true "kasi" f lavor, which means township. Visit this restaurant for lively local music and authentic Soweto food. 3. LUCKY BEAN RESTAURANT - From tourists to business travellers, Lucky Bean is a top destination due to its laid back and cosmopolitan style.

SOWETO BUNGEE

PLACES TO BE 1.

APARTHEID MUSEUM

- The Apartheid Museum illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid;

a racial system of segregation in the history of South Africa. Through contemporary installations, viewers are educated on the rise and fall of this discriminatory form of government and the struggle of the majority who overthrew it. 2. BOTANICAL GARDENS

JOHANNESBURG

- This 81-hectare Botanical Garden features numerous refreshing

gardenscapes, including the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden, a Hedge Demonstration Garden and the main arboretum. The Emmarentia Dam is home to many aquatic birds and is a popular spot for canoeing and boating. 3.

SOWETO

- Soweto, an acronym for South West Townships, was created in the1930s when the government began racial divisions. Soweto became the largest Black city in South Africa, playing a major role in the f ight against apartheid. Once the home of Nelson Mandela for many years, Soweto has been the birthplace of many prominent f igures. Soweto is a place of great historic and cultural signif icance. FALL.2017

|

130

LESEDI CULTURAL VILLAGE


CO N T E N T S

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  131


LIFESTYLE

When in Thailand A POST WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT PHOTOGRAPHED BY NANT VUTTHSAK


D E S T I N AT I O N S

 | 

M U N A L U C H I B R I DA L . CO M UMN A L U133 CHI BRIDE

|  133


D E S T I N AT I O N S

Da rs ha n a + Pa nka j Bangkok, Thailand

BRIDE:

Darshana Mulchandani |

GROOM:

Pankaj Mulchandani

Newlyweds Darshana and Pankaj had the most elaborate wedding complete with Sindhi rituals, international musicians, carnival dancers, and many surprises. The icing on the cake was this post-wedding photoshoot planned by the groom. Pankaj initially became interested in Darshana from her prof ile on a matrimonial website. When he went back to the website to learn more about her, the prof ile was deleted. It turns out Darshana’s mother was the one who created her prof ile and Darshana wasn’t really interested in getting married, so she deleted it. Later on, Pankaj ended up f inding Darshana’s facebook prof ile and sent her a message. They chatted for six months before going on their f irst date. HOW THEY MET:

Their f irst date was a casual dinner turned 4.5 hour long dinner date in which the couple barely ate because the conversation was so good. The hotel manager had to tell them to leave. They’ve been together ever since.

FIRST DATE:

FALL.2017

|

134


THE PHOTOSHOOT

"The photoshoot was totally planned by the groom in an effort to surprise his wife and do something extra special for her. As an Event Manager, Pankaj is accustomed to doing wedding in Thailand. He chose Bangkok because of the fascinating architecture and temples. Three iconic locations including the Sathorn Bridge, Wat-Benchamabophit Temple, considered one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok, and Street Art Walls throughout

Bangkok were chosen for the shoot. Each location served as creative and colorful backdrops for the shoot, with the creative direction of both the groom and photographer, Nant Vutthsak. For Pankaj, “[The entire experience] was all surprise for Darshana and her reaction every time was priceless and worth all the effort I had put in.”

PHOTOS:

Nant Vutthsak, Bangkok Dilraj Arrora,

HAIR&MAKEUP:

Bangkok

MUNALUCHI BRIDE

|  135


D E S T I N AT I O N S

DECEMBER 4-7, 2017 JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

WWW.COTERIERETREAT.COM FALL.2017

|

136

Munaluchi Fall 2017 Issue  

The MunaLuchi Fall 2017 Issue is here and we couldn't be happier with the results! From cover to cover, you can expect unique wedding ideas...