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April/May 2016 Issue

Spring Wedding Looks for Natural Hair Brides

Rule No. 1: Always Date Your Spouse

20+ Plus Size Bridal Fashions Handwritten or store bought invitations, which is better?

Does Size Matter, For Your Bouquet?

The Edit


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Forever Yes Weddings Full Event Planning:



Weddings, Engagement Parties, Birthday Celebrations, Corporate Events and more...

Contact us for your event planning needs 972-251-3615

Find us on:


972-975-7413 | Nicole Smedley Event Designs

Relationships: Family

Photography by Gbadebo


Content Welcome to our plus size issue 3 Big Myths About Dating Plus Sized Women


By Ashleigh D. Johnson 22

Ask The Expert 54

Comprehensive Wedding Planner Checklist


Wedding Day Survival Guide

Enough is Enough By Shellye Lyons

ting Your Relationship

Does Size Matter, For Your Bouquet?

By Latoya Garrett

By Debbie Latham Magee

24 7 Ways Your Friends Are Hur-



Bride On A Budget: Gifts For Your Bridesmaid


By Bridgette Pridgen

Natural Hairstyles For A Spring Bride By Chandra Hawthorne


Add You to your wedding da look By Chakina CC the Great Watkins


66 56 28 50

20 Plus Bridal Looks for the Plus Size Bride

Having the faith to design through it all By Tina Peters


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Handcrafted or store bought... can they tell? By Jordan Alvarez

She Wants What She Wants But Has All That She Needs

Jennifer J. Hobson helps most brides who become overwhelmed with trying to get everything they want and what other’s want for their wedding understand that they tend to forget to remember that they often have what they need and more.


Don’t Abandon Your Fitness Goals while plannign your wedding By Adrienne Galloway

The Man Cave 68

The Term life marriage plan By Andy T. Brown


The Perfect Slice By Ebony Holmes


Rule No. 1: Always Date Your Spouse By Damian Johnson

Content OUR Couples


One Rainy Day.. Dominic and Jazzmyne


Workplace Love


Maintain Love James and Jameel

Jude and Raven


Love NEVER Fails Mr. and Mrs. Kyles


God’s Will For Love Ernest and Phyllis



Staff Janean Wadley

Jennifer J. Hobson

Janean is the owner of Forever Yes Weddings, an award winning wedding planning firm. Janean has a passion for all things beautiful and loves planning lavish weddings for her clients to enjoy. Keep up with Forever Yes Weddings on Facebook.

Dr. Jennifer Hobson, ABD is a national speaker/presenter, author, and Artist/Scholar in the fields of performing arts and event production. Her love for the bridal industry has allowed her to assist with great content for Our Weddings Magazine. She is the owner of Weddings by JHP. Connect with her at

Porsha Kimble

Charles Gbadebo

Known as The Cake Diva, Porsha Kimble is one of the most noted cake designers in the DFW and has been featured on several television shows including TLC’s Cake Boss. Her work has been featured throughout the country and even has received noted recognition from celebrities. Keep up with Porsha “Cake Diva” on Facebook.

Charles “City” Gbadebo is our creative director. Not only does he offer creative ways to produce Our Weddings Magazine but he also is our lead photographer and gives us nothing but the best when it comes to photography. Check him out on Facebook.



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Our Weddings Magazine would like to thank our contributing writers for our plus size issue


Sonja A. Brown Haute Indulgence’ Jordan Alvarez Jordan Alvarez Designs Ebony Holmes ButterCream Belle Ashleigh Johnson BlogHer

Graphic Design: BLI Publishing

Andy T. Brown Author, Radio Personality


Adrienne Galloway Fitness Expert/Author

Charles “So City” Gbadebo

Latoya Garrett ISpot Entertainment Debbie Magee Fauxnomenal Flowers Shellye Lyons Writer Damian Johnson Marriage Is Real Chandra Hawthorne Healthy Happy Hair Bridgette Pridgen Owner Eccentric Beauty If you would like to become a contributing writer for Our Weddings Magazie then submit a sample (300 words or less) to

COPY EDITING: BLI Publishing MAGAZINE LAYOUT: BLI Publishing SALES AND MARKETING We’re Social OurWeddingsMag on

Our Weddings Magazine is a i-POP Media House publication. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Our Weddings Magazine is a paid subscription magazine for brides and grooms throughout the United States. We reserve the right not to publish ads or articles that we deem inappropriate and do not meet the overall mission and vision of Our Weddings Magazine. For advertising rates or editorial comments and suggestions, please call (469) 557-1254 or send an email to Advertising at



Editor Letter’s

Not Defined By Your Size

So this issue is another special issue. Why? Because we wanted to put the plus size bride front and center and show the world that the plus size Black bride is someone to behold. Gotta love it! This issue was also one of the most challenging, to date, because I did not want to harp on everything size. I wanted to show the that plus size brides could hold their own and look just as beautiful in their wedding attire as a bride who is not considered ‘plus size.’ And guess what... it worked because we were fortunate to partner with Tina Peters of Faith Diva for our editorial photo shoot and she gave us an extra dose of life with her custom pieces. Almost every image that is shown in our fashion section was created by Faith Diva. Yes, Mrs. Tina did her thing and represented for the plus size woman, who is, have been or will become a bride. Thank you Tina.


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We also want to thank our photography Charles “City” Gbadebo. You know the guy who is our creative director. He helps us with every photo shoot we have for the magazine! Special thank you to Chakina “CC the Great” Watkins and her talents with hair and makeup. This woman is amazing. But back to what I was talking about. This issue is very special and we hope that every woman, regardless of size check out the articles that we have provided have the ability to take something great from them. Again we didn’t want to harp on plus size women but so that’s why we have such a great mixture of content from our wonderful writers. Our goal, in the future, is to have consistent content that are not only informative but life changing as it deals with love, relationships and marriage. Remember, our goal when we started this journey was to establish a platform for Black couples to talk about relationships, dating and marriage, not just highlighting how to get married, as many bridal magazines do. Our Weddings Magazine is a bridal lifestyle magazine. That’s what makes us unique. And we are glad for your support. Now, really quick, I want to thank everyone who supported, shared

and purchased a copy of our history making men’s issue of Our Weddings Magazine. The women were very impressed with our male models, two being very close to me - Joe, my best friend and LaDarius, my brother-in-law if you will. It was nice shipping copies of the magazine all over the country! I was very excited even when I got the price for shipping, Lawt! Nonetheless we were able to share our magazine with so many people. So as I close my letter, I just want to say thank you again and again and again. We will be celebrating our first year of existence on June 25, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Duncanville, TX (just look to the right and there’s the ad). We are happy that Hilton is our partner for this event! The goal for this event was to officially launch the magazine and let the world know we are here as well as to highlight our writers who are also in the bridal industry. So get ready to party with us on June 25, 2016 because we are definitely going to have some fun! Thank you again,

Ivy N. McQuain


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Relationships: Dating


Big Myths About Dating Plus-Sized Women By Ashleigh D. Johnson on BlogHer

“I’ve been plus-size my entire adult life. I’ve been as large as 406 pounds and as “small” as my current 220. I have experienced the gamut of plus-size dating trials and successes. The assumptions about larger women are mostly made because society has yet to embrace the beauty of ALL women. Guess what? There’s more to us than the myths.” -- Feminista Jones Ashleigh was born 10 pounds and 4 ounces and 22.5 inches long. She was the only girl born in the hospital that day. You could say that she was destined to be the big girl in the room. She is what some might call a plus-size veteran.


