Wordless Wednesday: Monica & James

Meet James and Monica, our happy couple from New Orleans, LA.    The two were together for 14 years before tying the knot this fall.  Congratulations, newlyweds! 

Ceremony Venue:  Lafreniere Park, Metairie, LA

Reception Venue:  Chateau Menteur
Photography:  Flawless Images (Trezzle Landry)
Makeup:  Shannon Foxworthy Taylor

Surprise Proposal at a Toni Braxton Concert

Now here's a guy who knows how to surprise a lady!    Yesterday, one of our friends on our Facebook page told us that he proposed to his girlfriend on stage at a Toni Braxton concert in Detroit.   Well we had to see it to believe it, and he did not disappoint.   The whole thing was caught on tape and transformed into a heartwarming Youtube video.   Truly amazing.   Just watch....

What do you ladies and gents think???

Bringing the FUN!

When couples love being together and aren't afraid to show it, fun and fantastic pictures are the result. Love it.

Submitted by Nicole Charles Bradley Photography by Blue Labs Photography

Wordless Wednesday: Shoya & Tony

Submitted by Shoya Bowman and Tony Allen
Fort Lauderdale, FL

African-American Brides' Top Engagement Ring Trends of 2013

Every bride-to-be wants to feel that her engagement right is as unique as her own style. So, each year brings new ideas for engagements rings. But you know what they say, "There's really nothing new under the sun." And that is certainly true for something as traditional as an engagement ring. Even the most non-traditional ones are, by definition, part of tradition. But that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the latest trends, as long as they represent YOU. So if you stumble across something that resonates with you, go for it! That said, here are our top engagement ring trends of 2013. Let us know what you think!

Custom engagement rings. When you're truly looking for something outside-the-box or deeply sentimental you may want to look into jewelers who specialize in custom engagement rings, such as Bookman & Son who created this quartz and diamond stunner.

Ring from Bookman & Son

The East-West Ring

Ring from Bario Neal

Vintage style

From Tumblr

Floral details

From Tumblr

Colored Stones - Whether champagne diamonds, blue sapphires, topaz, and others!

From Tumblr

Conflict-free/Blood free diamonds

From Ken & Dana Design

OK, what do you think? Did we leave anything out??? If so, let us know!

What to Pack For Your Wedding Night

Now that warmer temperatures are here, let's heat things up by talking about your wedding night. Why? Let's face it, ladies. Planning your wedding can become all-consuming. However, in all of your last minute preparations, it's important to think ahead to what this was all ultimately leading to: the wedding night- the first night of the rest of your life.

Did you know that 52% of couples don't even have sex on their wedding night? Fifty two precent! It's not surprising, because you are going to be exhausted and hungry afterwards, but that doesn't mean you have to be a statistic; you can be a solution. On your wedding night it'll finally just be the two of you and you'll be married so make the most of it!

What you put in your overnight bag is crucial, so the first step is to pack in advance. Don't leave your overnight bag up to chance when you're running around at the last minute. Pack it when you pack up your honeymoon luggage and put some thought into it. Now I know your head is a mish-mash of chair covers, rose petals and playlist suggestions right now, so I've come up with your wedding night packing guide to help you out.

You will have packed all your major items like your hair products, make up and deodorant in your honeymoon luggage, but you're going to need those items for the morning after, too. Pack travel sized versions of all of these items in your overnight bag, that way you can just leave in the bag when you go. It will help keep you organized in the morning and still looking post-wedding fab.

You are likely to have candles in your room if you got the Honeymoon suite or you have amazing friends. However, you should bring some along if you didn't or your friends don't have access to the room. It's your wedding night, so don't be afraid to bring on the romance. Don't just leave it to chance!

You'll definitely want to throw in some of the lingerie you received at your bachelorette party. Didn't get any? Take the time to stop by your nearest lingerie store like Adam & Eve and pick up something simple, yet sexy. You're not going to want to be in something uncomfortable after wearing your dress all day. Find something that will let your husband that he really did make the right decision.

Toys and fun--
After a long day of talking, dancing and drinking, the two of you might need a little help in the arousal area. Be sure to pack along a bottle of lube to help things get moving. Keep in mind though that you should either pack this separately or at least in it's own plastic bag, so that it doesn't explode on your lingerie. You can also get your marriage off on a kinky start by bringing some fun toys or even some fuzzy handcuffs and blindfold. And you may find that you're both sore from your shoes and standing all day, so consider throwing in some massage oil to help the two of you relax.

You just spent months planning your wedding. If you're not ready to spend the next nine months carrying a child make sure to pack whatever kind of contraception the two of you use. Don't be afraid to throw in some back up as well. You never know!

You'll also want to pack some snacks. Think ahead and get some of you and his favorite snacks. You're going to be hungry afterwards and may not want to wait for room service to show up, so bring something that two of you can enjoy. Plus your favorite snack will be comforting at the end of a crazy day.

Do you think I missed anything on the list?

