Munaluchi Bride » Blog http://munaluchibridal.com #1 chic and stylish magazine catering to brides of color. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:00:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.18 Michelle and Devin’s Luxurious Fairytale Wedding at the Venetian http://munaluchibridal.com/michelle-devins-luxurious-fairytale-wedding-venetian/ http://munaluchibridal.com/michelle-devins-luxurious-fairytale-wedding-venetian/#comments Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:00:27 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=154141 munaluchi-luxury-weddings-devin-mccourty-wedding-095 NFL New England Patriot Devin McCourty and Medical Doctor Michelle McCourty tie-the-knot in their...

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NFL New England Patriot Devin McCourty and Medical Doctor Michelle McCourty tie-the-knot in their beautiful fairytale wedding, luxuriously decorated with absolutely no details overlooked. Featured in the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine this stunning event took place in Spring at the Venetian in Garfeld, NJ.

Read all about Michelle and Devin's love story, romantic Disney World proposal, and wedding experiences. See the entire vendor list below and view the complete selected image gallery by MunaLuchi Coterie member Manuel Montenegro of Montenegro Photography here.


Bride & Groom: Devin and Michelle McCourty
Occupations: Devin - Professional Football Player for the New England Patriots. Michelle - Medical Doctor.
Wedding Location: the Venetian, Garfield NJ
Wedding Date: April 30, 2016

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On some level, at some time, every woman wishes to feel like royalty, and every man to be her charming prince. That desire is usually encapsulated in two moments; during a proposal and on the wedding day. Everyone wants the perfect fairytale proposal...a day of romantic indulgence, sentimental gestures, breathtaking views, a declaration of love and devotion… He gets down on one knee and your surroundings fade away as the true reality of the moment becomes undoubtedly apparent. His mouth is forming the words but shock prevents your ability to hear. You look at the ring and through joyful sobs with shortened breath say “I do.”

Unknown to Michelle, a moment such as this would be orchestrated for her by a college friend years after their initial meeting - the summer of her freshmen year as a pre-med student at Rutgers University. Devin, a sophomore at the time, was already a prominent athlete on his way to a successful football career. Though their friendship was close, Michelle was already involved “in a previous long term relationship from high school, so we never took it past a fun friendship back then,” she recalls. It would be years before their friendship blossomed into romance when Devin, now a professional athlete for the New England Patriots, returned to Rutgers for off-season training with other Rutgers NFL players, and Michelle was pursuing the later stages of medical school in becoming a Medical Doctor.

Their love for each other took hold completely as their relationship continued to progress until Devin, knowing that Michelle was the one, began to put into place the necessary steps in ensuring that their lives would forever be spent together. Michelle fondly remembers that wonderful day, “our proposal was nothing short of a fairytale-preceded by bits of drama to add to the suspense. We had already planned a family trip to Disneyworld with myself, Dev, his twin brother Jason and his wife Melissa and 2 year old daughter Liana. We had spent the whole day at a Universal studios park, went back to the hotel to get freshened up to go to Disneyworld that night to see the fireworks and for little Liana to meet some princesses that were set up by her parents in advance. Turns out there was a ton of traffic, so we missed the fireworks. Then, the monorail stopped working. So the only way out of Disney was the ferry. Once we got off the ferry to go into Disney, there were thousands of people blocking our way in because they were all trying to get onto the ferry. It was complete mayhem and everybody was in a standstill. We finally got inside the park after at least an hour of pushing through the crowd. It was already around 11pm, and I was shocked the Magic Kingdom castle was still open, with people online and everything, waiting to meet princesses inside. At first I was going to pass on pics with princesses since I knew it was for my niece, but Dev insisted we be in the them. We got to Rapunzel, who made a comment about Dev being my prince charming-which I sarcastically brushed off. Then Belle. Then Cinderella-who also made a comment saying tonight may be a special night. But I ignored her, too. Suddenly, our tour guide gives Dev a box-and Dev pulls out a pair of glass slippers. I looked quickly at them and said aww how pretty (didn't notice that our names were engraved on them). Then as I go to walk away from Cinderella, Dev says wait-let's see if they fit. They were kids/display sized shoes so I knew it was a joke. He even got on one knee to pretend to put the glass slippers on my feet. I just said, "umm they're not going to fit, get up." Then I look and Liana, who was sitting on Jason's shoulders, hands Dev a small box as he remains on his knees. And suddenly, a ton of cameras start flashing in our direction. I honestly still was clueless for a few more seconds until Dev opened the box and I realized what was happening. He said some loving words which, honestly, I can't remember at all because I was so in shock. All I kept saying was, "No way, no way, no way" as more cameras flashed-and then kept hearing 2 year old Liana repeat "No way, Tio, no way!" I heard the "will you marry me", and I said yes! And more cameras flashed haha. Disney workers then gave us bride and groom mickey and minnie hats, a bouquet of flowers, and a ton more pics inside and outside of the castle. I also then realized that the people on line were just actors to make the whole thing believable, because the castle really was closed! Disney definitely knows how to make an engagement special :) fairytale for sure.”

