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TRUE LOVE’S DAY: Our Favorite Couple

USE THESE GREAT TIPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT: Photographer, Baker, Chef, Florist, & Event Planner

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CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST AND MAKEUP ARTIST CC THE GREAT SHARES TIPS FOR YOUR BIG DAY

Exclusive Gown Designs by

Linda

Rowe Thomas


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OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE


Our Weddings Magazine Subscription Order Form Single Subscriber Version: info@ourweddingsmag.com. Order online at http://www.ourweddingsmag.com Magazine: Our Weddings Magazine(OW01) Subscription Term: 4 Issues (4 per Year) Category: Bridal Retail Cost: $4.95 Your Low Price: $16.00 Online Link: http://www.ourweddingsmag.com BILLING INFORMATION: Name: ______________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: _______________________________________________________________________________ Company: ___________________________________________________________________________________ Email: ________________________________________ Phone: _____________________ Fax_______________ RECIPIENT INFORMATION: Ship to Billing Address Name: ______________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: _______________________________________________________________________________ Company: ___________________________________________________________________________________ Email: ________________________________________ PAYMENT METHOD: Check Visa

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Card Number: __________________________________ Authorization signature: ___________________________ Expiration Date: ____________ CVVS Code __________ ABOUT THE MAGAZINE Our Weddings Magazine is designed with the Black (African American) bride and groom in mind. Our Weddings Magazine will highlight many different experiences we as brides go through to get down the aisle. From our hair to our makeup, Black brides search high and low to find the best of the best for their special day. Our Weddings Magazine will also highlight beauty, honeymooning, wedding day needs and checklists and other great tips, advice and articles for that special day. You will love adding Our Weddings Magazine to your collection! Subscribe now and enjoy learning all things wedding from a Black brides

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Index

10

CONTENT

8 FIND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER Tips for finding the right photographer for your wedding 9 CAKE! WHAT IS IT REALLY ABOUT? Learn all about selecting your wedding cake

10 BRINGING YOUR WEDDING TO LIFE

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HAIR AND MAKEUP GUIDE Create your wedding look with this How To Guide

14 TIPS FOR BUDGETING YOUR WEDDING Don’t go broke trying to impress others, learn great money saving tips for your wedding day

Finding the right flowers could mean the difference in your wedding scheme 11 TOP 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CATERER Having the right food menu is important but having the right caterer or personal chef is more important 12 GET THE LOOK: WEDDING

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 REAKING THE MOLD: B ROMAS BY LINDA ROWE THOMAS

26 T  HE PERFECT DECOR

Exclusive interview with renowned

24 HIS SIDE: PAUL BRYANT

The decorations at your wedding will definitely set the mood with these great tips

designer Linda Rowe Thomas

Every man has his opinion on love and mar-

28 TRUE LOVE’S DAY

riage and name is no different 30 DIRECTORY

Wedding spotlight of Michael and Rachel Knight 22

Find the right vendor for your big day

CONVENIENTLY UNCONVENTIONAL

23 2015 SPRING

Adding flare to your wedding and breaking

WEDDING DRESS TRENDS

away from the traditional look of it all

Take a look at these wonderful dresseriage

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Ivy N. McQuain, Publisher Eric Bettis, Art & Graphic Designer LAYOUT: BLI Solutions, a subsidiary of The BLI Group CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Janean Wadley, Forever Yes Weddings Nicole Smedley, Nicole Smedley Event Designs Porsha Kimble, Your Cake Diva Shunnique Fletcher, ChiCity Photography Elizabeth Lizzy Maina, Fashion Stylist Kevin Johnson, Chef Latasha Stephens, Tea and Tee Party Rentals Nekea Valentine, Fashion Writer and Stylist WEDDING DRESS SPREAD: Designer: Linda Rowe Thomas, Romas by Linda Rowe Thomas Jewelry: Haute Indulgence Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC The Great Watkins Photographers: ChiCity Photography & City

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From the Editor

What IS Our Weddings Magazine?

facebook.com/ivynmcquainmba twitter.com/ivymcquain

We had fun with our wedding photo shoot Linda Rowe Thomas hand stitched and sewn wedding dresses

