Marriage Matters Monday – “He Was Made For Me!”

Nicole and Damien Gurganious celebrated 5 years of marriage in August.

Nicole Brewer-Gurganious is a friend of Triple B. She’s a former boss from my days at ESSENCE magazine (she was then fashion director, I was fashion and beauty research editor). A few years later I started covering real weddings for Essence.com and featured Nicole’s August 2009 nuptials to hubby Damien. The vibrant couple had been contestants on Biggest Loser and both shed an impressive amount of weight while making significant lifestyle changes. It was a delight to showcase Nicole’s big day on Essence.com and Nicole was equally as excited to share her love story. Nicole has confessed, “He was made especially for me” when asked about her marriage. Fast forward to the launch of BlackBridalBliss.com in 2010 — Nicole was an ambassador for David’s Bridal and lent her style expertise to Triple B when the blog was just a month old. She cheerfully expressed how proud she was of me and the leap of faith I took to start this blog. Her advice on how brides of any shape or size can find a fashionable gown is still relevant. Two years ago, Nicole and Damien became the proud parents of a beautiful daughter named Giselle who was the light of both of their lives.

Now Nicole is a widow. [Read more...]

Marriage Matters: This Husband’s Work

Marriage Matters: Kyle with his wife Jackie of 9 years

Kyle Douglas, the author of today’s Marriage Matters personal essay, and I have known each other for over 25 years. As always, none of us know what happens in any marriage behind closed doors, but we can certainly learn from and be inspired by the ones that are seemingly healthy, happy and honest about how they attempt to stay that way. I’m proud of the husband and father Kyle appears to have become. I remember when this dude sported a high top fade! Check out his take on what it really means to work at a marriage.

This Husband’s Work by Kyle Douglas

As a child, it is not uncommon for someone to ask the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Back then I gave answers like, “A pilot, a professional football player, and even an electrician.” This mentality stayed with me ’til about my late teens and then something changed. I can’t tell you exactly what triggered it but those things were no longer important. My goal in life was to become a good if not great family man. [Read more...]

Marriage Matters Monday – Secrets to a 70 Year Union

Ruth + Jerry Greenspan on their wedding day circa ~1944

No, this couple isn’t Black. Yet the wisdom shared in the below video crosses racial barriers. It needed to be shared. They’re still together and seem to personify the mantra, “Live.Love.Laugh.”

Watch. Digest. Comment. [Read more...]

FINAL FRIDAYS WITH COUSIN MARS – IS PRIVACY REALISTIC IN MARRIAGE?


I can think of many benefits of waiting until entering your 30s to tie the knot. However, one fairly common challenge like-minded individuals often face is figuring out how and what habits and behaviors to abandon. Many topics can fall under this umbrella, but I’d like to specifically discuss privacy. Individuals over 30 are generally more set in their ways than their younger counterparts; often leading to a more interesting adjustment period. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, Privacy is defined as freedom from unauthorized intrusion. [Read more...]

Marriage Matters – How Young is Too Young to Get Married?


Raised by married parents, a college graduate, pursuing a master’s degree and the owner of a pretty smile. Doesn’t that make me the perfect package? My relationship reality didn’t become clear until I began to scroll through my Insta (gram) timeline and notice many of my female classmates had either been recently married or engaged. For a moment I laughed at those girls. My first thought was, “Y’all are crazy!” Did your mother not teach you as mine did; to “Do You!” before settling down? In other words: Travel, party, live alone, and kiss a few frogs? [Read more...]

Final Friday with Cousin Mars: Marriage Matters

What’s up, everyone? I’ve missed my Triple B family. Expect me to get back on schedule with this post, which by the way, it is a little different from what you’re used to from me. There is no “aha” moment at the end…Just me sharing my thoughts. I wrote this from the heart though so I appreciate any feedback you can share. [Read more...]

Happy Anniversary to The Cosby Show!

Clair + Cliff were an on-screen dynamic duo!

This week will mark the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show! [Read more...]

Marriage Matters – Thinking Inside the Box


I found the above message on Instagram a couple weeks back and thought it was profound. So much so that I needed to share. It is easy (too easy) to get caught up in the rings, the gown, the flowers, the reception music, and the 18,000 other things that even the most focused engaged couple can forget the true point of it all.