For Michelle wedding Dress shopping was not easy, “I love all things bling and sparkle,” she states, “I went to so many boutiques between MA and NJ/NY and failed.” Only loving some elements of multiple dresses she decided her perfect dress wouldn’t exist until she made it, “so with lots of work and imagination and Callabo with Pnina and her assistant Allison, we created my custom dress by using the shell of one of her dresses and adding the crystal bling embroidery from another one of her dresses. It turned out amazing!”

On April 30th 2016 the Venetian in Garfield, New Jersey hosted an evening of teal & silver opulence with beautiful white floral decor. Bride and groom themed ice sculptures paid tribute to their accomplishments in the form of New England Patriot and Medical doctor symbolism, as well as Disney’s Magic Kingdom Castle in reference to their place of engagement. With a seven hour open premium bar, a delicious array of cuisines, and a “dessert extravaganza” it was certainly an event to remember.

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Favorite item on the menu: the entire HUGE cocktail hour galore, 7 hour open premium bar, and end of the night Dessert extravaganza with every and any dessert you could think of! Nobody walked out hungry...or sober
First dance song: Ed Sheeran "Thinking out loud”

What is your best memory from your wedding? Best highlight was the First Dance-dancing on clouds (dry ice fog effect) surrounded by floor fireworks. It was enchanting and everyone talked about it. Also, during the reception, epic moment of having all New England Patriots players and guest go crazy on the dance floor upon hearing the song by Rick Ross "Pop that" lyrics "Ballin' ballin' like I play for New England!" as simulated snow fell from the sky of the dance floor (we had just won the superbowl that February).

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What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Even though the planning can get stressful, remember why you are doing it. It’s about the marriage and the union-the wedding is just one day. Keep yourselves grounded in each other's love and support, don't let the stress overpower the meaning of it all. Lean on each other and maintain communication-try to do pre-marital counseling during your engagement. It will help you learn and/or restore what the actual foundations of marriage are, whether religious or not, balance out your expectations, teach communication tools, iron out some loose ends or help you work through any obstacles, and remind you both of what the whole point of your union is and should be. Like Dev used to tell me, the goal is not to get married, it's to STAY married.

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Vendors:
Bride's dress: Pnina Tornai
Bride's shoes: Louboutin
Catering: The Venetian
Ceremony venue: The Venetian
Event decor/design: Elliott Events
Entertainment: DJ Rich Joseph
Event planner: Elliott Events
Florals: Elliott Events
Groom's attire: Alba Legacy
Groom’s shoes: Louboutin
Hair: Bridal Butterflies
Lighting: Magic Moments
Makeup: Robin Chism
Photography: Montenegro Photography
Reception venue: The Venetian
Videography: McKenzie Miller Films
Rentals: Lily V Events
Transportation: New Jersey Limo Bus

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The Asteria Diamonds Engagement Ring Collections http://munaluchibridal.com/asteria-colored-diamond-engagement-ring-collection/ http://munaluchibridal.com/asteria-colored-diamond-engagement-ring-collection/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:00:08 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153970 Asteria 7 In selecting the perfect engagement ring for the love of your life you’ll want...

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In selecting the perfect engagement ring for the love of your life you’ll want something as unique and beautiful as she is. A ring that speaks not only to your all-encompassing love for her but that is also a reflection of who you are as a couple.

A part of the diamond industry since 1973, Asteria Diamonds offers the highest quality of rare colored diamonds in a variety of hues, tones and saturations. The Asteria colored diamond engagement ring collection offers stunning and unique designs beautifully set with sparkling white and colored diamonds that will leave her breathlessly saying “yes” - elevating your proposal to unforgettable heights.

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For the future bride-to-be who appreciates the traditional elements of life, Asteria offers a beautiful white diamond classic engagement ring collection featuring unique and timeless designs that will make her hand sparkle and shine. Perfectly set, her Asteria diamond(s) will capture and reflect light with stunning brilliance, enhancing not only the stone’s natural radiance but hers as well - making her the center of attention in any room.

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For the “Star” treatment, Asteria offers the Red Carpet Collection featuring absolutely gorgeous unique designs complemented with the highest quality hand-picked white & colored diamonds. Like love, a ring is forever, and these rings are sure to have the red carpet rolled out wherever she walks - giving her the celebrity experience for the rest of time.

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If by very slim chance none of the collection rings speak to your heart, Asteria offers “Design Your Desire” services - allowing you to bring your dream ring to reality. Working alongside their expert designers, you will be guided through the entire creative process until your exact vision is realized. If you can’t find your perfect ring, Asteria will create for you!

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WHAT WE BELIEVE IN
"At Asteria Diamonds we believe in providing quality products, fair pricing and excellent service to our customers, and we believe in doing so honestly and with full transparency.
Asteria Diamonds puts a large emphasis on individualized service for each and every customer. Our employees meet with clients all over the world on a daily basis in order to allow them to see our products first hand, advise them on their purchase and help with any problems. We want our customers to be satisfied with every aspect of their shopping experience."

WHAT WE DO
"We are a diamond and jewelry manufacturer, which means that we source our diamonds from mines and are responsible for the cutting, polishing, grading, up until the sale process. At Asteria Diamonds we work daily to make our entire stock list accessible and easy to use for companies and individual customers alike. Our website boasts a large inventory spanning all different sizes, cuts, qualities and colors of fancy diamonds, in order to offer our customers variation, selection and exclusive diamond purchasing opportunities."

