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MUNALUCHI bridal for the bride who craves culture and style

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pages of Chic &Classy Real Life Weddings

Whimsical cakes, stunning flowers & reception decor

GLAMOUR Couture gowns from top designers

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Lala Vazquez Balancing Marriage, Motherhood , & Career www.munaluchibridal.com R R

Spring/Summer 2011

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CHRIS AIRE Fine Jewelry & Timepieces


Hollywood Glamour Collection 3

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Ines Di Santo

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INES DI SANTO Couture Collection - CALIFORNIA: Gabrielle’s Bridal 408 370 4999 Jobyna’s Bridal by INES DI SANTO 818 246 4637 M Bride 858 551 1718 Mon Amie 714 546 5700 FLORIDA: Ever After Miami 305 444 7300 Le Couture Bridal 941 373 3858 ILLINOIS: Bella Bianca 630 627 4027 Dimitra’s Bridal 312 787 0920 TEXAS: Belle Mariee 713 523 0068 Ivory Bridal Atelier 512 296 8884 Sposa Mia Bridal 956 683 8740 Stanley KOrshak Bridal Salon 214 871 3611Neiman Marcus 214 573 2663 MICHIGAN: Roma Sposa 248 723 4300 NEW YORK: Bergdorf Goodman Bridal Salon 212 872 8957 Bridal Reflections on Fifth Avenue 212 764 3040 Bridal Reflections Carle Place 516 742 7788 VIRGINIA: Hannelores of Olde Town 703 549 0387 WASHINGTON: La Belle Elaine’s 703 549 0387 CANADA: Ines Di Santo 416 925 0002 Veronica Di Santo Atelier Woodbridge, ON 905 264 5518 Blush Occasions 604 925 3219 ITALY: Errico Maria Ostuni, Italy Le Spose di Noi Due Bari, Italy 39 080 5244 804 Penelope Sposa Brescia, Italy 39 030 290473 IRELAND: Myrtle Ivory www.myrtleivory.com GREECE: Stella Tseka 210 971 5401 TURKEY: Beyaz Butik Istanbul, Turkey 90 212 296 6015 KOREA Beyond The Dress Seoul, Korea 82 2 512 5798 SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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From the Editor I’d like to share an email I recently received from Leslie Bethel, a Munaluchi bridal reader: “I wanted to take a moment to reach out to you. I just purchased a copy of Munaluchi Bridal Spring/Summer 2010 [issue] from Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue, and all I have to say is FANTASTIC!! I am simply in awe of the creativity, the imagery, the fashion and the beauty. I have recently become re-inspired by Africa...Your magazine inspired me to want to get married.” It’s emails like this that help reaffirm that Munaluchi Bridal is a much needed resource for women, whether engaged, single, hopeless romantics, or just plain lovers of all things beautiful. Aside from your inspirational emails and letters, one of the questions I get the most is, what does Munaluchi stand for? What does it mean? Munaluchi. It’s certainly different, and it’s not a typical title for a bridal publication, or any publication for that matter. It happens to be a combination of two African names, (one from Ethiopia and the other from Nigeria) which when combined means “Beautiful Work of God.” It was important for us to select a unique name for the publication, because it is just that unique. The name represents our target audience quite precisely. We are all beautiful, we come from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, and it’s about time we celebrate this.

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In this issue, which is all about glamour, you’ll find loads of wedding originality to make your day one of a kind. In our exclusive interview with covergirl, Lala Vazquez, on page 42 she shares some insight into her decision to get married, and setting a good example for her son, Kiyan. Besides her star-studded, glamourous wedding, we’ve got lots of other dazzling real weddings and catchy love stories of couples from all across the globe, including Ghana, St. Thomas, and Canada. Are you in need of some makeup intervention? Then make sure you get to know celebrity makeup artist, Sheika Daley’s, “Makeup Essentials” on page 40 or check out “Beauty Box” on page 32, where we highlight fresh spring makeup, and the glam accessories to go along with it. And as always, we’ve got fiery African-inspired fashion in “Native Runway.” Regardless of your wedding style, whether it is loud and bold, or conservative and modern, remember to be the best “Munaluchi” bride you can be, and don’t forget to have fun! Happy Planning!

“Loving This” Eco-friendly treasures Every morning when I get to the office, some of the first things I do is check voicemail, pop a K-cup into my Keurig brewer, and light a Yum, Yum Candle. These soy-based goodies with “flavors” such as Mango Colada and Sweet Passion Fruit, make awesome wedding favors and can be customized with a note for your guests. Get your orders in! www.yumyumcandle.com

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Jacqueline Jacqueline Nwobu

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Thinking about what to give your bridesmaids for putting up with your demands? How about a cute gift bag filled with various beauty products including FSL Cosmetics. Not only are they hypoallergenic and GREAT for the environment, but they actually protect your lips. My favorite is the lipgloss in Brown Butter and the lipstick in Pomegranate. Oh, and they actually do taste good:) www.fslcosmetics.com

Continue to send your letters to me (editor@munaluchibridal.com), I love the feedback.


CLAIRE PETTIBONE FLAGSHIP 236 SOUTH ROBERTSON BLVD BEVERLY HILLS, CA 310.360.6268 AZ Paradise Valley, Mariee Gallery 480.946.4343 CA Corona Del Mar, The White Dress 949.723.0121 Del Mar, Bliss Bride 858.847.3115 San Francisco, Marina Morrison 415.984.9360 CO Denver, Little White Dress 303.814.8972 FL Bradenton, Le Couture Bridal Boutique 941.373.3858 GA Atlanta, Kelly’s Closet 404.377.9923 MA Amesbury, Bella Bridal Shoppe 978.388.4388 MI West Bloomfield, Maria’s Bridal Couture 248.539.3090 MS Jackson, The Bridal Path 601.982.8267 MN Rochester, Mestads 507.289.2444 Saint Paul, L’Atelier Couture 651.602.9492 NC Cary, Alexia’s Bridal Boutique 919.481.6633, Lana Addison Bridal 919.460.8822 Charlotte, J Major’s 704.372.0082 NJ Englewood, Jae Hee Bridal Atelier 201.541.0077 NY New York, Kleinfeld 646.633.4300 OH Cincinnati, Bridal and Formal 513.821.6622 OK Oklahoma City, JJ Kelly Bridal 405.752.0029 OR Portland, Ania Collection 503.796.9170 PA Jenkintown, Nicole Bridal & Formal 215.886.2333 TX Plano, Stardust Celebrations 972.781.1619 UT Salt Lake City, White Couture 801.865.4438 VA Alexandria, Hannelore’s 703.549.0387 VT Burlington, Sewly Yours 802.660.9003 INTERNATIONAL SALONS CANADA Calgary, Evelina Couture 403.264.3788 Kleinburg, Studio Sposa 905.893.8100 CHINA Shanghai, Sinclair Bridal 86.138.1773.1420 IRELAND Dublin, Myrtle Ivory Bridal Couture 353.167.53519 JAPAN Osaka, Matsuo International 06.6541.0009 NETHERLANDS Hoorn, Petra Sophia Weddings 0031.229.272622 UNITED KINGDOM Cheshire, Amy Louise Bridal 01270.620594 Hertfordshire, Morgan Davies 01462.432232 London, Blackburn Bridal Couture 0208.297.1188 Manchester, The White Closet 0161.4455678 Nottingham, New Bride 0115.840.1414 Solihull, Ivory Tower Bridal 01564.770066 Suffolk, Clare Bridal Studio 01787.279059 South Glamorgan, High Society 01446.771775 West Sussex, White Mischief Bride 01273.495566

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jacqueline Nwobu

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Eronmwon Balogun MANAGING EDITOR

Ruth Ruggentaler-Cooper

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Akua Abeasi CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, Dreena Whitfield, Fri Forjindam, Prudence Chauke EDITORIAL INTERNS Kaylyn Eshesimua Ewere Asuen (Fashion) 10

PUBLISHER Chike Nwobu

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Published by Munaluchi, LLC. 212 Route 38 West, Suite 200 Moorestown, NJ 08057 856.380.4068

Cover Model: Alani “Lala” Vazquez Photography: Stephanie Matthews Stylist: Michelle Washington Hair: Tippi Shorter Makeup: Sheika Daley Jewelry: Regina B. Gown: Vera Wang courtesy of Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

R BUSINESS DIRECTOR Uche Amaonwu

SALES/MARKETING DIRECTOR Akosua Amaonwu

ADVERTISING MANAGER Ben Anokute

(advertise@munaluchibridal.com)

MARKETING INTERNS Crystal Cook Harrison Asuen

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.

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IN THIS ISSUE

features

A Conversation with Lala Vazquez “The Sophisticate”: A Bridal Editorial Beauty Box: Makeup, jewelry and accessories Get the Right Lacquer for Your Wedding Day

Makeup Tips with Celebrity MUA, Sheika Daley “Make Frugal Fabulous” with the Budgetnista Relationship Corner: ”Just the Two of Us” Culture Clash: Fashion Editorial “Diaspora Diva”

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departments Bridal Runway

Native Runway Men’s Runway The Pearls of Africa: South Africa Hot Picks Sweet Tooth Ask the Expert Lifestyle: WAFRICA

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photo-dialog “Urban Chic”

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spotlight 52 72 108 172

Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier Janie Medley: Florist and Owner of The Bride’s Cafe Ron and Ron: Fashion forward custom Men’s suits Honeymoons: Give the gift of travel

Diamond Directory An exclusive listing of professional wedding vendors from across the globe.

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Real Weddings Lala Vazquez + Carmelo Anthony

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Susan Nwoke + Mark Leppke

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Cherise Tidd + Shann Bernard

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Frances Baawuah + Gillies Heward-Mills

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Azie Akhigbe + Wale Akinde

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Liza Lee + Olugbemiga Ajasin

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Marie-Frances Likanje + Wednaud Ronelus

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NEW YORK CITY

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

ST. THOMAS

ACCRA, GHANA

LAGOS, NIGERIA

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MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO CANADA

MACARI VINEYARDS, NY

Ade Adeniyi + Yomi Agbaje GREENWICH, LONDON

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Adetola Rahman + Jaison Taylor

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Kiki Kamanu + Noble Ekajah

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NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY

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Ad A Royal Estate of Affairs

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Contributors

DREENA WHITFIELD FRI FORJINDAM

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There are two things Fri Forjindam knows for sure: First, “Chocolate isn’t a luxury, but a necessity,” and “Heritage and modern style can co-exist in Vogue harmony.” As the Founder and Editor of Wedding Nouveau, the ultimate style guide for intercultural brides and multi-ethnic weddings, Fri is passionate about crafting uniquely styled and heritage-infused wedding experiences for today’s modern bride. A MFA graduate of Columbia University, with over 10 years of experience as a writer, creative designer, and theatre artist, Fri’s goal is to extend the style conversation one culture at a time. Stay connected with Fri by visiting her website Wedding Nouveau at www.weddingnouveau.com.

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TIFFANY ALICHE THABISILE CHAUKE Prudence is a South African bornAshworth University Business Management Degree Graduate, whose journey began as a radio disc jockey and an assistant at www.sarfmradio.com. Currently, she is a freelance writer and a music editor for www.jamationline.com and www.Africa.com. Prudence’s rumblings are known to tell the blissful tales of African artistry and pave a way for its artistry makers. Prudence is an active NYC journalist whose mission is to continuously bring to the society the beautiful elements of African culture and artistry that society never gets to see. As a Lucille Roberts Fitness Trainer, Prudence’s aim to be the voice for women in their health and fitness journey.

Tiffany ‘The Budgetnista’ Aliche is a passionate teacher of fun, financial empowerment. She began her journey to help empower communities through financial literacy by helping family and friends first and then extending her services to churches, schools and community centers. She started her own financial consulting company, CLD Financial Life LLC, to help show others how to make frugal, FABULOUS. Keeping in line with the mission of CLD, Tiffany has written a 12-step easy budget guide book, The One Week Budget. Her book is proof that you can do more with less. To learn more, visit her site, thebudgetnista.biz or email her at thebudgetnista@gmail.com.

Dreena Whitfield is the principal of WhitPR, a boutique public relations and special events agency specializing in fashion, beauty, art and lifestyle brands based out of New Jersey. In addition to contributing to Munaluchi Bridal, Dreena has contributed to The African Magazine, Jersey Woman Magazine, New York Cool, Sheckys.com and examiner.com.


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“The Sophisticate� A luxury bridal editorial featuring gowns from top designers...for brides with discerning taste. Photographed by Stephanie Matthews Stylist: Michelle Washington Hair: Kira Simpson for HuSH Salon, NJ Makeup: MelissaRoshan Perkins Asst. Stylist: Ewere Asuen

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Gown : David Tutera by Faviana “Diane” feather hat: Harlem’s Heaven Hats

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Gown: Priscilla of Boston Rhinestone Headband/bracelet: Regina B.

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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” -Leonardo DaVinci


Gown: Romona Keveza Hair Accessory/gloves: Dianna Castner

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a cosmopolitan socialite, with global appeal... SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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Gown: Monique Lhullier courtesy of Kleinfeld Bridal Hair Accessory: Harlem’s Heaven Hats

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Gown: Kenneth Pool “Harmony” Rhinestone Headband: Dianna Castner Bracelets: Regina B. SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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Gown: Kenneth Pool “Lovely” Tulle Headband: Dianna Castner Gemstone Bracelet: Charles Albert

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Gown: David Tutera by Faviana “Eva” Hair Accessory: Harlems Heaven Hats Gloves: Icing by Claire’s Shoes: Sergio Zelcer

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Gown: Monique Lhuillier courtesy of Kleinfeld Bridal necklace: Charles Albert

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Gown: Claire Pettibone courtesy of Kleinfeld Bridal Lace Tiara: Dianna Castner

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Fax (973) 239-4052

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Photography: christian Oth

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eautybox

Stunning makeup tips for a fresh, luminous spring look + Jewelry and Accessories to get you glamourous for your big day.

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Photographed by Stephanie Matthews Stylist: Michelle Washington Hair: Kira Simpson for HuSH Salon, NJ Makeup: MelissaRoshan Perkins Asst. Stylist: Ewere Asuen

Get The Look

Spring makeup should be light and fresh. Makeup artist MelissaRoshan recommends Iman Cosmetics Stick Foundation in ‘Earth 3.’ to create these looks. “This foundation is a staple in my kit...it provides gorgeous, buildable coverage wihout weighing the skin down.”

Two toned eyes are the way to go for the fashionable bride. For the eyes, MAC Cosmetics, ‘Rice Paper’ eyeshadow over the lid, and MAC’s teal colored ‘Shimmer Moss’ on the lower lid. Top it off with a cocoacolored gloss, and you’re ready to make the aisle your runway!

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This Spread:

Gown: ‘Winona’ by Maggie Sottero Accessories: Alan Ray Bridal

Regina B Dianna Castner

Earrings: Feather headband + Gloves:

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Earrings: Regina B. Hair Accessory: Dianna Castner Necklace: Couture Saboteur Gloves: Dianna Castner

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Get The Look Makeup artist MelissaRoshan loves using an array of pink and mauve colors on women of color. She notes that these colors can really brighten the complexion when chosen correctly. On Anouschka, MAC eyeshadow in ‘Da Bling.’ Add two coats of Christian Dior’s Dior Show Mascara, and blush color by MAC in ‘Dame’ on the cheeks. To complete the look, a concealer was applied over the lips, followed by a sheer gloss for an updated “mod squad” look. SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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Get The Look

Don’t be afraid of color! For Anouschka’s eyeshadow, MAC Cosmetic’s ‘Passionate’ was applied over the lid, followed by a sheer lip gloss for eyes that pop. “Make your eyeshadow stretch, and apply the same for your lips!”-MelissaRoshan

Earrings + Necklace: Regina B. Tulle Hat: Dianna Castner Rhinestone Gloves: David Tutera by Faviana

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Get The Look

On Anouschka’s eyes, MelissaRoshan used MAC eyeshadow in ‘Rice Paper’ all over the lid and lower lash line. For the lips, Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Lipgloss in ‘Chocolate’ for an easy and fresh spring look.

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Earrings + Necklace: Regina B. Hair Accessory: Regina B. & Diana Castner

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>Get Polished

Nail polish can be a super stylish accessory. With over 10,000 shades of polish to choose from just in the US alone, selecting the right polish for your wedding day mani and pedi can be a daunting task. Well fret no more! These selections of pretty pinks, pastels and a splash of color from Ginger + Liz Signature Colour Collection are sure to help you create a classic and elegant look.

1.

2.

