There are many moving parts when it comes to planning your big day, and the added layer of uncertainty due to COVID-19 has heightened the stress for many engaged couples. “It’s been really tough for our couples and even for our wedding vendors. Many of them have lost more than 40% of their revenue,” said Jacqueline Nwobu, founder of Munaluchi Bride – a multicultural wedding publication that caters to women of color.
For over a decade, Nwobu, alongside her husband, have been in business together, building a successful multimedia brand. What began as a side job for both of them flourished as the couple soon realized there were no publications on newsstands that consistently displayed a global lens on Black brides, grooms, and event professionals. After discovering a void in the marketplace, the duo established their very own platform, and on January 5, 2010, Munaluchi Bride was born.
Since then, they have continued to expand their brand while further building their family legacy, even creating a network called the MunaNetwork, a social hub that serves as a support and networking group for brides, grooms, and vendors. We chatted with the mom of three about the elements of having a fruitful relationship, society’s focus on the wedding day and not the actual marriage, striking a healthy balance with being business partners with your spouse, and plenty more!
BlackLove.com: Can you walk us through the backstory of creating Munaluchi Bride?
Jackie Nwobu: We’re in our 11th year of business. It all began when my husband started doing photography. At the time, it was a side gig. We were both in different fields. He was a network analyst, and I was a medical technologist, and we started working together, shooting weddings on the weekends.
Then we began looking for places to publish our content that showcased Black and multicultural weddings. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any. So, my husband and I agreed that we would be the ones to launch that type of publication. We completed extensive research, found a printer based in Austin, Texas, and laid out the entire magazine ourselves.
Initially, we produced a cover shoot in our living room with a friend and posted it in our Facebook group. The response was amazing! People kept asking, “where can I buy this?” And on January 5, 2010, our first issue went on sale in Barnes and Noble throughout the country.
BL.com: How has it been trying to strike a healthy balance with your husband also being your business partner?
JN: Working together with your spouse is a whole different level. We had been married for only three years when we started photography, and we also had a two-year-old. We were relatively new to photography before the magazine launch as well. So, we were new at practically everything, including working together. It was all a big bag of uncertainty, but we had to figure it out. Just like with relationships, if you’re working with someone and that person happens to be your spouse, you’re talking about work and family 24/7. Everything is intertwined and jumbled into one.
One thing that’s been extremely helpful for us is being able to have specific roles. There’s a lot of juggling but everything blends together. We always get back to the why behind what we’re doing. It comes down to our family, our children, and our legacy. Although it’s a learning process, we make it work. It’s not an easy process because if you don’t get it right as business partners, it can drastically affect your marriage.
BL.com: Planning a wedding can be stressful, but now it’s an added layer because of the ongoing uncertainty. What advice can you offer engaged couples about managing their mental capacity?
JN: I believe it has taught people to take a step back and look at what’s really important. I know we’re responsible for many of these fabulous weddings that we showcase, but truthfully, what it boils down to, is that couple joining together and getting married. We have encouraged several brides and grooms to go to the courts and make it official if you have an opportunity because you can always have a big celebration later.
We’ve also told people if you don’t have a planner, to hire one because there are many moving pieces. It’s necessary, especially if you’re trying to coordinate rescheduling your wedding. The biggest mistake some brides make is that if they don’t have a planner, they will move forward with a new date with their venue without checking with all of their vendors to see if they’re also available.
BlackLove.com Related Articles:
Level-Up Your Relationship By Learning To Speak Your Partner’s Love Language
Our Marriage Is Proof, Grass Is Greener Where You Water It
This Couple’s Recipe for Success Is Faith, Family, and Franchises
BL.com: You’re in the business of creating luxurious weddings and creating the perfect day for couples. What do you say to people who suggest that today’s society focuses more on the wedding day and not the actual marriage?
JN: I think it’s true that society does not focus enough on relationships. I believe society focuses a lot on all of the bells and whistles. It’s almost like a rite of passage. Regardless of whether you have flowers hanging from the ceiling or the finest crystal at your wedding, do you and your significant other get along when you get home? Can you sustain the marriage afterward?
The wedding industry is a major multi-billion dollar business, and there is a lot of emphasis placed on the material aspects. People have the right to spend whatever amount to have the type of experience they desire. Still, I think as much time is placed into planning the wedding of your dreams, there should be an equal amount, if not more, into having a fruitful relationship.
BL.com: What are the elements of having a fruitful relationship?
JN: One of the most significant elements is communication. In the early stages, couples who can discuss their issues can do much better in the long run. It’s about compromise and knowing how to talk to that person by understanding what makes them tick. I’m not saying to compromise in the way of changing who you are. It is understanding how to communicate with the person that you love and care about in a way they’ll receive it.