~ Asteria Diamonds

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See all of the Asteria Diamonds Engagement Ring Collections here!

www.asteriadiamonds.com

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Jacinta and Leslie’s Family Engagement Session in Washington DC http://munaluchibridal.com/jacinta-and-leslies-family-engagement-session-in-washington-dc/ http://munaluchibridal.com/jacinta-and-leslies-family-engagement-session-in-washington-dc/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:00:24 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153983 View More: http://irisimannings.pass.us/jacintaandleslie Featured in the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine! Jacinta and Leslie's love...

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Featured in the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine!

Jacinta and Leslie's love story begins as if it were drawn from the pages of a great romance novel...on a perfect September evening, while going for a walk, she walking on this side of the street and he on the other... As if guided by an outside force they both simultaneously notice the other out of their peripheral vision. A glance quickly becomes a full on stare into each other's eyes - the magnetism irresistible...and so begins the rest of their lives together.

Read all about Jacinta & Leslie's love story, sweet surprise proposal, and parenting life in their stylish and sophisticated family engagement session. Featuring videography by DMV MunaLuchi Coterie Ambassador Chip Dizard of Chip Dizard Weddings. See the complete selected gallery by Iris Mannings Photography here.



Bride & Groom-to-be: Jacinta & Leslie
"Ruler of the Household": Harper
Occupations: Jacinta - IT Consulting Manager, Freelance Makeup Artist. Leslie - Attorney, Freelance Writer.
Engagement Shoot Location: Washington, DC

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

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

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What was your first date? After seeing each out and about on the club scene and communicating via text, we finally met up for dinner and a movie to see Hangover 3 and grabbed a burger at Bar Louie in Chinatown, DC.

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

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How many children do you have? One. Harper, who is 1 year old.

Tell us something special about your little one. What's she like?
Her nickname HarpStar, speaks for itself. She is truly a shining star and can light up a room. At the age of one, she has an infectious laugh, a monstrous appetite and a loving personality, as long as she’s not hungry, or sleepy, or cranky, or acting like a diva, like her momma.

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

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

Tell us how you found your photographer and anything you’d like to tell us about the process. Being a freelance makeup artist and close friends with Britney of Britney Jeanine & Co., I’ve met many different wedding photographers in the DMV area. When it came time to pick a photographer for our engagement/family session, I asked Britney to recommend a photographer that would be able to capture the glam look we were going for and capture our love for each other and our daughter. When she mentioned Iris Mannings, I was excited because I’d done Iris’ makeup a few times in the past and it was always a good time when we got together. When we got together for our session, this time was no different!

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What is your wedding date? 07/22/2017 in Atlanta, Georgia

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

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Vendors:
Photographer: Iris Mannings Photography
Hair: Brown Sugar Hair Boutique
Makeup: Beauty Beatdown
Floral Arrangement: Iris Mannings
Videographer: Chip Dizard Weddings
Wedding Planner: EllyB Events

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Janell and Wayne’s Ethereal Church Wedding in Baton Rouge http://munaluchibridal.com/janell-waynes-ethereal-church-wedding-baton-rouge/ http://munaluchibridal.com/janell-waynes-ethereal-church-wedding-baton-rouge/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:00:51 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153295 Janell_and_Wayne15 Having initially met in 2007 it wouldn't be until five years later during the...

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Having initially met in 2007 it wouldn't be until five years later during the LSU homecoming weekend that Janell and Wayne would be reintroduced. It would be during this night that Wayne, completely enamored of Janell, would realize that she would one day be his wife. Two months later fate stepped in and a job offer in Houston, Janell's current city of residence, would afford him the opportunity to live closer to her. Spending as much time as they could getting to know each other their relationship grew and love took hold, guiding them down the aisle to spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife...

Read all about Janell & Wayne's love story, romantic surprise proposal, and experiences in their ethereal church wedding in Baton Rouge - beautifully captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Mosaic by MG photography.


Bride & Groom: Janell & Wayne
Occupations: Human Resources Consultant & Chemist
Wedding date: March 25, 2017
Wedding location: Downtown Baton Rouge, LA

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Tell us how you met. Janell and I had the pleasure of meeting one another in April 2007, in Baton Rouge, LA. We became friends only at that point, but there was an initial connection. We had the pleasure of re-introducing ourselves again to one another in November 2012. It was the homecoming weekend for LSU. We actually became quite flattered to see each other that weekend, and played catch-up at a party that evening. At that party, I remember saying these exact words “I’m going to marry you.” About 2 months later, I received a job offer in Houston, TX, where she was already residing. I moved to Houston on my own and began settlement here within my career field. We began taking our time getting to know each other, and learning each other’s adaptations after much time, growth, and changes that we both had endured since 2007.