Barely There: For a classic look, these “barely there” shades will do the trick. Try (1) ‘Half Naked’ for a classy chic look, or step it up a notch with the sheer but glittery (2) ‘High Maintenance.’

Metallics + Pastels:

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Metallics like (3) ‘Swagger’and pastels are in for this season. Try (4) ‘He’s So Into Me.’ It’s the perfect lilac shade, and incorporates softness and color without being too dramatic.

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Skintone Matters Not all colors works for your skintone. To get the best polish for your tone, determine if the polish is blue or yellow based by holding it against your inner wrist or against a white piece of paper. Blue based polishes are great for fair skin. Yellow based polishes work better for darker complexions.

Ginger + Liz Colour Collection is the new “celebrity-status” line of lacquers that are eco-friendly, and health conscious with a vegan- friendly and toxin-free formula. The buzzworthy brand was started by S. Liz Pickett and Ginger Johnson, with the fashionista in mind. Visit www.gingerandliz.com to see what everyone’s buzzing about.

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Mix and Match: A loud color adds some punch to your look when used for your pedi. Opt for a bright blue like Ginger N Liz ‘Chase Me’ (5) or the more subtle “Boy Toy” (6) to incorporate "something blue.”

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>Makeup Essentials with Sheika Daley Fresh, youthful wedding and everyday makeup you can do yourself. Sheika Daley has been dressing up some of the most famous faces in Hollywood including Lala Vazquez, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian and Kelly Rowland. Here, she gives quick tips to an utterly flawless face.

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Some of my favorite beauty tips start with great skin care. I use make up as an enhancement, not a cover up. Once you start with a great skin care regiment, the makeup can be your accessory. Make sure you choose a regiment that matches your skin type and no matter what type of skin you have - Moisturize . Moisturize. Moisturize.

RECOVERY If ever after those late nights of partying (bachelorette party for example), and you wake up the next morning with bags under those eyes; a quick fix that works great is preparation H. Apply a small amount under your eyes for about ten minutes, and watch those bags soon disappear!

LIP MAINTENANCE This is perfect for the winter time. Lip scrub ladies! With the cold weather comes chapped lips. Take your toothbrush and a little toothpaste and sugar. Brush your lips for about 60 seconds. It not only polishes the dead skin from your lips, but it helps with the blood circulation leaving a beautiful rosy tint.

Lash Envy FINISHING TOUCH

Lashes are my favorite addition to compliment a woman’s beauty in their face. Mascara and lipgloss are the two things that I never leave the house without putting on. Unless you have naturally full and beautiful lashes, a great pair of lashes always finishes your look. Try to look for lashes that are wispy and that start off short and get longer towards the end. That shape of lash mimics the shape of your natural lashes.

DIY A great tip on easy lash application when doing them yourself is to apply the glue to the lash and allow it to dry slightly. This saves time and will prevent them from slipping out of place before it dries. When applying your own lashes, use a hand mirror rather than a bathroom mirror and place it on top of your counter. Looking down into the mirror will leave your eyes half closed and you’ll be able to apply them much easier than looking straight on.

DOUBLE UP Don’t be afraid to double your lashes. Sometimes one just isn’t enough. If you want that ultra glam look, try two pairs. Be Bold! Some lashes may come in longer lengths. Try on your lashes first without glue to measure and cut off any extra length.

Look for more exclusive how-to looks from Celebrity Makeup Artist, Sheika Daley coming soon on her website and blogisodes launching Spring 2011. For more beauty tips, follow her on twitter @officialsheiks.

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On your wedding day,

experience something spectacular.

The Wilshire Grand Caterers 350 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange, NJ 973-736-3240 thewilshiregrandcaterers.com

At The Wilshire Grand Hotel

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Real Weddings

A Conversation with Lala With a fruitful career as a popular former MTV VJ host, hosting her own radio show in one of the top 3 markets in the country, and several small roles in motion pictures, Lala Vazquez (actor/producer) has covered much ground in the past 10 years. On July 10, 2010, she added the role of wife to her roster when she married her soulmate, Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony, at the legendary Cipriani on 42nd St. in NYC. In our interview, Lala Vazquez discusses motherhood, career, and her new role as wife.

How did you and your husband Carmelo Anthony meet? We met through a mutual friend DJ Clue. I was hosting a show on MTV with DJ Clue at the time and he said I really want to introduce you to someone that wants to meet you. He introduced us and it started off as a friendship which evolved over time into something more. Do you remember your first date? I do remember our first date, actually. I was shooting something for MTV when they used to have those summer beach house shows. I was shooting in Long Beach, and he flew there to see me. We had dinner at the hotel I was staying at, and hung out that night. It was a fun time, I remember it vividly. How and when did Carmelo propose? Do you recall that day? He proposed to me on Christmas of 2004. It was the end of Christmas, we were going to bed. I didn’t think anything of it, I [figured] we opened our gifts for the day and it was over with....and then he just surprised me and pulled out a ring asking me to marry him. I was completely surprised and caught off guard.

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You were with Carmelo for four years when you had your son, Kiyan. After Kiyan was born, how did life change for you? I have another person to be responsible for. I want to set a good example for him. I want to make the right choices. I want him to be proud of his mom and dad and the decisions we make. [As a mom] you find yourself thinking things through a lot more than you would have before, and how they will affect [the childs] life. You totally just have a different perspective on things. What made you decide to get married after 7 years of being in a relationship? It was something we never really talked about. Then Kiyan was old enough to figure out what was going on. He would ask ‘Why does mommy have a different last name than me and daddy?’ We realized we should do this. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be married. We lived together, we have a great relationship...so once we started having the conversation, it happened. Are you planning on changing your last name? Legally I already changed my last name. It is Anthony, but for work stuff I’m still trying to figure it out. Eventually, anything is a natural progression. I’ll let it happen naturally. Now that you’re married, has anything as far as the dynamics of you and Carmelo’s relationship changed? The dynamics of the relationship are the same, because we have been together for so long. I would be lying if I said there isn’t a place inside of me that just knows it’s done and official. Especially after all the speculation and people saying it would never happen. Overall, the relationship is the same. How has Kiyan responded to the wedding? He’s great! He doesn’t know anything different. He thinks we all got married and asks ‘when are we going to get married again?’ He doesn’t understand the dynamics of it now but it’s great to be a family unit and united in that way...We’re really happy about it. We wanted to set a good example for him. What was your biggest challenge in planning your wedding? The hardest thing was the guest list. It’s hard because you don’t want to offend people. When it was all said and done we went way over our projected number.

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Lala’s ivory satin-wrapped bouquet made of amore roses and adorned with crystals and rhinestones to match her custommade Vera Wang gown.

Succesfully juggling being a mother, entrepreneur and now a wife is “a constant balancing act. But just like anything else, if you put the time and energy into it, you will get the results you want out of it.”

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Is there anything you would have done differently? Looking back, it was the best time I could have ever imagined. It was the best time ever. I had so much fun, so not at all. What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple? We love to be couch potatoes and watch movies and tv and hang out. We’re always so busy so we use any chance we have to have downtime together. So what’s next for you in your career? In January I have a movie coming out with 50 Cent and Val Kilmer called The Gun. I’m excited about that. I’m trying to figure out if I’m going to do another season of the reality show. And continuing to audition and take my acting classes to break into the acting side as best I can.

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Has acting been a passion of yours? Yes it has, i lived in LA and was on the radio and started getting into acting, then i got the mtv job so it pulled me away from it. This movie will Val Kilmer and 50 Cent is a good re-introduction into the film world. You and Carmelo have maintained this great relationship. What advice would you give to newly married couples? You have to make time for each other even outside of kids if you have any. Being pulled in so many directions, you forget to give energy and time to your own relationships. Have date nights, go to the movies...can’t forget that because that’s what got you to the place you are in and you dont want to lose the fun of the relationship.

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Bridal Gown: Vera Wang

Caterer: Cipriani

Event Design: Ed Libby Events

Entertainment: DJ Clue

Formalwear: Waraire Boswell

Hair:

Crystal Oliver

Honeymoon: Costa Rica

Makeup: Eric Ferrell

Registry: Bloomingdales

Shoes:

Christian Louboutins

Stationary: Lala’s cake was red velvet with alternating cream cheese and dark chocolate ganache fillings. Hints of gold were incorporated for glamour, and a subtle basketball texture was woven in.

Lehr & Black

Venue:

Cipriani 42nd St.

Wedding Planner: Mindy Weiss

Photography: Bob and Dawn Davis

Being a mother, wife, and having a successful career in the spotlight, how do you balance the three? It’s very difficult. It’s a constant balancing act. But just like anything else, if you put the time and energy into it, you will get the results you want out of it. Congrats on your success with your VH1 Reality show! The success of the reality show was amazing. When you put yourself out there like that you never know how people are going to react...so to have so many people watch it and respond to it is such a good thing.

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Star Studded

Cipriani, known for its towering marble columns and grandeous chandeliers, was transformed into a romantic candlelit paradise of red and pink roses by celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss, and designed by celebrity designer, Ed Libby. The wedding was an immediate papparazzi magnet, with a guest list toting some of the most popular names in entertainment and sports including Lebron James, Ciara, Serena Williams, and Kim Kardashian.

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The newlyweds sneak in some group pics with close friends. Left page top: From left to right: Amare Stoudemire (NY Knicks); Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets); Lebron James (Miami Heat); and Kenyon Martin (Denver Nuggets). Left page bottom: Serena Williams; Kim Kardashian Right page top: Singer/Songwriter Ciara and Kelly Rowland Right page bottom: Lala hugs her longtime friend, rapper/producer Ludacris.

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{

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“Looking back, it was the best time I could have ever imagined. It was the best time ever. I had so much fun, so not at all. I wouldn’t change a thing.” - Lala

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>Spotlight:

Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

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s he enters his bridal atelier each day, Mark Ingram is first greeted by the wall…a wall dressed with a medley of small to medium sized, square and rectangular shaped black frames, each holding black & white vintage to present-day photos paying homage to his family tree…his family history. This wall is a constant daily reminder of where he comes from, and must be somewhat responsible for his calm and humble nature. Mark Ingram owns the most chic and stylish bridal Atelier Manhattan has to offer, with the most elegant and classy of gowns from designers such as Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, and Oscar de la Renta to name a few. The ambience in the salon is as serene and soothing as the color scheme of pastel blues and greens. In our interview, Mark Ingram gives insight into his start in the bridal industry, as well as tips for today's brides.

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How did you get your start in the bridal industry? When I was a child I spent a lot of time with my grandparents at home in Harlem on 137th St. opposite from A&E Zion Church.….I used to look out the window at weddings every Saturday. I was fascinated by brides and grooms and weddings in general. But it wasn't until much later when my sister got married in 1994, that I actually got my feet wet. I helped her plan her wedding. Her wedding became our [the family's] wedding and we had a blast doing it. We shopped every weekend.. I styled her, I made her veil myself with a comb, some tulle and flowers. I hand beaded her Bergdorf Goodman shoes…That wedding was the impetus that got me started...My first job offer was from Amsale Bridal, and it took off from there. What makes Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier different from other salons? I've worked very hard to create a calm and sophisticated environment. It's high energy but low stress. I wanted it to feel welcoming and warm, like a home. I wanted it to be sophisticated. A bride can shop privately for a dress. She also has the option to show friends, or she can stay in her own room and discuss with her consultant quietly and privately. Brides are making a big decision so I want them to be comfortable and feel relaxed. Who would you say is the Mark Ingram bride? She is a very sophisticated woman who is into fashion. She's not coming here for the average dress. She has a very specific taste level that is a high fashion taste level. What are some upcoming trends are you seeing with bridal gowns? The unexpected. Brides are moving away from being traditional in terms of style. They are responding to texture and finish details and also fabrics with textures like organza and taffeta. They're responding to volume again - big skirts, but lightweight. Are more and more brides purchasing more than one gown? Yes, I do see a lot of brides purchasing more than one gown. The trend was full fledge 2007, early 2008. Almost every other bride was shopping for two dresses here. The recession hit NY and my salon a little bit later, but we're going back to that slowly again. What's the most popular gown in your salon? There isn't really a popular one. Every designer has a popular gown. Vera wang has a dress called Diana and another called Eliza that are very popular right now. The two combined are somewhat like Chelsea Clinton’s dress. On the other end of the spectrum, Monique Lhuillier's most popular is a two piece beaded bustier with a textural soft satin skirt. Its called Magical and it really is magical. What are some of the biggest mistakes brides make when picking a gown? They get caught up in the whole excitement. It’s important to do your research before shopping for a wedding dress. You need to have a wedding date and venue finalized and have a budget in place. It allows you to choose the right dress. You can find [a gown] you fall in love with but find out you cant afford it or that it’s not really right for the venue, so come prepared with your research. Be honest with yourself. What is your body type like? What are your best features? What do you want to focus on and highlight with the dress? And what’s your comfort level? Being prepared and being real about yourself is a good way to start.

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Visit www.bridalatelier.com to schedule an appointment. For updates on bridal trunk shows and up to date information on the Atelier, follow Mark Ingram on twitter @MarkIngramBride.

Scan to Follow Mark Ingram

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Susan + Mark

Nwoke Leppke

The University Club of St. Paul St. Paul, Minnesota

March 27, 2009

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ho knew that a children’s TV show could help you find your soul mate? For Susan Nwoke and Mark Leppke, who met at a mutual friend’s summer party, The Muppets became their ultimate matchmaker. “I was sitting by the TV as The Muppets were on,” said Susan. “People were trying to figure out if the Muppet Band were a real band, who would play them in real life. I was sitting next to Mark and we started talking about the Muppets...” What began as an interesting conversation between two strangers, eventually led to an intimate first date at a Chinese restaurant, and the rest, as they say, was history. Mark wasted no time securing the love affair he had with Susan. “I wanted to make sure that the ring I got her was something she’d love, so I decided I’d get her a ‘toy’ ring. It actually was a ring purchased from a nearby art museum that was a plastic silhouette of a wedding ring,” said Mark. Under the pretense that they were going to dine out for the evening, Mark escorted Susan to a romantic restaurant, where to her surprise, she was presented with her favorite dish with a twist, a shelled mussel filled with the unique ring Mark purchased. “I figured I’d hide it in a closed mussel shell and surprise her by asking her to open the mussel shell,” said Mark. Over the next few months, the two began to plan every detail of their

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wedding event together, starting with the date. “We decided to do it in March during the spring season since spring felt so much better and everyone we cared about would be able to share that new moment with us,” said Susan. Drawing inspiration from Susan’s Vera Wang wedding dress, a stunning ivory v-neck silk gown with picot edged drapes and jeweled straps, Susan and Mark came up with a 1930s Hollywood theme to bring their special event to life. “We looked for venues and designs that would fit with this thought and derived inspiration from turn of the century posters and architecture to match the space we had our wedding in,” said Susan.

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The couple chose to join hands at The University Club of Saint Paul, Summit Avenue Clubhouse in St. Paul, Minnesota. Its Victorianstyled architecture and luxurious view of the downtown skyline and Mississippi River Valley provided the perfect backdrop for the 1930s Hollywood theme they envisioned. Every design detail from the bridesmaids gowns to the floral design was done up in a vibrant color palette of blues and yellows along with various green color accents. “The paper colors and dark wood of the architecture from the site helped dial back the brightness with more muted, antique tones,” said Susan. “We worked with a florist who used antique light fixtures as the table arrangements during the reception. It was simply beautiful.”

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Bridal Gown: Vera Wang

Bridesmaids: Alfred Angelo

Cake: Megan Pelka

Entertainment: Bellagala DJ Services

Formalwear:

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Calvin Klein - Savvi Formal Wear

Flowers: Sadie’s Floral

Hair + Makeup: Fatima of Bella Salon

Honeymoon: Maui + Kauai, Hawaii

Officiant : Rev. Susan Lee-Wright

Registry: Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, and Target

Venue: The University Club of St. Paul, Summit Avenue Clubhouse

Photography: Photogen, Inc.

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Inside the ceremony, Susan and Mark stood at the altar and awed guests with their “flower ceremony”, a matrimonial symbol designed in place of lighting a unity candle. Even the families got a chance to join in. Susan, being a first generation Nigerian-American, was able to incorporate hints of her culture into the ceremony. Her mother read a Nigerian love poem while Mark’s mother played “The Wedding Song”. Following a full night of feasting and dancing, Susan and Mark were sure their wedding exceeded their dreams, particularly because they were able to relax and enjoy the full planning process together. “Our goal was to not get burdened by the cost of the wedding and make the planning part fun and involved. We found creative ways to work on each aspect of the planning and get our families involved in the process. We wouldn’t change a thing!

