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Marrying Far Away…

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“Once upon a time, set ontop of the hills of the Hobbits Shire far far away, was a wedding ceremony…”

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Hola mi amigos!¿ 😀

How was your weekend? C’mon, i had you confused for a second. Lol! I will be putting up two posts. I had noticed a particular colour trend for almost 3 months and I finally decided to do a post on it. The colour is Mint Green. Yep, that is the trending colour for this summer. Remember the Pantone® colour for 2013 is Emerald Green, so we are still in line. However, I diagress. This week’s post is for my brides who are on tight and heavily guarded budget. Lol! I bring to you, (drum roll, and trumpets sound)…Destination Wedding!

Until recently, anytime I had heard someone mention destination wedding, my first thought was, the person most be seriously loaded. Biased thinking right? Se la vie. 😉  

I have a friend who had mentioned to me a while ago that she wanted to have a destination wedding. I asked why, and she said to avoid the hassle of unknown guests and family members and most of all to cut costs. I laughed, however I am seeing her point. I read an article online from a Nigeria couple who had a destination wedding in the South of France (no it was not Stephanie Okereke and Linus Idahosa’s wedding), and it changed my point of view about DW’s. So, in this post, I am going to re-highlight the points and add my own reasoning logic for you to embrace the idea of DW’s.  

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Some of you may ask the large invisible white elephant question, isn’t it expensive? Well, here is answer I believe any professional planner would say to satisfy any sceptics, “…If well planned, it will end up being less expensive, because you will make plans for what you need and only those you have budgeted for…”. I can not stress this enough to both my clients and friends who complain about them being on a tight budget, CUT DOWN ON YOUR GUEST SIZE!

Luckily, this is one of the many advantages of DW’s, it helps with downsizing your guests, and both you and your groom can careful pick guests that are of significance nd importance. With this, you won’t have the usual “mo gbo mo branch” crowd that show up uninvited to your wedding, this includes unknown and uninvited family members, the village community counsel of elders/chieves, either parents church/nasfat group/club members, who all end up coming with their own “supporters club,” or the displacement of the bridal party and the couples friends/colleagues from their reserved seating (another blog post for another day, hehehe), and let’s not forget the usual yet embarrassing hulla-ba-loo for wedding souvenirs. Oi!  

Advantages of a Destination Wedding  

1. They’re Virtually Stress-Free. How?

Hotels, Resorts and Sea Cruise lines around the world normally have full-time wedding coordinators on staff, who are also familiar with that particular country’s marriage license requirements. If you’re not getting married at a resort, you can hire a wedding planner in that locale who specializes in destination weddings, or you could contact your own wedding planner to start early planning arrangements with your travel agent and the hotel’s in-house wedding planner.

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2. Family Drama Denied!

All forms scene-stealing family drama will be avoided. This includes a very large get-together of extended families and various business associates. Predictably, each set of parents have their own ideas. One set would like the wedding to be held in a prominent part of the city or location of residence because most of their guests, or social circle are residents in the area. This would a great avenue for them to show off to their friends and business associates. On the other hand, the other set of parents may have problems with the expense of a high society, over elaborate, typical Nigerian wedding. Most of the time, the parents tend to forget that the event is, first and foremost, about the two people getting married! This usually occurs when a certain family seems more financially buoyant than the other then they want to take control and make all the decisions, paying no attention to what the couple desire for their wedding. With a destination wedding, you the couple are in charge and you set the rules to your desires in your own chosen terrority. A bride commented on DW’s saying “…it would be nice to have both parent’s anecdotes families in good rapport, but what’s the point if they fight and snigger over trivial things about the our wedding?” – from The Knot.

3. Pay Less, Stress Less for Fun!

“The affordability of a destination wedding has many couples speeding off to the airport faster than you can say ‘I do.’ For instance, a couple can fly to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, get married, and stay for a deluxe weeklong honeymoon for a few thousand dollars, including lodging, meals, drinks, and airfare.” – from The Knot.

PS>> I did a small calculation of the figures they give in the article and then i converted it to naira for you to understand it better. An example; a wedding of  150 guests wedding may (emphasis on the word MAY. I didn’t say it WILL, I said MAY) cost about  N 3.7m to which it can easily skyrocket to more than N 6.5m if your guest size increases — plus a few extra hundred thousands of Naira for a honeymoon. Do a comparison of costs for a wedding in your locale or aboard (aboard meaning outside of your country, FYI: Ghana is aboard).