One of the things that I missed out on when I was getting married in 2003 was the imagery of African Americansor Black brides and grooms. Don’t get me wrong the other magazines were helpful but I didn’t see me as I flipped through the pages of the other magazines. I saw beautiful dresses, rings and great tips on getting married but I didn’t see a representation of me. Years later and a divorce under my belt I still like to look at bridal magazines and you know what I realized? Not much has changed as far as a represenation of Black brides and grooms on the pages of larger bridal magazines. I am not sure if they don’t think that we as a whole get married or if we want to be married but for me it is upsetting to see such large brands not target Blacks. Yes, they may share a photo or two of a Black couple in their wedding bliss but that’s it. At least that’s all that I have seen. So when I started to think about how can we be represented I did my research. I looked at other magazines, bridal and some not bridal and

I decided that if I was going to tell my story about Black love that I needed the best writers, the best photographers and the best way to do it. With this first issue I am not in it for the advertising because that’s a hard sell your first time out of the gate, but my goal has been and will continue to be to tell the stories of Black couples who loved each other enough to get married and stay married. Just know that Our Weddings Magazine is not your ordinary magazine about how to get married. No, it’s much more. It’s for that little Black girl who may think that we don’t get married and for that little Black boy to know that it’s okay to marry the woman you love. I want those kids to turn to our pages and see themselves and know that it’s okay to get married and stay married. I hope you enjoy and support OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE. Ivy N. McQuain, Founder

We took it back to the 1920s for this wedding shoot Wedding photo shoot

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Travel

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2015 Spring Wedding Dress Trends Picking the perfect wedding dress means everything to the bride and these wonderful trends for 2015 will give any bride great ideas for finding the perfect dress for her big day.

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Ask the Expert

Find Your Photographer By Shunnique Fletcher Owner of ChiCity Photography

Your wedding day is quite possibly the most important day of your life. It is day you will cherish and talk about for years to come. When deciding on a photographer, you want to make sure you choose a photographer who best captures the true essence and feeling of that day – a photographer who has the ability to bring those feeling back to life by freezing the most memorable moments in time. Here are a few tips you should consider when choosing the right photographer for your wedding day: 1. Have a clear cut and honest idea of what you want. Do not consider looking for or hiring a photographer until after you have clearly chosen the style, theme, date, time, location and budget for your wedding. 2. Create a prospect list. Begin creating a list photographers you want to contact. Do not limit yourself – it’s fine to use the internet for a generic search of “wedding photographers” in your area; however consider all of your resources. Past brides are a good point of reference when looking for photographers, so reach out to your family members, friends or co-workers. Social media is another good resource. 3. Research your prospects. Do they have a website or photos posted on their social media page? Are there any reviews or comments listed about their work? Does their style of work match what you are looking for? Are they visually creative? Do you like what you see? 4. Interview your prospect by phone first. The photographer should be able to tell you if they are available for the date and time of your wedding, if there is a mileage fee charged for your location and what wedding packages they offer. Give a general overview of the theme of your wedding and discuss what you are looking for. Don’t forget to ask for two or three references.

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5. Schedule a face to face meeting with the prospects you feel most comfortable with. Allow yourself enough time to meet with your prospect so you can review the following: samples of their prints, wedding books, and all paperwork (a brochure of packages with prices, a shot list – some photographers may not have a shot list, and if possible, a contract). You can also request to view a complete wedding shoot so you can get a clear understanding of the photographer’s style. 6. Things to consider: How nice are they? Do they understand what I am looking for? Is their style comparable to yours? Are they providing clear explanations? When it comes to price don’t let pricey photographers scare you away? Remember, you get what you pay for, but it’s fair to ask if their wedding packages are negotiable (can you add on or exclude)? 7. Contact the verifiable references. Ask if they were satisfied with the photographers work or not. If the person was not satisfied, do not bother asking for the specifics of the situation. Also ask if they have or if they would refer the photographer to others in the future. 8. Sleep on it! Never make a decision without thinking it all the way through. Take a moment to step away from the situation, then return to it with a clear mind and choose the photographer you feel most comfortable with. Remember, this person is going to spend a greater part of your most important day with you, so make sure you choose someone you feel comfortable with. When a photographer feels that they have your complete trust, their confidence is boosted and their stress level is reduced. They will perform at their best to give you the best memories of your wedding day.