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Tell us all about the proposal. About two months leading up to the proposal, Wayne told me that his company’s Christmas party was coming up, and that we needed something to wear. He told me that it would be a rooftop event so I will need a coat and boots for the cold weather. I went shopping for a coat and boots probably 3 weeks before what I thought would be his company’s Christmas party. The night before, he told me that there will be professional photographers there as well. I didn’t think anything of it because last year’s party had a photo-booth! So I was super excited. The morning of December 19th , I got up, cooked breakfast, and got dressed. Wayne picked me up around 1:30PM. When he picked me up from home, there was one red rose lying on the passenger seat. He knows how much I love flowers. He said we were going to the rooftop Christmas party in the Galleria area. There was a lot of traffic on Westheimer that day due to Christmas shoppers, so I thought we would be late . As we turned the corner, he pointed to the Water Wall. I was so amazed - my eyes lit up. I had never seen it before. He then pointed to the Williams Tower, and told me that is where we were going for the rooftop Christmas party. I love scenery and water so I thought to myself, “I hope we can walk by the Water Wall first!” Not knowing that was his plan all along. We got out of the car, held hands, and walked towards the Water Wall. When we got to the Water Wall, it was so beautiful. I pulled my phone out to take a “selfie.” As we watched the water fall, he grabbed my hand and told me to close my eyes. At this point, I still had no idea what was about to happen. I closed my eyes, and as soon as I opened them I saw his father, and then Wayne on one knee. I burst into tears of joy and happiness. I remember looking up to the sky and saying, “Thank you Jesus!” I was elated. I was in shock. I was speechless. He asked, “Will you marry me?" In tears, “I said YES!” He was surrounded by my parents, my sister, and his parents. They each had a rose along with a bible verse. One by one, they read their bible verse and handed me a red rose. Once they finished, Wayne presented me with 100 white roses, and two signs crafted by my sister that read, “I Said Yes” and “I’m Wifing Her Up!” There was even a professional videographer whom had been filming everything. A huge crowd gathered around us and started cheering, clapping, and even taking pictures of our very special moment. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It was like a dream that came true.

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Describe your wedding dress. Fit & flare silhouette dress with a scalloped edged sweetheart neckline and semi-open back accented with covered buttons, chapel train mirroring the scalloped hemline and custom knee length veil

What was wedding shopping like for you? Wedding shopping was fun. It was a style project for the groom and a fun experience for the bride.

What is your best memory from your wedding? The best memory from the wedding was the weather. It was forecast to storm, which it did, but by the grace of God the clouds shifted, the sun shined bright as if it had never rained at all.

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What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Plan ahead and always share your visions with one another. Create a vision board if that helps with what you want your day to look like

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids gifts were robe/dress hangers from the BrideHive, earrings, and bracelet. Groomsmen gifts were bow ties from Well Groomed Man, shoes from Bachelor Shoes, and a lapel flower from The Posh Pins.
Favorite item on the menu: The bacon wrapped shrimp.
First dance song: We walked out to "We Are One" by Frankie Beverly and Maze. Our official first dance was "Promise to Love" by Kem.

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Vendors:
Wedding Dress Designer: Morilee by Madeline Gardner
Groom’s Tuxedo Designer: Kabiru Abu
Groom’s/Groomsmen Bow Tie: Well Groomed Man
Wedding dress salon: Ventura Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Sorella Vita from Bustle Baton Rouge
Hair: Ashleigh Howard
Makeup: Jessica Haynes – Makeup By Jess
Bride/Groom Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Ceremony Location: Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
Reception Location: Shaw Center for the Arts
Photography/Videography: Mosaic by MG (Co-Photographer Jeremy Tauriac)
Wedding Planner: Elegance by ACE
Florist: Bella Blooms Floral
Cake: The Sugary NOLA
Caterer: Louisiana Bayou Bistro
Stationery: EE Invited
Event Designer: Elegance by ACE
Rentals: Event Rental
Dance Floor Install: Laced Vinyl Shoppe

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Editor Letter – The Munaluchi Summer 2017 Issue http://munaluchibridal.com/editor-letter-the-munaluchi-summer-2017-issue/ http://munaluchibridal.com/editor-letter-the-munaluchi-summer-2017-issue/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:10:45 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153957 official_munaluchi_summer17_cover Photo cover by Pharris Photography // Wedding planner: D'Concierge Events  // Gown: Danielle Caprese via Kleinfelds...

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official_munaluchi_summer17_coverPhoto cover by Pharris Photography // Wedding planner: D'Concierge Events  // Gown: Danielle Caprese via Kleinfelds


Since the launch of Munaluchi, there is one question I’ve been asked more times than I can count. "Is the magazine available outside of the US?" The answer is always two-fold. Yes, it’s available outside of the Unites States, but the copies are very limited.

With Munaluchi Bride’s international growth doubling in the past year, our mission has been to seek ways in which we can reach our readers, no matter where they reside. So it is with great pleasure that I announce our new publishing schedule. Beginning with this issue, our magazine will be released on digital newsstands everywhere, every quarter. This means more frequency, more wedding inspiration, and more access to our content. We'll still keep our highly sought after print magazine intact. You can expect to see our magazine on traditional newsstands annually in January. Until then, enjoy the gorgeous features the Summer issue has to offer.

