W I N T E R 202 1 E D I T I O N
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 Married at First Sight WOODY & AMANI TOOK A CHANCE ON LOVE. DETAILS ON THEIR FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE INSIDE.
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: REEM PHOTOGRAPHY. MORE FROM THIS EDITORIAL ON PAGE 64
Photo: Stanlo Photography
yemi PHOTO: HANNAH SOULE POWDERLY
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was recently a speaker on a panel at Tiffany & Co. for a discussion exploring black love. It was an engaging and thought-provoking conversation, with various perspectives and opinions expressed by both the panelists, and the audience. One moment that stood out for me was when an audience member's answer to the question, "What is black love?" was that it didn't really mean anything to them. And that got me thinking, what really is black love?
photo: nana annan photography
For centuries we have been told we are not worthy, not beautiful, not smart... not lovable. We were prohibited from getting married and were told our hair wasn't "good". We cried for equality, and yearned for a world where we could just be ourselves, unapologetically. Yet through all of the opposition, we always managed to walk with our chins up. We still secretly celebrated our unions. We sat at the front in buses. We attended segregated schools. We celebrated our natural hair. We ran for and held high positions in goverment. We marched. We overcame. Black love isn't just about two black people falling in love. It's about love for our community, love for our businesses, love for our cultures, love for self. Without love for self, how can we grow as a community? In this issue, we featured two gorgeous couples, each on separate covers with exclusive interviews. The couples, Woody and Amani and Miles and Karen were participants on Season 11 of the show Married at First Sight, a Lifetime television experiment in which couples are matched up after a series of interviews with experts, and meet for the first time at the altar on their wedding day. The couples get married and spend several weeks getting to know one another before deciding to stay married or get a divorce. Season 11 was taped in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. Despite difficult circumstances, and the fact that both couples were complete strangers when they got married, they made it through their first year of marriage and have both developed healthy and loving relationships. For us, they represent black love to the fullest. Love for one another, love for community, and love for self despite the odds. Read their interviews on page 88. Although it has been a year since Covid-19 turned our worlds and industry upside down, I'm hopeful that life will soon get back to normal, and you'll be able to have the wedding you've been dreaming of. Most importantly, regardless of how you choose to celebrate, remember to enjoy the simple things...because if there's anything COVID-19 has taught us, it's that the simple things are what matter most...family, good health, and love. Happy Planning!
Jacqueline Nwobu CEO/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MUNALUCHI BRIDE MAGAZINE EDITOR@MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM
Jacqueline Nwobu PRESIDENT
Chike Nwobu EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
COTERIE COMMUNITY SPECIALIST
PHOTOGRAPHY: Reem Photography CINEMATOGRAPHY: Malek Foto Weddings ASSISTANT CINEMATOGRAPHERS: DSW Photography CREATIVE DIRECTION: Jacqueline Nwobu FASHION STRATEGIST: Golden Style Consulting ASSISTANT FASHION STRATEGIST: Bre Simone PLANNER: Michelle Norwood Events MENSWEAR TUXEDOS: Garcon Couture MEN’S STYLIST: Ijay Sanchez HAIRSTYLIST: Hair by Sadiku MAKEUP ARTIST: Felicia Graham Beauty MALE GROOMING: Felicia Graham Beauty FLORAL ARTIST: By Nadia Simmone VENUE: Marigny Opera House RENTALS: Chair Couture Nola + True Vale Rental STATIONERY: Eglantine Rose
Marie Smith, Linda Wallentine, Lily Taylor
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.
JAS I G N AT U R E .C O M
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photo: elizabeth messina
SOMETHING NEW...AND OVERDUE. FIND COMMON GROUND AND WEDDING INSPIRATION WITH PEOPLE WHO GET YOU. JOIN OUR INVITE-ONLY COMMUNIT Y TO BE CONNECTED AND INSPIRED!
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CO N T E N T S
7 THINGS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING A DJ
INVESTING IN PREMARITAL COUNSELING
ELEVATE YOUR GROOM'S EXPERIENCE
TOP WEDDING REGISTRY IDEAS
PLAN YOUR BRIDAL STYLE FOR 2021
IMPORTANCE OF BRIDAL PORTRAITS
TOP TIPS FOR DRESS SHOPPING
MICRO WEDDINGS ON THE RISE
MUNA SERENADE 2020 RECAP
in every issue 32 FASHION 42 ENGAGEMENTS 54 INSPIRATION 104 REAL WEDDINGS
PHOTO: Reem Photography
photo: ssm photography
7 Things to Ask Before Hiring a DJ WRIT TEN BY HAROLD JOHNSON, FOUNDER/OWNER: FINER TOUCH ENTERTAINMENT
Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming process. And while budget is always a concern, pricing should NOT be the first thing you inquire about with your DJ. “How Much Are Your Packages?” should not be how you open the conversation. There are at least 7 things you should ask before inquiring about price.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE? A reputable company can easily tell you about their experience as well as what makes them unique. They have most certainly developed a reputation, and this is something that can be easily researched online. Do not leave your event in the hands of a DJ hobbyist.
DO YOU USE PROFESSIONAL EQUIPMENT? A hobbyist will only have the basics in terms of equipment for your event. You will want to make sure that whoever you choose uses professional gear. Make sure they have the following backup equipment with them when they arrive at your event: Backup Computer - Music is generally played from a computer which can fail, so they should have more than one on hand. Mixer - The mixer is the hub for the entire set up, so a backup of some kind is imperative. Microphone - Another item that may fail from time to time and you can imagine what your event would be without a microphone. A pro should always have 2 mics available.
IS YOUR COMPANY A REAL BUSINESS? A hobbyist may go by a DJ name they are known by, but this may not be a real company name. It is important to work with a legal entity when contracting services of any kind. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to track down this DJ that you know only from a nightclub. Establishing a legal business is just one of the many things that a serious business owner will do to invest in themselves and will help show you how serious they are about their craft.
ARE YOU FULLY INSURED? ABOUT THE AUTHOR Harold has been providing entertainment for party goers across the country for two decades. He has risen to become a trusted expert in the wedding and special events industry. His team is best known for being able to create an "Unforgettable Entertainment Experience" for clients and their guests.
CONTACT INFO Website: www.finertouchent.com IG handle: @finertouch
These days, almost all event venues require that their vendors have at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance. If your prospective DJ does not have insurance, it usually means he/she does not have experience playing at the more professional venues in the area that require this (Which is almost all of them). In addition, while tragedies rarely happen, you must make sure you are protected along with all other parties involved.
HOW DO YOU DRESS FOR WEDDINGS? Your entertainers are typically out in front of your guests at various points throughout the event. It is
for this reason that their attire should reflect what is expected at the kind of event you are hosting. You would be surprised how many “DJs” show up to formal events dressed inappropriately. Don't be embarrassed, ask the question.
WHAT KINDS OF MUSIC DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN? A hobbyist may go by a DJ name they are known It is safe to say that everyone knows someone that is a “DJ”. This is fine for parties and informal events, but on the day of your wedding, you want EVERYTHING to fall into place. A reputable company can easily tell you about the styles of music they play as well as assign a DJ that has a great understanding of the genres you specifically want played at your event.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS ONCE WE BOOK WITH YOU? A professional company will work to do all it can to make the entire process as easy as possible for you. They will be able to provide a contract, as well as a payment schedule, and most importantly, several convenient ways for you to make payments, including debit and credit cards. Convenience and efficiency are the keys to eliminating stress! You now understand more about:
• • •
Who the company is how they conduct business
What their reputation says about them online and through referrals
What their performances look and sound like What all the options are that are available for your type of event
Now you can ask the question…how much will it cost to have everything I am interested in for my big day? Follow these guidelines and your decision will become much easier to make. It will also be clear why certain companies cost more for what "Appears" to be the same service. Do not leave your event in the hands of someone who simply cannot deliver. You deserve the best!
Rev. Orsella R. Hughes is an ordained officiant specializing in creating unforgettable\ wedding ceremonies. Call for a consultation: 475.422.5819 or visit: www.serenityceremonies.com
You’re Engaged, Now What? Investing In Premarital Counseling WRIT TEN BY REV. ORSELL A R. HUGHES
photo: yuri vaysgant | planner: behind the design
Premarital counseling is preventative care for your relationship and future marriage. Just as your body requires regular checkups, exercise, proper nutrition, and sufficient sleep, so does your relationship. Premarital counseling with an ordained wedding officiant or licensed counselor equips you with strategies to successfully engage with your spouse. It also reinforces a positive perspective about seeking help throughout your marriage. Working with an ordained officiant or licensed counselor for premarital counseling is critical in developing your relationship communication skills. Premarital counseling also establishes a framework for establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship, and it helps both of you align your finances.
photo: nana annan photography
Get Your Financial Houses in Order Don't get married without discussing money - how you spend it, how you save it, and how you manage it. With your counselor as a neutral party, you can discuss existing debt, household vs. personal accounts, and lending money. You can also probe these topics in-depth and explore realistic solutions BEFORE you get married.
Build Communication Skills There will be conflicts in your relationship, but premarital counseling helps you identify methods of handling these conflicts. During premarital counseling, you will learn effective conflict de-escalation strategies for your marriage. These tools are vital in building and maintaining a healthy relationship.
There may be a stigma associated with premarital counseling, but it’s not an indicator of relationship trouble. Instead, it prepares couples for the journey ahead. If you’re looking for an ordained wedding officiant with ministerial experience, Serenity Ceremonies is here to help.
Framework For Establishing & Maintaining a Healthy Relationship Premarital counseling helps you develop the framework for establishing and maintaining a healthy marriage. Once you’ve implemented effective communication skills, it's time to examine areas for growth - individually and within your relationship. Your ordained wedding officiant or licensed counselor will help you identify and overcome harmful behaviors and habits that may hinder the maturation of your marriage.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rev. Orsella is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church where she serves as the Pastor of Saint James A.M.E. Church in Danbury, CT. Rev. Orsella is also a certified S.Y.M.B.I.S. (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) facilitator.
photo: yuri vaysgant | planner: behind the design
CONTACT INFO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.serenityceremonies.com IG: @revorsellaofficiant
GROOMSMEN OUTING This is a unique opportunity to gather the homies, create some memories and ask them to support you as groomsmen on your wedding day with a token of appreciation. Now we have all seen the dope groomsmen gift ideas, but this concept is to focus on curating a moment. It could be anything from a whiskey tasting, to bowling night, to just going to shoot some pool and have cigars. The event is unique to your friend group, and the bonds created will be too.
USE YOUR HANDS Take the crew out and learn to make something. Between craft spirits, cigar rolling, metal working, and cooking classes there are a plethora of things you can do with your chosen groom's party. Depending on what you choose you may even end up with a token to savor the moment. Just make sure yours is not the one everyone decides to poke fun at. . photo: tolman media
photo: joshua dwain
5 Ways to Elevate Your Groom's Experience ARTICLE BY CAMERON FONTAINE OF FONTAINE CONCIERGE To date, most of the pomp and circumstance related to weddings has been reserved for the bride and shared with the company of her gleeful bridesmaids. Every related event from the proposal, to the dress fitting, bridal shower, bachelorette festivities, and of course the walk down the aisle is all about the bride to be- and it should be.
CUSTOM SHIRTING No matter how the groom’s party is procuring their attire a custom shirt is a great gift and additional opportunities for the guys to get together and enjoy one another’s company. The party can meet and all be fitted together while having some drinks and personalizing their monogram design details. One step further would be to hire a videographer to document the event then merge footage of the groomsmen being fit for their custom shirts with them putting on the completed garments.
This is a moment that a lot of women have dreamed about their entire lives and now that it is here every one knows what to do. Along with fantasising about this moment and planning it with their best friends, they have also had the help of movies to lay out the roles and ways that their friends are to support. As for the groom’s side...there hasn’t been as much guidance. Now we know we are to get a nice ring and curate a memorable proposal, then watch our bride-to-be come down the aisle in all her glorious splendor, but what really happens in between all that is a mystery to most.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so use them to help tell the story of how this crew became the groom’s party. When you make your groomsmen proposal be sure to include asking for any photos of you together. At minimum request at least 5 photos per groomsman. Share those photos with your videographer and ask for a short montage video. It may seem a little corny at first, but trust me you will appreciate your crew even more after sharing your wedding with them and having that video reminder of why they were the guys.
The grooms are not to blame here. See in those movies, catering to the bridesmaids side of the story no one is sharing what type of experience the guys are truly having. Many times we see a hyper masculated adventure bachelor party story where the groom barely makes it to the ceremony. Either way those narratives are not helping any grooms in real life. So if you are considering proposing or recently engaged, here are some unique ways to elevate your grooms party experience.
Hiring a groomsmen concierge is how a groom can elevate his groom’s party experience from the planning phase through the ceremony. A groomsmen concierge is a wedding professional dedicated to supporting the needs of the grooms party in support of the entire wedding scope. A groomsmen concierge allows for the groomsmen to enjoy their roles as guests. This individual will assist with coordinating the groom’s party as a liaison between the venue and planner along with providing day-of coordination duties such as room staging, cigar and spirit selection, styling, tying bow ties, and pinning boutonnieres.
photo: sarah keenan
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Cameron Fontaine started his own menswear styling bespoke clothing practice in 2015 and merged it with the groomsmen wedding services to form Fontaine Concierge. Fontaine Concierge now offers groomsmen services along with premium custom suiting, shirting and accessories. We partner with celebrated master tailors and premier fabric mills to produce garments for our clients, while curating lifestyle experiences that compliment their envisioned design.
CONTACT INFO Email: email@example.com J . WO O D B E RY P H OTO G R A P H Y Website: www.fontaineconcierge.com IG: @fontaineconcierge 16
Top Wedding Registry Ideas for 2021
WRIT TEN BY OH NIKI OCCASIONS
Wondering what to put on your wedding registry can be somewhat of a daunting task depending on how you see it! For those of us that love to shop – the idea of a thrilling “shopping spree” through your favorite stores with a scanner in hand and not needing to use your own cash can seem very exciting! For others who feel like they “don’t need anything” or who don’t know where to begin since they don’t yet own their dream home, they tend to ask their Wedding Planner if a Wedding Registry is even necessary! The fact of the matter is – YES, I highly recommend you create a registry somewhere because people will always want to buy you gifts. It’s better to tell them what you actually need or would like so that you don’t end up unable to return what they decide to get you on their own. Wedding registries like Zola are great for couples to add items from all over, or if cash is what you desire, you can look into Honeyfund as another great option! Great gifting is part of my DNA so here are a few fantastic options that I rounded up for you to consider:
KITCHEN-AID ARTISAN MIXER
The first item is such a classic and belongs on everyone’s registry! I don’t care what anyone says, the way to EVERYONE’S hearts is with TREATS!! (Especially when prepared with LOVE). Even if you are not one to bake every weekend, this mixer will look amazing in your kitchen as it’s available in so many colors to suit your personality and décor. It will last you for years to come and become your go-to appliance for mixing up all sorts of fun on date nights! THE Kitchen-Aid Artisan Mixer is available from all of your favorite department & specialty stores, Nationwide .
If you truly don’t need any gifts, but would like to point your guests in the right direction of where to GIVE BACK on your behalf, COCOBUNDLE is one of our favorite charitable giving partners with a wedding registry which gives housewares in Gift Bundles to those in need. CHAMPAGNE TOASTING FLUTES
One of the first items typically purchased as an engagement gift are the toasting flutes that you will use on your wedding day. I always like to style very special glasses on the cake table or the sweetheart table depending on the order of the evening. In years to come, these very special flutes can be used to toast to all your wedding anniversaries and special occasions. As everyone enjoys receiving gifts in that infamous ‘blue box’ we especially love this Diamond Point Champagne Flute Set from Tiffany & Co. WEDDING PHOTO FRAME
A must-have for every wedding registry is an 8x10 photo frame to display your favorite photograph from your wedding day. Go with a timeless, classic brand such as Vera Wang for Wedgewood which will endure the test of time. Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Oniki Hardtman is the Founder & Creative Director of Oh Niki Occasions and Petite Palm Beach Weddings. Based in South Florida & NYC, she specializes in Destination Wedding Planning & Elegant Event Design. As a graduate of NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology, Oniki is a veteran of the fashion industry where her beginning in Bridal was as a shoe designer, but ultimately founded Oh Niki Occasions in 2015 to lend her keen eye for design to multicultural couples across the globe. Oniki is a member of MunaLuchi's Coterie and her weddings and advice are regularly featured in MunaLuchi Bride magazine and other notable publications
CONTACT INFO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ohnikioccasions.com IG: @ohnikioccasions
It’s often hard to set aside a budget for a memorable honeymoon when you are also trying to budget and save for the wedding of your dreams, which is exactly why a registry towards your Sandals or Beaches Customizable Wedding is the PERFECT gift! When you book a Destination Wedding with Sandals or Beaches, your guests will have the ability to purchase gifts such as a Romantic Candlelight Dinner for Two, Honeymoon Excursions, a Couples Massage at their on-resort Red-Lane Spa, or even give you a cash gift towards paying for your destination wedding! ARTWORK BY BROOKLYN-DOLLY
LUGGAGE & TRAVEL ACCESSORIES
If you both love to travel, now is a great time to register for a matching luggage set for you and your boo before you say I Do! Luggage is one of those items that is available in many different colors and price points to suit everyone’s tastes and budget! If it’s time for an upgrade, be sure to select something that is durable and long-lasting as well as in an easily identifiable color so that you can spot it as it comes around on the belt at the airport! If you already have a long-lasting set of luggage, then consider matching luggage tags with your new initials or wedding monogram on them! We love ALL things personalized from Mark & Graham.
Staying in shape together is always a great way to kick off your engagement and stay on track throughout your marriage! A Peloton bike is somewhat pricey but worth the investment. Although it’s not your typical wedding registry item, the point is for guests to get you something that you will actually USE and with the Universal Wedding Registry from TheKnot.com you can register for just about anything, anywhere !
We all know that ETSY is great for makers, but did you know that they have a wedding registry as well! Take the time to seek out AfricanAmerican and Caribbean-American artists such as Brooklyn Dolly (a favorite of mine) or many others to see whose style suits you and your fiancé and register for artwork and items that will truly make your home feel like you and reflect your cultural heritage . WINE REFRIGERATOR
Entertaining friends and family together in your home is inevitable – and no celebration is complete without the bubbly if you ask me! I adore this compact 8-bottle wine fridge with adjustable temperature controls from Cuisinart, (available at Crate & Barrel) as it's compact enough to fit on a counter, so it works nicely in your first home or a cozy apartment. .
How to Plan Your Bridal Style for 2021 BY L AURIE UNDERWOOD, DESIGNER AND OWNER OF L AURY BRIDE
As a bridal designer, last year in 2020, I consulted with many brides who were considering custom bridal style for their wedding day. Through the many Zoom calls I have had, there was one consistent theme; Brides were unsure of the style direction to take for their 2021 weddings. Concerning questions were, should I go big and get a custom ball gown? Should I shop off the rack and just get something under budget or should I just follow my heart and get what I have always envisioned myself to wear on my big day? All these questions were surrounded around the idea of the unpredictable 2021 pandemic climate, with brides wanting to be both sensitive and intentional with their bridal style. Here, I will share with you my top tips on how to plan your bridal style for 2021.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Laurie Underwood started her bridal brand, Laury Bride in 2019. After being a designer on Project Runway in 2015, she opted to challenge her passion for style by offering brides a different take on other possibilities of bridal style. Born and raised in Detroit, Laurie currently resides in Chicago.
CONTACT INFO Email: email@example.com Website: www.laurybride.com IG: @laurybride
Tip 1 - Wear Black Last year, amid the Black Lives Matter movement, many activists encouraged their supporters to support and perform transactions with Black-owned businesses to drive focus to economic inequality and to start circulating the black dollar within its own communities. As diversity still lacks within your local bridal salons, there is a growing number of black bridal designers who offer unique bridal wear in a range of aesthetics from minimal to classic, to bespoke to glam. Seek out your favorite designers who design specifically for you, your vibe, and most importantly, your body type.
