Charleston Multicultural Bridal and Events Association


Jun 162014

Even though torrential rains the day before the wedding threatened to dampen their ceremony, nothing could take away from the joy and happiness of Ron and Shawnta. Ron is an IT specialist and Shawnta is a supervisor at Verizon. Their love shown through to brighten the day for family and friends. We loved their Pretty in Pink theme, and the picturesque setting of their wedding venue, the Island House on the banks of the Stono River. We loved it so much we had to return for an after wedding shoot. Please enjoy some of our favorite pictures of the couple’s wedding.


 Posted by at 8:23 pm
Jun 122014

Bridgette Bartlett-Royall headshotRecently we at CMBEA had the pleasure of meeting Bridgette Bartlett, founder of Black Bridal Bliss, the ultimate online destination for black brides. We tremendously enjoyed getting to know Bridgette, a newlywed herself who married Anthony Royall in Charlotte, N.C. in October 2013. During our two hour interview, we learned a lot about her, and Triple B, as she affectionately calls Black Bridal Bliss. We encourage everyone to check out this valuable resource for the destination black bride who wants a big day that is both fabulous and budget friendly.

An award winning columnist, Bartlett-Royall has an impressive resume. She has served as writer/editor for Essence, Juicy and People magazines. Moreover, she worked for over eight years as an editor at Essence Communications, expanding their coverage of real life weddings and weddings of celebrities, such as basketball player Chris Paul. Bartlett-Royall has interviewed a wide range of well known celebrities such as Alicia Keys, LeBron James, Heidi Klum, Patti LaBelle, Steve Harvey, and Rachel Zoe. She was also the featured guest on an episode of TLC’s bridal reality show Something Borrowed, Something New.

Her website Black Bridal Bliss, which just celebrated four year of existence in June 2014, is a portal with 12,000 unique site views per month. Some of the features of the site include “Tie the Knot Tuesdays” (which showcase real life weddings and engagements), destination wedding planning, bachelorette party location suggestions, celebrity interviews, and “Bridgette’s Picks,” which feature Bridgette’s wonderful fashion and style picks for brides to be. One aspect that makes Bridgette’s site unique is its focus not just on the glitter and glamour of wedding planning, but also the hurdles that couples face during their first years of marriage and the joys of single mothers finding love and matrimony.

We came to meet Bridgette when her husband surprised her with a post honeymoon trip to Charleston, S.C. They enjoyed visiting local tourist sites downtown and in the surrounding areas. Bridgette, not surprisingly, could not resist checking out the Charleston wedding scene, which she loved, and hopes to develop further collaborations with CMBEA and its vendors. We look forward to welcoming her back to the lowcountry in the near future. Contact for more information.

Be sure to check out

Jan 262014


o Remember to bring a nice hanger or stylish garment bag to display your gorgeous wedding dress to best advantage.

o Consider having a long, trailing veil or stunning jewelry or accessories to make for dramatic pictures of a sure to be exquisite bride.

o Consider a first look before the ceremony, either between bride and groom, or to add a new twist, between father and daughter. These pictures make for some of the most heartwarming and they allow for a special, quiet moment between loved ones before the hustle and bustle of the rest of the day.

o Try for a long slow kiss or several kisses and embraces once the officiant pronounces you husband and wife, so that your photographers can capture this most special of moments and you have a kaleidoscope of images of the first moments of your life as a married couple.

o Let your photographers know if you have a special first dance, dip, or special entrance into the reception planned, so that every moment can be recorded and stored away for future memories, without skipping a beat.

o Remember to fake toss your bouquet at least once before you really throw it to your adoring single lady friends. It ups the ante in terms of the excitement and anticipation of the crowd, and the wonderful expressions on the bride’s face are not to be missed.

o Be sure to think about what kind of exit you would like from your wedding. It could be the couple leaving with friends and family showering them with a spray of bubbles or rose petals, the couple rushing underneath a military Saber Arch, a London bridge, or sparklers. Or the crowd could be cheering as bride and groom exit for a carriage or yacht ride. As an old school throwback, the couple can leave the reception and drive off in style with bottles or cans tied to the getaway car. Whatever your exit is, just make it memorable and heart felt.

o Don’t forget to include your photographers in your reception meal count, so they don’t have to leave the premises for an hour or more and lose valuable shooting time.


