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SUMMER 2017

THE #1 MULTICULTURAL WEDDING MAGAZINE

Bride 120 pages of

LUXE

CAKES GOWNS, WEDDINGS & MORE

F E AT U R I N G

KRISTEN & SHAUN F O R M E R D I R E C TO R O F E X T E R N A L R E L AT I O N S F O R FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA, A N D F O R M E R U. S . S E C R E T SERVICE MEMBER FOR P R E S I D E N T B A R AC K O B A M A

A White House love story


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


Photo:Amy Anaiz. More from this beauty shoot on pg. 6


CO N T E N T S

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S

ince the launch of Munaluchi, there is one question I’ve been asked more times than I can count. "Is the magazine available outside of the US?" The answer is always two-fold. Yes, it’s available outside of the Unites States, but the copies are very limited. With Munaluchi Bride’s international growth doubling in the past year, our mission has been to seek ways in which we can reach our readers, no matter where they reside. So it is with great pleasure that I announce our new publishing schedule. Beginning with this issue, our magazine will be realeased on digital newsstands everywhere, every quarter. This means more frequency, more wedding inspiration, and more access to our content. We'll still keep our highly sought after print magazine intact. You can expect to see our magazine on traditional newsstands annually in January. Until then, enjoy the gorgeous features the Summer issue has to o�fer. Happy planning!

Jacqueline Nwobu CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

MUNALUCHI BRIDE MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2017 CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Jacqueline Nwobu PRESIDENT

Chike Nwobu

SUMMER 2017

THE #1 MULTICULTURAL WEDDING MAGAZINE

Bride

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Brooke Tidswell

Nicole McKenzie

120

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

LUXE

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING + SALES

Samuel Naumick MARKETING INTERN

Mylinh Truong

SALES REPRESENTATIVES

Ben Henley and Deirdre Aldridge

p a g es of

CAKES GOWNS, WEDDINGS & MORE

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.

F E AT U R I N G

KRISTEN & SHAUN F O R M E R D I R E C TO R O F E X T E R N A L R E L AT I O N S F O R FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA, A N D F O R M E R U. S . S E C R E T SERVICE MEMBER FOR P R E S I D E N T B A R AC K O B A M A

A White House love story

COVER CREDITS: Shaun and Kristen West photographed by Pharris Photography


��ll �age ad t�e s�t�erland elana �al�er events

Find Your Vendor

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

Photo by Sterling Pics Gown by Brides by Nona


CO N T E N T S

Engagem ents 30

JA N E S S A + L A N AYA

Brooklyn, NY

36

S H AU N A E + M A I C E L

100 12

Nassau, Bahamas 42

MELISSA + BLAIR

Washington, D.C.

48

JAC I N TA + L E S L I E

Washington, D.C.

R e a l We d d in gs 1 0 CO V E R S TO R Y : K R I S T E N + S H AU N

Weddin g I deas 22

INDUSTRIAL CHIC

Chantilly, VA

5 4

IFY + MAX

Phi Phi Island Thailand

62

BONGIWE + ZUKILE

Cape Town, South Africa

68  M I C H E L L E + D E V I N

10 0 P R E T T Y PA S T E L S 10 4 O L D H O L L Y W OO D G L A M 10 8 R U S T I C E L E G A N C E

Garfield, NJ

7 8

S H AW N TAY E + R O N A L D

Brooklyn, NY

8 6

JOHNTE' + IKEM

Playa Mujeres, Mexico

94

J U L I A N A + V I C TO R

Santorini, Greece

1 1 2  E B O N Y + B R A N DO N

94

Atlanta, GA

1 1 6

SHERENNE + KIMANI

St. Lucia

tr ave l

1 1 6

L E S L I E + ATAV E U S

Hampton, VA

12 0 92 V E R O N I C A + T E D

Houston, TX

1 2 8 N I N A + E A R L

Houston, TX


Have you heard? We're going on tour!

LEARN MORE

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photo: nana annan


KRISTEN & SHAUN CHANTILLY, VA

NOV E M BE R 12, 2016 P H OTOGR A P H E D BY Pharris Photog raphy

Text by Samuel Naumick

I

n our fast-paced society ten feet can become ten miles. Two people can work within the same company, or in this case, the same house, and remain completely unaware of each other. Around a corner, down the hall, or up the stairs of our daily lives could be the love of our life, our soul’s mate, the one. As Shaun phrased it, “I didn’t know who she was and she didn’t know who I was. Literally, working in the same world and not crossing paths ever.” For Kristen and Shaun that “world” was the off icial residence of the President and First Family of the United States, and they were much more than simply two people - they would one day be husband and wife. It would take a mutual friend to bridge the gap between them, setting up a blind date. “I wasn’t really into the whole blind date thing,” says Kristen, “so I was like, thank you but no thank you.” It would be a picture of Shaun that would later change Kristen’s mind, “oh...kinda cute,” she thought, “okay, maybe I will go on this blind date.” The surprise of their working in such close proximity would be made immediately apparent on their f irst meeting at a local Starbucks, “When I walked in and we both had on the same blue credentials for work,” Kristen remembers, “I was like, aww man, what do you do!” Seven years from that point they would say “I do” and within that time not only did their feelings for each other grow, but from the inspiration of the other they themselves also evolved. Shaun recalls, “When we f irst met, I was 27 at the time...I was like hey, I’m not ready to be serious. I’m just having fun, you know. But... as the years went on life happens and you grow up, you know, you evolve. But one constant thing...Kristen was a strong, solid rock for me. Very consistent friend and partner. I said, you know this is the one. She...really set a tone for me to sort of reevaluate my life and what’s important and what’s a priority. At that time I was trying to have fun and just do me, but this time when I met her, her being in my life just changed my whole way of thinking...it’s cool to meet a person who can change your mind about things,


D E S T I N AT I O N S

but it’s an incredible blessing to f ind someone who changes your whole thought process…” In choosing a ring everyone wants something more than just a symbol of marriage. You want it to be unique, something special that encapsulates who you are and your love for each other. Three years prior to the day of their wedding, Shaun asked one of his best female friends to take Kristen ring shopping. During a lunch break with her White House colleagues in tow Kristen found the perfect model ring. Shaun, not knowing anything about rings became very nervous when Kristen sent him some renderings of the ring style of her choice. He wanted to make sure that his f inal decision was everything she had always wanted in an engagement ring. Upon moving to New York a year later a friend would introduce Shaun to a jeweler in the diamond district who would work with him over the next several months in creating the perfect rendering of Kristen’s dream ring. When it comes to proposals it can be diff icult to completely keep it a secret, but as a former secret service agent to President Barack Obama, Shaun is “pretty good at holding information...classif ied information,” he laughs. “I only told my very close circle of friends. I didn’t even really tell my family.” The proposal took place the day before Thanksgiving on a “date night,” a special evening out with enough frequency to appear normal on the surface, though Shaun’s more than usual active hand in planning the evening - something more often left up to Kristen - did plant a seed of proposal

SUMMER.2017

suspicion. But at the same time there were multiple past moments of false-alarm for Kristen, so she didn’t want to make any assumptions. The date night began when a chauffeured car picked them up to have drinks at the Plaza Hotel. Following a few relaxing mixes they enjoyed a beautifully scenic and incredibly romantic horse and carriage ride throughout central park. It would be in this moment that Shaun, after years of thought and preparation would offer Kristen the ring of her dreams and ask for her hand in marriage. For Kristen it was a most “magical” moment when “the love of my life asked me to start a new chapter with him.” Dress shopping for Kristen was a “tv fairytale experience” at the world renowned New York bridal boutique, Kleinfeld. “You romanticize about what your wedding shopping day is going to be like and then you’re actually in this store…” On her birthday, and together with her childhood best friends they explored the bridal “toy store” for her perfect dress. It is often said that “third time’s a charm” and for Kristen that proved to be absolutely true, “the third dress I tried on, I just knew it was the one...I just felt like a princess…” The mermaid gown with a sweetheart neckline and sequined lace applique would have her sparkling down the ceremony aisle. When it came to the wedding “the single most important thing we wanted was to have a great party,”

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REAL WEDDINGS

Kristen states, “we wanted to bring our closest friends and family, our loved ones together just to celebrate, let loose and just have a blast...it was a true ref lection of our personalities.” The entire event was planned and decorated with polished detail. The traditional white, creams, and pale-rose color themes made for an ethereal atmosphere accompanied by eye-catching f lorals. As the bride began preparations, her soon-to-be husband sent to her room a dozen roses every forty-f ive minutes until 12 dozen had been received to represent November 12th, the day of their wedding. During the ceremony all the attendees were asked as a group to bless their union, followed by a rose ceremony, in which the bride & groom’s immediate families one by one placed a white long-stem rose in a single vase to represent the bridging of the two families - all while R&B singer Kenny Lattimore sang the Lord’s prayer. For Shaun, the moment in which he stands waiting at the altar as his stunning bride walks towards him down the aisle is his “new happy place.” During their introduction into the reception, Kristen had a romantic surprise of her own. For Shaun, being a drum major at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was a “pivotal period of his life,” says Kristen, “so I secretly reached out to the voice of the marching 100 and asked him to introduce Shaun and I into the room...to see the look on Shaun’s face was just priceless.” Reception guests were treated to a delicious array of f ine dining and the musical talents of Ledisi, Eric Benet, Kenny Lattimore, and Doug E. Fresh as the MC. A favorite menu item was the oyster deviled eggs. MUNALUCHI BRIDE

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REAL WEDDINGS

As advice for future bride and grooms-to-be Kristen’s two biggest points are “don’t rush into it. Make sure you take time to enjoy each other, and the commitment that you’re getting ready to make. And the day is about you, make yourself happy. Everyone has an opinion, but at the end of the day, it’s your opinion and your partner’s opinion. You only get to do this once.” Shaun’s advice is to “be as f lexible as possible with everything, be prepared to be f lexible.”

