An Inspired Departure - Caribbean Belle WEDDINGS

>> Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I find inspiration all around me. As I often say to my students, ideas can come from anywhere and they are all around us, we just have to be in tune with our senses. See and look. Hear and listen. Read and understand. Taste and savour. Touch and feel.

On this blog, I write about food and the way it relates to the Caribbean but in this post, I am happy to share with you another dimension to the multiculturalism of the Caribbean that is warmly represented through Caribbean Belle Weddings.

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There’s a new magazine gracing news and magazine stands all across Trinidad and Tobago – Caribbean Belle Weddings. This latest publication comes from the creative team behind the popular, quarterly women and lifestyle magazine, CaribbeanBelle, produced and headed by the wife and husband duo – Aliyyah Eniath and Ronald Hosein.

Congratulations on winning the Silver Addy Award for Best Overall Magazine Design from the Caribbean Advertising Federation (CAF) 2013 Addy Awards!

The magazine is indeed beautiful and a work of art. The cover does exactly what any top-notch publication should do – draw you in, make you stop and reach for it. A photograph of a gorgeous bride covers the length of the cover, top to bottom and positioned dead center. What is even more appealing is that the cover is not embellished with sub-headings. The only text is the name of the magazine spread across the top of the magazine. I don’t know if it was an intentional marketing ploy or not, but having the cover void of sub-headings immediately prompts you to get the magazine so that you can peruse it at your leisure.

Cover photographer Gary Jordan does an outstanding job in capturing the bride her element – alluring, confident, composed, playful and striking.

It’s easy to see why the magazine got its award. The layout and design is not only attractive and appealing, it is also not cluttered. The text, fonts and their sizes are easy to read. The colour scheme for each story and section is vibrant and very reminiscent of the Caribbean.

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Turn the glossy cover of Caribbean Belle Weddings and the contents-page gets you happy, especially if you are a bride-to-be. Everything seems to be covered from budgeting for your wedding to preserving your dress. The magazines are full of useful and meaningful advice, stories, suggestions and recommendations, especially since they are all within a Caribbean context and aimed at a Caribbean audience. The information makes sense.

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Caribbean Belle Weddings is not just about a list of things to do before, during and after your wedding, there are many real stories about real people. As I read some of the proposals I found myself saying, “Awwww…” often; like when Brad proposed to Alydia (Vol 1True Love in Pink) with the ring his grandfather used to proposed to his grandmother and his dad to his mother.

I’d recommend Caribbean Belle Weddings to anyone getting married and to wedding photographers too. Actually, if you are into art in any form, you will find the magazine interesting. For brides-to-be I would suggest getting back-issues too because they are chock-full of good information and ideas - for example, how to keep your guests happy instead of grumpy when the photo-shoot has gone into overdrive. The invaluableness of hiring a wedding planner, and there is even advice for those with do-it-yourself (DIY) in their DNA – creating your own enchanted garden for your wedding.

Another thing that’s fantastic about Caribbean Belle Weddings is that it shows the multicultural mix of the Caribbean. At the same time, you get to learn of the customs and traditions from these various cultures. There’s Laura and Devin’s Hindu and Roman Catholic wedding celebrations. Then there is JoMarie and Jonas’ wedding with its Arabic influence. JoMarie was gifted with earrings bought by her parents and her future in-laws as is done in Arabic tradition. It is a custom that the bride be dressed in jewellery from both families.

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While weddings are all about tradition, it was exciting to see many of the brides and grooms stepping out-of-the-box, so to speak when it came to choosing the colour themes for their big day. Samantha and Pernell’s Peacock Pizazz was bold and inspiring. They chose shades of blue and purple reminiscent of the feathers of a peacock – blue and purple Chinese lanterns, sea-blue table runners, and purple orchids with aubergine accents. Love it!

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Of course there is the usual 8 – 10 page spread of models in various wedding dresses and styles, including trends.

There was one feature that I was curious about called, “trashthe dress” – a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. You can read more about ithere. As a photographer, I enjoyed the underwater photography by photographer Ivan Luckie.

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Caribbean Belle Weddings magazine is available at news and magazine stands all across Trinidad and Tobago. It is also available online at Barnesand Noble and you can sign up for a subscription.

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