Dec 162013

Here are some of the sweetest, most romantic pictures from the intimate ceremony and after ceremony shots from Rebecca and Lamar’s November wedding. We were blessed with warm weather on this Fall day, and the pictures reflect all the warmth of the love between these two.











Dec 112013

group image
CMBEA Hosts First Annual CMBEA Awards
Charleston Multicultural Bridal and Events Association (CMBEA) celebrated the lowcountry’s finest advocates for diversity and multiculturalism on Sunday, December 8th from 4-7 p.m. at Sanctuary Hall and Gardens, 2125 Highway 17, Mt. Pleasant. Attendees enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Charleston’s own Food and Wine Festival Chef Benjamin Dennis, as well as other entertainment/networking activities. Theron Snype, from the City of Charleston Minority Business Enterprise, was our guest speaker and spoke on “The Past, Present, and Future of Multicultural Businesses in Charleston.” The Dance troupe Wose and classical guitarist Gregory Guay graced us with wonderful performances.

Charleston Multicultural Bridal and Events Association ( is
a lowcountry masala of culturally diverse vendors that provides professional
development and one stop event planning for brides, event organizers,
and the general public. 888-905-0045

2013-2014 CMBEA Awards Winners
CMBEA Icon : longstanding advocate in the Charleston community for multiculturalism and diversity in the lowcountry.

Winner: Lorna Beck, Carifest
Runner Up: DeBorah’s Bridal (DeBorah Green)

CMBEA Most Valuable Person: this award goes to the member who has contributed the most to CMBEA in terms of volunteer hours, leadership, and advocacy.

Winner: Tanis Jackson, Tanis J Events
Runner Up: DeBorah Green , DeBorah’s Bridal

Rising Star: business person who has been a trailblazer who has galvanized the multicultural landscape of Charleston through a new or revitalized business initiative.

Winner: Nicole Burnham, Covers by Nicole
Runner Up: Henry Ravenel, Metropolitan Room

CMBEA People’s Choice Business Awards go to the businesses that best represent a commitment to multiculturalism and diversity through their business practices, aesthetics, superior customer service, and outstanding products/programs, as voted on by clients and fans.

Best Venue:

Winner: Sanctuary Hall & Gardens
Runner Up: SC Aquarium

Best Planner/Coordinator/Decorator
Winner: Tanis J Events
Runner Ups:
Your Signature Events by Michelle Summers
Sisters In Motion

Best Photographer/Videographer
Winner: Vintage Noire Photography
Runner Up: Jason Cordes Photography

Best Paper Goods/Invitations
Winner: Carlson Craft Products (Tanis Jackson)
Runner Up: Bibi

Best Caterer/Chef/Restaurant

Winner: Carolima’s Southern Cuisine
Runner Up : Nigel’s Good Food

Best Cake Artist/Desserts

Winner: Carolima’s Southern Cuisine
Runner Up: Brown Sugar Custom Cakes

Best Florist
Winner: Flowers by Frankie
Runner Up: WildFlowers Inc.

Best Musical Bands, DJ’s, or Dance Entertainment

Winner: Nndigo Sol
Runner Up: A Touch of Class

Best Bridal Attire/Jewelry
Winner: Bridals by Jodi
Runner Up: DeBorah’s Bridal

Best Rentals and Linens

Winner: Covers by Nicole (Nicole Burnham)
Runner Up: BJ’s Linens (Shawnta James)

Best Blogger/ Web Magazine/ Social Media Expert

Winner: Tanis J Events (Tanis Jackson)
Runner Up: Creole Magnolia Café (Donloyn Gadson)

Best Hair, Makeup, or Skincare
Winner: Jennifer Fernandez, Charleston Events Hair and Makeup
Runner Up: Angie Ravenel, Angie’s Hair Studio


Winner: Movers and Shakers (Networking Group)
Runner Up: Sights and Insights

Dec 052013

Come out and join the Charleston Multicultural Bridal and Events Association (CMBEA) in celebrating the lowcountry’s finest advocates for diversity and multiculturalism on Sunday, December 8th from 4-7 p.m. at Sanctuary Hall and Gardens, 2125 Highway 17, Mt. Pleasant. Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Charleston’s own Food and Wine Festival Chef Benjamin Dennis, as well as other entertainment/networking activities. Theron Snype from the City of Charleston Minority Business Enterprises will be our guest speaker. The Dance troupe WoSe and classical guitarist Gregory Guay will perform.