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Kaylyn Eshesimua

{

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BRIDES CORNER

“Planning a wedding together can be a large effort. Look to your friends and families to help when you can. And remember to still have dates with each other when you are planning. It can be easy to get wrapped up in planning and forget to continue spending time together...”-Susan

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Beauty Ad For underneath it all...

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Beauty Ad

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Real Weddings

Cherise

Tidd +

Shann

Bernard

morning star marriot beach resort st. thomas

June 6, 2010

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or Cherise Tidd, a current Ph.D graduate student, and Shann Bernard, a Software Engineer, the cafeteria at Spelman College will always bring back wonderful memories on how they met. In the summer of 2003, Cherise was hired at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia for their parallel program while Shann was helping tutor high school students at the Morehouse College summer science program. It was in the Spelman cafeteria where Cherise first locked eyes with Shann. Only admiring him from afar, Cherise never had the courage to pursue him until her students, who happened to notice how perfect they would look together, took it upon themselves to speed up the romance process and give Shann her number. ”When we finally met face to face, I could tell that Shann was attracted to me as well,” said Cherise. “On our first date, we went to a movie to see Bad Boys 2 and had dinner at Steak ‘N Shake.”

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After a six year long relationship, Shann would soon realize that there was more to their relationship than friendship. Shann recounts the night he realized he was ready to propose to Cherise. “I went out to a local bar with a co-worker, Shelton, who would later become one of my groomsmen. We began to talk about relationships, and I told him that I knew Cherise was the ‘one.’ That night, he hinted at the fact that I sounded like I was ready to pop the question.” At the end of the night, Shann spontaneously came up with a plan to propose to Cherise. He called her to make sure she was still awake and made up a story that he was stuck in traffic and needed her to talk to him to keep him awake. “As I pulled up to her house, I told her I had arrived home and needed to call her back,” said Shann. Surprised at seeing Shann at her house, Cherise received yet another shock when he dropped to one bended knee and proposed. “She initially laughed uncontrollably and kept asking me if I was serious,” said Shann. “After convincing her I was serious she finally said, ‘Of course baby!’”.

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Bridal Gown: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaids: Annlum Red Designs (Anna Zhu)

Caterer:

Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriot Beach Resort

Hair + Makeup: Sugar and Spice Artistry

Honeymoon:

Ritz Carlton Resort, St. Thomas

Registry:

Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond

Shoes: Grazia

Wedding Planner:

Bernadette Saunders of Kairos Moment Wedding Planners

Venue:

Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriot Beach Resort

Photography:

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Envisioning an island celebration that would wow their guests, the couple, along with the help of their wedding planner, booked the Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort in St. Thomas to host their ideal Caribbean wedding. “For both Shann and I, it mattered most to us that our entire families were able to meet each other for the first time and have a wonderful and exciting vacation,” said Cherise. Considering their relationship to be of high value and opulent as a diamond, Cherise and Shann centered their wedding theme around the world’s premiere jeweler, Tiffany & Co., choosing a color scheme of the famous Tiffany blue and light beige. The ceremony décor was simply elegant. Ivory rose petals lined the aisle while the couple joined hands beneath a beautiful canopy draped with ivory fabrics.

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Once they were pronounced husband and wife, guests headed into the reception area, where tables named after a cut of diamond were set in an orderly fashion while centerpieces of ivory floral arrangements rested on Tiffany blue and ivory linens. In addition to feasting on a Caribbeaninspired cuisine, guests were treated to an island mix of calypso, soca, oldies, and popular music that had them dancing long into the night. After the wedding, the newlyweds continued their island romance at The Ritz Carlton Resort, proving to be the starting point of a wonderful beginning for Cherise and Shann’s journey together. “Enjoy every moment of the process,” suggests Cherise. “Your wedding day goes by extremely quickly, so it’s important to savor every moment so that you’ll have memories to last a lifetime”.

Kaylyn Eshesimua

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“My number one piece of advice to engaged couples or brides-to-be would be to enjoy EVERY moment of the process...whether it’s the planning or your actual wedding day, no matter how stressful it may be. Your wedding day goes by extremely quickly, so it’s important to savor every moment so that you’ll have memories to last a lifetime.”-Cherise

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>Spotlight:

Janie Medley of The Bride’s Cafe

From florist-extraordinaire to owner of one of the most sought after wedding blogs in the industry, Janie Medley has managed to turn a passion for flowers and all things bridal into a successful enterprise.

How did you get your start in the bridal industry? My love of florals got me started in the industry. It’s funny because, I was never one of those girls that looked through bridal magazines and fantasized about my wedding, I would look through them to get inspiration from all the pretty floral elements. Then one day I decided to take the plunge and get my license and start Janie Medley Flora Design. I only book a limited number of weddings each year, I still work my full time job and now that I have started blogging, I had to cut back on the number of weddings that I could take.

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Is that what made you start The Bride’s Café? I started my blog, The Bride’s Café to advertise my floral business, but it totally turned into a different direction, that was four years ago and almost 1,500 features later…OMG. I didn’t realize how much time blogging would take from my schedule, it is truly like having a second full-time job. I do love it, it’s like having my own magazine and I’ve met so many wonderful people in the industry through the blog site and have made some wonderful friends. Most of all, it really puts a smile on my face when I receive an email or comment from a reader letting me know how I have inspired them and helped them with their wedding or inspired them to start their own business. How do ‘real weddings’ get featured on your site? When I first started blogging, I would contact photographers to ask if I could feature the images from a certain wedding they had captured…. it didn’t’ take long before the vendors were contacting me to ask to be featured. I think this is when I knew my site had really taken off. I still contact vendors about their work…if the wedding is a “café fit”… it gets featured!

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Janie incorporated pink peonies and rose buds into this mini bouquet.

Floral images by Jodi Miller Photography

How about vendors? Is it word of mouth or do they have to reach out to you? Yes, vendors reach out to me and I also reach out to them…having Matthew Robbins, Diann Valentine, Sylvia Weinstock, Preston Bailey, Darcy Miller, featured on my site has been AMAZING….and I also love featuring up and coming vendors…there are so many talented people in the industry and anytime I can help them along the way, I’m all about it! The Bride’s Café serves as a resource for all things wedding related, and my personal favorite section of the site (outside of the real weddings) is the DIY projects. Where do you get the projects from? Are they contributed by readers, experts or do you come up with them yourself? The DIY projects at the café are from some very talented and wonderful contributors…this is a feature that I’m in the process of developing so we can feature more fun projects. We have some really cute DIY projects coming up soon so stay tuned and you just might see me in a few!!

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SCAN THIS TAG TO VISIT THE BRIDE’S CAFE Garden Roses, Ranunculus, Dusty Miller, and Maiden Fern make up this lovely bouquet. R

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We know that you also are the mastermind behind Janie Medley Floral Design, and you’re a floral contributor to Martha Stewart Magazine. How did you get your start in floral arrangements? I have to give my mom all the credit for my interest in floral design. She was a wiz with all her pretty garden arrangements, and she loved having pretty flowers in the house, I totally give her all the credit! Where do you find inspiration for your arrangements? I find my inspiration from all over…fashion (which I love), nature, gorgeous color palettes, home décor, and food…especially fruits…for example…I love raspberries and blueberries…I have them almost every day…to see the beautiful reds and blues mixed together inspired me to make a gorgeous bouquet of black magic roses, eggplant callas, accented with berries….such a vibrant color palette and a stunning bouquet!

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Janie spiced up this bouquet of Black Magic Roses, Dahlias, Garden Roses, Smoke Bush, and Seeded Eucalyptus with Fern Curls.

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“I give my mom all the credit for my interest in floral design.” -Janie

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A whimsical combination of Ranunculus, Tulips, Dusty Miller, and Queen Anne’s Lace

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LEFT: Rananculus, Garden Roses, Black Berries, Bupleurum, and Mini Callas BELOW: Protea, Pin Cushions, Billy Balls, and Lillies.

78 What are some tips you can provide brides when consulting with a florist for their weddings? • Be up front about your floral budget! • Come prepared to have fun!! • I love it when brides bring images of what inspires them…whether it’s images of bouquets, fashion, or their wedding gown. It really helps to get to know the bride’s style. • I wouldn’t bring too many friends and family along for the consultation, it could get a little overwhelming with too many opinions. • If you know what floral you want, ask the designer if it will be in season. • If you would like to see a mock-up of the design, ask if there is a cost involved. • Make certain that you “click” with your vendors. You really want to “bond” with your vendors. You want to know that they are going to take care of you no matter what might happen...and trust me, things happen!

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This bouquet has the perfect combination of Black Magic Roses, Black Berries, Dahlias, Mini Callas, Mint and Scented Geranium Leaves.

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What’s new on the horizon for Janie Medley Floral Designs and The Bride’s Café? Anything you want our readers to look out for? What’s ahead for The Bride’s Café..all AMAZINGLY wonderful things of course….to continue to inspire….to have a coffee table book…..to have a television show…oh, I could go on and on, I love this part…xoxoxo

DreenaWhitfiled

For more of Janie’s work, visit www.jmflora.com and www.thebridescafe.com. Special thanks to Jodi Miller Photography for the beautiful imagery.

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>bridal runway

Photography: Thomas Kletecka, CollectiveEdit.com

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Claire Pettibone SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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Photography: Dan Lecca

Photography courtesy of Kenneth Pool

Photography: Dan Lecca

Ines di Santo

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Kenneth Pool

Ines di Santo

Textured Skirts

Kenneth Pool Kenneth Pool

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Pretty in Pink

Photography: Thomas Kletecka, CollectiveEdit.com

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Claire Pettibone For more Bridal Runway: visit www.munaluchibridal.com. SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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This page Photography: Dan Lecca

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Ines di Santo

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For more Bridal Runway: visit www.munaluchibridal.com.

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Photography: Shawne Reece

bagdley Mischka

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Photography: Shawne Reece

Kevan Hall

Anne Barge

flowers + feathers www.munaluchibridal.com

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Frances+ Gillies

Baawuah Heward-Mills

Accra, Ghana

August 28, 2010

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rances and Gillies sealed their four-year courtship in holy matrimony on August 28, 2010. The couple opted for a destination wedding. Destination: Accra Ghana, their ancestral home. Frances and Gillies, both born in the United Kingdom, wanted to celebrate their union with friends and family in a place they considered their second home. What better way to showcase their rich Ghanaian heritage, but to host such a milestone in their relationship in Ghana. The bride, Frances Baawuah, is a medical doctor (general practitioner) in the United Kingdom and the groom, Gillies Heward-Mills, an investment manager. A chance meeting at a party in Ghana in December 2004 blossomed into a two-year friendship which provided the foundation for a blissful union and partnership, four years later. Discussions of marriage became a reality when Gillies took the initiative to contact the priest, book the date for the wedding, and then tell Frances about it afterwards. “I think that way suited me best...I hate surprises!� said Frances. With the help of friends and family in Ghana, Frances embarked on the arduous task of planning her wedding from abroad. With over a hundred guests scheduled to fly into Ghana for the very first time, it was very important for the couple to provide a holiday experience for their guests which involved a week long celebration with planned activities running from the Monday before the wedding to the Sunday after. Activities included trips to some of the famous tourist attractions in Ghana like the Cape Coast castle and the Aburi Mountains. This also allowed the couple to share with their guests some of the cultural legacies and treasures Ghana has to offer. Frances envisioned a fun, vibrant, yet elegant affair. Inspired by a multicolored cultural theme, Frances solicited the talents of her designer friend and bridesmaid, Hazel Aggrey-Orleans, creator of Eki Orleans, to design a fabric especially for the bridal party. “The pattern that formed the stencil of our fabric had a very significant mean-

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ing,” recalls Frances. It incorporated the Ghanaian Adrinka symbol titled ‘Me ware wo’, which means “I will marry you” and symbolizes commitment and perseverance. (Adrinka symbols are Ghanaian symbols that represent popular proverbs and maxims, record historical events, express particular attitudes or behavior related to depicted figures, or concepts uniquely related to abstract shapes). “I had many bridesmaids as I simply couldn’t pick a handful of close girlfriends,” says Frances. Each bridesmaid was allowed creative freedom to design a dress style using the fabric. “I wanted them to all have dresses they would wear again.” To sweeten the deal, each bridesmaid

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BridalGown: Kosibah

Bridesmaids:

designed by Eki Orleans

Caterer:

Basement Catering

Florist:

Flowers and More

Formalwear: Buckleigh of London

Entertainment: Ben Brako and Band

Honeymoon: Venue: South of France

Accra Conference Center

Photography: Photography by Abi

was matched with a custom-made KUA clutch purse. The appearance of the groom and his groomsmen added to the colorful festive appeal, as they confidently donned their tailored graphite colored, three-piece suits, complemented with bold yellow ties. The bride stood elegantly in a custommade gown by couture designer Yemi Osunkoya of Kosibah. The laced up bustier look provided a vintage appeal that perfectly framed the bride’s petite figure. Being raised under a Christian faith, it was very important for the couple to be married in a church. The ceremony took place at the Accra Ridge Church, where close friends, family and well wishers convened to witness the union of the couple. In attendance was the Tema Youth Choir, providing an angelic chorus of both classical and Ghanaian music throughout the ceremony. The lovely church ceremony was followed by

Details on these vendors available in the editorial index.

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a pre-reception garden cocktail hour where invited guests had a moment to mingle and congratulate the newly married couple. The festivities were then moved to the official reception venue: the Accra Conference Center. With such a grand venue, Frances opted for a simple yet elegant décor which consisted of lovely floral arrangements on the guest tables and additional lighting effects. This complemented the sophisticated ambiance of the venue. Invited guests were served an exquisite menu selection of Ghanaian cuisine and entertained by music from the popular Ben Brako band, a well known local band. It was the couple’s nuptial dream to celebrate their special day with friends and family while showcasing their rich Ghanaian heritage.

BRIDES CORNER

{

Akua Abeasi

“Set up a joint email account that you both (bride and groom) have frequent access to. Make sure you send and receive all wedding information on that account. I found that this was a great way for both of us to be informed of all correspondence at all times without constantly having to fill each other in.”-Frances

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Azie Walé

Akhigbe

+

Akinde

Lagos, Nigeria November 26 & 28, 2009

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chance meeting in the United States begins this Nigerian wedding story. Meet Azie Akhigbe and Walé Akinde, both born and raised in Nigeria. In 2001, while pursuing their undergraduate coursework in the States, the couple met at a conference jointly organized by the African student organizations of their alma maters: Yale University and Norwich University respectively. Views on Globalization and Health in Africa were not the only conference takeaways; exchanged contact information with the promise to stay in touch was definitely a memorable souvenir. Azie recounts, “We met on the day of the conference and stayed in contact afterwards.” A move to Manhattan’s Upper West side during their graduate coursework at Columbia University, afforded them ample time together to nurture their ever growing relationship. Wanting to stay true to their heritage, they opted for a traditional Nigerian wedding. Not only was this decision an appropriate way to showcase the couple’s rich Nigerian culture but it also allowed them luxuries that a wedding in the States would not have; like having all family, friends and well wishers celebrate their love and union. The series of wedding events were scheduled for November 26 and 28, 2009 and took place in four parts: The family introduction, the traditional Nigerian engagement, the church wedding ceremony and the reception. With four events to plan, (the introduction hosting 200 guests, the engagement hosting 1000 and the church wedding and reception hosting 2000) and a bride stationed in New York, they relied on the planning expertise of Michelle Mays-New York, Franicole’s from Lagos, Nigeria and Eventful from Lagos, Nigeria. The trio set out to transform the couple’s matrimonial dream into reality. The couple’s mothers and family members were also very instrumental in this transformation. In the Nigerian culture, marriage is considered not just the joining of man and woman but also the union of families as such the presence and participation of family members is a very important aspect of the celebration. Azie recounts the details of their grand Nigerian wedding:

The Family Introduction (Traditional Proposal) ”A Nigerian wedding is considered a joining of two families, and the introduction is where the two extended families meet for the first time. It is also when the groom’s family formally asks for the bride’s family’s hand in marriage. Walé’s family arrived en masse heralded by singing, dancing, and drumming. They were stopped several times by an ‘Alaga Ijoko’, a gatekeeper of sorts hired by the bride’s family [to] test the resolve of the groom’s family to gain entrance to the bride’s family. An ‘Alaga Iduro’, a speaker for the groom’s family, responds to each challenge issued by the ‘Alaga Ijoko’, and states the purpose for which the groom’s family is present. The language used is highly stylized, and proverbial. Walé’s family eventually gained entrance and the ‘Alaga Iduro’ again stated to my extended family, that they were there to seek my hand in marriage. Through the Alaga Ijoko, my family challenged the Akindes, asking why they believed they were worthy to seek my hand in marriage. In issuing this challenge, [I was] praised for my intelligence, beauty, accomplishments, and [also] my family’s accomplishments, closeness, and standing in the community. Walé’s family, responding through the Alaga Iduro, similarly extolled Walé and his family, speaking of their accomplishments, their strengths, and their prospects. Additionally, throughout the event, Walé gave token amounts of money to the Alaga Ijoko, a

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sign of his financial preparedness for marriage. His family did the same, to show their willingness to support his marital union now and in the future. Walé also had to prostrate before my family, to show his respect for the family, and dance for extended periods to show his physical fitness and healthy. In the meantime, I was sequestered in another location in the house. After challenges had been issued and responded to, and MY family was convinced of the sincerity of Walé and his family’s desire to seek my hand in marriage, I was called down to the living room to greet the heads of both families and both parents by kneeling in the traditional way. The head of my extended family asked me if I knew Walé, and in what capacity. He also asked if I was aware of why Walé and his family were present, and how I felt about it. I answered that I was happily aware of the fact that Walé and his family were there to ask my family for my hand in marriage. The head of my family then asked both Wale and me why we wanted to be married to each

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other, and we both responded, highlighting the personal characteristics that we admired in each other. Once it was ascertained that we freely sought to marry each other, Walé’s family presented a letter to my parents, asking for my hand in marriage. My parents and head of the family then discussed for a short period, and then presented to Walé’s parent’s a response letter granting consent. After the letters were exchanged, gifts were exchanged between the families, introductions were formally made, and prayers were said to officially bless the union. There was a mini reception with food, drink, music, and dancing.”

