Working on BN Weddings, we are always excited to see a couple’s most special day with all the beautiful elements (the dress, the venue etc…) and of course, the couple’s love shining through!
That said, we are also elated when we see a couple step outside “the box” and celebrate their wedding in a truly distinctive way.
Designer Kiki Kamanu and IT Consultant Noble Ekajeh‘s wedding was truly a magnificent occasion!
View the photos and read all about their “Turkish Delight”!
How Kiki & Noble Met
Kiki was minding her own business at Bogobiri in Ikoyi Lagos having a glass of wine and working on her computer. Noble walked in and was immediately smitten. He asked Enyi Emeruah (who became best man) to make an introduction. Kiki was not interested and was already altar bound with a wonderful Parisien. Noble did not give up and later became her business partner. Kiki still was not interested but was pleased with their close genuine friendship that had formed.
9 months later, out of the blue, she was sitting next to Noble and heard a voice which said ‘That is him, he is the one’ She was stunned and ignored the voice. It came again minutes later and said almost in exasperation ‘No, that’s him, he is the one!’ She ruminated over this for a week and realized that Noble had 90% of everything she had ever wanted and envisioned in a life partner!
Two weeks after they started dating, they had the following exchange:
Kiki innocently said- “Oh wow, 10-10-10 seems like such a cool date to do anything’ . Noble, never skipping a beat said ‘Lets get married on 10-10-10“!
The (First) Wedding!
The couple eloped to Istanbul on March 24, 2010. An hour later they informed their parents and then announced it on Facebook! It was a shock to all because NO ONE knew they were dating, not even Kiki’s twin sister! Everyone thought they were just business partners.
The Wedding – 10/10/10
As this was a truly distinctive wedding, the BN Wedding team will be presenting it in a different way. We were not the only ones blown away by this wedding, the staff at the 7 star Ciragan Hotel were so taken by their preparations that they begged to have a Turkish TV station come to cover it. ‘Kanal D’ covered it and showed Kiki and Noble’s wedding for several days during prime time. After the wedding, the couple and several of their guests were recognized by Turks as they walked about town making them over night celebrities! Martha Stewart’s wedding magazine also asked to cover it but of course we know BN Weddings trumps that (wink!)
We asked the beautiful (superwoman – she planned the wedding!) bride Kiki a few questions on what inspired this amazing wedding celebration.
What inspired you to decide on a destination wedding?
People laugh when I say this but its the truth – Smelly waiters. I have been to so many weddings in Lagos and all but one wedding have had ill-trained waiters serving my food! And I didn’t want a situation where guests trickle in at all hours because they are juggling their Saturdays. I wanted our friends and family to be there for us full time.
I ran the Neurosurgery Residency Programme at Harvard for 5 years which was very stressful. One of my Neurosurgeon friends was from Istanbul and would ALWAYS argue with me that Istanbul was ‘ten thousand times better than Lagos’. One day I took his challenge and found my self scuba diving in Bodrum in Southern Turkey and walking around in Istanbul where history comes alive. I was absolutely in awe of its beauty and dynamism. I took my fiance Noble to Istanbul and it did not take much to convince him, he fell in love with it as well.
Was it easy to convince your groom and family to get on board?
All those who know me know I do things very differently. No one was shocked. They were all excited and we actually had people who were not invited ‘invite’ themselves because of the destination! Our Pastor, Paul Adefarasin made sure we went through pre-marital counselling which was the best thing we have ever done. We have a rock, and are accountable for every action we think and make.
The date was very symbolic, why did you choose that date?
It was catchy and unforgettable, TEN TEN TEN!
How did you choose your venues and themes?
Venue – The Ciragan Palace is a Kempinski Hotel and the only standing Ottoman palace right on the Bosphorous. There is a lot of rich history which comes alive as soon as you walk through the doors.
Theme – For the theme, that was easier – New York Fashion Week! I live between Lagos and Manhattan. I have been a runway model since my early teens and I am now a fashion designer. I insisted that everyone HAD to wear loads of colour. Black was forbidden.
Outfits – I designed all the outfits for the entire 30 person wedding party and It was essential that everyone NOT be wearing the same fabric or same design. I feel it is important that wedding outfits should be recycled and worn again. I designed pieces based on each persons body type and lifestyle.
The 9 groomsmen wore raw silk kaftans in vibrant hues with rich embroidery from my EKZ men’s collection. My brother, dad and 4 brothers in law also wore kaftans from EKZ. The 10 bridesmaids wore stunning lace dresses whilst my 2 maids of honour and my 3 sisters wore soft silk dresses. We also had a red carpet and velvet ropes to make it more authentic.
You are a designer and had a stunning collection of dresses which you wore at the wedding, describe the looks and tell us the inspiration behind them.
It took me less than a week to get my three pieces together. It was crazy but fun. My staff were busy sewing late into the night!
The First Outfit – My first outfit for the church ceremony was a lavish red satin long skirt with multiple layers of ruffles. I paired it with a silver satin bustier with Swarovski crystals. I completed the outfit with red satin boots my wonderful assistant Martha painstakingly sprinkled with Swarovski crystals.
The Second Outfit – My second outfit was worn into the reception and also for the interview with Turkish TV station Canal D. It was white lace with feathers my mum had given me years ago. I had never known what to do with it until then.
The Third Outfit – For my third outfit, I wore a purple and green chiffon dress inspired by Alexander McQueen. I also had a pair of purple/lime multi strapped satin shoes I made from my shoe collection.
How many days did you spend in Turkey and how many ceremonies/celebrations took place?
We were in Istanbul for about ten days. We had a beautiful, emotional Christian ceremony officiated by our spiritual mentor and friend Pastor Paul Adefarasin of House on the Rock. This ceremony was held at the Ciragan Palace, Istanbul.
Were there any additional special activities organized for guests?
We were so blessed to have our guests in Istanbul for 5 days. We had a dinner for our near 200 guests (some who came form as far away as New Zealand and Sri Lanka) at a traditional low key Turkish restaurant in the Cek Passaji area complete with a private concert of Turkish folk music. We also organized tours and Turkish baths. It was important for us that our guests get to know the beauty that is about in Istanbul from Galata to Bebek to Ortakoy
Advice for brides and grooms considering a destination wedding
1) Don’t ever think its too expensive. There is a wedding for every budget.
2) Don’t listen to family when it comes to your day. A close fried of mine wanted to get married on 06-06-2006 and because it was not ‘convenient’ for her dad, it did not happen. Another friend wanted to have a ceremony for his dad’s friends in Lagos and then the actual wedding in nearby Cotonou, and his dad objected. In the end a low key event was held in Lagos to the dismay of the couple. I was stunned in both cases! It is about you and your spouse, it is the beginning of your beginning and like Burger King you should have it your way! That’s it!
3) Make sure you are friends first! Very very important! We talk about everything, good and bad unpleasant and otherwise.