To help ease the financial burden, many couples should  opt to travel to a place where they can havee their dream wedding, have their honeymoon, and still have some money left over to start their new lives together.  Hotels and Holiday Resorts offer great discounts for early and large group bookings. So you can speak with a travel agent to help with arrangements on special discount packages for your guests on airfares, transportation and hotel bookings too!

PS>> You don’t pay for your guests airfares, hotel accommodation or feedings. However, you both can decide on whom you both can afford to pay half if their travel expenses for.

4. You Are In Charge!  

That’s right! You call the shots. Many formal/traditional weddings mean a lot for some couples, some may link them to the traditions and culture, some others want the experience to be different and unique, with a ceremony and location that reflect their individualism, and style.

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LOCATION! LOCATION!! LOCATION!!!
Early selections of your dream wedding location saves you both time, money and unneceassary expenses while planning. There are many places on this beautiful world has to offer for your unique wedding, let’s start with the common and yet popular locations: Dubai (like Tuface and Anne), The Caribbean Islands, France (like Stephanie and Linus, to me whose wedding set a bar for Nigerian celebritity weddings. Tiwa Savage my eyes are waiting for yours), Italy, Spain, UK and US. For those who do not want to be too far from home, here are some African countries such as Ghana, Tanzania, Seyechelles, Mozambique, South Africa, Morocco, and The Gambia.

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Then for those who want the Nigerian experience, there’s, Lagos (Lekki town after the New Lagos Free Trade Zone, Akodo La Campainge Tropicana, Whispering Psalms Badagary, Tarqwa Bay, any of the private beach houses on Ilaje), Ogun State (Abeokuta), Oyo (Ibadan), Ondo, Cross Rivers (Calabar, Tinapa, Obudu Hills), Akwa Ibom (Uyo, Eket), Delta State (Warri, Asaba), Edo (Benin), Rivers State (Port-Harcourt, Bonny Island) etc. You can ask a travel agent or the local tourist board for a state, or your wedding planner, for information, brochures listing ceremony sites, Hotels, Resorts or Sea Cruise-liners in various International countries and Nigerian States. Recently, governments have began working to ease restrictions and attract to-be-weds.If you’re not getting married at a resort, you can hire a stateside wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings, contact a wedding planner in the town you plan to wed, or start early and do it yourself. Either way, you won’t have to plan an elaborate reception. Best of all? You make the rules! Feel free to wear white bed sheets, a sundress, or that hot pink maxi dress you’ve haf you eye on, or you both can wear shorts (even a bikini!), or go barefoot, or you both can go nude! ROFL!! Just kidding. The simple truth is if you have dreamt it, then you can do it.  

5. It’s Simply Perfect!

It is great for “been-there-done-that” couples who are older, renewal of vow, or getting married again, and choose a destination wedding. This is because DW’s are simple, quiet and private. Either the bride and/or groom have done the Naija o wan bé – up scale society wedding before, or they both just want something quieter, less expensive, and with hassle this time around, or they may also just want to be someplace anonymous, without the watchful eyes and whispers of the home crowd.

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6. It’s a Once-in-a-Lifetime Vaycay  

At a typical Nigerian wedding, both you and your groom are on the go, meeting, greeting, thanking whomever that person is, kneeling, prosrating, and non stop smiling, wondering when will this all end. However, for destination weddings you are on vacation time throughout. As expected, you will be required to arrive a few days early (2-3days early), to fill out all the important and necessary paperwork, so that by the time your wedding day arrives, you’ve had days of relaxing fun, and sight seeing with your groom, family, and friends.This may just be the opportunity to spend a no-rush, quality playtime with family, and far-flung friends.

PS>> Before you make up mind completely about having a Destination Wedding, you and your groom should sit and discuss it between yourselves. Write out all the pros and cons and weight it. Don’t involve a third party just yet, unless you are both certain of your choice.

Here is a to do list I got from an article:

1. Pick out a destination with your partner so you can start to make plans.

2. The Weather Factor. It is important to know what the weather would be like at your desired destination spot at the time you want to get married. For instance, you don’t want to be saying I do during a monsoon or rainy season.

3. Prepare a realistic budget. Make adequate research on prices for accommodation, food & beverages, travel, cakes, musicians, photographers and other services that you may need. Because you will be going out of your comfort zone.

4. Arrange travel plans. Negotiate a good travel package for your guests with a reputable travel agency. Do not forget to include all important information such as names of your guest, hotel plans. If possible drop one of you invites with the agency.

5. Travel Insurance. Having a good insurance is very important. A good insurance policy will cover you for injury, medical assistance and also the in case of loss of property. It gives you the needed peace of mind.

Click here for more information about the above to do list article.            