PHOTO: SHANNON PETERSON
PHOTO: VINCENT MARC
Here are some of my favorites below!
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Tip 2 - Look for Versatility
Tip 3 - Honor Your Personal Style
Opting for a more versatile look could be born out of the idea that you want to adapt to the scale and vibe of your wedding. Whether you have cut your list from 150 to 15 or you are having an intimate home wedding, it is essential to consider the elements, making sure your style for both your wedding and your look matches up. Looking for a more versatile look will allow you to honor your personal style as opposed to being forced into the cookie cutter designs of the industry. Examples of versatility can be shown in my latest collection of interchangeable bridal pieces, which allow you to have multiple looks in one, while offering the opportunity to go beyond the aisle and style with pieces in your wardrobe after your wedding day
Let us keep in mind that you’re the bride, and you’re sensitive about your style. In 2021, you will either be the bride that opts for a more simplified, yet chic look, or you will be the bride that's like, "No ma'am, I' have not dressed up in 265 days. My wedding day style will give me a chance to make up for all of the days I was in the house on Zoom wearing loungewear." So, whatever speaks to your personal style, do not be afraid to do just that. Be creative and stand out in a year of bride overflow. We know these are sensitive times, but I encourage you to decide on a style that will make you happy. Regardless of the pandemic, your wedding style should still be special and unique to you.
Tip 4 - Click and Get it Shipped Did you postpone your wedding from 2020 and ready for a quick re-do? Would you prefer to play it safe by scaling your list down to zero and save more coins on your bridal style? No worries, there are an array of fashion retailers that now cater to the bride with sleek crepe looks that can be stylishly adorned with chic bridal details that make a bold enough bridal statement. Search ready-to-wear retailers with bridal offerings and you will be surprised at your findings. Just remember, do not let the dress wear you, you wear the dress! Regardless of the path you choose to take when considering your bridal style, honor and commit to what will make you feel special and what will make the love of your life say "I do" twice.
The Importance of Bridal Portraits WRIT TEN BY DA JUAN JONES OF IN HIS IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY
Most couples are familiar with engagement sessions. In contrast, bridal portraiture has become the lesser-known genre in wedding photography. So what is a bridal session?
What is Bridal Portraiture? Bridal portraiture results from a photo session of the bride-to-be donning her wedding dress often captured a few months before the wedding day.
Importance of Bridal Portraits Since the session takes place before the wedding day, there is less overall stress or anxiety. The session serves as a test run for your hairstyle, makeup, and overall appearance for your wedding day. It also allows you to work closely with your photographer. The session itself often increases your confidence and happiness as you approach the wedding day. The bridal session and resulting portraits are special not just for the bride, but also for your spouse and your family members. Your loved ones will reflect on this time in your life, and all that you mean to them. Let's take a look at the importance of bridal portraiture in the eyes of the people you love.
Understandably, your parents are proud of you and the portraits make sense to be trusted to their care after the wedding day.
Importance to You The days leading up to your wedding day are some of the happiest in your life. You, your mom, and your closest bridesmaids are searching for the perfect gown, agreeing on the wedding decor and food for that evening. In many ways, the bridal portrait is the culmination of the time the bride and her tribe spent saying yes to the dress and all the details associated with it. Getting into your gown ahead of the wedding day is just for you. There isn’t a wedding day timeline constraining you. No last-minute questions or decisions on the reception playlist. It’s just you enjoying this moment, feeling beautiful, and looking amazing. The portrait will remind you just how happy you were during this time.
Importance to Your Parents
Importance to Your Spouse
Traditionally, your parents are gifted your bridal portraits as a “thank you” for their role in your life leading up to the wedding day. The portraits help your parents celebrate the woman you’ve become and all of your achievements.
Your new spouse absolutely adores you. He’s looking forward to spending the rest of his life with you. This moment in time is special to him as well. He has found his soulmate and portraits of you in your wedding regalia helps
him celebrate the moment as well. What man wouldn’t love to see his lady looking amazing in celebration of their wedding?
Importance to Your Children In the future, your children will look at your bridal pictures and marvel at this time in your life. It will give them a glimpse into the mom they never knew!
Simplify the Wedding Day Timeline The bride is often last with the hairstylist and make-up artist. Preparations on the wedding day rarely execute as scheduled. Because starting the wedding ceremony on time is important, often something early in the day is likely sacrificed. Scheduling your bridal session in advance of the wedding day ensures that you don’t miss out on this opportunity for portraits. It also allows you to remain calm during wedding day preparations and enjoy the time with your wedding party.
Reveal at the Wedding Reception Even after the ceremony, most of your guests are excited to see you in your gown up close. Your bridal portrait display will allow attendees to soak in just how beautiful you are. The evidence of this will be the line of guests wanting to take a photo of your portrait!
Celebrate Yourself Set aside time to celebrate yourself. Even if your wedding day has passed, you can still schedule a post-wedding bridal session, enjoy the session just the same, and reap the benefits of those portraits for years to come. When you're older, you'll look fondly at the bridal portraits and be proud of who you were, and who you've become. This is one of the best benefits of bridal portraiture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dajuan Jones founded In His Image Photography in 1999, prior to graduating college. From that day until this day, my focus is to show the world just how beautiful your wedding day is.
CONTACT INFO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.inhisimagephotography.com IG: @inhisimagephoto
Cre d i t : Chi p Di z a r d Stu d io s
5 Things Every Bride Should Know Before Dress Shopping WRIT TEN BY ANNA WALSH OF A&BÉ BRIDAL SHOP
1. Do some research to decide where you would like to shop. It can be discouraging to try on dresses and not find anything you like. It can also be exhausting to do endless shopping. To avoid both of these situations, do some research in advance to decide what shops would be the best fit for you. Bridal shops have different aesthetics, experiences, designers, and price points. Scheduling appointments at shops that excite you will make your dress hunt not only more fun but less stressful as well! At A&Be, we carry unique designers for brides who are looking for anything but the ordinary. A&Be is for the bride who relates to the modern aesthetic, the free-spirited ethos, and the romantic spirit.
2. Consider the vibe of your wedding before you try on gowns. It happens fairly often that brides will find multiple dresses that they love! It’s also common that a bride’s top few choices are completely different from one another. When you’re stuck between two looks, knowing the vibe of your wedding or venue can help you decide what dress is best for your big day!
3. Over-shopping is a real thing. Dress shopping can become overwhelming very quickly. They’re all beautiful gowns, they’re similar shades, and at a certain point they will all start to blur together. Too many times we’ve seen brides who have tried on so many gowns that they feel lost and no longer know what they are looking for. It can be super discouraging and take the fun out of actually finding your dress. Once you find a dress that you love and want to get married in, trust your gut and don’t be afraid to commit! Photo:Alison Vagnini
ABOUT THE AUTHOR a&bé is your haven from the same old same old for the brides who want our no-fuss, personalized, inclusive & simply put - our fun experience. we personally put so much into our curated collection & know we are bringing you the best of what the industry has to offer modern brides. we run this company with heavy doses of transparency & authenticity.
CONTACT INFO Website: aandbebridalshop.com IG Handle: @aandbe_bridalshop 26
4. Consider your price point and timeline. Before you start making appointments to try on gowns, decide what you feel comfortable spending on your wedding dress. Call the shops you’re interested in or visit their website to get an idea of the price range of their collection. Also keep in mind that all wedding gowns will need to be altered to get that perfect fit and that comes with a fee as well. The gowns at A&be range between $1,500 - $5,000. If you’re looking for an awesome deal on your dress, we also have an online selection of new and pre-owned gowns discounted at shopaandbe.com. Most wedding gowns are handmade and can take months in production. We recommend shopping at least 9 months before your wedding. This will leave you 4-6 months for the gown to be made and 2-3 months in alterations. If you’re working with a shorter timeline, don’t fret, you have plenty of options! You can ask to shop sample gowns which can be purchased off the floor for a discounted price, you can shop designers who offer rush options, just keep in mind that this option is usually associated with a fee, or you can use resources like shopaandbe.com to shop ready to ship gowns!
5. The more people you invite to shop with you, the more opinions you get.
credits PHOTOGRAPHY: Blake
DRESS DESIGNER: Rue
De Seine Bridal
BRIDAL SHOP: A&Bé MAKEUP: Well
For some brides, bringing their whole posse is half the fun and excitement of trying on dresses. While we are fully on board, we have noticed that more times than not, a large group can become overwhelming for a bride trying to make a decision. When deciding who to invite to come wedding dress shopping with you, consider who will be most supportive, and whose opinions matter the most to you. Everyone else can be surprised when they see you on the big day or come to your accessory appointment with you to join in on the fun!
& Kai' M Perry
Serving prestigious and high-end customized cakes, confections, and dessert tables for stylish weddings and intimate events nationwide. Each dessert is made from scratch and handcrafted to sugar perfection.
D E S T I N AT I O N S
The Fork Goes on the Left “Not Your Ordinary Wedding Fare”
Micro Weddings on the Rise
WRIT TEN BY VANESSA HAYWARD OF VANESSA HAYWARD EVENTS
Kristen Weaver Photography
ovid 19 and the need to socially distance to avoid illness has changed many aspects of our lives. This includes minor day to days activities such as work, school, shopping, church and exercising. Major milestone events are also negatively impacted. Graduation, anniversary celebrations and the hopefully once in a lifetime event and dream of many couples, a remarkable, unique wedding. Today’s weddings involves numerous steps for some couples. The engagement, bridal and groom showers, and of course, the momentous culmination when nuptials are exchanged and two people commit to become one. Many couples are confronted with the decision of whether to have a large wedding and push the date back or cut their guest list significantly and have a Micro Wedding. A micro wedding is an intimate affair, typically with no more than 50 guests. These weddings still honor traditions that make a wedding but on a much smaller scale. Covid 19 has challenged wedding and event professionals to pivot and come up with ways to allow clients to celebrate their love with friends and family but still have their dream wedding. Since there is no certainty as to when Covid 19 will end, many options are available that allow couples to share their day, while minimizing potential harm to their guests.
Virtual only, Hybrid Virtual or just a Micro Wedding? Things to consider when deciding the best approach is size of family and bridal party, distance of guests, time constraints, budget, etc. For guests who can’t make it or who are fearful, there’s always an option to attend virtually. Best of both worlds! Adding a virtual option to the micro wedding makes it a hybrid choice that can accommodate as many as a thousand with no need to socially distance. If cost is not a limitation, guests can be recorded in various ways. Another addition to the hybrid model would be a party bus where couples can celebrate with small groups of Photo:Reem Photography
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Vanessa Hayward Events is a boutique style planning company, which allows the opportunity to create a unique and intimate experience for each client. Vanessa grew up around events through her family’s catering company. Since she was younger she’s always been passionate about the look and flow of intimate events. After planning all the details of her own wedding she founded Vanessa Hayward Events. “It is my goal to make sure my clients have an amazing event that is well planned and exceeds their vision.” In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, listening to music and long walks through home decor and bridal stores.
CONTACT INFO Email: email@example.com Website: vanessahaywardevents.com IG: @vanessahaywardevents
Photo: Kristen Weaver Photography
Photo: Kristen Weaver Photography
D E S T I N AT I O N S
friends at various times in the same city or various areas while honeymooning.
Micro Weddings are here to stay.
The positive is that couples can have the wedding of their dreams by cutting their in-person guest count. Couples are also able to have their weddings sooner instead of later because budget constraints are reduced. The hardest thing for my couples has been cutting the guest list. My advice is to choose very close friends and family. Individuals who will still show up, support you no matter what and communicate with you on a regular basis after the wedding day.
Don't downplay your day!
I’ve had numerous conversations with couples who have been hesitant about moving forward with their wedding plans. Some have even thought about canceling because venues either aren’t able to accommodate their large guest counts or guarantee costs. There’s also apprehension regarding the fear of people not wanting to mask up and attend. Who knows what will happen a year or two from now? Micro weddings allow couples to get married within a few months and still have the food, music, florals, an amazing wedding photographer they desire and most times in a location they never dreamt of having it! A micro wedding with about 50 people is usually the most economical and practical. This can easily be done in several low-cost options. Most cities have restaurants that can easily be transformed to accommodate a wedding of this size at a nominal cost with little effort. Possibilities are unlimited. When choosing a wedding planner consider the following; your vision is understood, they keep your budget in mind, they are flexible with changes, there’s a connection between the both of you, and the planner has a vivid imagination that will produce a stress free wedding of your dreams.
This page: photos by White Desert Photography
BRIDAL FASHION TRENDS SPOTLIGHT
BOHEMIAN BRIDESMAIDS GLAM
D E S T I N AT I O N S
Captured By Coriss
FA S H I O N
bridal fashion trend alert ILLUSION MESH AND INTRICATE PATTERNS WILL TAKE CENTER STAGE. Text by Angela Conner
Your wedding day passes by so quickly, you may realize you did not get all of the bridal portraits you wanted. That is why we are huge fans of bridal sessions! Bridal portrait sessions are a way for you to pamper yourself, and capture gorgeous photos in your wedding dress in a calm and relaxed environment. These sessions can happen before or after your wedding. Kimberly's bridal session was held on what should have been her wedding day. However, her wedding was rescheduled to June 2021 because of COVID-19. Instead of waiting until June 2021 to put on her gown, she decided to have a beautiful sunset bridal session in one of her custom designed bridal gowns by the J Wright Collection. Keeping it sensual and classy! Think vintage opulence with a sexy modern twist. We predict the illusion mesh, intricate patterns and detachable train of Kimberly’s gown will continue to be hot trends for brides in 2021!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Captured By Coriss Photography BOUQUET: E&M’s Affairs to Remember MAKEUP: Candy Coated LLC DRESS: Jwright Collection HAIR: Kissed Hair by Kim 34
D E S T I N AT I O N S
Say no the the dress
o-piece bridal interchangeables that offer multiple looks for your big day
D E S T I N AT I O N S
bohemian bridesmaids glam When it comes to weddings, the bride typically get all the attention. In this fashion editorial, the bride shares the spotlight with her bridesmaids. The editorial highlights the new age of couture bridal robes complemented with rust colored curve-hugging bridesmaids dresses. To add the perfect finishing touch, each beauty look was accented with custom headpieces designed by SuReina Bridal. This collection is perfect for the Muna Bride that is looking for avante garde and non-traditional looks. "In designing the flowers my whole thought process was this needs to feel like bohemian glam. Stanley showed me pictures of the bridesmaids' dresses and a few pampas grass pictures and I knew that I needed to create a look with the flowers that felt fresh. We wanted people to see the glamorous side of an old Hollywood vibe mixed with Bohemian chic." - Kristen of Panache Style
CREATIVE TEAM VENUE: DuPont
PHOTOGRAPHY: Stanlo MUA: MUA
Tia of YSBeautyCo
HAIR STYLIST: Hair
FLORAL DESIGN & RENTALS: Panache
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/COORDINATOR: Mikiayla CUSTOM ROBES: Veronica
CUSTOM DRESSES: Phylicia
HEADPIECES & ACCESSORIES: SuReina
YUVONNIE & ROGER
AISATOU & MOHAMED
CHIFIQUE & GHENGIS
HADASSAH & SHAUN
JADE & MAXINE
NIKKI & MARK
JAMESA & CORY
D E S T I N AT I O N S
Yuvonnie + Roger
MIAMI FLORIDA (SECRET GARDENS MIAMI)
W E D D I N G D AT E : September 4, 2021 WEDDING LOCATION: Long Island New York O C C U PAT I O N S : United States Navy (groom) United States Postal Service (bride) H O W T H E Y M E T: Yuvonnie and Roger met while she was at work at the US Post Office. (More on their first encounter on the website. http://bit.do/yuvonnieroger ) P R O P O S A L S T O R Y: On March 11th, 2018, Yuvonnie and I visited her family's church in Brooklyn, New York. It was at this church service where I knew God was speaking to me and he told me “Yuvonnie was the one for me.” After Service was over, Yuvonnie and I drove home, and I distinctly remember 44
I had so many thoughts running through my head. I knew that I wanted to propose to Yuvonnie, but I did not know how I was going to go about it. I probably said 3 words the entire ride home. Over the next 7 months there was a lot of vigorous planning on my part. I honestly underestimated how much planning went into a surprise party. The day before her surprise birthday party, I surprised her with balloons at 12:01 midnight before she went to work. I also made a few calls to her boss and he kindly let her off work for the day. Later that evening, Yuvonnie was getting dressed at home where she thought she was going to a “Navy Ball.” Once Yuvonnie was dressed, I had a car service pick her up from her house. She still had no clue. At
7 p.m. Yuvonnie arrived in Manhattan and she was totally surprised once she arrived. As the evening wore on, I grew increasingly nervous. There were only 2 people at the party who knew I was going to propose, myself and Yuvonnie’s mother. Once the evening started to wear down it was time to get on one knee and ask my queen to marry me. For 7 months prior I had a speech planned out; however, I forgot every word as I began to profess my love to Yuvonnie in front of our family and friends. At approximately 10:30 p.m. I asked Yuvonnie for her hand in marriage and in a barrage of tears of joy she accepted. ENGAGEMENT SESSION THEME: Didn’t have an exact theme; however, we knew that we wanted it to tell our story without
us actually speaking. We wanted it to show the love we have for each other, love for fashion, our adventure and fun side. And Kareem from PhotosByReem helped us to achieve that 100 percent! F I R S T D AT E ? We always “argue” about when our actual first date was. During the time Roger was getting to know me, he would usually leave his job and come to mine to take me out for lunch during my lunch breaks, and we would have lunch and several interesting conversations at a local pizzeria by my job. That would be our first date if you asked me. If you were to ask Roger he would tell you the story about when we actually got dressed outside of our work uniform, he came to my house and I took forever to come out my house because according to him I’m always late. But when I did come out he had bowling and lunch planned for us. The most interesting thing about that date was I saw Roger’s gentleman side. Roger opened doors, whether it was car doors or the doors to the restaurant, he would help me with my shoes when we were at bowling and he walked me to my door when he took me back home. At first I thought it was a first date thing and him trying to impress me but here we are almost 4 years later and Roger is still the same gentleman that he introduced to me on our first date. FAV O R I T E T H I N G T O D O A S A C O U P L E ? We love love love to travel and also love cooking together. But simple things like staying in bed and spending quality time means the most to us. We enjoy each other’s company. H O W H A S W E D D I N G P L A N N I N G B E E N S O FA R ? Wedding planning is coming along and it’s definitely an experience especially with Roger being currently deployed. T E L L U S W H AT YO U'R E L O O K I N G F O R WA R D T O M O S T O N T H E W E D D I N G D AY: What we’re looking forward to the most is being around our friends and family on our special day and just simply enjoying the moment.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Reem Photography
E N G AG E M E N T S
Aisatou + Mohamed UNTERMYER GARDENS CONSERVANCY (YONKERS, NY)
s closet friends to be in attendance. I told them it was a
W E D D I N G D AT E : July 9th, 2021
W E D D I N G L O C AT I O N : Long Island, NY
To get Aisatou to attend without setting off any red f lags,
H O W T H E Y M E T: Aisatou and I met through social media when my
Aisatou thought she would be networking with black
surprise graduation party as Aistou just finished her RN
I had my good friend invite her to a "nursing gala" where
sister tagged both of us in a photo of my niece. I was curious to see
nurses. When they arrived, I was standing on the rose
who she was so I slid in her DM and then my sister introduced us.
