Munaluchi Bride http://munaluchibridal.com #1 chic and stylish magazine catering to brides of color. Sat, 06 Feb 2016 06:30:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.10 Tiffany Blue and White Wedding at the Chrysler Museum of Art: T’Nora + Josh http://munaluchibridal.com/tiffany-blue-and-white-wedding-in-norfolk-virginia-tnora-josh/ http://munaluchibridal.com/tiffany-blue-and-white-wedding-in-norfolk-virginia-tnora-josh/#comments Sat, 06 Feb 2016 06:30:47 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=113170 tnora_josh_wedding_dreamalittle_photography16 T'Nora and Josh could have never imagined finding the loves of their lives during...

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T'Nora and Josh could have never imagined finding the loves of their lives during a major Nor'easter. They'd seen each other amongst friends for a while but it was the storm that ultimately brought them together. "The power was out across the city so we spent most of the day and early evening in the hallway of a friend’s dorm laughing and talking under the dim emergency lights with many of our friends," T'Nora shares. After some time, everyone who had emergency power started going their separate ways but Josh was still without. "I invited him to wait it out and watch movies with my roommate and me, since we were one of the few dorms with complete power, and could actually watch TV and also had heat. From that point on we were inseparable," she says.

The couple said their "I do's" in a beautiful Tiffany blue and white wedding at The Chrysler Museum of Art. Bridesmaids donned the classic hue in the form of one shoulder gowns. A white and blue 5-tier cake took center stage at the reception, a perfect compliment to the bride's glamorous gown. Their wedding was the polar opposite of the Nor'easter that started their love story but romantic all the same.

Quick Facts
Favorite item on the wedding menu: Apricot scones with baked ham. The lemon chicken was my husband's favorite.
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: The Bride gifted the bridesmaids with their wedding day earrings, bracelets and professional makeup services by a celebrity makeup artist. The Groom gifted the groomsmen with apparel that referenced all of their favorite sports teams.
First dance song: "All of Me" by John Legend
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Bride: T'Nora Davis
Groom: Josh Davis
Wedding date: 08/30/2014
Wedding location: Norfolk, VA
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Tell us all about the proposal!
May 18, 2013 exactly three years after we started dating, we attended my uncle’s wedding. I was told before we went to the reception we needed to go back to the house because my mom needed to grab something. While we were there Josh hands me a box of chocolates and a card for our anniversary. I read the card and took the chocolates and told him how much I loved them. I really didn’t like that kind of chocolate, so I sat the chocolate down and began to walk away. Josh said “wait I want a piece of chocolate.” He hates chocolate, so if he said he wanted some chocolate, I was thinking it must be some really great chocolate, so I wanted some as well. I was struggling to get the ribbon off the box, and when I finally did I was thinking that the box was kind of lopsided. Josh quickly took the top off the box and revealed a small box within the chocolate. I wanted to scream and get really excited but I suppressed my feelings just in case it wasn't a ring, so I wouldn't embarrass myself. I asked “is it earrings?” Instead of answering me he dropped down to one knee and proposed. I was laughing, clapping, and overjoyed. He was so nervous that before I could even answer he had already put the ring on my finger. Of course I was going to say YES, so  it didn't even matter.tnora_josh_wedding_dreamalittle_photography10tnora_josh_wedding_dreamalittle_photography4tnora_josh_wedding_dreamalittle_photography15
Describe your wedding dress. What was your favorite wedding accessory?
There are certain things that I love about wedding dresses – organza ruffles, a fit and flare silhouette, a strapless and sweetheart neckline, ruching and Swarovski crystal beading. I knew I wanted to find a dress that combined all of my favorite elements. I looked in many bridal shops, but I could not find an amazing dress that encompassed all of those things. When I was close to settling on a dress that had most of the elements I wanted, I stopped by a boutique in Fredericksburg, VA that had the perfect dress for me. It was amazing and perfectly combined all of my favorite elements. My favorite wedding accessory was my necklace. I love a good statement piece and it was the correct mixture of flashy and elegant.tnora_josh_wedding_dreamalittle_photography13
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What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?
My best memory was once the ceremony was over and we had declared our love for each other in front of our family and friends, we partied our way down the aisle, stopped, did the Macarena and the Nae Nae. It instantly put everyone in the mood to party and have fun.tnora_josh_wedding_dreamalittle_photography7
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How was culture incorporated in your wedding day?
My husband and I are both a part of Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations. It was important for us to incorporate that element into our wedding. One of the groom's cakes represented his organization and he also did a step and stroll during the reception with his fraternity brothers. All of my Sorors gathered around me and serenaded me with our Sorority hymn, and we also did a stroll later during the reception. Additionally, we jumped the broom as our parents, grandparents, and ancestors did before us.
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What advice do you have for our brides-to-be?
Don’t stress about your wedding! Planning our wedding was such an amazing process. Having the opportunity to decide how we wanted every single element of one of the most important days of our lives to be was a blessing and we loved every bit of it. It is important to not let what other’s ideas of how your big day should look influence the big dream that you have in your head.
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Vendors
Cinematography – Intellect Media
Photography- Dreamalittle Photography
Wedding Venue – Chrysler Museum of Art
Wedding Dress Designer – Allure Bridals
Wedding Dress Boutique - Formal Envy — Bridal and Special Occasion Boutique
Wedding Shoes – Christian Louboutin
Reception Dress – Mona Dresses
Custom Dress Hangers – Highfills Hangers
Brides Accessories – Simply Modern Bridal
Headpiece – upforbest
Groom's Tuxedo Designer – Michael Kors
Groom's Tuxedo Shop – Men’s Wearhouse
Groom's Shoes - Salvatore Ferragamo
Bridesmaids Dresses – Mona Dresses
Bridesmaids Accessories – Earrings Nation
Groomsmen Tuxedos – Men’s Wearhouse
Dog Tuxedo – Oliva’s Doggie Designs
Custom Ring Bearer Pillow – Elegant Threads
Ring Bearer Suit & Accessories - JCPenny
Flower Girl Dress – Mona Dresses
Flower Girl Accessories – Custom Ring Chests
Cake – Bella Cakes
Cake Stand – Custom made by Bride & Bridesmaid
Custom Cake Topper – URARTDESIGN
DJ – DJ Precise
Day of Coordination – Lasting Memories Weddings and Events
Lighting – Blue Steel Lighting Design
Photo Booth – Boardwalk Photo Booth Company
Catering – Cuisine & Company
Brides Hair – Styles by Nicky
Bridal Party Makeup – Nita J Makeup Artistry
Stationery – Custom made by Bride
Flowers and Décor – Vivid Expressions
Custom Aisle Runner – Thimbleana
Custom Sand Ceremony Set – Simply Seasonalstnora_josh_wedding_dreamalittle_photography