Traditional Nigerian Engagement Ceremony “At the Traditional Nigerian Engagement Ceremony the marital contract between the two families is concluded. It is also similar in form to the Introduction, but here, the wider community of friends and colleagues are involved. At the beginning of the ceremony, our families were seated in the marquee facing each other, while Walé and his friends were waiting outside. The emphasis at the Engagement was not on the support of Walé’s family as he sought to marry me, but on that of his wider community, represented by the friends who accompanied him into the marquee. Walé and his friends led by drums, danced in, and prostrated to both our parents. He was asked again why he wanted to marry me. Some light teasing also went on. Playing on the fact that we are not from the same culture, (Walé is an Awori, from the Yoruba ethnicity while Azie is an Afenmai from the Edo ethnicity) and thus don’t speak the same language, Walé was tasked with the proper pronunciation of my full name, each time he got the intonation wrong, he would have to pay a fine. He played along for a while, but then even when he pronounced Azie’s name properly, he was told he got it wrong and had to pay more in fines. After the teasing, he was ushered to his seat.

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As at the Introduction, I had been sequestered away at home, and was driven to the Traditional Engagement Ceremony reception after Walé had completed his entrance and prostration. I also congregated with female members of my family and some female friends. I was covered with Aso-Oke fabric, in a manner similar to being veiled in a traditional American wedding. The women surrounded me, and amidst singing and dancing, I was led into the marquee.

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After I was unveiled I went to greet both sets of parents and other elders, kneeling in the traditional way. Prayers were said over me by both families. I was asked to identify Walé and was presented with a slate of men of all ages. In one funny moment, the Alaga Ijoko presented my own uncle! I was finally brought in front of Walé, and identified him as my prospective husband. Finally, I was led to sit with my family, while the negotiations over the bride price began. The parents and the heads of the extended families withdrew to a private room to negotiate over the bride price [dowry]. After a short while, they returned to the main room to announce that the negotiations were complete and that my family had accepted the bride price. Walé jokes that he paid the hefty sum of $3.00 for me, but is yet to receive his receipt! While a bride price was negotiated and accepted by my family, the family head returned it at the time that he announced that the negotiations were completed. The reasons for this are firstly to dispel any idea that my family was

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selling me; instead they are joyfully celebrating the union between Walé and I. Secondly, the two families see the marriage as a union between the wider families, not just between us the couple, and so the exchange of money is inappropriate. At this point, I was led to sit by Walé’s side, indicating that we were now traditionally engaged. After some prayers, we graced the dance floor as a couple for the first time, where we were “sprayed” by the guests. (This means that people pressed money onto our heads to indicate their joy at our union). Later on we greeted guests of honor, and cut the wedding cake. After that was more dancing, some eating and drinking, and mingling with families and friends.”


{

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BRIDES CORNER

“A wedding planner is invaluable when doing a destination wedding. Just make sure it is a planner that knows the resources available at your chosen location. Also, make sure to know if there are any local customs that might affect your wedding day.” -Azie

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Bridal Gown: Pnina Tornai at Kleinfeld

For Azie and Wale, it really meant a lot to her to be able to share their Nigeria culture with friends and well wishers who traveled from the United States to celebrate the couple’s wonderful day with them. Cherished memories included the moment she walked into the living room during the Introduction and she saw Wale. “I was pretty much shaking when walking into the living room, but then I saw Wale standing there, I became really calm.” recalls Azie. At that point she realized she could not wait to be Mrs. Wale Akinde. Of course another cherished moment for Azie was having her guests take part in the electric slide. “Many of our friends had flown in from the United States, and we all got up in our traditional Nigerian attire, and did the electric slide to some traditional Nigerian music.” Azie prides herself of introducing the ‘electric side’ to her Nigerian family!

Akua Abeasi

Bridesmaids:

Pnina Tornai at Kleinfeld

Florist/Decor: Newton & David, Lagos

Groom:

Gieves and Hawkes, Saville Row, London

Groomsmen: Buckleigh of London

Traditional attire: Azie: Mrs. Akinwande’s Scissors

Wale: Deola Sagoe

Venue:

Landmark Village, Victoria Island, Lagos

Wedding Planners: Michelle Mays, NY Franicole’s, Lagos Eventful, Lagos

Photography: Christopher Duggan of Threshold Visions + Olivier Kpognon

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>native runway

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Stoned Cherrie

This spread: photography-Simon Deiner/SDS Photo

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Native Runway showcases the latest in African-inspired design. www.munaluchibridal.com

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Stefania Morland

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Kluk


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Deola Sagoe

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>mens runway

This spread: photography-Simon Deiner/SDS Photo

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Viyella


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Viyella

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> Spotlight: From salesclerks selling Hugo Boss suits at Beau Brummel in SoHo, to designers selling their own custom collection, twin brothers Ronald and Rony Delice have managed to turn what was clearly a keen fashion sense and passion for dressing, into a prevailing fashion house.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started. We’re twin brothers, both inseparable and often at each others throats, who enjoy wearing and making great clothes. Back when we both worked for Beau Brummel we would wear the stuff off the rack and tweak it to our liking. People would constantly ask us where [our] suits were from. From there, we decided to do our own collection. When did you decide that fashion was your calling?  It was more of an innate thing. It came very naturally to us. We grew up watching our parents work on clothes, so that had a lot to do with it.   Describe the Ron & Ron man? We don’t advocate a “Ron & Ron” man. It’s about being comfortable with yourself and trusting us. We don’t want you to leave looking like a Ron, that’s the beauty of it being custom-made. It suits you, who you are, what you want. You decide, we just guide you.   Who were your fashion influences? Our dad, our children, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Steve McQueen, Samy Davis Junior, Sydney Portier…. The list goes on.   What was the first article of clothing you ever designed? A charcoal grey window pane suit for myself. Chuckles   Where can our grooms purchase your suits? They would have to set up an appointment. E-mail information is listed on our website.   How did you break into the industry, what were some challenges you faced along the way? The minute we started outfitting some of the top people in the entertainment industry and getting recognition from our peers, that was a good break. But everyday we work harder and everyday we strive to be better then the day before. When you love what you do, that’s what happens, you push yourself. The business part – bookkeeping, paying bills -  that was a challenge. We’re creatives, we don’t like to be bothered with those things.

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Ron & Ron


amadi obi

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I noticed a subtle hint of red stitches on each of your suits..What’s the significance? It reflects the red in the Haitian flag. All of our clothing is inspired by our native home.   Besides fashion designing what other interests do you have? Our children and soccer. Especially the Fifa games. We’ll play a little one on one from time to time. We won’t tell you who wins. [chuckles]   Who are some of your biggest clients? We’ve worked with Jay-Z, Will Smith, Andre 3000, Curtis Martin, Samuel L. Jackson, just to name a few. And the occasional politician, and entrepreneur here and there.   What should grooms look out for when purchasing a suit for their wedding? Make sure that the suit can make an easy transition from day to evening . And funk it up with a cool colored shirt.

Visit www.ron-n-ron.com to see more collections. For a consultation contact info@ron-n-ron.com.

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Keith Cephus Photography www.keithcephus.com 757.430.2169 www.munaluchibridal.com

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Making Frugal Fabulous (relationship edition with The Budgetnista)

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We’ve all heard the phrase “no romance without finance”. Well I’m here to tell you that, that saying is completely false! There are many ways to have and maintain a great relationship while simultaneously maintaining a responsible budget. With a little creativity, communication and compromise you can have more and spend less.

Here are 4 ways you can make frugal

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fabulous with your sweetie…


Dating Gift Giving

Successful gift giving begins way before the gift has been chosen, bought and delivered. Successful gift giving begins with a conversation in which gift parameters are clearly defined. Together you and your loved one should decide how much you want to spend on birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts. By doing so you will eliminate any inequity that may arise as a result of giving gifts. Here’s a hint, think less sparkle and more special. For example, create a photo album of wonderful memories, cook and transform your home into a romantic “restaurant”, or bake a cake. Lastly, ladies don’t underestimate the gift of underwear. Create a care package and fill it with underwear, socks and t-shirts, believe me he’ll love it!

Travel

Home

Whether it’s your 1st date or 100th date it is important to make it special. When planning a budget conscious outing with your honey, think memorable vs. money. Go for a picturesque walk at your local park with camera in hand, opt for ice cream instead of dinner, people watch in the center of the city, peruse your local fairs and festivals, bike ride, skate, picnic or spend the day at the beach. The key is to remember that the good time lies within the company you keep not the amount you spend.

This is the one category where you can’t avoid spending something, but how much is up to you. There are several ways you can save when you travel with your significant other. Use discount sites when booking your airline tickets, remember Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturday are the cheapest days to fly and the evening is the cheapest time, use fare watchers to increase your savings. You might want to also consider taking public transportation to your destination. Oftentimes trains are just as luxurious as planes and much less money. When traveling abroad consider accommodations with as many inclusions as possible. The less you have to spend on food, drinks, activities the better. Another option to travel is to take a mini vacation. Plan a weekend get-a-way in a neighboring city at a romantic inn or bed and breakfast. Spending time away doesn’t have to mean spending all of your money.

If home is where the heart is, what would yours say about your relationship? Does it reflect the affection you and your honey have for one another? It should! Start one room at a time and look for inspiration in magazines, art, pictures, furniture and other visually stimulating things. Once the two of you decide on the design, work together to make it happen. Do your own painting (for additional savings, some hardware stores sell returned paint at a steep discount), hunt for furniture pieces at your local second hand store or redo donated pieces from family and friends. You’d be surprised how slipcovers, fabric, rugs and pillows can inexpensively transform a room. Can’t afford original art work? Not a problem. Use your camera to take pictures and frame them. Be creative, print them in color or black and white. Create a gallery by painting one wall a bold color and artfully arranging several pictures on it. If there are small home improvement projects that you don’t know how to do, visit your local home improvement retailer. They often have free DIY classes and many of the employees can walk you through any project you have in mind. There is no longer any excuse for your home not to be something you and your sweetie can be proud of.

It’s my hope that you’ve come to realize that frugal is indeed fabulous, especially in relationships. With a little time, effort and creativity you can increase the romance as well maintain the finance.

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche www.thebudgetnista.biz

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Photo Dialog

“URBAN CHIC”

A DIY-Inspired PhotoDialog Styled by Carla Eustache of Style Perfect Weddings & Events PHOTOGRAPHY: The Beautiful Mess VENUE: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

“The inspiration for this look is my childhood. I’m an 80’s baby that grew up in a big city. I love the bright and bold colors of the 80’s, the fashion, and 90’s R&B and Hip-Hop. I wanted to show the fun, fabulous and even sophisticated feel that an event can take on when you channel your childhood.” Carla Eustache

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Gown: Lily Rose Bridal Boutique Models: The E Agency (bride + bridesmaids)

Tuxedos: Penguin Tuxedo DJ/lighting: Spintastic Sounds Event Designer: Carla Eustache Hair/Makeup: Modern Salon & Spa

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Event Designer: Carla Eustache Flowers: From This Day Forward Wedding & Special Event Design Linens: Connie Duglin Specialty Linen Rentals: Party Reflections Stationary: SCM Design

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Cake: Cloud 9 Confections Event Designer: Carla Eustache Flowers: From This Day Forward Wedding & Special Event Design Linens: Connie Duglin Specialty Linen Rentals: Party Reflections Stationary: SCM Design

“By incorporating the silver vases and the simplistic look of the black and blue menu cards, I was able to give the tablescape a fresh and swanky vibe.� -Carla Eustache

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“Highlighting the architecture and design elements of the museum, this style was a classic take on your traditional purple wedding.� -Carla Eustache

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Cake/Flowers: From This Day Forward Wedding & Special Event Design Event Designer: Carla Eustache Linens: Connie Duglin Specialty Linen Rentals:Classic Party Rentals Stationary: SCM Design

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36-31475

Proof 1

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Specializing in providing a small touch of heritage that leaves long lasting memories. Offering unique products customized according to theme and colors.

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African Favors

A special touch for a special day 240.654.6860 | AFFavors.com


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Eki Designs The Eki Designs philosophy is about fusing vibrant prints with the delicate texture of silk. The designer, Hazel Aggrey-Orleans, whose inspiration is traditional West African patterns, creates her own interpretation of these cultural and intricate patterns. Like many upcoming designers, she is selftaught. The concept of the line began with a collection of scarves that combined different fabrics from India and Africa. After perfecting her technique of combining cultural prints, Hazel ventured out into designing her own garments that embody the uniqueness of her concept and collection. This is what makes Eki Designs truly distinctive.

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Visit www.ekiorleans.com to view more collections.

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ad

www.onnaehrlich.com 310-345-7903

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>First Impression

Photography: Orobosa Omoregie for Saposki

A first look at up and coming designers and wedding professionals. Munaluchi Bridal celebrates new talent on the rise.

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A scientist by profession, with a slow and steady start into the fashion industry, Adaku Iwueze-Uwahemu understands the intricacies involved with making a good product. Comprised of 100% eco-friendly materials, her accessory line, DuK ZEPHNE, offers a green and bold take on Afro-inspired jewelry.”The signature of DuK ZEPHNE is the boldness of the jewelry and the mix of colors,” states Adaku. Inspired by unique vintage items, Uwahemu’s line of earthy- chic accessories, focus on bold color, global scenes, and fashion eras. Combinations that clash beautifully such as seashells in between turquoise stones, create showstopping pieces that have been generating much attention for the designer. “Every lady should have one bold piece of jewelry among her accessories, and should be bold enough to mix colors.” Visit www.dukzephne.wordpress.com for more of the collection.

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Photography: Joshua Davis Photography

LEFT: “Leafy Gold”- mauve, peach, and peakcock colored fresh water pearls. Pendant is a 24K gold dipped Evergreen Laurel leaf. ABOVE: “Garnished Dodo”- a combination of Baltic Amber, African Amber and Agate beads with a natural amethyst stone.


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eveningwear. glam accessories. african-inspired designs. Get your daily dose of fashion inspiration.

visit MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM/BLOG

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Tie: The Hemma Collection Sunglasses: Shades of Lay by Anaele Owunwanne

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Culture Clash Joshua Dwain

Photographed by Stylist: Tori Famuyiwa Makeup: Julia S. Dalton-Brush Hair: Kathy Louis + josette Figaro

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Take a simple blazer, or cami, pair it with some kente or ankara fabric, and you’ve got an amalgamation that’s the envy of all. www.munaluchibridal.com

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OPPOSITE PAGE

tribal lightweight sweater: Toriola SunGlasses: Shades of Lay by Anaele Owunwanne Suit: Hugo Boss

THIS PAGE

Ankara & silk chiffon ball skirt: Toriola; Gele Clutch: Arewa Designs; Modern fit traditional: Toriola; Blazer: Hugo Boss; Jewelry: Vintage

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Scan this tag to see unseen images from the photoshoot

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Get the free mobile app for your phone

http:/ / gettag.mobi

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Dress: KozbyWorld Jewelry: Haidos Collection

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Mini Dress: Arewa Designs Jewelry: Haidos Collection

Ad goes here

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ankara party dress: Arewa Designs Jewelry: Haidos Collection

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Blazer: The Hemma Collection Jewelry: Haidos Collection

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Dress: (Cena Dress) - The Hemma Collection Gloves: Toriola

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Dress: GiGi Fash Jewelry: Haidos Collection

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bridal fashion. glam accessories. stunning real weddings. Get your daily dose of wedding inspiration.