Shunnique Fletcher Photographer

Website: www.ChiCityPhotography.com Phone: (214) 407-4342 Facebook: Facebook.com/ChiCityPhotography


Ask the Expert

Bringing Your Wedding to Life By Nicole Smedley Florist and Owner of Nicole Smedley Event Designs

• S  tart with a Pinterest Board. This allows you to collect your thoughts and ideas for your big day. Giving your florist access to your board help them create your personal style.

Creating the perfect look

for your wedding is challenging for many brides. Not only are they on a hunt to find the perfect dress and venue they also must create the perfect look. Here are some great tips for picking the right floral look for your wedding.

• Use fresh flowers, instead of faux ones. Despite what you may think having quality silk flowers can be very costly. If you are trying to be budget friendly, then you using real flowers can be a more effective option. • Select budget friendly flowers. Roses and hydrangeas can be purchased at wholesale prices and come from all over the world. There are hundreds and hundreds types of roses, and they all bloom differently, and come in various shades. Hydrangeas takes up plenty of space due to their size, therefore they are very efficient. • Don’t be afraid to play with different colors. Many brides have their colors deadlocked and fail to change their mind but if you are option to executing the perfect

wedding look, then play with different color combinations for your flowers. • M  atch your flowers with greenery to add volume. If you have a tight budget, try adding greenery to your floral arrangements to add dimension and volume. • D  ress up your tables. The secret to having a beautiful table is having a “full” table. Not only do you want charger plates, silverware, goblets, centerpieces and candles consider sub-centerpieces which are smaller floral arrangements circling your table. It adds flare! • D  on’t just leave your flowers on the table. If you are going to pay for flowers, then use them everywhere you can. Place them on tables, on chairs and around your venue. Whatever you envision for your wedding, just remember your budget! Other than that… go for it and bring your wedding to life with real flowers!

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Ask the Expert

CAKE! What Is It Really About? By Porsha “Cake Diva” Kimble, Celebrity Cake Designer & Owner of Your Cake Diva

Cake trends change but the topic of money and cake budget always remains the same. In this day and age the word, “CAKE” has gone to an entire new level. From wedding themes to over the top extravagant cakes for a wow factor, you need to consider the cost. Here are some tips to help you understand what cake is really about. • TA S T I N G / C O N S U LT: When going to your baker or bakery take the time to look at their work prior to setting up the appointment. See if the baker or bakery has a variety of styles and flavors. When you set your appointment see the cakes they have to offer from the most complex to the most detailed. Don’t just order just a plain old vanilla, chocolate and/ or strawberry flavored cake. Since you are paying a lot of money for a special cake, you should pick special flavors and/or fillings to take it up a notch. Besides we all know what those flavors taste like and honestly when you have a tasting, those shouldn’t be the only flavors offered! Use each of your tastings as a comparison to the next one you may have. But if you are in love with what you have tasted and seen, book the day of. You are not the only couple getting married that weekend in the entire city, so keep that in mind before you lose your favorite baker! • BUDGET: Remember to stay within your budget. Any baker or bakery can make what you want the cake but you as the customer must be willing to pay for the request. Or maybe scale back on items on the cake. For example, handmade edible flowers and decorations can

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drive the price up dramatically. Use fresh flowers instead. Mainly the cost is based on serving per person. If you have invited 200 people, order a cake for 175 or less. Not everyone eats cake and/ or some are diabetic. You could use that money towards something else instead of throwing extra cake you paid for in the trash. Faux tiers are a big trend, but remember, the faux tiers cost and there are times the faux layers can be higher than ordering a “real” cake. DECISIONS: When making the decision your cake or cakes, don’t

let the price be the winning factor. Cheap cake isn’t always good cake! You do get what you pay for. But if cake isn’t your thing, it’s okay to go “outside the box”! Instead of cake create a dessert table with cake pops, cupcakes, mini pies, tarts, and chocolate covered strawberries. This not only is handy when time to clean up but it’s different, modern and well could be less expensive. Overall make the cake/cakes, desserts or whatever you chose be about you and no one else. It is your day and you should choose what works best for your budget!