Here are some highlights:

  • Cover story wedding Kristen and Shaun, former White House staff members of the Obama Administration.
  • The wedding of New England Patriots player Devin McCourty and Medical Doctor Michelle McCourty.
  • The engagement of Olympic track & field athletes Shaunae and Maicel.
  • 4 exclusive editorial shoots

 

Print options for all digital issues will be available July 1st.  To keep us with all the excitement and to learn of our latest announcements first, join our mailing list here.

Happy planning and thanks for all your continued support

Jacqueline Nwobu
CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Munaluchi
editor@munaluchibridal.com


 

 

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“La Bridal Mafia” – Bachelorette Photoshoot at the Mayflower http://munaluchibridal.com/la-bridal-mafia-bachelorette-photoshoot-mayflower/ http://munaluchibridal.com/la-bridal-mafia-bachelorette-photoshoot-mayflower/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:00:51 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153199 MHarrisStudios27 Following her God-Sister's engagement, Ashley wanted to create for her a bachelorette photoshoot opportunity...

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Following her God-Sister's engagement, Ashley wanted to create for her a bachelorette photoshoot opportunity she would forever cherish. Drawing inspiration from her destination wedding in Italy the name "La Bridal Mafia" was born. After a bachelorette weekend getaway at the Mayflower in Washington D.C. the surprise photoshoot was revealed...

Read all about the inspiration and design details of the "La Bridal Mafia" bachelorette photoshoot below.


"Being a wedding planner, I started brainstorming about this photoshoot not long after my god sister, Trenée, became engaged. Of course, I believe she deserves the world so I knew it had to be spectacular. When she announced that she would be having a destination wedding in Italy we came up with the name "La Bridal Mafia".
I envisioned an elegant setting with her favorite ladies dressed in black and the bride-to-be in all white. I truly think simple, clean looks are always stunning.
We spent the weekend in Washington, D. C. at the Mayflower Hotel and closed with this surprise photoshoot. The Mayflower served as a gorgeous backdrop, filled with marble, gold and lovely chandeliers. Michelle was the perfect photographer to bring my vision to life and I knew this would be a chic, fun way to celebrate before the big day in Italy!"

~ Ashley Nicole of Elegant Ambiance Weddings & Events


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Vendors:
Planning - Elegant Ambiance Weddings & Events
Photography - M Harris Studios
Venue - The Mayflower Hotel

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Janessa and Lanaya’s “Extra Fancy” Brooklyn Engagement http://munaluchibridal.com/janessa-lanayas-extra-fancy-brooklyn-engagement/ http://munaluchibridal.com/janessa-lanayas-extra-fancy-brooklyn-engagement/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:20:28 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153337 Janessa_and_Lanaya5 Featured in the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine. Having met during a...

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Featured in the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine.

Having met during a financial conference at Goldman Sachs, Janessa was initially "blown away" by featured panel speaker Lanaya. Janessa explains that "in the financial services industry there is little representation of people of color so it is understandably rare to find another LGBT woman of color on top of her game in every way." It would be byway of a mutual friend that the two would officially meet and later be joined together in a group dinner. That evening after dinner, during a shared cab ride home, they realized not only did they both live in Brooklyn but just one block away within window sight of each other's buildings. "Only in NY could two people live so close by and never run into each other once," Janessa observes. From that evening on their feelings for each other would grow, blossoming into a beautiful love that would set them on the path to being forever joined together.
For their engagement session, the soon-to-be wed couple wanted to highlight their love for the city of Brooklyn.
On their wedding day Janessa and Lanaya look forward to "hearing our officiant finally pronounce us married in front of everyone we love and who love us," and hope that their wedding will be "a colorful celebration of life and love…in all forms."

Read all about Janessa & Lanaya's love story, romantic surprise Paris proposal, and wedding aspirations in their "extra fancy" Brooklyn engagement session.


Couple: Janessa & Lanaya
Occupations: Janessa- Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Lanaya- Director of Global Equities
Wedding date: 7/21/17
Wedding location: Gotham Hall (NY, NY)
Location of Engagement shoot: Various locations in Bedford Stuyvesant and Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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

Lanaya popped the question on Saturday, June 4, 2016 on the gorgeous Pons Alexandre bridge in Paris. We were staying at the Peninsula Hotel and the staff was in on it all. Lanaya arranged for a private driver that evening to take us to dinner and as we were on our way Lanaya suggested we stop by the Pons Alexandre to take a photo which I was definitely in support of as the majority of our photos on the trip at that point had been selfies. The driver took our photo and we were preparing to continue on to dinner when Lanaya pulls out a box that in no way resembled a traditional ring box because in true Lanaya fashion it wasn’t a traditional ring box (so it wasn’t immediately clear to me that a proposal was in fact happening). She had ordered this box special from Asia to ensure it fit in her always slim fitting hipster leather jacket. She proceeds to tell me all the things a girl wants to hear…that she loves me, that I am her "person" and can’t imagine spending life with anyone else and asks me to marry her. I was still stunned but at some point managed to utter an “of course I’ll marry you!” We then go on to dinner where the staff there was alerted ahead of time (Lanaya had arranged it all weeks before) and a celebration complete with champagne greeted us upon arrival.

