#MyWeddingPlanningJourney – Part 4 – The proposal

I haven’t posted as much as I would love to, just that i’ve been extremely busy with work and wedding planning. The stress is unbelievable! So let me publish this post i’ve had sitting in my drafts for a while now. It’s the proposal. Yay!

Let me start from the beginning.

I’ve been in a relationship with an amazing amazing (so good, i had to say it twice) man, we’ve been together for just over 2 years in this great great (so great i had to say it twice, LOL) friendship. He is my homie, like, leave the cliche, but he’s the true Clyde to my Bonnie. We have been through it! Laughs, FIGHTS, drama *rolls eyes* EVERYTHING! From the day we got together, he put forward his “manifesto” (LOL) and we began our journey. If i had nothing else to say about our relationship, i’d say this one thing. It has not been boring. We’ve been through some things I could definitely do without but i know this has worked well to bring us where we are now and i’m grateful to God.

A few months ago, we decided it was time to start planning the wedding in that “We know we are getting married anywayyyyy, let’s do it in September” way and i’d often ask “Are we engaged?” and he’d annoyingly answer, “No, i promised you marriage”. Like, “Ugh, what does that even mean???” So we told our families and started quietly planning. But through all this, for some reason, i wanted a formal proposal. Not for any novelty reason, but just so we wouldn’t just “fall” into the marriage. I don’t know if this makes sense. LOL, i do admit that a big reason i wanted a proposal was to hear Mr V (Let’s call him that, shall we?)tell me beautiful things and see if either of us would shed a tear or two. LOL. So, long story short, we were planning our wedding but we weren’t formally engaged. So weird. LOL.

Fast forward a couple months, we were in the UK, we’d been to the jewelers to see what kind of ring i liked. Mr V even tried to buy it on the spot, ya know, to get out of the cringiness of a proposal. LOOOOL, I wasn’t having that. “Mr man, you must propose utunu!” A few days later, almost midnight, indoors with his Dad, Mom, older sister and brother in law, discussing wedding plans, somehow the gist drifted to rings and his sis asked “Mr V, have you guys chosen rings?” and somehow amidst plenty laughter, my adorable homie/boyfriend/fiance poured out his heart, went on his knees and brought out of his pocket, this little black box that had in it the most beautiful half carat diamond, set in white gold. The exact ring i wanted. LOL, i didn’t cry, too cheesy, but i laughed hard. Because i was so ecstatic. And today, i pray that, in Jesus’ name, that laughter will never leave our lives. Amen.

LOL, so that’s that. The proposal.

P.S. There’s a video of this somewhere and i’ll put it up one of these days…maybe

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#MyWeddingPlanningJourney – Part 3 – All the things i have to do

If you read my last post, you’ll know i was losing my mind. Fast forward a week, finally got a call from my venue that the date i wanted was now available. YAY!!! The other group didn’t pay so it was a GO! This news made me so so happy. That’s one less thing to worry about.

So here are all the things i have left to do…

  • Alterations for my wedding dress + buying a veil and bridal belt
    At this point, let me mention that i don’t like the shoes i bought anymore. I bought a pair of silver sandals, low heeled, enough to be able to stand and dance in all day but i just don’t like them anymore. Now i need to find new shoes.
  • Date for the introduction ceremony
    For this event, which is the official introduction of both families, we plan to have only immediate family around so i’m thinking 20 people max.
  • My family’s list for the introduction ceremony
    Here, the bride’s family prepares a list of things for the groom’s family to bring as bride price. The list would usually consist of things like tubers of yam, clothes, jewellry, et cetera. When the list is ready, i promise to post it here. It is at the introduction ceremony that this list is presented to the groom’s family.
  • Catering for the introduction ceremony
  • Venue for the traditional wedding
  • Catering for the traditional wedding
  • Decor for the traditional wedding venue
  • Clothes for the traditional wedding
    I’m having some trouble here. Let me explain. My mother was Delta Igbo, she raised me and my father, whom i recently met and got acquainted with is Yoruba. He’ll be at my wedding but not in the usual “fatherly” capacity. So the dilemma is whether to dress as a Delta Igbo bride (George wrapper, blouse made from lace material and/or coral beads with a headtie) or a Yoruba bride (Iro and buba, made of aso oke and/or lace). I’ll decide soon but i’m leaning towards the Delta Igbo side.
  • Wedding day transportation
  • Make up artist
    I’ve narrowed my options here to 2 MUAs, should make a decision in the next few days.
  • Photography
    I’ve also narrowed options here to 2 photogs and will make a decision in the next few days