petals with the “Marry me” sign behind me. When Aisatou
THE PROPOSAL: I wanted the proposal to be beautiful and extravagant. I rented a NYC rooftop to pop the question. I had 5 feet marquee lights that said “Marry me” and a bin of rose petals on the f loor. I reached out to her best friend to invite 12 of Aisatou'
saw what was going on, she turned around and walked the other direction. I was so nervous, but she was also in shock but returned a few seconds later. I can't even remember what I said to her as I was so nervous but she said yes!! ENGAGEMENT SESSION THEME: Our engagement session theme was elegance. Aisatou planned everything from the colors she wanted us to wear, the location down to my socks. She said these are the photos the world is going to see and I need us to be magazine ready. The session was amazing and she made sure we had Stanlo! FIRST DATE? Our first date was to Phillipe Chow on December 5th, 2015. We went out to dinner and had a very deep conversation about life and what we were looking for in a relationship. We had a great time, laughed and had our first kiss which was magical. During our first date Mohamed said I don't want to waste your time and I want you to be my girlfriend, and there was something about him that I said yes and we've been together ever since. FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? We love to dress up and go out on dates and try out new restaurants HOW HAS WEDDING PL ANNING BEEN? So far the wedding planning has been going well. We have selected our venue, vendors and guests we want to invite. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO? I'm looking forward to seeing the love of my life walking down the aisle in her wedding dress. I've also dreamed about the day but to see it actually happen is so surreal. - Mohamed I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with Mohamed and seeing all of our friends and family in one room. Oh yeah and I'm looking forward to our dance moves. - Aisatou
PHOTOGRAPHY: Stanlo Photography
D E S T I N AT I O N S
FRANCONIA NOTCH - FRANCONIA, NH
WEDDING DATE: August 12, 2021 WEDDING LOCATION: Franconia Notch, Franconia, NH HOW THEY MET + PROPOSAL STORY: We met at my work while I was supervising a restaurant. We had a common friend/co worker who had been telling me about a “friend “ that he wanted me to meet for years. So our friend finally brought him in. We have a beautiful picture looking over a hill and the sun was just setting. I think we both thought that if we got engaged it would happen this way. Well, it happened in our bedroom on April 22 2019. This date is very special to me because this was my mother’s birthday. She passed away in 2014.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Seas Mtns Co
on wedding planning... "Trying all the beautiful dresses was so much fun! I love gowns, always have. My wedding has been postponed for another year and I have to fight myself to not shop for a new dress." - Chifique
Was I surprised? YES! I knew he was going to propose but I didn't know when. He made me breakfast in bed on a tray with f lowers and I started ugly crying- mind you I haven’t washed my face or anything yet and my face was bloated from crying the night before and crying even more when I woke up. I almost ruined it for him because I went to the kitchen to get a donut that I bought the night before and found out he ate it, which made me very angry. I started to cry when I saw him at the door with the tray because he knew how hard that day was for me. I thought he just
made breakfast in bed to make me a little better. So when he put down the tray of food and f lowers, right on the center was an engagement ring! Cue more crying and all I can remember was him on his knee, asking me to marry him and me saying “Yes” while also saying “I’m ugly!” He made my mother’s birthday better WHAT MAKES YOUR REL ATIONSHIP SPECIAL? What makes our relationship unique is that we were born and raised in two different countries. Him being from Jamaica and me from the Philippines so our values, mannerisms, families and attitudes toward anything is such different f lavor yet similar in so many ways. We are home bodies, we like old school animations and super heroes. He loves his PS4 and I love my smutty books right next to him. HOW DID YOU KNOW YOUR PARTNER WAS THE ONE? I knew he was the one when he started saying things the moment I would think them. Like get out of my head! I knew he was the one every morning when he kissed me goodbye to go work. I don’t know exactly when I thought he was THE one per se. But, when I started looking at engagement rings one day and I have not done that in any other relationship, I knew.
E N G AG E M E N T S
PHOTOGRAPHER: Youngb Photography WEDDING PLANNER: Darrell Colone of Events with Darrell MUA: Cymone DRESS: Teuta Matoshi GROOM’S SUIT: The Black Tux VENUE: The White Sparrow Barn
Hadassah +Shaun THE WHITE SPARROW BARN WEDDING DATE: October 2nd, 2020 WEDDING LOCATION: MontClair Event Venue H O W D I D Y O U M E E T ? Shaun and I met online 4 years ago. I had just graduated from college with my BA in Psychology and Shaun had just moved to Dallas, TX from Oklahoma. We both left our first date (March 2016) wanting to see each other. However, Shaun did not reach out until July 2016! Weird, right?! He felt like I was not going to stay in Dallas. Apparently, during our first date, I kept telling him how I missed my home country (Cote d’Ivoire) and how I was excited to just travel to France that summer to go see my sister. That made him think that I was not going to settle in Dallas, and he was not interested in a longdistance relationship. When I did not get any text or call from him after our first date, I thought he did not like me and so I decided to just move on with my life. Besides, he is not the only bachelor in the country – I told myself that it was his loss. However, after my summer trip to France in July 2016, guess who comments on my snap story? Shaun! I acted like I did not remember who he was because you know…I had to play hard to get since he waited an eternity to reach out to me, but he clearly could not resist any longer after stalking me on social media. Shaun reached out and asked me on a second date on that weekend. I acted like I was busy and made him wait for the following weekend. I just had to make him pay! Lol. We finally made our second date happen and we have never left each other since!
looking forward to...
We are both looking forward to officially sealing our love in front of God and we look forward to a great moment of celebration. Wedding planning has been even more tough with the pandemic, so we both look forward to celebrating in the presence of God, making it about us two and nothing else, and just having a good time with our family and friends.
THE PROPOSAL: The proposal happened on August 10th, 2019. I had just graduated with my MBA the day before. Shaun told me that he was going to take me to a fancy steakhouse restaurant to celebrate my MBA. So, I got all dolled up and we went to the restaurant, but I noticed that it was not a steakhouse. I started to question him in the elevator because I had saved my appetite for a good steak! I was getting upset – a girl was hungry. There was a guy with a camera in the elevator, but it never crossed my mind that he was recording me. I thought of him as some random guy who was vlogging. But as the elevator opened up, I noticed the guy with the camera following us to the restaurant’s rooftop and as I turned the corner, I saw my sisters and so many of our friends standing across the room. It was at that very moment that I realized that he was going to propose! I was so overwhelmed by the attention that I was getting from strangers, servers, friends, and family that I literally ran away for a second to the other side of the room and started to ball. Shaun managed to walk me back where he had the “will you marry me” sign and got down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I said yes! HOW HAS WEDDING PL ANNING BEEN? Wedding planning has been a roller coaster of emotions. During the first weeks, we were so excited to brainstorm on ideas, venues, bridal parties, and more. Couple of months after that, the feelings of being overwhelmed with so many decisions to make kicked in. That was when we realized how much of a blessing a wedding planner can be to couples especially during a pandemic – we are definitely thankful for our wedding planner, Darrell Colone! COVID-19 has not made it any easier to plan a wedding. It has been very challenging as we had to postpone our wedding to a later date. However, we are thankful to God for the support of family, friends, our wedding planner – we know that in the end everything will work out and we are excited about that.
D E S T I N AT I O N S
WEDDING DATE: September 19th, 2020 HOW DID YOU MEET? We met at California State University, Long Beach.
Jade + Maxine GL AMIS SAND DUNES PHOTOGRAPHED BY Lana Tavares, 222 Photography
THE PROPOSAL: To start, I was dating Maxine for 4 years and was friends with her for two years longer than that. Our friendship and romantic relationship have always been out of this world, and I knew that when I was going to ask her to be my wife, it had to be out of this world too. I thought about this for over a year debating on how to "pop the question". Finally, while talking with my dad about a Europe trip through the Swiss Alps on motorcycles, I found my answer. I made plans with my father and my uncle (who were also on the motorcycle trip) on the where and how to execute this plan without fail. The day of, I took Maxine up the gondolas to the top of Schilthorn, a 9,744 foot summit with a 360 degree glacier view of Switzerland, and found a small goat trail leading out away from all the tourists to a tiny f lat spot completely private. As Maxine was turned around looking at the magnificent view, I quickly reached into my pocket and pulled out the box with the ring, got on one knee and waited for what seemed like an eternity for her to turn around. I had so
many thoughts and ideas of what to say to her, and just how amazing of a human being she is, and how I was going to win her heart over for good. She finally turned around and looked at me and at that exact moment my mind went blank, and I froze up like a kid in middle school trying to talk to the prettiest girl I had ever seen. Thankfully, I managed to squeeze the words out "Will you marry me?" before my entire brain shut down and she accepted my offer of engagement. After a moment of solitude with my new fiance, we climbed back up to the top area where we met up with my father, uncle, and friends to celebrate. My uncle who had been carrying an entire bottle of champagne and toasting glasses up the mountain quickly pulled out the goods and we popped bubbly, toasted to new love and old, and enjoyed the wonderful moment at the top of the world. DESCRIBE YOUR THEME? We are an extremely adventurous couple who LOVES nature. We wanted to exude our love for the outdoors and nature in our photos, because that's where we feel most at home. Our favorite camping trips are in the desert so we thought Glamis would be the perfect location!
E N G AG E M E N T S
PHOTOGRAPHER: Obi Devore; Camera Magic by Devore PLANNER: Obi, Mark, and Alexis MUA & HAIR STYLIST: Alexis Morton BARBER: BFresh; BFreshLounge
Nikki + Mark HOW HAS WEDDING PL ANNING BEEN? It’s been going pretty good! We planned quite a bit right after we got engaged and took a little break, then went back to planning for these last 5 months. We were able to decide on the theme, colors, venue,layout, and vendors fairly quickly. We just have the little details to plan moving forward.
THE STATLER HOTEL DOWNTOWN DALL AS, TX W E D D I N G D AT E : April 3, 2021 W E D D I N G L O C AT I O N : South Dallas, TX H OW D ID YO U M E E T? We both attended The University of Louisiana at Monroe(ULM) and were a part of the track and field team. Ironically, we are both from Dallas and ran track in high school in the same region and attended multiple track meets together over a 3 year span, yet we had never seen each other before! THE PROPOSAL: Mark proposed to Nikki on the day she planned to do a photoshoot to celebrate her graduation from grad school. FIRST DATE? On our first date, we had ice cream. I was so nervous, but the ice cream and the conversation were the true definition of Love. FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? We love to spend time together which has been a consistent theme in our relationship and eating! We enjoy trying new restaurants everywhere we go and especially when traveling to new places. We swear we're food connoisseurs! We also enjoy doing outdoor activities together. - Nikki. I can agree with that. We have aspirations of traveling more as well in future and of course tying food into that equation. - Mark
ENGAGEMENT SESSION THEME: It was a last minute decision due to our first choice becoming unavailable. After collectively brainstorming, we decided that we wanted to go with an historic hotel vibe. Usually the classic cars are out in front of the Staler, but they weren't there that day, so we decided to just f low along and take photos in the lobby and on the rooftop. Our theme was more of an elegant feel with a touch of modern hollywood glam. - Nikki We reached out to our photographer after our initial venue for photos was unavailable and asked her was there anywhere she had been dying to shoot. She stated that she wanted to do some historic hotels in the Dallas area, and we decided on the Statler. It was perfect and the pictures came out beautifully.
D E S T I N AT I O N S
Jamesa + Cory
PERRY BELMONT HOUSE IN WASHINGTON, DC
W E D D I N G D AT E : October 2, 2020 W E D D I N G L O C AT I O N : Washington, DC H O W T H E Y M E T: Cory and I actually attended the same high school. Although we had mutual friends, we never had a single conversation with one another. We actually did not formally meet until we attended the University of Maryland- College Park. Cory was transferring to the University and reached out to me via a private message on Facebook. He sent a message asking to connect and if I could show him around campus. I agreed to do so and we became friends after spending time together on campus. FIRST DATE? We had dinner at Succotash located at the National Harbor. After dinner, we walked round the harbor holding hands and had drinks at a bar located nearby. THE PROPOSAL: Oddly enough, Cory and I started planning our Lake Como, Italy wedding before we had officially gotten engaged. Cory always dreamed of marrying in Italy and one day said, babe let's get married in Italy! I replied ok, and as a wedding planner I began planning! Crazy right!? After three months into planning, the pandemic hit and our dream elopement quickly dissolved. As devastated as we were, it gave Cory the opportunity to plan a fun and formal proposal as the pandemic gave us more time to plan and enjoy the engagement process.
Cory proposed on Juneteenth in DC at the Wharf. We attended dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and it seemed like the typical date night in DC. It was shortly after midnight when he escorted me over to the pier and began to talk about how much he loved me and my son. He made it clear that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with us and he got on one knee and presented me with a custom ring from Lauren B. Jewelry in New York City. I was blown away that he remembered the exact design I had fallen in love with a few years before we even began dating. The next morning, we headed down to Black Lives Matter Plaza on Juneteenth and took part in some of the marches that were taking place in the city as a newly engaged couple. It was amazing to take part in such a significant time in 2020 to allow our voices to be heard! Black Lives Matter! After the marches, I announced my engagement with a picture of my fist held up at BLM plaza with the caption Black Wives Matter, including me! ENGAGEMENT SESSION THEME: We wanted to select a venue that embodied an Italian villa and the Perry Belmont House was the closest to it in the Washington, DC area. We wanted a very regal and royal engagement session. A shoot rich in jewel tone colors. Therefore, I had a custom f loral stole created to wear for the shoot. The stole smelled amazing and was tinted a ruby red color which was perfect for the scene of the
Perry Belmont House. FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? We love to travel and dine at Michelin star restaurants. We love to cook and spend time together in the kitchen with one another. Cory is an amazing cook and he always impresses me in the kitchen! HOW HAS WEDDING PL ANNING BEEN? Due to the pandemic, wedding planning has been quite interesting. As a professional wedding planner that is also in the process of getting married, it has been an unusual experience trying to pivot and shift while also servicing my clients. However, the goal is to remain safe and to stay healthy during this time and we have decided to do a mini-ceremony with our closest family and friends at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO? We are looking forward to celebrating in an intimate setting with our closest family and friends. We want our loved ones to be safe during this pandemic. Most importantly, we are just looking forward to making it official as Mr. and Mrs. Alexander.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Iris Mannings VIDEOGRAPHER: IMG Artistry MAKE-UP ARTIST: Lauren Nicely HAIRSTYLIST: Shannon McDonald CUSTOM FLORAL STOLE: House of Redman
SUNRISE BEACH ELOPEMENT
EARTH, WIND, & FIRE STYLED SHOOT
VICTORIAN LOVE STORY IN THE HIGH DESERT
LUXURY FALL WEDDING INSPIRATION
CLASSIC SOUTHERN ESTATE WEDDING EDITORIAL
MOROCCAN ROMANCE IN DC
DE'ANGELA'S CHIC BRIDAL SHOWER
CONTEMPORARY BLACK EXCELLENCE
EARTH: GARDEN ROMANCE
Justin Douglas Photography
W E DDING I DE AS The beauty of the beach was the perfect backdrop to this romantic styled shoot that has us longing for summer sunrises. . Photographed by Carling and Dakota Photography
Inspiration behind the shoot by Carling Brown of Carling and Dakota Photography “Jessica J Events, a wedding planner based in Maryland, had the idea to plan a romantic styled shoot at sunrise on the beach with a beautiful couple involving several wedding industry vendors! We had a gorgeous arch, amazing florals, hand painted leather jacket, an inspiring tablescape, detailed calligraphy, and of course the beach and waves as a backdrop!”
D E S T I N AT I O N S
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Carling
Photography PLANNER: Jessica VENUE: The
Philip Merrill Center Events
BRIDAL DRESS BOUTIQUE: Elite
Boutique MEN'S CLOTHIER: Christopher CAKE: All
in the Mix Bakeshop, LLC
Gould Stationary +
Calligraphy JACKET DESIGNER: Kimberly MAKEUP: Beauty HAIR: Amanda MODEL: Aly
D E S T I N AT I O N S
WE DDING IDE AS Inspired by the elements of nature, this industrial chic styled shoot mixes rustic elements with stunning Chicago skylines, and modern fashion creating a vibe that is eclectic yet grounded. Photographed by Nikole Marie Photography
D E S T I N AT I O N S
Inspiration behind the shoot by Jessica Levi of JLevi Events & Ashley Best of Ash Best Events Inspired by the Windy City itself, this breathtaking shoot pays tribute to the elements of earth, wind, and fire while highlighting Chicago’s breathtaking city skyline. Think vibrant reds, oranges and yellows to represent fire, organic materials, shapes and textures that represent the earth, and movement within the bride’s interchangeable, two-piece ensembles to represent the wind. “From jumping the broom to incorporating a funk band and collaborating with a team of mostly BIPOC vendors, we wanted to celebrate Black joy and culture. This styled shoot highlights the importance of representation of BIPOC couples and hiring talented BIPOC wedding vendors through support and allyship in the wedding industry. ” - Jessica Levi of JLevi Events & Ashley Best of Ash Best Events (Co-Planners)
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Nikole
CO-PLANNER + DESIGNER: Clover
Events & Productions
CO-PLANNER + DESIGNER: Ash Best Events VENUE: Lacuna Events By LM VIDEOGRAPHER: Nikole Marie Photography FLORIST: Planks and Pistils BAND: Funktastic Productions HAIR: Styles By Jessica MAKEUP: Kimora Mulan CAKE: JordyCakes SPECIALTY RENTALS: Posh Studio Rentals LINENS + CHARGERS: F & S Linens BRIDAL ATTIRE: Belle Bridal Atelier WEDDING BANDS: Hitched BRIDAL DRESS AND PANT SET:
EARRINGS: Lingua Nigra MODEL: Chelsea Mariah MODEL: Michael Heaven
W E DDIN G I DE AS Ornate details, vibrant jewel tones, and vintage glamour are beautifully juxtaposed against a captivating desert landscape in this stunning styled shoot that is a modern tribute to Victorian Love. Photographed by Ashley LaPrade Photography
CREATIVE TEAM MAIN PHOTOGRAPHER: Ashley
LaPrade Photography NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER: Louis
Falzarano PLANNER / DESIGNER : FÊTE
FINESSE Wedding and Event Planning VENUE: Walkersfort
VIDEOGRAPHER: Westcoast FLORIST: Vaso
TABLE TOP RENTALS: Hostess CATERER: Vetter
HAIR & MAKEUP: Jen
CUSTOM GOWN: Terese MENSWEAR: Mr
Provisions Rose Designs
BRIDE: Elle Capone GROOM: James Chrosniak
Inspiration behind the shoot from Andrew Tran of FÊTE & FINESSE When I first started embarking on this project, I knew I wanted to create something unique and conversational. Something that would showcase the natural beauty of the desert, with that contrast of romantic notes. I knew that the Victorian era would bring my vision to life with its gold ornate details and vibrant jewel tones. I developed a vision of marrying the two elements together, where the details would pop out against the natural landscape, but still feel completely organic and natural to the surrounding. The goal was to allow the natural beauty to be a substantial design element in every shot. The high desert has so many different iconic elements, from the mountains, to the Joshua trees, to the white rocks, and Walker’s Fort Ranch was the perfect venue that showcased it all. Every design element we created, showcased the natural beauty of the desert. From the custom designed invite suite to the custom vintage love letters, I wanted to bring a modern feel to some of the era specific design elements. Bringing in elements of vintage jewelry and plates to finish off the elements. The ceremony installation was a “ring of fire” with florals extending naturally from the ground, surrounding the couple in lush florals while framing the Desert in the background. The tablescape showcased a Victorian dining table, accented in candlelight with culinary elements finishing the design. Every element of design married beautifully together, to enhance natural backdrop.
D E S T I N AT I O N S
WE DDI NG I DE AS You are sure to “Fall in Love” with this gorgeous autumn inspired styled shoot, perfect for the bride who loves couture, yet appreciates the luxury of refined intimacy. . Photographed by Alicia Rinka Photography
Inspiration behind the design by Alicia Rinka of Alicia Rinka Photography This editorial was inspired by curating a luxury Fall wedding in the mountains. The team of amazing vendors came together to create & showcase an experience that a bride can dream of nestled in the mountains of Colorado. Every detail in mind fit perfectly with a Couture bride. Tailored to a bride who can enjoy private mountain views while celebrating a joyous day with family and friends in a secluded mansion.