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Nearly every day, she was reminded by media, society, or her mirror about her weight and how it affected her dating life. Most smaller folks would love to throw pennies of pity into her proverbial empty Styrofoam cup, but she liked to tell them this: “I don’t need your change.” As a lifelong big girl (so far), She’d like to debunk a few myths about plus size women and their dating lives. Myth #1. Plus size women are desperate for dates. Here’s the thing. Just because a plus size woman wears a size 22 doesn’t mean every random man has a shot with her. There is a belief that those who are deemed unattractive in society (this includes being big) have no right to have standards. When a plus size woman walks into a room with her head held high, eyes from people of every gender quizzically scan her body as if to ask, “How dare she be confident?”. At times she might feel like she is forced to display her sparkling personality faster because she is overcompensating for the fact that they expect her not to love herself. Confidence is important for any woman to have, big or small. Ashleigh was fortunate enough to be raised to love

herself, but confidence is like a muscle; if you don’t use it, it will deteriorate. The ability to remain secure with yourself can require constant effort from anyone. Myth #2. Plus size women are lonely and sexless. Ashleigh has been dating since she was 15 and she has barely been single since. The only reason she was single at the time of this blog post was because she hadn’t chosen anyone to be with. That didn’t mean that there weren’t any offers. Men approached her a lot. Big girls are having sex. Lots of sex. Just know that. Quiet as it’s kept, some plus sized women have more going on in that department than their smaller friends. Ashleigh admitted that there is a population of men who deliberately go after big girls believing that they are easy prey. But this isn’t about their sorry behinds. There are just as many superficial jerks chasing after slim women. Ashleigh added that mature men are an untapped resource for plus sized women. Just saying...

her food, especially sweets. For her in dating situations, guys asked her if she wanted something to eat. When she said no then they would rattle off a litany of sweet, sugary treats like a rude auctioneer, waiting for her to bid on something fattening. As a last ditch effort they would say, “Are you SURE you don’t want anything to eat?” It made her want to punch them in the throat. “No, I don’t want anything to eat!” she would respond firmly, “I’m fine. I don’t sit around gobbling everything I see.” Of course, their eyes would ask, “Well if you don’t eat candy, cake, cookies, pies, and tarts, why are you fat?” Her answer to them was twofold, “Screw you and why are you still offering me food to try to make me fatter?” Unfortunately, there’s no way for some plus size women to tackle the perils and pluses of plus size dating in one fell swoop, but there’s hope for women seeking love from a guy who don’t believe the hype and myth.

Myth 3. Plus size women eat all the time and that’s why they’re fat. Ashleigh despises when people patronizingly offer OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE


Are you looking for ‘‘the one,’’ but only stumbling upon frustration and dating games? Maybe hookups and flings are not your thing. Try out the recently launched Real Black Love, a new black dating app that offers the best online dating experience for black singles seeking true companionship. Unlike other dating apps; Real Black Love members are serious about meeting people. With a focus on building relationships, Real Black Love ensures black singles will have the highest opportunity for romantic success. Whether you’re newly single, divorce, or you just want to give online dating a try, you will meet other highly-eligible black singles looking for real connections. Real Black Love is now available for download on iTunes and Google Play. For more information about Real Black Love visit,

Relationships: Friends

Enough is Enough

BY: Shellye Lyons

Most of our friends and family hold marriage in high regard and don’t interfere in our marriage. We have a very close knit circle of friends who we share with and if my husband and I have any issues affecting our relationship, they are there to support, encourage, hold us accountable, and always, always, always bring us back to God’s word. There are a few, though, who just don’t respect the institution of marriage or, at least, as it relates to OUR marriage. If we let them, they would wreak havoc in the life we are trying to build as a couple with their actions and words. So, how do we let them know enough is enough?


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As I began writing, I saw this image popup in my Facebook stream:

If you don’t want family and friends involved in your marriage, then don’t open the door. There will be those who are hell bent on causing problems but most family and friends only get involved when they get pulled into it.

Identify what you are willing to put up with and what stresses you, then set and communicate boundaries as a couple with family and friends. Let them know what bothers you and discuss how you can work together to address the issue.

Choose your friends wisely. Make sure they make you feel better about your mate and about your God. If they don’t, then make the hard decision of parting ways with them, True friends will hold sacred the vows made between a man and his wife.

From Husband is My Life:

In my opinion, when you say your wedding vows, there are two primary things you need to remember in order to keep your family and friends from interfering in your marriage. One, ‘forsaking all others keep you only unto him as long as you both shall live’; two, ‘those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder’. In lay terms – your spouse is to be honored above ALL others and no one should interfere in your relationship in such a way as to cause marital discord. Here are a few tips that may be helpful in helping friends and family “step off”: •

In essence, no one you have a relationship with – friend or family – should have a voice that over rules your spouse. No one you have a relationship with should ever be allowed to disrespect or dishonor your spouse even in jest. If there is anyone in your life who encourages you to dishonor your spouse in word or deed, whether friend or family, they should be given a stern warning that your spouse is off the table when it comes to your conversations. If they cannot or are not willing to honor your spouse, then it’s time to find different friends. In extreme cases, some people need to be cut off or kept at a distance. With family, it may be a little harder, but they can be cut off if they are unwilling to honor your wishes. Be mindful of the people who bring you advice that is contrary to building up your marriage and encouraging you to be the best you can be in your marriage. Remember, misery loves company so most people who have issues with your spouse are miserable in their own lives and want you to join their party. Regardless of how angry you may get with your spouse, limit your conversations with friends and family about your marital conflict to keep the drama at bay.

When things go wrong in your marriage, don’t speak negatively about your spouse to your family and friends. That way, you’re not giving them ammunition to use against them once the dust settles. You may forgive your spouse but the negative thoughts remain with your family and friends. OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE


Relationships: Friends

7 Ways Your Friends Are Hurting Your Relationship By LaToya Garrett Friends are your backbone and sometimes you’re closer to your friends that you are to your real family (siblings). Friends know all of your deepest darkest secrets. When you had that one night stand with that so-called investment banker, who did you tell first? Your closest friends or family members? Or what about the time you had a 6-month fling with that upcoming and prominent actor who looked like Idris Elba? He told you that he was waiting on his big score but needed someone who believed in him. You didn’t realize that belief would cost so much in the end. When that sexy actor-to-be drained your bank account, wrecked your car and almost got you evicted from your condo, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t your mother you told first. Yep. I’m sure that was a conversation only designed to be heard by a closest


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friend. Friends can be God sent but they can also be the reason your relationships don’t work out. I know you’re probably thinking “Okay Article Writer, you don’t know what you’re talking about. How can you tell me my friend is the best and worst thing that can happen to my relationships? How is that even possible?” Picture this. You go to a party with your friend and you see a nice looking guy that catches your eye. All the women are trying to get his attention and talk to him but, unfortunately, this very handsome man won’t give anybody the time of day. You point the guy out to your friend and tell her you’re thinking about approaching him to say hi because

he’s glanced your way a couple of times. Your friend says to you, “Girl no, don’t embarrass yourself. Do you see all those beautiful women, who obviously look better than us, just get turned down? He must be looking for a beauty queen and he seems like the type of guy who would treat you bad anyways.” Even though your friends’ intentions are to help you, it could possibly be that they’re hurting your chances for an amazing relationship. What if it turned out that this guy didn’t want a high-maintenance woman? He was looking for his girlnext-door, someone like you, that he could spoil and call his own? Or maybe he was a shy person who felt intimidated by Barbie Doll women and could only be himself around a down-to-earth and friendly lady.

If that’s the case, you just missed out hun, listening to your friends’ opinions. Regardless, if it’s jealousy, a weird attempt to be better than you, the crab mentality of “I’m single so you should be too”, the fear of experiencing separation from you, or just a case of being overly concerned about your well-being, here are 7 situations when your friends could possibly be your arch enemy when it comes to relationships. Your Mate is Not Good Enough Your friend constantly tells you how ugly, irritating or immature your mate is. Be careful of the friends who always disapprove of every relationship you manage to get. They can make you second guess if you’ve made the right decision in choosing a mate. Friends Constantly Want Your Attention

Friends Who Flirt with Your Mate You should question your friendship if your friends are flirting with your mate behind your back, always comparing themselves to you in front of your mate, or talking to your mate in private without your permission. This is a sure-fire sign that your friend is looking to ruin your relationship so they can start one with your mate. Showing Disrespect to Your Mate

Cock blockers comes in all forms. If your friend is constantly complaining about how much time you spend with your mate or always trying to ruin your dates, this could upset your mate and cause them to walk away from the relationship. No one wants to compete for attention.