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

For Kristen’s bridesmaids, they were gifted thin barred necklaces with longitude and latitude coordinates of the location in which they f irst met as friends, with their nickname engraved on the back. A gift all of her girls still wear to this day. For Shaun gifted his groomsmen with handmade bowties, lapel pendants, and two lapel f lowers - one black and gold worn for the wedding and one individualized to the personality of each friend. As for the honeymoon, the newlyweds went to Bora Bora for their perfect getaway, and the rest is “off the record.”

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REAL WEDDINGS

"The single most important thing we wanted was to have a g reat party. We wanted to bring our closest friends and family and loved ones together to celebrate, let loose and just have a blast...it was a true reflection of our personalities.� - KRISTEN


WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER

Darryl Wilson D'CONCIERGE EVENTS www.dconciergeweddings.com

STATIONERY

Ndidi Ayoola ODA CREATIVE www.odacreative.com

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES+ACCESSORIES

Belle Manjong THE BOUTIQUE BY B. BELLE EVENTS

www.bbelleevents.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

Pharris & Karris PHARRIS PHOTOGRAPHY www.pharrisphotos.com VIEW MORE COTERIE MEMBER PROFILES ON OUR WEBSITE. VENDORS.MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM

v endors BARBER: Troy Johnson of AF Grooming (NYC) Danielle Caprese

BRIDE'S DRESS:

BRIDAL

SALON: Kleinfelds BRIDAL PANTSUIT: Leah Da Gloria FASHION STYLIST: LA based Stylist Ashley Thomas BRIDAL STYLIST: Vainglorious Brides

BRIDE'S SHOES: Jimmy Choo CAKE:

Rebekah Naomi Cake Desig n

BRIDESMAIDS

DRESSES: Sorella Vita by Essense of Australia from The Boutique by B.Belle Events CATERING: Chef Clinton Jackson & Chef Javani King

DJ:

DJ BHEN ENTERTAINMENT: Recording Artists Ledisi, Eric Benét, Kenny Lattimore, Doug ie Fresh & Secret Society Band FLORALS: 19 Eleven & Kelly Green Desig ns GROOM'S ATTIRE: David Custom (NYC) Accessories

-

The

Alan

GROOMSMEN ATTIRE:

Dapper

Dude

Collection,

Suits - Lapel (Alexandria, VA) HAIR: Johnny Wright

LIGHTING/SOUND:

AV Creation

Group JEWELRY: Philmar Jewelers Inc. (NYC) / Haute Bride from The Boutique by B.Belle Events LINENS:

What's the Occasion Linens

MAKEUP: Sephora - Jeffrey English MIDNIGHT SNACKS:

Chick Fil - A owned by Marlon &

April Terrell West II VENUE:

OFFICIANT:

PHOTOBOOTH:

Elder Perry L.

Tickled Photo Booth

Bellevue Conference and Event Center

STAGING DECOR: STATIONERY:

Platinum Wedding Decor

Oda Creative

SOUND AND

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Torrey Butler SWEET TREATS:

Sweet Dreams Mini Donuts

VIDEOGRAPHY: Nate Emory


"A man that finds a wife, finds a good thing." Vanessa and Kern's story is one of hope, passion, faithfulness, chastity, and undying love. They are a beautiful couple whose faith is deeply rooted in a sound relationship with God. Their story embodies the best of what love can be. Their passionate love and trust in each other will make you feel like falling in love all over again. This is a wedding film that will speak to you soul. Be inspired, love on someone today, and remember to always embrace those special moments.

{#Felicity Moments}!

WWW.FELICITYMOMENTS.CA


SECTION TWO

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

Replenishes. Rejuvenates. Renews

JUNIPER | 21

www.makari.com


WEDDING IDEAS "Industrial Chic" wedding inspiration gets a facelift in this stunning editorial shoot. Photographed by Sheronda Seawright Photography


D E S T I N AT I O N S


D E S T I N AT I O N S

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WEDDING IDEAS

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WEDDING IDEAS

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

t h e in sp i rati on

“We pulled inspiration from the look of Phoenixville

Foundry to tie into our shoot. When we took a look at the venue we determined the theme should be Industrial Chic. From the chic look of the elegant chandeliers and stellar space to the industrial look of the corkscrew wall embellishments and dark colors we wanted to tie that into our theme." - Sheronda Seawright / Sheronda Seawright Photography

t h e look

"The industrial/edgy look of our bride is displayed from her eye catching waist bearing gown to her stunning bridal ball gown with jeweled embellishments on the straps. We wanted to show her going from super edgy to super chic from the f irst to the last dress. This is coupled with her bold color lip and smoky eye make-up. Her hair is a perfect combination of edgy and chic with her commanding high bun. Bethany did an awesome job with both hair and make up. Her groom compliments her well with his bold boutonniere and corresponding pocket square matching her lip color perfectly along with his sleek black tuxedo." - Sheronda Seawright / Sheronda Seawright Photography

t h e c a ke

“Dana pulled inspiration for the bold black cake from both the venue and the look of the bridal gowns. The dark color of the cake is directly correlated to the darken look of some of the industrial architecture in the venue. He nicely pulls in the chic piece into the cake with the f loral and jeweled embellishments which is similar to the colors of the table f loral decor and the adornments in each bridal gown." - Sheronda Seawright / Sheronda Seawright Photography

the design "The inspiration for the color palette came from the pink wine glasses. These glasses elevated the table deign and although industrial, they made it also chic. I wanted something to pop in the space since the woodwork was dark and it was an old factory with beautiful architecture the colors played well off of the interior. The design of the f loral was to feel as if they were lush f lowers f loating and gave f low to to table as well.” - Eilena of Event Loft


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WEDDING IDEAS

CREATIVE TEAM VENUE:

Phoenixville Foundry //

Desserts by Dana // PHOTOGRAPHER:

EVENT DÉCOR & FLORALS:

HAIR & MAKEUP:

Queen B - Bethany Bell //

Sheronda Seawright Photog raphy //

BRIDAL GOWNS:The

Dress Matters //

Event Loft //

STATIONERY:

CHAIRS:

MALE MODEL:

VIDEOGRAPHER:

Vision Furniture //

Andrew Cunningham -

Chip Dizard Wedding //

Paper Thin & Fancy //

LINENS:

GROOM TUXEDO:

Tabletop Furniture //

FEMALE MODEL

Armstrong & Wilson

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

VIDEOGRAPHER

PHOTOGRAPHY

EVENT DECOR/FLORALS

Chip Dizard

Sheronda Seawright

Eilena Mercier-Ehman n

CHIP DIZARD WEDDINGS

SHERONDA SEAWRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY www.sherondaseawrightphotography.com

www.eventloftpa.com

www.chipdizardweddings.com

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Emerald Mayne //

CROP-TOP BRIDAL GOWN:

Rudi's Formal Wear //

EVENT LOFT

CAKE:

Rime Arodaky,

GROOM ACCESSORIES:


D E S T I N AT I O N S

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E N G AG E M E N T S

Love Always wins PHOTOS BY

REBECCA EMMANUELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

JA N E S S A + L A N AYA Brookyln, NY

BRIDE-TO-BE:

Janessa Cox

BRIDE-TO-BE:

Lanaya Irvin

Janessa- Head of Diversity & Inclusion, AllianceBernstein (NY, NY), Lanaya - Director, Global Equities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NY, NY)