Ask the Expert

Top 5 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Caterer By Kevin Johnson, Chef and Owner of CULINARY AFFAIRS BY CHEF KEVIN

Looking for a caterer or personal chef for your wedding day is hard work, especially if you have special dietary needs. Chef Kevin Johnson gives our brides and grooms the best advice for finding the right caterer or chef for that special day: 1. Do you offer tastings? Tastings offer you an opportunity to test drive the catering menu. A Chef should always be willing to do a tasting, however if the Chef is referred to you by someone who has previously used that Chef, it may not be necessary. 2. Do you have flexibility in your menu selections? Most caterers will not allow any variation from their menu. Sometimes this is due to the fact that some of the food is pre-made. We prefer to make everything fresh, so that is why we choose to create menus that are custom to our client’s needs. This allows a Chef to showcase his skills and show that he is not limited to what is provided on a menu, this also allows your guests to experience a meal that may be more reflective of your taste or personal style.

3. What is the total cost? Cost and Menu flexibility go hand and hand. Having menu flexibility will all you to create a menu that is suitable for you budget. I always recommend that you have a budget in mind; this will give the chef an idea of what kind of menu to create. 4. Do you have service staff? Depending on your wedding set up and the aesthetics, you may or may not want a wait staff to serve your guests. I will almost always insist that you having a service staff. Having a service staff will help portion control so that all of you guest are fed and in addition it makes the clean up process a lot faster for those that have time restraints on how long that they have rented their venue. 5. Will you be there? Either the Chef or someone that he/she has designated to oversee your event should be there from start to finish.

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Travel

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Experience your wedding or reception New Orleans style at The Pelican House Restaurant. 107 S. Cedar Ridge Drive Duncanville, Texas 75116 www.ThePelicanHouseRestaurant.com 972.296.0403

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Breaking the Mold: Romรกs by Linda Rowe Thomas By Nekea Valentine Fashion Writer and Stylist

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As a two-year old, Linda survived a house fire that left her with facial scarring and without fingers on her left hand. Yet she used this experience to birth her dream of designing and personally hand-sowing all of her own works. Without fail, Linda is much more than a designer but a champion that beat the odds, and fashionably so. Who is Linda Rowe Thomas? I am a wife, a mother, a designer. A woman on a mission to bring forth the beauty that is inside me through my gift of design. I am a motivator, true inspiration…I am designing hope. What did you do at times when you really wanted to give up and had to face adversity? What advice can you offer to fellow creatives? In moments of adversity, I always fall back on my faith. From the moment I can remember, my mother was always there telling me that I could do whatever I set my mind to as long as I believed in myself. My advice to anyone is to invest time into learning your craft and to never stop reaching for your dreams. Did you ever feel like this dream would not come into fruition? What kept you encouraged? Absolutely! There are still times that I review my ultimate goals and the end seems so far away. My children are my driving force. I want to be the perfect example for them – to show them that faith, hard work and an unstoppable drive will always trump adversities.

It’s a one in a lifetime opportunity to interview someone who understands fashion on both a creative and personal level but it’s the undefined moments that words can not adequately express when you interview someone that is a real visionary and breathes new life into the fashion industry – Linda Rowe Thomas. She’s been designing her own line “Romás by Linda Rowe Thomas” for well over 15 years now. Linda’s custom design is featured in this month’s Southern Dallas County Magazine, Wedding Edition – a beautiful wedding gown, personally designed and sown by the fashion designer herself. And if all of that weren’t inspirational enough, she’s accomplishing these things with what one might deem obstacles.