Do your friends always talk about your past relationships (and how good they were) or ignore your mate when all of you are around each other? Friends that bring up sensitive subjects (such as exes) or try to drag you across the room away from your mate are definitely showing signs of disrespect. These actions could lead to a ruined relationship.

Pessimistic Friends

Friends of the Opposite Sex

Just because you have a disagreement with your mate, and you vent out your frustrations to your friend, doesn’t give them the right to tell you to leave or cheat on your relationship. Friends you trust can easily manipulate you. These Negative Nancy tactics are a definite no-no when trying to have a healthy and happy relationship.

Not many mates feel comfortable dating someone with a friend of the opposite sex. To add insult to injury, a friend who constantly flirts with you or is very touchy feely, will cause awkwardness or insecurities between you and your mate. Actions like these makes it harder to convince a mate that you and your best friend are nothing more than just friends.

Friends Who Constantly Throw You Under the Bus Does your friend make you look bad or talk to you disrespectfully around your mate? Do they put you down every chance they get? They could be jealous or annoyed that you are trying to build another close relationship outside of your friendship. Who are your relationships for? Is it your friends’ happiness or yours that you’re pursuing? If your relationship is truly for you then why does your friends’ comments and opinions have such a huge impact on who you choose to date?




Bride on a Budget: Best Bridesmaid Gifting Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank Is time to shop and you don’t know where to start! Here’s what you need to know before the shopping begins!

By Bridgette BraceyPridgen 26

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Every bride always imagines themselves as being the talk of the town after their wedding! Brides everywhere plan every little detail with hopes of wowing their guest. When looking for the perfect bridesmaid gift you should always remember, this is a token of appreciation for the bridesmaids’ time and effort, but it doesn’t have to break the bank! With our tips, you’ll be sure to select the perfect gift your pockets will love and that your bridesmaids deserve. The Plan Just as anything else you do in life, you should always start with a plan! The time and effort you put in from the beginning is the start of great gift giving. Although traditional shopping for your bridesmaid doesn’t have a timeline, you may want to consider it. Plan out your shopping efforts by jotting down

ideas and stores you like, ahead of time before you set out. Consider all tools and options of shopping that will make things easier, such as couponing, buying in bulk, online shopping, or buying off season. Whether you have extra money to spend or you are just about to blow your budget, these tips will aid in stretching your entire wedding budget. When to shop It is a time, a place, and season for everything in life. When it comes to saving a dime there are somethings every bride should know. Everything in life is for sale! In today’s society that means that everything is negotiable and one day will go on sale. Get in the habit of never paying full price for anything. Make efforts to research sale dates and markdown days at local and online stores. Changing the days and how you shop, may take some getting used to but your budget will thank you later. What to spend Most people get too attached to the idea of equality when it comes to the bridesmaids gifts. “I’ll just get everyone matching monogramed robes for $19.99 and call it a day!” Well, no that’s not smart! It is really only two things to consider when it’s time to spend on each bridesmaid. How much will my budget allow and what all have they done for me? I am not talking about did they buy you a birthday gift last year or did they pick up the tab at your last lunch date. It is more about thinking of the commitment it takes to be a bridesmaid. A wedding is indeed expensive for the bride and groom and your budget shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, you should assess the expenses your maids where required to shell out such as dresses, shoes, bridal shower, bachelorette party, hotel room, plan ticket, just to name

a few! So a $10 jewelry gift set or a pair of flip flops with bridesmaid on it from the local beauty supply store might seem a little ungracious. Of course, you are not expected to cover what they have spent, but you should be spending enough to say “I appreciate the time, effort, and money you have put into this wedding.” A price range between $75-$150 is traditionally suffice but with careful planning you should be able to cut the actual price in half. The maid/ matron of honor usually receive a more expensive gift than the other maids because of their roles in helping the bride with wedding details and support. Frugal does not mean cheap! The amount of the gift can be cheaper or on sale as long as the gift is of a higher monetary value. When to Give Typically bridesmaid’s gifts are given at the rehearsal dinner or at a bridal tea. This time is used to give special toast and attention to the wedding party to show your appreciation for them. Another solution for that special touch that want break the bank is gathering the girls together the day of for a few private moments of girl time for breakfast or coffee before all the chaos begins. A frugal but personal touch is to give them all hand written notes that shares special moments about your friendship. This allows you to catch up a bit, distribute gifts, and take a breather to enjoy everyone personally. Remember your time doesn’t cost you anything! What to Give We have developed a plan, Learned when to shop, How much to spend and when to give the gift. Now for the most important part what should I give? There are a few things to remember when deciding what to get for bridesmaids gifts.

What works for one may not work for another. While buying in bulk is a smart option to help you save, it doesn’t mean buy every bridesmaid the same gift. There are different people in or attending the wedding that you may buy for that buying in bulk will aid in. The flower girls, junior brides, hostess, etc. are other options that the bulk gifting will work with to help save you money and time. Think about giving each bridesmaid a different gift but within the same price range. This will add to the personal touch and each maid will know you took time to pick out something just for her. Make sure that the gifts are something that they can actually use and will enjoy! Staying within the categories of traditional, timeless, and multifunctional are always good choices. Stay away from the typical matching jewelry sets that match the bridesmaid’s dresses. These typically get used only at your wedding. It’s ok to go for something that is wearable but try purchasing items with useable components. Nice boxed multi occasion jewelry sets with beautiful jewelry boxes are great alternatives. It’s always nice to ask yourself “Would I want this?” Before spending money on the cute adorable silver plated candy dish or the monogrammed can drink covers, stop and think is this something I would want. Save yourself the embarrassment and your friend’s china cabinet stash of dusty unused gifts! Frugal doesn’t mean cheap and always start with a plan and stick to your budget! Remember, there is a season for everything and all things are negotiable.

There is not a one gift fits all gift! OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE



Get It Wedd for P

Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Designs Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Photography By Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva Designs


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t Girl... ding Styles Plus Size Brides The wonderful fashion trends that will follow in the next few pages are strictly about our plus size brides. We were blessed to feature Tina Peters of Faith Diva Designs, who created custom pieces for the models in this wonderful spread. With that we know you will want each and every piece we are featuring for your upcoming wedding nuptials. Enjoy!



Fashion: Bridal

Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Designs Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas APRIL/May 30 Photography Photographer: By2016 Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva Designs

Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Designs Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Photography By Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva Designs OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE


Fashion: Bridal

Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Designs Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Photography By Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva Designs


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Fashion: Bridal


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Fashion: Bridal

Fashion: Bridesmaids

Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva

Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva

Fashion: Bridesmaids Groom

Design: Faith Diva Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva


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Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva



Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva

Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Designs Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Photography By Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva Designs

Fashion: Bridesmaids

Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva

Fashion: Bridesmaids

Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Photography By Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva


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Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Designs Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Photography By Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva Designs

Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva


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Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva



Hair and Makeup: Chakina CC the Great Design: Faith Diva Location: Fair Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Photography By Gbadebo Jewelry: Faith Diva

Design: Faith Diva Location:Kylde Warren Park, Dallas Texas Photographer: Simply Beautiful Photography Jewelry: Faith Diva

Fashion: Designer Interview

Having the Faith to Design Through It All Known as the Faith Diva, Tina King is on a mission to change the face of Christian clothing and accessories. “You can be saved and sexy” is her mantra and her designs definitely make this a statement of fact. Playing with textures and patterns, her designs exemplify the class and sophistication of today’s modern Christian woman.


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At a very young age Tina was exposed to the world of fashion and design as her mother was a sample dressmaker for a major formal dress manufacturer. She grew up sketching and playing with sewing machines, fabrics and notions. Eventually Tina started her first design business in her mother’s kitchen at the age of 16 when she started painting and designing t-shirts and putting them in a local boutique in her hometown. But it wasn’t until 2008 when she entered a craft show with a relative that she discovered she had a talent for constructing jewelry, from there a designing diva was born. Faith Diva was founded that year but it wasn’t until the passing of

her husband in 2010 that would take Tina and Faith Diva to the next level in her fashion designing career. Tina went on through a complete metamorphosis as a way to cope with the passing of her husband. Her level came during that time and from it her Live, Laugh and Legacy line, in memory of her husband, was created. In the Fall of 2015, the company launched it’s first fashion line, The Trinity Collection and the rest is history as they say. Recently, Tina released their Virtuous Women Collection, which includes a modest line of bridal attire. Building a fashion empire is at the forefront of Tina’s thoughts and she is showing no signs of slowing down.