Read. Digest. Comment. (Even if you disagree.)

Marriage Matters Monday – Do Successful Women Scare Away Potential Husbands?

Is there a such thing as "doing too much" before marriage?

I recently read an article over on Black & Married with Kids written by Franchesca Warren titled, Can a Single Woman Do Too Much Before Marriage?. The piece was penned two years ago but the topics it addresses are still very relevant today. Warren explained that she became a homeowner at 23 — among having various other admirable accomplishments — and was happy to have married a man who viewed her ambition as a good thing. Yet, she points out how others maintain mantras like, “A woman should wait to purchase “big” things (dream car, house, etc.) until she’s married. If they don’t wait, then it’s intimidating to a potential mate.” [Read more...]

Marriage Matters Monday – The Family Crews Exclusive Interview

Pucker Up! - Rebecca + Terry Crews at the 20th Wedding Vow Renewal

We all remember BET’s hit reality show The Family Crews. Terry and Rebecca Crews welcomed us in their L.A. home, making us all feel like family. But what happened when the cameras stopped rolling? Triple B chatted with Mrs. Rebecca Crews about getting and staying married. Rebecca, who is refreshingly down to Earth, is clear that her husband did not become the man that he is overnight but in practicing commitment, compassion, and communication they held on. Terry and Rebecca are the proud parents of five children and celebrated 25 years of marriage on July 29, 2014. This is their story… [Read more...]

Marriage Matters on…Tuesday!

Hola! Tie the Knot Tuesday and Not Quite Tie the Knot Tuesday will return soon, folks. I know, I know — but trust that Triple B is working on some good stuff in the meantime and it includes featuring a bunch of great love stories, weddings, videos and engagement pictures. Today however, we’re switching things up a bit. [Read more...]

Marriage Matters Monday – The Italian Honeymoon That Never Happened

Mr. TK & I chillaxin' in Aruba three months after getting engaged

“Man can plan but God can hinder.”

Growing up, I listened to my North Carolina-born mom and grandmother recite the above sentence countless times and it typically left me perplexed. Now as a married, 30-something year-old woman I get it. In fact, my new marriage and now postponed honeymoon are prime examples of this saying.

Before I get into the who, what and why of my honeymoon being postponed, let me explain a few things: I work in an industry where frontin’ is embraced. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to post this because I was nervous about oversharing and exposing too much of me and the hubby’s business to the world wide web. But upon careful consideration, I concluded (after running it by him) that I should because if I experienced it, someone else probably has, too. So here goes… [Read more...]

Bridgette’s Pick of the Week – Oyin Handmade

Bennu Bliss: Jamyla and her husband, Pierre, co-founders of Oyin Handmade and their sons Osei and Sadat

One of the products included in gift bags for BlackBridalBliss.com’s 4th anniversary fete was Hair Dew samples from Oyin Handmade. Hair Dew is ideal for naturally wavy, curly and/or kinky tresses because its filled with moisturizing goodies like coconut oil and aloe vera but void of harmful ingredients like petroleum and paraffin. I’m currently transitioning and I’ve been relaxer-free for eight months so my strands yearn for hydration and a yummy scent to boot. All of Oyin’s products are green-friendly and founder Jamyla Bennu and her husband Pierre pride themselves in this. What I’m really feeling most about Oyin Handmade isn’t even their growing line of products — although they all seem fab and I can’t wait to try more — but rather that the couple behind this growing Baltimore-based company is so freakin’ fly. [Read more...]

Marriage Matters Monday: The Wedding, The Marriage and the Weather

Love + Laughter: Benilde and her husband Cliff just celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary.


Triple B family member Mondella Jones of MJLA Media alerted me of the below essay on weddings and marriage from award-winning writer Benilde Little because she thought it would make a great Marriage Matters post. And she was right. Benilde, a former ESSENCE magazine editor who is the author of best-selling books like Good Hair,  has been married for more than two decades. She had the type of nuptials I’m sure many women dream about — complete with a coveted New York Times Style mention. However her piece on the ups and downs most couples experience post- “I Do is refreshingly honest and for me as a newlywed, it is also comforting. Happy reading! [Read more...]

