My Wedding Story Part 1

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This is one of my favourite ever photos from our collection of pre-wedding photos, inspired by our Yoruba (native Nigerian tribe) culture. I remember this time last year my husband and I were deep into wedding planning but he hadn't proposed yet! I really wasn't expecting a proposal because we had already done all the usual post proposal formalities and what our culture refers to as an Introduction, whereby he comes to my family to make his intentions known and they accept him with open arms.

I felt it the right time to share my wedding story because not only is wedding season already looming upon us, I also have a number of friends who are planning their own nuptials. So I thought it only right to share my experiences and those important lessons I learnt whilst planning my wedding. Many of these lessons have come with the benefit of hindsight and unless we were to have an extravagant vow renewal ceremony (crossing my fingers and toes, secretly wishing this would happen in 10 years), I won't have the opportunity to plan another wedding of my own. So my hopes are that this post inspires and encourages every soon to be bride and groom out there and not just that, but I hope every reader will take something away from my wedding planning dos and don'ts (which I will be sharing in my next post) which are relevant to any situation that requires some form of planning.

I was adamant on planning our wedding myself (mistake number one); it was my perfectionist nature that caused me to want to be involved in each process and be aware of every minute detail. I thought doing this will result in less mistakes and a perfect wedding! I chose not to have an official wedding planner at the start of the process because I wanted to ensure that my husband and I covered all the major negotiations ourselves and I felt like a wedding planner would just be a middle man who would get in our way of progressing things. So, my husband and I took on the tasks of venue and vendor sourcing. What really helped us was that we knew a lot of business owners who we'd worked with from previous events we had organised ourselves and who were also personal friends - photographers, videographers, sound technicians and DJs, MCs, make up artists, and of course the only hair dresser I swore by in Sheffield (lol)! A good friend of ours gave us an Excel spreadsheet which they used for their own wedding to help us keep tabs on our tasks and keep organised.

By the end of January, we had successfully booked our wedding venue and paid our deposit to secure the date at a hotel on the outskirts of Sheffield. It was a long countryside drive between the city and the hotel but we loved the drive and felt our guests would too. Prior to booking the venue, I had already found my dress - it was perfect and everything I actually ever imagined. My aim was to get the biggest and most important tasks crossed off our list as early as possible, so when I had secured my dress and the wedding venue, I felt very much at ease! By February, shortly after the proposal, we started negotiations with a caterer and decorator. Our bridesmaids, groomsmen, maids of honour and best men (we had two each) were selected and we were preparing our wedding website (which I again insisted on having full control over). We also did our pre-wedding photos in February - on a cold, rainy and windy day! It was actually horrible but thanks to our photographer's awesome skills we managed to get some excellent shots.

My mum and mum in law quickly came to our rescue and relieved us of the tasks of negotiating with the caterers so that my husband and I could concentrate on more important things - or better yet the most important thing - our marriage! We began our pre-marital counseling sessions by the end of March. I have to stress that I really valued our counseling sessions because it helped us to focus on the bigger picture amidst all the wedding planning which was of course our marriage. 

"A wedding only lasts for a day but the marriage lasts a lifetime."

Our counseling sessions gave us a better understanding of what a successful marriage truly entails; it taught us the purpose of marriage and the importance of making sacrifices and compromises where necessary for the good of the marriage; we learnt about the importance of communication between man and wife and not allowing anybody - not even our closest family members or best friends - intervene in our marriage. We learnt about mutual respect. Actually I could write an entire series on the importance of pre-marital counseling because a single blog post just doesn't give the topic justice. Our 12 week pre-marital sessions gave me a much better understanding of the true meaning of marriage and laid an excellent foundation for my husband and I. I would forever be grateful to my Pastors and Counsellors that guided us throughout the process.
Back to my story: fast forward to the end of April and I took delivery of the wedding invitations. They were beautiful! We initially selected a few samples from an online company that specialised in making wedding invitations. Both of our families had a chance to view some samples and we all agreed on the one we deemed best. We had distributed a number of invites by May when my lady in waiting noticed a spelling error. Spelling error?? Where?! Lo and behold, my husband's name was spelt incorrectly on the card. Eek! The night we discovered the error was the most I had cried in a very long time. It was a screaming kind of cry where I just couldn't control myself. I cried myself to sleep but woke up first thing in the morning and contacted the company to explain the error (which, in all fairness, was on our part) and request replacements. Believe it or not until today I am still waiting for them to respond to my several **HELP** **URGENT** titled emails. Eventually, we just had to settle with what we had. Since we designed the text ourselves, we were able to correct the spelling error and send e-copies of the invites too.


The stress of planning was beginning to take its toll, so I was finally ready to ask my friend, Oyinkansola, a budding event planner, to take some responsibilities off me. I thought the misspelled wedding invites would be the first and last of our woes in the planning process until Sunday June 5th (oh, how ever can I forget this date!). I remember leaving church quite excited that Sunday. I was looking forward to my parents' arrival later in the month, excited for my final dress fitting and confident that all our vendors had been sorted. I was also much less stressed than I'd previously been now that I had handed over a few responsibilities to Oyinkan. As I left my church I noticed two missed calls on my phone from an unknown number and an ensuing text message. I quickly slid my phone open to find the text was from our wedding venue's hotel manager advising he needed to speak with me urgently. I quickly rang him back only to hear the most devastating words a bride need not hear a mere five weeks before her wedding. We had lost our wedding venue...


To be continued

Pre-wedding photos: Prince Tayorski Photography | @prince_tayorski | www.princetayorski.com
My Traditional Pre-Wedding Attire by: Zere Fashion House | @zerefashionhouse | www.zerefashionhouse.com

4 comments

  1. Very well written Kike and thank you for sharing. I am learning loads from this and I look forward to part two. God bless you! Xxxx

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    1. Hey Tam!! Thanks so much for reading. It means a lot to me! I'm glad you enjoyed it!! Xx

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  2. No words can describe how much I love this post. I have my eyes out for the second part. And for when the time comes, I will be sure to get an events planner and not let the inner perfectionist take over.

    Tomikaydoesbeauty.com

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    1. Lol, thanks girl! Part 2 is already out and yes, with all my heart I definitely second you having a wedding planner. It'll make planning so much easier and a lot less complicated. Xx

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