CREATIVE TEAM VENUE: Devil's
Thumb Ranch Ranch & Spa
PLANNING + STYLING: Revel FLORAL DESIGN: La RENTALS: Colorado LINENS: La
Tavola Fine Linen
MAKEUP ARTIST: Liz HAIR ARTIST: Grace PAPERS: Sweet
BRIDAL SALON: The
BRIDAL DESIGNER: Viktor SHOES: Bella
and Rolf Mariage
MODELING AGENCY: Donna MODEL: Taryn
W E DDI N G IDEAS With a classic black and white color scheme and decor that perfectly mixes elegant, modern elements with old southern charm, this styled shoot proves that you can have the best of both worlds. Photographed by Heather K Cook Photography
Inspiration behind the design by Ashlie Muller Celebrations "I wanted to design a wedding that included elements that were classic and timeless, but at the same time bring modern day elements into the overall look and feel. It’s almost like having the best of both worlds. It’s far from vintage, but it’s not entirely modern day either. It’s more of a mix of an elegant style and the old-world charm of the past. Since we used a black and white color palette, it gave the design a classic and elegant appeal. Every element from the tableware, cake, dress, suit, venue and car was carefully selected to achieve this design.
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Heather PLANNER & DESIGNER : VENUE: Ogletree
K Cook Photography
Ashlie Muller Celebrations
Estates | VIDEOGRAPHY : Cinema
Jubilee | FLORIST: Rhapsody in Blooms | INVITATION SUITE: Amore
Creative | INVITATION CALLIGRAPHER:
Kara Elizabeth Calligraphy | DÉCOR CALLIGRAPHER & PORTRAIT: Peggy
Williams Collection | CAKE &
Ogletree Estates is a very traditional house, built in 1908, with beautiful and original architecture on the outside and inside.
These details are what mattered in keeping with the old-world charm of the past, for this design. The beautiful chandeliers
| BRIDAL ACCESSORIES : Gilded Shadows | HAIR: Amy
throughout and the elements that we would bring in, is what helped create the modern style.
Norrell | HAIR MAKEUP: Faces by Danielle | BRIDE
Since the house is ultra-traditional, we wanted to contrast that with bright white, unusual textures, and uncommon
Marshall | DRESS: Wedding Angels | SHOES: Claire
blooms. To achieve this, a combination of dried lunaria, dried ruscus and angelica, sarracenia, white cymbidium orchids,
Pettibone for Bella Belle Shoes | SUIT: Generation Tux
Shells | TABLEWARE : Table Made Co
Muller | GROOM MODEL: Jordan
white anthurium, white peonies, white carnations with leagnus for greenery were used in the floral design. The tree for the
GHOST CHAIRS: Atlanta
ceremony location is beautiful and probably has been there for many years, which helps in bringing an element of the past
Tables | CAR : RIS Limo | VOW BOOKS: Wedding Story
in the design. To contrast that, the chandelier in the tree with the florals and greenery climbing up the trunk, added a more
Party Rentals | LINENS : Party
Writer | WEDDING PR: Published + Pretty
WE DDI NG I DE AS Mixing design aesthetics from Moroccan themed color schemes to Europe inspired architecture this styled shoot brings an international flair to this stunning stateside affair. . Photographed by Tori Del Photography
Inspiration behind the Design by Love Clark of Love Clark Events "We were really inspired by Moroccan aesthetics as well as Old Age European architecture so we wanted to infuse the two views together. The colors of our editorial were gold, robin's egg, mint, and white. We felt that these colors provided the hints of Morocco with a twist of European flair..."
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Tori Del Photography EVENT PLANNER: Love Clark Events VENUE: The Perry Belmont House COUPLE: Janiel and Marissa Solomero DRESS DESIGNER: Kosibah MENSWEAR: Christopher Schafer HAIR AND MAKEUP: Priscilla M Beauty FLORALS: Flor de casa designs CAKE & INDIVIDUAL DESSERT: The
Artful Apron STATIONERY: Charm Cat RENTALS: Table Manners VIDEOGRAPHER: Profess Multimedia
C E L E B R AT I O N S
De'Angela's Surprise Bridal Shower ANNAPOLIS, MD JULY 26, 2020 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y Te r r i B a s k i n P h o t o g ra p hy
Text by Angela Conner
s with many brides, De’Angela faced a lot of stress trying to plan a wedding during the pandemic. Therefore, it was super important to De'Angela's Wedding Planner and Matron of Honor, Melissa Williams of B Astonished Events, to throw her a beautiful bridal shower. Best of all, it was a surprise. Melissa recalls, “On July 26, 2020 I told her that we would have a best friend day that included massages and a visit to her favorite sushi restaurant. But instead I walked her blindfolded into a beautiful surprise intimate bridal shower with her 20 closest family and friends. She was totally surprised.” It was a gorgeous shower that incorporated the jeweled tone colors of emerald green, gold and blush from DeAngela’s wedding decor. Guests played several fun and socially distanced games including “Who Knows the Bride Best,” and “Who Said What''-in which the groom made a surprise appearance as guests asked the engaged couple a series of questions. Between games, guests danced to music played by a live DJ and munched on delicious homemade food. At the end of the soiree, everyone left with custom masks, hand sanitizer and mini bottles of wine. (The perfect quarantine party favors). It was a thoughtful, fabulous, and most importantly safe celebration of the future Mrs. Calder.
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHY: Terri Baskin Photography PLANNING + DESIGN: B Astonished Events BACKDROP + DECOR: Luxe Ambiance VENUE: Lightbox Studio FLORALS + DECOR: BCG Events CAKE: Mondelice CHAIRS + DECALS: The Lightsource Company DJ: DJ Oxygen MASKS: Jace Creations
Best memories: "The most memorable moment of my Bridal Shower was the surprise! My Matron of Honor and Planner (Melissa Williams of B Astonished Events) initially told me that we were spending the day getting pampered and having lunch at an upscale sushi restaurant (sushi is the way to my heart). I was blindfolded the entire ride and had no idea of what was in store, but I would have never guessed that I was in route to my very own Bridal Shower, especially since I insisted that my Bridesmaids forego the festivities. Upon entering the venue, Melissa removed my blindfold and everyone yelled SURPRISE and it brought me to tears. Having the opportunity to see 20 of my closest family members and friends present to celebrate me on my journey to become Mrs. Calder in the midst of a pandemic (while wearing masks and socially distancing) was the highlight of my day and wedding planning journey. I was so discouraged by the abrupt changes due to COVID-19, but the most beautiful surprise Bridal Shower gave me hope and brought so much joy to my astonishing wedding planning experience. ."
D E S T I N AT I O N S
WED D ING I DEAS Inspired by the opulent tones found in Versailles, this styled shoot honors the regalness and divinity of love with luxurious gold accents and seductive shades of scarlet. Perfect for the unique bride who embraces color. Photographed by Amy Mulder Photography
I N S P I R AT I O N
Inspiration behind the design by Amy Mulder of Amy Mulder Photography I wanted to do something against the norm palette wise and drew my inspiration from Versailles. Most people may think of Marie Antoinette, pastels, feminine, etc. I wanted to give the feel of Louis IVX. Gold was set as the primary color with scarlet as the secondary. When thinking about Versaille, gold, red, royalty, I realized there was a certain look of person that came to mind. I did not like that. Yes, that is what the facts are, but I did not want to do a shoot based on what people looked like during that time or what comes to mind in the present day when thinking of royalty and aristocracy. Divine means it is a God given right. It is all humans' God given right, no matter the color or shade of skin, to be at any level of society. Along with a team of absolutely amazing vendors we created this day of luxury. Everyone was excited to be challenged with the 'against the grain' color scheme of gold, red and cream...
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Amy
Mulder Photography Aiken House RECEPTION VENUE: Lowndes Grove RENTALS: Ooh! Events STATIONERY: Pretty Written Things HAIR AND MAKEUP: Wild Ivory Beauty FLORALS: Out of the Garden CEREMONY & RECEPTION DRESS: Anne Barge BLACK TUXEDO: The Groomsman Suit IVORY AND GOLD TUXEDO: Paisley + Gray JEWELRY: Eden Luxe HEAD PIECE: Eden Luxe CAKE: Sweet Rhi MODELS: TouT LINENS: Snyder Events CLUTCH: Cloe Designs RED FEATHER BOW TIE: Brackish Bow Ties STRINGS: Bespoke String CEREMONY VENUE: Willian
WE DDI NG I DE AS Full of floral fantasy, this styled shoot takes florals to the next level with fantastic flower arrangements, fabulous floral tablecloths, floral inspired stationery and the most gorgeous wedding cake- covered in flowers of course. Photographed by Glen Abolu Photography
Inspiration behind the design by Kady Traore-Nignan of Prestige Event Design
In a stunning farmhouse in Broomall, PA, a color scheme of light blue, navy blue, silver, and white brought the space to life. The cozy setting fit the couple and the decor splendidly for a blissful shoot. The evening's breathtaking focus was a floral tablecloth with a hint of blue in the flowery design.
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHY: Glen
DECOR + PLANNING + FLORAL DESIGN: Prestige
Event Design LINENS: BBJ Linens HAIR + MAKEUP: Mia Farah Beautique CAKE ARTIST: Lysa’s Caketique PHOTOGRAPHY: Glen Abolu Photography MODEL: Shekinah Davis SHOES:Nina bridal RENTALS: Vision Furniture DRESS + ACCESSORIES: Len’s Evening Wear AISLE RUNNER: The Original Runner Company
D E S T I N AT I O N S
WEDDING IDEAS Contemporary and chic, this modern styled shoot mixes tropical vibes and foliage with bold colors and geometric shapes creating an ambiance that is distinctive and hip. Photographed by Justin Douglas Photography
Inspiration behind the Shoot by Shamika Johnson of An Event to Remember "I wanted to showcase the decor in a regal yet modern way. With the sleekness of the chairs and glassware the florist added bold floral designs. I think they complimented each other very well. The models are previous clients of mine and I choose them due to the fun and great chemistry they have! I felt they were very fitting for the shoot. The shoot was held at this chic and modern co-working/event space located Round Rock, TX. With the contemporary feel I wanted to capture, I knew the studio would let us build up the look."
D E S T I N AT I O N S
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Justin PLANNER: An
FLORAL DESIGN: Fabian FILM: Hilary
Event to Remember w/ Monarch Floral
w/ Amity Park Media
RENTALS: Monarch RENTALS: Bee
Lavish Vintage Rental
at the Moontower Event Rentals
Haute Cakes Couture Desserts
BRIDAL GOWN: Unbridaled MAKEUP ARTIST: Beautified GROOM'S ATTIRE: J.C.
Fashions MENS WEAR
WEDDING IDEAS Taking full advantage of the inviting warm tones and spectacular beauty of the “golden hour” this styled shoot is the perfect inspiration for a romantic intimate wedding. Photographed by Dawn Derbyshire Photography
Inspiration behind the Shoot - Tori Rippole of LaEventor This sun soaked, romantic bridal inspiration for a micro wedding took place on a gorgeous hillside at a historic venue outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Featuring heavy floral elements, bountiful candle light, and a modern but romantic feel, our LA EVENTOR Golden Hour styled shoot is monumental for a micro wedding look. I mean who doesn’t want to have a small intimate dinner party after they just got married on top of the clouds? It proves that micro weddings can still be glamorous in their own way. The inspiration behind the day + design was simply the gentleness of clouds and the magic of golden hour. I based the concept around a floral cloud idea that has been stuck in my mind for a few months now, and I could not seem to let it go. I chose greenSinner for florals to nail my vision because greenSinner never creates the same look twice, and no cloud is ever the same. I wanted gentle components on the table, clear and very soft amber tea light candles and a gold chiffon runner that was narrowed to correspond to the skinner table, with a white matte lamour linen for simplicity. The roses on the salad dishes and runner are cohesive to the large stratocumulus flower cloud and act as mini clouds themselves. I made sure that the elements and details of the table were balanced with light tones and warm hues, literally mocking the perspective of golden hour.
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER: Dawn
Derbyshire Photography PLANNER: LA
FLORALS: greenSinner LINENS: Party
STYLING SURFACE: Lindale VENUE: Longue
Studios Vue Country Club
D E S T I N AT I O N S
WE D D I NG I D E AS Soft, romantic, intimate, this styled shoot personifies the spiritual experience of love. Photographed by This Modern Romance
"The idea of the Earth shoot came from the Greek concept of the idea that all things stem from the four elements, Water, Fire, Earth and Wind. This portion of the editorial was our concept of Earth stemming with life and new growth. Out beautiful model's dress was designed specifically for this concept by Claire Pettibone herself. Her gorgeous long train was hand sown with 3D fabric roses and florals that seemed to climb off her veil into the ground. We set the model against a variety of beautiful greenery and earthy overgrowth to embody the concept of powerful new life. Our table scape matched the idea with overgrowing greens From Siren Floral , terra cotta plates from Casa De Perrine and a beautiful velvet linen from La Tavola. Our stunning cake was created by the national baker champion The Butterend and she handmade sugar floral and a delicate hummingbird. The Idea Emporium lasered ferns into delicate menu cards." - Carrie, Type A Society
CREATIVE TEAM PHOTOGRAPHY: This VENUE :
Modern Romance GOWN: Claire Pettibone - Primavera gown MAKEUP AND HAIR : Team hair and makeup
Virginia Robinson Gardens WARDROBE STYLIST : Type A Society FLORA l : Siren Floral SHOES : Bella Belle Shoes RINGS :
Trumpet and Horn PAPER PRODUCTS : The Idea Emporium TABLETOP : Casa De Perrin BENCH : Custom handmade bench Marcus Metcalf CAKE: The Butterend LINEN : La Tavola
marri e d at firstsight a modern love story PHOTOGRAPHY: Reem CINEMATOGRAPHY: Malek
ASSISTANT CINEMATOGRAPHERS: DSW
CREATIVE DIRECTION: Jacqueline FASHION STRATEGIST: Golden
ASSISTANT FASHION STRATEGIST: Bre PLANNER: Michelle
MENSWEAR TUXEDOS: Garcon
MEN’S STYLIST: Ijay
HAIRSTYLIST: Hair MAKEUP ARTIST: Felicia
MALE GROOMING: Felicia
FLORAL ARTIST: By
VENUE: Marigny RENTALS: Chair
Couture Nola + True Vale Rental STATIONERY: Eglantine
After getting "Married at First Sight", season 11 couple Woody and Amani are still crazy in love. In this exclusive interview, we dive into why they chose to get married to a total stranger, how their first year of marriage has been, and what they have planned next.
