Thursday, July 31, 2008

Party Like A Rockstar

It's all about YOUR preference. You can do a sweet, slow & sappy reception highlight video- or you can party like a rockstar! The choice is yours baby.

Throwback Thursday

Creede and Louis Fitzhugh
Circa 1958

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bridesmaids Gifts That Don't Suck

It was quite the struggle trying to come up with gifts for my bridesmaids. Your bridesmaids are supposed to be some of the most important women in your one of your priorities should be showing them appreciation by giving them well chosen bridesmaids gifts.

I often come across various discussions on the Chocolate Brides Messageboard in terms of bridesmaids gift suggestions. Some women feel that bridesmaid gifts should correlate with your wedding budget. Others feel that the more your bridesmaids help you with wedding planning, the more money you should set aside for their gift.  Well, if that was the case, I shouldn't have given my bridesmaids a damn thing. Nevertheless, I don't think that there's any right or wrong way to give a gift.  But I do subscribe to the belief that your bridemaid's gifts should be truly meaningful.  Here are a couple of my fave bridesmaid gift suggestions:

Gift Gards - They're practical, useful, and easy to buy.

Personalized Bathrobes - With a little bit of research, this can be a decently priced option

Personalized Tote Bags - Another inexpensive option if you know how to bargain shop

Fragrance Gift Baskets - I have literally lost my mind up in the Bath & Body Works store during their annual clearance.  You can get 43 million bottles of stuff for $17.00 if you can catch em.

Squared Locket Keychain - How cayute is this? 

Spa Treatments - No elaboration needed here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CB Notable Quotable

What I found is divorce just can’t be an option. It’s really that simple. And I think that’s the problem with L.A. – there are so many options. So a huge part of the success for [Jada] and I is that we just removed the other options . . . We’re like listen, we’re going to be together one way or the other so we might as well try to be happy,”   - Will Smith

Monday, July 28, 2008

Michelle Williams Heartbreak

In the latest issue of Sister 2 Sister Magazine, Michelle Williams openly talks about the heartache of her broken engagement in 2004. I LOVE it when celebrities are able to talk about the things that are usually taboo. Yes...celebrities hurt too. (believe it or not) Her testimony will definitely help somebody who may be going through the same thing.

That's right girl....keep your head up!

"I had looked at wedding books. I was looking at venues and doing all those things that a person would do who knows they're gonna marry somebody. I bought the house and all that good stuff. Then it was like, no, that's not gonna happen. I think that was the worst hurt I've ever felt in my life. Nothing can help; food didn't help, trying to get with somebody else didn't help, family didn't even help. It was literally me praying for my heart to get healed, because, when I love, I love pretty hard and I put a lot into a relationship." The singer insists she's glad the break-up happened, because now she's much stronger for it: "I grew so much. I'm a totally different person because of it, but in a good way. A lot of people go through a bad break-up and they just become promiscuous...and they are bitter all the time, but, for me, that didn't happen. Relationships get very expensive... You try to fly on the red-eye (overnight plane) home, you try to spend time (with him). When I was overseas, I racked up a $10,000 cell phone bill....I'm not weary of it [getting married] at all. I do believe there is a particular gentleman out there for me who will come when I least expect it."

Go 'Head And Top That Cake!

I'm a whore for wedding details...and I aint ashamed to admit it. Usually when I attend a wedding and most are oooooing and ahhhhhhing over how beautiful the bride is, most likely, I'm eyeing the small, intricate yet intimate details on the wedding cake or bridal bouquet.

If you're planning your wedding, there will be elements in your wedding that may not be as important to the next bride...and that's absolutely fine! There are a million ways that you can personalize your details.

Here's my 1st installment of "1 Million Ways To Personalize Your Wedding Day".

Instead of the traditional bride & groom cake topper, why not get with the times and top your wedding cake off with a blinged out monogram cake topper? They will make your wedding cake look amazing! Furthermore, discover the Martha Stewart within yourself and DIY it! (instructions can be found on the Chocolate Brides Messageboard)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And The Most Searched For Bridal Topic Of The Month Is....