Tina doesn’t just view Faith Diva as a fashion design brand, she sees it for what it was meant to be from the start, a ministry. Her intentions are to spread God’s love and His message to the masses one design at a time. She believes that everyone has been born with a God given purpose for their lives and so why not walk in your purpose while looking gorgeous every step of the way? Tina often reminds women that you are divinely inspired, victoriously anointed and appointed. You are a Diva, so walk Diva, walk.



CC The Great’s Glam Lounge POSH | MODERN | CHIC Ph. (817) 874-0938

Ask The Expert: Planning


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Ask The Expert: Planning

She Wants What She Wants But Has What She Needs By Jennifer J. Hobson

It sounds crazy that a bride would even consider distinguishing between a want and a need for her own wedding. But there are brides who struggle with the realization that her wedding is in fact HER day. A day that is supposed to be absolutely perfect and turns her dreams into reality. But the truth is that there are brides who determine that some things she initially wanted, become unnecessary. Yet in still, there are other brides who decide what was initially important to them is crossed off their list after reconsideration. Of course, extenuating circumstances can dictate these choices such as budget, timing, expectancy of a baby, career moves, and so


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much more. Yet in still, as a bride the first thing you should know is that your wedding day is all about YOU and you need a wedding planner who is going to allow you to relax and enjoy you special day. Matter of fact, a great wedding planner’s goal should be to have you sit back and take in all of the moments, scents, laughter, and other special moments because these are moments that you will hopefully only have once in a lifetime. It’s the wedding planner’s job to execute your dreams while exceeding your expectations.

The second thing that you should know as a bride is that your wedding is just that YOURS. It’s not your mother’s, your sister’s, your soon-to-be mother-in-law’s; it’s yours. So, you do not need to feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do. Yes, there are wedding traditions and customs that can and often should be followed, but they are not a requirement. Just because your mother and grandmother wore the same dress on their wedding day doesn’t mean that you must. Or, that you must get married at your family’s house because two generations before you have. In the movie, “Jumping the Broom”, the two families gets into an argument over whether the bride and groom should jump the broom. In the end, the bride choices to follow her soon-to-behusband’s family tradition, but it was her own choice to honor her new mother-in-law’s request, not a requirement. So, what are some Must Have’s and Wants for all Brides when they are planning their wedding? It’s simple and it’s really about the basics. The Bride Must Haves 1. You, your groom, and the officiant of the wedding. At the end of the day, you three are the most important people. Yes. your sisters, cousins, best friends and your girls all want to be in the wedding and your mom probably has already asked your flower girl and junior bridesmaids their dress sizes. However, you are not required to

have a large wedding party or have anyone stand up beside you, your groom, and your officiant. Period. Everyone else is icing on the cake, and are a lot more expense. 2. Witnesses to sign your wedding license. Yes, you just need two people to sign your license and those can be whomever you choose. And, they do not have to stand next to you during your wedding ceremony. 3. Something to wear. That’s right! Something to wear. At the end of the day, if you do not want to wear a white dress, don’t. In fact, you do not have to wear a floor length traditional wedding gown either. You should feel beautiful on your wedding day and that includes feeling beautiful in our own skin. That includes what you are wearing when you say, “I Do.” Pick what you want to wear, but by all means, you must have something to wear. 4. Optics. Also known as pictures. You need to document your wedding and the people who attend and celebrate with you. Notice the term wedding photographer was not used but rather, optics. So, be creative and have your guests all bring their digital cameras to take pictures and share with you afterwards. Or, handout disposal cameras at your reception and tell your guests to take as many pictures as they want. Either way, you have optics and memories to look back on for years to come.

The Bridal Wants 1. Something old, new, borrowed, and blue. This is a wedding tradition no doubt that has been followed for decades. However, having these items on your person does not ensure your wedding and marriage will be perfect. Your commitment does, your love does; not objects. 2. A giant ring. Not everyone values an expensive ring and many couple’s choose not to go into debt to purchase a wedding ring that costs the same as a midsize car. You can get married with plastic rings, tattoo’s rings, or a simple wedding ring. Bottom line, an expensive ring is a want and not a need. 3. Kid friendly wedding and reception. Many brides pondered this question, especially when they come from a large family and it is hard to say no to kids being in attendance or being in the bridal party. But if you want adults only at your wedding or reception, that is fine. It is your decision and it should be supported. These Must Haves and Wants are essential discussion topics to making your wedding day magical. You should always be the centerpiece of the wedding and all eyes should be on you. So break the rules of tradition and get married however you want because you should shine your very best. Just remember to keep the 4 Must Haves above.



Weddings by JHP

All Jennifer Hobson Productions (JHP)are conceived, implemented, and produced with a focus of providing value while exceeding expectations in every way. Our goal is simple: purpose, passion and excellence in every production.

We can work with any budget and timeline. We offer package services that include beginning to end planning, development, production, and personal shopping. We also offer services a la carte, for those who have begun the planning process and would like to hire JHP to execute and implement plans. We offer Day of Coordination, Destination Wedding planning, and 3 packages that can accommodate anyone. Give us a call and let’s discuss how our experience and expertise can serve you on your special day!

For More Information

Please contact us for your next event at or 972-275-9JHP. We look forward to exceeding your expectations.

Ask The Expert: Catering

Know Your Options: Plated or Buffet

By Derek LaCaze

So you want to get your wedding catered but you can’t decide if you want it buffet style or plate. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both catering styles. So lets’ talk: Buffet Style In terms, of having a buffet style setting at your wedding know this one thing... it will be more cost effective for your budget. The main reason is because you will not have to deal extra catering staff members (wait staff and servers) but you will need more food because of the individual serving size of each guest will vary. There is also a risk that the food being served will be wasted because many guests tend to add more food to their plate than they will eat, thus the wasted food. You may even run the risk that some of your guests may not have an opportunity to eat because of the larger portions of food/wasted food that was not consumed. Here’s a tip, if you are going to have a buffet style serving station(s) then advise your caterer place the food on the plate while the guests walk through the buffet line. This way you reduce the spills, clean up time and messed up attire from guests trying to serve themselves. Remember, some guests literally wait until the reception so they can eat as much as they want and even take a plate or two of food to go with them. Don’t let that happen with your buffet.

and waste. Also remember that plated service is also more elegant, upscale and changes the atmosphere of the food service and reception. Here’s a tip on plated service, give options when you send out your wedding invitations so that you will be able to determine what each guest wants and what to order for the final count with the caterer. For instance, if you offer chicken, fish and/or steak. When you send out the invitations you will have an accurate head count as to the preference of each guest. Also, you may wan to include extra servings just in case. The bottom line is this... you have to make sure you stay within your budget. If you can’t afford additional wait staff then make sure you have a couple of people who are willing to maintain the buffet so that all of your guests are able to eat. You can allow for seconds once everyone has been served. Another piece of advice is to allow for guests to go to the buffet by table versus a free for all, come and get it structure. This will also ensure everyone has eaten. Final thing, whatever venue you go with for your reception, be sure you understand the terms of their catering service, rather in-house or if outside food will be allowed. This too also affects your budget.

