BlackBridalBliss.com Presents Cupcakes, Cocktails & Conversations – His Thoughts

   On Thursday, December 12th, 2013 BlackBridalBliss.com hosted its very first Cupcakes, Cocktails & Conversation event at La Femme Suite in Harlem, NY. La Femme Suite, located on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, is a Pole Fitness studio that also offers several spa services. The development of Cupcakes, Cocktails & Conversation began when Bridgette and I discussed having an open, informative, and entertaining forum to discuss our relationships. I know locker room talk and how crass and braggadocious those conversations can be. My platonic relationships have afforded me many opportunities to witness and participate in their version of locker room talk. These are actually the same reasons that caused me to pitch the idea of bringing Cousin Mars to Triple B. Now that I’ve drank the Triple B Kool-Aid and want to bring bliss to everyone, I thought it would be beneficial to panel members (gentlemen) and guests (ladies and gentlemen) to openly discuss the unicorns and pink elephants – Cupcakes, Cocktails & Conversation was born. [Read more…]

Friday Film Review – A Haunted House

Black love on screen: Essence Atkins & Marlon Wayans are the stars of A Haunted House

I know, I know, I know…You’re wondering what the %*$# the new film, A Haunted House, has to do with weddings, Black brides or relationships in general. Well, a lot actually. I attended an advance press screening for the flick which officially hits theaters today and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Here’s why: [Read more…]

EXCLUSIVE: Keija Minor, Editor in Chief of Brides Magazine, Talks to Black Bridal Bliss

Game-changer: Keija Minor is the new EIC of Brides magazine!

Every once and awhile I make good on my promises. Last month when Triple B reported Keija Minor historically accepted the coveted position as editor-in-chief of Brides magazine, there was mention of a follow-up with the head honcho herself. Well, here it is — another Triple B exclusive! Read why Keija once took an 85% pay cut (!) to pursue her passion, how she feels about more diversity in the bridal industry plus learn who her dream dress designers are for her own wedding day.

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Marriage Matters Monday – Meet Kimberly & Damon

Meet The Marshall Family

Today’s Triple B featured couple Kimberly and Damion wed on August 7, 2009. I typically only feature couples in Marriage Matters who have been hitched 10 years or more I think you’ll agree The Marshalls have a story worth sharing now.

The couple has known each other through two sets of friends since 2000 but didn’t come together until a mutual friend re-connected them at a party in December 2008. They immediately started dating one week after the party and became inseparable. They realized they wanted the same things in life: marriage, children and ultimate happiness in a healthy partnership (marriage).

In March 2009 their love was tested when Kimberly went to the emergency room to check out a boil on her skin and the hospital failed to give me the correct medication/treatment. She was forced to have open heart surgery at 30 years old. She did most of her recovery at her mother’s apartment in the Bronx, New York. Damon maintained her apartment in Harlem, New York by doing laundry, cleaning and overseeing the upkeep. The couple made wedding plans to get married in August of the same year.

Kmberly bought her wedding dress — an off-white cocktail dress — off the rack a block away from the Court House (where they were married). Damon opted for a chambray pinstripe suit and off-white leather sneakers from discount retailer Daffy’s. Kimberly’s mother organized a family and friend reception at a family member’s home in Mount Vernon, New York for nearly 75 people.

Soon the newlyweds learned they were expecting! But Kimberly faced yet another surgery during her pregnancy for ovarian torison. Thankfully, the couple’s beloved son, Mandela Iyanu Marshall, was born the following year on May 11, 2010.

Check out their candid Q&A about love, family and not having a blueprint for marriage:

Wedding Gift-Giving Etiquette 101

Confused about wedding gift giving (and getting)? You're not alone!

As mentioned before, when my friends consult me for wedding-related advice, I in turn create posts out of them for your guys here on Triple B. It’s a win-win. Most recently, my girl T down in Maryland sent me an email with these questions: [Read more…]

How Do I Decline a Bridesmaid Request?

To be a bridesmaid or not to be a bridesmaid...That is the question.

My cousin recently sent me a text asking the below question:

*Tara and *Nicky have been asked to be in a wedding but neither of them want to be another wedding right now. They want you to tell them how to break the news to the bride-to-be. Thanks!