I have a widget for this blog which tells me how many people are reading this blog, their geographical location, and how they found us.  It seems as though a TON of people are Googling "Timberland Wedding Pictures".  And because I subscribe to the theme of 'givin' the people what they want', I've been on a SERIOUS manhunt to see I could find a few pictures that would give us a peek inside Timothy's special day.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find much...but I figured I'd share what I had.  (I couldn't find NOT ONE picture of the lovely bride & groom. Please accept my apology in advance..but at least the decor was nice)

The Low Down on Bridesmaid Gowns

Don't do this to your loved ones.

We've all seen/worn them, ugly bridesmaid gowns. Dresses so bad that it's surprising they were made, let alone picked to wear in public. Being chosen as a bridesmaid is considered to be an honor but spending the entire day being viewed and, worse, photographed in a hideous gown is an embarrassment. Having to wear a fashion faux pas has become an expectation for bridesmaids. Horrible styles and colors were jokingly modeled in the movie 27 Dresses, which have inspired bridesmaid gown parties for former bridesmaids to parade their f-ugly gowns one more time.

Many modern brides have opted not to sabotage their girls by selecting beautifully flattering bridesmaid gowns. Long gone are dreaded details like heavy, stiff fabrics, ruffles and huge bows. Contemporary bridesmaids are red carpet ready in gowns of flowing materials and trendy cuts. In addition to breezy gowns, tea lengths are definitely a hot trend in weddings. A tea length dress, which usually has an A-line cut and stops at the knee or upper calf, is flattering for most body types. Since it’s less formal than a floor length gown, it can easily be worn again.

Another trend in modern weddings is to personalize the bridal party with different colors and cuts. Who says all the bridesmaids have to wear a ‘uniform’? One option is to have bridesmaids all wear the same color but different styles that individually suit them. Another option is to have one gown style but the maid of honor in a special color while the other bridesmaids wear another.

The common joke is that brides purposely choose awful gowns for their maids so they won’t out shine her. However, many gracious brides have decided that their bridesmaids should also look fabulous on the big day.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hubby Luke

Luke Campbell, former frontman of 2 Live Crew, heard wedding bells instead of beatboxing on Saturday as he and Kristin Thompson tied the knot in Dallas, Texas.

"I waited 47 years to find a special woman and have found that in Kristin," Campbell tells PEOPLE exclusively. "I never knew that I could feel love on another level like this until I met her, and I am now honored to call her my wife."

The stars of the upcoming VH1 reality series Luke's Parental Advisory tied the knot in front of 300 guests at Saint Luke Community Methodist Church, followed by a reception at the Opus Grand Ballroom at Hotel Palomar. Thompson, 27, who serves as general counsel for Campell's company Luke Entertainment, wore a wedding gown by Monique Lhuillier.

Doug E. Fresh deejayed and performed, keeping guests, including Arizona Cardinal Edgerrin James, on the dance floor until the early morning. Soul singer Betty Wright serenaded the happy couple. Their first dance was to Brian McKnight's "Back At One."

Campbell and Thompson met at Jerry's Deli in Miami Beach two years ago. He proposed to her on Halloween last year. This is the first marriage for both. Campbell has two children from a previous relationship.

Luke's Parental Advisory premieres Aug. 4 at 10:30 p.m. EST. The wedding will be featured on the season finale in September.

Source: People Magazine

Diddy & Cassie Engaged (I guess)

taken from Star Magazine
Sean "Diddy" Combs is giving marriage a chance. The bachelor father of six is quietly telling close friends and family that he and singer Cassandra "Cassie" Ventura are heading to the chapel. "He told everyone to keep it extremely quiet because he didn't want it to get out, but you could tell he was excited," says a source. "Diddy said they hadn't set a date yet, but he wanted his family to hear the news first."

Diddy revealed his engagement to the Connecticut native at his son Justin's eighth-grade graduation ceremony in Riverdale, N.Y., on June 5. The hip-hop megastar met 17-years-younger Cassie after signing her up to his label, Bad Boy Records, in 2006.

Diddy ended his 10-year relationship with model Kim Porter last July.