OCCUPATIONS:

WEDDING DATE: WEDDING LOCATION:

July 21, 2017

Gotham Hall (NY, NY)

"Lanaya and I met at a f inance conference at Goldman Sachs in 2013. She was a featured speaker on a panel and completely blew me away. In the f inancial services industry there is little representation of people of color so it is understandably rare to f ind another LGBT woman of color on top of her game in every way. We both had zero interest in each other when we met because truth be told for us, the conference was a work commitment and nothing more. Luckily a mutual friend had other plans and introduced us brief ly during the conference reception then set up dinner for the three of us about a month later. After dinner, Lanaya and I shared a cab home after we learned we both lived in Brooklyn. It turns out that wasn’t the only coincidence… we actually lived 1 block away from each other between the same cross streets. I could see her condo from my apartment. Only in NY could two people live so close by and never run into each other once." THE FIRST ENCOUNTER:


E N G AG E M E N T S

# L OV E I S L OV E "Our wedding will be a colorful celebration of life and love…in all forms.” - Janessa + Lanaya

“Lanaya popped the question on Saturday, June 4, 2016 on the gorgeous Pons Alexandre bridge in Paris. We were staying at the Peninsula Hotel and the staff was in on it all. Lanaya arranged for a private driver that evening to take us to dinner and as we were on our way Lanaya suggested we stop by the Pons Alexander to take a photo which I was def initely in support of as the majority of our photos on the trip at that point had been self ies. The driver took our photo and we were preparing to continue on to dinner when Lanaya pulls out a box that in no way resembled a traditional ring box because in true Lanaya fashion it wasn’t a traditional ring box (so it wasn’t immediately clear to me that a proposal was in fact happening). She had ordered this box special from Asia to ensure it f it in her always slim f itting hipster leather jacket. She proceeds to tell THE PROPOSAL:

me all the things a girl wants to hear…that she loves me, that I am her "person" and can’t imagine spending life with anyone else and asks me to marry her. I was still stunned but at some point managed to utter an “of course I’ll marry you!” We then go on to dinner where the staff there was alerted ahead of time (Lanaya had arranged it all weeks before) and a celebration complete with champagne greeted us upon arrival." - Janessa


FIRST DATE : “We had dinner at Lido in Harlem then a client gave me amazing f loor seat tickets to the Justin Timberlake/ Jay Z concert at Yankee Stadium. We sang, rapped and danced the night away. After the concert we went salsa dancing.” FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE: "Dance, without question. No matter where we are, if there is music, we will f ind it and we will dance to it as if no one else is around. We regularly have at home dance parties while we cook…just the two of us. Music and dancing are a big part of our relationship."

ENGAGEMENT SESSION DETAILS: "While we did not have a theme, we knew we didn’t want the shoot to be too self serious. We are Brooklyn residents and wanted the shoot to be a little bit of a love letter to Brooklyn but not in the literal way. We didn’t want to shoot at the traditional “go to” places in Brooklyn (BK bridge, DUMBO etc) We shot at places we love in Brooklyn. Our home in Bedford Stuyvesant, one of our favorite bars in Williamsburg, Extra Fancy, and (at the time) the newly opened William Vale Hotel which provides spectacular views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Our photographer is also a close friend so the photos captured our personalities and all of the fun we have regularly.”

PHOTOS:

Rebecca Emmanuelle Photography

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HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR?

“Collaborative. We both know our strengths and have allowed each other to play to them throughout the planning process. Lanaya is a very technical person so numbers are her strong suit. She has negotiated every contract we have. I am very much a stickler for detail and planning so have been going through everything with a f ine tooth comb. We both have a love for fashion and distinctly different styles. Lanaya is edgy and cool and I am more classic and ridiculously high energy so every inch of the wedding will be a true representation of us both.� - Janessa


LOOKING FORWARD TO... "Hearing our off iciant f inally pronounce us married in front of everyone we love and who love us. For many LGBT people, the institution of marriage was an unrealistic dream for a very long time. For many Black people, the struggle to be seen as equal has been a long (and unf inished) one. We acknowledge the tremendous hard work that those before us put in so people who look and love like we do have a place. We don’t take that lightly and our wedding will be a colorful celebration of life and love‌in all forms."

jan e ssa + lan aya Visit www.munaluchibridal.com to view more images .


D E S T I N AT I O N S

Going for gold PHOTOS BY STANLO PHOTOGRAPHY

Summer2016 | 36| SUMMER.2017

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M U N A L U C H I B R I DA L . CO M UM N A L U 37 CHI BRIDE

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

S ha u n a e + M a i cel Naussau, Bahamas

BRIDE-TO-BE:

Shaunae Miller

GROOM-TO-BE: OCCUPATIONS:

Maicel Uibo

Professional Track & Field Athletes, Olympic Gold Medalists WEDDING DATE:

February 4th, 2017

Naussau, Bahamas THE FIRST ENCOUNTER: They met during freshman year at the University of Georgia. Both Shaunae and Maicel were recruited on a scholarship for Track & Field. WEDDING LOCATION:

THE PROPOSAL: “On April 8th 2016, one week before my birthday, Maicel took me out to a “surprise” early birthday dinner. We talked and laughed the entire night. It was now time for dessert and Maicel made the order for us to share a chocolate treat for my birthday, knowing how much I love chocolate. The waiters brought out this huge chocolate egg and cracked it before my eyes. At f irst, I thought the ring box was a chocolate cake, obviously I had no clue of what was about to happen. And so I grabbed my knife and fork waiting for the waiters to sing happy birthday for me to dig in. This was until Maicel went down on one knee. I was a little confused, but when I saw Maicel pick up my "dessert" I quickly realized what was going on. Maicel asked me to marry him that night, and overf illed with joy, I said yes!” - Shaunae

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D E S T I N AT I O N S FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE: “Our favorite thing to do as a couple is to chill and talk. We have the same jobs so we’re out at training during most of the day, so any chance we get we sit and talk about how our day went, how each other’s journey towards our personal goals are going, our dreams together as a couple, or pretty much anything our mind crosses. We always f ind something to talk about..” - Shaunae FIRST DATE: " On

our f irst real date we went to catch a quick movie followed by dinner. We

were still a bit shy after taking our relationship to the next level, but this date made everything easy. We got straight to each others personal background, including our most crazy and embarrassing moments. We really opened up to each other that day and that’s what really opened the door for a great relationship for the two of us." ENGAGEMENT SESSION DETAILS: "Our engagement session was amazing! We had so much fun, we laughed and smiled the entire time and had ourselves a blast. Our photographer, Stanley Babb, made it really easy for us and comfortable as well. We went with four

different themes for the shoot. We started with a casual shoot, and then moved onto a formal wear shoot. The third shoot was by far the easiest, being in our comfort zone with the Track and f ield shoot. We had originally planned 3 different themes for the shoot, but our photographer came up with an amazing idea for the last theme to be a beach shoot and we loved it.” - Shaunae

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

L OO K I N G F O R WA R D TO... “Usually when I attend a wedding I look at the father of the bride, because he’s giving away his daughter to someone. I love to read his expressions because it’s almost as though they don’t want to let go. But on my wedding day, it’ll be a bit different. I’m really looking forward to seeing my soon-to-be husband's expression when he watches me walk down the aisle. He’s been pressuring me so much about seeing my dress and so I can’t wait for him to see it. I’m sure he’s mostly looking forward to the honeymoon..” - Shaunae

PHOTOGRAPHER Stanley Babb STANLO PHOTOGRAPHY www.stanlophotography.com

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

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E N G AG E M E N T S

a love for travel MELISSA + BLAIR Washington, D.C.

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

Melissa Beck Blair Williams

Bride - Wedding Planner/Government, Groom - Works in Real Estate

OCCUPATIONS:

WEDDING DATE:

August 18, 2017

The Sunset Room National Harbor by Wolfgang Puck

WEDDING LOCATION:

They met in college at the University of Maryland, College Park

THE FIRST ENCOUNTER:


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THE PROPOSAL "It came as a total surprise when Blair decided to propose at the National Harbor. The weather was perfect and the sun shined ever so bright, and what I thought was just another picture, turned into him getting down on one knee. The National Harbor, located at the Potomac River in Oxon Hill, MD, is where we spend a lot of our spontaneous date nights at. It’s located on the Potomac River in Oxon Hill, MD. On the afternoon of August 31, 2016, Blair told me to get dressed so we could enjoy a nice dinner on the waterfront. As we arrived, we were walking along the waterfront trying to decide which restaurant where we wanted to eat at. The sunset was beautiful so we asked someone walking by to take a picture of us, and before you know it, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! Of course I said Y ES! I am so excited to start the beginning of our eternal LOVE story. Blair is all I could ask for in a f iance and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us." - Melissa

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"Blair is all I could ask for in a fiancé and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us.” Melissa

THE FIRST ENCOUNTER: They met in college at the University of Maryland, College Park

"Our engagement session was super fun! We are having a modern travel themed wedding so it was only right that one of our sessions were held at a local airport. Our elegant session was at the United States Capitol and Supreme Court Justice Buildings. Our engagement session with Terri was our f irst shoot and we really enjoyed it." - Melissa THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION:

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WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR FIRST DATE?