So because of Triple B, I’ve become the unofficial go-to person in the crew for all things wedding related. Funny. But then I realized this question (and my answer) would become a great post. [Read more…]

You Oughta Know: Soliloquy Boutique

Soliloquy Bridal Boutique is taking the DMV by Storm!

Anytime I get the opportunity to feature Black female entrepreneurs on Triple B (which is done quite often), I get excited and today is no exception. Read all about Soliloquy Bridal Boutique, the awesome brainchild of Savannah-native Miriam Liggett. This former corporate executive and fellow bridal junkie opened the doors of Soliloquy in Northern Virginia in November 2011 and the retail establishment is already all the buzz in the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia) area. Find out why:

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LeBron James Engaged to Longtime Girlfriend Savannah Brinson! (EXCLUSIVE Quotes from Savannah)

High School Sweethearts LeBron James & Savannah Brinson Are Getting Hitched!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Triple B is starting off 2012 just right with this news:  Bridal bliss is in order for Savannah Brinson, longtime girlfriend of NBA superstar LeBron James. James proposed to Brinson, his high school sweetheart and the mother of the couple’s two sons, on New Year’s Eve in Miami’s South Beach at SL nightclub during a private bash that doubled as his birthday party.

Both James and Brinson were in the bridal party last fall for LA Clipper’s point guard Chris Paul’s wedding to his college sweetheart Jada. While covering the star-studded nuptials, I observed the couple throughout the wedding weekend and got the impression that they’re the real deal. LeBron’s toast to Chris and Jada during the couple’s rehearsal dinner quietly revealed that he seemed to be ready to jump the broom himself. (Fun Fact: Savannah and I briefly chatted about ways to keep our waistlines tight and although she clearly has access to the best trainers and chefs in the world — and I do not — I felt like I was talking to an old girlfriend.) Read the exclusive excerpt below of my interview with Savannah at the Paul rehearsal dinner:
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EXCLUSIVE Budget Bridal Decorating Tips from David Tutera!

Me & David Tutera talking about his Triple B exclusive

Remember when I told you guys I met celebrity wedding planner David Tutera at the Chris Paul/Jada Crawley wedding? And remember when I promised an exclusive Q&A with Tutera here on Triple B? Well, promise kept — here you go! Keep reading for the event planning veteran and star of WE’s My Fair Wedding’s expertise on budget bling, the truth on favors and the importance of music at your reception.
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Triple B *EXCLUSIVE* – Behind the Scenes at Amsale!

Amsale Sitting Pretty: Find out what really goes on behind the scenes of her upscale bridal salon!

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to view a couple of episodes of WeTV’s new series Amsale Girls, I’m sharing a fun and informative Q&A with sales rep Emily Leu from the Amsale team. She’s been on staff for nearly a decade. Read on to find out what it’s really like to work with the talented designer, how Amsale Girls differs from other bridal reality shows and what wedding gowns are universally flattering. Enjoy! [Read more…]

Black Women Redefined: Our Love & Marriage

Author Sophia A. Nelson chats with Triple B about Black women, love and marriage.

Today’s Q&A is with Sophia A. Nelson, author of the new book, Black Women Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama (BenBella). What the heck does this have to do with your veil selection or reception centerpieces you’re wondering? Well, everything.

Truthfully, I struggled on how this piece would fit here on Triple B. I created this site as a bridal resource for Black women preparing to tie the knot who were too often being neglected elsewhere. I think everyone regardless of race, class or culture (especially women) should be celebrated but as mainstream media continually shows us, the playing field is still not level. My internal struggle ended with that ridiculous Psychology Today article and the viral Dark Girls video that became topics of conversation at every brunch and dinner party I’ve attended over the last few weeks. Before we can get to the pretty gowns and flowers, we should take a look at what lies within. Sophia’s book tackles topics like demanding careers, Daddy issues and the “bitter and lonely” myth. Here we go:
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Black Bridal Bliss EXCLUSIVE: A Bridezilla Defends Herself!

Bridezilla Erica gives her side of the story!

