In 2005, Myrdith Leon-McCormack founded World Bride Magazine on the premise of showcasing weddings that celebrate brides and cultures around the world. 16 years later, it is now positioned as the premier multicultural lifestyle bridal digital and print publication that empowers couples across the globe.
In this Expert Interview, we get to know the trailblazing Myrdith Leon-McCormack — now the Editorial Director for World Bride Magazine — how she got her start in the industry, and what she hopes for the future in weddings.
About Myrdith Leon-McCormack & World Bride Magazine
Born in Haiti, Leon-McCormack grew up in Brooklyn but establishes herself as a “citizen of the world”. She began her career as a Celebrity Manicurist eventually attending the Fashion Institute of Technology for Event Planning, Personal Shopping, and then opened up a bridal boutique. Following that, she attended New York Technical College to work on her degree in Fashion Marketing. Shifting into the wedding industry was a natural fit.
From there, she saw something was missing in the wedding industry and decided to utilize her creativity and leadership skills to launch a new bridal platform with a special vision. “World Bride Magazine started because I saw a gap in the industry that wasn’t reflective of the beautiful, diverse world I was a part of and I didn’t see it in the pages of the magazines I loved so much,” Leon-McCormack explains. “At that time I was married to an Irish/Mexican gentleman and felt perfect to be the voice of what we already were.”
Real Brides, Real Beauty
The work Leon-McCormack has done is internationally known and the magazine’s unique model attracts brides and grooms from all over the world, “When we get emails from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa wanting to work with us, submit their work or wedding stories it shows how we send a strong message of unity.” They are making it known that the industry is ready for change and though it can be challenging, World Bride Magazine is doing the vital work to show that we can be united by coming together over our common goals.
One example is their “Real Brides, Real Beauty Contest”. Leon-McCormack recalls this as one of the most memorable projects she’s done to include real women and brides to be featured on the cover of the magazine. “Seeing those real women grace our covers is such an honor. The brands, and artists that supported us — they saw the vision,” says Leon-McCormack.
Along with being the Editorial Director for World Bride Magazine, Myrdith Leon-McCormack also owns MLM Represents, a PR and Branding firm. When asked how she balances her busy work, family, and social life, she says “I love my work, I chose both these businesses because I am obsessed with my field. I have been fortunate enough to bring my children into my field or have them travel with me when it was possible because they are also in the beauty industry so I feel grateful to be doing what I love with people I love.” She goes on to say that it’s important to her to be selective about who is on her team and who she partners with as she looks for those in the industry that are joyful about what they do since it is an industry founded on joy, after all.
World Bride Magazine’s content isn’t just about showcasing wedding trends. They cover topics including financial tips, health and wellness, honeymoon planning, and beyond. So where does Leon-McCormack find inspiration to share? “I get my inspiration from my team, traveling, and seeing real love stories,” she shares. She says that she also finds inspiration in fashion shows, movies, books, museums, galleries, and art.
Leon-McCormack names some industry greats who have inspired her over the years, “Mikki Taylor who was the Cover Editor/Beauty Director at Essence Magazine, Andre Leon-Talley of Vogue, and Jenny Capitan who pulled me into every Harper’s Bazaar shoot she could have me at helping me to land some of my greatest work in some of the industries respected magazines and campaigns.” She sheds light on her agent, Deirdre Sullivan, who “fought for me to land campaigns with women who looked like me. Having amazing white women allies that see you, respect you, honor you, and will stand up for you are great role models to have around.” Her new mentor, Lisa Silhanek, is another inspiration who supports her dreams and vision of diversity.
Right now, Leon-McCormack is a fan of the trend towards sustainability and the bigger message. “Designers work hard to bring out new collections each season. We want to be more conscious about how wasteful we can be — but we are working hard to do the right thing on all levels. Like the social work that Justin Alexander is doing with Vow For Girls,” she explains. “We are a powerful industry, I know we can impact the world. I hope the sustainable aspect that is trending now sticks.”
As an innovator in the wedding industry, she preaches alliances for aspiring entrepreneurs, “My advice — Stay focused. Stay committed. Keep learning. Lean on the power of partnership, collaborations, and find allies.” With this, she is hopeful for the future of weddings and wishes to see celebration over competition, “I hope the division that once ruled our industry never comes back. I hope more platforms like yours and mine collaborate and celebrate each other and support each other to stay in business. There is room for all of us to win.”
One specific example Leon-McCormack shares is close to home, “The Wedding Guys was unprecedented. Two men running a wedding platform? That was unheard of. It shows that this industry needs more forward thinkers. The legacy that Bruce Vassar created is amazing…and look at it now. It gives the next generation of writers, and industry experts a platform to tell their story and showcase their work.”
When asked what’s next for World Bride Magazine, she shares that “The goal is to expand the vision and mission of the magazine to give all cultures a voice and show more representation.”
The Wedding Guys share these values and are excited to see what’s in store for Myrdith, World Bride Magazine, and our industry moving forward.