Photography: Thomas Kletecka, CollectiveEdit.com

visit MUNALUCHIBRIDAL.COM/BLOG

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Real Weddings

Liza + Olugbemiga

Lee

Ajasin

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Ocho Rios, Jamaica & Mississauga, Ontario Canada April 16, 2010

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hey say love can be found under the most unlikely of circumstances; for Liza Ting Ting Lee, this age old proverb held true when hitting the club scene with friends in downtown Toronto. While she and her girlfriends mingled and danced the night away to the high energy music that filled the atmosphere, the last person she expected to encounter was the man she would soon call her husband. “Out of nowhere this charming guy appears in front of me and introduces himself,” explains Liza. “What caught my attention were his dance moves, and then his smile!” The two exchanged numbers and went their separate ways, yet it was not prolonged, for the following day, Gbenga called to schedule their first date: A romantic evening in the city filled with good laughs and good wine. This was the best date that I’ve ever been on,” says Liza. “For our one year anniversary, he took me to the same places that we went to on our first date”.

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Just two years later, Gbenga was more than ready to settle down and take their relationship to the next level. Once receiving the go ahead from both of his parents, Gbenga purchased the ring and moved onto a more daunting challenge of asking Liza’s parents for their blessing. “I had practiced a couple nights going over what I was going to say,” said Gbenga. “I had an answer for every scenario that might be thrown my way. This was their little girl after all. I also knew that as much as her parents liked me as a person, there were cultural differences that would need to be overcome.” Luckily for Gbenga, his words of love and devotion toward their daughter were more than enough to win over their blessings. “I was so nervous as I didn’t know how they would react,” said Gbenga. “But, what kept me going throughout it all was that Liza’s dad was standing behind her mother, giving me the thumbs up the whole time so I knew I had his blessings. That really made me feel more at ease.” For his final task, Gbenga took it upon himself to reserve a table for two at the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada where Liza received the surprise of her life when he proposed to her while celebrating their two-year anniversary. “When our server brought my dessert out and lifted off the cover, the words, ‘Will you marry me Liza?’ was written in chocolate along the edge of my plate!,” said Liza. “My heart was pounding a mile a minute, I was in shock and tears were just flowing out of my eyes. Gbenga came over to my side and went on one knee, and proposed! I was so surprised, I could’t answer clearly. The whole night, the proposal and the ring were perfect!” Once the day of the wedding had been decided upon, the two chose to hold their nuptials at The Riu Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. “April was good in terms of weather in the Caribbean, “said Liza. “Also there was not much going on in this month so friends and family attendance would not be hampered.” With the assistance of close friends and family members, the couple designed a grand-scale multicultural celebration that honored both of their marital customs. Before the ceremony, in respect to Liza’s Chinese and Vietnamese heritage, Gbenga’s family were to present the Chinese wedding dowry, various proposal gifts that represent fertility and prosperity, known as ‘Guo Da Li’. After completing the Chinese wedding dowry, guests assembled into their chairs as Liza prepared to walk down the aisle. An ivory and peach color palette influenced almost every element of the ceremony décor, perfectly integrating their wedding look into the natural beauty of Jamaica. “My bouquet was ivory roses with a few peach

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orchids, and the groomsmen each had a peach orchid boutonniere” said Liza. “I made each of my bridesmaid’s bouquets with silk hydrangea flowers to save money! They looked really real and very pretty.” Once Liza reached her groom, they exchanged vows and from there, the two were pronounced husband and wife. Soon after guests were treated to a buffet style meal at a private dinner, Liza and Gbenga were ready to move onto their next destination: The Mississauga Grand Banquet Hall in Ontario, Canada where they put together yet another reception welcoming their entire friends and family to celebrate their special day. Before the reception, the couple changed into their traditional Chinese attire and participated in a Chinese Tea Ceremony, a ritual similar to exchang-

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ing vows where newlyweds kneel down and show respect to their parents while serving tea. “Tea is used in Chinese wedding ceremonies mainly because tea is China’s national drink and it symbolizes respect,” said Liza. Once guests entered the banquet hall, the vibrant colors of the beach décor were even more in evidence at their second reception. Graced on top of the ivory tablecloths, teal colored LED lights flickered inside each tall glass cylinder vase, finalized with two stems of ivory orchids. “I had fake diamonds scattered on each table around the centerpiece to add some bling!” said Liza.

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“Tea is used in Chinese wedding ceremonies mainly because Tea is China’s national drink and it symbolizes respect,” -Liza

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Real Weddings 144 After dinner, in honor of Gbenga’s culture, Liza and Gbenga stepped onto the dance floor wearing authentic Nigerian attire. “I wore the 4 piece ‘Buba’, and Gbenga wore the 4 piece ‘Agbada’,” said Liza. “Our attire was custom made for us in Nigeria, and was brought over for us by my father –in-law.” Guests soon joined the couple on the dance floor and showered them with money as they danced to traditional Nigerian music. “My father and all Nigerian guests at the reception walked across the dance floor and showed their respect to Liza’s family by bowing to them, “said Gbenga. “It was a sight to see and something I will never ever forget. It meant so much to me.”

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BRIDES CORNER

“The most imortant aspect of the wedding to us and to our families was being able to represent both of our cultures. We did so by honoring both marital customs in both cultures by performing the tea ceremony and then wearing the traditional Nigerian wedding attire. With our destination wedding, we just wanted it to be intimate with our closest family and friends to be with us on our special day.� -Liza

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Irresistable Cakes

Bridal Gown: Enzoani

Bridesmaids: Vogue Sposa

Caterer:

Mississauga Grande Banquet Hall

Favors:

Photobooth, chopsticks, and custom fortune coookes

DestinationVenue: The Riu-Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Honeymoon: Venue: Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Mississauga Grande Banquet Hall

Photography:

Victor Lee Photography

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Featured Article

“ Just the Two of Us”

“Inter-racial love is just like any other love, except with it comes more blessings in the form of challenges”.

Stillness spoke for the first time when it came to love and relationships. My mind and heart were in tune and an energy so unexplainably profound took over my being. From that moment on, I knew without a doubt that having him in my world, was worth fighting for...

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Socially and culturally, statistics have shown a lack of support and embrace for interracial relationships. Even with the proven rising number of successful interracial marriages since 1967, when the United States Supreme Court, unanimously ruled that the anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional. Such laws were also repealed in South Africa, during the nearing end of the Apartheid era allowing interracial couples, allowing me, the freedom to get married. Fast-forward decades later, here I am in a love ecstasy state of mind from finding my soul mate, a non-ordinary lover of mine. I am constantly reminded by society every time we step into the world about how different we are. Sadly to them all, we are “that African woman with that Asian man”. Instead of seeing us past our external differences and realizing that we are no different from any other couple, but maybe blessed with more challenges that have molded us into an even stronger unit. Love’s philosophy is that “fountains mingle with the river, and the river with the ocean, and the winds of heaven mix forever with a sweet emotion, nothing in the world is single, and all things by law are divine in one another’s being, so why not I with him?” As we plan forth our multicultural day of unity, I inhale in an energy filled with “Agape” and exhale out all negativity from my spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional state of being, but invest in the exciting planning of our “Afro-Asian” wedding theme: From the modern-western ceremony to the “Afro-Asian” infused wedding reception vision, to the challenges we continue to overcome as we try to incorporate the most important elements from both of our cultures, we hope to romantically still execute both parts of the wedding tastefully without losing our vision for the wedding. For instance, not forgetting to incorporate things of

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significance to us, like a water feature, as water holds a profound symbolism to us as it does in the Asian “Zen” culture. As we grow forth from courtship into matrimony, we continue to master the art of compromising for “compromising is to our relationship as a sail is to a boat”. It is through constant compromising that the challenges that come with interracial love have become more of a blessing because of the fairness in balance in all that we do. Our differences we will forever embrace, because they are the things we love most about each other. “I love him from my soul, past my mind, my heart and beyond just his skin color”. As the celestial continue to connect in our honor, the social and cultural prices that we constantly have to pay for loving each other matters. Through faith, I know that a life time’s journey awaits us so long as our love’s foundation continues to be about us and “just the two of us”. “Never in all the years has love had a color preference”.

Prudence Chauke Jamati Online


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Real Weddings

Marie-Frances + Wednaud

Likanje

Ronelus

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Macari Vineyards Mattituck, NY July 2, 2010

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or Marie-France, July 4, 2008 will always hold a special place in her heart. It will not only commemorate six years of courtship with the boy next door and the man of her dreams but more importantly, it will remind her of the moment he promised to love her forever and presented her a piece of his heart for a lifetime. In cahoots with her mother, Johnny set out to make this day truly special for Marie-France. Under the pretense of a celebration for his move into a new apartment and their anniversary, Johnny convened the couple’s closest friends and family and an unsuspecting Marie-France at the Sea Restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In response to a make believe toast done by Marie’s parents congratulating Johnny on his move,

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Johnny seized the opportunity to ask Marie-France to be his life partner by presenting a red ring box on bended knees. A peek in the ring box revealed a beautiful ring Johnny had purchased from Michael C. Fina and the exact engagement ring style Marie-France had requested some months prior. Amidst the applause from their eager audience, a tear stricken Marie-France accepted Johnny’s proposal to be his queen, his partner, his wife. The couple’s perfect evening was topped off with a lovely cake and champagne, arranged by MarieFrance’s older sister Helen. Friends and family toasted to the couple under a mid-summer’s night sky, lit with the spectacular glow of the July 4th celebration fireworks display. After a lovely dinner, the festivities continued at a trendy New York City nightclub where the couple was joined by more friends and well wishers as they danced the night away.

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The couple opted for a scenic outdoor wedding. Inspired by their recent wine tour, they settled on the Macari Vineyards in Mattituck, NY as their wedding venue. Due to the untraditional choice of venue, the couple decided to enlist the expertise of Christine Brower of C. Brower & Co. and Corrine Statia of Absolute Events by Corrine as their esteemed wedding planners. Marie’s wedding vision involved the fusion of both African and Caribbean cultures to create an Afro-Caribbean ambiance laced with elegance and modern style. Her color palette of orange and blue transformed the venue into a tropical sanctuary of bliss. The ceremony was held outdoor amidst the calming ever green forage of the vineyard, artificially enhanced with the pristine hue of the orange and blue decor. Invited guests looked on as the bridal party proceeded down the make shift aisle, framed by the vines, towards the chuppah draped with blue organza. Finally, Marie-France graced the aisle, hand in hand with her father as they were serenaded by the lovely harmony of ‘Time after time’ being played on violin by her violin teacher and amazing musician, Tarrah Reynolds. MarieFrance personified elegance and class in her sweetheart bodice tiered gown. To the left of the chuppah stood her bridesmaid ensemble looking equally elegant in their custom-made asymmetrical orange gowns. Her sister Helen stood bold and beautiful in her chic blue strapless gown as she took on her maid of honor duties. On the right of the chuppah, Johnny and his groomsmen stood confidently suited in the Classic collection by English Laundry.

The orange-blue tint of the fading horizon played perfectly into the wedding colors, as if it was nature’s way to conform. The ceremony was conducted by the couple’s counselor, Pastor Kevin Brown. It gave the couple added sentimental appeal to know that Pastor Brown knew both of them on a more personal level as such his message was well tailored to their specific needs. A sand ceremony was performed to further solidify the vows they made to each other as husband and wife. The violin duet by Tarrah Reynolds and co-violinist gave the ceremony an extra romantic appeal. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour the couple rightfully dubbed a ‘Bob Marley’ cocktail hour. This was to celebrate their joint love for Bob Marley songs. Finally, the guests were welcomed to the reception area that overlooked the scenic view of the vineyard. The reception space had been transformed into a tropical paradise that exuded an Afro-Caribbean appeal. The color blend of blue, orange and green décor further enhanced the illusion of a perfect vacationing spot. From the custom made African fabric dinner napkins and guest table linens, contributed by Homeland Authentics, an African online specialty boutique, to the African Djembe drum inspired wedding cake, MarieFrance’s Cameroonian roots were well represented. The festive carnival atmosphere was invoked as guests took to the floor with Haitian and Lion of Judah flags and whistles during the soca and reggae dance sessions to pay homage to Johnny’s Caribbean heritage.

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Bridal Gown:

Perla D. by Pnina Tornai-Kleinfeld

Caterer:

Event Design:

Christine Brower of C. Brower &Co.

Formalwear: English Laundry

Honeymoon:

Road trip to Napa Valley, San Francisco, and Vegas

Makeup:

Mirabelle Artistry

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Shoes: Venue: Aldo

Macari Vineyards-NY

Wedding Planner: C. Brower & Co. + Absolute Events by Corrine

Photography:

Christopher Duggan of Threshold Visions Photography

Dining was one of the couple’s main concerns as they wanted to maintain the same tropical appeal yet provide their guests with upscale options. The culinary expertise of Lucmann Pierre of LePierre Caterers was solicited, who in turn delivered an exotic menu selection and mixed drinks that kept the couple’s guests well satisfied. Entertainment for the evening included a special song, sang and written by the couple’s mutual friend, Antonio. He lyrically celebrated the couple’s love and connected the dots of their eight year relationship. All in all, the couple acheived their ultimate goal, to share their culture, their love and some of their favorite things with their closest friends and family.

Akua Abeasi

BRIDES CORNER

“I would suggest that unless you have a big budget, learn the art of compromising very quickly. There were so many things that I wanted but had to let go due to budget constraints. In the end, it did not matter because by guests did not notice those things that were missing.” -Marie-Francew SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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“For the brothers out there please harken my words. Planning a wedding requires a tremendous amount of collaboration and cooperation. Work as a team with your future wife and do your best to make her happy. Also, if you’re wearing a bowtie, make sure you know how to tie it before the weddign day!”-Johnny

La Pierre Caterers

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Real Weddings

Ade + Yomi

Adeniyi Agbaje

Greenwich, London August 7, 2010

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hat happens when you mix the art of medicine and the workings of love? Just ask couple Ade Adeniyi and Yomi Agbaje. The two met while attending medical school in London and together, in the midst of becoming family physicians, kindled an enchanted romance fit for royalty. So began their courtship, which eventually, crowned into a surprise wedding proposal on January 29, 2009 during a lovely dinner at one of the most exquisite restaurants London has to offer. In front of all to watch, Yomi had their waiter for the evening reappear, lift the lid off the platter and to Ade’s astonishment, a Tiffany’s jewelry box was presented in front of her while Yomi on bended knee asked Ade to spend the rest of his life with her. ”All I could do was stare at the box, I didn’t even notice when Yomi left his seat and came to kneel right next to me,” said Ade. “I am not quite sure what his proposal words were exactly as I was just so shocked and surprised by the whole thing. He did ask me to marry him and of course I said yes.”

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Consulting with friends and family while also looking at their own busy work schedules, Ade and Yomi set their wedding date for August 7, 2010. Knighting herself as an organized person, Ade chose to enjoy the process of planning their grandscale wedding herself, however, she did encounter a few obstacles on the way. “The biggest obstacle was trying to keep within budget,” said Ade. “However, our overall budget did double by the time we got married – weddings are so much more expensive than we thought!” Fortunately, finding the locations and other wedding ideas was no trouble at all for Ade, as she had accommodated help from a particular wedding website. “I found [the website] very useful,” said Ade. “It gave me plenty of guidance when it came to budgeting, choosing a theme and design ideas, meeting with vendors, etc.” The wedding events started on the evening of August 6, 2009 in Greenwich London. Ade and Yomi celebrated their traditional engagement ceremony surrounded by close family and friends. “It followed all the usual cultural acts that would have taken place as if were we getting married back in Nigeria,” said Ade. The following day, although rain showers had taken its toll, nothing was going to dampen Ade and Yomi’s high

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spirits on their noble day. The ceremony was held at the Holy Trinity Church in Wandsworth, London, where bountiful floral arrangements and large bunches of lilies tied with oversized bows adorned the pews. The maid of honor and bridesmaids wore sage green strapless dresses and silver heels and the groomsman wore charcoal grey suits with matching mint green ties, befitting for their silver, green, ivory and white color scheme. As the classical song, “Cannon in D” by Pachelbel SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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filled the atmosphere, Ade, wearing an ivory La Sposa wedding gown walked down the aisle with her father as Yomi, dressed in a three piece light grey suit paired with a mint green tie waited gracefully ahead. “The church was beautifully candlelit as I walked in with my father,” said Ade. “I couldn’t stop the tears. I was just so overwhelmed by the fact that this day that we had been working and planning and arguing for had finally arrived.”