" Our very f irst date was

attending a Washington Redskins game." - Melissa WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? " We really enjoy traveling." - Melissa

HOW HAS WEDDING PLANNING BEEN SO FAR? " Wedding

planning has been a breeze since Melissa is a wedding planner herself. We are very excited to see everything come together!" - Blair LOOKING FORWARD TO: We're looking forward to celebrating our union with our family and friends.

PHOTOGRAPHER Terri Baskin TERRI BASKIN PHOTOGRAPHY www.terribaskin.com MUNALUCHI BRIDE

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Family first The McLemore family on wedding planning + parenthood. PHOTOS BY IRIS MANNINGS PHOTOGRAPHY

JAC I N TA , L E S L I E + HARPER Washington, D.C. BRIDE-TO-BE: GROOM-TO-BE:

Jacinta Williams Leslie McLemore

Bride - IT Consulting Manager, Freelance Makeup Artist, Groom - Attorney, Freelance Writer, Harper - Ruler of the McLemore Household OCCUPATIONS:

WEDDING DATE: WEDDING LOCATION:

July 22, 2017 Atlanta, Georgia

"It was a perfect September night in 2012. Well, early morning, but you get the picture. I was walking one way, Leslie the other. I noticed him out of the corner of my eye but I thought he paid no mind. However, when I looked up, our eyes connected as he stopped in his tracks and literally stared at me from across the street. Me looking beautiful as always and him standing there, tall and handsome, I yelled from across the street, 'Are you going to just stand there or are you going to open your mouth and speak?!?' And so began our love story. THE FIRST ENCOUNTER:


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FIRST DATE: "After seeing each out and about on the club scene and communicating via text, we f inally met up for dinner and a movie to see Hangover 3 and grabbed a burger at Bar Louie in Chinatown, DC."

"We really wanted to incorporate an elegant background and also where we initially met. Our f irst location was the Library of Congress and the other was on the street corner where we met. Being a longstanding member of the BeyHive, my main goal for our family/ engagement session was to SLAY. I kept mentioning this to Leslie as we planned for our session, and I have to say, I think he nailed it. Leslie has been asked what look he was going for, and he said, my f iancĂŠ and the photographer just kept telling me to slay, whatever that means. We also wanted to use this session as a time to capture our love and share our love story on video. Chip of Chip Dizard Weddings joined us to capture footage and interview us about how we met, the proposal, and why we love each other so much. We really wanted to set the stage for our wedding. The video and engagement photos will be uploaded on our wedding website. We are looking forward to a glamourous affair." INSPIRATION FOR YOUR FAMILY/ENGAGEMENT SESSION:


D E S T I N AT I O N S NAME AND AGE OF YOUR BABY GIRL?

Harper

Anniece-Diane McLemore - 1 year TELL US SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT YOUR

"Her nickname HarpStar, speaks for itself. She is truly a shining star and can light up a room. At the age of one, she has an infectious laugh, a monstrous appetite and a loving personality, as long as she’s not hungry, or sleepy, or cranky, or acting like a diva, like her momma. " LITTLE ONE. WHAT'S SHE LIKE?

HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD BEEN FOR YOU?

"Becoming a mother has been a life changing experience. The saying that your motherly instincts kick in after giving birth, is really true. Being an expecting mom was a daunting experience. Especially for someone who had lived her life for self for so long. I now have a new purpose in life, and that’s to be the best mom I can be. I have gained a newfound respect for my mother and all mothers who sacrif ice, time, energy, and other countless things, day in and day out, to raise a child with no manual on how to get it done."

FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A FAMILY? " Our

favorite thing to do as a family is anything that includes quality time and a lot laughs. This can be anything from watching Harper’s favorite tv show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, to reading, spending an afternoon at the park, or hanging out at Nana and Papa’s house."

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THE PROPOSAL: “Our proposal, in all honesty, was a roller coaster. I am a self-proclaimed investigative expert, from many years of watching Law and Order: SVU. When we scheduled a date night, I thought I had it all f igured out. Before date night, that evening, I overheard him speaking with his mother on speakerphone as she asked, “Is tonight the night?” So, after hearing this, I KNEW my ring was coming. Our daughter Harper was at my parents’ house for the night so it was just me and him. Me, him, dinner, drinks and no ring. Needless to say, we feel asleep VERY disappointed. I was disappointed that I did not get my ring and he was disappointed that date night ended without a happy ending, for him, at least. So, the next day, we ate a huge lunch at our favorite burger spot, Shack Shake, on our way to pick up Harper from my parents’ house. When we got there, Harper was not dressed. So my mother went upstairs to change Harper. Little did I know, my mother and Leslie had this elaborate plan to dress Harper in a shirt that stated, “Mom, Dad is too chicken to ask, but will you marry him?” My mother came downstairs, Harper covered from head to toe, wearing a jacket inside my parents’ house. I got up to get my baby, when I noticed this hot jacket on her. I took the jacket off and began to read this shirt that was foreign to me. After I began to read it, I was in complete shock. I was in so much shock that I didn’t even notice Leslie was behind me, down on bended knee with a beautiful ring in his hand! He waited for me to turn around and when I did, I was overcome with so much emotion and happiness that I almost dropped my daughter! The love of my life asked me to marry him and of course, I said yes. With the exception of our beautiful daughter being born, this day was the happiest day of my life.” - Jacinta

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HOW HAS WEDDING PL ANNING BEEN AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO?

"Wedding planning has been great so far. Surprisingly, Leslie is just as involved with wedding planning as he is with planning his bachelor party. Eliana and her team have been great with laying out to-do tasks and keeping us on track. It’s great to have someone local with us planning the wedding all the way from DC. We are most looking forward to watching our daughter clumsily walk down the aisle as she attempts to throw f lowers, saying “I do”, and celebrating our perfect union with friends and family."

jacinta + leslie

VIDEOGRAPHER Chip Dizard CHIP DIZARD WEDDINGS www.chipdizardweddings.com

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


IFY + MAX PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND AUGUST 6, 2016 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y J a y E m m e P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

E

ach moment of every day is an opportunity to start a new path. The choices we make and the steps we take echo throughout time, constantly reshaping our future. For Ifeoma, her weekly running routine would prove to be regularly predictable in its eventfulness, with the exception of August 26, 2009. A day in which she almost decided not to run, a decision that would’ve greatly affected the rest of her life - the day she would meet Massimiliano. “It was the end of the summer 2009,” she recalls, “I used to run every week at Barcola of Trieste, Italy and I remember that day was just not my day. Everything was going wrong. I almost didn't go, but I f inally convinced myself to do a short run with a friend. I used to go to Barcola by car, but instead I decide to take the bus. We saw each other for the f irst time on the 26th of August 2009 on bus number 6 going towards the seaside in Trieste. We met again on the beach the same day, I started smiling “hi” to him, and he’d say “hi” back with the cutest funny and shy smile. I was waiting for him to do the f irst move, but the amazing sunset had ended and I became a bit upset, deciding to turn around and go home. Then, who was there out of nowhere right in front of me handing me his mobile number? He was so cute, although I could tell he was nervous and really shy as he handed me the piece of paper with his number. But that made everything so lovely. We started talking then and just totally hit it off. He asked me to meet him the next day in Barcola. We spent the whole afternoon and night at the beach talking for hours. We met the next day, and the next, and the next…” The surprise proposal would even be somewhat unexpected for Massimiliano, acting on an impulse inspired in part by Cambodian weather and a moment of love in an atmosphere of pure romantic bliss.