Wordless Wednesday: Bayou Style!

At the Lyceum Ballroom in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Submitted by Stephanie Alexandria Evans

DIY Homemade Spring & Summer Centerpieces

A common misconception about formal wedding receptions is they cost a fortune. But there are ways to impress but without going into debt. With a little know-how and creativity, you can transform any wedding reception venue. A perfect example has to do with making table centerpieces. This decoration sets the tone for the entire room so it has to be right. There is no reason to spend a significant amount of money decorating the bride and groom table, as well as guests’ tables when you can make beautiful but also cost-efficient wedding reception centerpieces that people will never forget. In fact, one of the newest wedding trends will give you beautiful centerpieces for beans! All that Glitters The thing that makes this wedding reception centerpiece so unique is that most people are surprised at some of the materials used. To begin, you will need to purchase the following for each table. The majority of materials can be found at local hobby stores with the remainder sold at discount retail and grocery stores. o Three 1-pound bags of dry lima beans or coffee beans o One 12 x 12-inch square mirror o One 12-inch tall by 6-inch in diameter glass tube o One 10-inch tall taper candle or 10-inch tall by 3-inch in diameter pillar candle in colors that coordinate with the wedding and reception o One 12-inch long by 3-inch wide piece of ribbon in coordinating colors o You might want to purchase cans of gold and silver spray paint (or you can leave them plain!) For this wedding reception centerpiece, you will begin by laying the dry beans out on cardboard or newspaper and then spraying half with gold paint and the other half with silver paint, making sure to cover both sides well. Once completely dry, the beans would be separated by color and placed in plastic zip-lock bags for storage until the centerpieces are ready to be assembled. On the day of the wedding, each table’s centerpiece would be set up as follows: o The square mirror would be placed in the center of each linen covered table o The glass tube would then be placed in the center of the mirror o A 3-inch depth of beans would be poured inside the tube, followed by placing the candle securely in the center o Additional beans would be placed inside the tube, filling it about two-thirds. For this, you can pour even amounts of gold and silver spray painted beans, mix the two colors, create a spiraling effect, or whatever you feel looks best. o To complete the centerpiece, the 12-inch long piece of ribbon would be tied around the glass tube about four inches from the base, leaving a little bit of the ends to flow onto the glass mirror. You're done! Your centerpiece will be perfect as is, but if you like you can improvise even more by adding a floral accent. You can also play around with the sizes of the candle and tube. Everyone seems to put their own spin on it, so here are some variations from around the web:

Interestingly, this homemade centerpiece sounds expensive but compared to what it would cost to have a professional decoration made, the savings is huge. Because some of the items can be purchased in bulk, you would expect to pay about $15 per table. For a formal wedding, this is definitely a cost-saving solution. To make the wedding reception even more special, a winning number could be taped to the bottom of one chair at each table and whoever is sitting in that position would have the opportunity to take the centerpiece home. What about you? Do you have any DIY wedding centerpiece ideas to share? If so, please let us know by leaving a comment!

Wedding Gown of the Day: Princess Jasmine

This isn't a new dress, but I spotted it while helping a friend find a gown for her destination wedding. It's the Jasmine Disney Wedding Dress by Alfred Angelo. I think it is beautiful. What's your take on it? Would it work for a destination wedding or tropical ceremony?

Fresh Spring & Summer Looks for Bridesmaid Dresses

Yes, most of the country is enduring cold, wind, or rain right now. But believe or not, warmer weather is just around the corner. Here are some trends to look forward to if you're a bridesmaid-to-be, or a bride who wants to keep her girls happy.

After more than a decade of plain shifts and standard gowns, bridesmaids are dressing up again. The newest dresses are, well... dressier with elegant details and luxurious fabrics, like this one from David's Bridal.

Speaking of fabrics, lace is giving the silkier materials some competition this year. Whether in accents or covering the entire dress, lace brings an elegant, vintage feel to any silhouette.
Source: PatriciaValery
Alright, you've been seeing an 80's revival of peplums everywhere recently. Women have been wearing them on everyday skirts and dresses for the last year, so it was just a matter of time before peplums ended up on bridesmaid dresses. They give cover to ladies who are concerned about body issues and even add a little edge to formal wear.

Source: Alfred Sung

Maybe bridesmaids are trying to get some over-eager bridezillas to back off, because if you attend more than 3 weddings this year you are guaranteed to see some of them giving the "cold shoulder". You know what I mean - the "one shoulder in, one shoulder out" look. It's light and flirty, and perfect for Spring.
Source: David's Bridal

Source: Cheap-Dresses-Wedding.com

Remember when brides used to get all up-in-arms about an attendant or guest wearing white? Well that feeling seems to be fading, no pun intended. More than a few designers are rolling out dressy bridesmaid styles, in ivory and white.
So what do you think? Is this trend for the super-confident bride who can really bring it knows no one else will be mistaken for her?

Wordless Wednesday: Continental Splendor

From Just African Weddings on Tumblr

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