Plated To have your guests served at their take is also known as plated and will cost more because the caterer has to hire additional staff to serve all of the guests. Fortunately for this option, you will be at ease that all of your guests will receive the same portion of food and all of your guests will be served. This is also a plus because you know your guests might eat less and there is a reduction in spillage OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE


Ask The Expert: Cake

The Perfect

Slice By Ebony Holmes, Owner of ButterCream Belle


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So, you’re getting married? Congratulations! Now that you’ve selected the perfect dress and the right venue it’s time to turn your attention to another important matter: the cake! Wedding cakes come in all shapes, sizes and flavors and can range from a simple, yet elegant naked cake to a many tiered, bedazzled confection of epic proportions. Whatever type of cake you choose, it should be one that reflects your personal style and fits in with the overall theme of your wedding. There are many factors to be considered when selecting a wedding cake. The first order of business should involve selecting a baker that specializes in wedding cakes. Cake tastings are a great way to both sample cakes and check out the baker’s portfolio of cake designs. Be careful of choosing too many flavors in your cake. Bakers recommend two distinct flavor profiles in a cake to offer a little variety. Any more than two flavors and you risk confusing both the serving staff and the guests. Also, be prepared to pay a fee for cake tasting consultations. Some bakers will subtract the fee for the cake consultation from the overall balance should you go on to order your cake with them. Once you’ve selected a baker, the rest should be smooth sailing. You’ll need to know how many guests your cake will need to feed and whether or not you want to retain the top layer of the cake. Both of these factors will affect the size of your wedding cake and consequently the price. If you need to cut costs you can consider having a smaller, tiered cake to display and cut during the

reception and then having a sheet cake behind the scenes from which to serve the guests. Some couples also save by choosing to have a wedding cake with fake layers which they supplement with a sheet cake. The sheet cakes in both options are served from the kitchen, so no one is the wiser! A wedding cake should not only look good, but it should also taste good. One of the biggest choices facing bridesto-be is whether the wedding cake should have fondant or buttercream. Some people simply do not like the taste of fondant; however, fondant is a preferred medium by many cake artists because of its versatility. Fondant can be molded, folded, creased, draped, airbrushed, imprinted and more whereas buttercream can be more challenging to work with. Reviewing the baker’s portfolio will let you know how much experience they have with buttercream and what techniques they are able to execute. Some cake artists are able to work wonders with buttercream!

peratures and humidity can ruin the fondant or buttercream on a cake, which is why bakers may request that the cake be kept in an air-conditioned area until the last possible minute. These are all issues that you will want to discuss with your baker, especially if your wedding will be held outside or during hotter months. Finally, you’ll also need to consider the design aesthetic of your cake. Be sure to let your cake designer know what you want but even if you have no idea, cake designers are able to help you with the creative process and can make suggestions based on your preferences. It’s a good idea to bring fabric swatches, photographs or any other sources of inspiration along to the cake tasting consultation. Whether you’re looking for something modern, rustic, contemporary or elegant, make sure your cake designer understands what you want and that it fits in seamlessly with the other elements of your reception.

It is also important to consider the climate when considering the cake covering. High temOUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE


Ask The Expert: Floral

Does Size Matter, For Your Bouquet? By Debbie Latham Magee he answer depends on a number of things: The flowers you want to use aren’t the only consideration. Your physical size is an important factors to consider, as well. The size of the wedding bouquet should be appropriate to the size of the bride according to tradition. While a full figure bride could make some bouquet arrangements look undersized, you should also consider your comfort level. You’ll be holding the bouquet for a long time, so you don’t want a bouquet that’s going to seem like a lead weight after a few minutes. Choosing silk florals will alleviate some of the weight as the stems are usually lighter and will



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give the same visual effect as the non-silk option. And let’s not forget the boutonniere for the gentleman. A smaller flower for the guy is essential. Remember to keep the boutonniere a modest size. As floral designers we do not want grooms’ parties looking like they’re wearing corsages. So for bouquets and boutonnieres alike, dimensions do matter. As a bride, whether you’re size six or size twenty-six, you may assist your florist by being prepared to give him or her basic information they will usually require. Budget is a great factor to discuss with your florist when you want to know if size

matters; the label on the inside of your voluptuous wedding gown… not so much. After all of the aforementioned information, who wants to drive themselves crazy making sure the bouquet is less than two inches between the top of ones hips. Really! No one wants to be a cookie cutter bride and your bouquet is a great way to show style and individuality, as well as a great opportunity to insert the overall color scheme of your wedding. Also, focus on the formality of the event. A bride and groom exchanging vows at the court house would not carry a three foot cascading

bouquet, just as a wedding held at a larger venue of 400 or more guests probably would not carry a few daisies wrapped with twine. Be sure to consider the bouquet’s style and substance. You probably would not want a nosegay of sweetheart roses in the biggest event of the century. Neither would you want to have a 100 bling bouquet for a back yard soiree wedding. As a florist we must listen to our client – after all it is her special day. I remember – years ago -- when I first started out, I took the first draft of the wedding bouquets to my client where she loved everything except the size of her bouquet. She asked me to remove 50% of the flowers of the bride’s bouquet only. Although I was very disappointed, I said nothing. Months later I saw the wedding

photos at which time I was thrilled. That is when I could see the overall floral vision for her special day. The bride wanted a smaller bouquet to keep with her during the entire wedding and reception. To my surprise and delight, the bridal bouquet was in almost every photo. If I would have known in advance, I could have asked her to carry her “wedding bouquet” during the ceremony and her “toss” bouquet throughout the wedding reception. To sum it up: the correct answer to the question of “does size matter,” I will leave you with the title of the rap group ‘Digital Underground’… “Doowutchyalike,” because it is your special day and size does matter, but only with your bridal vision. And as florists, we have the ability to make sure you have the size that

matters…to you.

Ask The Expert: Natural Hair

Natural HairStyles For A Spring Bride

Natural Hair Looks For Every Natural Bride


pring season is in full bloom, and the natural backdrops are picture perfect! The therapeutic ray of sunlight delivers instant euphoria. The flowers yield colors that are rich and vibrant, and the smell in the air gives energy to your soul. No doubt, springtime is the most beautiful season to have your dream wedding. You’ve already chosen the perfect bridal gown, your jewelry, and your shoes, but the allure of a bride’s beauty is her crown! She is a queen and her presentation to her king must be breathtaking! As a natural hair bride you already have an advantage with that crown of yours! Your natural hair texture is unique. It is special, and an extension of who you are. As your groom takes in your beauty from head to toe, he without a doubt will know that you are his gift! Let’s consider the following natural hairstyles, colors, and accessories for your big day: Hair Accessories: Unique flower accessories are prefect for natural brides during this season. One option is to wear a halo of real flowers to crown your natural tresses. You can have it made, or make your own! You can also purchase “bridal” bobby pins and hair clips from sites like, Bab Online Dress or Sam Moon Trading Co., a women’s


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By Chandra Hawthorne, Owner Healthy Happy Hair

accessory retail shop. Most of these pins and clips are beaded, or have tons of flower options to choose from to accent an up-do or a messy curly up sweep! Netted fasteners are also beautiful and captivating! Brides are getting more creative with these accessories. Feel free to express yourself in a way that will keep your crown and glory the Star! Color anyone? Spring is full of bright beautiful bold colors. Why not lighten your natural hair to compliment the season? Medium to light browns, and reds will take your natural hairstyle and texture up a couple notches! All Naturale: Simple natural styles can also be striking on a spring bride! The unique texture alone is all the style that you may need. You can dress up your natural texture by adding a beautiful flower to a set of gathered chunky twists, a loose fro, or a curly ponytail. Floral accented headbands are also a simple way to dress up your natural hair on your big day! They are simple and elegant! Exotic floral headpieces that frame the face can also really make a dramatic statement! They are fun, modern, and stylish! With a spring dream wedding, and your natural hair you can’t go wrong! Finding the perfect hairstyle is made easy because your kinks, coils, curl, and waves is a style in and of itself. So be colorful, expressive, exotic, and above all have fun!



Ask the Expert: Beauty and Hair

By Chakina C.C. the Great Watkins

Wedding season is upon us, and our brides are breaking all the rules and making their own. Not only are brides wanting to make their special day all about them and their special day, they also want to make it a day to remember with new makeup looks and hairdos. Makeup for the big day This season be bold! Try a smokey eye, or use a plum or navy eyeliner instead of black to give a glow to your natural eye color. Go for a nutural earth tone eyeshadows and for an added dramatic effect wear add a bold pop of color on the lip! Try an apricot, a hint of neon pink, or even a shade of purple lipstick with a matte finish. A splash of colored lipstick would be beautiful with your fresh white beautiful dress! For our blushing brides who would like to keep it simple it’s okay! There is something for you too! It’s all in your glow. The key to your perfect look is bronzer and blush. Try beautiful rose colors on the cheek along with a powdered bronzer. Powders are better for the spring and summer. Powders are great for absorbing


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moisture, and giving you a consistent fresh and beautiful look for your big day. Hairstyles for your dress style A bride’s hair is her crown and glory, and one of the most important factors of her special day! The key to choosing the perfect hairstyle for your day is in the gown. • • •

Strapless Gowns: Try a classic and timeless updo. A chiffon or messy bun would really accent your neckline and show off your beautiful shoulders. One Shoulder Gowns: Try cascading curls pinned to the opposite side of the the strap. Halter Gowns: Show off your back with a topsy tail bun or a woven updo. Adding a braid to your hairstyle is a great way to give a fresh look to a timeless style.