What's that smell?  Smells like publicity stunt.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Someone Shoot the DJ

It was the most perfect day of my life. My prince had come and before God and 180 witnesses, we pledged our love to each other. We took enchanted pictures in a Japanese Garden and then planned to dance the night away with our family at our glorious reception. AND DJ played, "Baby when I used to love you" by John Legend...What the Smelly Hell was on his Bird!?
This got me to thinking. What other musical faux pas have Dj's committed during other people's dream weddings? Your DJ can make or break your reception. One bad spin of any of the following and you can feel free to break his neck. Truthfully, though most of these are songs that I just KNOW are off limits, some of these were actually found on reception song lists! I give my own explanations for a few, you can pretty much add up your own for others, and for the rest, do a search for their lyrics...

  1. She Used to Be My Girl - The Ojays : The LAST thing your husband of about an hour wants to hear is an ode to the love some other man lost in you. I know its a smooth track, but why would a WEDDING DJ even have this in his catalog? Bar fight waiting to happen. THE ONLY way I can see this one flying, is maybe your dad...but even then, you still his little girl so um...yeah.
  2. The Way That I Love - Ashanti : Again, a club-banger song. However, the words imply that your new hubby ain't feeling the same about you that you are towards him. Not cute.
  3. Secret Lovers - Atlantic Star : Are you serious?
  4. Not Gon Cry - Mary J. Blige : If you hear this at the reception, look around to the tables for the girl sobbing into her salad. That, my dear is either an ex of the groom, or someone who is totally sick of always being the bridesmaid and never the bride. I'm a Mary NUT and will allow just about any Mary music to be played at ANY occasion, but uh, this will not substitute for a slow jam.
  5. If Your Girl Only Knew - Aaliyah: Hearing this at a wedding will not only ask who is the L-I-Y-A-H but who is the M-I-S-T-R-E-S-S.
  6. On Bended Knee - BoyzIIMen: Okay, so I know that the terms "on bended knee" bring proposals to mind, but goodness people, listen to the lyrics! This is a breakup song. He's begging for the chick to come back.
  7. Who Knows-Musiq : We all love Musiq for great wedding songs, but this one is not one of them. This song is actually about him campaigning for a woman to take him up on the offer of a one-night-stand.
  8. I Love You - Dru Hill
  9. Anita Baker - Fairytales
  10. Jodeci - Love You For Life, Feenin
  11. Don't Let Go, Hold on- EnVogue
  12. He's Mine - Mokenstef
  13. I think its better that I tell you now - Jill Scott
  14. I Can Love U Better - MJB
  15. Float on - The Floaters
  16. Just my Imagination
  17. Don't Be Afraid - Aaron Hall
  18. You Can Have a Piece of my love - Aaron Hall
  19. You Don't Have to Call - Usher
  20. Half on a Baby, Your Remind Me, Ignition - R. Kelly
  21. Burn, You Got It Bad - Usher
  22. Where I wanna Be - Donnell Jones
  23. ANYTHING TANK : If you've elver listened to Tank, you know that the majority of his songs that have been released are "Baby please forgive me for cheating on you" songs.
  24. I Love Your Girl - The Dream
  25. Congratulations - Vesta
What I believe to be the culprit of these major bad music choices, is that people listen to the beat and the rhythm and pay very little attention to the lyrics of these songs. What may sound great in the club, does not a reception song make. Even if you love the dj you have selected and you just know that he/she would never put you through these, make sure you submit a "Do not Play" list, just in case. You'd be surprised the requests that your dj might receive. And for the love of goodness, people, listen to the lyrics!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stuff Brides Like

Sometimes we brides have to laugh at our own quirks. We know that sometimes we can be anal, obsessive-compulsive and maniacal crazies who will say and do some very ridiculous things to reach our wedding day. LOL Here's how CB spun the blog "Stuff Educated Black People Like", when I changed it to "Stuff Brides Like". Chill out Zilla, these are jokes...(well, a little of it might be true)

  • Brides love to think that because their wedding went semi-successfully that they are now a professional wedding planner.