Charleston Multicultural Bridal and Events Association ( is
a lowcountry masala of culturally diverse vendors that provides professional
development and one stop event planning for brides, event organizers,
and the general public. 888-905-0045

Purchase tickets at

List of nominees
CMBEA Icon: longstanding advocate in the Charleston community for multiculturalism and diversity in the lowcountry.

Lorna Beck
DeBorah’s Bridal (DeBorah Green)
Maria Falangola
Jonathan Green
Al Miller
Brenda Jennifer Peart
Queen Quet
Deona Smith
Theron Snype
Darrin Thomas

CMBEA Most Valuable Person (MVP): this award goes to the member who has contributed the most to CMBEA in terms of volunteer hours, leadership, and advocacy.

Tanis Jackson
Nicole Burnham
Sisters in Motion
Drisana McDaniel
Renee Singletary
DeBorah’s Bridal

Rising Star: business person who has been a trailblazer who has galvanized the multicultural landscape of Charleston through a new or revitalized business initiative.

Henry Ravenel
Nicole Burnham
April Rollins
Jessica Kirby
Benjamin Dennis

CMBEA People’s Choice Business Awards go to the businesses that best represent a commitment to multiculturalism and diversity through their business practices, aesthetics, superior customer service, and outstanding products/programs, as voted on by clients and fans.

Best Venue

Ashley Hall
Embassy Suites
Metropolitan Room
Omar Shrine Temple
Runaway Bay (Honorable Mention)
Sanctuary Hall & Gardens
SC Aquarium

Best Planner/Coordinator/Decorator

An Affordable Affair by Tammy McCutcheon
Charleston Couture
Larger Than Life Events & Designs
Outstanding Occasions By Dell
Sisters In Motion
Tanis J Events
Your Signature Events by Michelle Summers

Best Photographer/Videographer

Double O Photography
Jason Cordes Photography
Kevin Maurice Photography
Vintage Noire Photography
A Click in Time Photography

Best Paper Goods/Invitations
Carlson Craft Products (Tanis Jackson)
Dodeline Design

Best Caterer/Chef/Restaurant

Alluette’s Café
Chef Benjamin Dennis
Duvall Catering
Gullah Cuisine
Joe’s Catering
Metropolitan Room
Nigel’s Good Food

Best Cake Artist/Desserts
Brown Sugar Custom Cakes
Carolina Cake Queen
Gardenia’s Custom Cakes
Rochelle’s Cakebox

Best Florist

Flowers by Eddie
Flowers by Frankie
WildFlowers Inc.
Frederick’s Florist

Best Musical Bands, DJ’s, or Dance Entertainment

A Touch of Class
Complete Music/Video
Daniel D
David Solomon Marrow
Devone Gary
Big Boy Entertainment
Calvin Taylor
Nndigo Sol

Best Bridal Attire/Jewelry
DeBorah’s Bridal
Bridals by Jodi
Traci Lynn Jewelry
Young’s Fashions
Debra Walker

Best Rentals and Linens

BJ’s Linens
Connie Duglin
Covers by Nicole (Nicole Burnham)
Ruth’s House Event Rentals & Designs

Best Blogger/ Web Magazine/ Social Media Expert

Brenda Jennifer Peart (Humans of Charleston)
Deona Smith (Dejo Group, Living Roots)
La Isla Magazine
Tanis J Events (Tanis Jackson)
Creole Magnolia Café (Donloyn Gadson)

Best Hair, Makeup, or Skincare
Blue Jasmine
Lash de Luxe Beauty
Jennifer Fernandez
Pleshette Grant
Angie Ravenel

Movers and Shakers (Networking Group)
Sights and Insights Tours (Al Miller)

Nov 022013

Shawnta and Rontonio are huge fans of the movie Harlem Nights, so we channeled the 1920’s and 1930’s Jazz Age vibe in their retro engagement session at Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston, S.C. We also added a modern flair to the second half of the e-session, so we achieved the best of both worlds in one of our most romantic and amazing e-sessions. The love between the two of them was palpable. We cannot wait until their April 2014 wedding at the Island House.