Whatever you decide, flare or tradition, make sure you consult your hairstyle and makeup artist. It’s always best to test out your look at least a week or two before your big day so you won’t have any surprises you lift that mirror to your face. Again, it’s your day so enjoy it!

Say YES to AVON!

Shop Online 24/7 for before and after wedding beauty needs. Shellye L Lyons, Avon Independent Sales Representative

Serving Southwest Dallas County

Ask The Expert: Invitations

By Jordan Alvarez

We’ve all seen (or been victim to) the inevitable “Pinterestfail.” Those bloggers and their beautiful how-to’s and DIYs leave us feeling a little less than satisfied with our final products. Maybe we can chalk it up to their good photography or their magic crafting skills, but let’s all agree after those seemingly easy projects, we would rather do without the headache, destroyed kitchen, and empty wallets.


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soon-to-be-hubby’s family is from a different country? You can use your save the date as an opportunity to show that off! Create a map or timeline to remind your guests that you finding one another was literally a global endeavor.

In all honesty, we have the best of intentions. We’re brides who want invitations that tell our guests our love story, that tell our guests what makes us unique, and that lets our guests take a peek into our heritage. So what gives? How do we achieve personal, intimate invitations without losing our minds over a DIY project and without purchasing the same invitations as every other 2016-2017 bride? We suggest is: start with what you love. Your immediate thought is probably your fiancée and your family. You love your man and want everyone to know your story, but ask yourself, how are you two different? Celebrate those differences in your invitations and stationery! Is he completely Type A, while you’re, just, not? Work that into the layout of your invites, simple font with a border design, or no

border design with a fun and curvy font will subtly display those personality types. And what about your family? Although this is a celebration for you and your beau, your family is likely bragging and celebrating right alongside you. It’s beautiful when brides are able to symbolically add details that share memories of the couple’s childhood and personalities. Do you remember that hand crocheted blanket you’d bundle up with every Saturday at grandma’s? Add a lace band to the exterior of the invitation to show your guests a symbol of that cherished memory. Is your family all about music? Create a playlist with both of your favorite jams and send it out with your save the dates. This will preview what your party will be like while also sharing a piece of you and your man. What about if your

Once you know what personal touches you want to include in your stationery, decide whether you want to go the store bought route or the handmade route. Understand that when shopping for invitations on big industry websites, you will not have the opportunity to communicate your ideas and personalities into your stationery. On the other hand, when you chose to work with an invitation designer that specializes in handmade invitations, they’ll be able to take your ideas and add color and textures that will bring your personalities and heritage to life. Instead of picking a style, entering your event information, and hoping they aren’t the same ones your BFF just picked out for her big day, you’ll have invitations that are completely unique and showcase your love story. Regardless of how your invitations come to be, remember every moment counts. Make sure that when it arrives in the hands of your guest it makes them giddy and invites them to share a small piece of your personalities and love story.



Ask The Expert: Fitness

Don’t Abandon Your Fitness Goals While You’re Planning Your Wedding

If you’re struggling to stay on track with your fitness goals while planning your wedding then don’t just completely abandon all hope and give up on fitness just yet. You are probably saying, “REALLY?!” Yes, planning a wedding can be like having another job but you don’t want to kill yourself before the big wedding day with STRESS. Besides, sticking to a fitness goal during this time of bliss will have you feeling rejuvenated, more energetic, a few pounds lighter and less of a Bridezilla. Another plus is how that gorgeous dress will look and feel because you decided to stick to your fitness goals. And, that big smile on your groom’s face will be … priceless. Although, it is important to plan your


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big day, it is very difficult to help yourself if you lack energy. You need energy to be a powerful influence and energy is only gained from proper respect for your mind, body and soul. Leverage yourself by committing outwardly; accountability is an incredibly strong motivator to stay on course. One way to be good to yourself is to schedule in time for your fitness goals, and treat it with the same level of respect that you’d provide to your new husband-to-be. Need some guidance and wisdom from fit minds. Respect the advice of these professional fitness trainer, wellness and life coaches at your local gym. They have great bridal packages for you if you want to go that route. Other than that consider getting an accountability partner who will make sure you are working out for at least 3 days a week or 30

minutes a day for up to five days. You may feel like you have no energy or spare time but it’s all in how you prepare your day and how you value your time. If you start your day earlier you maybe able to get in a good workout. If that is impossible then consider turning off the television and replace watching reality T.V. with a real workout. You see the goal is to make sure you stick to your workout plan during planning your workout so you don’t lose all hope and add the stress of gaining weight to your big day. Good luck on your workout plan and let us know how you’re doing at

By: Adrienne Galloway

Real Couples: Engaged

One Rainy Day ... On a rainy Thursday in October 2013, I was headed to class from a long day at work and decided to stop by an Arby’s to grab a bite to eat...I was running late and really did not feel like doing anything other than going home and getting some rest, but first -- class. Dominic and Jazzmyne


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When I pulled up to the window after ordering my food, I didn’t really give him the “come hither eye” more so, the “sorry I messed up my order at the window, I’m running late for life” sad puppy dog look. He was kind, and made small talk. The cheesesticks I had ordered were being cooked at that time, so we had a couple minutes to talk. Although we’d just met, the conversation flowed pretty well. He became concerned about water getting into my car when the rain picked up a little more and gave me some napkins to wipe off the inside of my car closest to the window. I hadn’t noticed that it was beginning to get wet during the time we were talking. Finally, he made the move to suggest we exchange phone numbers. I agreed, and requested his, so that I could give him a call when I had some time, as I was headed to class and didn’t want to be distracted. He wrote his number down on a piece of receipt paper and three days later I made the phonecall that would forever change my life. The Engagement Story Our engagement actually began on a Thursday evening, in August 2015. I had taken care of some household and financial items for my mother and on Friday morning, she sent me a text stating that as a “thank you” she would like to pay for a trip to the nail shop for me. Of course, I thought nothing of it and sent back an appreciative “thank you”. Things had been a little rough at work at that time and I welcomed the time to allow someone else to work on me for a bit. However, since I had a couple of birthday engagements that evening, getting my nails done

would have to wait for the next day, before we were to have dinner with his parents, as we talked about doing for a while.

changed and get to the restaurant by 8:00 p.m., that I could’ve competed with the Tasmanian devil from the Looney Tunes cartoons in speed.

The next day, I had plans to attend a few of the MegaFest sessions, meet with a mentor and get my nails done all before dinner. Well...let’s just say things got down to the wire as we got closer to dinner time. The day before (Friday evening) I received a call from my mom while I was out, asking about going to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Bread Winners, Dominic and his parents so that my mom could make an announcement about her new business venture. The only issue with that, is that the dinner would take place before my beloved could get off of work at 8 p.m., I was told that they would work that out...fine.

I was able to arrive home by 7:27 p.m., shower, primp and prep, to be ready to step out of the house within 10 minutes of arrival. When I went to grab my mom, since she talked me into hitching a ride with her, my heart hit my stomach, she wasn’t ready to go! We had exactly 20 minutes at this point to make it to Downtown Dallas for dinner and she was still working on her hair. Of course, I attempted to speed things along, but was deterred by mama bear’s need for a cup of hot tea.