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“It happened in our hotel room in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on August 10th 2015,” Massimiliano recalls, “Not that I wanted it to happen in the room. I was waiting for the perfect sunrise or sunset over Angkor Temples to give her the ring in a romantic moment, but the daily sunrise and sunset heavy rains made me opt for the proposal in the room when she came out of the shower…” Their wedding took place on August 6th, 2016 on Phi Phi Island in Thailand surrounded by loving family members and close friends. Theme colors of classic white, tones of leafy greens and deep viridian mixed beautifully with the tropical asiatic f lorals and ethereal beach setting. Under a lightly draped trellis, near the water’s edge, the couple were joined as husband and wife by an off iciant in traditional Nigerian attire;

Ifeoma in a custom white gown of simplicity and elegance, Massimiliano looking dapper in classy tan slacks and matching vest with bowtie. Following the wedding, the newlyweds changed from western outf its to their traditional Nigerian attire, “all the ladies of my family had on the colorful and coordinated clothing of the wedding party,” Ifeoma fondly recalls, “the energy, the love, the simplicity and the colors of my lovely family helped a lot to create a perfect multicultural fusion... all our friends dancing with us to African music.” For engaged couples everywhere, Ifeoma offers this advice, “try to enjoy all the moments as much as you can because the day literally f lies!”


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VENDORS BRIDE'S DRESS: Blessed Brides, Singapore BRIDE'S SHOES: Barefoot Crochet Sandals BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: The Dessy Group CAKES/DESSERTS: Phi Phi island Village Beach Resort, Thailand EVENT DECOR/DESIGN/PLANNING: Phi Phi island Village Beach Resort, Thailand GROOM'S ATTIRE: Q Menswear, Singapore PHOTOGRAPHY: Jay Emme Photography CEREMONY/RECEPTION VENUE: Phi Phi island Village Beach Resort, Thailand


BONGIWE + ZUKILE C A P E TOW N , S O U T H A F R I C A M AY 1 , 2 0 1 6 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y Vi v i d B l u e P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

L

ike-minded souls…

forest,” as described by Bongiwe. They would choose the quaint town of Franschhoek in the world-renowned scenic

It is said that “opposites attract,” but the gravitational

Winelands of South Africa, full of greenery and surrounded

pull of love binds like-minded souls. When birds of a feather

by majestic mountains, “celebrating our past, future and all

f lock together there is no limitation to the distances they can

our families & friends.”

soar. For self-described “homebodies,” Bongiwe, a general manager of Airports Company South Africa, and Zukile,

Dancing into the venue with the entire bridal party, a

that distance would happily go no further than their house.

South African wedding tradition, Zukile and Bongiwe

“Home”…so much emotion, sensation, imagery, and memory

would be joined as husband and wife in front of beloved

is surfaced from this single word. Home is the place of safety

family and friends in a location honoring that bond. The

both externally and internally in which we f ind solace from

newlyweds took the dance f loor to “Fall Again” by Glenn

the world around us and the freedom to truly be ourselves.

Lewis. Bongiwe’s advice for engaged couples is to “surround

Upon meeting, Bongiwe and Zukile would quickly discover

yourself with everyone you truly love on the wedding day

a like-minded soul in the heart of the other, and together

and make sure you have a fabulous planner like we did.”

expand their def inition of “home” to include each other. It was truly a situation of soulmates at f irst sight as Zukile would propose a month after their f irst date. The inspiration of Bongiwe and Zukile’s wedding was borne from their personal style of “opulent and elegant.” Glamorous golds boldly contrasted against vibrant shades of fuchsia. Forty stunning crystal chandeliers were suspended over the tables and the seven-tier gold wedding cake was an event highlight. Guests enjoyed a comfortable and stylish outdoor lounge area for pre-dinner drinks before being treated to an evening of f ine dining, and dancing on a custom dance f loor. At the core of the ceremony was family, crucial to both the bride and groom it was imperative that they honored this sentiment in the location. Having both grown up in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, “regarded as South Africa’s wild province with expanses of untouched beach, bush and


SECTION TWO


vendors BRIDE'S DRESS: Gideon BRIDE'S SHOES: Betsey Johnson CAKES/DESSERTS: Cakes by Wade CEREMONY VENUE: La Paris Estate EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Wedding Concepts EVENT PLANNER: Wedding Concepts FLORALS: Lush GROOM'S ATTIRE: Boss HAIR: Shanaaz Alexander MAKEUP: Shanaaz Alexander PHOTOGRAPHY: Vividblue RECEPTION VENUE: La Paris Estate STATIONERY: Lara’s Desig ns VIDEOGRAPHY: White Lines


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MICHELLE & DEVIN GARFIELD, NEW JERSEY

A PR IL 30, 2016 P H OTOGR A P H E D BY Monteneg ro Photog raphy

Text by Samuel Naumick

O

n some level, at some time, every woman wishes to feel like royalty, and every man to be her charming prince. That desire is usually encapsulated in two moments; during a proposal

and on the wedding day. Everyone wants the perfect fairytale proposal...a day of romantic indulgence, sentimental gestures, breathtaking views, a declaration of love and devotion… He gets down on one knee and your surroundings fade away as the true reality of the moment becomes undoubtedly apparent. His mouth is forming the words but shock prevents your ability to hear. You look at the ring and through joyful sobs with shortened breath say “I do.” Unknown to Michelle, a moment such as this would be orchestrated for her by a college friend years after their initial meeting - the summer of her freshmen year as a pre-med student at Rutgers University. Devin, a sophomore at the time, was already a prominent athlete on his way to a successful football career. Though their friendship was close, Michelle was already involved “in a previous long term relationship from high school, so we never took it past a fun friendship back then,” she recalls. It would be years before their friendship blossomed into romance when Devin, now a professional athlete for the New England Patriots, returned to Rutgers for off-season training with other Rutgers NFL players, and Michelle was pursuing the later stages of medical school in becoming a Medical Doctor. Their love for each other took hold completely as their relationship continued to progress until Devin, knowing that Michelle was the one, began to put into place the necessary steps in ensuring that their lives would forever be spent together. Michelle fondly remembers that wonderful day, “our proposal was nothing short of a fairytale-preceded by bits of drama to add to the suspense. We had already planned a family trip to Disneyworld with myself, Dev, his twin brother Jason and his wife Melissa and 2 year

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old daughter Liana. We had spent the whole day at a Universal

and I realized what was happening. He said some loving words

studios park, went back to the hotel to get freshened up to go

which, honestly, I can't remember at all because I was so in

to Disneyworld that night to see the f ireworks and for little

shock. All I kept saying was, "No way, no way, no way" as more

Liana to meet some princesses that were set up by her parents

cameras f lashed-and then kept hearing 2 year old Liana repeat

in advance. Turns out there was a ton of traff ic, so we missed

"No way, Tio, no way!" I heard the "will you marry me", and I

the f ireworks. Then, the monorail stopped working. So the

said yes! And more cameras f lashed haha. Disney workers then

only way out of Disney was the ferry. Once we got off the ferry

gave us bride and groom mickey and minnie hats, a bouquet of

to go into Disney, there were thousands of people blocking

f lowers, and a ton more pics inside and outside of the castle.

our way in because they were all trying to get onto the ferry.

I also then realized that the people on line were just actors to

It was complete mayhem and everybody was in a standstill. We

make the whole thing believable, because the castle really was

f inally got inside the park after at least an hour of pushing

closed! Disney def initely knows how to make an engagement

through the crowd. It was already around 11pm, and I was

special :) fairytale for sure.”

shocked the Magic Kingdom castle was still open, with people online and everything, waiting to meet princesses inside. At

For Michelle wedding Dress shopping was not easy, “I love

f irst I was going to pass on pics with princesses since I knew it

all things bling and sparkle,” she states, “I went to so many

was for my niece, but Dev insisted we be in the them. We got

boutiques between MA and NJ/NY and failed.” Only loving

to Rapunzel, who made a comment about Dev being my prince

some elements of multiple dresses she decided her perfect dress

charming-which I sarcastically brushed off. Then Belle. Then

wouldn’t exist until she made it, “so with lots of work and

Cinderella-who also made a comment saying tonight may be a

imagination and Callabo with Pnina and her assistant Allison,

special night. But I ignored her, too. Suddenly, our tour guide

we created my custom dress by using the shell of one of her

gives Dev a box-and Dev pulls out a pair of glass slippers. I

dresses and adding the crystal bling embroidery from another

looked quickly at them and said aww how pretty (didn't notice

one of her dresses. It turned out amazing!”

that our names were engraved on them). Then as I go to walk away from Cinderella, Dev says wait-let's see if they f it. They

On April 30th, 2016 the Venetian in Garf ield, New Jersey hosted

were kids/display sized shoes so I knew it was a joke. He even

an evening of teal & silver opulence with beautiful white f loral

got on one knee to pretend to put the glass slippers on my

decor. Bride and groom themed ice sculptures paid tribute to

feet. I just said, "umm they're not going to f it, get up." Then

their accomplishments in the form of New England Patriot and

I look and Liana, who was sitting on Jason's shoulders, hands

Medical doctor symbolism, as well as Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Dev a small box as he remains on his knees. And suddenly, a

Castle in reference to their place of engagement. With a seven

ton of cameras start f lashing in our direction. I honestly still

hour open premium bar, a delicious array of cuisines, and a

was clueless for a few more seconds until Dev opened the box

“dessert extravaganza” it was certainly an event to remember.