D E S T I N AT I O N S GOWN DESIGNER: Blammo
Biamo Atelier HEADPIECE: Maria Elena Headpieces TUX: Garcon Couture BRIDAL SALON: Belle
Interview by Jacqueline Nwobu
FOR THOSE THAT MAY NOT HAVE WATCHED THE SHOW, CAN YOU TELL US WHY YOU DECIDED TO PARTICIPATE IN MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT SEASON 11? W: The reason I signed up for MAFS 11 was because I wanted to be married, and I love a challenge. I’m not the most traditional guy so this wasn’t out of my norm. I dreamt for years of a wedding, a bride, the whole nine, but never saw her face. Being married at first sight is like a dream come true. Dream turned into reality. A: I signed up for Married at First Sight because, naively, I felt I had exhausted the dating possibilities in New Orleans. I was beginning to feel like if I was to ever get married, it would be from someone who didn’t live nearby. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of sharing my life with someone but I never felt I met men that I could see myself being with long term. Like most women I know, dating had become overwhelming because most men were enjoying having fun rather than committing. WHAT WAS THE APPLICATION PROCESS LIKE? W: The application process was like any other job interview, but this was a different one. This process came with a soulmate possibly. So, I had no choice but to be completely honest. A: The application process was intense but comforting overall. We went through psychological evaluations, a 300+ personality questionnaire, health screenings and then finally meeting with the experts to sell yourself interview style, except with bright lights and cameras. I did, however, find comfort in knowing that my potential match was also being thoroughly sought after in hopes of a lasting marriage. DID YOU TELL ANY OF YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY THAT YOU WERE PL ANNING TO APPLY? IF SO, WHAT WAS THEIR REACTION? IF NOT, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE NOT TO TELL THEM? W: One of my best friends from college is the reason I signed up for Married at first sight, he said to me “they can’t have a show about getting married in New Orleans and you not be on it.” Long story short he started the application and I finished it. A: Similarly to Woody, my high school best friend watches Married at First Sight and she sent me the posting about the show coming to New Orleans. I immediately shared with my close friends that I was going to apply. I even asked a few of my friends in New Orleans to apply with me; none of them wanted to do it but they supported me throughout everything. As far as my family, I was very careful at the stage I brought them into the application process. I didn’t want them to find out about this idea when I got selected but didn’t want to freak them out too soon and I might not even get selected. The idea of the experts finding my match seemed far fetched to me but when things started to progress more with home visits and more interviews I had to share with my parents. They were initially hesitant and asked a lot of questions about the process and my reasoning for wanting to go about marriage this way. After understanding, they were supportive and checked in for updates often to see if I had been selected. DID YOU BOTH PL AN TO APPLY FOR THE SHOW TOGETHER? WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU FOUND OUT YOU WERE ACCEPTED? W: Sorry guys it wasn’t a group effort, I signed up for MAFS then they asked me if I had any friends who threw the cold assist ever. When
we got accepted we both said “awh man here goes nothing”. I think we were both scared and excited all at the same time. WHEN YOU FOUND OUT YOU WERE ACCEPTED, WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? WHAT WAS THEIR REACTION? W: When I found out I was matched, I told the people that matter most to be me, My mom and grandma. Reason being, they have been a part of my entire life, if I didn't inform them of what was happening I wouldn’t be able to sleep with myself. A: I immediately called my friends to let them know I had gotten the good news of being matched. They were all shocked and very happy for me. We immediately started planning my wedding. When I told my family I had been matched I think it had set in for them that this was serious. My mom had a moment where fear took over but it wasn’t long before she was excited about the idea. YOU ALL HAD PRIVATE LIVES BEFORE BEING ACCEPTED TO MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT SEASON 11. WHAT WAS IT LIKE ADJUSTING TO ALL THE CAMERAS THROUGHOUT THE SEASON? HOW DID YOU COPE WITH THAT? W: Adjusting to the camera was normal for me, my life has been on a visual platform since birth. Being able to watch myself on tv being authentically me was different but fun to see all at the same time. It was fun to finally see how other people view you. A: It was an awkward journey being thrown in front cameras. I definitely needed to get used to people being in my space but I’m grateful that Woody was able to help me through the process. When we filmed together, it was easier to get caught up in the moment and forget the cameras were around. The distraction of wanting to get to know my new spouse was a huge help with the cameras. AFTER MEETING YOUR SPOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE ALTAR, DID YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS THAT THE MARRIAGE COULD WORK? EXPL AIN W: After meeting my wife at the altar, I knew I signed up for the right reason. I didn’t know the person I was marrying but I was intrigued from the beginning. She was beautiful and sweet. A: Our first conversation after saying “I do” was a great introduction to our personalities. If anything, it cleared up the doubts because we began to break the ice and loosen up a little bit. We immediately jumped into the serious conversations and that showed we were both interested in making it work together. SEASON 11 OF MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT WAS TAPED DURING ONE OF THE WORST PANDEMICS IN OUR HISTORY. COUPLE THAT WITH THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD AND CALLS FOR EQUALIT Y AND INCLUSIVIT Y. DID THAT CAUSE ANY STRAIN ON YOUR REL ATIONSHIP? EXPL AIN HOW YOU WORKED THROUGH THAT. W: To be completely honest it didn’t change my day or life, all it did was make me aware of the circumstances we still deal with everyday being Black in America and a Black Man. No one will ever know what it feels like to be a black man in America. A: The constant reality of living in a hateful world definitely continued on full display at the start of our marriage. It made me anxious, having thoughts of Woody not returning home after going to the store. I’m thankful that it was coupled with pandemic ‘stay at home’ orders because I didn’t have to worry as much about if he would come back home since we rarely left. I don’t think that caused
GOWN DESIGNER: Justin Alexander EARRINGS: Maria Elena Bridal GLOVES: Varca Bridal BRIDAL SALON: Belle Atelier
CO V E R S TO R Y
interview by jacqueline nwobu
D E S T I N AT I O N S
GOWN DESIGNER: Claire Pettibone FLOWERS: By Nadia Simmone
a strain on our relationship at all. We feel in those moments and have to let go and heal in order to keep pushing for the youth we work for. DECISION DAY IS WHEN COUPLES DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO STAY MARRIED. IT’S WHERE WE GET TO SEE IF THE EXPERIMENT WORKED. TELL US WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS WERE LEADING UP TO DECISION DAY. HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THAT? W: My thoughts leading up to D-Day were like any other, I know the person I'm married to at this point, it's just a matter of making the choice myself. The only thing going through my head during that time was “this is my choice, make sure it's the right decision”. A: I was excited for decision day because Woody and I were in a good place romantically. We were setting goals and planning for our future and that made me feel secure in continuing on beyond the experiment. I took the time leading up to decision day to make sure I felt good about our marriage from all aspects. I knew we enjoyed each other but actually making plans to build on the love we had was important. WOODY AND AMANI, WAS THERE EVER ANY DOUBT THAT EITHER OF YOU WOULD WANT TO STAY IN THE MARRIAGE? W: I don’t think there was any doubt, I think we both feared that this person was really here for me and loves being there. A: We didn’t fear that we wanted to stay married, more so, if the other person was there because they loved being married. It’s one thing to be married just for the sake of marriage but we had to be sure we were really there for each other. SO YOU ALL DECIDED TO STAY MARRIED. WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE AFTER THE CAMERAS WERE OFF? TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS NEWLYWEDS. DID YOU BUY A HOUSE TOGETHER? PETS? FILL US IN! W: When the cameras left it was amazing, because we didn’t have people in our house for 12 hours a day telling us what to do, what questions to ask, and invading our privacy. I love the process and wouldn't change anything but it is a bit intrusive. A: Life without production was like taking the training wheels off and riding off carefree. We got to enjoy each other without the pressure of being filmed for later scrutiny. We moved in our first place together and that was a solidifying step for us. Moving out of our separate places completely, creating a daily routine together and even decorating our place to incorporate both of our styles. We’ve done so much in a year! The next milestones for us will be buying a home and starting a family together. Once we’re ready for babies, we will also get a dog. WHAT’S THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE DURING YOUR FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE? W: The most surprising thing I found about my spouse was her patience and the way she listens. It was differently needed and wanted . A: The most surprising thing I’ve learned about Woody is that he is very motivated and will do anything in his power to make things happen. It’s such an attractive trait because it allows me to feel
secure in knowing that our family will be taken care of as long as he’s here to support us. DISAGREEMENTS ARE A NORMAL PART OF MARRIAGE. HAVE YOU ALL HAD ANY BIG DISAGREEMENTS YET? IF YES, HOW HAVE YOU OR HOW ARE YOU WORKING THROUGH THAT? WHO DO YOU TURN TO FOR REL ATIONSHIP ADVICE? W: We had a couple disagreements but our motto is to articulate what we need, make whatever the problem is an objective and then discuss from there. That way no one feels attacked or that the blame is on them. ALTHOUGH MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT HAS HAD MANY SEASONS, YOU ALL SEEM TO BE SOME OF THE MOST POPUL AR COUPLES. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? W: I think the reason America loved the Randalls is because of the chemistry we had from the time we met and our vulnerability, it was really unmatched and completely honest. A: I believe that we are a relatable couple and that’s what makes people want to keep watching our story. We have pretty normal lives which makes it easier for people to connect with our conversations. People saw us being vulnerable with each other and having an instant connection. Everyone enjoys seeing love blossom organically; we get to fall in love naturally while the world gets a front row seat. HOW HAVE YOU MANAGED YOUR NEW CELEBRIT Y STATUS? BOTH IN YOUR PERSONAL LIVES AND PROFESSIONAL LIVES. W: I haven’t balanced it yet, still working on people walking up to me about my actual life. It happens at the most random times. A: Personally, I’ve been working on creating authentic ways for people to connect with us. We have a new following on social media and we’ve set the understanding of positive vibes only on all of our platforms and so far people have been following the mood. As far as professionally, I’m a pretty private person and normally do not share much about my personal life at work. I had this process worked out for me because I wasn’t allowed to give details to anyone who wasn’t on a “need-to-know” level. Once I was finally able to share with colleagues they seemed excited to hear the news and still allowed me to share as much as I was comfortable with despite me sharing almost everything on TV. I’ve had a couple weird encounters with external professionals in collaborative meetings; somehow at least one person recognizes me from MAFS and then I feel awkward in the meeting. BEING THAT YOU HAD A TV WEDDING, DO YOU PL AN TO HAVE ANOTHER WEDDING OR VOW RENEWAL ACCORDING TO YOUR TASTE AND ST YLE? IF SO, TELL US MORE! W: We had a tv wedding that MAFS gave us which was beautiful but we do plan to renew our vows in 2022 because we really love each other and want to have a celebration so that all of our family and friends can enjoy in the time they missed out on. We were only allowed 25 guests. A: Yes! We talk about our next wedding all the time; we dream up the wardrobe options for us both and the possibility of an unofficial wedding party made of our tribe from this past year. We love the
D E S T I N AT I O N S GOWN DESIGNER: Varca Bridal BRIDAL SALON: Belle Atelier EARRINGS: Maria Elena Bridal FLORAL CROWN: By Nadia Simmone TUX: Garcon Couture
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GOWN DESIGNER: Blammo Biamo BRIDAL SALON: Belle Atelier HEADPIECE: Maria Elena Headpieces TUX: Garcon Couture
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GOWN DESIGNER: Ese
idea of a blacked out wedding. I love non-traditional wedding dress colors and would love to have a black gown. We would want something super sultry and romantic since our anniversary is so close to Valentine’s Day. If our family and friends come to celebrate with us we want to make it an intimate evening for them as well. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A COUPLE? W: Our favorite thing to do as a family is travel, eat, and listen to music. I know that has been the biggest reward of it all. A: I’d have to say my favorite thing to do together is cuddling. That might sound lame but it’s true. The one time you’ll hear me whine in the morning is if Woody won’t cuddle with me for at least five minutes before he starts his virtual class. It’s probably because I can’t cuddle while I sleep and I miss his touch since he gets up earlier than I do.
WE LOVE THAT YOU ARE TOGETHER AND HAPPY AFTER A YEAR OF BEING MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT. TELL US ONE THING YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE. W: The one thing I love about my wife is that I can count on her to be there for me good or bad. Knowing that the other person really cares about you matters and does change the way you function. I love everything about my sweets even if she works on my nerves. I love being a husband and being married to Amani Rashid-Smith. We are locked in forever, just wait for the rest of our lives. A: One thing I love about Woody is his commitment to growth as a person. He always sets a goal and begins implementing it. He definitely leads by example with a mindset of confidence in the processes of life. With his consistency and his want to be better for himself and his family, I can’t help but fall deeper in love with Woody.
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D E S T I N AT I O N S GOWN DESIGNER (R): Claire Pettibone (L) COAT DESIGNER: Sophiá Et Voilá from Belle Atelier | EARRINGS : Maria Elena headpieces | DRESS DESIGNER: Rara Avis Group
(R) GOWN DESIGNER: Varca
Bridal from Belle Atelier
(L) COAT DESIGNER: Sophiá Et Voilá from Belle Atelier | EARRINGS : Maria Elena Bridal DRESS DESIGNER: Rara Avis Group TUXES: Garcon Couture
"I love being a husband and being married to Amani Rashid-Smith. We are locked in forever, just wait for the rest of our lives." - WOODY 102
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"One thing I love about Woody is his commitment to growth as a person. He always sets a goal and begins implementing it. He definitely leads by example with a mindset of confidence in the processes of life. With his consistency and his want to be better for himself and his family, I can’t help but fall deeper in love with Woody." - AMANI
GOWN DESIGNER: Ese TUX: Garcon Couture
PATRECIA + BYRON
NATASHA + RUMBIZAI
BETHANY + BRYANT
CASSANDRA + JUSTIN
SHANESE + MATTHEW
ANGIE + CHARLES
JESSICA + RASHAAN
DANIELLE + JONATHAN
DENALI + MATTHEW
TIFFANY + BRIAN
MAYA + ANDRE
KATRESE + DEANTHONY
NADINE + FREDELIN
KHADIJA + ROBERT
AKAILA + VONZELL
ARIADNE + DANIEL
EMMANUELA + GAETAN
KENDRA +_ ELYSIA
LAURYN + LARRY
TIFFANY + JAMARK
INDIRA + OMAR
TIFFANY + ONYE
S a fe e n a N o a h P h o t o g ra p hy
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PATRECIA + BYRON SYDNEY AUSTRALIA JULY 18, 2020 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y Mo m e n t s P h o t o g ra p hy
Text by Linda Wallentine
ove finds us in mysterious ways. For Patrecia and Byron, their love story began with a random face recognition Ad on Facebook! After seeing the Ad, Byron took the opportunity to slide into Patrecia’s DM’s to see if they knew each other. It turns out they didn’t know each other or even have mutual connections and they lived in different countries! With Patrecia in Atlanta and Byron in Melbourne, the odds of a romantic relationship happening between them seemed slim. However, the couple forged a beautiful friendship filled with laughter, letters, and love. After 12 years of communication, a romantic turning-point weekend getaway in Miami, and job changes that took them across the globe, their lives officially came together in Sydney, Australia in 2018. They’ve been together happily in love ever since! On August 16th, almost 12 years to the day of the two connecting online, Byron surprised Patrecia with a proposal at the beautiful Hunter Valley Wine Country in Australia. He looked into Patrecia’s eyes and said: “12 years ago today, you and I became friends. Since then we’ve shared love, and had our fair share of whimsy and serendipity. Today, I hope to add another chapter to our story.” He then dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him (of course, she said yes!). The pair were set to finally tie the knot in March of 2020, but then COVID happened. Instead of postponing their wedding date, they decided to have an intimate backyard “mini-wedding” in Sydney surrounded by their closest friends and family. They kept the day fun and whimsical with a romantic red and burgundy color palette, bubbles, and lots of champagne! They couldn’t imagine a more magical way to officially start their life together as husband and wife!
Dam, veliberis adEnditat harum nusanim olorpor itatur rem. Itaquos dollab iderumquid qui ut aperundis exersperia nonsequatque con
Moments Photography WEDDING STYLING:
Best memories: Our favorite memories were standing at the altar saying 'I do' to the one you feel blessed to have. We also loved having whimsical bubbles blown over us as good wishes from our friends after our vows, and the photos capture this magical moment perfectly! Another fave moment was popping that first champagne bottle with our feet in the grass and smiles from the friends we love all around us! Ceremony entrance song: “Captain” by Hillsong
CHINA AND TABLEWARE: The
Vintage Kitchen PICNIC STYLING AND SET-UP: She
Picnics CATERING: Petit
Beurre Co FLORALS: Floral
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NYASHA + RUMBIZAI CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA APRIL 30, 2018 Photographed by Kobus Tollig Photography Text by Angela Conner
ometimes, sliding into someone’s direct messages pays off.
Nyasha and Rumbi attended the same university, but it was a Twitter conversation that united them 10 years later. After a couple of years of dating, everyone was predicting when Nyasha would propose. He decided that a friendly gathering would be the perfect moment. Nyasha reminisces, “After proposing a toast to friends who were leaving for a trip, I toasted her and our love and got on one knee.” Their wedding was a gorgeous celebration of family and love. Rumbi shares, “Our wedding was inspired by who we are as a couple – insanely in love, uncomplicated, fun people. We wanted our day to be simple and enjoyable with as little pomp and ceremony as possible.” They decided to hold their nuptials in Cape Town South Africa at Cape Point Vineyards, the same venue where they had their first date. It was an elegant affair perfectly complemented by the natural beauty of South Africa.
If there’s anything you do that’s worth spending money on, it should be to hire a professional wedding planner. Ours was a destination wedding, but we could not have pulled it off and remained in love without her. She was given a brief, and all we had to do was say yes and no, and pay on time. That was it. We had zero wedding-related disagreements in the year that we were planning our big day. She also ran such amazing interference that to this day, we are unaware of most of the things she pulled off in the background. We literally woke up and got married.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Kobus Tollig Photography WEDDING PLANNER: Blue Olive Events VENUE: Cape Point Vineyards HAIR AND MAKEUP: Bride DRESSES: Zodwa Bridal BRIDE’S HEADPIECE: Kathleen Barry BRIDE'S SHOES: Badgley Mischka SUIT: The Gentle Sir GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: The Gentle Sir BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Zodwa Bridal FLORALS: Kadou CAKES/DESSERTS: That Little Tart CEREMONY VENUE: Cape Point Vineyards ENTERTAINMENT: Marimbas DJ: DJ Morgan Stitch LINENS: Table Cloth Hiring CHAIRS: Grand Room Design STATIONERY: Joli Designs VIDEOGRAPHY: MVR
BETHANY + BRYANT CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO APRIL 27, 2019 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y P h o t o B y J u l i e t a Text by Angela Conner
ryant had no idea that a birthday party would lead him to his soulmate. When Bryant was invited by his friend Ceron to Bethany’s birthday party in 2014, he exchanged pleasantries with her and thought nothing of it. Fast forward to 2017, the couple were reintroduced again by Ceron. They were skeptical at first, but after some encouragement from their friends, some wholesome Instagram stalking, and a few intriguing Facetime conversations, they decided to hang out at Ceron’s birthday party. According to Bethany, Bryant was "so shy" that she could count the number of words he said to her on one hand! But Bryant was simply "mesmerized by her beauty" and "searching for words good enough to capture it." Despite their limited conversation they decided to exchange numbers. When Bryant flew from Atlanta to Baltimore for their first date, their chemistry was electric and they began embarking on a long distance relationship. They eventually decided to move to Maine together which strengthened their bond leading to the arrival of their sweet baby girl Blythe. Their destination wedding in Mexico was an epic celebration of love! Their extravagant outdoor nuptials overlooking the Sea of Cortez started with a gorgeous ceremony featuring acrylic chairs, a crisp white aisle, and an abundance of pampas grass. It was the perfect blend of modern vibes, bohemian romance and tropical scenery. Guests then headed to the jaw-dropping, all-white reception space framed by an open canopy and a glorious ceiling of twinkling lights. They danced the night away with their family and childhood friends under a regal chandelier. It was truly a spectacular evening filled with natural beauty, exquisite decor and lots of laughter.
vendors PHOTOGRAPHY: Photo By Julieta VENUE: Cabo Del Sol PLANNING: Karla Casillas and Co. HEAD PLANNER: Amelia Marroquin DECOR + FLORALS + RENTALS : The Main Event Cabo MAKE UP: Miguel Escalante HAIR : Kalixto Blount SECOND SHOOTERS: Maria Lopez Video: Cinematic Touch DJ : Edward Pinder PHOTOBOOTH : Señor Gif LED SIGN : Sketch & Etch CEREMONY MUSIC : Cabo Sunshine S OUND SYSTEM: J&S Audiovisual
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Dam, veliberis adEnditat harum nusanim olorpor itatur rem. Itaquos dollab iderumquid qui ut aperundis exersperia nonsequatque con
CASSANDRA + JUSTIN S A LT F L AT S , U TA H ORIGINAL WEDDING DATE: 9/25/2015, 5 YEAR VOW RENEWAL ON 9/22/2020
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y R e b e c c a E D a h l Text by Angela Conner
ow renewals are a romantic way to celebrate your love and reaffirm your commitment to your spouse.
College sweethearts Cassandra and Justin Myers decided to celebrate five years of marriage with a stunning vow renewal at the breathtaking Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. Cassandra shares, “The gorgeous Salt Flats made for the perfect minimal backdrop that we were looking for. The warm tones in our color scheme and rustic arch were a wonderful contrast against the modern disco balls that we incorporated into our renewal.” The couple even enjoyed a chic picnic style dinner complete with a stylish cake created with their original wedding cake flavors. It was luxurious minimalism at its finest.
Rebecca E Dahl DESIGN AND PLANNING:
Cassandra Myers BRIDE’S ATTIRE:
Asos & Lael Rentals ARCH & DECOR:
Rustic Urban Goods CAKE:
The Chocolate Nut FLOWERS:
The Foxy Flora
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igh school is full of awkward moments with secret crushes. Shanese remembers when she first spotted Matt during a high school assembly. She shares, “I remember saying to one of my friends ‘he’s cute!’ I said it jokingly and didn’t think much of it. Matt and I had a mutual friend who planned for us to meet (without my knowledge). She made a plan with Matt to come over and talk to us while we were by our lockers. When Matt came over, she left! He was nervous and was beating around the bush, and then I just blurted out ‘Do you want my number?’ From that day we were inseparable.” Matthew proposed during a romantic trip to Dubai. He was nervous the whole timeworried that he would have to take out the engagement ring during the airport security check and agonizing over the perfect place to propose. He recalls, “I felt defeated. I was thinking about the anxiety I had traveling with the ring, how I hadn’t been enjoying Dubai so far because I was so fixated on where to propose as well as thinking about going through another day looking for the ‘perfect’ place to propose.” Instead, he decided to propose in their hotel room, dropping to one knee while saying, “Shanese, I love you. I’m the luckiest man in the world and this trip so far has been amazing. But I don’t want to
SHANESE + MATTHEW Dam, veliberis adEnditat harum nusanim olorpor itatur rem. Itaquos dollab iderumquid qui ut aperundis exersperia nonsequatque con
TA M PA , F L Aug ust 1, 2020
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y C re a t e d Fo u r – T h a n g P h a m Te x t b y A n g e l a C o n n e r
wedding highlights Bridesmaids/ Groomsmen gifts: DIY Custom bags, hangers, and robes. First dance song: Best Part by H.E.R Wedding advice: Don’t stress. Have fun with planning your wedding. Remember, your wedding isn’t about materialistic things. It’s about your union. Do not lose sight of that. It’s a celebration of your love between both you and your significant other. Nothing else matters.