Did you watch the season premiere of Bridezillas last night? If so, I’m sure you asked, “What the %*#$??!!” at least twice during viewing. (Admit it.) Well, I have a little more guilty pleasure for ya. Triple B caught up with newlywed Erica to find out if she feels the WEtv cameras added extra stress to her wedding planning, if she ever made peace with her sister and what she thinks about the show’s unmarried critics. (I guess that includes me, huh?) BONUS: Erica offers bridal tips for you nearlyweds as well! [Read more…]

Wedding SOS: The Truth About Tipping!

 

Wedding planner Ebony Small gives the real deal on tipping bridal vendors.

Howdy! I’m frustrated by information I read in some mainstream bridal mags when the content doesn’t seem practical for the modern bride. This occured just last week when I came across an article about the proper amounts to tip wedding vendors. With everyone being forced to do more with less these days, I was insulted by the figures quoted. So I checked in with NYC-based wedding planner Ebony Small of Longevity Wedding Consultants  for a real breakdown of who should get what in terms of tips on a wedding day. Here’s what the event-planning veteran had to say: [Read more…]

Engaged…Now What? – An Event Just for You! PLUS, an exclusive DISCOUNT!

Introducing EDG (from l to r): Jernee Bramble, Natalie Melton and Shimona Mayo

On Saturday, February 5th, the Event Design Group will present Engaged…Now What? at Embassy Suites Hotel in our nation’s capital for all you folks who are wondering where to begin — or continue — planning your wedding. The Event Design Group are three young women who collectively have 20 years experience designing special events. Based in the D.C.-Maryland-Northern Virginia area, they’re open to working with couples outside of the DMV, as well as, destination weddings. Check out my exclusive interview with this talented trio: [Read more…]

How Do I Get Him to the Altar? Reader Mail Answered!

Married matchmaker Paul Brunson dispels myths about men and marriage.

I received a message via Facebook recently (if you don’t “like” Black Bridal Bliss on FB already, please do so here) that I knew had to be addressed on the site. It went something like this:

I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and everything is bliss but I need the ring. My strategy is on full blast. I bought the books, joined the Web sites… [Read more…]

Bridal Fashion Advice for ALL Body Types!

Style expert and beaming bride Nicole Brewer surrounded by her bridal party, Summer 2009.

I recently caught up with style expert Nicole Brewer to get the 411 on bridal fashion for women of all sizes. With nearly 15 years of experience in the fashion industry, Brewer is currently a Style Council Member for David’s Bridal. The spunky newlywed (she just jumped the broom herself last summer) chatted with me about proper foundations, bridesmaid dresses and wardrobe tricks for real brides with real curves. [Read more…]

READER MAIL! Budget-Friendly Centerpieces

Get affordable centerpiece ideas for your next function!

This post is pretty special. It’s a response to Triple B’s very first reader inquiry! Today’s question is all about reception centerpieces so I tracked down the lovely TaraSimone of Barbara’s Flowers in Harlem to help my bride-to-be out. TaraSimone developed a budding curiosity for flowers at the age of seven while observing her dad run the family floral biz. Now, she has clients ranging from ConEdison and Merrill Lynch to Hillary Clinton and Alicia Keys. Here we go:
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Tress Time with Natural Hair Guru Arlette Pender

Finally, hair advice for the natural bride!

When I decided to launch Triple B, I knew that one of my first interviews would have to be with a hairstylist who specializes in tending to natural strands. Who better to fulfill this burning interview request of mine than natural hair guru, Arlette Pender of Hairloks by Arlette? The Brooklyn bred, Arizona-based stylist has been on her hair grind for over 30 years and has worked with notable clients like Kelis, N’Bushe Wright, Essence and Vibe magazines. Here, Pender dishes the 411 on proper maintenance, the downfalls of beeswax and the style surprises in craft stores for naturally-coifed brides-to-be preparing for their big day.
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Tie the Knot Tuesday – Cleo & Lyncoln, Part Deux

The Dujons: Watch their awesome wedding video!

Welcome back to Tie the Knot Tuesday on Black Bridal Bliss! The feedback from Tie the Knot Tuesday’s debut last week has been so positive, I knew I had to highlight the newlywed’s extended wedding video today. (Be sure to view the preview video as well if you haven’t already.) The featured couple Cleo and Lyncoln Dujon have also been gracious enough to share their tips and tricks for scoring a fab wedding videographer and the real deal on why they’re so important. WARNING: Watching this video will make you say, “Awwww!” outloud at least once.
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