Despite the fact that their florist backed out at the last minute, their pocketfolds were a little over scale, or that they had to accomodate 50un-RSVP'd guests, brides love to believe that now they can make it all "perfect" for someone else. They will then try and convince you to try every failed idea they had, in hopes that it will work this time. Be advised, only about 4% of the bridal population go on to successfully plan and execute events. The majority of the field is dominated by happily single people willing to rake in the dough and think with a clear mind because they aren't trying to "fix" what went wrong in their own wedding.

  • Brides love Hating other brides.

As above mentioned, Brides love to show that they are brides. T-shirts, tote bags, bulky binders, pre-made adress stickers for vendors, whatever they have to do. However, when a bride gets in an environment, i.e. a bridal show where there are other brides afoot, things tend to get a little tricky. Brides love to downplay or dissassemble the plans of other brides in their heads. "Oh, so she think lavender and pink are cute? I'm so glad I chose lavender and orange, its so much better". "She went with David's, well I'm so glad I went to House of Brides". Brides hate to see other brides in dresss shops and will silenty plan executions for other brides who even touch a dress that they had in mind while in the store. Also as stated above, brides love to be the center of attention and would much prefer that the dress store was open exclusively for them until the end of their season.

  • Brides love smiling at their fiances in public and then wanting to strangle them in private.

Gone are the days where he is the apple of your eye. From the moment the ring touches your finger and you meet your first vendor, any dumb statement Prince Charming makes from here on out can get him pulverized. Examples of dumb statements:1. I know I said I'd get the adresses, but I mean, its cool, I'll get em next week.2. Yeah, I called the tux place. We got time.3. Yeah, so I know the wedding is in 3 months, but I think I'm gon loc [frenchbraid, twist, or any other newfangled thing] my hair. 4. You sure you don't want to just go to City Hall. I mean why we gotta pay for all these other folk to eat?The ALL-TIME worst statement for a groom to make: ***RELAX, CALM DOWN, or any other comment on her bridezilla tendencies. You need to be just as stressed as they are for them to even LIKE you during this time. Get with the program dude.

  • Brides love to do anything they think NO ONE else has done or is doing.

Brides love to decide out of the blue that their colors are going to be something like teal and sunlight or tears and fire so that people have to say WOW when they hear it. Brides love to have birds escorting people to their seats or panthers lying at the foot of the altar so that people leave going, "now that, was a wedding." If their best friend wore white last year, they go and find an eggshell dress. If their mother wore a veil, she wants a birdcage. Anything to be different and stand out and a bride has to have it. Hence the ruby, onyx, pearl, and basically anything but diamond wedding rings that are coming into style.

September7Bride says: Brides will stop living and breathing if another bride's ideas are even remotely similar. I promise you, you won't die if a bride getting married 5 years after you has your same colors.Bridal traditionals are like fashion, at some point it always comes back, that being said ... just how original is "your" idea any way. If push comes to shove, consider it a compliment.

MzSlimmie says: Hmmm, although I am not yet a bride I would hazzard to say that Brides like to be the center of attention...and why shouldn't they? It is their day, the day they dedicated their hearts and lives to the man they will be with until death do part, so knowing this PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE never show up to a wedding wearing a white dress that is prettier or fancier than the bride's, for this will take attention from said bride and will likely cause you to end up in the hospital for an undisclosed amount of time.

MrsSmith08 chimes in: Brides like order. For their specific day to run smoothly, and on time. Brides like to send the entire bridal party (including flower girls) newsletters letting them know what to wear, how much it costs, how to style their hair, how much makeup to use, what lenght nails to have, what type of jewelry, where to be and what time to be there. If one person is not in place at the specific out To the bride, if one thing is not going well, ALL OF IT is not going well. So, the next time you accept the position in the wedding party, be forewarned and grab your calendars and pens. Forget your birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. The itineraries, schedules, and newsletters cometh.

Epiphany1969 says: Brides like detail. There is not just blue, there is royal, carribean, tiffany, powder, ice, etc. If you come to a bride with generalities you'd better be ready to discuss the fine print.Baked chicken? Will that have mushroom sauce, a spicy pesto, a marinara?Flowers? Will those be peace lilies or stargazer lilies? Will they be at half or full bloom?Gown color? Pure white, starlight white, ivory, eggshell, off-white, platinum, pale gold?