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

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What did you do on your first date? We had dinner at Lido in Harlem then a client gave me amazing floor seat tickets to the Justin Timberlake/ Jay Z concert at Yankee Stadium. We sang, rapped and danced the night away. After the concert we went salsa dancing

What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? Dance, without question. No matter where we are, if there is music, we will find it and we will dance to it as if no one else is around. We regularly have at home dance parties while we cook…just the two of us. Music and dancing are a big part of our relationship.

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

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Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. Hearing our officiant finally pronounce us married in front of everyone we love and who love us. For many LGBT people, the institution of marriage was an unrealistic dream for a very long time. For many Black people, the struggle to be seen as equal has been a long (and unfinished) one. We acknowledge the tremendous hard work that those before us put in so people who look and love like we do have a place. We don’t take that lightly and our wedding will be a colorful celebration of life and love…in all forms.

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Vendors:
Photography- Rebecca Emmanuelle Photography
Hair (Janessa)- Idalia's Salon
Hair (Lanaya)- Jhavuanna Moody
Makeup- Nicky Saunders
Wedding Planner- Jeff Stillwell Events

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Bold, Sleek, and Stylish – Industrial Chic Styled Shoot at the Phoenixville Foundry http://munaluchibridal.com/bold-sleek-stylish-industrial-chic-styled-shoot-phoenixville-foundry/ http://munaluchibridal.com/bold-sleek-stylish-industrial-chic-styled-shoot-phoenixville-foundry/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:10:25 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153399 Sheronda_Seawright_IndustrialChic51 Featured in the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine. Built in 1882, the...

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Featured in the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine.

Built in 1882, the historic Phoenixville Foundry, a local symbol of industrial past, is the perfect setting for this gorgeous industrial chic styled shoot currently featured in the 2017 Summer Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine.  Bold, sleek, and stylish - the industrial atmosphere partnered with the chic tablescape, bride & groom attire, and florals & decor compliment each other perfectly - and the cake is a work of art! This inspiring styled shoot is a design any bride & groom-to-be would love to feature on their most special of days!

Read all about the inspiration behind this gorgeous industrial chic styled shoot - beautifully captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Sheronda Seawright of Sheronda Seawright Photography, with videography by DMV MunaLuchi Coterie Ambassador Chip Dizard of Chip Dizard Weddings, and event decor & florals by MunaLuchi Coterie member Event Loft. See the entire venue list below, and view the complete selected image gallery here.


“We pulled inspiration from the look of Phoenixville Foundry to tie into our shoot. When we took a look at the venue we determined the theme should be Industrial Chic. From the chic look of the elegant chandeliers and stellar space to the industrial look of the corkscrew wall embellishments and dark colors we wanted to tie that into our theme.
“The industrial/edgy look of our bride is displayed from her eye catching waist-bearing gown to her stunning bridal ball gown with jeweled embellishments on the straps. We wanted to show her going from super edgy to super chic from the first to the last dress. This is coupled with her bold color lip and smoky eye make-up. Her hair is a perfect combination of edgy and chic with her commanding high bun. Bethany did an awesome job with both hair and make up. Her groom compliments her well with his bold boutonniere and corresponding pocket square matching her lip color perfectly along with his sleek black tuxedo.
“Dana (of Desserts by Dana) pulled inspiration for the bold black cake from both the venue and the look of the bridal gowns. The dark color of the cake is directly correlated to the darken look of some of the industrial architecture in the venue. He nicely pulls in the chic piece into the cake with the floral and jeweled embellishments which is similar to the colors of the table floral decor and the adornments in each bridal gown."

~ Sheronda Seawright of Sheronda Seawright Photography


“The inspiration for the color palette came from the pink wine glasses. These glasses elevated the table deign and although industrial, they made it also chic. I wanted something to pop in the space since the woodwork was dark and it was an old factory with beautiful architecture the colors played well off of the interior. The design of the floral was to feel as if they were lush flowers floating and gave flow to to table as well.”


~ Eilena from Event Loft


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Vendors:
Venue - Phoenixville Foundry
Event Décor & Florals - Event Loft
Chairs - Vision Furniture
Linens - Tabletop Furniture
Cake - Desserts by Dana
Hair & Makeup - Bethany Bell of Queen B
Male Model - Andrew Cunningham
Female Model - Emerald Mayne
Photographer - Sheronda Seawright Photography
Videographer - Chip Dizard Weddings
Bridal Gowns #2 & #3 - The Dress Matters
Stationery - Paper Thin Fancy
Groom Tuxedo - Rudi's Formal Wear
Groom Accessories - Armstrong & Wilson

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Kristen and Shaun’s White House Love Story http://munaluchibridal.com/kristen-and-shauns/ http://munaluchibridal.com/kristen-and-shauns/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:00:01 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153397 View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen Featured as the cover story of the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine,...

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Featured as the cover story of the Summer 2017 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine, the love story of Kristen and Shaun began when both were White House Staff members under the Obama administration, she the Chief of Staff for First Lady Michelle Obama, and he a Secret Service Agent for President Barack Obama. Their stunningly beautiful wedding features the talents of MunaLuchi Coterie members Darryl Wilson of D'Concierge Weddings & Events, Pharris Photography, Oda Creative, and the Boutique by B. Belle Events (complete vendor list below).