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BRIDE’S CORNER

“Get organized early so you have plenty of time to research and visit a number of different vendors. This way you can ensure you not only get the best for your budget, but that you have plenty of time to make the right decisions.” - Ade

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Bridal Gown:

La Sposa from Unique Bridals

Cake:

Carmen Tarry

Florist:

Four Seasons Floral Design

Formalwear: Aquascutum

Hair/Makeup: Chester of Hype Gold Mary Kay

Shoes: Venue: Jimmy Choo

The Hurlingham Club London

Event Design: Invisible Blue

Photography:

Anna Rosell Photography

Once Ade and Yomi were officially pronounced husband and wife, the two exited the church to the song “The Wedding March” all while chiming church bells and joyous guests cheered in glorious harmony. “It had thankfully stopped raining by this point and we were able to get some lovely pictures at the church,” said Ade. Following the ceremony, all

300 guests were escorted into a storybook setting as they entered the Hurlington Club, a private members club in Fulham London. The reception decorations designed by the event planning company, Invisible Blue, provided a central canopy design with swags of white voile drapes and circular chandeliers over the central dance floor, ceiling and the French doors around the edge of the reception room. “I had seen

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some pictures on the Internet and in some bridal magazines of the type of look I was going for,” said Ade. “With a little tweaking from the designer, we pretty much were able to achieve our look. The party included appetizers and cocktails and then an elaborate seated dinner of jollof and fried rice, plantains, beef with oxtail, roast chicken, red snapper and roasted vegetables. Guests also enjoyed a five tier lemon and vanilla round cake covered in crystals, pearls and lace motif details. “We

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wanted food that would not only be beautiful and easy to eat at a wedding but would also suit our Nigerian and non Nigerian friends and family,” said Ade. In addition to being wined and dined with an ultimate feast, guests had an added treat of hearing a live jazz band, a Nigerian band and a dj throughout the entire evening. “The dancing was out of control,” said Ade. “We even had a boy versus girl dance off!” Although their majestic celebration had come to an end, Ade and Yomi had plenty of time to look back on their special as they traveled to Malaysia and Singapore for their honeymoon stay. “If we had to do it all over again we would ask for sunshine, otherwise we would not change a thing!”

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Featured Article

DiasporaDiva

Cheating Your Way to a Fab New You Consider this fact:

“All Women Cheat.”

Now, before you bombard my inbox with all the different reasons why my conclusion is a farce, a grotesque generalization, the reason why feminism should still be at the forefront of today’s society…let me caudle your aggravation by saying that I’m not referring to infidelity (although that’s a whole other article). No! When I take the bold stance to evoke a fraudulent word like “cheat” over members of the XXtribe, myself included, I’m referring to woman’s ability to adapt and adjust to life’s many curveballs. Cheating your way to a better you. As women, we’ve mastered the art of dieting our ways to healthier looking skin, slimmer waistlines, better sex and everything in between. So what’s a girl to do when she realizes that her once effortless shortcuts are now arduous and inefficient. Fasting for two days used to be the ticket to accomplishing a deep cleanse, putting some semblance of order back into the closet or taking a much needed vacation. But now it takes two whole days just to stop procrastinating. So cheat. Planning your wedding can be an overwhelming task peppered with unique challenges and lessons. I won’t attempt to offer ideas on how to have a non-stressful wedding planning process because it’s innately that: Stressful! But I’ve spent the last few days procrastinating over ways to cheat your way to a fabulous new you before and after the wedding.

So here are some tips to help you cheat: FREE WEDDING SITES ARE YOUR BFF Today, everyone is on the Internet. My in-laws are on facebook. Even my mother, who has been known to still carry an address book with handwritten contacts, surfs the “twitter.” Don’t be afraid to use the endless buffet of wedding website companies out there who offer design ideas for free. Your guests will love it and the earth will send you a thank you evite.

Shoe by Ella Brown Couture.

HONOR THE 3 HS: HAIR, HEALTH AND HINEY There’s a saying that beauty is pain. Truer words were never spoken. However, that confident feeling you get after a great blowout or workout makes the soreness worth it. No matter how tired you get during your planning process, don’t neglect the 3 important H’s. Your hair can take you from blah to Beyonce. Your health can catapult you from flail to fierce. Your hiney, that wonderfully cushioned jewel that has been known to trigger some of the biggest wars in history…can literally give you back the groove you may have forgotten you had. Celebrate each one like it’s your birthright. A BRIDE’S RIGHT TO SHOES Your dress size is about as indecisive as a kid in a candy store. The quest to achieve that obscene size standard can be a hit or miss, but one thing that never changes is your shoe size….so splurge. Cutting costs on events is an inevitable topic of discussion, but the allowance for a single splurge item (such as shoes) is not only a fashionable choice, it’s a long term investment. DIY IS A TRAP The Do-it-Yourself approach is the new buzzword of the 21st century. Women are unleashing their primal desire to assert independence by doing everything from renovating their careers to renovating their home. When it comes to event planning, the D-I-Y anthem reigns supreme as brides think it’s a great way to save on costs. Before you unleash your inner “Martha”, there are hidden disclaimers that most brides don’t think about until they’re too far involved to turn back. DIY tasks such as handmade coasters or letter pressed napkins for the Kola nut ceremony can be exhausting, lonely and frustrating. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends who are more than happy to assist. YOUR WEDDING IS NOT YOURS Just accept it! If you’re planning a traditional or cultural wedding, it goes without saying that there will be many customs and “isms” you never even knew about that hold serious significance to your great grand in-laws. Pick your battles when deciding on the schedule of events. Remember that it’s the marriage that’s important in the long run, not the wedding. Your marriage belongs to you and your husband. The wedding on the other hand, belongs to your mother THE HONEYMOON IS A GREAT DETOX So is a solo night out – Secure a weekend after the honeymoon to have some bonding time with yourself. Whether it’s a vacation at a nearby resort or a full day of pampering, doing whatever activity makes you feel like an independent and “Pretty Woman.” If more expenses are the furthest thing from your mind after your wedding, then consider securing a staycation just for you. PROCRASTINATION ISN’T ALWAYS BAD It allows you time to substitute what could have easily been a regrettable decision, with a more deliberate choice. Just because chartreuse or fuschias are the latest trend, doesn’t mean they’ll work in a ballroom with a sea of multicolored head wraps. Or does it? Sleep on it.

Are these tips considered cheating? Maybe. Just so far as the end result is sanity, style and a fab new you.

Fri Forjindam

Founder & Editor - WEDDING NOUVEAU www.weddingnouveau.com

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Adetola+ Jaison

Rahman

Taylor

North Hollywood, California May 29, 2010

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blind date for her senior homecoming dance was not what Adetola Rahman, graduate of the Art Institue and owner of Tola Taylor Creative, had in mind as a young girl preparing for her final year in high school. Fast forward a decade later, and she could not have been more content as she walked down the aisle towards her best friend, her lover, her once-upon-a-time blind date‌ now her husbandto-be. Theirs is a friendship turned love story that took ten years in the making...a chance meeting that blossomed into a happy union of two families and cultures. In July 2008, after ten years of courtship, Jaison Taylor, a teacher for Los Angeles County, asked Adetola to be his bride. Jaison orchestrated an intimate dinner for just the couple, where he served his culinary masterpiece of shrimp pasta, a favorite of Adetola. The dessert menu for the evening included apple pie a la mode and a hearty helping of Jaison’s total commitment and continuous friendship and love; which he promised on bended knees as he presented the ring Adetola had picked out some months prior to his official proposal. The couple opted for an outdoor garden wedding and eventually settled on a date of May 29, 2010. With experience in event planning, Adetola had a clear idea of what she wanted her wedding day to be like so she decided to plan it herself. She chose Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, CA as her venue of choice and envisioned a seamless fusion of Nigerian and American cul-

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tures presented as an elegant and memorable affair. The bride’s love for peacocks and diamonds was very representative in the décor; right down from the floral arrangements to the save the date and wedding invitations. The vibrant colors of the peacock feathers coupled with a cohesive blend of purple, green and turquoise tints played well into the outdoor garden ambiance, transforming the venue into a botanical paradise. Adetola had the arduous task of coordinating a wedding party of 37 people: 4 best men, 4 maids of honor, 6 bridesmaids, 6 groomsmen, 5 flower girls, 5 ring bearers, 6 ushers and a bible carrier. The ceremony commenced as the bridal party proceded down the aisle, framed with decorative crystal trees and leading to a canopied seating area, elegantly decorated with delicate white flowers. The soothing sounds of a violin ushered in the bride, hand in hand with her father. “For the ceremony we wanted to incorporate the Nigerian and American cultures by fusing traditional Nigerian wedding attire (aso oke) with traditional wedding gown attire,” said Adetola. The bride stood graceful in her sweetheart bodiced SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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Bridal Gown: Anjolique

Bridesmaids: Mori Lee

Cake:

Helena Wirth Cakes

Caterer: Lagos Cafe

Event Design: White Night Design

Entertainment: Ade Royal

Florist:

Julie’s Exotic Flowers

Hair/Makeup: Segun Gele

Stationary: Tola Taylor Creative

Traditional attire: The Roots of Aso Oke Wedding lace-Lagos Fashions

Venue:

Ceremony-Pickwick Gardens Le Foyer Ballroom & Lounge

full white gown, accented with her custom-made authentic Nigerian head wrap (aso oke gele) with a birdcage veil and brooch (a signature masterpiece of Segun Gele). This unorthodox yet elegant look fed well into the couple’s wish to present a flawless union of the two cultures. “This was my vision and Segun Gele made it into reality. I was happy we were able to pull it off. “ The groom also wore the traditional Nigerian attire (aso oke) instead of a suit or tuxedo. Under a sunny and clear blue summer sky and amidst nature’s floral arrangements, the couple was formally introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Jaison Taylor.

Wedding Planner: Tola Taylor Creative

Photography: Rh Photoarts

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BRIDE’S CORNER

“Take a visit to your bakery beforehand to make sure that you are on the same page as far as expectations and the cake is what you are expecting, especially if your cake is custom designed.” - Adetola

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After the lovely ceremony, guests were invited to a champagne reception held at the Le Foyer Ballroom and Lounge in North Hollywood, CA. The venue was transformed into a reception fit for royalty: the tint of purple cascading on the eggplant table cloths and olive green satin napkins provided a majestic ambiance. Invited guests were entertained with a live band, superb food and drinks, and a perfect reason to celebrate. The reception was yet another avenue to showcase the bride’s rich Nigerian heritage, as the couple changed into their matching lace outfits (aso ebi) as they graced the dance floor during their celebratory dance as husband and wife. The couple and their guests danced the night away to vibrant sounds of the Yoruba live band, Ade Royal. “I am proud of my Nigerian heritage and don’t believe because you marry outside [of] your culture you have to give it up. This is an opportunity to share the beauty of my heritage with my spouse and the people around me,” says Adetola.

Akua Abeasi

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Lalibela

Ethiopian Restaurant

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Event Caterers

261 Irvington Avenue. South Orange. NJ 973.327.4840 wwwlernj.com

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>The Pearls of Africa: 168

Sandstone formations made to resemble bushman caves serve as accommodations at The Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve. SPRING.SUMMER 2011

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South Africa


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t’s been said that once one experiences the incredible destination that South Africa is - with its ability to tickle each of your senses in a way that will not just enlighten you, but will also inspire you, you won’t be the same again. In any given moment you can ponder the origins of ancient man, then you’re visiting the lush green forests of Tsitsikamma, or simply enjoying a 5-star luxury spa retreat. South Africa is a destination where you can experience everything and more. In this Pearls of Africa feature, we take you to the ‘Rainbow Nation,’ the quintessential destination for couples who want to experience endless possibilities. This spread: photography courtesy of South African Tourism

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This spread: photography courtesy of South African Tourism

Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve

KAGGA KAMMA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

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The Western Cape of South Africa, Africa’s most southern point, is home to Capetown, the most visited city on the African continent. Situated in the untouched wilderness area south of the Cederberg Mountains, totally away from the bustling city life is Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve. Former home to the Bushmen, ancient cave paintings are still visible on the rocks. As a guest at Kagga Kamma, one can experience tours of the caves, and in-depth interpretations of the rock paintings, or enjoy the swimming pool built into the Cederberg rock formations. For the bride who prefers to remain indoors, the Health and Beauty Spa offers utter relaxation. Sandstone formations made to resemble bushman caves serve as first class accomodations fully equipped with airconditioning and en-suite bathrooms. An open-air restaurant serves the most oppulent of South African cuisine and delectable wines from the nearby Cape winelands.

Looking for more honeymoon resources? Visit www.munaluchibridal.com.

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Victoria & Albert Waterfront

On the other hand, some couples may find the Saxon more suitable, with its regal marble floors and Victorian style decor. It’s mantra is ethnic African elegance and its serene setting is what attracted Nelson Mandela after he was released from prison. In fact, it was at the Saxon where he edited his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.” Each of the spacious suites is dressed with African art and latticed shutters that cover large bay windows overlooking the chic poolside area. South Africa, has a history painted with struggle and strife, yet has a future brimming of possibilities and unity. It is the ultimate location to begin your future together as husband and wife.

All images courtesy of South African Tourism. www.southafrica.net.

Visit South African Tourism for honeymoon travel information to South Africa. www.southafrica.net.

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>Honeymoons: 174

Receive a gift that will leave you with a lifetime of memories. While standard department store registries are quite the ordinary, more and more brides are considering honeymoon registries as an alternative. Lion World Tours makes giving the gift of travel seamless.

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Lion World Tours Honeymoon Registry


THE BASICS Select from a list of romantic African honeymoon locations. Put together your dream honeymoon with the help of a Lion World Consultant. Publish your honeymoon registry webpage and share the link with friends and family via email or social media outlets. Lion World Tours will email you weekly to inform you of everyone who has contributed to your dream honeymoon. Once all donations are accepted, Lion World Tours sends you a check.

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Honeymoon locations offered by Lion World Tours include, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Visit www.lionworldtravel.com to see customized honeymoon itineraries. Scan this tag to visit the honeymoon registry page.

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>Hot Picks -

stylish jewelry, shoes, + accessories

CULTURED PEARL NECKLACE Tejani www.tejanibridaljewelry.com

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“JAZZIEST GOLD”

Stuart Weiztman www.stuartweitzman.com

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Tejani www.tejanibridaljewelry.com

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MUSTARD CROCO

Onna Ehrlich www.onnaehrlich.com

TUXEDO PEARLS RING

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Kate Spade Couture.Zappos.com

Pour LaVictoire www.zappos.com

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CHRIS AIRE

Hollywood Glamour Collection www.chrisaire.com

SARAH CLUTCH

Onna Ehrlich www.onnaehrlich.com

Stuart Weitzman www.stuartweitzman.com

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Stuart Weiztman www.stuartweitzman.com

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>Hot Picks

stationary, boxes & embellishments

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This page:

RECHERCHE by SkratcHaus Studios www.skratchaus.com


This page:

IJORERE www.ijorereinvites.com

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skthe Expert

>What’s Your Diamond Style?

They say diamonds are a girls best friend, well how well do you know your best friend? Sylvie Levine, CEO and Creative Director of The Sylvie Collection gives answers on the hottest topics surrounding diamonds. Q: Can you explain what the 4C’s of diamonds are?

The 4 C’s of diamonds are Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color.

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sylvie’s picture

ABOUT THE SYLVIE COLLECTION The Sylvie Collection is designed by Sylvie Levine, who hails from a third generation diamond family from Belgium. She and her South African husband, Ian, share an excitement and expertise when it comes to diamonds and jewelry and have spent over 25 years in the business. The Sylvie Collection reflects passion and total commitment, by providing impeccable workmanship in each ring made, as well as flexibility and modifications to each style as needed. The Sylvie Collection is availabe at various retailers across the country, and has a long-lasting partnership with its retailers, providing for fast service and turnaround time. Visit www.sylviecollection.com to find a retailer near you.