MrsMelton08 drops this observation: Brides, like to let you know they are brides. They will wear t-shirts, hats, bags, buttons, etc that says "bride" and then they will act surprised when you ask them if they are getting married. Yes, this might seem silly to you as they are wearing a hat, button, veil and t-shirt at the same time, but play along with the bride because although she loves to talk about the wedding, she does realize she has to wait for strangers to bring up the wedding to go into full bridal mode. Similar to the above, brides love to show off their engagement rings. They will cough, scratch their head, play with their nails and whatever else is necessary to be sure that you notice the ring. They will also eyeball your ring no matter how content they say they are with the size and quality of their ring to make sure yours is not bigger.

Rock The Reception

From TLC's Press Release:

"Rock the Reception" follows two engaged couples as they painstakingly and often clumsily - rehearse a professionally choreographed production number as their surprise first dance for their wedding reception. The happy couple is taught their mighty moves by veteran husband and wife choreography team Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo (So You Think You Can Dance), who have trained such superstars as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Celine Dion. But the fun of watching the couple's surprise dance number come to fruition is nothing compared to the shock, screams and whistles from their stunned wedding guests.

Yes!!!! Another wedding reality show! (just what we needed. *enter sarcastic look here*) I didn't get an opportunity to check out the debut the other night - but I think the rerun airs sometime today - and I'll DVR it because curiousity has definitely got the best of me.

Now, to be totally honest - I doubt it very seriously if I'll become a die hard Rock The Reception fan - but I MUST watch so that I can see why my idea for an African American wedding show has been rejected over and over again.

When I decided to create this blog - I promised myself that I would try not to make this a breeding ground for negativity - but I think it's important to 'keep it real'. I've been on a quest for almost 5 years to try to introduce positive images of black women in the mainstream media via television by way of the Chocolate Brides brand - and I've been shown the door...over and over and over again. I was confident that networks like TV ONE & BET J would understand my plight, but BOY was I wrong. Well...I think they UNDERSTOOD - they just weren't interested. (I'll save that story for another day) Perhaps if my tv treatment included some shuckin' & jivin' - or subscribed to the stereotypical image of a finger snappin', neck & eye rollin', attitude havin' black woman, I'd probably have a primetime tv show by now.

The bridal blogosphere is definitely talking about ROCK THE RECEPTION. The following are quotes taken from Manolo For The Brides.

I’m watching one of those nanny shows, which is bad enough. But even worse, they just showed an advert for “Rock the Reception“. It’s a reality show…about people who are doing an unconventional first dance.

Let me say that again. A REALITY SHOW. About people who are doing an unconventional first dance. It’s an hour-long show…about a three-minute event.

Americans are complete whores for this crap.

I would have loved to have attended the concept meeting for this show. I’m picturing a member of TLC’s creative team, the wedding division. He’s late and he’s unprepared, and he’s hiding behind his laptop trying to look serious but secretly watching YouTube clips his deadbeat housemate e-mailed to him at 3 a.m. When the big boss looks in his direction, our ideas man draws on the first thing his eyes light upon, which is the video of a bride and groom dancing to U Can’t Touch This. He’s saved! Saved by the Interwebs! - Never teh Bride

Seriously? How is that a show? I’m all for unconventional first dances but I don’t see how it interests anyone but the people at the wedding. -Stephanie

It seems like if you have a show that’s even vaguely wedding related it’ll get greenlit. -Blahlover5

I am laughing out REALLY loud at that last comment cause that aint true AT ALL! But hey - I aint hatin'. If you think that you'd make a good candidate for the show, you can apply >>HERE<<.

And after all is said and done, I'll still watch. I'll be pouting - but I'll be watching.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

5 Ways The Internet Saved My Wedding

As, THE Chocolate Bride said, when you talk to your mother or other older family members about the wedding planning they experienced, it is vastly different. When I spoke to my mother about hers, she admitted that she and my grandmother basically ran to a department store one Saturday afternoon and grabbed a dress. Everything else they pulled into the wedding was done in-person with one-on-one meetings and contracts which were limited to a ten mile radius of the south side of Chicago She laughed as she told me that everything was wrapped up quickly that very same day and that they finished their glorious wedding shopping day with a mother-daughter trip to Red Lobster. When I got engaged in 2004, she thought it would be the same. She carted me around to some of the places she'd known about back in 1980 when she got married, but to her shock(duh, ma), most of the places had closed or didn't even sell wedding items anymore. Her biggest shock however, was how much things had started to cost! So there I was, my mother being the only real person working on this wedding with me, and in one Saturday afternoon her entire roladex of ideas had been expelled. What was a new-millenium bride to do?