Sep 282013

The wait is finally over! Here are some of the beautiful pictures from Mr. and Mrs. Antonne Wilson’s wedding, shot a few weeks ago.Their breathtaking ceremony, filled with many impeccable details that made their wedding memorable, was a glorious affair to witness. Thank you so much for allowing Vintage Noire to capture pictures from your spectacular day.


















 Posted by at 9:33 pm
Sep 082013

Congratulations to the newly married Mrs. Joni (nee Ford) Wilson. We couldn’t wait to reveal these gorgeous bridal shots of her taken before her August 24, 2013 nuptials to Mr. Antonne Wilson. Since the College of Charleston is her alma mater, there could be no more perfect place for this golden hour shoot than the picturesque campus. Enjoy these pictures of the radiant bride!










 Posted by at 3:13 pm
Jul 252013

CMBEA is proud to announce that we have become an Affiliate Chapter of the National Multicultural Events and Wedding Society, formerly the National Black Bridal Association. This collaborative partnership will allow for more national exposure for our organization, additional client leads, and vendor outreach. More information will follow in the near future.

Rationale and Mission for the National Multicultural Events and Wedding Society:

“Why the National MEW Society?

The events and wedding industry is transforming into a mixed and diverse audience. According to, weddings will be 55% multicultural and events will need to address specialized niche markets. To meet this need, the National MEW Society will provide “one-stop” services/products for events/weddings, provide expert education and business development marketing in order to sustain success in these niche markets. By 2020, these markets will become the majority. In state chapters, our organization provides world-class society of event, wedding professionals, businesses, suppliers and best in class properties and hotels.

Our mission is clear: To influence revenue growth and exposure, for our members, while celebrating cultural event & wedding success

How We Support Our Community:

Central our ‘Buying” Power – By centralizing our resources; we can increase the value of our dollars to purchase products or services. Consumers, partners and businesses can rest assured that our members will deliver the highest level of customer service and product execution. With “best in class” CVB’s and property partners, we are committed to multicultural successes in these growing niche markets.

Positive Influences – We create and elevate the experiences of the cultural events and social planning markets with national marketing, alliances and magazine campaigns.

Sharing Best Practices – Our members and industry experts provide proven knowledge to empower small to large businesses catered to the multicultural wedding market.

Excellence in Education – Through our programs, we provide tools and processes to execute business performance and success for companies and business owners.

Great Collaboration & Mentoring – We encourage high collaboration with fellow partners and members by creating regional networking opportunities, conferences and workshops.

Specifically, National MEWS Society believes in the numbers. Growing niche markets is exactly who we target and work for. ”


 Posted by at 3:47 am
Jul 242013

Congratulations to Tanis Jackson of Tanis J Events, one of CMBEA’s steering committee members, for having her “Asian southern fusion” weddings featured in The Wedding Row and in the Charleston Wedding Magazine. The pictures of Kitty and Reginald’s wedding are breathtaking and reveal the hard work and expertise of the planner Tanis J., who made the vision of blending Asian, African American, and southern roots into a spectacular fete at the Jacob Bond House a reality. Tanis is particularly proud of how she incorporated both traditional and modern elements into the event, such as the inclusion of the Double Happiness symbols throughout the decor and putting a twist in the traditional red and gold Asian culture scheme, and instead using burgundy and sand. Kudos on a superlative job!

Enjoy captured moments of the events at: The Wedding Row

For more on Tanis J. Events, visit her website at:

 Posted by at 4:35 am
May 162013

AJ Wilson and Joni Ford are a couple destined for a blessed union, as they met and fell in love in AJ’s father’s church. This beautiful couple has overcome many an obstacle together and still remain steadfast in their faith and fidelity. AJ loves rap music and video games. Joni adores fashion and Old Hollywood glam, as well as Mary Kay cosmetics. Red velvet cupcakes are their favorite sweet treats and serve as color inspiration for their special day, set for August 2013. Check out some of the pictures from their gorgeous engagement shoot at Waterfront Park, courtesy of Vintage Noire Photography and Event Planning.





