Munaluchi Bride Magazine is the leading authority of bridal inspiration for women of color. The name “Munaluchi” is a combination of two African names (one Ethiopian and the other Nigerian) which, when fused together, mean “Beautiful Work of God.” It was launched by Jacqueline and Chike Nwobu in 2010 after their realization that women of color are major contributors to the $160 billion wedding industry, yet have a minimal presence in most bridal publications. Munaluchi Bride fills this void and provides the truest example that love comes in more than one shade. Since its launch, Munaluchi Bride has been distributed in all 50 states and internationally in Canada, Nigeria, Ghana and the United Kingdom. It was our privilege to interview Jacqueline about her magazine’s editorial style. Read on for some great tips about what she and her team are looking for in real wedding submissions, then submit to Munaluchi Bride Magazine before January 5th to be considered for a feature in their Spring/Summer 2015 print edition!
Two Bright Lights: Jacqueline, what inspired you to start Munaluchi Bride?
Jacqueline Nwobu: I started Munaluchi Bride Magazine after recognizing a major absence in the wedding industry. I realized that the majority of wedding publications and blogs had little to no representation of brides of color on their pages or covers. My husband and I started the magazine with a desire to showcase the glorious and stylish weddings taking place every weekend across the globe. You can learn more about my story at my recent TEDx talk.
TBL: What types of features does Munaluchi Bride accept via Two Bright Lights? Are you looking for anything specific for the 2014 fall/winter issue of Munaluchi Bride Magazine?
JN: We accept real weddings, styled inspiration shoots, engagement shoots and lifestyle features. Our first priority is real weddings for print and online/digital. We will feature styled inspiration, engagement shoots and lifestyle features online. For engagement sessions, we ask that you submit only if the wedding hasn’t taken place yet.
For the fall/winter 2014 issue due out in September, we are looking for real weddings from across the globe. We seek the most stellar photography and the best wedding decor. Weddings can be of all budgets, but must exhibit style. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how much your client spent – we just want gorgeous photos! Also, tell us a little about the couple. It helps to know if there’s a story behind the details or theme.
TBL: What makes for a great submission?
JN: A great submission showcases a range of photos including candids, detail shots, couple shots, photos of the bride alone, bridal party photos and beauty/fashion. The photos should tell a story of the wedding day. The best submissions include outstanding photography with balanced photos. In other words, the photographer should stick to a particular style. Don’t send submissions of photos that are overexposed, photos that are underexposed and photos that have a vintage feel.
TBL: What are common mistakes new photographers make? And any top tips for how to get published on Munaluchi Bride?
JN: As a photographer, you should have a distinct style and stick to it. Don’t submit photos with multiple editing styles, as it will give the impression that you are still experimenting.
Lighting is an essential part of reception decor and photographers should make sure to use the appropriate lenses/lighting when shooting a reception. Often times the lighting will affect the overall look of your photos and may hurt your chances of getting featured if we can’t see the details well. It’s not a bad idea to photograph the venue and details earlier in the day when there is still some natural light and no distractions.
When photographing details, pay attention to the place setting. Is all the tableware set neatly? Is the menu straight and centered? These are all things to take into account. Also, when photographing cakes, we prefer them photographed straight on rather than at an angle. Same goes with stationery. It’s hard to see the beauty of a cake or the calligraphy on an invitation if we’re turning our heads sideways to view it! Consider asking for a set of stationery to photograph in your studio before the wedding. Stay away from submitting cliché images like engagement rings in the bouquet. If photographing a hanging gown, make sure it’s on a pretty hanger and even consider bringing your own.
TBL: What influences your decision on trends to highlight?
JN: Trends come and go, and then come back again. We always do a fashion trend report after bridal market. Since Munaluchi Bride Magazine is a global brand, what might be a trend in the Atlanta market may not be a trend in the South African market. We stick to gorgeous weddings and love to highlight those that are trendsetters rather than followers of trends.
TBL: What is a wedding style or theme you are looking forward to seeing more often?
JN: Pastels. Wedding details with the palest of greens, pinks and blues all intertwined with intricate lace details. We’re seeing this in fashion with several designers, showcasing pastel mint and pale blue wedding dresses during the last bridal market.
Second, spray-painted decor. I predict we’ll be seeing lots of spray painted vases and flowers to add a special and unique touch to wedding decor.
And last, a greater focus on grooms’ style. Grooms are getting more involved in the wedding planning process, with many of them changing twice during their wedding day, like brides.
TBL: What else would you like to share?
JN: My team and I look forward to reviewing your submissions! For our upcoming print edition (Spring/Summer 2015), the deadline to submit your real weddings via Two Bright Lights is January 5.