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Describe your process in achieving your goals? At the beginning of each year, I create a vision board and throughout the year I try to cross off all the goals on my list. The vision board allows me to see my goals and to stay focused. A good friend introduced me to finding at least one positive thing daily, my win for the day and that helps me to get back on track and hold myself accountable. What was your defining moment? When did you feel like you’d truly arrived? I remember receiving the fashion calendar for New York Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and seeing my name listed among the designers that I grew up admiring. It was one of the most affirming moments of my career. I felt like I’d arrived as I did the finale walk to a standing ovation, an audience of my family, key fashion insiders and celebrity guests. I definitely felt as though I’d finally made it to the launching pad of my design career.


Cover Story What were some adversities that you faced when you trying to get your name out there? I think my biggest adversity was proving myself - that I had the talent, skills and knowledge to thrive within this industry. Thankfully, my work now speaks for itself. My greatest challenge now is obtaining the resources and funding to fuel the bigger vision. I currently sketch, design, and sew everything myself. That hinders me from broadening the brand to larger retailers. What inspires your designs? I love timeless classic pieces that will transcend throughout time. I will always lean towards elegance and sophistication. I grew up loving the way Jackie O’ was graceful and stylish in everything she wore. I love that our first lady Michelle Obama epitomizes style! How do you balance your business and creativity? What is your primary focus versus what you delegate to others? I certainly love the creative side of what I do the most but business is the essential key. There are days set aside to focus on the business aspect. My primary focus is the creative direction of the brand.

The design vision is the hardest part to entrust to others, therefore I usually delegate out the other components of the business. Did you face a lot of opposition when you chose this field? No. I have an awesome support base. My husband, family and friends have always pushed me and supported my dream. How did NYC Fashion Week happen? My name was given to one of the producers by a fellow designer. I presented a portfolio and the rest as they say is history. Where do you see RomĂĄs by Linda Rowe Thomas in five years? As a household name - my goal is to be in major department stores and to be internationally known. Where can we find the latest RomĂĄs collection and designs by Linda Rowe Thomas? You can find it at www.romasbylrt.com.

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Ask the Expert

Get The Look:

Wedding Hair and Makeup Guide By Chakina “C.C. The Greatˮ Watkins, Celebrity Makeup Artist and Master Hairstylist

Sultry Yet Vintage Hair Passion and elegance are the focus! Use a 1-inch flatiron to curl the hair into tiny sections over the entire head. To create this classic waved looked, take a fine tooth comb and comb the hair into a c-shape motion. Ensure each row is opposite of the other. Use duck bill clips to secure the waves. Using your favorite holding spray, hold the spray at least 6 inches away from the hair and spray the entire head to secure and hold the waves. Wait 20 minutes before removing the clips!

Sultry and Sassy Look For the makeup, the look was a Smokey Eye! Prime the entire eyelid with black. Next use a matte black eye shadow directly over the lid from the lash line to slightly above the crease area. Lastly use a prime color or the color closest to your skin tone to highlight. Use a blending brush to go directly on the crease to blend outward and up in a circular motion to get this sultry Smokey look! Try a custom blend for a nude lip blend.

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A Modern Twist To achieve this look pull the braided hair in the back section up into an inverted braid starting from the nape of the neck ending at the top of the head. Next, section off the fridge and make three French braids and pinned them into the inverted braid in the back. Lastly, take the remaining hair and pull into a ponytail then braid into six French braids. Take the French braids and wrap them around the top of the head in a circular pattern!

Timeless Look For the makeup go for a natural and timeless look with a pop! Use gold on the eyelid, plum on the inner crease and Matte Brown on the outer crease. Highlight with Sable Sand directly above the brow bone. Also, highlight her Cupid’s bow, nose, forehead and cheekbones with your favorite makeup. Add use bronzer to the temples and lower jawline for added definition! The lips … a classic ruby red for this timeless look.

Fun and Flirty Hair Get this fun and flirty look by prepping your hair for a straw set or tight roller set, depending on the length. After you’ve dried and the rollers or straws have come out, loosen your hair without losing the curls. Starting at the front of the head, going along the nape to the opposite side twist your hair under. Pin it along the way to secure it. Fluff the remainder of the hair to get a curly inspired ponytail without the rubber bands.