I received a text earlier Saturday morning asking if I had gotten my nails done yet, and responded that I hadn’t, but planned on doing so before dinner. Well, a few hours later, my mom called and we talked about other things, before the subject of my nails came up again. At this point, I wanted to hurry and get them done so that I would stop being “bothered” about getting them done because this was now cutting into my relaxing “me” time. I let mom know that I would for sure get them done before we went to dinner that night….well, let’s just say that I barely followed through with getting them done, and I am so glad I did. After finishing my errands, I was able to get to my favorite nail shop right before they closed at 6:30 p.m., and they were able to get me out by 7:07 p.m. At that point, I was ripping and running to get to the house, get

I texted my guy that we were running a little behind and asked that he let his folks know we’d be there by 8:15 p.m. (how that would happen yet, I didn’t know). By the time we finally left the house and made it nearby, it was 8:13 p.m. “maybe we wouldn’t be too late after all,” I thought, right when my phone began to was him! “Hi, babe, we’re about to pull up in just a sec,” was my response to his inquiry about if we’d made it to the restaurant yet. After we’d pulled up, I ran inside to meet his parents and was greeted to a long table of our closest in-town relatives (the usual crew for parties) and my best friend. At that moment, it hit me…”he’s going to propose” I thought and my heart began beating 100 miles per hour in anticipation. We went through the entire meal without so much as a mention of anything resembling a proposal until after the meal was complete and the



Our Couples: Engaged final guest showed up, which solidified the proposal was to happen that night. The final guest was a friend of his, that I had just recently met and hit it off with, and I knew for sure, that if my mom had an announcement to make, this person would not have been there, because they had never met my mom. And just like that, the moment that my love and I talked about, hypothesized about what I would like, etc. was about to happen. Dominic got out of his chair and called the table to silence because he had something to say. In that very moment, everyone else disappeared and


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it was just he and I...even though he was initially talking to the whole table. My sweetheart told our family how he felt about me, told me how much he loved me and would like to spend the rest of his life with me and asked me the honor of becoming his wife (of course, on one knee). With tears in my eyes and an ear to ear smile on my face I shook my head and accepted until I finally found my words to say “YES”. It was the most beautiful, most wonderful moment, I’d ever experienced and was glad it was with him. Upco ming Wedding Details

We will be getting married this upcoming August at our church among our closest family members and a few friends in a ceremony in front of God, filled with love. For the most part, because of the type of couple that we are, we’ve decided to keep the event invitation only, because of the sacred value we both hold and want to be sincere about our promise. We plan to honeymoon on a beach on the east coast and come back home to start our new lives together.

Our Couples: Engaged

Workplace Love Jude and Raven

Although Jude and I worked together in the beginning he never went easy on me. He would always ask, “Why were you late from break?” “You took a long lunch.” But one day he couldn’t resist my smile. Pointing at my dimples “what are those?” ‘Really?’ I thought to myself. Of course he knew he just didn’t know how to actually be nice to me. After a couple of laughs and interesting conversations we started making memories of our love. Fun times such as bowling and watching action movies ignited our initial spark. We knew those moments would only be the beginning. We started to enjoy one another. I loved learning about his Nigerian culture and

he loved being around my family. Although we dated for five long years we knew we would tie the knot one day because of the love we had for one another. On June 10,2015 he proposed in the shops of legacy in front of my entire family. I was completely blown away by this surprise. As a happy couple we look forward to living a long loving life with one another.



Our Couples: Married

God’s Will For Love Ernest and Phyllis


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Ernest and I met 13 years ago at Airtran Airways (now Southwest Airlines). We did like each other but we were too chicken to pursue a relationships because we just figured that if it’s meant to be, it will be one day. When Ernest and I got together he didn’t know I was sick because it’s something I don’t like to talk about. I was talking treatments which would take hours to finish once a week. When he found out about my sickness, he would take me to them because I was always weak afterwards and he would sit there beside me. Not once did he ever complain. He just said, “I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. So just sleep I’ll be here when you wake up.” He would always take me to the most interesting places. I can remember this one date he took me to Medieval Times and I was crowned Queen of the Tourna-

ment. Also he gave me flowers and things for no reason at all. One day I asked him, “Why does you do things like that?”

good things come to those who wait.”

He said, “Because I want to makeup for all the heartache and pain other men have caused you.”

The day he proposed I went to his house after work to fix him dinner and he asked me to sit on his lap. My response was already? Then we both laughed. After we laughed he asked me if I loved him and my response was more than you know.

To this day he still does those things. He knows I love plays and he brought me tickets to see Wicked. He always reminds me that it’s his job to make me smile and he never wants me to stop smiling because that’s one job he loves doing. Now you see why I say he’s a gift from God because only love like that has to come from God. I knew he was the one when we went on our first date and he said to me, “I’ve been waiting a long time for you. I always knew you were the one, I just had to wait and be patient because


Then he asked me, “Are you going to marry me?” I’m thinking he’s talking about in the near future and smiled. But then I noticed he had this look on his face and I asked, “Are you serious?” He pulls out the most beautiful ring and asked me, “Does this ring show that I’m serious?” After I picked myself up off of OUR WEDDINGS MAGAZINE


Our Couples: Married the floor I said, “YES!” It may not have been the most spectacular proposal but it’s ours. He knows I like vintage, so my ring is a Neil Lane Hollywood Vintage Collection which also helped inspire the theme of our wedding. My husband’s name is Ernest Nebraska Stewart III and he is definitely a gift from God and any gift from God I will gladly accept. Our future is already written by God, which is to love one another and grow each day by knowing that we are each other from the beginning to the end. Our wedding was Old Hollywood Glam and it took place at Marietta Cobb Museum of Art in Marietta, Georgia. We choose this venue because we both love art and we are the traditional couple. Our wedding cakes were unique because one represents becoming one and the other one is Hollywood Glam Cake. His groom’s cake was very special because his dad used to act in Othello in the theatre and that’s one of our favorite Shakespearean plays.

My dress and veil were Hollywood glam as well, which went with our theme. Also my bouquet was made personally for me with brooches from around the world. The bridesmaid worn black dresses with black gloves for the elegance of old Hollywood and their bouquets were made out of feathers because the women of old Hollywood had a lot of feathers in their acts and wardrobe. The groomsmen wore black tuxedos with bow tie to represent the flair of old Hollywood. Our colors were Tiffany blue, pink and black. My uncle and my son were supposed to give me away. Unfortunately, my son was overseas with the Navy. We choose old Hollywood glam because we wanted to have a touch of old Hollywood style. The song that played after we were announced as husband and wife was I’m Blessed by Montage Pheloan because we couldn’t leave God out of our union. The minister also performed a hand ceremony which by placing our hands together created a bond that no man or woman can break and for us to always have a helping hand. Our first dance was the song One Day at a Time by Brian Courtney Wilson. We had a seated wedding and a wait staff who served our guests. Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many other performers played during cocktail hour and while we enjoyed our food of grilled salmon and steak with red wine sauce. Our wedding was beautiful but our union is one-of-a-kind.

Wedding Details


APRIL/May 2016

Married on: September 8, 2015 Photographer: Photography by Philippe Bertrand Philsart and Photography Makeup by: Imani Wright Cakes by: Kendra Jones and Ronnie Jamison Cupcakes by: Just Sweets Catering by: Carriage House Catering



Our Couples: Married

Maintained Love James and Jameel

This beautiful couple was introduced by the groom’s father when they lived in the same apartment complex. James proposed to Jameel on December 25, 2014 while she was sitting on his lap. He presented her with a ring and asked, “Will you marry me?” Of course she said, “YES.”

Wedding Details:

Wedding Date: April 2, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Venue: Greenwood Community Park Waterfront Theatre in Baker, Louisiana. Photographer: Elizabeth Porche Wedding Planner: The bride Wedding Coordinators: Jewel Seals and Stacy R. Smith Caterers: Lynn Benson and Thelma Coleman. Wedding Colors: Red, black & white.

A message to the groo m:

“I love you with all of my heart and you always support me in everything that I want to do or tried to do.”



Our Couples: Married

Love NEVER Fails Mr. and Mrs. Troy Kyles

We are both honored and delighted to share this special wedding day for Mr. and Mrs. Troy Kyles who were wedded April 16, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.

