So, the love of your life just popped the question. His proposal took you down memory lane through all the important locations in your relationship. You stopped at the soul food restaurant where you shared your first meal (and date) together, he led you to the jazz club where the resident saxophonist knocked your socks off and he first told you he loved you then took you on a walk where he had a friend waiting to play your favorite Marvin Gaye song as he dropped to his knees for the proposal. You said yes, of course, and within two minutes the excitement of wedding planning burrowed its way into your thoughts. You can’t wait to get started.
The next day, you head out to grab every bridal magazine on the shelves and while looking for makeup ideas come to a screeching halt. Where are all the black brides??? Where are the makeup looks for women with brown skin? Of course, you already knew this was an issue in regular magazines but it never bothered you until now. Where will you find a DJ who knows the difference between regular rap and “trap” music? Will you find a bartender who plans to keep more dark liquor than beer on deck at your wedding? Who will understand that you need a dress that will flatter your curves without having to make alterations that cost hundreds more? Do resources for African American brides even exist?
The wedding industry is overwhelmingly, frustratingly white. There’s a lot of things that irritate me about the industry that my profession is part of, and this is one of them. As a black bride, it’s hard to ignore the lack of resources available to you that showcase the wedding traditions and looks that are important to your family. To help alleviate some of the stress of finding them on your own, we have compiled a list of resources that have proven helpful for black brides all around the country.
Black Bride is a site specifically dedicated to African American brides. This site posts articles on topics that affect women of color as they plan their weddings and the events leading up to and following their special day. According to the site, they “are committed to being a resource to women of color as they embark on one of the most important days of their lives, and beyond.” Black Bride not only offers online resources, but they also put out a magazine, host black bride events, and post helpful and uplifting articles on life after marriage. The site features a list of vendors categorized by type of business and location, wedding planning tips and a photo gallery full of ideas that would rival Pinterest boards. They have an Instagram account that you should definitely follow for quick ideas. This site is pretty much a one stop shop for black brides looking for inspiration and planning guidance.
Black Bridal Bliss
Black Bridal Bliss is like your college roommate’s best friend who knew everybody on campus, including those who threw the best parties and where to buy the best outfits for said parties. The owner of the site, Bridgette Bartlett Royall, was probably that girl. The site is user-friendly and appeals to all types of black brides. The ‘About’ page states that the “site showcases content for Black brides and their nuptials – from big to basic; budget to ballin’ and everything in between.” The site is approachable and unique in the fact that it not only offers helpful advice on planning your honeymoon but also list things like recommendations of solid financial advisors. Every Tuesday, the site features a segment called, “Tie the Knot Tuesdays,” which highlights real weddings and often posts Q&A sessions with industry professionals. One of the best aspects ofBlack Bridal Bliss is its style section. This section offers style ideas on everything from guest party favors to -of course the much-asked question- what to do with your hair on your wedding day? Go ahead, kick your shoes off and gather knowledge from this site over a cup of tea. You won’t regret it.
Last, but certainly not least, Munaluchi Bride makes the cut on our list as one of the best resources out there for Black brides. My favorite destination wedding planner, Tamara Jones of Tamara J Events, recommends Munaluchi over all others because “it was one of the first publications to actively seek a place in the creative space for brides of color.” In addition, when surveying recent Black brides, this resource came up as one that they used the most. First of all, I tried not to get stuck on the insanely beautiful meaning of the site name. From their ‘About’ page: (Munaluchi) is the combination of two African names, which when fused together mean, “Beautiful Work of God.” Y’all, that alone gave me hope that this site knows its Black wedding planning stuff. It starts by acknowledging the fact that Black brides are often made to feel less than beautiful when approaching vendors and jumping into the wedding planning process. As mentioned above, being left out of all the magazines can certainly do a number on your psyche. This site immediately begins to heal that hurt and make you feel welcome, but I digress…
Munaluchi is slightly different than the other sites mentioned above because it not only serves the Black bride, but it focuses on all multi-cultural brides. The ‘About’ page states: “We cater to the growing multi-cultural wedding and events industry throughout the world with a vertical online marketplace connecting engaged couples to event professionals.” That line alone explains the best feature of the site: the vendors list. The vendor list is extensive. You can search for what you need based on specialty and location. To make the vendors list even more beneficial, Munaluchi Bride weeds out all those not really interested in serving the multi-cultural bride by having vendors fill out an application form and charging a membership fee for those who want to advertise on the site. Munaluchi also hosts wedding events in different cities so you have a chance to meet a few of them yourself. For all of the multicultural brides out there looking for vendors who won’t automatically assume that you are an “Angry Black Woman” just because you say ‘no’ to a suggestion, this is the place for you.
Big thanks to my writer, the amazing Tashara Mitchell of Austin, TX, who has been working hard to help me craft posts that are inclusive and diverse. It’s important to me to make sure that everyone is represented in my work and she’s the badass who is helping. If you need marketing and ghost writing services, I can’t recommend her enough.