Love and Legacy: Remembering Ruby Dee + Ossie Davis

Loving + Living: A Young Ossie + Ruby

Like most of you, I was saddened to learn Ruby Dee passed away yesterday (June 11, 2014). Her work as an actress, philanthropist and civil rights activist made her a bona fide cultural icon. But her marriage to fellow actor Ossie Davis was equally as memorable as her acting career. In fact, the names Ossie and Ruby just roll off of our tongues like peanut butter and jelly. More Harlem than Hollywood, they were one of those couples in the public eye who genuinely seemed to like each other — it was refreshing and welcoming. Mr. TK (my hubby rocks!) reminded me, because I honestly had forgotten I even penned the post, about this of this blog piece I wrote in 2008 about Mrs. Ruby Dee. I smiled while reading it and I think you might, too. Here’s a snippet: [Read more...]

Marriage Matters – I’m a Force When We’re Together


Life throws us — every single one of us — curve balls and is filled with unpredictable ups and downs. No matter how much we plan and prepare, there are going to be situations that knock us on our a**. When there is someone who can help us navigate those twists and turns, hug us tight and say with sincerity, “Babe, we’re going to be okay. I got you.” — it makes the valleys in our journey a little less challenging and the peaks that much sweeter.

Love can get messy, marriage can get complicated but when there’s someone by your side who wants to figure it all out together it can also be bliss.

Marriage Matters Monday: Talking Finances with your Spouse

Romance versus Finance

Managing finances as single folks isn’t easy: How much money should I have in an emergency fund, what should I save for retirement, can I afford college for my child/children? After saying I Do and adding another person to the equation, the process seems even more daunting. Here to help us figure it out is Marsha Horton Barnes, a seasoned Charlotte, NC-based certified financial education instructor. I discovered Marsha via Instagram. Her approach to financial education isn’t preachy plus she’s a dedicated wife and mother who understands certain things in life money just can’t buy. Check out her exclusive Q&A with Triple B covering the importance of sharing credit reports before jumping the broom, why involving in-laws into money matters should be avoided, why creating a will is necessary and more! [Read more...]

Marriage Matters Monday – Committed to the Commitment

The Revs Floyd & Elaine Flake Share Their Marriage Wisdom

The below video is over a year old but the content still resonates and educates. I have known the interview subjects, Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake and Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake of the Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Queens, NY since childhood. I attended the Allen Christian School which they founded for eight years and believe I am a better woman because of it. Their efforts to improve the community I grew up in are invaluable to me so I’m probably biased. I’ve witnessed their marriage and ministry go through the type of challenges that would lead many couples to divorce court. [Read more...]

Marriage Matters Monday – How to Manage In-Laws as Newlyweds

Caught in the Middle: Newlywed Kandi spent much of her engagement caught between her mother and her beau, Todd.

Last week on April 4, 2014, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss wed her honey Todd Tucker in what appeared to be a fun-filled affair in Atlanta. Kandi happily Tweeted, “This is one of the best days of my life! I never imagined that I would marry my best friend. Todd’s been that to me. And to have just had the wedding of my dreams, it’s all been so beautiful. Now it’s time to party!” Triple B is very happy for the couple and wishes them a happy and healthy marriage.

Those of you who even remotely follow the RHOA know that Kandi’s mother Joyce has not been a fan of Todd or her daughter’s relationship with him. At all! [Read more...]

Marriage Matters Monday – 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Tying the Knot


Your honey popped the question so you’re ready to start planning your wedding. Sure you understand the marriage is bigger than the wedding — Duh!  You love your future spouse and have no doubts that he (or she) is who you want to say “I Do” to during that ceremony you have already begun meticulously planning.

After the bridal dust has settled and the honeymoon is (literally) over, the marriage begins. Even couples who live together before jumping the broom are likely to experience “growing pains” after their nuptials. Asking yourself the below questions then discussing your honest answers to those questions with your partner while still engaged is wise and will help you gain a better sense of self. [Read more...]

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