All these decisions that need to be made will be made bearing in mind that the cermonies will be small and intimate and we will cut costs as much as possible. Yes, we have our work cut out for us. The next few months will be a rollercoaster, i know. I’m just going to try my best to enjoy it as much as i can. The light at the end of the tunnel is that at the end of this rigorous journey, i’ll be married to my sweetheart forever and we’re going to spend a beautiful happy life together. We’re going to have healthy, beautiful children who we’ll raise with oh so much love, watch them grow and watch them get married and raise their own children. Pure heaven. So yes. I can deal with a little wedding planning, the rewards are plenty.

#MyWeddingPlanningJourney – Part 2 – Venue woes

Now that I’m back in Lagos, wedding planning is in full effect. I don’t sound too enthused abi? Lemme say this again. Today is the 4th of June 2013 and our wedding is in about 80 days. We have to put together an introduction ceremony, traditional wedding, ceremony at our church and a reception in less than 3 months. Yes, not a lot of time AT ALL. I’m a bit overwhelmed. I cannot afford to have anything go wrong.

Mr V and i had talked about venues and other details and for the reception, we decided to go with an all inclusive one. The venue takes care of food, decor, cake, drinks and even the honeymoon suite for our wedding night. Complete win! Especially seeing as we both work full time so, quite frankly, neither of us has the time to chase numerous vendors. The fact that this venue allows us the luxury of eliminating at least 4 vendors, we knew we had to have it. No time or space for unnecessary headaches. We’d even gone there a while ago to see the hall, menu and all, it was right.

At this point, let me say, we are also trying to pull off the impossible. We are trying to have a small wedding in Lagos, Nigeria. Ha! If you’re Nigerian, or even know Nigerians, you know that this is almost impossible and definitely NOT going to be easy. First step to making sure of this was choosing a hall that cannot have more than 270 people. Our wedding will be strictly by invitation, only our nearest and dearest. We gave our families 50 guests each while we have 50 guests each also. Full stop. Case closed. Easy peasy abi? Not in the slightest. Wait and see.

I called our potential reception venue to discuss putting down a deposit for the date we wanted. Guess what? Our date was NOT AVAILABLE. I almost ran mad. Like, what was i really thinking?!?!?! Did i really expect that my dream venue would just be sitting down waiting for me on ice till i was ready to book it? What a joker i was! I almost cried. I literally almost had a meltdown on the phone, dude on the other end started consoling me. Then he let it slip that the group that booked the date hadn’t paid and they had till Monday of the next week to pay or the date would be open again. I stopped hyperventilating at this point because there was a chance, albeit tiny, that we’d get our venue. Mind you, it was Wednesday so i had about 6 days to wait before i would know. So the waiting began. I put down the deposit for the week after, as a tentative date, a plan B.

Started making concrete lists for wedding planning and it was at this point i realized that my main headache would come from planning the introduction and traditional wedding. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t even be my business. Ideally, those parts of the wedding process are organized by the bride’s parents. Seeing as my mother, the only parent i was raised by, passed away years ago, i have had to organize this part of the wedding with cousins, aunties and uncles, some of whom haven’t been the most helpful. To be completely fair,some have been great but others, not so much. And imagine how stressful it is asking 4 or 5 people who have “better” things to do for something as against 1 person who would have made this their main project. Does anyone want to guess how much i miss my mommy right now?

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I feel like this a lot of the time

Anyway, I’m just going to chill and not over-think anything. Everything will go well, i know it.
Till i blog again…see ya

#MyWeddingPlanningJourney – Part 1 – Dress Shopping and I heart Pronovias

Let me start by saying I DID NOT ENJOY THIS! Like, i spend most of my weekday evenings watching “Say yes to the dress”. All the girls always look so cheery and jolly, like they’re walking on rainbows and eating candy floss with glitter in their hair. NOT ME. I WAS FOOLED! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Let me not be too dramatic. My experience was dreadful for 2 reasons. First, this is the middle of May and i’m getting married in August, so my dress options were GREATLY limited. I have to buy what’s available for sale in store and sort out any alterations i may need and secondly, usually, when i go shopping, i just see stuff i like in my size and buy it. When i get home and i don’t like it, i either sell it or give it away, hugely dependent on how much said item cost me. LOL. Not this time. In one day, i tried on like 15 dresses. I almost lost my mind! It took a lot from me…i can’t explain it.