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Library Lovers Month: 10 Libraries to Get Married In + More http://munaluchibridal.com/library-lovers-month-10-libraries-to-get-married-in-more/ http://munaluchibridal.com/library-lovers-month-10-libraries-to-get-married-in-more/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:00:12 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=113308 nicoleshamar-engagementsession-natarsha-wright-photography25 Photo Credit: Natarsha Wright Photography February is Library Lovers Month! To celebrate, we're taking a...

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Photo Credit: Natarsha Wright Photography

February is Library Lovers Month! To celebrate, we're taking a look at a number of the most beautiful libraries around the country that you can say, "I do" in along with taking a look at five romances in literature that are worth checking out! Here we go!

10 Libraries to Get Married In

1. The New York Public Library

If you have NYPL on your list of dream wedding venues, you are required to have a professional wedding planner before you can even take the next step in making this a serious contender for your venue. So call up your wedding planner and let them know as soon as possible because NYPL is worth the investment for any book lover.

2. Chicago Public Library or Newberry Library

Chicago Public Library can hold at max. 400 guests, so if you're a book lover planning a small spring or summer wedding, this is the perfect location for you. Ruggles Hall at Newberry Library faces Washington Square Park and is one of the most picturesque locations for your library wedding in the windy city.

3. Boston Public Library

One look inside Boston Public Library and it's clear why this library is one of the most popular wedding venues in the nation. If you've never been to Boston, planning a literary tour around the city leading up to your big day at the Boston Public Library is highly recommended.

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Photo via Boston Public Library

4. Indianapolis Central Library

If you're looking for a library in an area that is more quiet than say, New York City, the Indianapolis Central Library may very well be the choice for you, with more than ten unique locations on the grounds to choose from to celebrate your big day.

5. Seattle Public Library

Even though many of us dream of living out our high school daydreams of having some kind of celebration at Stadium High where 10 Things I Hate About You was filmed, you'll have to settle for the equally exquisite Seattle Public Library, about an hour away from your dreams. Have your wedding planner coordinate this as Seattle Public Library is very strict about its events and you don't want to stress about anything.

6. The George Peabody Library

If this list were ordered by level of importance, the George Peabody Library would be number one. One look inside of this library and any and every single book lover out there will not only want this location as their wedding venue but use it as inspiration for their dream home library. It's just that beautiful. Again, have your wedding planner handle nailing down this very popular venue.

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Photo via George Peabody Library

7. The Richard Nixon Library

The Richard Nixon Library has an endless amount of experience opening itself up for weddings and will be thrilled to host yours for up to 400 guests. Not only that, Richard Nixon Library prides itself in hosting cultural weddings, so if you're looking for a library venue that takes the time to note just how much we mean to them, this is your venue.

8. Los Angeles Central Library

LA Central Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the country. Even when I lived down the street from the Central library and visited often, I still did not see all of the beauty that this library holds. If this library is high on your list, you'll want to book this location as soon as possible because it's one of the most popular event venues in the country.

9. Salt Lake City Public Library

Utah isn't a go to destination if you're not checking out Olympic tourist spots, at a certain film festival, or into winter sports. However, Salt Lake City Public Library is quite a sight to see and is a fantastic location no matter what time of year. This library is in high demand, so it's best to gather as much information as you can ahead of time and book this venue as soon as you've settled on your date.

10. Free Library of Philadelphia

While the Free Library of Philadelphia doesn't have information on their out of date website, if you have your wedding planner call, they will be able to find out as much information as you need as you set out to make this your venue for your big day.

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Bonus: 5 Romances That You Should Check Out of the Library 

* Note: Can’t make it to the library? Sign into your library online and 1) reserve books to be mailed to your home (typically free or $1 charge per book) or 2) check out an e-book or audiobook to read on your browser, phone, or tablet through the Overdrive app.

1. Wait for You by J. Lynn (Add it to your "To Read" list on Goodreads)

#1 New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Armentrout self published Wait for You under the name J. Lynn and still hit number one...proving why readers will always gravitate towards good writing and great storytelling. You can read the story behind the novel's success on Forbes.com.

2. Confess by Colleen Hoover (Add it to your "To Read" list on Goodreads)

Colleen Hoover has taken our breath away time and time again and Confess is no different. You will not want to stop reading until you get to the very last page. And then you'll want more from this author, so go ahead and check out every Colleen Hoover book that's available in your library so that you can dive right in.

3. Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire (Add it to your "To Read" list on Goodreads)

For a college romance that will leave you fanning yourself, Beautiful Oblivion is the first in a series that will keep you on the hook all the way through. There's a reason this was all the rage when it first released. Find out why and check this one out.