The Fun Look Use Make Up Forever Aqua Seal for this fun look! Aqua Seal is a must have for any bride because it’s waterproof. Use Make up Forever White Stardust on the lids and then use a matte black in the crease for a slightly intense definition. Use Makeup Forever Flash Pad to create a custom pink lip to set the tone!

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TIPS for Budgeting Your Wedding By Janean Wadley

Owner of Forever Yes Weddings

I

t’s normal to want to have a big wedding but you shouldn’t overlook one of the most stressful things, your BUDGET. Creating and sticking with your wedding budget is simple, especially when you make it realistic. Here are some tips: 1. Understand the who? Who is responsible for the wedding expenses? Are the bride and groom the only persons paying all expenses or are other relatives contributing? Discuss everyone’s contribution to the wedding and get a clear commitment on the amount, and if possible, ask for the money upfront or by a certain date. We have seen many cases where relatives offered to contribute but once the bride/groom got into the process those relatives had to remove their financial commitment due to a number of issues from losing their job and etc. 2. Establish a REAListic budget. Determine what is realistic for your household income. The average wedding in the DFW area starts at $25,000. Ask yourself these questions to help you determine your real budget: • What size wedding would you like? • How many bridesmaids/groomsmen are you going to have? • How many guests? • What extra services do you want such as a DJ vs. a live band, limo services, photographer, videographers? These are very important items to consider. Many times couples have this idea of having a HUGE guest count/wedding party and fail to realize that for each person you have it requires a meal, table linen, chair 3. Plan to pay for the wedding. Save at least 30% cash of

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your budget saved to pay for retainers and deposits. While it’s a joyous time you don’t want to incur credit card debt. A smart way to plan is to have a separate wedding account. While you may think you can budget your household expenses from your wedding expenses it can become easy to interchange the two. So open a savings or checking account to pay for wedding expenses. 4. Keep track of every cost. As you spend money on your wedding be sure to save your receipts in the event things become damaged or need to be exchanged. We have had the experience of vendors who don’t allow exchanges or refunds without a receipt so keep your receipts handy just in case. Yes, your wedding is a special day but you have to live afterwards. Setting a budget that is realistic will allow you to have the wedding that you want while staying on track financially. We recommnd seeking out a professional wedding planner to assist you with planning your wedding budget and giving you the advice that is needed for the perfect wedding.


The Perfect Decor By Latasha Stephens, Owner of Tea and Tee Party Rentals

Themed weddings are not just your typical claasic or vintage weddings. They have resurfaced yet again demanding attention. Details like the name of the wedding to the catering stations, the entertainment and throughout every element of the wedding, especially the spectacular décor should be consistent and beautiful. As the wedding trend changes from year to year, you must flow with them but put your own spin on it and be innovative and think outside the box. Black and white themes will never get old but you can always make it pop with a splash of color, i.e.… Hot Red Fuschia,Crimson Orange, Royal Blue and even Lemony Yellow. By adding some spiciness and flavor to your classic wedding theme, you can create your own style. Also play around with patterns like black and white polka dot and stripes. Yes, they pair very nicely and create energy as well as synergy that marry quite well. Themed weddings are primarily based on the transitioning of the room to create a virtual teleport from the outside world into a somewhat magical carpet ride through the minds of you, the bride or your event planner. You don’t have to necessarily use props, but try using up lighting, sheer and satin

fabrics to soften the feel of the room as well as scents and fragrances to tantalize the nostril, eyes and palates for all of your invited guests. Outside weddings are event planners playground. The vintage themed wedding look can be so versatile just by using summer benches, tree stomps, burlap linens, old coke or milk bottles and mason jars with fresh limes or lemons. You can create breathtaking centerpieces by stacks of old books, old coffee cans... the list can go on and on. Just make sure that your wedding theme is beautifully captured and an event for the record books. You can create any themed wedding including a traditional wedding theme that is geared more towards family and the happy couple. Having various food, dessert or fun stations around the seating areas and bars is where you definitely will create fun, yet cozy settings for communication and family fun environments. Any wedding can have a theme, whether intimate or grand, it’s all about presentation and it doesn’t have to be an arm and a leg to pull it off either. The key is that you just have to have the right event planner that has {P.E.} #1 Passion - the wherewithal to tackle the project and follow through. #2 Eye-for detail and the ability to see the little things that pull the wedding together.