 Posted by at 2:19 am
Apr 042013

Wedding Photography Planning
Contributor: Vintage Noire Photography

Of the myriad of things that a bride and groom to be think of when planning their special day, strategizing about how to achieve beautiful pictures on their wedding day is something not to be overlooked. It goes without question that a lot of thought should go into picking the photographer with the skill set, technical expertise, personality, and package options that are most appealing and suitable for your needs. Yet, you should also consider consulting with your photographer on not just the poses and products that you desire. You should have a serious discussion between you, your photographer, as well as your planner about how to create the optimal environment for picture perfect wedding shots. Here are five (5) tips to incorporate in your wedding photography planning. We hope you enjoy these, and we will post more tips in the upcoming weeks.
1. When you select a venue for your wedding, be sure to think of lighting. Pick a venue with good available natural lighting, if at all possible. Consider outdoor venues or venues with a good number of windows. Atriums are also good choices. Natural lighting helps with achieving sharp pictures with rich colors and contrast. Natural light is also very flattering to skin tones. If it is not possible to pick a venue with good natural lighting, plan on an outdoor session as part of your after ceremony shots.
2. Remember that the best times of day to take pictures are early in the morning right after sunrise or right before sunset, during the blue or golden hours. Since most weddings are in the afternoons and evenings, be sure to allot 30-45 minutes near sunset for your photographer to capture some special outdoor moments between bride and groom.
3. For gorgeous night time shots, string lighting and professional uplighting are excellent choices to incorporate as part of your wedding decor. Also see if your photographer has portable lighting that he/she might consider bringing to the venue for the reception. (There may be an extra charge for this.) Photographers can do wonders with extra flashes,strobes, video lights, and LED lights.
4. Be sure to consider the backdrops for your pictures. Flower gardens, trees, and water views make good backgrounds for pictures. Look for venues with interesting architecture and character details such as spiral staircases, cherry wood paneled walls, beautiful mirrors, textured walls, artwork, stained glass windows, aged barn doors, and vintage or ultra mod furniture.
5. If you are strapped for time with a tight wedding day schedule, or if the weather was inclement on your wedding day, consider an outdoor after wedding session that allows you and your fiancé an excuse to don your wedding clothes a day or two, or even a few weeks after the wedding, and capture those romantic, relaxed, intimate photographs that you often do not have time to take during the hustle and bustle of your wedding day.
Feel free to email if you need a wedding photography consultation. We cannot wait to hear from you. Be sure to like us on Facebook!

 Posted by at 9:09 am
Feb 042013

CMBEA Launch Party Ad Flyer

To purchase tickets:

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Charleston Multicultural Bridal & Events Association (CMBEA) is greatly improving the lowcountry wedding and special events experience by offering and promoting culturally diverse vendors. While Charleston continues to be a top destination wedding and tourist spot, it’s often hard to find vendors that specifically support and have experience in arranging and designing weddings and events that celebrate or even blend Irish, Scottish, Indian, Jewish, Native American, Caribbean, African, Gullah, or Asian cultural traditions. So, as the cornerstone of its launch event on Sunday, February 24th, CMBEA will offer soon-to-be brides and event planners an opportunity to network with some of the area’s most sought after vendors specializing in multicultural events. Co-founder, Dr. Valerie Frazier-Gresham, elaborates, “CMBEA provides a portal or gateway for brides, event organizers, and the general public to connect with high quality vendors with unparalleled creativity and passion to make your dream wedding or event a reality.”
The event, taking place at The Runaway Bay Restaurant, will include delicious ethnic food samples from Runaway Bay Restaurant and Carolima’s Southern Cuisine, and entertainment by A Touch of Class, Calvin Taylor, WoSe, and the CD Project with David Solomon Morrow , featuring Chanel Hatcher-Austin. In addition, there will be many door prizes and giveaways by participating vendors.
Dr. Frazier-Gresham added, “With such a lowcountry masala of top notch vendors at your service in one spot, this will be an event not to be missed.”
About Charleston Multicultural Bridal & Events Association
CMBEA is a portal for brides, event organizers, and the general public to connect with multicultural vendors in the Charleston area.
For more information visit: or contact Valerie Gresham by phone at 888-905-0045, or by email at