4. All Lined Up by Cora Carmack (Add it to your "To Read" list on Goodreads)

If you enjoyed Carmack's Losing It, you will love All Lined Up, the beginning in a series of companion novels that gets more diverse as the series goes on. And if you haven't read Losing It, check that book out as well!

5. Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Add it to your "To Read" list on Goodreads)

If you read 50 Shades and want to see how it's really done, check out this bestselling series by Sylvia Day. Note that this is very steamy so it may not be for everyone.

Happy Library Lovers Month!

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Our Favorite Red Dresses & Shoes for National Wear Red Day http://munaluchibridal.com/our-favorite-red-dresses-shoes-for-national-wear-red-day/ http://munaluchibridal.com/our-favorite-red-dresses-shoes-for-national-wear-red-day/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:00:10 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=115837 diy-wedding-maryland-paula-bartosiewicz-munaluchi-011 It's National Wear Red Day! What is that? you ask. National Wear Red Day is...

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It's National Wear Red Day! What is that? you ask. National Wear Red Day is the annual day in which awareness is spread about heart disease and stroke, which kills one in three women and is 80% preventable. Wear red today to show your support for saving women’s lives! We want you healthy for your wedding day and your many years of marriage, so for more information on National Wear Red Day, please visit Go Red For Women. And now for a roundup of our favorite red dresses and shoes featured on MunaLuchi Bride!

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Photos: Luichiny Shoes from Vintage DIY Wedding via Paula Bartosiewicz Photography

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Photos: Cozy Diner Engagement Session via Pharris Photography

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Photos: Charming Multicultural Engagement Session in Dallas via Lavishly Lux Studio

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Photos: Warm Winter Engagement Session at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas via Lavishly Lux Studio

Rosaura_Sandoval_Photography_California_Wedding029 Rosaura_Sandoval_Photography_California_Wedding003 Rosaura_Sandoval_Photography_California_Wedding006 Rosaura_Sandoval_Photography_California_Wedding007 Photos: A California Wedding Filled with Vintage Charm via Rosaura Sandoval Photography

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Photos: Cultural and Sophisticated Atlanta Wedding via Michelle Scott Photography

What are your favorite red dresses?

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Gorgeous Purple and White Igbo Wedding in Houston: Ral + Grant http://munaluchibridal.com/purple-and-white-igbo-wedding-in-houston-ral-grant/ http://munaluchibridal.com/purple-and-white-igbo-wedding-in-houston-ral-grant/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 06:30:14 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=114450 ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts67 Ral and Grant had absolutely no interest in getting to know each other, in...

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Ral and Grant had absolutely no interest in getting to know each other, in fact they had no interest in even meeting. But sometimes it takes the intuition of others to bring two people together. "Grant's cousin Emeka is married to a close family friend of mine Ngozi. I attended a wedding in 2012 with my sister Oby where I got to catch up with Emeka and Ngozi. When Ngozi found out I was single, she immediately started talking about how Grant & I would be a perfect match," Ral shares. Uninterested in the set up Ral shrugged it off. "Neither Grant nor I were eager for the "introduction." But Ngozi & Emeka convinced Grant this would be worth it while my sister Oby convinced me of the same," she says. After a few weeks, Grant decided to take his cousin's advice and send Ral a Facebook message introducing himself. Shortly after that Ral left for Liberia so the two continued to communicate via Facebook. "Facebook chat turned into phone conversations. We were on different time zones so we would often talk long into the night and deprived each other of sleep," Ral shares. As soon as she got back to the U.S. Grant flew from Maryland to Houston to see her, spawning their relationship.

The beautiful couple said "I do" in a gorgeous purple and white Igbo wedding. Celebrating their Nigerian culture, they had a traditional ceremony in December 2014 preceding their glamorous wedding almost a year later in Houston. An abundance of white florals took center stage at the stunning reception. Circular tables covered in detailed white linens sat humbly beneath the grand floral chandeliers. Ral and Grant's wedding was the stuff most of our dreams are made of and you won't want to miss it. Take a look at their gorgeous wedding planned and designed by Chioma of Dure Events with photos by Somto Maduka of Imagio Photography and Raheem of RHPhotography.

Quick Facts
Favorite item on the wedding menu: Stewed plantain and gizzard
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Ankara robes, jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair pieces), and personalized mirrors. For the Groomsmen: Ties & Socks
First dance song: "This is Love" by Kelly Rowland

ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography13Bride: Ral Nwankwo
Groom: Grant Obioha
Wedding date: 06/06/2015
Wedding location: Houston, Texasral_grant_wedding_imagio_photographyral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography2

ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography10 ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography9 ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography4 ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography3 ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography2ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography7ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography10ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography11ral_grant_wedding_imagio_photography12Tell us all about the proposal!
When I was ready to propose, I called Naa, Ral’s very good friend to help me pick out the kind of ring that Ral wanted (I suspected that Ral had discussed it with Naa because she recently got engaged and they discussed rings at length). And I guessed right. I also called Ral’s sister Ogo and told her I was ready. Ral’s other sister Oby started a Whatsapp "Yes we can" group that also included Ije (another close friend) of Ral’s and Nora - Ral’s cousin. We all then started planning on how we were going to trick Ral. We planned to do it on February 13th. Meanwhile, I lied to Ral about my whereabouts. I told her I was on a job in Midland and all the while I was in Houston planning the proposal. I knew the lie was going to work because my work schedule had in the past messed with my plans to see Ral Meanwhile, Ije and Nora were working out their own tricks on Ral to make sure it was clear to her that she was going to spending v-day without me.