I turned on the computer. Here are 5 ways the internet saved my wedding.

Personalized Wedding websites! - YAY for the creators of this concept! With a few lines of inserted text, you could tell your friends, family and even the world about your and your fiance and all the details you wanted to share about your upcoming day. Not only that, but after the wedding, you could showcase pictures and highlights of the day. What bride doesn't love that!

Weddding Information and Message Boards - I AM BIASED. I know this. However, I'm gonna say it anyway, CHOCOLATEBRIDES.COM made me the eternal bride I am today. LOL When you start planning your wedding, you need a place where you can throw out all your best (and worst) ideas without talking your bridal party and fiance to death. Not only does CB provide just that place, but they do it without prejudice of budget, skin color(yes we have white chocolate), sexual preference, wedding location, or style concepts. There are a ton of wedding message boards out there, but NONE compare to CB.

EBAY - With courage bestowed on me by members of, I pulled together about 45% of my wedding through Ebay. I even found that if I did a search for my colors or theme, I could sometimes find "lots" or bulk packages of things that fit my wedding! Flower petals, flowergirl tiaras, heck even flowergirl DRESSES can be found on Ebay. AT EXCEPTIONAL PRICES! A truly savvy ebay-er can even find their wedding rings and dress on the auction site. And while I'm on the subject Scaredy Pants, NO Ebay is not only an auction site. There are countless listings that you can "Buy Now". If you haven't caught on to the Ebay craze, get with it! - Through google, I think I put my fingers on just about every wedding related website I could, simply by typing in the exact item I was looking for! It sounds silly, but there are loads of small or home-based businesses who ONLY rely on search engines like Google to give them the light of day. (I even stumbled onto ChocolateBrides by googling) Now come on, everyone googles, right?

Being Myself - Before I began cruising the net searching for ideas, I believed that all weddings had to be alike. We ALL have to wear the same kinds of dresses, with the same kind of flowers, at the same location, in the same month. The internet exposed me to so many different concepts and directions that I hardly believe I would have been a happy bride without it. Decorations, jewelry, attire, invitations, etc all came to my wedding through the world wide web. I can't wait to see how its going to continue to influence and inspire brides for years to come!

My mom was wary of my choosing the internet as my wedding planner, but in the end, she was only glad that in a few taps of the keys and some crafty phone-calls, she was able to have the same blessed planning Saturday with me, as she had with her own mom. And you know what, we still had Red Lobster at the end of the day.

PhotobucketMe and my Mommie - July 2, 2005

I LOVE, LOVE Black Love!

Check out this video that I came across online today as I was surfing. D Nice made this video for his bride to be. (OMG...I LOVE THIS!) Just in case you didn't know, the very beautiful actress Malinda Williams is getting married to D Nice next month in Atlanta. This vid is so heartfelt. What a BEAUTIFUL way to express his love for his bride to be. GO 'HEAD DERRICK!

Hawaii from D-Nice on Vimeo.

Ten Lessons I Learned Through My Wedding

School is now in session.

• Even though I absolutely detest the Cha-Cha slide, Electric Slide, and anything remotely similar to a line dance, most people will jump outta their seats within 2 seconds of hearing the song. It’s more important that my guests are happy and enjoying themselves opposed to my personal issues.

• It’s hard to be a good hostess and eat dinner. I should have forced myself to eat a little of the filet mignon that I paid for. Or at least I should have asked for a doggy bag.

• Just because I ‘know’ somebody – doesn’t automatically qualify them to attend my wedding. It hurts to think about the amount of money that I could have saved by cutting down on my guest list.

• Large bridal parties = large headaches.