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ne n e i r Ad oway Gall ys... Sa A unique cookbook by renowned fitness guru Adrienne “AG� Galloway that blends healthy eating and fitness all into one.

A Healthier, Happier, Stronger You At Any Age Starting Now!!

Words of Encouragement From Donna Richardson

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C. C. the Great Master Hairstylist and Makeup Artist 817-874-0938


Feature

Conveniently Unconventional By Elizabeth “Lizzy” Maina, Fashion Stylist

so lets delve into all the details.

complimented them.

BRIDES DRESSES

A well tailored pant suit is also a great option for the mother who wants to be different yet elegant. Bright but not overpowering hues are an edgy way to add spice to her look. What better way to add pizzazz to her entire outfit than wearing a statement hat?!

The bride should choose a dress that she absolutely loves and feels comfortable in, one that boosts her confidence and captures the hearts and attention of her guests and soon to be husband. Take for example, Cynthia Bailey of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta,who chose a flawless couture gown tailored and suited by Russian designer Rubin Singer who also happens to be a favorite amongst most celebrity stylists. Her very unconventional gown was gun metal grey in color with a big bow to the shoulder which added a chic, classy, glamorous touch to it.

Love is in the air and the wedding season is here with us. Gone are the days when every bride wore a white Cinderella inspired dress with matching kitty heels. I mean, don’t get me wrong, but unconventional weddings are becoming the new norm and everyone is slowly but surely jumping on the band wagon. Nuptial style is the in thing! It’s all about standing tall in high designer heels, dripping in the finest jewelry from top notch jewelers, having the best make up and hair done by celebrity stylists, strutting down the aisle in a risque Haute Couture dress tailored to compliment and accentuate your every curve, to hosting your guests in a meticulous venue while pulling into the driveway with the fanciest cars for this bigger than life auspicious occasion. All eyes are on bride, the bridal party and mother of the groom and bride

Feeling bold and edgy? How about walking down the aisle in a pair of pants? Genius! Designer Oscar De La Renta makes pants on a bride look like a photo shoot in a Vogue magazine or like a model strutting the runway.

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES The bridesmaids dresses make or break a wedding. Reason being, the bridesmaids precede the bride at the beginning of the ceremony and trail behind her after the ceremony. Their dresses set the tone for the wedding. It is important to pick the right fabric and color hues that will get the guests excited. The dresses do not have to match. They can be tailored in different designs and if

MOTHERS OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM DRESSES A dress that’s unique, original with a touch of elegance is bound to get the right attention. Choose a dress that fits the theme of the wedding and compliments her silhouette. Solid celebratory and vibrant colors are fitting for the occasion. Avoid prints of any kind if possible but compensate minimally or generously with classy jewelry depending on her likes. Grammy winning Kandi Burruss recently had a televised wedding in which both mother of the bride and mother of the groom wore unconventional but beautiful and chic gold dresses that tastefully

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MAKEUP AND HAIR Smokey or nude shadow eyes, red or bright colored lips, wind swept or high held ponytails, highlights or color streaks in hair are cool, fresh and fun options for a different yet modern look. The secret is, if you choose to take the unconventional route, make sure it’s tasteful, clean with the right amount of edge. Obey the golden rule, “less is more.” The last thing you want to be is the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. Hire professionals who will deliver a seamless and flawless job. Please do not compromise on your big day. you choose to go with different color palettes, ensure the colors do not clash but compliment each other. When in doubt, use the color wheel

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to understand what opposite colors on the wheel go hand in hand.