I had planned for Naa and Vivian to come with me but mother nature had other plans for the 13th. The snow storm in Baltimore was so bad and flights got canceled making it impossible for Naa to come. Luckily, Vivian and me were able to catch an early flight on the 14th and I made sure to take "my life savings" with me haha. By the time I got there, Ogo already set up her basement with rose flowers and "Will you marry me?" balloons and a Coldstone cake (Ral’s favorite). Nora and Ogo also arranged to have Skype and Facetime for Oby, Ije and Naa to watch the proposal in real time since the snowstorm also grounded them. Ogo picked out Ral's favorite song John Legend's "All of me" to play while I proposed to Ral. Before Ral came to the house, Ogo and Nora wanted to make sure that I everything handy so that I didn’t embarrass myself haha #awesomeinlawsIgot. When Ral got to the house, Ogo led her to the basement. From my hiding place, I heard her scream in surprise as Ogo read the love note from me. I just knew then that the "Yes we can" team did a good job because we made sure she didn’t see it coming. By the time Ral saw me, Ogo had just finished reading the letter to her. I then got down on one knee and asked her one simple question "Raluchukwu, will you marry me?" In all the excitement, I don’t think she really heard me but Nora was crying tears of joy on the side saying, "say yes yes yes yes" haha. Ral said yes and then I put my “life savings” on her finger and turned her around to say hi to Oby, Naa and Ije watching on skype. Typing this proposal is making me relive that awesome moment when I asked the lady of my dreams to spend the rest of her life with a knucklehead like me haha. Thanks to Ogo and everyone that gave up their Vday with their significance other to make mine worth the while!ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts32ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts37ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts17ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts35ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts38Describe your wedding dress style.
I was looking for a dress that would have the "Princess" look but also be fitted. This dress had both....it truly made me feel like a ride :-) As soon as I tried in on, my sister Ogo said "that's the one!"
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ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts83How was culture incorporated in your wedding?
To incorporate our Igbo (Nigerian) culture, we had a traditional wedding in December 2014 in Nigeria and also had a second entrance into the wedding reception wearing our native attire.ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts72ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts71ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts73ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts76ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts78ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts84ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts85

ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts84ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts88ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts94ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts105 purple and white igbo weddingral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts106 purple and white igbo weddingWhat is your favorite memory from your wedding?
I don't think I can pick just one! I had so many special moments. From our personal wedding vows, to our reception entrance, to my special choreographed dance with my sisters to the "groom's peeps v. bride's peeps" dance competition at the end of the reception. We had a blast!ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts96 purple and white igbo weddingral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts89 purple and white igbo weddingWhat advice do you have for our brides-to-be?
Keep your eyes focused on the prize which is marrying the love of your life. Don't prioritize the wedding, which is one day, over your relationship/upcoming marriage, which is a lifetime event. Try to talk about other things, not just wedding planning. Set clear expectations. Un-communicated expectations only hurt. Don't forget to do date night! Wedding Planning can be stressful. Keep the love alive!ral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts69 purple and white igbo wedding

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Vendors
Wedding Planner - Chioma of Dure Events
Wedding Decor Design - Chioma of Dure Events
Wedding Photographer - Raheem of RH Photoarts
Traditional wedding photographer - Somto Maduka of Imagio Photography
Bride's hair and makeup at wedding - Lyzadora
Bridesmaids' makeup - Lyzadora
Bridesmaids' hair - Rochelle
Bride's hair - Pafuchi Hair
Wedding videography - Jummy of Oyemi Films
Wedding cake - Jessie of Edible Designs by Jessie
Wedding MC - Foxy P
Wedding DJ - DJ 6 Double 0
Wedding flowers - Flora Eventi
Wedding Transportation- R.A. Luxury Transportation and ACrystal Limousines
Food - Debra of Glorious Feasts
Photo Booth - Houston Photo Booth
Bride’s make-up & scarf (traditional wedding) - Claire Transformationsral_grant_wedding_rhphotoarts67

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5 Red Lipsticks to Wear on National Wear Red Day http://munaluchibridal.com/munabeauty-9-red-lipsticks-to-wear-on-national-wear-red-day/ http://munaluchibridal.com/munabeauty-9-red-lipsticks-to-wear-on-national-wear-red-day/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:00:20 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=115969 red_lip_makeup_anastasia_beverly_hills In case you haven't heard, Friday February 5th is National Wear Red Day. The...

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In case you haven't heard, Friday February 5th is National Wear Red Day. The movement encourages everyone to wear red in an effort to raise awareness about heart disease in women. We're all about solidarity, support, and slay, so this cause is right up our alley. But if red pieces aren't lining up your wardrobe, we've got a quick beauty solution. Swipe on a gorgeous red lip to show your support for this very important cause. We've rounded up 9 red lipsticks to wear on National Wear Red Day so we can all kiss heart disease goodbye.

Bobbi Brown "Lady Ruba"
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Chanel "Gabrielle"
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MAC "Ruby Woo"
mac_ruby_woo_lipstick national wear red dayNARS "Annabella"
nars_annabella_lipstick national wear red dayLaura Mercier "Foreplay"
laura_mercier_velour_lovers_lip_foreplay national wear red dayPhotos via Bloomingdales and Nordstrom

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Proposal Turned Surprise Engagement Session in London, England: Odinae + Marvin http://munaluchibridal.com/proposal-turned-surprise-engagement-session-in-london-england-odinae-marvin/ http://munaluchibridal.com/proposal-turned-surprise-engagement-session-in-london-england-odinae-marvin/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2016 11:00:26 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=116035 london-england-proposal-engagement-session-ksquared-photography-odinae-marvin-20 Odinae and Marvin have come a long way from their first date with no...