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continue this trip with you as my girlfriend.” It was so sweet. Their summer wedding was a visual metaphor of their growth through love. The couple is obsessed with trees and nature, so they incorporated cherry blossom trees into their decor to represent growth and transformation. Their greenery and florals signified the wealth and prosperity they hope for their future. Shanese was stunning in two wedding dresses, including a unique black wedding gown, which just happens to be Matthew’s favorite color. Their wedding was perfection despite switching venues, postponing their wedding several times, and even being faced with the possibility of a hurricane. Shanese shares, “Our wedding went off without one hiccup. The sun was shining and all of our guests (about 100) tested negative for COVID-19 after the wedding. All I can say is that we were truly blessed.” See, love always wins.
vendors BRIDE'S DRESS: Kleinfeld
Bridal Corp. (White Dress) & Solutions Bridal Orlando (Black dress) BRIDAL SALON: SHIC Beauty BRIDE’S HEADPIECE AND/OR VEIL: Cape: Solutions Bridal, Headpiece - Amazon BRIDE'S SHOES: Akira BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: ASOS CAKES/DESSERTS: Publix Bakery CATERING: Affordable Catering CEREMONY VENUE: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Royal Events and Services ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Black Haze EVENT PLANNER: Royal Events & Services FLORALS: Royal Events & Services GROOM'S ATTIRE: Milano Exchange GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Men’s Wearhouse HAIR: SHIC Beauty (Bride) & Hair By Christal Tyms (Bridesmaids) LIGHTING: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center LINENS: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center MAKEUP: SHIC Beauty(Bride) & Beat By Sal (Bridesmaids) PHOTOGRAPHY: Created Four RECEPTION VENUE: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center RENTALS: Flower Walls of Tampa STATIONERY: Royal Events & Services VIDEOGRAPHY: Created Four
ANGIE + CHARLES HOUSTON, TX AU G U S T 2 2 , 2 0 2 0 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y P h a r r i s P h o t o s Text by Linda Wallentine
wedding highlights: Bridesmaids gifts: Bridesmaid gifts - wedding jewelry, monogrammed champagne flutes, silk robes, drink of choice. Groomsmen gifts - personalized cufflinks, engraved flasks, drink of choice First dance song: “Spend My Life with You” Eric Benet ft Tamia
Photos Couture BRIDAL SALON: Winnie Couture BRIDE'S DRESS: Winnie
BRIDE’S HEADPIECE AND/OR VEIL: Winnie
Couture BRIDE'S SHOES: Christian
Louboutin London WEDDING CAKE: Susie's Cakes GROOM'S CAKE: Good Gosh Ganache CATERING: Hotel ZaZa CEREMONY VENUE: Hotel ZaZa EVENT DESIGN: The Savvy Consultants ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Big Reeks PHOTO BOOTH: Paradigm Photo Booths EVENT PLANNER: Alexia McWhinney of The Savvy Consultants FLORALS: Plants 'n Petals GROOM'S ATTIRE: The Black Tux GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: The Black Tux HAIR: Alex Jean Beauty LIGHTING: GTX Event Productions LINENS: Plants n Petals MAKEUP: Amethyst Black Artistry (bride), Noethegr8 (bridal party) RECEPTION VENUE: Hotel ZaZa Phantom Ballroom RENTALS: Decor 2 Remember FLORALS: Plants 'n Petals STATIONERY: Shine Wedding Invitations VIDEOGRAPHY: Cakewalk Films BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Jarlo
ngie met the love of her life, Charles (Chuck), in 2017 when he joined the gym she was a member of. Chuck quickly caught her attention after winning two fitness challenges! Inspired by his motivation, Angie asked him to be her accountability partner and soon a friendship blossomed between them. One year later, they decided to take their relationship to the next level and haven’t looked back since! A year after their first Christmas together, Chuck planned a surprise proposal for Angie inspired by their first Christmas photos taken together on their phones. Chuck suggested they take “real” Christmas photos this year, so they hired a professional photographer and spent an entire day revisiting some of their favorite spots (like the gym where they first met and the restaurant where they had their first date) taking photos together. When they arrived at the last location, the photographer instructed Angie to face a large water fountain. When she finally turned around, Chuck was on one knee asking her to marry him! Of course, she said yes! And the photographer captured it all in beautiful photos they’ll cherish forever. Flash forward to their 2020 wedding date, the pair decided to have their wedding in spite of COVID and took every precaution to make sure their special day was filled with meaningful moments and lots of love! They kept their style “simple glam” and incorporated a lovely mix of purples, greys, white, and navy, set against the timeless backdrop of Hotel Zaza. They also incorporated traditions from their sorority and fraternity and their mutual love for their beloved dog, Angelo.
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JESSICA + RASHAAN C H I C A G O, I L JULY 13, 2019 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y C r i s t i n a G P h o t o g ra p hy
Text by Lily Taylor
ollege sweethearts Jessica and Rashaan spent months sharing looks and glances before speaking a word to one another. Eventually, Rashaan got Jessica’s number from a mutual friend and they have been together ever since! For the proposal, Rashaan whisked Jessica away to NYC for a romantic winter getaway. On the third night of their trip, Rashaan took Jessica to an upscale restaurant, got down on one knee, and popped the question, to which she replied, “Yes, about damn time!”. Their wedding was equal parts luxurious, sophisticated, and romantic and had just the right amount of bling. From the bride and groom’s custom attire to the elegant gold, mauve, and white decor, their wedding was the epitome of chic. Rashaan even surprised Jessica by having legendary violinist, Lee England Jr., serenade her as she walked down the aisle and by presenting her with a brand new Mercedes!
wedding highlights Bridesmaids/Groomsment gifts: Bridesmaids received personalized hangers and necklaces, while the groomsmen were treated to personalized bottles of Johnny Walker Black Label. First dance song: “ You and I” by John Legend Best memories: My best memory from our wedding would have to be the first look. It was a feeling I can’t describe. I was overfilled with joy to see my soon to be husband and to have our son there was the cherry on top. Wedding advice: Enjoy the process. I know it may be frustrating at times and a little chaotic but enjoy the moment together.
vendors PLANNING & DESIGN: SQN PHOTOGRAPHY: Cristina
CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE: The GETTING READY LOCATION: The FLORAL & DECOR: Kehoe
Langham Hotel Chicago
LIGHTING & SPECIAL EFFECTS: Black
Productions CATERING: Blue LINENS: BBJ
RECEPTION PAPER GOODS: Minted DRESS: Ryan
GROOM'S ATTIRE: ESQ DRESSER: The
CEREMONY ENTERTAINMENT: Lee RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: DJ MAKEUP: Troye
PHOTO BOOTH: ShutterBooth TRANSPORTATION: M&M
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DANIELLE + JONATHAN WA S H I N G T O N , D C OC TO B E R 1 2 , 2 0 1 9 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y T h e Ma d i o u s ( K r i s t i a a n a n d L i o n e l Ma d i o u s ) Text by Angela Conner
or years, Danielle and Jonathan were like two ships passing in the night. They both lived in Chicago and had plenty of mutual friends, but they did not connect until a friend’s birthday party. When Jonathan made it to the bar where Danielle was sitting, he offered to buy a round of margaritas. Danielle recalls, “As we sat and drank, we all made plans to continue the birthday celebration over brunch that weekend. Although I wasn't sure I was interested in dating a friend of a friend, Jonathan was excited about the opportunity to see me again. At brunch, I learned just how smart and funny he was. Brunch turned into an afternoon of bar hopping, and we spent the night drinking and dancing almost forgetting the rest of the people we were with. At the end of the night, he took my phone, saved his number in it, and sent himself a text message.” After dating for about a year and a half, Jonathan decided it was time to take things to the next level. He decided to propose during the Thanksgiving holiday. Under the guise of going to dinner, he asked Danielle to get dressed. Then he convinced her to stop for a drink before dinner. She was not enthused when he asked her to go to
the rooftop to view the city. It was raining and she just straightened her hair! But, when they made it to the roof, Jonathan got down on one knee and proposed as a photographer came out of hiding to capture it all. When they returned downstairs, Danielle discovered that Jonathan had planned an intimate party to celebrate with family and friends. For their wedding, the couple wanted a vibe that was timeless and classic. It was also of the utmost importance that they supported black businesses. Danielle shares, “We set a goal to ensure no less than 60 percent of our vendors were Black or POCowned. We exceeded that goal! About 90 percent of the vendors we worked with were people of color.” From their Catholic ceremony officiated by Jonathan's uncle at the St. Augustine Catholic Church, a historically Black church in Washington, D.C., to dancing to Haitian Kompa music, to Danielle’s custom wedding jumpsuit made by black designer Hysis Designs, their wedding was full of black excellence, culture and love.
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wedding highlights Wedding flowers: White roses and hydrangeas Favorite item on menu: Morel Crusted Lamb Chops, Sautéed Asparagus & Curry Mash (we also had passed mini tacos and tequila as a passed hors d'Oeuvres with mini Patron bottles) Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Pajamas and earrings for the bridesmaids; Japanese whisky and whisky rocks for the groomsmen First dance song: "So High" by John Legend Advice for brides: Try not to get hung up on the idea of perfection. The day will be perfect, but not because everything goes according to plan. It will feel perfect because you will never feel more surrounded by love.
Sentimental moments: I am Catholic and it was really important to me to have a traditional Catholic ceremony. Jonathan's uncle is a priest, and we asked him to marry us in the church we had attended throughout our relationship — St. Augustine Catholic Church which is a historically Black church in Washington, D.C. It was such a special and personal touch to be married by a family member. I also chose to get ready with my bridesmaids and family at a Black-owned bed and breakfast in the city, so we rented out the Akwaaba DC Bed and Breakfast. It was beautiful to start the day in a building that celebrates Black history and Black culture. It felt like the perfect way to start the rest of my life. Best Memories Our venue was a federal building with a beautiful terrace that overlooked Constitution Avenue. Instead of leaving the venue for an after party, we hosted an extended reception on the terrace, and it was more fun than we could have ever imagined. At one point, Jonathan and I looked around at all of our beautiful Black guests dressed in black tie celebrating inside a federal building. It felt presidential, and made us so proud to have this moment for our community, our culture — and for our ancestors!.
wedding style My wedding dress was a fit and flare satin gown in ivory with a pearl and crystal encrusted bodice, crescent neckline, asymmetrical draping and pickups, and a chapel train made by Allison Webb. I originally really wanted to work with a Black wedding dress designer, but I completely fell in love with the gown and couldn't get my mind off of it. So I decided to go to a Black-owned tailor (Cheryl A. Lofton & Associates). I also worked with Black designers for my favorite wedding accessory — my wedding jumpsuit! It was a work of art created by Hysis Designs that had a mesh and crystal encrusted bodice with satin pants and a detachable skirt.
vendors PHOTOGRAPHY: The
BRIDE'S DRESS: Allison BRIDAL SALON: The
White Magnolia (Atlanta location)
BRIDE’S HEADPIECE AND/OR VEIL: Bridal BRIDE'S SHOES: Christian
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: White CAKES/DESSERTS: Couture CATERING: Spilled
Augustine Catholic Church
EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Neakai ENTERTAINMENT: DJ
GROOM'S ATTIRE: Lapel
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Lapel
LIGHTING: Summit LINENS: DC
EVENT PLANNER: Events
Cakes by Sabrina
CEREMONY VENUE: St.
by Makki//Jennifer Lodge
RECEPTION VENUE: Andrew RENTALS: Evolution
Event Rentals Inc.
Hall | Nue Film
Lofton & Associates
CUSTOM SIGNAGE: Party STRING QUARTET: DC
Strings BRIDAL SUITE: Akwaaba Inns
D E S T I N AT I O N S
DELALI + MATTHEW P O M O N A , C A | A P R I L 13 T H , 2019 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y K a t r i n a J a y n e P h o t o g ra p hy Text by Lily Taylor
D E S T I N AT I O N S
elali and Matthew are living proof that the best things happen unexpectedly. Just as Matthew was going to leave a party in LA, he made eye contact with Delali from across the room and was instantly captivated. It didn’t take long for the love-struck couple to fall head over heels for one another. The groom proposed in LA fashion- at a movie theater after playing a photo montage of him and Delali. Matthew shares, “We went to see Lady Bird. The trailers rolled and then a video played pretending to be a sequel to her favorite movie ‘Waking Ned Devine’. Instead, the trailer gave way to a photo montage of us to raucous Irish folk music. All our friends were there. The trailer music slowed, the lights went up and I popped the question.” In order to honor both of their cultures and backgrounds, they held two equally beautiful and unique wedding ceremonies; a Ghanaian wedding and a Western wedding honoring the groom’s Jewish heritage. Most importantly, they wanted their weddings to be fun and inclusive for their international guests. They found distinctive and creative ways to include various aspects of their diverse backgrounds throughout both ceremonies and had an absolute blast celebrating with family and friends.
on incorporating culture Groom: For us there was no other way; the weekend felt really different and unique to us. We had a Ghanaian wedding at my mother-in-law’s house which was so much fun. It’s called the “Knocking Ceremony” where the groom’s family has to go and bargain for the hand of the “beautiful flower”. The Ghanaian culture is matriarchal so the groom has to bring a dowry. I was given a list of dozens of items to track down. Many are only available in Ghana. The in-laws really put me to the test and I wasn’t about to be the white dude who fell short and brought the wrong type of “sodabe”. I also learned some Adowa and Agbagza dance moves for extra points. (Points for effort. Not execution. I’m still sore 16 months later). Marianne Greenidge (https://celebratesweetly.com/) was the planner for the Ghanaian wedding and it was wonderful - truly unforgettable. Dozens of tiny special details that made the day feel unique. We also did a western wedding the next day under a chuppah that incorporated some of my Jewish heritage and was conducted by the very inclusive - Dr Michael Beckwith. He’s awesome and a truly inspiring guy. Our band was also terrific - we danced our asses off. Brits, Americans, Ghanaians, Togolese and everything in between got DOWN. MUNALUCHI BRIDE
D E S T I N AT I O N S
wedding highlights Wedding flowers: A stunning bouquet that featured roses and peonies. We wanted a very "south of France/Provence" feel. We had white, cream, and soft blush floral bouquets. Our centerpieces and floral decor were the same color scheme centered in a mix of stone planters and tall gold stands. We had green swag on our chuppah as well as on the stairs for the reception. We also had dainty herbs wrapped in white ribbon for our napkin treatments which consisted of a mix of rosemary, olive, and lavender. Favorite item on menu: The wedding cake was delicious! Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids received a beautiful box adorned with fresh flowers and filled with pre-wedding goodies. First dance song: Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader Advice for brides: Be present! Don’t sweat the small stuff, especially on your big day. Your day should be stress free and filled with joy.
D E S T I N AT I O N S
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? From the Groom: You thought the proposal was stressful?! You ain’t seen nothing yet. Just kidding. Here are 5 simple steps to making this thing a lot easier on yourselves: 1. 2.
Get a wedding planner. Try and make that Wedding planner either Heather Freedman (https://www. delmarevents.com/) or Marianne Greenidge (https://celebratesweetly.com/). Preferably both. Pick a few big things and a few small things that are really important to you and try not to stress about the rest. It’s going to be awesome. Have great music. Don’t skimp on the booze.
vendors WEDDING PLANNER: Delmar
Events Jayne Photography VENUE: Kellogg House At Cal Poly Pamona VIDEOGRAPHER: The Seven Production BAND: City Connection FLORIST: Flowers By Mae Mae RENTALS: Madam Palooza Emporium LIGHTING: Primetime Music DJ CAKE/DESSERT: Artistic Cakes CALLIGRAPHER: Something Lettered HAIR STYLIST: Kenya On Hair MAKE UP: Eric Jallen OFFICIANT: Michel Beckwith Agape Spiritual Center TRANSPORTATION: B&W Limo DANCERS: @yelaco #ZadonuAfricanMusic&DanceCo DRESS: Watters WEDDING SUBMISSION SERVICES: Published + Pretty PHOTOGRAPHER: Katrina
D E S T I N AT I O N S
t was a chance meeting at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges’ homecoming in Atlanta that brought Tiffany and Brian together. Once Tiffany caught Brian’s eye at an event they were working, he had a hard time concentrating on his duties. He spent the day flirting with Tiffany and she eventually gave him her phone number. They would keep up with each other on social media for six years before connecting in 2013. Five years later, Brian would propose during a Fourth of July trip to NYC. After a long day of hanging with friends and doing touristy events, Tiffany suggested going ring shopping in Manhattan the next day. She was obsessed with a local ring store. Little did she know, Brian had an engagement ring tucked away in his suitcase. He asked Tiffany to be his wife on the stroke of midnight on July 5th, 2018, the anniversary of their first official date. The handsome couple decided on an enchanted garden theme for their fall nuptials. After their traditional church ceremony, guests headed to their reception that featured rustic farm tables, adorned with lush white florals, and vibrant greenery nested between romantic candles. Self proclaimed foodies, Tiffany and Brian ensured their guests dined on delicious southern cuisine including candied bacon and shrimp and grits. Stylish attire, stunning decor, scrumptious food, the Coleman’s wedding had all of the elements of an enchanting southern fairytale.
TIFFANY + BRIAN AT L A N TA , G A SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y K i ya h C P h o t o g ra p hy Text by Angela Conner
vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: Kiyah
C Photography FLORAL DESIGNER: Niq Williams Events EVENT PLANNER: Niq Williams Events JEWELRY: Solomon Brothers Fine Jewelry TRANSPORTATION: Cooper Global HAIR STYLIST: Shawnese McDaniel Hair Couture MAKEUP ARTIST: Bee Wade Make Up Artistry DJ: Premier Entertainment Atlanta LIGHTING: Luxury Lounge EQUIPMENT RENTALS: Sweet Seats MUSICIANS: Orchestra Noir TUXEDO AND MENS ATTIRE: The Modern Gent CALLIGRAPHER: Captivating Calligraphy INVITATION DESIGNER: Sandi Spells Design LIGHTING: Uplight Your Event CAKE DESIGNER: For Goodness Cakes CATERER:Soiree Catering BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Algernon Johnson DRESS DESIGNER: Hayley Paige DRESS STORE: J. Andrews Bridal PROFESSIONAL: Eric Blanks Media RECEPTION VENUE: The Westside Warehouse CEREMONY LOCATION: Friendship Baptist Church
MAYA + ANDRÉ G R E E N S B O R O, N C MARCH 7, 2020 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y To r y B a s s P h o t o Text by Marie Smith
hen Andre and Maya first met it was through an Instagram message that he sent her asking if she could be a model for his new apparel line. After their first date a year later, this cool couple both found themselves in love. On their second anniversary, Andre planned a trip to Europe for the couple. "Mind you, before this, I had my suspicions that a ring was going to happen during this trip," Maya said. Andre and Maya tying the knot in a restored Cadillac Service Garage in Greensboro, North Carolina gave us here at Munaluchi major wedding venue goals. Since the industrial chic wedding venue with its white-washed brick walls added to the understated theme of elegance, this motif was continued into the bride and groom's fashion aesthetic. Maya wore a long-sleeved white, crepe gown that was sleek and
solid, with a deep V front, and an intricately beaded back which formed the train. André wore all black. His tuxedo was custommade by Suitsupply. It included a velvet double-breasted blazer, tuxedo pants, turtleneck and black suspenders with gold clasps. What made the ceremony even more special was that the date was an homage to both of their parents who got married in March just like our bride and groom.
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids received custom slippers, custom pajama shirt, custom champagne flute, earrings, eye & lip mask, face mist. Groomsmen received their gifts during the bachelor party. They included custom Yetis with their initials and André’s bachelor party logo with cigars. Gifts for one another: Bride received a custom leather jacket with “Forever Revell” matching the groom’s for the Big Exit. Groom received a gold herringbone chain, which he then decided to wear for the wedding. Ceremony entrance song: Daniel Caesar- “Blessed” First dance song: The O'Jays - “Forever Mine” Best memories: Part of the reason we selected our wedding date was because both of our parents got married in March. André’s parents’ anniversary is March 6th and Maya’s parents’ is March 20th. After the first minute of our first dance, we invited our parents to join us and the DJ shouted out their anniversaries. We then invited the other couples to the dance floor to join in on the first dance. It was such a sweet moment to just look around and see all the couples dancing along with us. Everyone could feel the love in the room.
vendors PLANNING/FLORALS & DESIGN: J.