by Renee Singletary

 Posted by at 3:19 am
Oct 202012

About us…

For us at Vintage Noire, photography is about creating fine art images from precious memories. For as long as I can remember, I have always had an eye for it. You know, I believe my lifelong affair with art began when I was in an art class in kindergarten. I was asked to draw a tulip from a still life display. In creating my rendition of this image, I was able to portray this tulip in such a way that it appeared to take on human traits! The art teacher was so impressed that she submitted it to a countywide art contest for 5th graders. To my surprise, I won this countywide contest. In any artistic piece I produce, my goal is to capture the whole spectrum of human emotions and relay these feelings to those who view my work. I see an image of beauty and then use the photography tools at my disposal to bring that beauty to the forefront. A wedding or special event is one of the most important times in a couple’s life together and, to me, there is nothing more beautiful than those once in a lifetime images captured during those cherished moments.

Our favorite types of photography….

We love wedding and vintage inspired shoots. Our style is a vintage inspired blend of fine art and photojournalism. We like to capture the film noir style of the 1940’s and add a modern twist, infusing our pictures with the best the of old and new. Our clients can  step back in time and become 19th century Victorian or Southern ladies, 1920’s flappers, 1930’s film goddesses, 1940’s Tuskegee Airmen, 1960’s flower children, or they  can even relive the first moment when they fell in love.

Share a funny story about your photography…

They say that our kids are mini versions of ourselves, and this is so true! Our children  often watch us take pictures and try to mimic our style on their Nintendo DS systems. Our eight year old daughter goes around saying, “Look at the bokeh I got in my pictures, Mom and Dad.” LOL

Share a photography trick or tip…

Sometimes it is not the posed shots that turn out to be the most inspired. Oftentimes, it is the unexpected candid moments. We always try to have two photographers at a photo shoot, with one photographer taking the lead with formal shots, while the other photographer tries to capture candids that catch the couple when they are relaxed and have for a moment forgotten that the cameras are there. This strategy often produces pictures with that extra bit of magic.

 Posted by at 8:45 am
Oct 192012

Photography by Vintage Noire

Photography by Vintage Noire

Ronald and Dominique share a love divine that has stood the test of time. Since their first meeting by chance at a gas station, Ron and Dominique have been inseparable. Serving over twenty years in the Armed Forces, Ron is an officer and gentleman who protects and cherishes his lady love, much as he has defended and loved his country. Dominique has dedicated her life to her children and now relishes the joys and challenges of establishing a newly blended family. Both Ron and Dominique love bible study and spending time with their Emmanuel Baptist Church family. They were married in a lovely ceremony at Emmanuel Baptist Church on July 7, 2012 on James Island and celebrated with a reception at St James Episcopal Church.

 Posted by at 1:39 pm
Oct 192012


Sister Summit Expo, to be held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. at Trident Technical College in North Charleston, S.C., promises to be a fabulous event that will feature nearly fifty vendors and several hundred women and their families ready for a day of empowerment, health awareness,  business planning, family enrichment, and rest and relaxation.  The day will kick off with a team of Sister Summit participants walking in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Daniel Island, followed by the vendor exposition beginning at 11:00 a.m. There will be lots of fun events for kids of every age, included a Kids Zone Area, and opportunities for busy women of color to educate and reinvigorate themselves. Some of the featured seminar speakers include Vanessa Middleton, Writer & Producer for  The Cosby Show, SNL,  and Tyler Perry; Jennet Alterman, Center for Women, S.C. and Women’s Business Center;  Kimberly Brock Brown, nationally renowned chef,  and Dr. Paula Orr, expert  on healthcare and women of color.

Deona Smith, the editor of Living Roots magazine and the principal at DeJo Communications, spearheaded this sure to be successful event.  Her vision of bringing together the finest of vendors, health care providers, and community advocates, with the goal of aiding and supporting women of color, is inspirational to us all. Deona plans to spread the Sister Summit concept to five additional cities in the near future. Tickets are $10. For more information, go to


 ** Be sure to stop by the CMBEA table at Sister Summit and say hello. **

 Posted by at 8:42 am
Oct 192012

Clients who book Vintage Noire Photography  services for weddings or special events in the months of October or November 2012  will receive free event planning services.  Packages must be a minimum of $799 to qualify. Contact Vintage Noire at for more details.