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Odinae and Marvin have come a long way from their first date with no set destination. Since the two began dating, they've traveled around the world and plan to see as many countries as they can which they'll have plenty of time to do after planning and living out their May 2017 wedding. They met while living in the same apartment complex, but it wasn't until Odinae's car got stuck in a snowstorm and Marvin came to the rescue that these two warmed up to the first date. 

Odinae's first visit to London became one of the biggest trips of her life as Marvin led her to a 2 hour photo-shoot that he "won at a work holiday party." The shoot turned into a proposal and then an engagement session, the beautiful moment captured below!

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Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!

We met crossing paths in the same apartment complex. Marvin lived in the building before I did; I moved in during 2008. Marvin was such a gentleman during our brief passing. One day, he noticed me struggling with a load of groceries and offered to help. Another time, I was lugging a load of laundry out of my car to the elevator and there he was again, ready to help.

One early afternoon in the fall of 2008, Marvin noticed that I was finally walking unrestricted by a random task or adventure. I was walking to my car to head to my local coffee shop. Marvin approached and formally introduced himself, kindly asking if I would like to join him for coffee or dinner one day. Hesitant at first, I agreed and exchange contact information with him.

Months passed of many text messages exchanged, calls and a few botched attempts at setting a date, but we remained friends. It was mid-March of 2009, during a terrible winter snowstorm in Philadelphia when things took a serious turn. I was making my way home from work in the massive snowstorm when my car got stuck on the hill of the apartment complex. I panicked and didn’t really know what to do. Then for some reason, instinct said to call Marvin. In what felt like seconds, Marvin was outside with a huge shovel, earmuffs, and he was in a short-sleeve shirt. I was stunned by his chivalry once more, and charmed by his act of compassion. That evening, we shared gratitude and laughs, which really opened the door to having our first date.

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The engagement session…

The engagement was a huge surprise, thanks to Marvin. On my first visit to London, Marvin told me that he won a 2 hour photo-shoot at a work holiday party. I was skeptical at first, but Marvin had answers to all of my questions. An hour into the shoot, right before changing to a new location, I went to reach for my pocketbook and jacket and when I turned around, Marvin was making his way down to one knee. Time stood still.

Marvin got down on one knee and professed his love and his heart’s desires. He followed that by asking me, “Would you be my Queen and do me the honor of being my wife? Will you marry me?” The photos captured every second of this beautiful moment, even though we felt like the only two people on cloud nine. The rest of the photo session was filled with more laughter, happy tears and all smiles. That evening, we strolled the Southbank of the London Bridge, enjoying the Centre Christmas Market, and had dinner at HKK restaurant. When we arrived back to Marvin’s flat, it was decorated with balloons, bouquets of flowers, gold stars, hearts, and confetti everywhere. Marvin had arranged for his best friend to decorate his flat to complete the surprise. This was definitely a day to remember!

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What did you do on your first date?

The first date was interesting….the first date was spontaneous. Marvin BBMed me and asked if I would like to meet up. Surprisingly, I agreed quickly, which threw Marvin off. We agreed on a time and within an hour after the message, we were on our way to...nowhere. It started pouring rain as we hustled our way to the car. We drove around for awhile looking for a place to grab a bite to eat. Finally, we settled on a local margarita bar. Marvin was nervous while I was happy that there would be margaritas! Ironically, we were seated at the largest table in the restaurant, as though we were the only couple in the whole place. We got to know each other over the symphony of the rain, chipotle BBQ wings and margaritas.london-england-proposal-engagement-session-ksquared-photography-odinae-marvin-20

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What's your favorite thing to do as a couple?

Our favorite thing to do as a couple is travel. Marvin is an explorer by nature and I enjoy new and exciting adventures as well. Both of us like to be active and attempt to try new and unusual things. We collect magnets of all of the places we’ve been and hope to travel to all the countries of the world!

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How has wedding planning been so far?

There are no set plans as of yet. We are just starting to discuss official plans. We are trying to enjoy being newly engaged.

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Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day.

I am most looking forward to seeing his face as I walk down the aisle.

Vendors:

Photography: K Squared Photography

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Rustic Blush Wedding at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY: Adanna + Irani http://munaluchibridal.com/rustic-brazilian-infused-wedding-at-the-grandview-adanna-irani/ http://munaluchibridal.com/rustic-brazilian-infused-wedding-at-the-grandview-adanna-irani/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2016 06:30:29 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=113497 Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k87_low There are two sides to every love story but when a Munagroom tells us...

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There are two sides to every love story but when a Munagroom tells us how he fell for his bride, we pull our chairs up a little bit closer. Read how Adanna caught Irani's eye as told by the groom himself.

For me it all started the winter of 2001 at an Indoor track and field event in New York City. To her, I was invisible (lets just say I was a better football player then track runner) and it didn’t help that I couldn’t muster up the courage to say two words to her. So I was just an admirer from a distance, but who knew that our paths would cross again.

In August of 2003, athletics reunited us as members of the University at Albany Football and Track & Field teams. Typically the track team is housed in one dorm and the football team in another but thankfully for some reason she was placed in my dormitory. It wasn't necessarily love at first sight since she thought I was too much of a ladies man (where she got that idea I do not know lol) but with her residing in the same dorm, it was all the opportunity I needed to steal her heart. From there an unexpected friendship grew into something special.

The couple wed in a beautiful rustic blush wedding at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY. Infusing Irani's Brazilian culture, the event was a splendid mix of sweet love and carnival-like fun. Take a look at their big day with photography by Coterie member Kesha Lambert and read the rest of their unbreakable love story below.