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WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM YOUR WEDDING? "Best highlight was the First Dance-dancing on clouds (dry ice fog effect) surrounded by f loor f ireworks. It was enchanting and everyone talked about it. Also, during the reception, epic moment of having all New England Patriots players and guest go crazy on the dance f loor upon hearing the song by Rick Ross "Pop that" lyrics "Ballin' ballin' like I play for New England!" as simulated snow fell from the sky of the dance f loor (we had just won the superbowl that February)." WHAT IS THE BEST WEDDING ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO ENGAGED COUPLES? Even though the planning can get stressful, remember why you are doing it. It’s about the marriage and the union-the wedding is just one day. Keep yourselves grounded in each other's love and support, don't let the stress overpower the meaning of it all. Lean on each other and maintain communication-try to do pre-marital counseling during your engagement. It will help you learn and/or restore what the actual foundations of marriage are, whether religious or not, balance out your expectations, teach communication tools, iron out some loose ends or help you work through any obstacles, and remind you both of what the whole point of your union is and should be. Like Dev used to tell me, the goal is not to get married, it's to STAY married." Melissa


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vendors BRIDE'S DRESS: Pnina Tornai BRIDE'S SHOES: Louboutin CATERING: The Venetian CEREMONY VENUE: The Venetian EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Elliott Events ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Rich Joseph EVENT PLANNER: Elliott Events FLORALS: Elliott Events GROOM'S ATTIRE: Alba Legacy GROOM’S SHOES: Louboutin HAIR: Bridal Butterflies LIGHTING: Magic Moments MAKEUP: Robin Chism PHOTOGRAPHY: Montenegro Photography RECEPTION VENUE: The Venetian VIDEOGRAPHY: McKenzie Miller Films RENTALS: Lily V Events TRANSPORTATION: New Jersey Limo Bus


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SHAWNTAYE + RONALD B R OO K L Y N , N Y JUNE 18, 2016 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y A my A n a i z P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

T

he renewal of vows is a reaff irmation of

the family I always dreamed of. He said he was going to be

commitment to your soulmate, a celebration

everything I ever asked God for. He promised to take me on

of marital achievement, and a testament to the

every childhood adventure I always dreamed of discovering.

endurance of love throughout the trials of time. Whether

He said he was not only going to be my husband but my

the years seem to pass by unnoticed or each day an endeavor,

family. I knew he was the one because he believed in all of

your relationship milestones are beautiful achievement. Ten

my dreams and didn't judge me on how different my life had

years and two loving sons later, Shawntaye and Ronald’s love

been from his.”

remains as strong as ever. Their Harlem Renaissance themed vow-renewal wedding Having met 13 years ago at a party, Shawntaye reminisces

was expertly designed and an absolute style success.

about that life-changing evening, “My best friend told me

Everything from the f lorals to the cake, the stationary to

that I needed to get out of the house because I was going

the table markers, linens and chair covers - was all executed

through a bad break up. She insisted we go to Webster Hall.

with the utmost attention to detail. The ivory and gold

I was excited because I was f inally going to a 21 and older

color themes, glitz and glamour, fashion f lair, and art deco

party. Once we get inside of the party, my friend leaves me

geometry with its bold cubist inf luences all made for an

and I'm all alone. I locked eyes with Ron while we are both

unforgettable event. Shawntaye was stunning in a mermaid

staring at this woman who was dancing rather awkward. We

dress with sweetheart neckline, accented with lace and pearls

both started laughing and he walked over and started dancing

in reference of the Harlem Renaissance theme.

with me. We laughed and danced all night. ...I hesitated to give him the real number or my real name. I guess I wasn’t

Within the courtyard of the Rivera Brooklyn the stylish

ready to move on from my ex-boyfriend. I slipped and told

couple renewed their vows before friends and family. The

him a fake name, and we exchanged numbers, and I talked

newlyweds took the dance f loor to “Before I let you go” by

about him the whole way home... When he called, I thought

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. One of Shawntaye’s most

I should give him a chance. I gave him my real name and our

memorable moments includes, “the reenactment of the

future together began.”

‘House Party” movie dance-off between our bridal party.” The advice she has for engaged couples is to “enjoy every

It would be two years later that Ronald would propose in

moment, as the day goes by so quickly and don’t sweat the

front of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Miami, Florida by the

small stuff.”

fountain. “He said he was so nervous and couldn't last until the restaurant,” Shawntaye fondly remembers, “he told me that I deserved to be loved and deserved to have

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WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER

Lauren Beamon ELLE'S COUTURE EVENTS www.ellescoutureevents.com

FLORAL DESIGN

Makini Regal Martin MAKINI REGAL DESIGNS www.makiniregaldesigns.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

Amy Anaiz AMY ANAIZ PHOTOGRAPHY www.amyanaiz.com

ENTERTAINMENT

Jackson Chery IET BAND

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

VENDORS BRIDAL STYLIST: Vainglorious Brides CAKES/ DESSERTS: J'adore Cakes CEREMONY VENUE: Riviera Caterers LINENS: The Finishing Touch Ny MAKEUP: Khadeen Ellis RECEPTION VENUE: Riviera Caterers STATIONERY: Papered Wonders RENTALS: Evolution Event Rentals CHARGER PLATES: Lasar CUSTOM COCKTAIL NAPKINS & DRINK STIRRERS: Gracious Bridal

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JOHNTE' + IKEM

P L AYA M U J E R E S , M E X I CO JULY 23, 2016 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y A l a k i j a S t u d i o s

Text by Samuel Naumick

Serendipity” is a chance occurrence of pleasant events; the f inding of something of value in places you weren’t originally looking for it, or simply put - luck. The coming together of Johnte’ and Ikem was nothing short of serendipitous. On their initial meeting, originally out with friends, they would do nothing more than exchange business cards through casual dialogue. A year later destiny appeared to step in when they saw each other three times in the same week, each time at a different location. With the business card received a year ago still in his possession, Ikem called Johnte with an invitation to dinner. A common love of food and wine would initially connect them as their love continued to blossom from that point on. The proposal would take place a year and a half later at the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami, Florida. It was an evening of f ine dining; an eight course candlelit dinner of wine and champagne pairings...soft music decorated the atmosphere. For the culinary grand f inale, the Chef presented an array of desserts at their poolside cabana. As the Chef began to describe the desserts, “Mary You” by Bruno Mars played in the background. One extravagant confection in particular issued dry ice smoke from under its covering. Ikem reached to remove the cover causing a soft cloud to form over the table, slowly fading to reveal not a dessert but a ring box. Ikem took the box and as he got down on one knee to propose, Johnte, swept up in the emotional beauty of the moment, admits to “remembering little to nothing of what was said,” only knowing that she herself responded with a resounding “yes.” The wedding took place at the Finest Resorts in beautiful Playa Mujeres, Mexico. The bride looked stunning in a vintage Parisian inspired lace wedding gown that was every bit as timeless as it was elegant. In a tropical paradise, surrounded by family and friends, Johnte and Ikem were joined as husband and wife. The reception incorporated elements of Ikem’s Nigerian culture including traditional attire, the offering of the kola nut, and modern Naija music.


QUICK FACTS:

BRIDESMAIDS/ GROOMSMEN GIFTS: Custom Tailored shirts with embroidered initials of each groomsmen; Chanel gift sets and robes for the bridesmaids. FAVORITE ITEM ON THE MENU: Lobster for the bride and cake for the groom! We had an array of foods to choose from.. FIRST DANCE SONG: “A Song For You” - Christina Aguilera/Herbie Hancock’s rendition of Donny Hathaway’s classic.