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The diamond CUT is crucial to the look of the diamond engagement ring. A finely cut diamond can add sparkle and brilliance, giving it that “fire” that makes diamonds the stone of choice for engagement rings. In order for a diamond to show its true brilliance, it must be cut perfectly based on proportions. In order to make a sparkling, perfectly cut diamond for an engagement ring, the facets, angled sides of the diamond, need to be cut symmetrically in order to get the light to bounce from facet to facet and shine properly through to the viewer’s eye. These facets are what make the diamond reflect the light, brilliance, and gives the diamond that sparkle or “fire.” Diamonds, whether poorly cut or well cut, can come in any shape, carat size, color, and clarity. Diamonds are graded on their CLARITY. Diamond clarity is based on two major imperfections: blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions are flaws that are inside the diamonds. Blemishes are the flaws found on the outside or surface of the diamond. Flawless diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes inside the diamond or on the surface of the diamond. Imperfect diamonds have inclusions or blemishes in the diamond that are visible to the naked eye and there are many diamond grades in between. Nature determines the COLOR of a diamond. The majority of diamonds have some color in them. The color in near colorless diamonds is very hard to detect once the diamond has been mounted in the ring. Diamonds also come in other colors, like blue, yellow, brown, green, red and pink, but they are rare and therefore cost more than the near colorless, white, or clear diamonds. Almost all engagement rings use white diamonds as the center stone and usually have white diamonds surrounding and going down the shank of the ring. A CARAT is a standard unit of weight used for diamonds and other gemstones. Depending on the cut of the diamond, it can seem smaller or larger than it actually is. Many times diamonds with the same weight come with different diameters so you can choose the best diamond for your engagement ring. The diamond’s cut grade is also important in how big the diamond looks. When a diamond is cut ‘perfectly’, it can reflect a great amount of light and so it can look bigger and more brilliant. Carat size is not the most important aspect of a diamond. Don’t forget about quality! Some larger diamonds have less light and sparkle, while some smaller ones are more fiery, because of the cut and clarity.


popular shapes

>

PRINCESS

Q: What different shapes are available for diamonds these days? What’s the most popular at your shop? All Sylvie Collection rings can come with any size or shape diamond you prefer. The diamond shapes that are available are round brilliant, princess cut, emerald cut, marquise, oval, pear shape, cushion cut, radiant, and asscher cut. Our most popular diamond shape would be the round brilliant followed closely by the princess cut.

Q: What is the best way to maintain a diamonds shine? The best way to keep your diamond ring sparkling is to take good care of it. Don’t wear it when you are doing yard work or dishes, for example. Store it in the case it came with and don’t expose it to harsh or abrasive chemicals. Jewelry cleaning kits are available at some stores. However, we recommend that you take your ring to the jeweler you bought it from for a proper cleaning if it starts to look dull.

MARQUISE

OVAL

Q: How do I ensure my diamond is conflict free? All Sylvie Collection diamonds are conflict free. If you purchase your diamond from a reputable company you will find most purchase from reputable dealers.

EMERALD

PEAR

Q: Is Diamond Insurance necessary?  What should I budget for insurance? Yes, diamond insurance is strongly recommended. If you place a high value on your purchase, you would want to know that if it was lost or stolen you could replace it with either the same or something similar.

CUSHION

Each ring displayed is available in 18K white gold, or platinum. All Sylvie Collection diamond engagement rings are availabe with a flush fit matching wedding band. Visit www.sylviecollection.com for more details. All images courtesy of The Sylvie Collection.

ROUND BRILLIANT

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>Sweet Tooth

edible works of art to inspire

Ida Thibeh Wiese of Sweet Sweets Cakeart shares the inspiration behind her delectable creations, and cake shopping tips for today’s brides.

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Inspired by the bride’s invitation, the coral base in this cake adds a vibrant and romantic theme.

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Inspired by a Manzanita tree centerpiece. “The black tree with its tiny hand made branches symbolizes the departure of summer.� says Ida. Roses and pearls made of sugar add a romantic and whimsical feeling, while sitting on white snowy tiers.

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TIPS FOR BRIDES:

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Book early. Many top cake designers book quickly. Ask to see a porfolio. Get recommendations! Reputation is everything - so ask around. Contract: any reputable designer will provide you with a contract outlining the cake design, wedding details, delivery and setup details. Cake tasting: All professional designers will have a cake tasting session. WHAT TO AVOID: Don’t believe anyone that says it can’t be done. When it comes to cakes, anything can be done (for a price of course.)

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Ida found inspiration for this cake from Seattle florist, Tiare Floral Design. The edible sugar roses contrast the black and white stripes. The twigs helped to give a modern feel.


Top: Orchids made of white sugar and hand painted silver vines represen resiliance and growth in this cake design. Bottom: The hand cut out damask print was inspired by the brides invitations. Bottom right: Vibrant sugar orchids give this cake a tropical feel.

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For more cake designs from Ida, visit sweetsweets.ca.

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>Lifestyle: WAFRICA

Sometimes an unlikely pair can become a match made in heaven; and such is the case with the kimono designs by WAFRICA. The mixture of Japanese inspired kimonos made with African textiles creates a visually stunning masterpiece that is innovative, edgy and unexpected yet elegant. Munaluchi Bridal sat down with the brainchild of WAFRICA, Serge Mouangue, to gain insight on the creative process behind the line and what can be expected.

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Tell us a little about yourself. What is your background? I was born in Cameroon and my family moved to France when I was six. It was hard for me to leave my homeland and arrive in this new place where I knew nothing and no one. As my family was quite poor, we only had very basic facilities in our apartment. Drawing became a way for me to make up for what was missing in our home. I worked for different companies as a designer for various products such as footwear, cars… After I started to work for Renault, the opportunity of going to work in Tokyo for a while presented itself. I would not have missed it for the world! I had always been interested in Japanese culture and so my family and I moved to Tokyo, this is where Wafrica was born… Why did you start Wafrica and what made you blend this unlikely pair of cultures together? As an African in Japan, I am an outsider as all foreigners are. I needed to draw a bridge, a missing link between me and my new country of adoption. Something that would express who I was, this African man in Japan, but also a deeper expression of what the world is today. People travel and move all over the world and there is no longer a clear definition of home...of where we come from. Wafrica was my way of expressing [myself]. Beauty is what comes from it. The idea is to build a bridge between two very ancient and still extremely sophisticated cultures, a bridge that’s never been designed previously. How has the Japanese society perceived your designs? Globally, [I’ve had] extremely good feedback from the Art and Fashion community. One customer even refered to Wafrica as being “world heritage.” How about the African community? Within Japan, the African community was very impressed by the work and started to find their own ways to wear the kimonos. Let’s see what comes out of it… How did you come up with the name Wafrica? What’s the significance? Wa = Spirit of Japan + Africa

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Sketches by Serge Mouangue


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Text by Dreena Whitfield

Photographed by STEPHANIE MATTHEWS Kimono styled by Hiromi Asai of Mode & Classic LLC Fashion stylist: Michelle Washington

Makeup: MelissaRoshan Perkins Hair: Kira for HuSH Salon, NJ; All jewelry by Charles Albert.

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“The idea is to build a bridge between two very an-

cient and still extremely sophisticated cultures, a bridge that’s never been designed previously.”

Modern African fabrics resonate in the heart of the bride while the high quality Japanese Kyoto silk soften and excels this look.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? It’s difficult to answer… New narration, ambiguity and people’s history are inspirational. The aesthetics of a new story pulse is something that drives me. Aesthetics can project past ethical meaning to a feasible and promising future sometimes… Describe the fabrics used to make this special collection of kimonos. We have used mainly both high quality Kyoto made white silk and high superior African Wax print. The combination is striking and unique. Who is your target market? In the US it would be open-minded Afro-American women that love art and fashion. Women who want to wear something new and unique. It is a new sense of style and independence. But honestly, only a very sophisticated woman with a sense of art that is confident with her own taste is the focus target.

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Do you anticipate opening a boutique in the future? I would love to open a boutique… If there are potential partners interested in the US I would be happy to discuss a collaboration. What are the price points for the designs? There are many products in the line up today, but globally it goes from around $400 to $3000 depending on what you are looking for. How can brides order your Kimonos? Through the website, www.wafrica.jp. Very special care will be taken if they are Munaluchi readers of course!

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Themed “female lion,” this sophisticated combination incorporates refined and superior “Mon-Isho Chirimen,” Kyoto silk with African wax to reach a natural wild beauty.

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A new elegant sense of seduction has come to life in this design. Warmly aesthetic, while still exuding a modern and timeless manner. Woven with double thread, the creamy layers of Kyoto silk perfectly compliment the African lining.

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Eternally sumptuous. The vibrant African wax uniquely combined with Kyoto craftsmen silk creates a glossy effect that radiates the skin.

WAFRICA designs are currently on exhibition for The Global Africa Project at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. They will be on display from November 17, 2010 and run through May 15, 2011. For more information on WAFRICA, visit www.wafrica.jp.

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The Diamond Directory

Enjoy the following listing of preferred wedding professionals from all across the globe. Browse by location online at www.munaluchibridal.com. ACCESSORIES Kua Designs

NEW JERSEY www.kuadesigns.com At Kua Designs, we stand by what the word ‘Kua’ means to us-unadulterated beauty, simplicity and cultural grounding. We strive to be sweatshop-free, environmentally conscious, socially responsible and charitably minded. kua@kuadesign.com

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Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

NEW YORK www.bridalatelier.com Upscale bridal salon offering personal service for the discerning bride. by appointment only 212.319.6778

CAKES Sweetsweets Cakeart

CANADA www.sweetsweets.ca Specializing in Wedding cakes that are not just cakes, but works of art, designed to exclusively reflect each client’s personal taste and style. sweetsweets@rogers.com 519.576.2294

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CATERING Lalibela

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ www.lernj.com Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine. We also provide catering services for all occasions. meklit@lernj.com 973-327-4840

O’Suya Exotic Bites

NATIONWIDE www.osuyaonline.com O’Suya exotic bites, made to perfection, are arguably the best Suya experience online! Indulge yourself in this taste of home one stick at time.


The Diamond Directory

DESIGNERS Cote Minou

MARYLAND www.mycoteminou.com In an attempt to change the way people see the use of the African cloth, Cote Minou designs clothing with an African/modern flair that people can wear without thinking too much about it.

Deola Sagoe

NIGERIA www.deolasagoe.net This dynamic brand’s original objective is to celebrate the inherent unique style and ethnic glamour found in local African fabrics and hand-woven materials, by exploring that which is genuinely African, while interpreting the continent’s cultural diversity and artistry using a vibrant infusion of complex color combinations that evokes the simplicity and elegance of the modern African woman’s silhouette. info@deolasagoe.net +234.1.791.8383

EVENT PLANNING Gown byGigi FAsh

Your Big Day Event Planning

NEW JERSEY www.yourbigdayllc.com At Your Big Day we are committed to making you feel like a guest at your wedding. While we ensure that your day is filled with your heart’s desire. weddings@yourbigdayllc.com 908.206.4107

EVENT DESIGN & DECOR MoaCreations Event Design and Decor

EAST COAST, US www.moacreations.com MoaCreations specializes in Interior space, weddings, private parties, showers, entire event and theme coordination, custom invitation, centerpieces, lighting, stationery, favors and accessory design etc. we will go above and beyond to bring your visions and imaginations to life with the highest level of creativity and personalized services ensuring each design experience is unique, memorable, and stress free. moacreations@gmail.com 302.256.3113

Pure Chic Events

NEW JERSEY www.purechicevents.com Pure Chic Events serves as your creative partner ... not just by overseeing logistical matters ... but providing a wealth of resources, ideas, opinions and insights. We have professional relationships with vendors in all budget categories so you avoid the hours of legwork finding reliable resources. 973.452.1473

ENTERTAINMENT DJ Mecca

NEW JERSEY World class disc jockey and MC Services. Phone: 732.423.5371

Soulful Sounds NY

NEW YORK www.soulfulsoundsny.com Specializing in music, lighting, and sound for all occasions. Our DJ’s play a variety of music tailored for your wedding event. We also have special lighting packages and party favor giveaways! jeff@soulfulsoundsny.com 718.712.8339

DJ Blox

UNITED KINGDOM www.bloxworld.com DJ Blox is the premier UK DJ. Ready for any occasion and available world wide. djblox@bloxworld.com +447886806625

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The Diamond Directory

designed by Eronmwon Balogun of Pure Chic

fabrics/design Stanhope Fabrics and Design

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NEW JERSEY Distributor of African fabrics and fine lace, and designs that fuse Western with African culture. 973.9012208

FAVORS Yum Yum Candles

NATIONWIDE www.yumyumcandle.com Our mission is simple.... to create chic, incredibly-scented products that are less harmful to our living environment, our planet and our bodies. sales@yumyumcandles.com 973.391.1108

FLORISTS Janie Medley Flora Design

VIRGINIA www.jmflora.com Stunning floral arrangements and centerpieces to make your wedding day oh so special. janie@jmflora.com 804.672.2083

HAIR STYLISTS

African Favors

MARYLAND www.affavors.com African Favors is a woman-owned company whose specialty is to provide you with a small touch of your heritage that will leave long lasting memories with your guests. Wanting to show your African culture through your event is only natural and we offer you an opportunity to do it while keeping a very contemporary and modern ceremony and reception. info@affavors.com 240.654.6860

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Ade Studios

29 COVERT BROOKLYN, NY www.studioade.com For locks, style, color, maintenance. Bridal Services available. info@studioade.com 718.919.0450

Philly Finest Hair Salon 4360 CENTRAL AVENUE ST. PETE, FL 33711 www.phillyfinest.com Where your make-up and nails come alive. 727.328.7971


Tanzania Odyssey NATIONWIDE www.tanzaniaodyssey.com

Over the last decade we have arranged many different and individually tailored honeymoons to Tanzania. Our knowledge is always up-to-date, and we are adamant that our experience will help you to create a memorable and spectacular honeymoon. info@tanzaniaodyssey.com 866.356.4691

The Gambia Experience

UNITED KINGDOM www.gambia.co.uk At The Gambia Experience we have been providing holidays to The Gambia for more than 20 years and have all the expertise you’ll need to help plan your perfect holiday in the sun – be that a summer holiday or a chance to escape for some much needed winter sun. 0845-330-2060

Lion World Tours

US/CANADA www.lionworldtravel.com Lion World Tours specializes in group and individual tours to Southern and East Africa, as well as Egypt. We will customize itineraries to destinations such as South Africa including Cape Town and Private Game Reserves, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, and much more. Take advantage of our Honeymoon Registries! info@lionworldtravel.com 800.387.2706

Invitations/ Stationary SkratcHaus Studios

GEORGIA www.skratchaus.com As a multi faceted design studio, SkratcHaus Studios, Inc. offers graphic design services, as well as our invitations and stationery services branded under Recherché by SkratcHaus Studios. We develop unique creative solutions tailored specifically for our clients needs. Each project has a unique voice based on research and comprehensive communication. From the initial one on one consultation through a personalized process we communicate with you to visualize a dynamic solution. timi@skratchaus.com 404-593-1672

JEWELRY Kua Designs

NEW JERSEY www.kuadesigns.com At Kua Designs, we stand by what the word ‘Kua’ means to us-unadulterated beauty, simplicity and cultural grounding. We strive to be sweatshop-free, environmentally conscious, socially responsible and charitably minded. kua@kuadesign.com Photo courtesy of South African Toursim

The Diamond Directory

HONEYMOON RESOURCES

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The Diamond Directory

MAKEUP ARTISTRY Makeup by MelissaRoshan

OHIO www.melissaroshan.com My philosophy has always to keep your make-up looking fresh, clean, and natural. I will simply enhance your natural beauty, so that you still look like you. makeup@melissaroshan.com 614.282.8197

Julia Dalton-Brush Makeup

photography: Photogen

NEW YORK www.juliadaltonbrush.com Beauty is artistry and concepts and creativity in your own self. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that is what makes it perfect. Beauty is what you make of it and I love creating what I feel is beautiful whether it is perfectly natural, or intesely avant garde. info@juliadaltonbrush.com 917.685.6813

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Munaluchi Studios

NEW JERSEY A blend of art and professionalism. Offering photo-journalistic style photography, Munaluchi studios captures events so memories can last a lifetime. Available worldwide. 800.314.6042

Keith Cephus Photography

VIRGINIA BEACH www.keithcephus.com Virginia Beach wedding photographer Keith Cephus provides wedding photography services across the country. His body of work includes destination weddings in: St. Lucia, Miami, Bahamas, Mexico, and Hawaii. His experience as a photojournalist allows him to document events in an unobtrusive style. As one of the most sought after wedding photojournalists abroad, let Keith Cephus capture the essence of your special day!! kcephus@cox.net 757.430.2169

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The Wilshire Grand 350 PLEASANT VALLEY WAY WEST ORANGE, NJ 07052

www.thewilshiregrandhotel.com The Wilshire Grand Hotel is a first-class New Jersey hotel boasting 88 guest rooms, a large meeting & banquet facility, a highly rated Italian restaurant “Primavera�, plus all the conveniences and amenities of home in a luxury setting. 973.731.7007

Oheka Castle

135 WEST GATE DRIVE HUNTINGTON , NEW YORK 11743 www.ohekacastle.com OHEKA Castle, a New York Wedding location, is the premier destination wedding venue in the world; the perfect setting to host your special event. Exclusive & unforgettable, from the historic estate and formal gardens to the elegant rooms, meticulous intuitive service & award winning cuisine. reservation@ohekacastle.com 631.659.1400

Oheka Castle

The Diamond Directory

RECEPTION SITES

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Photography: Rh Photoarts


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Couples/Photographers interested in submitting a wedding for consideration in the publication can fill out an application online at www.munaluchibridal.com. Regretfully, due to the volume of submissions, we will not be able to respond to all requests.