Ask HIM

His Side:

Grooms can sometimes get the short end of the stick…or should we say the broom? Sure the bride’s had her wedding planned since she was seven but let’s not forget that the groom equally shares in that day of bliss as well. We thought we’d go right to the source to find out just what men are looking forward to on that special day and how they exercise their rights as well…men – from their own ideas about marriage to how they communicate their own desires when they tie the knot. 1. What is your ideal marriage? My ideal marriage is one that first and foremost has a focus on God. If my wife and I have a belief system founded on what is written in the word then we will always have a foundation to walk on during disagreements or when making hard decisions. Since we, in of ourselves, are limited we can always turn to Him and His wisdom. 2. What qualities are most essential in a woman you are dating? Intelligence is very attractive to me. I love stimulating conversation and you can’t

Paul Bryant Opens Up About Marriage By Nekea Valentine Fashion Writer and Stylista have that without a level of intelligence and creativity which is another quality I love. I also like a woman who can be stylish, sexy, and creative with the way she dresses but can still remain classy and covered. A woman who reveals too much is an instant turn-off for me. Also she must be crazy fun! Because I have a twisted sense of humor sometimes. Last but not least, she must have a relationship with God. 3. What do you do for a living? I am a graphic designer. I work with graphics, photography, and video editing, for fashion, retail and other publications. I have also developed websites for various companies. You could say that I use art to help businesses express their overall vision. Anyone can see my work at www.PaulBryant.biz . 4. Is it important that your future wife be a fellow creative? My first preference is that she is a creative; however, that’s not a deal-breaker, it’s more important that she understands that I am a creative at heart and not in any way minimize my work or my career. In my experience, people who are not creatives have a hard time understanding those of us that are. There will be problems in any marriage, from time to time, so I would rather avoid the extra problems that could arise because my wife couldn’t relate to me as a creative. 5. Do you feel like the groom is left out of the wedding plans far too often? Lol Are you that man that would like to be very involved or a little involved in the wedding plans? Men are usually

left out of the planning stages for the wedding. They just expect the groom to show with the ring! Lol! But to be honest, I personally am not that concerned with the planning of the wedding. I only have a few must-haves. I’m more concerned with the planning of the marriage. Having a beautiful wedding is okay but what I really want is a beautiful marriage - that is where my heart, mind, and spirit is. 6. What type of wedding do you want? How would communicate the importance of this to your future bride if she had a completely different vision? I’m not really into the whole thing about how a wedding should or shouldn’t be. I do know that I do not want a traditional wedding, I do not want traditional rings but rather custom-made and a bit more on the artistic side. I do want it to be outside - beach, garden, park, just somewhere beautiful. I am a poet at heart so I would express this vision to my wife in a poetic and romantic way. Honestly, I really want this to be her perfect day. So I’d have to go all out to show her how this vision, our vision together, will truly make it her perfect wedding day. 7. Wedding day – what are you looking forward to seeing come into the fruition the most on your wedding day? I want to see the smile on my bride-to-be’s face that is full of love for me and me only… beyond a shadow of a doubt. That’s all that I need - to see that beautiful smile, from her heart that says “I finally get to be with my baby!” Lol.

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true love’s day

Mike and I met at Lincoln High School in 2001 where we both attended. One afternoon, right as the bell rung for class to be dismissed, we noticed each other in the gymnasium before I went to practice. We eventually exchanged numbers and became friends. Although we never officially dated Mike would occasionally check on me through the years. One of his calls came right on time and we started dating. Now we’re embarking on our new journey together as husband and wife.

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Bride: Rachel Butler Groom: Micheal Knight Wedding Date: May 17, 2014 Location: The Windsor at Hebron Park, Carrollton, Texas Honeymoon: Montego Bay, Jamaica

Wedding Planner: Janean Wadley, Forever Yes Weddings Floral Designer: Nicole Smedley Event Designs Photographer: Tim Wright

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Directory Keokuk Domingo Staging & Travel Expert 1-866-693-8856 office (972)800-3374 cell Eliteandromancetravel@gmail.com www.eliteandromancetravel.com The Butler Enterprises Event Planner 817-925-0783 info@thebutlerenterprises.com

Porsha Kimble Cake Designer Website: www.yourcakediva.com Phone: 214-606-2363 Email: yourcakediva@gmail.com Facebook: Facebook.com/yourcakediva

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