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WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER

Chioma Nwogu-Johnson DURE EVENTS www.dureevents.com

STATIONERY

Christiana Turner ISABELLA INVITATIONS www.isabellainvitations.com

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

v endors BRIDE'S DRESS: La Réve Bridal Couture BRIDE'S SHOES: Christian Louboutin CEREMONY VENUE: Finest Playa Mujeres EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Katie Wall of Alquemia Events EVENT PLANNER: Chioma Adure Nwogu-Johnson – Dure Events FLORALS: Alquemia Events GROOM'S ATTIRE: Philip Adesulu GROOM’S SHOES: Tom Ford GROOM/GROOMSMEN HAIR: Scott Wright HAIR: Ronnee Legington of Belaan LINENS: Décor To Remember MAKEUP: Ronnee Legington of Belaan Beauty PHOTOGRAPHY: Jide Alakija – Alakija Studios RECEPTION VENUE: Finest Playa Mujeres STATIONERY: Isabella Invitations


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JULIANA + VICTOR S A N TO R I N I , G R E E C E AUGUST 20, 2016 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y N a t h a n Wy a t t P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

T

his amazing destination wedding in Santorini, Greece is as unforgettable as it is extravagant. A three day event beginning with a private yacht trip through the southern Aegean Sea for wedding party. The rehearsal dinner the following day hosted close to one hundred guests and featured Greek dancers - the bride & groom making a grand helicopter entrance just prior to sunset. On a balcony amongst the iconic white and blue cyclades architecture overlooking the historic islands and breathtaking Aegean Sea, Julianna and Victor were joined as husband and wife in an emotional ceremony. The bride in a beautiful custom couture gown, and her groom - looking debonair in a classic blue suit and white tie. For the reception, guests were transported to a beachfront estate for an evening of wine tasting and live music, the scent of fresh f loral centerpieces and f loating lilies in the pool mingled with the sea air - the soft glow of candlelight illuminating the atmosphere. A favorite menu item was the lamb chops main course. The newlyweds took the dance f loor to “I do” by Boyz to Men, and Beyonce’s “End of Time.” It would be just two years prior that the bride and groom would have their f irst date and Julianna almost immediately began to see the signs of Victor being the “right person.” You will know when you meet the right person because they have a tendency to unguard us and bring out the natural best of

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ourselves. You may f ind yourself as Julianna had on her f irst date with Victor, who managed to draw Julianna out of herself causing her for the f irst time to do “more talking on a date than she had ever done.” Five hours and more than just one drink later into their f irst date and she was ready to “agree to a second...” The proposal… Julianna, invited to dinner at Victor’s apartment, approaches his door to f ind it slightly ajar. Slowly she pushes the door open to f ind a room f illed with candles and roses… In the background against a wall, a projector played a slideshow of all their most memorable moments together. On a table lay a ring box...Julianna reached for it and slowly opened it with bated breath...it was empty. A sound behind her captures her attention, and as she turns, there on one knee is Victor - a stunning engagement ring in hand.... Julianna’s fondest memories from the unforgettable event include “Victor’s speech” and all the “dancing.” For Victor it was “seeing Julianna walking down the aisle,” and a session of “karaoke with the groomsmen as they waited for the bridal party.” Her wedding advice for engaged couples is to “enjoy the process of planning but most of all enjoy every single moment of the day because it goes by so quickly.”

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QUICK FACTS:

As a thank you to our wedding party, we charted a catamaran for private cruise around the island for them and their partners to experience the unforgettable Santorini sunset. Julianna also gifted her bridesmaids with photo personalised gift bags containing their essentials for the day which included, lip colour, hair piece and earrings. BRIDESMAIDS/GROOMSMEN GIFTS :

FAVOURITE ITEM ON THE MENU:

Lamb chops main course

A compilation of Boyz II Men, "I do" and BeyoncĂŠ "End of Time"

FIRST DANCE SONG:


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WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER

Yemi Osunkoya KOSIBAH

www.kosibah.co.uk

WEDDING COORDINATION PARTNER

Mati Gono JUST AS PLANNED www.justasplanned.net

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

vendors ACOUSTIC GUITARIST: Michalis Karamolegos WEDDING DRESS: Yemi Kosibah GROOM'S SUIT: Jack Bunneys HAIR & MAKEUP: Edee Beau BRIDES VILLA: Eolia Kamari Villa WEDDING CEREMONY: Santo Winery RECEPTION: Oceanids Estate CATERING: Spicy Bites Catering WEDDING PLANNER: The Bridal Consultant WEDDING COORDINATION PARTNER: Mati Gono of Just as Planned WEDDING FLOWERS/DESIGN: Wedding Wish PHOTOGRAPHER: Nathan Wyatt VIDEOGRAPHERS: Urbancinamatography


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WE DDING IDEAS A pastel inspired editorial shoot from the Samantha Clarke Photography Workshop


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CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER:

Samantha Clarke Photog raphy //

MAKEUP ARTIST: Daneille HEADPIECES:

Mattis //

TUXEDO AND MENS ATTIRE:

Ilieana George Couture //

Olivia the Wolf // DESIGNER :

FLORAL DESIGNER:

EVENT PLANNER:

VEILS AND HEADPIECES:

Posh Veils //

A. Chery Events //

Eaden Myles //

Leigh Events // MODEL:

INVITATION DESIGNER: Castlefield

CINEMA AND VIDEO:

DESIGN AND DECOR:

Felicity Moments By Tristan //

Luxe Soirée Events //

Rochelle and Andrew Clarke //

Sheer Elegance Weddings & Events Desig ns //

CATERER:

Shelley's Catering //

DRESS STORE:

CAKE DESIGNER:

Sash & Bustle //

STATIONERY

VIDEOGRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY

HEAD PIECES

Tristan Barrocks

Samantha Clarke

Ilieana George

FELICITY MOMENTS www.felicitymoments.ca

SAMANTHA CLARKE PHOTOGRAPHY www.samanthaclarke.net

EVENT

Sweetened by Kag i

Sophie Taylor www.castlefield.co

VEILS AND

VEILS AND HEADPIECES:

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

CASTLEFIELD DESIGN

Desig n //

ILIEANA GEORGE HEADPIECES www.ilieanageorge.com


WE DDING IDEAS A Harlem Renaissance inspired editorial shoot by Nouveau Events.


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CREATIVE TEAM PLANNER/DESIGNER: Nouveau Events // VENUE: The Carolina Inn // PHOTOGRAPHER: Renee Sprink Photog raphy // CAKE: Sugar Euphoria // MAKE-UP: S. Davis // SIGNS: Ten23 Desig ns // FLORIST: Embellished Blooms // DRESS: TreBella Bridal // STATIONERY: J’Marie Desig n Studio // HAIR: Hair Therapy by Janae // LINEN/RENTALS: CE Rental // MODELS: Vee Washington & Orlando Parker Jr.

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

PLANNER/DESIGNER

Monica Noa NOUVEAU EVENTS

www.nouveaueventsnc.com

SIGNS

Lauren Atwaters TEN23 DESIGNS

www.ten23designs.com

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W E D DING I D EAS Rustic Equestrian Elegance CFK Photography

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CREATIVE TEAM

VENUE - Pelham Equestrian Center // EVENT DESIGN/STYLING – ENJOY! Event Desig n By V&E // PHOTOGRAPHER: CFK Photog raphy // STATIONERY: Noirstyle Invites // VIDEOGRAPHER: Photos by Collis // FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS: Dragonetti Brothers / Mill lane Florist // WEDDING DRESS: Fe Noel // RENTALS: West Side Part Rental // CAKE: IM Pastry Studio // MODELS: Shawn Noel & Aria Mary Francis


REAL WEDDINGS

EBONY + BRANDON MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y A my H u t c h i n s o n P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

T

he proposal is once in a lifetime and because of that both the future husband & wife-tobe want it as perfect as possible - that “right” moment. When mood, atmosphere, setting, romance, a hint of sweet sentimentality, and an element of surprise culminates for the “perfect” proposal experience. Considering “perfection” is subjective this allows for many “perfect” proposal possibilities for each and every couple.

me into recording my entire proposal…and 45 seconds of sobbing out of joy.” Ebony and Brandon’s wedding was modern while still remaining classic in style, and handsomely sophisticated. Full of emotion, the blissful bride, looking absolutely stunning in a trumpet dress with lace applique, welled up with tears walking down the aisle of the charming Columns Memphis towards her husband waiting at the altar. An intimate kiss sealed their love and a blissful smile spread across Ebony’s face as the joy and beauty of the moment overtook her.

After a chance encounter in downtown Memphis brought them together, Ebony and Brandon’s perfect proposal “took place during our trip to the Dominican Republic in September 2015,” Ebony fondly remembers. “I was so tired of wanting to get engaged that by the time the trip came around I had forgotten all about it and certainly wasn't expecting it. I didn’t even get my nails done! On the f inal night of the trip, we walked through a garden on our hotel premises as we had done a few of the previous nights. On the f inal night of the trip. We stopped on a quaint footbridge that I had grown to love, and I decided to profess my love for Brandon in a rap. After my stellar performance, he insisted on an encore and had me stand under the lights of a nearby gazebo so that he could record me. When I f inished, he asked me to record him while he took his turn on the stage. I was confused by the fact that there was no rhyme pattern in his lyrics until f inally I realized“OMG!!! He is proposing!!”. He had tricked

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The newlyweds took the dance f loor to “Religious” by Ne-Yo. Guests were treated to a Caribbean inspired menu and Soca music to which everyone danced the entire night away. A favorite menu item was collard green & chicken eggrolls. Ebony’s bridesmaids were gifted monogrammed totes with gifts including monogrammed “get ready” shirts, monogrammed tervis tumblers, ceremony sandals, and jewelry. Brandon’s groomsmen were gifted Cole Hann oxford shoes, tie and tie clip.