Read all about Kristen and Shaun's love story, romantic proposal, and wedding experiences below. View the complete selected image gallery here.


View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

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In our fast-paced society ten feet can become ten miles. Two people can work within the same company, or in this case, the same house, and remain completely unaware of each other. Around a corner, down the hall, or up the stairs of our daily lives could be the love of our life, our soul’s mate, the one. As Shaun phrased it, “I didn’t know who she was and she didn’t know who i was. Literally, working in the same world and not crossing paths ever.” For Kristen and Shaun that “world” was the official residence of the President and First Family of the United States, and they were much more than simply two people - they would one day be husband and wife.

View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

It would take a mutual friend to bridge the gap between them, setting up a blind date. “I wasn’t really into the whole blind date thing,” says Kristen, “so I was like, thank you but no thank you.” It would be a picture of Shaun that would later change Kristen’s mind, “oh...kinda cute,” she thought, “okay, maybe I will go on this blind date.” The surprise of their working in such close proximity would be made immediately apparent on their first meeting at a local Starbucks, “when I walked in and we both had on the same blue credentials for work,” Kristen remembers, “I was like, aww man, what do you do!”

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Seven years from that point they would say “I do” and within that time not only did their feelings for each other grow but from the inspiration of the other they themselves also evolved. Shaun recalls, “when we first met, I was 27 at the time...I was like hey, I’m not ready to be serious. I’m just having fun, you know. But...as the years went on life happens and you grow up, you know, you evolve. But one constant thing...Kristen was a strong, solid rock for me. Very consistent friend and partner. I said, you know this is the one. She...really set a tone for me to sort of reevaluate my life and what’s important and what’s a priority. At that time I was trying to have fun and just do me, but this time when I met her, her being in my life just changed my whole way of thinking...it’s cool to meet a person who can change your mind, change your mind about things, but it’s an incredible blessing to find someone who changes your whole thought process…”

View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

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In choosing a ring everyone wants something more than just a symbol of marriage, you want it to be unique, something special that encapsulates who you are and your love for each other. Three years prior to the day of their wedding Shaun asked one of his best female friends to take Kristen ring shopping. During a lunch break with her White House colleagues in tow Kristen found the perfect model ring. Shaun, not knowing anything about rings became very nervous when Kristen sent him some renderings of the ring style of her choice. He wanted to make sure that his final decision was everything she had always wanted in an engagement ring. Upon moving to New York a year later a friend would introduce Shaun to a jeweler in the diamond district who would work with him over the next several months in creating the perfect rendering of Kristen’s dream ring.

View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

When it comes to proposals it can be difficult to completely keep it a secret, but as a former secret service agent to President Barack Obama, Shaun is “pretty good at holding information, classified information,” he laughs. “I only told my very close circle of friends. I didn’t even really tell my family.” The proposal took place the day before Thanksgiving on a “date night,” a special evening out with enough frequency to appear normal on the surface, though Shaun’s more than usual active hand in planning the evening - something more often left up to Kristen - did plant a seed of proposal suspicion. But at the same time there were multiple past moments of false-alarm for Kristen, so she didn’t want to make any assumptions.
The date night began when a chauffeured car picked them up to have drinks at the Plaza Hotel. Following a few relaxing mixes they enjoyed a beautifully scenic and incredibly romantic horse and carriage ride throughout central park. It would be in this moment that Shaun, after years of thought and preparation would offer Kristen the ring of her dreams and ask for her hand in marriage. For Kristen it was a most “magical” moment when “the love of my life asked me to start a new chapter with him.”

View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

View More: http://pharrisphotos.pass.us/shaunandkristen

Dress shopping for Kristen was a “tv fairytale experience” at the world renowned New York bridal boutique, Kleinfeld. “You romanticize about what your wedding shopping day is going to be like and then you’re actually in this store…” On her birthday, and together with her childhood best friends they explored the bridal “toy store” for her perfect dress. It is often said that “third time’s a charm” and for Kristen that proved to be absolutely true, “the third dress i tried on, i just knew it was the one...I just felt like a princess…” The mermaid gown with sweetheart neckline and sequined lace applique would have her sparkling down the ceremony aisle.

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When it came to the wedding “the single most important thing we wanted was to have a great party,” Kristen states, “we wanted to bring our closest friends and family, our loved ones together just to celebrate, let loose and just have a blast...it was a true reflection of our personalities.” The entire event was planned and decorated with polished detail. The traditional white, creams, and pale-rose color themes made for an ethereal atmosphere accompanied by eye-catching florals.

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As the bride began preparations, her soon-to-be husband sent to her room a dozen roses every forty-five minutes until 12 dozen had been received to represent November 12th, the day of their wedding. During the ceremony all the attendees were asked as a group to bless their union, followed by a rose ceremony, in which the bride & groom’s immediate families one by one placed a white long-stem rose in a single vase to represent the bridging of the two families - all while R&B singer Kenny Lattimore sang the lord’s prayer. For Shaun, the moment in which he stands waiting at the altar as his stunning bride walks towards him down the aisle is his “new happy place.”