• If you invite a drunk to your wedding, be prepared for the consequences if you decide to have an open bar.

• No matter HOW MUCH you prepare for your wedding day, something is going to go wrong.

• Tylenol is as necessary as the bridal gown.

• If someone offers to help with the planning, let them.

• Research, Research, Research and RESEARCH your photographer. Did I mention research?

• Try not to forget some Dentyne, Doublemint or Tic-Tacs. There’s nothing worse than looking beautiful from head to toe…then having STANK breath. Excess talking in combination with feelings of nervousness & excitement could be lethal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Picture Says A Million Words...

These photos were taken from one of my favorite photographers, Terrell Clark of Atlanta, GA.

Did You Say Pink & Orange?

Just in case you missed it, you really should go back and read DivaBride's latest blog entry, "Color Me Beautiful". It's good stuff.

Being a darker skinned woman, I've always been afraid of color. I'm not sure where I developed a fear of brighter hues...but I've recently decided to come out of that dark colored closet so that I can live a little.

I'm a firm believer that ANY color scheme will look great for your wedding if done properly.  Especially colors that don't normally match in the color book of law.  

Here's a little pink & orange inspiration board that I put together as concrete proof of my self proclaimed 'bright is right' wedding planning law.
           click for a larger view

Be back later. All of a sudden, I'm in the mood for some Hawaiian Rum Punch.... 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bridal Gowns On A Budget...

I don't know one single person who doesn't appreciate a good bargain.  Especially when it comes to finding that perfect wedding dress which generally can cost as much as a down payment on a luxury car.

Channel 7 (in NY) had a really good news segment on yesterday regarding some decent bridal gown prices.

CLICK HERE to check out the video!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Bride Of A Million Trades...

If Puffy can be a rapper, a producer, actor, tv executive, own his own record label, clothing line, fragrance, restaurant, liquor, marketing company AND be a father - -well, I can own ChocolateBrides.Com, Chocolate Brides Magazine, CB TV AND start my own wedding podcast network too.

I've been a radio personality for nearly 13 years. I currently co-host a countdown show with Randy Jackson from American Idol which is syndicated in over 80 markets across the country as well as Japan & Kenya. This past February, my daily show at 98.7 KISS in New York, was canned due to downsizing. I didn't want to admit it but, losing my daily radio show job really put a damper on my life. So recently, I came to the conclusion that I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and combine a few of the things that I love doing instead of moping around looking crazy. At the end of the day, if I could help at least one bride through a little sound advice through my wedding podcasts, I'll be totally satisfied.

So - be on the lookout for the CB Wedding Podcast. Coming soon....

Secondly, I am SO thrilled with my broadcasting bride illustration. I found DNT Dynamite Design over on BBWO....and I couldn't be happier with her work. She's the perfect professional.

Color Me Beautiful!

One of the greatest things about planning your wedding is picking your entire theme. And for most people, a theme may begin from your favorite color, or your wedding dress. Sometimes brides want to stay with the pastel color paletter for their weddings, meaning soft pinks,yellows,purples and blues. However, in this new day and age, we can add those same colors, just in bolder hues!

For example, those of you who have seen "Sex and the City" know what I'm talking about with the jewel-toned bridesmaid dresses that Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte happen to wear for Carrie and Big's wedding. Those blues, reds and yes even black made such a hip urban statement, that you can't help but be thankful that Carrie has such a great fashion sense.

Why did I say all of that? Because we at Chocolate Brides don't want you to be afraid of color. We want you to embrace it for all that it's worth and know that it does have a place in your wedding. If you are too shy to have your bridesmaids wear it, then put it spots where all of your guests can appreciate it, such as your programs, bouquets or floral arrangements. You can also play with color in your reception. Bold linens with equally bold floral arrangements will give your party a certain va-va-voom to get your party started right!

Understand that anything and everything is fair game in the world of color and weddings. Just have fun with it!

Cute Vs Comfort

9 times outta 10, if you live in New York and you ride the subway, you will see at least one stylish, sassy yet sophisticated professional woman dressed in her Italian business suit.  Look at her feet, and you'll see a pair of 10 year old Reeboks. When I was younger, I didn't get it. NOW, I do. Big time. Those Reeboks are probably by far the most comfortable shoes in her entire closet. 