L. Evans Consulting PHOTOGRAPHY: Tory Bass
Photography DJ: DJ KDOT ART/STATIONERY: Kelli Anderson BRIDAL MAKEUP: AmberLynne BRIDAL HAIR: Zina Barrow & Chante Robinson WEDDING DRESS: Caceres by Pronovias Atelier BRIDESMAID MAKEUP: Ty Bridesmaid DRESS: Kleinfeld GROOMSMEN SUIT: ASOS GROOM’S SHOES: Gucci Jordaan GG Velvet Loafer BRIDE’S SHOES: Evamarie by Badgley Mischka BRIDE’S CHAPEL VEIL: EtsyCassandra Silvestro WEDDING DRESS: Caceres by Pronovias GROOM’S SUIT: Custom Tuxedo by Suitsupply LINENS: Party Makers Event Rentals CATERER: Visions Catering DESSERT: Duck Donuts FURNITURE RENTAL: The Prettiest Pieces PHOTO BOOTH: Mehmet
KATRESE + DEANTHONY WAT E R L O O, I L JULY 11, 2020 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y Em i l y Me l i s s a Text by Angela Conner
atrese and DeAnthony swiped right to love when they met on the dating app Bumble. They found out they only lived five minutes away from each other and began making plans to connect. The Bumble algorithm made a perfect match, because years later DeAnthony proposed. To throw Katrese off, DeAnthony invited her over for a relaxing night of movies, and Chicago favorite- Harold’s Chicken. When she arrived, she found that she was the star of the show. An aisle of candles met her at the door leading to DeAnthony in a tuxedo holding a rose-shaped ring box, inspired by the ABC network’s hit reality TV show “The Bachelor”. A picture slideshow was playing in the background with moments from the couple’s relationship accompanied by a romantic playlist. After saying yes, the two slow danced, toasted and enjoyed their private moment together. They initially planned to get married in New Orleans, but with safety concerns over COVID-19 they decided to change their arrangements. They share, “Many of our friends were pushing back their weddings, but after surviving the pandemic more than ever we wanted to get married as quickly as possible. We moved forward with an intimate wedding with every precaution in place to keep our guests safe.” They settled on the Old Baum Church, a magnificent historical site in downstate Illinois. It was the perfect venue for an intimate outdoor wedding. In three weeks, they gathered all of the materials necessary to make the venue work including hand fans, parasols, and canopy tents to keep their guests cool. Their nuptials prove that smaller weddings can still be full of stunning style.
vendors BRIDE'S DRESS: Laury
BRIDAL SALON: Dawn
Shelby, St. Clair, IL
BRIDE’S HEADPIECE: Honey VEIL: Laury
BRIDE'S SHOES: Ceremony-
Reception- Manolo Blahnik BRIDE’S PURSE: Chanel BRIDE’S FRAGRANCE: Chloe
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: chose CAKES/DESSERTS: The CATERING: Seoul
their own dresses
Cup Cupcake Truck
CEREMONY VENUE: Old
EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Daintee ENTERTAINMENT: Orchestra DJ: A.Eye
- Rosewood Ensemble,
DAY OF COORDINATOR: Natalie’s FLORALS: Something
GROOM'S ATTIRE: Suit
CUSTOM GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Men’s HAIR: LeJoia
LINENS: Decorum’ MAKEUP: April
RECEPTION VENUE: Old
RENTALS: Decorum GRAPHIC DESIGN: D3Media VIDEOGRAPHY: AG
What is your best memory from your wedding?
wedding style: My wedding dress was a 2 piece off the shoulder, ruffle top with drop waist full tulle skirt by Laury Bride. Laurie custom made this dress for me in 3 weeks. My favorite wedding accessory was my headpiece, created by Twigs and Honey. I felt like a princess in my floral crown. My second favorite wedding accessory was my “something blue.” My Mom gifted me a 4 carat emerald cut blue sapphire on the wedding day.
My best memory is the creative way we acknowledged the season. We could not ignore that we were getting married in the midst of a pandemic. Not only did we decide to protect our guests, but do so in a creative way: food trucks, custom masks, custom hand sanitizer bottles and signs reminding to social distance that read, “make the love last give me 6ft.” What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples planning for their wedding during the COVID-19 Epidemic? You do not have to sacrifice style just because you are planning a smaller wedding with restrictions. In fact, a smaller guest count allows you more budget to personalize details for your guests. Getting married during a pandemic is historical, so document the moment in your day.
NADINE + FREDELIN DANIA BEACH, FL DECEMBER 12, 2020
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y R e e m P h o t o g ra p hy Text by Angela Conner
adine just wanted to have a laid-back girls night out with her friends. She did not know the night would evolve into a co-ed gathering that would introduce her to the love of her life. There she was, sitting in her car, when Fred approached with a huge grin on his face. She just rolled her eyes. Again, she simply wanted to enjoy the night with her girlfriends. But call it fate, Nadine and Fred ran into each other a few weeks later at a birthday party. He approached Nadine with the same infectious smile and said, “There's no way you’re going to be mean to me at a kids party, and I’m not leaving without your number.” Finally, he got Nadine to smile, and it was the beginning of their beautiful relationship. One day Fred randomly asked Nadine, “Does it matter when a guy proposes to his girlfriend; like does it always have to be on an Anniversary?” Nadine said, “No.. but I would want my own date.. I’m not sharing my date with any holiday like 4th of July or Christmas.” Welp, surprise- Fred proposed on Christmas Day. Nadine was assigned to be the “camera girl” for a Secret Santa event. As she perfectly captured the moment everyone found out their secret santa, Fred was behind her with the best gift of all- an engagement ring. Nadine recalls, “As I turned around, he knelt down on one knee with both the ring in hand and that best smile I know and asked ‘Will you marry me?’ I cried ‘Yes!’ Thank God he didn’t listen to me because Christmas 2019 was so perfect." Initially, they wanted to wed in August 2020, their anniversary month. However, as with many couples, COVID-19 shifted their plans. They decided to marry in December, but as the end of year approached they did not have any formal arrangements made. They considered a courthouse wedding, but they decided to pray on it, and the date December 12, 2020 stood out. Which was literally 2 weeks away. Nadine shares, “As we marked our calendar we realized the court house was going to be closed due to it falling on a Saturday. We then decided to have both the ceremony and gathering in a home instead.” They knew they needed a planner, so they hired Tres Elegant Event and Decor who helped them find a bigger venue one week before their wedding, so everyone could safely and comfortably celebrate their love! When you bet on true love, everything will fall into place. Their boho chic wedding looked like it took a year to plan as it was nothing short of perfection.
vendors PHOTOGRAPHY: Reem BRIDE'S DRESS: Galia
BRIDE’S HEADPIECE AND/OR VEIL: Hair
Piece by Suriena Bridal BRIDE'S SHOES: Jimmy
CEREMONY VENUE: Lavan
EVENT DECOR/DESIGN: Tres
& Decor ENTERTAINMENT: Zoe
Poze & DJ J-Style
EVENT PLANNER: Patricia
Sam of Tres
Elegant Event and Décor FLORALS: Petal
GROOM'S ATTIRE: GARÇON
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Men's HAIR: Relentless
LINENS: Petal MAKEUP: Tia
RECEPTION VENUE: Lavan RENTALS: Petal
Productions & LP Rentals
D E S T I N AT I O N S
KHADIJA + ROBERT H I G H P O I N T, N C FEBRUARY 16, 2020 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y S a ra h S e k a l y P h o t o g ra p hy
Text by Angela Conner
hadija and Robert’s relationship started out as a teenage love affair. Although they attended different high schools, they both ended up joining a summer track team for an AAU club. They soon became best friends and would often train together during the summer. Robert eventually asked Khadija to be his escort for the homecoming parade, and it was the start of a lifelong romance. Robert planned the perfect proposal during a fun night out with friends. To celebrate his friend’s birthday, Robert and Khadija attended a small dinner and then went to a salsa club with more dancing afterwards. By the end of the night, the DJ was playing “Matrimony” by Wale, and he asked the women at Khadija’s table to come to the dance floor. Next thing you know, Robert walked out,
gave a speech and then got down on one knee to pop the question. What made it even more special was that they were surrounded by all of their close friends who had been on this journey with them since high school! Their bohemian, rustic wedding was the epitome of chic. Pampas grass and a muted color scheme of ivory, tan and black perfectly complemented their industrial venue with its high ceilings, exposed brick, metal piping and vintage wood flooring. All eyes were on Khadija as she stunned in a form fitting Victorian style gown by Galia Lahav. There was so much visual fabulousness at their wedding, but Khadija’s favorite moment was quite subtle. She shares, “Our first dance was my favorite. Looking into my husband’s eyes and just dancing the night away will always be ingrained in my memories.”
wedding highlights: Ceremony entrance song; Maxwell- This Woman’s Work First dance song: Mash-up of Ariana Grande - The Way & Ed Sheeran - Kiss Me Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids - I put together gift bags with custom cards & notes, makeup, and accessories like necklaces and bracelets. In addition the MOHs received personalized items to fit their personality. Grooms - Personalized whiskey glasses Gifts for oone another: Bride - I love memorable items so the groom got me an engraved necklace with our wedding date to commemorate the day. Groom - He’s a collector of lapel pins, so I got him a custom lapel pin with a picture of his father who passed away a few years ago. We were looking for a way to incorporate his late father into our day and we wanted something that was unique to the groom. It was special to see him wear this personalized pin throughout our wedding day and to remind us that his father is always with us.
vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: Sarah
Sekaly Photography FLORAL DESIGNER: J.L.Evans Consulting VENUE: The Lofts at Congdon Yards DRESS: Galia Lahav BRIDAL SALON:
Anjolique Bridal and Formal CAKE: Cake Couture NC PLANNER: Distinction Events and Design LIGHTING/UPLIGHTS: Cutting Club Event Pros VIDEOGRAPHER: Chaz Reid Films DANCE FLOOR: Carey Sound RENTAL: The Prettiest Pieces & Party Reflections MUA: Artistry by Ingrid
AKAILA + VONZELL SAN FRANCISCO CIT Y H A L L + S U T R O B AT H S SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y S a fe e n a N o a h P h o t o g ra p hy
Text by Angela Conner
he decision to downsize their wedding was not taken lightly. Akaila and Vonzell had known each other for eight years since meeting as undergraduates at University of Wisconsin in Madison. Everyone was super excited when Vonzell proposed during a trip to the Philippines to celebrate Akaila’s graduation from medical school. For nearly two years, they thought of what their perfect celebration would look like, and eventually, they decided to elope. Akaila shares, “We had originally thought we'd have a big wedding, and then downsized to family-only for financial/logistical considerations, and then decided to just elope, us two and our photographer. It was what we should have done all along. My advice would be to prioritize what really matters–– you and your fiancé–– and do what is best for you. If eloping feels right, your friends and family will understand.” Even though they eloped, they made sure their intimate nuptials were gorgeous and hired a photographer to capture all of the lovely moments, so they could share them with family and friends later. Their ceremony on the third floor balcony of San Francisco City Hall, with its majestic staircases and towering windows, was simply stunning. Afterward, they headed to the picturesque beach where they read their personal vows to each other. Finally, they ended up at the ruins at Sutro Baths. It was a perfect contrast to the structured, grand elegance of City Hall, representing both their classically luxurious and wildly adventurous sides.
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vendors PHOTOGRAPHY: Safeena
wedding style highlights:
The perfect dress: I wore the minimalist C Bassette dress by Floravere, which was perfect for both locations. It suited the classic elegance of San Francisco City Hall, while staying natural and comfortable enough for our elopement adventure at the beach. The shopping experience with Floravere is very interesting and unique. As a busy resident, I opted for their in-home try-on experience, where I got to try on dresses at home before ordering. Vonzell's suit was from Ted Baker and he looked handsome as ever!
HAIR & MAKEUP: Nubian
Beauty FLOWERS: Le
ARIADNE + DANIEL F L O R E N C E , I TA LY NOVEMBER 1, 2019
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y D a v i d B a s t i a n o n i Text by Linda Wallentine
riadne and Daniel’s love story began in the courtyard of their local school in Ghana. At the time, Ariadne was 12-years-old and had just moved to the area. It didn’t take long for her to notice Daniel. The senior girls she admired so much all grew giddy and flustered whenever the older 17 year old made an appearance after school to pick up his younger brothers. Coincidently, Ariadne became best friends with Daniel’s second
youngest brother, Jr. To her surprise, one morning Jr. told her that Daniel said he’d marry her when she grew up. She was shocked! She recalls: “Here was the most sought after guy in my new little world, 5 years older than me, not even in my school, telling his brother he will marry me.” And so, being young and unafraid, Ariadne asked for Daniel’s number and started their lifelong conversation with a simple text: “Jr told me you want to marry me. Why do
you want to marry me?” To this day, Daniel claims “it is the bravado in that little 12-year-old girl that captured him!” Following years of friendship and an official beautiful 3 years together, Daniel surprised Ariadne with a meaningful proposal. After picking her up from her house for lunch, Daniel stopped the car in front of Ariadne’s old school. Initially, he made the stop seem irrelevant, so she kept scrolling on Instagram. But after a minute or so, Daniel asked her to “please get out of the car” and come to him. So she did, and found Daniel down on one knee in front of the school wall where he said he first noticed her. Heart pounding and eyes glistening with tears, Ariadne exclaimed “Yes!” She remembers it as “one of their most beautiful moments together” and although simple, she would not have had it any other way! After a traditional wedding in Ghana, the couple traveled to Italy to host a gorgeous destination white wedding. The day began with preparations at the Villa Cora in Florence, transitioned to the majestic Ognissanti church for their ceremony, and ended with a reception at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. Ariadne purposely chose “places that have their own story and command their own vibe” so she could add simple touches, like flowers, to make the space theirs. They also tied cultural elements into their wedding - especially with their attire! Ariadne showcased her African culture with four different outfits (3 of which were bespoke and made in Ghana or made by an African designer) and their guests wore traditional Ghanaian fabrics.
wedding highlights: Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: We did not have bridesmaids and groomsmen because we had too many people to pick and we thought the most important jobs could be done by a Maid-of-Honour and a Best Man Favorite item on menu: My wedding cake! I don't usually eat cake but my wedding cake was amazing! It was a carrot cake with a light cream cheese frosting, so moist and light! Definitely my favorite!
vendors PHOTOGRAPHY: David
BRIDE'S DRESS: Pistis BRIDE’S HEADPIECE/ VEIL:
BRIDE’S SHOES: Dolce
CAKES/DESSERTS: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze CATERING: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze CEREMONY VENUE:
ENTERTAINMENT: Kaleydo EVENT PLANNER: Bianco
GROOM'S ATTIRE: Crockett & Jones (shoes) - Turnbull & Assire (bowtie) - Rolex (watch) HAIR: CI-Beauty LIGHTING: Kaleydo LINENS: Preludio Noleggi MAKEUP: Dee Beauté PHOTOGRAPHY: David Bastianoni RECEPTION VENUE: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze RENTALS: Preludio Noleggi STATIONERY: Bianco Bouquet VIDEOGRAPHY: Altreluci VINTAGE CAR: (Bentley S1): Noleggio Auto Cerimonia
First dance song: Our first dance was "Get You" by Daniel Caesar (a coincidence I promise, although Daniel did pick the song o_O) and Kali Uchis. Forever a favorite. Forever takes me back to all the feels of the day.
D E S T I N AT I O N S
EMMANUELA + GAETAN L O N G I S L A N D, N E W Y O R K
AUGUST 19, 2019
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y J o s h u a D w a i n P h o t o g ra p hy Text by Angela Conner t was Emmanuela’s sushi making skills that caught Gaetan’s eyes. While they met in 2014 while attending a boat
party, it wasn’t until Emmanuela posted her
surprisingly successful attempt at making sushi on Facebook that they officially connected. Gaetan saw Emmanuela’s pictures on his Facebook feed and messaged her about her sushi making abilities. The conversation led to Gaetan being invited over to test out Emmanuela's sushi skills in person...don’t you love the power of social media! When he was ready to propose, Gaetan headed to the Diamond District in NYC to have a custom ring created based on Emmanuela’s descriptions of her dream engagement ring. He then seized the opportunity to propose during one of their frequent couple’s dinners with friends. Gaetan reserved the private room with a TV screen, so a video that he edited with all of their pictures could play when he was ready for the big moment. Emmanuela never saw it coming. For their wedding, the couple decided to put a modern twist on a garden wedding. Lovers of vibrant colors, they created a whimsical purple and pink floral print design that was woven into every aspect of their decor from the aisle runner, to their custom circular dance floor and luxurious acrylic menus. Every detail added to the feeling of being enveloped in a magical, floral fantasy.
wedding highlights Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids: personal makeup totes bags, robe, slippers, personalized shot glasses and wine glass, earrings and jewelry set for the day of the wedding Groomsmen: tie, personalized shot glasses with our logo Ceremony entrance song: We flew in a singer named Brian Nhira who sang Leela James “Fall For You” First dance song: "Never Letting Go" by Conner Duermit
vendors PHOTOGRAPHERS: Joshua
PLANNING & DESIGN: Spectacular WEDDING DRESS: Essence
WEDDING DRESS SALON: RK BRIDE’S HAIR: Pure
of Australia Bridal
Perfection Hair Salon
BRIDE+BRIDESMAIDS’ MAKEUP: Sasheen
Artistry BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Bari
GROOM/GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Black
by Sarno CEREMONY/RECEPTION LOCATION: The
& Fox Hollow Catering OFFICIANT: Dr.
FLORAL ARRANGEMENT: Pedestals CAKE: Francesco’s
FURNITURE RENTAL: Evolution
DANCE FLOOR/ AISLE RUNNER: Shout CINEMATOGRAPHY: Luxor
STATIONERY/WEDDING LOGO/AISLE RUNNER DESIGN: By
Nhira Music + Highline
String Quartet DJ: Triple
D E S T I N AT I O N S
DELOPEMENT E S T I N AT I O N S
KENDRA + ELYSIA
P U N TA C A N A , DOMINICAN REPUBLIC OC TO B E R 9 , 2 0 2 0
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y P h o t o C i n e A r t Text by Angela Conner
Bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts:Kendra’s Bridesmaids gifts- Black robes, Black fur slippers, Black pj short sets, Black and gold clutch, Hangers with their names, date, and title, Pandora bracelet with charm, Alex and Ani bracelet. Elysia’s Groomettes gifts- Black tie, White dress shirts
If you let someone go and they return, then it is meant to be." This is a saying that Kendra and Elysia believe defines their relationship. They met in middle school, became best friends after high school, and eventually dated for two years, before breaking up in 2010. Kendra reflects, “I honestly think we were just young at the time and we both needed to grow.” Four years passed, when Elysia sent Kendra a message on Facebook. The message simply said, "You still have that scarf I see." It was a scarf Kendra bought when she and Elysia were together. Kendra responded, albeit hesitantly, but it was a correspondence that put their decade long friendship back on track.
Gifts for one another: Kendra to Elysia: pendant with Elysia’s late sister photo, who recently died from COVID19 and quote: “Always by your side” / Elysia to Kendra: pandora bracelet with heart charms Ceremony entrance song: ‘Fall for you’ by Leela James First dance song: ‘Heat’ by Chris Brown. First dance, was choreographed dance (highly recommend, if you like to be different)
Eventually, their rekindled friendship blossomed into another relationship, and Elysia proposed on March 8, 2019 during a romantic dinner. They immediately headed to Pinterest to plan their dream wedding. They knew they wanted to have a destination wedding with a tropical climate, natural beauty and tons of flowers. They had over 6000 fresh flowers to be exact. While the florals were breathtaking, and their wedding fashion was on point, their most meaningful wedding accessory came in the form of a small pendant. Elysia lost her sister due to complications from COVID-19, and Kendra gave her a pendant with her sister’s photo as a personal gift during their first touch. It was a significant reminder of the true importance of weddings and marriage- the opportunity to celebrate and live your life to fullest with the people you love the most.
vendors WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER: Photo Cine Art WEDDING VENUE: Kukua Punta Cana WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER: Dominicanca Photo & Video HAIR AND MAKEUP: Pippa Valette RINGS: Gold & Diamond Source Clearwater, FL HEADPIECE/EARRINGS: Elena's Bridal accessories, Brooklyn New York KENDRA’S SHOES: Badgley Mischka ELYSIA SHOES: Aldo shoes; Bespolco Tazzio STATIONERY: Pro Wedding Invites SUIT: Bespolco Tazzio KUKUA WEDDING PLANNER/DECORATIONS: Rachel and Mayte Mari- Wedding by Mayte Mari DESTINATION WEDDING SPECIALIST: Carol, Barefoot Bridal HEADPIECE AND EARRINGS: Elena’s Bridal Accessories ROBE: Kaftan and Brides CAKE: Cake Studio Bavaro WEDDING OFFICIANT: Alejandro Angulo BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Amazon Honey Qiao
LAUREN + LARRY PA L M B E A C H , F L O R I D A NOVEMBER 21,2020 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y R e n e e H o l l i n g s h e a d P h o t o g ra p hy
Text by Lily Taylor
auren and Larry first met while attending Florida A&M University. Friendly, and occasionally flirty exchanges led them to go on their first date and
they have been by each other’s sides ever since! Bride Lauren describes the proposal as “An absolute moment in time!”. After a day of parading and celebrating, Larry surprised Lauren by purposing to her at the end of the annual Carnival celebration in Antigua, W.I. Originally having planned a destination wedding in Jamaica, the couple had to completely change their plans due to the pandemic. Despite the difficulties, they wouldn’t have changed a thing about their big day. Their intimate, stress-free wedding in Palm Beach was more perfect than they could have ever imagined.
