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Oh to be a Bride! 3 Beautiful BN Brides Share their Wedding Planning Experiences

Atoke

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In June, I did a piece about The Bridezilla and invited our dear readers to share their experiences with us.  You wont find many people admitting that they went a little crazy in the planning of their wedding and you can’t really blame them. Weddings are supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and subconsciously, you want it to be PERFECT!

Three fabulous readers of BN have decided to share some of the ups and downs of planning their wedding. We hope you enjoy it.
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Dooshima Oyewole

My wedding was on: 16th December 2011
My wedding was at: The Ecumenical Christian Center Abuja
I would not have compromised on: Makeup, music and photography.

In retrospect maybe I shouldn’t have made a fuss about: I really didn’t make a big fuss about anything; but I would definitely NEVER ever do aso-ebi again. The wahala was just too much. I will definitely just have a color pallete to follow for my daughter’s wedding.

I tore my hair out when: On that morning I came down from my hotel room to have breakfast with my sister and we passed the banquet hall at the hotel where the reception was to hold in about 6 hours and the decorator was NOWHERE to be found! I almost passed out. I called  her up only to find out she had forgotten and even travelled to another state! At that point what can you do? I took an advil enjoyed my breakfast and went to start makeup and hair. My faith did not allow me to fret. Between my husband, sister and event co-ordinator for the day, a solution came up.

The high point of my Wedding: Looking back the high point of my wedding for me was walking down the aisle with my dad while one of my favorite songs “Na Gode” was sung live by Solomon Lange. This is my most cherished moment because my dad passed away a short while after my wedding and I’m grateful to have shared that moment with him.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Jacqueline Sarfo

My wedding was on: 16th June 2012
My wedding was at: Christ Chapel Church & Foxchase Manor
I would not have compromised on: My dress and shoes
In retrospect maybe I shouldn’t have made a fuss about: The guest list

I tore my hair out when: I found out that the cocktail hour didn’t start exactly at 5pm but at 5:30pm. During the entire process prior to the big day I was beyond a bridezilla. I spent hours going over the guest list, food menu, and doing a walk through with the vendors at the location of the reception (Foxchase Manor) to make sure everyone knew exactly what I was expecting. I was involved in every expect of the wedding even though I had 2 wedding coordinators and my mother. I wanted reassurance from everyone that the day was going to be perfect. On the day of my wedding it was picture perfect, we had wonderful weather in Virginia, so I was over the moon since the cocktail hour was going to be outdoors.

The ceremony went without a hitch so I was extremely thrilled. When I arrived at the reception hall, I became an extreme bridezilla when I found out that the guests were not offered the appetizers for cocktail hour. I called my caterer along with the staff and gave them a good piece of my mind. Now I so regret the angry call. But at that moment, I wanted everything to go perfectly so I felt my nack for being on time and starting things on time was going unnoticed. I was really upset but once everything started, I knew I had to have a good time regardless of whither it went smoothly or not. I had an amazing time at my wedding and my husband and I laughed about the hours we spent on the stress and our one regret was not thoroughly enjoying the process.

The high point of my wedding: Being announced as husband and wife.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Joy Radford

My wedding was on: 22nd of October 2011 & 7th February 2012
My wedding was at: My father’s house in Abuja Nigeria and Craig Y Nos Castle, Wales UK
I would not have compromised on: A traditional wedding. As I married a Caucasian, I insisted he performed all the necessary traditional rites as well as knowing my background and culture. A few of my friends tried to discourage me from doing that, predicting doom and gloom and I angrily unfriended them on Facebook for not supporting my decision. Also, I would not have compromised on good food and an open bar at the UK wedding. Everyone said we’d regret providing free drinks all night. We didn’t and nobody “misused” our generosity.

In retrospect maybe I shouldn’t have made a fuss about: Trying to organise the Nigerian event myself. I finally left it to my aunties and they rose to the occasion. In the UK, trying to sort transport and accommodation for my guests. It stressed me out and I was left almost £500 out of pocket as some people did not pay me back even though they promised to!

I tore my hair out when: 1. When one of my distant cousins started berating me for not buying a cow or booking a hall. I lost it and ranted for over 30 minutes about how I’d had enough and was already living with my husband to be and only came home to show respect to my family and if that’s not good enough for them, I’d be  happy to take the next flight back. Everyone tip-toed round me for hours after that!