While we typically don’t use cell phone pictures to capture weddings, we couldn’t help but allow this special day to grace our pages because it’s an honor.

The theme was Love Never Fails as this 70 plus year old couple found love again after the love of their lives succumbed.

We wish this young couple the very best and are inspired that love, at any age, is true! Congrats!

The couple were joined by their close family and friends in an intimate ceremony and Mr. Kyles only child, Deanna Price of Dallas, TX flew in with her family to celebrate her father’s special day to a very special woman.


APRIL/May 2016



The Man Cave: Dating

The Term Life Marriage Plan By: Andy T. Brown

Ahh! Wedded bliss. Holy Matrimony. Getting hitched. Jumping the broom. Tying the knot. All the terms that we often use when referencing to a couple on the verge of getting married or who are recently married. But what is marriage anyway? What is it really? By definition, marriage is the state of being united to a person (of the opposite sex) in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. But honestly, who is getting married in this day and age? Summer wedding event planning is on a slow decline. The bridal bouquet is a far interest for many single women, and the bachelor is maintaining his own mortgage or monthly rent without someone to (permanently) share his home with.


APRIL/May 2016

It’s not so much that the divorce rate is high, but people just aren’t getting married. According to the U.S. Census, only 45 percent of Black American households contain a married couple, compared to 80 percent for Whites, and 70 percent among Hispanics. Black Americans are considerably less likely than other racial/ethnic groups to ever marry, less likely to remarry, more likely to divorce, separate and cohabit (“shack”) and raise children out-of-wedlock (and in mother-only households more than likely). This trend keeps the single mother single and the baby-daddy relevant and far removed from Mom and Dad combined parenting in the household.

Face it. The stigma of being divorced or running the risk of divorce is frightening for many. Often couples will have steered away from marriage just for the sake of NOT getting a divorce. Divorce looks bad. It feels bad, and bottom-line, it can cost a great deal of money. In the end, the numbers don’t lie. So, if the numbers matter most, then why not look at marriage in numbers? No. Not in terms of amount of marriages but in terms of years. This would be similar to a term insurance policy. And since marriage is indeed a contractual agreement, let’s look at it that way and legalize the term policy of marriage, which include short-term, the long term, and the lifetime marriage

terms. For instance: • The Short-Term Marriage (no more than five years): This marriage term is designed for those who desire to be married, but not sure for how long. They agree to a term marriage of five years or less but they question if the marriage will really last longer than that. After the given five years is up, the married couple maybe able to review the marriage term policy and see if they are both willing to pursue another five years or more, or end the relationship and move on in different directions. No harm. No foul. No need for divorce. • The Long-Term Marriage (between 5 to 18 years): This marriage term is designed for those who have created a family and are raising children. This term marriage embraces the couple’s responsibility as parents to stay together and work things out for growth of the family and financial development during the marriage time frame. This allows the couple to evaluate their growth and the children are supported and nurtured during key developmental stages in their life by BOTH parents (mother/father). If you made the baby. Raise the baby. Once the child is of age to legally leave the home, i.e. graduate from high school and pursue collegiate, military or collegiate opportunities, the wedded couple will have the option to terminate or renew their marriage term policy. • The Life Marriage: This marriage term is the most universal and traditional marriage known to man because of the words, ‘Til death do us part.’ This term is the epitome of marriages and is the utmost level of commitment that two individuals can share. An entire life. Regardless of joy, pain, happiness or heartache, the couple will grow

and develop with one another … forever. Many couples start off striving for this term marriage but quickly find that it many not be what they expected nonetheless when a Life Marriage Term is signed then it must be complied to or the couple will face hefty infractions. Unfortunately, as with any breach of contract, a penalty would be required for divorce. In most cases, divorce occurs due to lack of infidelity, faith and/or finances. Therefore, in an effort to emphasize the need to stay married and honor the given vows, there should be an enforced financial penalty introduced. A percentage, if you will. If a marriage was due for a term of five years and the couple only made it two years without looking for divorce, then they would be, by law, required to pay a three percent tax to the state of where they reside of their overall accumulated assets during the time of marriage. If they are married for four years into an 18 year term, then 12 percent tax to the state and so on. While many believe this to be a far reaching concept it makes sense to reduce the number of divorces in the Black community as well as the number of households being parented by one parent. Term marriages are to hold individuals responsible for their desire to jump in and out of marriages as if they are just flings. The core principle of term marriage is to treat your marriage like you treat your life insurance policy, with care and respect or risk it lapsing and then being in the wind if a tragedy occurs. Divorce is that tragedy as is broken homes. Ultimately, communication is the doorway to success. And commitment is key. The question is how long are we willing to commit to our mate and communicate this to them?



The Man Cave: Marriage

Rule No. 1: Always Date Your Spouse By Damian Williams

You don’t date to marry, you marry to date. I heard this quote early on in marriage and still haven’t quite gained true mastery of it. Life has a way of throwing a monkey wrench in all of your plans. Work, homework, laundry and making dinner all play a part in the dwindling dating scene of the married folk! 86

APRIL/May 2016

You don’t date to marry, you marry to date. I heard this quote early on in marriage and still haven’t quite gained true mastery of it. Life has a way of throwing a monkey wrench in all of your plans. Work, homework, laundry and making dinner all play a part in the dwindling dating scene of the married folk! The aforementioned are all traps that married people fall victim to daily! The truth is there is no special sauce, magic formula or late night guru that will unlock the truth behind married dating! There’s nothing to it but to ... DO IT! There will always be other responsibilities, issues and pressing matters that will take your time away from your spouse so you have to make each other a priority! The easiest way I’ve found for planning is downloading a calendar app onto your phones and set a date and time for your activities. You can set a group calendar and when it’s time you get a notification reminder. It works great! K.I.S.S. Keep it simple spouse! Every date doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive. A picnic on the living room floor when the kids are asleep, going to a pond in your neighborhood to feed the ducks, or going to have ice cream for half an hour before returning home to life. These are fun, creative and inexpensive ways to keep

the fire lit! Park the tech! Our social media, email and handheld devices have had an affect on the way we do everything! Leave the phones on vibrate and only answer in an emergency. Guys, make sure you actively listen to your wives! Make eye contact, nod and show that you are both interested and concerned with what she is saying, it may make for some fireworks later! This is one of my favorites, be unspontaneously spontaneous! With kids it’s almost impossible for you to do this but don’t let her know you’ve got something planned (all arrangements made prior) and now you look like a boss! Then let her know that you want to take her out for a quick bite or what have you. If you want to score even more points, have the house cleaned or whatever task she does everyday done for her so when she gets home she can relax! Here’s one for the fellas, ladies, be shoulder to shoulder with him. This is a man date! We love when y’all are around us. If he’s working on the car, go outside and just sit and watch him. If he’s outside grilling, pull up a chair and watch the barbecue master at work. Wives, don’t talk. I know it’s hard but interacting with him non-verbally is so great for us! We want to be bud-

dies with you and guys can do activities and hardly say a word while having a great time! I promise ladies this one is gold! Keep it moving. You should have a date night every week. Consistency is the only thing that produces change. This has to be a priority for you both. Location isn’t as important as the alone time and intimacy. Lastly, make it about each other. Married people have a tendency of losing themselves in their reality. Never forget you are still married to the same girl of 17 albeit she’s more voluptuous with gray hair. He’s that same buffed 19 year old guy that likes to flex his muscles and show off for his favorite girl. He’s picked up a few pounds and may be losing his hair but that’s still him! Bills, kids and all that life stuff can wait until you get home, trust me it will still be there! Revel in your past times, places you’ve visited and experiences that you’ve shared together. Keep learning and experiencing each other. We all evolve with time. Remember one day the kids will be gone and it will be just you two and you don’t want to realize you are looking at a stranger.




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Our Weddings Magazine April/May 2016  

Welcome to the plus size issue of Our Weddings Magazine. We are happy to feature the designs of Tina Peters for this great fashion issue. We...

Our Weddings Magazine April/May 2016  

Welcome to the plus size issue of Our Weddings Magazine. We are happy to feature the designs of Tina Peters for this great fashion issue. We...