Ceremony entrance song: “Eternal Source of Light Divine” by Elin Manahan Thomas First dance song: “Into You” ft Tamia by Fabolous
My wedding dress was chic, modern, elegant, but simple. It was a custom look that was designed and made by Laurie Underwood of Laury Bride, and we collaboratively worked together to come up with the design. I provided my inspiration of the dolman sleeve, the column skirt, and to add a touch of detail, having the cuffs be exaggerated in length and with pearls. Laurie added her touch with the fit, the beautiful detachable tulle train and the off the shoulder look of the dress. My desire was to have a clean and chic vibe, but it all comes together when one includes their pieces — a modern take on a pearl earring, my mother’s rings and my floral birdcage headpiece by Filipa Cardoso Millinery in London. Larry’s suit was also a custom design by Jean Francilon of Garcon Couture, a double breasted hunter-green suit, complemented with Giuseppe Zanotti smoking slippers. I would say that my wedding shopping experience was successful. I was not the type of bride that dreamt about my wedding day before being engaged, haha! In fact, I didn’t think about it at all, so I approached this experience with an open mind and heart, and with absolutely no fanfare.
Wedding memories: Ooo I have two! Walking down the aisle to see Larry; how fixated we were on each other, both exchanging approving looks and complementing one another, and when it came time to exchange our vows, seeing the emotion in his eyes as I read mine. Another favorite memory is when Larry and I first saw the reception space, just the two of us, and had an intimate dance, it was beautiful.
Tell us about the custom dress process?
I had my consultation with Laurie at the beginning of the year and immediately felt confident in her ability to deliver - similar to choosing boutiques, I went with Laurie because of her vibe and style aesthetic. It helped that I tried on dresses beforehand to understand styles, fabrics and drapes that I liked on me, but also gathering inspiration from designers that I liked that fit my aesthetic - chic, modern, and minimal. From that conversation, Laurie produced three sketches to choose from, as well as providing sketches for my bridesmaids dresses - I was able to view these sketches on my custom bridal portal that she designed specifically for me that provided detailed commentary for each dress. She also sent me several fabric swatches to choose from which was great, to texturally and visually see it since this was being done remotely. After selecting the dress and providing my measurements, she immediately went into production, starting with my bridesmaids dresses. Throughout the process, month by month, Laurie kept me in the loop with updates and abreast with any delays that occurred due to pandemic. In August, we had to pivot to a virtual fitting vs an in-person fitting in Chicago ,where her studio is based, in which she sent me my dress express. During the virtual fitting, albeit the dress was beautiful, we both decided that the original dress didn’t have that “zing!”, it needed something more. So in that moment, we came up with a whole new design and finalized it - we went from sleeveless, to sleeves; train to column skirt, and even tweaked the fabric. Two more virtual fittings would follow to get the fit and desired drape right until the final dress was delivered to my doorstep, and boy did Laurie deliver! I would absolutely recommend going custom if you find yourself liking certain aspects of a dress, but have not found the one that captures all of the elements you are looking for. For me, I am all about putting pieces together to create THEE look. Your dress can be a canvas that you build upon, or, it can be a statement piece .
vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: Renee
DRESS: Laury SUIT: Garcon FLORALS: Anthology
RENTALS: South VEIL: Filipa
SHOES: Schutz COORDINATOR: Mimi FILM LAB: The
D E S T I N AT I O N S
TIFFANY + JAMARK
WESTIN, FL SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 P h o t o g ra p h e d b y I m a g e r y b y J u l e s Text by Angela Conner
hen they met, Jamark was buying a property and Tiffany was the realtor. They had no idea they were closing the deal on a life long love connection. They went into wedding planning during COVID with the mindset that they could plan a small and intimate wedding that was fabulous, and their backyard wedding exceeded their expectation. Modern geometric shapes, reflective silver elements, modern pampas grass and lion motifs (an animal that holds a lot of symbolism for Jamark) helped transform their back yard into an exotic hideaway. Tiffany was regal in her custom made gown that beautifully accentuated her lovely baby bump. As they watched their guests dance the night away under the stars, Tiffany and Jamark knew that having an intimate wedding was the perfect decision.
wedding style highlights: vendors
PLANNING, DESIGN & FLORALS: Events by Boosh PHOTOGRAPHY : Imagery by Jules Photography VIDEOGRAPHY: Bricks Group OFFICIANT : Married by Rev Roxy MAKEUP: Nordia Cameron-Cunningham HAIR: Micah Cook Hair HAIR JEWELRY & EARRINGS: La Vie Bridal BRIDES GOWN : Hermione Elma BRIDES SHOES : Jimmy Choo GROOMS SUIT & SHOES : Stefano Ricci WEDDING AISLE & CENTERPIECE STANDS : MPE Event Group BACKDROP : Pretti Parties FLOOR WRAP MONOGRAM : @ whatever_loquesea BRANDING & STATIONERY : By Dami Studios DJ : DJ Scoobz ARCH|BAR STOOLS|COCKTAIL TABLES : Luxurious Prestigious Rentals RENTALS : Decora Event Rentals CATERING : Bill Hansen Luxury Catering CAKE: Lux Cakery SAXOPHONE : Mr. Esteban Sax TENT & POOL COVE :Tent and Party Events DRAPING UPLIGHTING & CHANDELIER : Just By Designs ASSISTANT PLANNER: Ria Knows
Bridesmaids gifts: Robes Gifts for one another: Cartier jewelry Ceremony entrance song: Prince - “Adore” on Saxophone
PH O T O : E L IZA BE TH ME SSINA
D E S T I N AT I O N S
T R E N D S F A S H I O N
Sam volutaturi ape int dolorup tatiatio molorrovit lorems
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D E S T I N AT I O N S
D E S T I N AT I O N S
INDIRA + OMAR N A S S A U, B A H A M A S NOVEMBER 2, 2019
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y Ly n d a h We l l s P h o t o g ra p hy Text by Marie Smith
ndira and Omar’s dreamy nuptials set in The Bahamas gave us major wedding goals.
This vibrant couple met at the Bahamas Bar Association's Annual Christmas luncheon."Omar told me that when we walked in, I immediately caught his eyes" Indira says. "During an intermission, Omar approached one of my colleagues and inquired about me. After that, she came over to me with a grin on her face saying, ‘That guy over there, Omar Sands, was just asking about you, he's a nice guy! You should talk to him!’” As a result of that one special luncheon, on the eve of Indira’s 31st birthday, Omar proposed with the help of her family. These two attorney's found in each other a love story and a motto that exemplified their journey as a couple: "Our shared interests with similarities and differences ironically created a perfectly imperfect us." The picturesque and historic St. Agnes Anglican church constructed in 1841 served as the deeply meaningful wedding venue for Omar and Indira's sumptuous ceremony in The Bahamas. Indira’s glamorous yet delicate custom wedding gown from designer Pnina Tornai set the tone for the couple’s luxurious wedding experience. The ambiance of the event and the modern decor was magnified with the thoughtful wardrobe styling of the entire wedding party which gave guests a feast of joyful vibrant colors to visually indulge in. The couple’s well-appointed reception took place at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar where gorgeous magenta, blue and purple tones created a lush atmosphere that was enhanced by sumptuously, curated floral arrangements and lush tablescapes.
wedding highlights Favorite item from the menu: The grilled beef and shrimp was to die for!. First dance song: “Love and Happiness” - Al Green
wedding style My wedding dress and 16 foot veil was designed by Pnina Tornai. I always knew I wanted that Cinderella look on my special day and Pnina had an array of ballgowns to choose from. Since I was a teenager I would watch TLC’s famous “Say Yes to the Dress” show and vowed that Kleinfeld Bridal in New York was going to be THE store where I would purchase my wedding gown AND that it would be a Pnina Tornai gown. My mom and dad traveled with me to Connecticut (where my sister lives) and we would drive down to New York. I was pleasantly surprised by my aunt and cousin who lives in Florida who traveled to Connecticut to share in this wonderful and memorable occasion with me. Fast forward to selecting and trying on three Pnina Tornai dresses, I still wasn’t getting “the feeling”. So, I customized my dress: I selected the top of dress #2 and the bottom of another dress and created my customized Pnina Tornai gown. To top it all off, Pnina was in the store that day and she came over! And! she asked the question: “Princess Indira, are you saying yes to the dress?!”. I said “Yessss!”
EVENT PLANNER: Paulette
Davis at Amour Affairs
CEREMONY VENUE: St.
Agnes Anglican Church
RECEPTION VENUE: Grand
BRIDE'S DRESS AND VEIL: Pnina BRIDAL SALON: Kleinfeld
BRIDE'S SHOES: Badgley GROOM, GROOMSMEN AND RING BEARER SUITS: Hong
GROOM'S SHOES: Salvatore
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Patrice
JUNIOR BRIDESMAID DRESS: Sabrina FLOWER GIRLS DRESSES: J.del
Olmo Bridal; Coral Gables
BRIDE'S HAIR: Lucylu MAKE-UP ARTISTS: Major BRIDESMAID'S HAIR: Lucylu
Bridal, New York
Faces; T's Artistry; Raven Rolle
Brides; Metamorphosis Beauty Salon, and Aline Charles
INVITATIONS: Khattab TRANSPORTATION: First
Invitations & Printing
Choice Limo and Skyline Concierge FLOWERS: Bloom CAKE: Take
a Bite Bahamas
MIRRORED SEATING CHART: Tied VIDEOGRAPHY: King PHOTOBOOTH: Picture
of Hearts Media
CARICATURIST: Waynehead242 MASTER OF CEREMONY: Chigozie
Ijeoma, Hunkachunk Entertainment
DISC JOCKEY: Desmond
Maynard ("DJ MayDay") BAND: Visage
D E S T I N AT I O N S
MUNALUCHI'S COLLECTIVE OF PREFERRED WEDDING VENDORS
photo: elizabeth messina
SEARCH FOR ALL YOUR WEDDING VENDORS IN OUR COLLECTIVE. visit VENDORS.MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM
CO N T E N T S
TIFFANY + ONYE MIAMI, FL
FEBRUARY 7, 2020
P h o t o g ra p h e d b y P h o s p h i l i c
Text by Linda Wallentine
iffany and Onye met at Cornell University in graduate school and have been in love ever since!
For the proposal, Onye had originally planned to pop the question on a weekend trip to New Orleans for Tiffany’s birthday surrounded by their closest friends. However, it rained the whole trip! Although his original plans were ruined, Onye decided he couldn’t wait any longer and spontaneously proposed to Tiffany in the airport on their way home to New York City! It was the perfect moment! Their wedding day was a beautiful symphony of culture and tradition mixed with whimsical modern flair! Set in a tropical garden in Miami, their venue was filled with plants and wildlife (including flamingos, monkeys, horses, and peacocks!). Guests dined beneath twinkling lights and danced the night away in a spacious “farm” house. Tiffany and Onye also incorporated elements of their cultures into their wedding through the food, music, and outfits they wore. Tiffany recalls: “We loved working with our Nigeriena vendor to create our matching Igbo outfits for the reception.” They had a special second “first” dance to “Able God” by Chinko Ekun (a song about being “showered with blessings”) where they were showered with cash per the Nigerian tradition. Overall, it was an amazing day filled with love and joy that they’ll never forget!
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Gifts:Tiffany gave her maid of honor (sister) a bracelet, and Onye gave his best man (best friend) an engraved flask. Gifts for one another: We decided to forgo gifts to one another because we wanted to focus on our family and loved ones attending to witness our union. Ceremony entrance song: “Apesh!t” by Bey and Jay First dance song: “All of Me” by John Legend Nigerian traditional entrance song: “Able God” by Chiko Ekun
Tiffany’s family is southern and Bajan, and Onye’s family is from Nigeria, so we tried to incorporate elements from both of our backgrounds throughout the day. Much of this was reflected in the food and the music. For the reception, we also changed into modernized versions of matching traditional Igbo outfits, and we did a second entrance that turned into a really fun Nigerian money dance. Our second “first'' dance was Able God by Chinko Ekun and the song is about being showered with blessings. Our family and friends showered us with cash per the Nigerian tradition.
CO N T E N T S
vendors VENUE: Historic
Creations & Crafts
PHOTOGRAPHER: Phosphilic VIDEOGRAPHER: IKON
WEDDING DRESS SHOP: A
WEDDING DRESS DESIGNER: Made BRIDE’S HAIR: Beautie
BRIDE’S SHOES: Loeffler
BRIDE’S EARRINGS: Untamed
GROOM’S TUX & BEST MAN TUX: The GROOM’S SHOES: Jimmy
MAID OF HONOR DRESS: BHLDN TAILOR: Lady CATERING: Dade
County Food Group
NIGERIAN OUTFITS: Luciano FURNITURE RENTALS: Mi OFFICIANT: Stephanie RINGS: Bride
– Jangmi; Groom – David Yurman
NEON SIGN: Go
Beauty by Star DJ : DJ Th3rd Degree
MUNA SERENADE 2020 To Serenade is to entertain one's love by display of talent in hope of winning their deepest affections. In our journey to inspire love, MunaLuchi has created Muna Serenade: A Curated Couples' Date, to present the opportunity for engaged couples to experience the serenading together in an unforgettable date night experience. Produced by members of the Coterie, MunaLuchi's curated collective of elite wedding vendors, selected couples are provided with a photoshoot, videography, fine dining, and more. The evening begins with a beauty session for the brides-to-be, provided by professional Makeup Artists; spending time with each client to inspire their outer beauty to highlight the beauty within. During which the grooms-to-be sit down with wedding and event videographers, telling the story of their engagement while declaring their love for their significant other. Stories of support, trust, partnership, hope, overcoming obstacles, enduring long-distance, career changes, the good times and the struggles - and how through it all their love endured. The evening then moves to personal sessions with a professional photographer in which each couple receives a private engagement-shoot. A cocktail hour often follows the photo-session in which the couples are introduced to the other selected couples, getting acquainted and often forming long-lasting friendships. The evening’s pièce de résistance is of course the fine dining experience, in which expert culinary artists craft delectable dishes of divine taste. Together, couples experience good drinks and great food while sharing a fews laughs over friendly conversation. Event planners go above and beyond, adding personal and unique touches to ensure the romantic evening is a most unforgettable experience. Additions have included performance art, ballet dancing, portrait artists, couples games, and more. Following dessert, a Serenade evening often finishes with dancing the night away to music provided by a guest DJ. Years later, couples still talk about how amazing their Serenade experience was - almost always employing one or more of the vendors for their own wedding or events. We are showcasing a selection of the 2020 Muna Serenades on the following pages. To learn more about Muna Serenade and view more Muna Serenade photos and videos at MunaLuchiBridal.com Text by Samuel Naumick
PHOTO: Sequoyah Daniel Photography
muna serenade BROOKLYN, NY
DATE: FEBRUARY 19, 2020
This gorgeous Serenade took place in February at the J Loft in Brooklyn, NY. Featuring an all-star MunaLuchi Coterie team lead by Coterie member Stella Mc Andrews of SoLi Events, it was a glamorous night. Stella shares “Rich hues of red, pink, and purple florals, combined with lush tropical greens, adorned the table and really made a statement. A Bold bright palette, delicious food, and a cool couple truly made it ‘Better Together in Brooklyn.’” See all of the beautiful Brooklyn Serenade photos captured by Sequoyah Daniel Photography.
Thanks to all of our couples and partners! CREATIVE TEAM VENUE: J Loft PLANNER: SoLi Events PHOTOGRAPHER: Sequoyah Daniel Photography VIDEOGRAPHER: Luxor Wedding Films MUA: Brides By Melanie B CHEF: Fleurimond Catering BARTENDER: WSJServices DJ/MC: Finer Touch Entertainment STATIONERY DESIGN: Marlie Renee Designs LUXURY BALLOONS: Balloons by SB LLC
muna serenade B ROOK LY N, NY
Thanks to all of our couples and partners! CREATIVE TEAM PLANNER/ DESIGNER: Envisioned VENUE: The
Ritz Walton Collection
BALLOON DESIGNER: Umoja CHEF: Fleurimond CAKE: Desserts
by Dana Weddings & Rentals
MAKEUP ARTIST: Felicia
MAKEUP ARTIST: Makeup HAIRSTYLIST: Glamour HAIRSTYLIST: Coiffed DJ: Finer
Our February Serenade in Brooklyn, NY featured an all-star MunaLuchi Coterie team lead by Suzette Spann Scarborough of Envisioned Events by Suzette. It was a glamorous, memorable, fun-filled night that included makeovers and a unique couples activity- making signature scented candles. After dancing the night away, couples were given gift bags that included the candles they made during the Cocktail Hour, along with a specially curated gift box filled with goodies from Sonia at SV Kreations. See all of the beautiful Brooklyn “Love Blooms” Serenade photos captured by Coterie member Linda McQueen Photography.
Thanks to all of our couples and partners!
RENTALS & DÉCOR: Jai
DATE: FEBRUARY 11, 2020
Events by Suzette
by Megan J
COUPLE’S ACTIVITY: ReWax BARTENDER: WSJ
COUPLES’ GIFTS: SVK
(Sonia’s Vokalized Kreations)
MENU CARDS & WELCOME SIGN: TwinsPrint CHALK ARTIST: Kay
muna serenade PATTERSON, NJ
DATE: FEBRUARY 19, 2020 Our Paterson, NJ Serenade took place at The Art Factory, an industrial chic event venue. The artsy yet romantic venue perfectly complemented the night’s theme, “The Art of Love.” Our pampered couples enjoyed a makeover, elegant art inspired decor and exquisite cuisine. One of the highlights of the night was the karaoke competition. The Brides-to-Be performed “Cater 2 U'' by Destiny’s Child, and the Grooms-to-Be performed “My Girl” by The Temptations! It was a night full of love and fun, expertly executed by our MunaLuchi Coterie members led by planner and designer Envisioned Events by Suzette and beautifully captured by J Martin Weddings & Events.
Thanks to all of our couples and partners! CREATIVE TEAM PLANNER AND DESIGNER: Envisioned Events by Suzette VENUE: The Art Factory PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER: J Martin Weddings & Events FLORAL DESIGNER: Ritz Walton Collection CHEF: Jahvel Fraser JVF Pantry RENTALS & DÉCOR: Jai Weddings & Rentals MAKEUP ARTIST: Felicia Graham Beauty MAKEUP ARTIST: Makeup by Megan J HAIRSTYLIST: Hair by Sadiku MUSIC & LIGHTING: Finer Touch Entertainment CAKE: Desserts by Dana COUPLES’ GIFTS: SVK (Sonia’s Vokalized Kreations) MENU CARDS & WELCOME SIGN: TwinsPrint
CO N T E N T S
The Islands of the
BAHAMAS fly away