What more can I say? You can consult with your wedding planner or a wedding planner who specializes in Destination Weddings. They would be able to help you in making the necessary enquiries for your needs.

So, enjoy!

SOURCES: Google, Pinterest, The Knot, Our Wedding Story Nigeria

♥ J!

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What’s Your Style?

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Hola mi amigos!

For the past few weeks, I have been experiencing technical difficulties with my internet and laptop. The issue has been temporary solved; however please bear with me with irregular posts, until it’s all sorted. Good things come to those who can wait. =)) Lol!

Thanks!

While I’ve been waiting for my technical gadgets to get fixed, I took my time to think about what my next blog was going to be. Colour combinations, colour palettes, and colour schemes are on hold, for now (if I can help it), and I’m starting a series on, STYLE! 😀

I hope this would create an awareness on knowing what style best suites you, and your wedding or any other social event you have coming up. I wouldn’t describe myself as a fashionista or a stylista. In fact I’m not. I can hear my sisters laughing. However, I do have an eye for fashion and style and I love it!

Hmm…What is style?

I went hunting for its meaning, that would have a suitable relation to an individuals’ personal fashion sense and I stumbled upon this quote and I created the feature image below.

Weddings have various types of styles, which are all dependent on the couples’ individual or combined styles, or the bride’s style alone.

In Nigeria, I realised that very few brides, actually put their personal style into their wedding. Their complains are always, “the décor is expensive,” or “my mum won’t allow it.”

The style of any wedding should not be limited to just Christians alone. You can be a devoute Muslim and still have a very stylist wedding!

Gist: I have a friend who is getting married later on in the year (i’m praying she doesn’t kill me for this). When I asked her details of her wedding, and she initially told me hadn’t a clue on what to do, so she let her mum handle everything (this usually the norm in a lot of cases). She happens to be the only girl of four children. I can see some of you shaking your heads saying, no J, that’s not an excuse.

However, if you knew her well I like I do, you’ll understand where she’s coming from.

As we spoke a little further, I joking mentioned how my sister said she wanted a bouncing castle at her wedding and no high heels were allowed. My friend agreed with having the bouncing castle, and asked if it would be weird if she had it with a pop-corn stand and a cotton candy machine.

Guess what? She wasn’t joking. So I asked her to suggest it to her fiancé and her mum, and hear what they had to say.

So what type of wedding styles are there? Here are the popular ones:

  • Classic / Formal
  • Casual
  • Romantic
  • Vintage
  • Whimsical
  • Modern / Contemporary
  • Beach / Garden

Classic / Formal Wedding

This is perfect for those couples who value elegance and tradition, or a bride with a “prim and proper” lady personality. The classic / formal wedding style comes with an elegance, sophistication, grace and style. It can often be perceived as a very expensive wedding. However, if you are on a tight budget, just make sure that your choice of dress, hair style, accessories, bridal party, and the decor of the ceremony and reception venues are classy and formal.

image from Bella Naija

The picture above is a classic over the top Nigerian wedding.

QUESTION: Which recent Nigerian wedding that you have been to in the last 5 years, do think or feel, can be described as a Classic Wedding style?

Casual Wedding
This style of wedding can be described as a simplistic or dressed-down, with a laid back ambience, or an understated elegance, without any of the typical splendour, glamour and display of an over the top wedding. This could be described as casual elegance. It has a more relaxed easy going approach which is still stylish yet elegant and sophisticated in all essence. However, it is not extreme.

This type of casualness permits a carefree aesthetic, as well as the opportunity for the couple or the bride to express their personality, and style.

image fro theKnot.com

This can be considered as a perfect failsafe Nigerian wedding style, especially for brides, like my clueless  friend. Lol!

Romantic Wedding
Every wedding is romantic! No matter how rigid, laud, tacky, minimal, small, big, or over the top, all weddings have elements of romance in it.

Weddings are celebrations of two people, and two families. It is the proclamation of love that is uniting these two individuals. These love stories can be celebrated spiritually, or through the aesthetics of the reception venues used, or literally, like during the bride and groom thank you speeches. Every romantic element, cheesy or not, work out well for a romantic wedding.

The dress, heart shapes, flowers, butterflies, love birds motif, pastel colours, romantic songs or music, venue décor, etc. This is where your wedding planner or venue decorator, has to get real creative, especially when there’s a cut-throat budget.

SPOLIER ALERT => Speaking of romantic; I’m so glad to inform you all that “I ♥ 9ja O wan bé”, would be featuring its first Real Wedding! Yes! And it’s a romantic wedding style. Stay tuned.