Quick Facts
Favorite item on the wedding menu: "Bem Casados" ("Married Well" in Portuguese) a little treat that is given out at Brazil weddings, which represents to parts coming together as one.
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids received DIY customized gift boxes; groomsmen received ties, lapels and personalized socks.
First dance song: "Put That On Everything" by Brandy
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Bride: Adanna Andrews
Groom: Irani DeAraujo Jr.
Wedding date: 07/19/2015
Wedding location: The Grandview - Poughkeepsie, NY
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Tell us all about the proposal!
During our senior year of college, Irani proposed to me at a surprise birthday party (which he put together) for my twin sister and I. I said yes, but we both knew we were too young and not quite ready for the responsibilities of marriage. After graduating, several relocations, a long distance relationship, and the pursuit of individual career goals our love literally stood the test of time.
Fast-forward a few years later (7 to be exact, but who was counting lol) on April 11, 2014 and Irani proposed (again, but for real this time). That night couldn’t have been more special, even though the day didn’t go as planned. Originally, Irani had planned to propose over a candlelit birthday dinner overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. However numerous unforeseen events and the rain had other plans. It was the morning of my birthday and Irani gifted me with a day at the spa and a hair appointment. Everything was going great and then it started to rain, which seemed to throw everything off track. I was in the salon chair longer then I wanted to be which delayed us from leaving Albany on time. In a rush, we stopped at the mall to get last minute items for my birthday outfit and I left Irani to pay for my shoes while I went to buy mascara to save time. At last, we were on the road and 45 minutes out of Albany when I reached for my shoes and let out the biggest GASP! Irani didn’t realize that the clerk put the shoes that I didn’t want inside the bag. So back we went to get the right pair of shoes in the pouring rain! Needless to say, by that time, my impatience was at an all-time high and I was frustrated and over it. Irani tried his best to keep me calm (as he always does) during the 2.5-hour ride to the city, even though we were going to miss our dinner reservation. Luckily, he had additional plans for us to meet up with family and friends that evening, all the while he was contemplating when and if he should propose that night. Finally, while at a lounge celebrating my birthday amongst family and friends the stress of the long frustrating day was quickly forgotten. It was then that Irani took the opportunity to drop down on one knee and ask for my hand in marriage. I don’t remember anything that he said while he was down there lol, but the moment couldn’t have been more appropriate or us...and of course I said YES!Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k47_low
Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k55_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k61_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k63_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k106_lowDescribe your wedding dress. What was your favorite accessory?
My dress is a custom made design by Andrea Pitter of Pantora Bridal. It has a classic feel to it and features lace! My favorite wedding accessory is my engagement ring and wedding band. My fiance designed it with the help of his fraternity brother at Luma Diamonds. It is a rose gold, solitaire, emerald cut diamond ring that is simply beautiful and so very me.Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k69_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k79_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k72_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k74_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k84_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k87_low
Best memory
His - Seeing the joy in her face, after she was able to decorate the venue and see her design and dreams realized for our wedding come to fruition.
Hers - Sharing those first stolen moments alone together where we had the chance to reflect on our new life as husband and wife. Knowing that we were now ONE was truly my best memory! *2nd best memory is when my nephew Justin took the mic during the ceremony to tell a joke!  This was definitely NOT planned and made everyone laugh. That moment truly showed his personality!!!Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k98_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k99_low rustic blush wedding

Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k117_low rustic blush weddingAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k108_low rustic blush weddingAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k110_lowHow was culture incorporated in your wedding day?
My Fiance is from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and we wanted to incorporate some of the traditions and culture from his country into our wedding. We went on vacation to Rio a couple of years back, during Christmas and New Year's, and I just fell in love with the people, the culture, the art, the music and especially the food! It was such a freeing and spiritual experience to be in a country like Brazil and if I could I'd probably stay there forever. Needless to say, for our wedding we are trying to bring a little bit of Rio to New York!Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k132_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k141_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k159_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k144_lowWhat advice do you have for engaged couples?
The best advice I can give engaged couples is to not procrastinate, be sure to start researching vendors as soon as possible and to get/accept as much help as you can! Everything seems to be happening so fast and we are glad that we have people who are there for us and are willing to help us out when we need. Also, be realistic with your wedding budget. It's easy to get caught up in the moment of it all, but when the moment is gone you don't want to look back and regret spending so much money. Just keep in mind what the end result is, and a "Need/Want" list might not be a bad idea!Andrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k122_lowAndrews_DeArujo_Kesha_Lambert_Photography_k127_lowVendors
Ceremony/Reception - The Grandview
Photography - Kesha Lambert Photography 
Wedding Dress Designer - Pantora Bridal
DJ - Music Speaks Volumes Entertainment
Lighting - Hourglass Lighting
Officiant - Carissa Ceremonies
Bride's Bouquet and DIY flowers - A Night In Bloom, Kingston, NY
Bride's ring - Luma Diamonds Consultants
Bridesmaids dresses - David's Bridal
Groom's tux - Moss Bros.
Groom's ring - Staghead Designs
Groomsmen - Men's Wearhouse
Makeup - Lash to Lens, New Rochelle, NY
Hair - Crowned by Queen, Raleigh, NC
Videography - Honest Vision, NYC
Entertainment - Casa Brazilia, NYC
Travel agent - Maplewood Travel, Maplewood, NJ
Accommodations - Holiday Inn Express & Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie, NY
Cake Topper - Milk Tea by Bthanari, Etsy
Invitations - Wedding Paper Divas
Planning, Design & Decor - Adanna Andrews (The Bride)
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Coterie Spotlight: Get to Know Akeem Clayton Designs http://munaluchibridal.com/coterie-spotlight-get-to-know-akeem-clayton-designs/ http://munaluchibridal.com/coterie-spotlight-get-to-know-akeem-clayton-designs/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2016 15:30:06 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=115841 coterie-retreat-barbados-dana-lee-jones012 We are so excited today to be putting the spotlight on the internationally known...