I absolutely HATE having my feet hurt. HATE IT.  My dawgs don't always do so well in a pair of heels - which is why I absolutely didn't hesitate to wear a pair of flip flops on my wedding day. A lot of brides frown at the idea of paying a ton of money for a wedding dress and being tacky by wearing flip flops or wedding sneakers on your feet.  I say, who cares? The only one who really knew that I had them on was my husband -  and he didn't know until he went searching for the garter.

If you prefer cute over comfort, this blog entry aint for you. But if your bunions throb at the THOUGHT of 3 inch heels, you need to consider wedding sneakers or flip flops!  PERIOD!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

CB Notable Quotable

Being the owner of a social networking community doesn't always allow you to be just a 'member'. I wish that I could sit back and read and interact in the journals of the thousands of Chocolate Brides who log on daily - but my administrative duties won't allow me to. :(

However, every once in a while, I will catch something that will get my attention. This week, that something comes from the user 'Webmistress' from New York.

"...I just want to say that if no one has told you... there is NO OTHER COMMUNITY like CB. On the real. I'm not just waxing reminiscent. I've joined other boards for other reasons in my life lately and you can't find the sisterhood, spirit of helpfulness, genuine concern and general lack of cattiness ANYWHERE ELSE. I appreciate CB. It has given me a very high standard to hold everyone else to -- and really? No one is reaching it like CB."

Chocolate Brides Magazine Launch Party May, 2007

Daniel & Shauna's Wedding Pictures - - FINALLY!

I'm still on a natural high from attending Daniel & Shauna's wedding a few weeks ago. It was truly one of the most amazing weddings that I've ever witnessed.

Daniel was the first football player to ever get married at the Raven's stadium. Shauna was absolutely stunning in a Pnina Tornai orginal couture gown. The ceremony was officiated by by Pastor Jamal Harrison Bryant, senior pastor of the Empowerment Temple and there wasn't a dry eye in the place as Jonathan Nelson & Juanita Contee from the gospel group Purpose serenaded the bride and groom. The wedding was being filmed by NFL films and the Style Network's Whose Wedding is it Anyway. There's so much more to talk about - but you'll have to get the complete story in the next issue of Chocolate Brides Magazine. :)

*Sidebar* I took over 800 pictures and it took me forever to select just a few for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Be Like Nike & Just Do It!

The Chocolate Brides messageboard is a plethora of wedding ideas, support, and inspiration for brides all over the world.  After about a year after it's inception, I thought that ChocolateBrides.Com would put wedding planners out of business because the amount of help that brides were receiving via our board was invaluable. It even became common practice for brides to invite other brides from the board to their weddings in appreciation for the support! 

I'm not exactly sure how to explain it - but ChocolateBrides.Com has become a movement and has developed into something much bigger than a website. It's an encouragement machine.  The brides make you want to explore unchartered territory. I've witnessed women who have claimed not to have had a creative bone in their bodies make aislerunners, wedding brooms and cake toppers.  I've seen natural hair wearers try weaves & wigs and weave and wigs wearers go natural. I've seen women who have sat in cubicles most of their adult lives step out on faith to give entrepreneurship a try.  All of this has happened due to the loving nature of this website. The CBs sort of dare you to be daring!  I guess when 2 or people have a commonality, good things happen. It's amazing. I didn't intend to go into a ChocolateBrides infomerical - but I did want to acknowledge the latest challenge on the ChocolateBrides.Com messageboard.  Makeup Madness.  These women did an excellent job of applying their own makeup..and it's making me want to run out out to buy some eyeshadow and a brush.  First they fired their wedding planners...and now all makeup artists are in trouble of losing their jobs too!

Disclaimer - All of the following looks were achieved by the brides themselves without the assistance of a professional makeup artist - only each other!

There are literally thousands of posts on the ChocolateBrides.Com messageboard with beautiful brides of all sorts of hues.  They've even created tutorials and various question & answer threads that can help you achieve similar looks. Come on over and join our family!  And if you don't see what you're looking for - ask!  CBs don't bite!