Vintage Wedding
For a Vintage Wedding style, think of old-fashion flair, with old perfume bottles, vintage cars, iconic old movies like; Gone With The Wind, or Roman Holiday. Ok, hold on, let me bring it closer to home. Think Lagos  back in the 1950’s. Or look at the image feature below, that would help.

i couldn’t believe this was Lagos when i first saw it. click on the image to read the blog diaries of Margaret Jefferies visit to Nigeria in 1951

Vintage has a lot of French laces, Cameo’s, pearls, bird cage hats and hair pieces, frills, feathers, cropped hair styles, sheath long and short dresses, roses, gloves etc. No wait, please don’t wear gloves. This is Nigeria, where most of the time the weather is humid, dry or hot. Even if it’s rainy season, stay away from gloves! Its a HUGE no no!

image from wedding industry pros. click on the picture to open up link to http://www.weddingindustrypros.com/moodboards/1920s-vintage-weddings/ to get a mind twirling innovative ideas for vintage wedding

Vintage styles date as far back as the early 1960’s to the 1900’s. A lot of Nigerian event decor designers, would know this type of style as Old Hollywood. Yes that’s what I’m referring to!

If your reception venue comes with a chandelier, good for you! Use muted, neutral, pastel colours, lots of candles and foliage, because less is more! This would create a romantic atmosphere that dates back to simpler times. Why not ask your reception décor designer to create that cosy feel using neutral colours, like the picture of a reception décor my company did sometime last year.

image from Dews of Keziah decor archives

Whimsical Wedding
This type of wedding style is mostly based on themes. This is great for creative couples that both share a passion for or common interest for something.

For example: Books, Colours, TV show, Movie, Cars, Food, Art, Culture, Various Seasons in the Year etc. This type of wedding style is meant for everyone to relax and have loads of fun! Below is an Indian themed wedding in Nigeria, with the bride and groom dressed accordingly. As I later found out, the groom is a friend’s cousin. Lol! small world

image from google

Modern/Contemporary Wedding
Modern/ Contemporary weddings is another way to have a great party, instead of the stereotyped classic/ formal weddings. Modern/ Contemporary weddings make Classic/ Formal weddings that look very stiff and boring! This type of wedding encourages the use of vibrant colours. At the beginning of this post, remember I said colours were on hold? I couldn’t help it! Modern / Contemporary wedding styles are all about CRAZY COLOUR COMBOS and CREATIVITY! I’ll call it the 4 C’s. Check out the colours below.

combinded images from google

See this colour combination, Blue and Green, I LOVE IT! The next is Black, Pink and White colour mood board.

combinded images from theKnot.com and calligraphy by jennifer

Nigerians do well with modern/ contemporary weddings. In fact, I think a lot of weddings recently in Lagos, all have a twist of modern/contemporary and whimsical styles meshed into one. For example, Stephanie Okereke and Linus Idahosa’s Magical Wedding, though it wasn’t done in Nigeria, but you understand what I am saying.

images from video clips of stphanie and linus idahosa’s wedding

The really cool thing about Modern/Contemporary styles is that the can be used for other events aside from weddings. Like, Cocktail Parties, Birthday Parties, Corporate Events, Corporate Product Launches, Company Branding, etc.

Beach / Garden Wedding
Right now, we are smack in the middle of Raining Season. If you are bent on having this style of wedding, please look towards the months of February to May. The reason being, the months of October to January are usually Harmattan Haze months, and the weather is usually uncomfortable, with it being cold and dry at the same time.

Sometimes, there are flashes of rain. Personally, the months of February to May is our summer time and would be more favourable.

A Beach/Garden wedding has a lot to give: it’s fun in the sun, and has a magical backdrop. This would add ambience, natural décor scenery, and view to the whole event. They both sing the loudest for flirty dresses and colours, which rise from bright and catchy to soft pastels.

images from Dews of Keziah decor archives

Your décor would be minimal, because it’s outdoor surrounding would do most of the complimenting. The dressing for the bride should or could be light and flirty. High heels at the beach is a BIG, “Oh no you dint! Gurrl, what chu thinkin’?” Why not buy rhinestone flat sandals or flats, or slippers, this would be perfect for the beach.

For the Garden wedding style, if you have wood flooring assembled on the grass, a medium heel sling back  open toe sandals, would be advisable, or pretty ballerina flats. For your wedding souvenirs,  pashminas, scarfs or sunglasses are great ideas.

Phewww! That was long. Please fill free to participate in the questions I asked. It is just a way to create dialogue and interaction between myself and my readers.

Next post, “That Body, That Dress”,…till then kisses.

♥ J!