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We are so excited today to be putting the spotlight on the internationally known full service event production & design house, Akeem Clayton Designs! Coterie member, Akeem Clayton has worked with a host of business luminaries, professional athletes and entertainers and you may have even seen Clayton on TLC's hit reality series, "Say Yes To The Dress." Clayton has made a name for himself locally in Atlanta and has quickly taken the event design industry by storm. Below, get to know more about how Akeem Clayton Designs began and how it has grown in its success over the past decade!

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Photo via Akeem Clayton Designs

Coterie Q&A

1) Tell us a little about your background and how you got started in the wedding and events industry?

I’m a business major, with an MBA in Business Management. I come from a corporate finance background, which was so boring. I alway thought I would be an Interior Designer...instead, I ended up designing weddings. I've alway had an interest in the arts and design, so somehow I knew I would end up doing something creative. When I made the decision to leave my corporate gig, it was a leap of faith. And here I'm today almost nine years later.

2) What do you love most about your job?

Most of all, I love transforming spaces. It's a proud feeling when I take a simple, sometimes boring space and turn it into something amazing. Then, seeing the client's reaction to seeing their dreams manifested is priceless.

3) What would you encourage for the risk takers out there?

No matter what your dream is or how challenging it appears to be, you can do it. You are responsible for your own reality, so you can't wait for someone to help you or push you. Go get it!

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Photo Credit: Dana Lee Jones Photography

4) What has been your most challenging and rewarding wedding this past year and why?

I love a good challenge, and this year our most challenging wedding happened at the very beginning of the new year. It was most challenging because of all of the many moving parts, and our client had very specific request that we had to pay even more attention to regarding the details. Not to mention that, some of our international shipments from suppliers were off because of the holiday. So we feared that we wouldn't receive some of our supplies in time. In the end, the wedding went off without a hitch, and most importantly, we had another happy, blushing bride.

5) What’s something that recently left you inspired?

I left the second annual coterie retreat inspired! It was very encouraging being able to network with my colleagues from other markets. Through conversation, learning that we all have very similar challenges, and hearing the various methods and perspectives that each found to overcome them, it was refreshing knowing that, we are not alone.

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Photo via Akeem Clayton Designs

To learn more about Akeem Clayton Designs, visit their official website. Also be sure to check out their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To request to join The Coterie, the well assembled collection of wedding professionals in the U.S. and abroad, click here.

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Ethereal African Wedding in Paris, France: Laetitia + Arnaud http://munaluchibridal.com/ethereal-african-wedding-in-paris-france-laetitia-arnaud/ http://munaluchibridal.com/ethereal-african-wedding-in-paris-france-laetitia-arnaud/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2016 06:30:57 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=111946 laetitia_and_arnaud_wedding_switchography24 They say you find love when you're not looking for it, even if that...

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They say you find love when you're not looking for it, even if that love is right in front of you. Laetitia and Arnaud had met through mutual friends, frequently seeing each other at restaurant outings, birthday parties, picnics etc. From the moment Arnaud saw Laetitia he knew he wanted her to be a part of her life but Laetitia wasn't ready to be in a relationship. He waited patiently, taking the time to get to know her. After long conversations and significant time together, Laetitia realized that Arnaud was the one.

Arnaud officially asked Laetitia to be his bride on a trip to Rome. They were sitting in a small boat on the Villa Borghese gardens lake when he got down on one knee and presented his future bride with a beautiful ring, representing the beginning of their lives together. Take a look at their ethereal African wedding in Paris, France with photos by Switchography and Lucas Rani.

Quick Facts
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: African wood box with a bronze bangle and chocolate from Ghana
First dance song: "Real Love" by Eric Benet
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Bride: Laetitia Simonis Amavi
Groom: Arnaud Simonis
Wedding date: 09/12/2015
Wedding location: Paris, France12092015-LNR_1386-LucasRani-212092015-LNR_1601-LucasRani12092015-LNR_1324-LucasRani12092015-LNR_1653-LucasRani12092015-LNR_1695-LucasRani12092015-LNR_1748-LucasRani
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Describe your wedding dress style.
For the civil union my dress was a pronovias mermaid style named Orce. That strapless dress has swan feathers on the bustier. It was the perfect dress for that day! It was from last year's collection. I bought it second hand from a lovely woman from London (I enjoyed discussions with her! She gave me encouragements and joyful wishes) and made some alterations. For the big day and the union in front of God I chose a princess style dress from a Hervé Mariage store in Paris called Espoir. It was a sweetheart neckline dress with lace and crystal pearls. The bottom was made with delicate ruffles. It wasn't the style I had imagined but at the first fitting with my friends it had been love at first sight ! I felt like I was on a cloud.
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What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?
Honestly it's difficult to choose one but I think the church exit was one of our best moments. We were full of joy realizing it was done! We were dancing and singing loudly with everyone, sharing the love and the joy we had after all we've been through.
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Did you incorporate culture in your wedding day?
We incorporated many elements of our west African culture (We are mixed race from Togo and Burkina Faso). At church, we sang African praise. During the cocktail hour, there were African specialties in addition to the French ones. We wore traditional outfits I made in Togo, white and gold Ewe's fabric - Kente with traditional beads, during a traditional dancing part Gourounsi - Burkina Faso.
12092015-LNR_2655-LucasRani12092015-LNR_2965-LucasRani12092015-LNR_3278-LucasRani13092015-LNR_3365-LucasRani13092015-LNR_3493-LucasRani13092015-LNR_3500-LucasRani13092015-LNR_3541-LucasRaniWhat advice do you have for our brides-to-be?
Stay strong and patient, remain together, try to spend quality time together (even on the day) and when things get hard always remember what matters the most for you. Above all, stay focused on God and keep on praying.
12092015-LNR_2592-LucasRanilaetitia_and_arnaud_wedding_switchography27laetitia_and_arnaud_wedding_switchography25 african wedding in parislaetitia_and_arnaud_wedding_switchography26 african wedding in parisVendors
Photography: Switchography (civil union) and Lucas Rani (church and reception)
Videography: Nosreal
Makeup: Guewen Glossy (civil union) and Carina Châtel
Wedding dresses: Pronovias and Herve Mariage
Bridesmaids dresses: Dylan Queen
Church: Eglise baptiste Pontault-Combault
Reception location: Château de Dommerville
Wedding cake: Vesna Korika
Catering: Méditerranée gastronomie
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Opulent Gold Wedding in New Orleans: Christine + Kirollos http://munaluchibridal.com/opulent-gold-wedding-new-orleans-christine-kirollos/ http://munaluchibridal.com/opulent-gold-wedding-new-orleans-christine-kirollos/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:19:32 +0000 http://munaluchibridal.com/?p=110621 christine-kirollos-egyptian-wedding-wink-designs-new-orleans079 Kiro had no interest in meeting Christine. When introduced to the idea of being...