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During their introduction into the reception, Kristen had a romantic surprise of her own. For Shaun, being a drum major at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was a “pivotal period of his life,” says Kristen, “so I secretly reached out to the voice of the marching 100 and asked him to introduce Shaun and I into the room...to see the look on Shaun’s face was just priceless.”
Reception guests were treated to a delicious array of fine dining and the musical talents of Ledisi, Eric Benet, Kenny Lattimore, and Doug E. Fresh as the MC. A favorite menu item was the oyster deviled eggs.

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

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For Kristen’s bridesmaids they were gifted thin barred necklaces with longitude and latitude coordinates of the location in which they first met as friends, with their nickname engraved on the back. A gift all of her girls still wear to this day. For Shaun’s groomsmen they were gifted handmade bowties, lapel pendants, and two lapel flowers - one black and gold worn for the wedding and one individualized to the personality of each friend.

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As for the honeymoon, the newlyweds went to Bora Bora for their perfect getaway, and the rest is “off the record.”


 

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Vendors:
Wedding Designer/Planner: Darryl Wilson of D'Concierge Weddings & Events
Photography: Pharris Photography
Videography: Nate Emory
Bridal Gown: Kleinfelds
Bridesmaids Dresses: Sorella Vita by Essence of Australia from the Boutique by B. Belle Events
Catering: Chef Clinton Jackson & Chef Javani King
Wedding Cakes - Rebekah Naomi Cake Design
Sweet Treats- Sweet Dreams Mini Donuts
Linens- What's the Occasion Linens
Florist - 19 Eleven & Kelly Green Designs
Hair - Johnny Wright
Make-up - Sephora - Jeffrey English
DJ - DJ BHEN
Venue: Bellevue Conference and Event Center
Entertainment -Recording Artists Ledisi , Eric Benét , Kenny Lattimore
Entertainment - Secret Society Band
MC: Doug E Fresh
Lighting/Sound: AV Creation Group
Stationery: OdaCreative
Staging Decor : Platinum Wedding Decor
Groomsmen Accessories - The Dapper Dude Collection
Photo-booth : Tickled Photo Booth
Midnight Snacks: Chick Fil - A owners Marlon & April Terrell
Bridal Jump Suit: Leah Da Gloria
Jewelry: Haute Bride from The Boutique by B. Belle Events
Fashion Stylist: LA based Stylist Ashley Thomas
Bridal Stylist : Vainglorious Brides
Officiant : Elder Perry L. West ll

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Charisma and Brandon’s “Brooklyn Glam” Engagement http://munaluchibridal.com/charisma-brandons-brooklyn-glam-engagement/ http://munaluchibridal.com/charisma-brandons-brooklyn-glam-engagement/#comments Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:00:58 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=153175 Charisma_and_Brandon28 For their "Brooklyn Glam" engagement session, Charisma and Brandon wanted to highlight the beauty...

The post Charisma and Brandon’s “Brooklyn Glam” Engagement appeared first on Munaluchi Bride.

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For their "Brooklyn Glam" engagement session, Charisma and Brandon wanted to highlight the beauty of a favorite neighborhood - capturing the locations of their daily lives and its urban charm. What began as a first "typical movie date" has blossomed into what will be a lifetime of love and support. The couple enjoys romantic dinners at home, as well as playing host to evenings with family and friends. The Bride-to-be looks forward most to "dancing with my family and forever friends" on the wedding day.

Read all about Charisma & Brandon in their "Brooklyn Glam" engagement session - beautifully captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Angelica Radway of Angelica Radway Photography.


Bride & Groom-to-be: Charisma & Brandon
Occupations: Teacher & Chef
Wedding date: July 23rd 2017
Wedding location: Terrace on the park
Location of Engagement shoot: Dumbo, Brooklyn

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Describe your engagement session. Brandon and I wanted to capture our favorite part of Brooklyn. We spend a lot of time during the summer months in Dumbo on the pier with friends and family, so it was only right that we had our shoot there. Our engagement theme was "Brooklyn Glam." We wanted to capture the beauty of Brooklyn, the bridges we cross often, as well as the view of the city, and the rustic feel of Brooklyn - the cobblestone streets and street art...

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What did you do on your first date? Our first date was a typical movie date. What made it interesting was that my grandfather drove me to 42nd street on the back of his Harley. Once there, Brandon had not arrived yet so I was trying to get my grandfather to leave before he got there but he insisted on meeting the guy I was going on a date with. Brandon was so cool about it when he came and my grandfather and him just hit it off, while I was off to the side looking mortified.

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What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? As a couple Brandon and I love going to the movies and having romantic dinners in the house as well as hosting games nights with family and friends.

How has wedding planning been so far? Wedding planning was overwhelming and stressful at first, but once we decided what we wanted and were able to narrow down our broad ideas it became more manageable. We actually love sitting together on a Sunday afternoon looking at invites, centerpieces, etc..

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Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. On the wedding day, I look forward to dancing to my favorite songs the most. I will often bust out in song and dance when I am home so its going to be great dancing with my family and forever friends.

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Vendors:
Photography - Angelica Radway Photography

The post Charisma and Brandon’s “Brooklyn Glam” Engagement appeared first on Munaluchi Bride.

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