I learnt something about wedding dress shopping and i learnt it the hard way. Before i got to the UK, i had a good idea what sort of wedding dress i wanted. Mermaid or trumpet style dress, fit and flare to hug my curves oh so nicely. None of that ball gown, A-line type mess for me, thank you sir! Oh was i in for a RUDE shock! None of the dresses i tried on in these styles fit me. Like NONE! Instead, it was the A-line dresses. Oh my goodness! They were BEAUTIFUL. I wonder how women who ordered their wedding dresses online felt after they received this supposed “dress of their dreams” to find out it wasn’t meant to be because i KNOW some women have ordered their dresses on the internet without first trying them on. I was actually going to do this. I can only imagine how crushed i woulda been *sigh*

Anyway, i went to 2 stores, one a day, and all i’m going to say is i’m glad i’m going to be married to my fiance forever. Because i cannot imagine doing this again. Full stop.
First dress i tried on at Teokath of London, Wimbledon was the Diosa by Pronovias and i absolutely fell in love with it. OH.MY.GOD. That dress is A DRESS and much more! Waaaaa, the fabric, the fit, it was perfect! Do you want to know what wasn’t perfect? The price tag! LOL. I tried it on, twirled and twirled, almost shed a tear, took a photo of myself in it…..and handed the dress back to the consultant. It was painful *sob*
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Me in my darling Diosa

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The Pronovias model in Diosa

And then i tried on the Platino by Pronovias. I absoluely loved it! But it was an absolutely bad idea to try on a dress that was above my budget first because nothing lived up to it. The Platino was another beautiful A line dress i was going to consider, within budget, but it didn’t make the cut. Blame the Diosa bias.
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The Pronovias model in Platino

So i tried on a million other dresses, not a million sha, like 12, mostly Lusan Mandongus and Pronovias, found nothing that spoke to me and then i tried on the Grecia by Pronovias and it was perfect.
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The Pronovias model in Grecia

I didn’t get it because i didn’t like the neckline. LOL. Simple. At this point, i was exhausted, i needed food so i headed out to Nando’s…my happy place.

Made an appointment for the next day at another bridal parlour, woke up bright and early, showered, had breakfast, put on a full face of make up and set out. Today, i was determined. I only had a few days before i had to return to Nigeria. I.DID.NOT.HAVE.TIME. I got to The Wedding Shop at Wimbledon Park and felt at home immediately. The first dress that caught my eye was the Diosa. Again! AGAIN! Tell me it wasn’t following me. I walked over to it, checked the price tag, lower than at Teokath but still above budget. Guess what i did… I WALKED AWAY! I pooled all the strength i had and i walked away from that Diosa. Whew. It wasn’t easy. But i did it. I did it.
I looked around, chose about 3 dresses, made sure to stay within my budget and got to trying them on. First was Bristol by Pronovias. Yet ANOTHER A line dress that looked absolutely amazing.
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The Pronovias model in Bristol

At this point, i thought i’d found my dress…until i took it off and put on the 2nd dress. In my mind, i knew i was home! I tried the 3rd dress on, just to be sure but it paled in comparison. It paled so badly, i don’t even remember the name or who it was by. It was a beautiful dress but it wasn’t mine. Dress 2 was my dress. I was home.

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This is the store where i bought my dress. The consultant, Natalie, was just wonderful and made me feel right at home. We talked about everything from her son to Nigerian jollof rice to Arsenal FC. LOL

LOL, i’m just glad that dress shopping didn’t take me longer than 2 days because, quite frankly, ain’t nobody gat time for that. So that’s my dress shopping journey and it might be important to mention that my dress is not by Pronovias. LOL, who woulda thunk it?!?! I bought the dress as is and will be doing alterations in Nigeria. Will also buy a veil in Nig. #MyWeddingPlanningJourney continues