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Kiro had no interest in meeting Christine. When introduced to the idea of being matched with his future bride, the strong-willed Veterinarian brushed it off uninterested. David, Christine’s cousin, was certain that the two were meant to be. With the help of his mother and Kiro’s sister-in-law, they became a relentless force that would push Kiro to give in. Blind to David’s Cupid attempts, Christine was surprised to receive a message from Kirollos Abdelmalek on Facebook. She’d been living in her hometown of New Orleans, many miles away from Kiro’s California residence, and had no idea he’d be reaching out. She noticed that they had a mutual friend in David and how cute he was so she responded to his witty message. And so it began.

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Kiro wanted nothing more than to surprise his meddling bride-to-be, so when it came time for him to propose it was a covert affair. Keeping in mind that she’s always wanted her family present, he crafted a proposal he knew she’d love. Christine and her family had planned a trip to California in April 2014, but her parents would be heading out after her. The day Christine arrived in California she had dinner plans with Kiro at the Montage at Laguna Beach. After they’d placed their meal orders, the waiter suggested they go outside for a photo. While they posed for the pictures in the brisk Cali weather Kiro asked her if she heard a plane overhead. “I responded with yes, and he quickly turned me around and told me to look. There in the sky was a plane flying with a huge banner which read, Christine, will you marry me? I turned back to Kirollos squealing and said, "Oh look! There is a girl named Christine getting proposed to! That is so stinking cute!". Kirollos gave me an, "Are you serious?" look and quickly spun me around again and firmly said, "LOOK!". There in the wind, the banner flapped, and the full message was visible. Christine, will you marry me? Love, Kiro. I quickly turned back to Kirollos who was already waiting on bended knee.” When they went back to the hotel, Kiro ushered her into the lounge where all their friends and family were waiting to congratulate them.

The Egyptian couple officiated their love with a Coptic Orthodox Christian Crowning Ceremony, symbolic of the crowns that are placed on the heads of the bride and groom during the actual religious ceremony. The pair paid homage to Christine’s beloved city of New Orleans by incorporating a second line between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. The absolutely stunning reception had the Midas touch. Gold covered the space through grand candelabras, vintage furnishings, and Egyptian inspired lanterns for soft lighting. Hanging crystals, opulent chandeliers, and soft flowers created an even more luxurious aesthetic.

“Our complete focus for the wedding was to create an experience for our guests that they would never forget,” Christine says.

Take a look at this drop-dead-gorgeous gold wedding planned and designed by Coterie member Wink Design and Events. This wedding is also featured in our Fall/Winter 2015 issue, available on select newsstands now! You can also grab your copy here.

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Quick Facts
Favorite item on menu: crawfish risotto
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: bridesmaids received personalized monogrammed day robes and earrings for the wedding. groomsmen received personalized monogrammed travel kits.
First dance song: "She's Everything" by Brad Paisley

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Best Memory
"Our best memory from the wedding is the moment the church doors opened and Kirollos saw me for the first time. To make the moment even sweeter, my father gave Kirollos a huge high five before he handed me over. The entire church burst into laughter and cheers. That moment set the tone for the entire ceremony and is something we will never forget." - Christine

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Advice for future brides
Just relax. No matter what happens, don't freak out. Nothing will go all right and nothing will go all wrong. What's important is that when everything is said and done, you get to marry your best friend. Nothing can change that. So don't waste your time panicking over every last detail, focus on the bigger picture, and enjoy everything! It's your time to shine! Trust us!

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Vendors
Bride's dress: Eve of Milady
Bridal dress salon: Pearl's Place
Bride's shoes: Antonio Melani
Bridesmaids dresses: The Dessy Group
Cakes/Desserts: Pure Cake
Catering: Windsor Court Hotel
Ceremony: St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church
Event decor: Wink Design and Events
Event planner: Wink Design and Events
Entertainment: DJ Tamer Yehia; Free Agents Brass Band
Flowers: Bella Blooms Floral
Groom's attire: Hugo Boss styled by Brandon Williams
Groomsmen attire: Black by Vera Wang
Bride's hair: Aristocat Beauty (Cat Vo)
Bridesmaids hair: Aristocat Beauty (Cat Vo)
Photography: Dark Roux Photography
Reception venue: The Windsor Court
Stationery: Exquisite Events
Videography: Daniel Jones

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The post Opulent Gold Wedding in New Orleans: Christine + Kirollos appeared first on Munaluchi Bride.

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