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QUICK FACTS

BRIDESMAIDS/GROOMSMEN GIFTS : Bridesmaids

gifts – Monogramed tote filled with tons of goodies (including Monogramed get ready shirts, monogrammed tervis tumblers, after the ceremony sandals and their jewelry for the wedding). Groomsmen - Cole Hann Oxford shoes for the wedding, tie clip and tie. FAVORITE ITEM ON THE MENU: Collard green and

chicken egg rolls. FIRST DANCE SONG: Religious by Ne-Yo


D E S T I N AT I O N S

VENDORS BRIDE'S DRESS: Dillard's BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Dillard's CAKES/DESSERTS: Frost Bake Shop CATERING: D'Arthur Catering CEREMONY VENUE: The Columns Memphis ENTERTAINMENT: One Sound and Entertainment EVENT PLANNER: Andria Lewis Events FLORALS: Ashlye McCormick Designs GROOM'S ATTIRE: Macy's GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Macy's HAIR: Charlene Williams MAKEUP: Makeup by Zii PHOTOGRAPHY: Amy Hutchinson Photography RECEPTION VENUE: The Columns Memphis VIDEOGRAPHY: Message in a Bottle Productions RENTALS: Classic Party Rentals


REAL WEDDINGS

SHERENNE + KIMANI S T. L U C I A APRIL 14, 2016 P H O TOG R A P H E D B Y S a m a n t h a C l a r k e P h o t o g ra p hy

Text by Samuel Naumick

S

ometimes in looking for love we don’t have to search any

England but, God has a way of putting people in your life when

further than right next to us. That person who always

you least expect. My bridesmaids and a few amazing friends all

seems to be there for you, most especially at times when

rallied around me and when she was in town my best friend

we need someone the most. For Sherenne that person would

helped to seal the deal. I knew that I wanted to show off all

become Kimani. Having f irst met in a high school chemistry

my curves, so I went with an open mind and tried on a few

class, as Sherenne puts it, “little did we know that the spark

different styles. My wedding dress was a beaded lace mermaid

that started then would become a burning f lame 17 years later.”

gown with a corset back made by Sophia Tolli.”

But that young love would have to be placed on hold as they realized life had them “going in opposite directions and that it

The ceremony took place in beautiful Saint Lucia at the Pigeon

would be best to take a break.”

Island National Park. Set within the rustic and historic naval fort ruins, Sherenne and Kimani were joined as husband and

That “break” would come to an end when “Kimani found out

wife in the company of their family and friends. The salmon

that my mother was ill and reached out to me at a time when

pink and palm leaf green color themes perfectly complimented

I really needed as much support as possible,” Sherenne recalls.

the aged stonework and tropical atmosphere. The tasting

“He became my right hand, making many trips to the hospital

of elements ceremony from the Yaruba tribe of Africa was

when I could not be there for my mom. This is something that

incorporated to pay homage to the bride and groom’s family

will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was then that I knew

roots. The reception was held at the Saman House at Cap

this was meant to be.”

Maison Luxury Resort and Spa, where guests enjoyed f ine dining and dancing. The newlyweds took to the dance f loor

Through Kimani’s love and support the “spark” that took place

as husband and wife to “My Greatest Inspiration” by Teddy

seventeen years earlier had become that “burning f lame” which

Pendagrass.

would inspire them in spending the rest of their lives together as husband and wife. Sherenne fondly remembers that most

Some of Sherenne’s most memorable moments

special of moments, “Kimani proposed privately at our home.

include,“committing to my soul mate and having the people

He made me a beautiful meal and we were watching a movie,

who we genuinely love and respect there to support us on our

when he headed to the kitchen to refresh our drinks. At f irst I

new journey together.” Her advice for engaged couples is to

was like, ‘where are you going?,’ then to my surprise he came

“make sure that you do what is best for both of you. It's your

back up with a little black box. I did not want to get ahead of

day to celebrate your love and commitment, this should be your

myself, so I waited until he got down on one knee and said the

f irst priority. Secondly, do your research, take your time and

words every woman longs to hear, ‘Will you marry me?’ I was

go to at least one bridal show. If you are planning a destination

so surprised. It was perfect for me, just the two of us.”

wedding, a site visit is something that we highly recommend if it is in your budget. It allows you to f ine tune your wedding details to suit your personal style and theme.”

With the passing away of her mother “wedding dress shopping was very emotional,” Sherenne remembers, “I wasn't sure how I was going to feel and my best friend was away at school in

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D E S T I N AT I O N S

PHOTOGRAPHER

VENDORS

Samantha Clarke

BRIDE'S DRESS: Sophia Tolli

SAMANTHA CLARKE PHOTOGRAPHY

BRIDAL SALON: Mona Richie

www.samanthaclarke.net

BRIDE'S SHOES: Menbur BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Henkaa CATERING: Delirius Restaurant CEREMONY VENUE: Pigeon Island National Park EVENT PLANNER: Awesome Caribbean VIDEOGRAPHER

Weddings

Tristan Barrocks

HAIR: Tamiko Taylor

FELICITY MOMENTS

MAKEUP: Tamiko Taylor

www.felicitymoments.ca

PHOTOGRAPHY: Samantha Clarke RECEPTION VENUE: Saman House at Cap

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

Maison Luxury Resort and Spa VIDEOGRAPHY: Felicity Moments


CO N T E N T S

munatravel M O R OCCO Planning a group trip anytime soon? Or perhaps a bachelor or bachelorette weekend? Celebrity photographer Elton Anderson shares his annual birthday trip (which is #vacationgoals) plus some tips on best practices for planning a group trip.


CO N T E N T S


CO N T E N T S

NAME: Elton C. Anderson, Jr.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS: Chefchaouen, The Blue City, was def initely

OCCUPATION: Celebrity and Travel Photographer

the highlight of the trip! The city is even cooler in person and we had

DATE OF TRAVEL: March 3-11, 2017

our best meal there by far. Our accommodations were also the best, www.linaryad.com is def initely a must! Shopping and getting lost in Marrakech was also pretty fun as well.

LOCATION(S) OF TRAVEL: We traveled to Morocco and visited four (4) major cities while there -Marrakech, Casablanca, Chefchaouen (The Blue City) and f inally Fez. DETAILS: I was turning 35 so I wanted to do it big this year! I usually plan huge travel excursions for my birthday but something about celebrating it in Africa seemed even more appealing. My good friend Jessica found an amazing f light deal for only $458 round-trip on Delta, so of course it was a no brainer. I texted a few friends and before I knew it there were 28 people conf irmed -- Damn. The planning was REALLY intense to say the least. I wanted to see the four major cities of Morocco so it required booking over a dozen Riads (the moroccan version of a Bed and Breakfast), 3 hotels, an internal f light from Marrakech to Tangier, a train to Casablanca, a 30 passenger private bus, a desert tour with camel rides, birthday dinners and 2 huge photoshoots. I get tired just thinking about it but my friends were really good about helping out and Moroccans have really great customer service. I'll spare you the other details but just know that surrounding yourself with good energy will make any trip great!

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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ANYONE TRAVELING TO MOROCCO: 1. The shopping there is great but be ready to negotiate a good deal (they will try to get over on you). 2. March is a great time to go, the weather is perfect and its not super crowded. 3. Find a nice Riad and chat with the owner beforehand, they can be helpful while navigating the city.

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TIPS FOR PLANNING A GROUP TRIP: 1. Energy is key! Make sure you invite people you know will mesh well together and who will be cool even if they don't know each other. 2. Collect as much money upfront as you can. When I collected money for excursions, meals, transportation and lodging months in advance it made the trip run so much more smoothly. 3. Overplan, a little. When I do solo trips I just plan as I go but with group trips I make sure that expect the unexpected and have contingency plans when things don't go smoothly. 4. Have fun! My travel crew are my actual friends that I talk to often. We could be on a beach in Bali or a bar in Cleveland and would still have the exact same amount of fun because our friendship is that strong.

Elton Anderson pictured left. All photos by Elton Anderson Photography. Keep up with elton anderson on his website. www.eltonandersonphotography.com

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DECEMBER 4-7, 2017 JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

WWW.COTERIERETREAT.COM

Munaluchi Summer 2017 Issue  
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