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS:

Please do not send original artwork, manuscripts or other material to Munaluchi Bridal Magazine. No responsibility will be taken for unsolicited material. Editorial material can be sent to info@munaluchibridal.com.

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Annual subscriptions within the US and Canada are now available at a cost of USD$14 per year (2 issues) for US and USD$28 for Canada. Visit www.munaluchibridal.com to subscribe.

ADVERTISING:

To advertise here or anywhere else in Munaluchi Bridal Magazine, please send all inquiries to advertise@munaluchibridal.com. Online advertising requests for www.munaluchibridal.com should also be sent to advertise@munaluchibridal.com. Once your inquiry is received, a media kit will be made available.

Munaluchi Bridal Magazine is published bi-annually by Munaluchi LLC., 212 W. Route 38, Suite 200, Moorestown, NJ 08057. For address changes, mail requests to Munaluchi Bridal Magazine, Subscriptions, 212 W. Route 38, Suite 200, Moorestown, NJ 08057.

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Alexis Entertainment

NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA

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ADVERTISER INDEX ACCESSORIES Onna Ehrlich www.onnaehrlich.com p121 BRIDAL FASHION Ines di Santo www.inesdisanto.com pp 2-5 Claire Pettibone www.clairepettibone.com p7 Ugo Zaldi www.ugozaldi.com p11 BRIDAL SALONS Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier www.bridalatelier.com pp30-31 CATERERS Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant www.lernj.com p165 ENTERTAINMENT DJ Mecca p200

FORMALWEAR

Artcarved www.artcarved.com p145

Oheka Castle www.oheka.com p15

FAVORS

Chris Aire www.chrisaire.com cover2, p1

Richfield Regency www.richfieldregency.com p29

African Favors www.affavors.com p118

Tejani www.tejanibridaljewelry.com p13

REGISTRIES

Onna Ehrlich www.onnaehrlich.com

HONEYMOONS/ DESTINATIONS:

Sylvie Collection www.sylviecollection.com p37

Target Club Wedd Registry www.target.com p39

Shades of Lay Anaele Owunwanne www.squidmark.com

Kleinfeld Men www.kleinfeldmen.com p17

Halfmoon, Jamaica www.halfmoon.com cover 3 Lion World Tours www.lionworldtravel.com cover 4 INVITATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY Keith Cephus Photography www.keithcephus.com p111

Williams-Sonoma www.williams-sonoma.com p51, 70-71 TRAVEL

South African Airways www.flysaa.com Kelechi Amadi-Obi Photography p151 www.kelechiamadiobi.com p109

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Ijorere Invites www.ijorere.com p200

PRINTING SERVICES

LINGERIE

Shweiki Media www.shweiki.com p199

Victoria’s Secret www.victoriassecret.com pp62-63

RECEPTION SITES

JEWELRY

The Wilshire Grand Caterers thewilshiregrandcaterers.com p41

EDITORIAL INDEX ACCESSORIES Claire’s www.claires.com Dianna Castner www.diannacastner.net

WWW.IJORERE.COM

David Tutera by Faviana www.davidtuterabyfaviana.com Harlem’s Heaven hats www.harlemsheaven.com Icing by Claire's www.icing.com

Sergio Zelcer www.spanishleather.com

BEAUTY/HAIR Annlum Red http://www.annlumred.com Bella Salon & Spa http://bellasalonedina.com Crystal Oliver Los Angeles, CA 323-356-5653 Eric Ferrell Los Angeles, CA FSL Cosmetics www.fslcosmetics.com Ginger and Liz www.gingerandliz.com Kathy Louis 516-830-8704


Kira Simpson for HuSH Salon www.hushsalonspa.com

Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier www.bridalatelier.com

Kluk www.kluk.co.za

Julia S. Dalton-Brush www.juliadaltonbrush.com

Mori Lee www.morilee.com/Bridals

Michelle Ludek www.michelleludek.co.za

MelissaRoshan Perkins www.melissaroshan.com

CAKES

Stoned Cherrie www.stonedcherrie.co.za

Mirabelle Artistry www.mirabelleartistry.com Modern Salon & Spa www.modernsalonandspa.com Segun Gele www.segungele.com

Carmen Tarry Cakes www.carmentarry.co.uk Cloud 9 Confections www.cloud9confections.com Helena Wirth Cakes www.helenawirthcakes.com

Stefania Morland www.stefaniamorland.com The Hemma Collection www.thehemmacollection. com

Newton and David Floral Arrangements Nigeria, West Africa www.newtonanddavid.com

Rh Photoarts www.rhphotoarts.com

Sadie’s Floral http://sadiesfloral.com

Photogen Inc http://photogen-inc.com

HONEYMOONS/ DESTINATIONS

Photography by Abi www.photographybyabi.co.uk

Lion World Tours www.lionworldtravel.com

Stephanie Matthews www.stephaniematthewsphotography. dphoto.com

South African Tourism www.southafrica.net

Irrisistible Cakes-Canada

The Roots of Aso Oke www.derootofasoke.net

Sweetsweets Cakeart www.sweetsweets.ca

WAFRICA www.wafrica.jp

Tippi Shorter www.tippishorter.com

CATERING Anoush Catering www.anoush.com

Lehr and Black www.lehrandblack.com

BRIDAL FASHION

Wedding Lace-Lagos Fashions Los Angeles, CA 310-768-3972

Anjolique www.anjolique.com

FAVORS

Basement Catering Ghana, West Africa

SCM Design www.scmdesign.com

Annlum Red modelmayhem.com/annlumred

La Pierre Caterers http://lepierrecaterers.com

Anne Barge www.annebarge.com

Lagos Café Gardena, CA 310-768-3972

Sheika Daley www.kenbarboza.com/makeup/ sheika_daley

Badgley Mischka badgleymischkabride.co Claire Pettibone www.clairepettibone.com David Tutera by Faviana www.davittuterabyfaviana.com Enzoani www.enzoani.com Kevan Hall www.kevanhalldesigns.com Kosibah Creations www.kosibah.co.uk Ines di Santo www.inesdisanto.com Kenneth Pool www.Kennethpool.com La Sposa  http://lasposa.com Monique Lhuillier www.moniquelhuillier.com Pnina Tornai at Kleinfeld www.kleinfeldbridal.com Priscilla of Boston www.priscillaofboston.com Romona Keveza www.romonakeveza.com Vera Wang www.verawang.com

BRIDAL SALONS La Sposa from Unique Bridals www.luellasboudoir.co.uk Lily Rose Bridal Boutique www.lilyrosebridal.com Kleinfeld Bridal www.kleinfeldbridal.com

ENTERTAINMENT

Yum Yum Candle www.yumyumcandle.com

FORMALWEAR/ MENS FASHION Aquascutum http://secretsales.com/brands/ pages/Aquascutum

INVITATIONS/ STATIONARY

DJ Clue www.dj-clue.net

Couture Saboteur www.couturesaboteur.com

Spintastic Sounds www.spintasticsounds.com

Penguin Tuxedo www.penguinstux.com

From This Day Forward Wedding Event Design www.fromthisdayforwardweddingdesign.com

Ron and Ron www.ronandron.com

C. Brower & Co. www.cbrowerandco.com Ed Libby Events www.edlibby.com Invisible Blue www.invisibleblue.com Style Perfect Weddings & Events www.styleperfectevents.com White Night Design www.whitenightdesign.com

FASHION Arewa Designs www.arewadesigns.com Deola Sagoe www.deolasagoe.net Eki Orleans www.ekiorleans.com Kiki Kamanu www.kikikamanu.com

English Laundry www.englishlaundry.com Toriola Inc. www.toriolastribaltees.com Tuxes by Calvin Klein www.calvinklein.com Vogue Sposa www.voguesposa.ca Viyella www.viyella.co.za Waraire Boswell www.wb-collection.com/

FLORISTS Flowers and More Ghana, West Africa Four Seasons Floral Design Fourseasonsfloraldesign.com JM Medley Flora Design www.jmflora.com Julie’s Exotic Flowers 818-893-5189

STYLISTS Hiromi Asai Mode & Classic LLC www.kimonohiro.com

Bergstrom Jewelers of Minneapolis http://bergstromjewelers.com

Gieves and Hawkes, Saville Row, London www.gievesandhawkes.com

EVENT DESIGN

Party Reflections www.partyreflections.com

JEWELRY

Charles Albert www.charlesalbert.com

Savvi Formal Ware www.savviformalwear.com/

Classic Party Rentals www.classicpartyrentals.com

Tola Taylor Creative

Buckleigh of London buckleighoflondon.com

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RENTALS

SkratcHaus Studios www.skratchaus.com

Chris Aire www.chrisaire.com

Ben Brako and Band Ghana, West Africa

Victor Lee Photography http://victorleephotography.com

Ijorere www.ijorere.com

Alfred Angelo www.alfredangelo.com

Bellagala DJ Services www.bellagala.com/dj

The Beautiful Mess www.thebeautifulmess.com

Tori Famuyiwa www.wix.com/torifam/creative Michelle Washington www.fashionstylistmichelle.dphoto.com

WEDDING PLANNERS Absolute Events by Corrine www.absoluteeventsbycorrine.com C. Brower & Co.  www.cbrowerandco.com

Haidos Collection www.haidoscollection.com

Kairos Moment Wedding Planners www.thekairosmomentweddings.com

Regina B www.reginab.com

Mindy Weiss www.mindyweiss.com

Tejani www.tejanibridaljewelry.com

WEDDING VENUES

LINENS

Cipriani, NY www.cipriani.com

Connie Duglin Specialy Linen www.connieduglinlinen.com

Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort www.marriott.com/hotels/travel

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Harvey B. Gantt Center www.aacc-charlotte.org

Anna Rosell Photography www.annarosell.com

Landmark Village,  Victoria Island, Lagos

Bob and Dawn Davis www.bobanddawndavis.com

Le Foyer Ballroom & Lounge www.anoush.com

Christopher Duggan www.thresholdvisions.com   Olivier Kpognon www.olivierkpognon.com

Macari Vineyards-NY www.macariwines.com

Jodi Miller Photography www.jodimillerphotography.com Joshua Dwain Photography http://joshuadwain.com Kele Akaniro www.keleakaniro.com Kelechi Amadi-Obi www.kelechiamadiobi.com

Mississauga Grande Banquet Hall www.mississaugagrand.com Pickwick Gardens www.pickwickgardens.com The Hurlingham Club www.hurlinghamclub.org.uk The University Club of St. Paul www.universityclubofstpaul.com

www.munaluchibridal.com

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Real Weddings 204

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Kiki + Noble

Kamanu Ekajeh

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Ciragan Palace Istanbul, Turkey October 10, 2010

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Bridal Gown: Kiki Kamanu Inc.

Real Weddings

Bridesmaids: Kiki Kamanu Inc.

Cake/Caterer: Cirigan Palace, Istanbul

Event Design: Elizi Organizasyon

Hair/Makeup: Venue: Nike Akande/MAC Ciragan Palace

Videographer: Tina Kamanu-Onoja

Wedding Planner: Kiki Kamanu

Photography:

Kelechi Amadi Obi + Kele Akaniro

I 206

n ancient China, it was believed that an invisible red string of love connected those who are destined to be together. For power couple, Kiki Kamanu and Noble Ekajeh, this romantic folklore held true to its word. Ironically, having both lived in Paris, went to school in the Massachusetts area and having residences in the same neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria, their strand of enchantment always held them nearby. It was until a fateful introduction from a mutual friend at the Bogobiri House Hotel lounge in West Ikoyi Lagos that their lifelong strings forgoing years of being stretched, twisted and tangled finally united. From that moment on, a whirlwind relationship ensued. Initially beginning their relationship as wholesome and strictly business, it quickly blossomed and grew beyond their wildest dreams. There was no doubt that the next step was not toward a romantic engagement but indeed a marriage. The commitment to a loving and happy life together was made when the couple, after nine months of knowing each other, secretly eloped to Istanbul in March of 2010 and then announced it on Facebook an hour later! “This was a shock to everyone because all of our friends and family thought we were just business partners,” said Kiki.

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Deemed as one of the top innovative international fashion designers, and with five years of experience as an events and conference planner for Harvard, Kiki was more than ready to take full charge in planning their special day once again in Istanbul for everyone to experience. Already having settled on a wedding date of 10-10-10, Kiki began her work by creating over thirty outfits for the bridal train. “This was an obstacle because everyone was spread out over four continents,” said Kiki. The couple’s ceremony took place at the former Ottoman Palace, ornately decorated with marble staircases and massive chandeliers. “The Christian ceremony was the most important,” said Kiki. “We wanted to ensure that the guests were able to have a spiritual experience according to our church in Lagos, The House on The Rock. This was skillfully carried out by our pastor Paul Adefarasin.”

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With her keen eye for fashion, Kiki indulged in making their wedding event the talk of the century by creating a New York Fashion Week theme. The ceremony featured a red carpet that ran between the aisle and velvet ropes that sat along the pews. The wedding brochure was styled like a Vogue magazine and titled 10.10.10, Istanbul Edition complete with fashion photos of the couple. “The guests were also specifically told not to wear black but to experiment with color” said Kiki. Her bridesmaids wore gowns uniquely different from each other and were full of eye popping colors and lace imported from Dubai, while the groomsmen wore multi-colored embroidered Indian silk kaftans designed by Kiki herself. While they both agreed elegance and style were an important tone of their celebration, the couple also wanted to pay respects to their Nigerian heritage by sharing some traditional aspects with their guest as well. With that in mind, Kiki’s father, Dr. Kamanu invited everyone to partake in the breaking of the kola nut, an Igbo tradition seen throughout Nigeria. “As we were planning the event, the staff at the Ciragan Palace were so awed that they begged us to have the main Turkish Television station cover it. It was aired several times on Turkish TV and primetime TV, and it made instant celebrities out of us and our guests as we were recognized on the streets!” said Kiki. Once the couple said their “I do’s” Kiki and Noble’s guests, followed by the Turkish Television station knew they would be in for a treat as they moved into the reception area. At each table, tall cylin-

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Real Weddings

drical fishbowls with real gold fish were placed on two mirrored trays, surrounded by tiny frosted glass vases with tea lights; all while a slideshow filled with the couple and their family partaking in various fashion poses beamed in the background. In addition to serving a menu filled with the couple’s favorite authentic Turkish dishes, guests also were able to experience a broad range of music and Turkish belly dancers throughout the evening. Kiki recounts, “We did not want the guests to feel like they were in a typcial wedding. All the rules were changed!” Upon departure, each of the 150 guests received a special customized favor made by Kiki. For Kiki and Noble, their mission in creating a newsworthy once in a lifetime event together was complete; however, their journey had only just begun.

Kaylyn Eshesimua

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{

BRIDE’S CORNER

{

“Hear what people tell you about planning YOUR event, but listen to your hearts.” -Kiki

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Spring Summer 2011  

Lala Vazquez covers the latest edition of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine in a stunning Vera Wang dress. In this issue, find beauty tips, gorgous...

Spring Summer 2011  

Lala Vazquez covers the latest edition of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine in a stunning Vera Wang dress. In this issue, find beauty tips, gorgous...