2. Also, the fact that I had to chase almost all my Nigerian guests in the UK for their RSVPs. I sent out a text threatening to uninvite anyone who did not respond to the RSVP by the end of that day. This was 3 weeks after they were due in. I got all my yesses that evening.

3. People calling me up and saying ” This my friend really wants to come to the wedding” People I did not even know at all. It annoyed me no end.

The high point of my wedding: Saying our vows during the white wedding. We wrote our own vows and whilst saying it, it was as if only both of us existed at that moment. I felt special, lucky and most of all, loved. All in all, both days were fantastic and I probably will not change a thing if I could re-do it all over again.

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At BellaNaija, we wish Dooshima Oyewole, Jacqueline Sarfo and Joy Radford a happy married life. May laughter never depart from your lips. We always welcome brides who want to showcase their weddings on BellaNaija because we LOVE weddings and we don’t discriminate against culture, or religion. So ladies, please send your beautiful, high resolution photographs to us; weddings (at) bellanaija (dot) com. 

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore.Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

53 Comments

  1. Chattyzee

    September 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing this BN, I wish you would have written their names, but that’s cool.
    I think the funniest was the third wedding, In which the lady said she had to chase down Nigerians to get them to RSVP…lmao…yeah, that’s Nigerians for you…. this was fun to read. Good luck to all of them in their marriages.

    http://dprodigalchild.wordpress.com/

    • cindy

      September 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      the names are at the bottom of the post

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 26, 2012 at 9:37 am

      The names were at the top and bottom..

  2. Pretty Eyes

    September 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    loooll…awww…i;m a bride to be yayyyy

  3. Lilly

    September 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    lol…i really enjoyed this especially the third couple. praying that i and my Caucasian bf will walk down the aisle and say “i do”. AMEN!

    • B

      September 26, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Are you in Nigeria?

    • lilly

      September 28, 2012 at 12:17 am

      No my dear i’m not in Nigeria.

  4. Nma

    September 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    LOL ummm Joy Radford is not one to be played with…bridezilla to the umpteenth power.

  5. rew

    September 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    OMG, how did her decorator not show up??that is the height of unprofessional-ism.I hope she was able to get her money back.I hate when Nigerians don’t RSVP, the reason oyibo events are usually hitch free is because even the littlest detail is thought of and planned for People don’t rsvp and then they have the guts to show up with 10 guests and these will be the same people that will yap and berate your wedding when they do not get food to eat.

  6. lorenz

    September 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Beautiful weddings a worth the stress. But wouldnt think i can keep up with planning every step of the way oh. lovely pictures..

  7. rew

    September 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    awww @ Dooshima and her dad passing away after…you are so lucky to have had him there.

  8. faith

    September 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    I enjoye reading this!…thanks BN

  9. Bee

    September 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    My wedding was barely a month ago n I’m still reeling from it. I went sans wedding planner and the last minute horrors nearly drove me crazy. Example: My drinks supplier decided to cancel at 1am on the wedding morning. At that point I decided what will be will be. It eventually was a beautiful day (and yes there were drinks) but it was the most stressful experience of my life

    • Pretty Eyes

      September 26, 2012 at 8:06 am

      OMG! are you serious? that’s horrible o, what did you now do? hahahaha please you guys should not give me heart attack, my wedding is in some months and I don’t even live in Nig but that’s where it will hold.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Dont tell us now, tell BN i.e. send it to their email and then we will read about it and comment… lol…

      Beautiful Brides, May all heart desires in your marriage come through by Gods grace… AMEN.

      http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk/

  10. Madam the Madam

    September 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Great read. BN, I love these innovative features that you guys randomly do.
    OMG, if my decorator had not shown up, I would have passed out for real. And I would totally catch a case if my guests do not have appetizers during cocktail hour. And people who don’t RSVP? Real pet peeve. I guess when you think about it, it’s hard to not be bridezilla-ish at your wedding.

    Happy married life ladies. I wish you all the joys and blessings of marriage, and many more.

  11. iamfascinating

    September 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm

  12. Bisi BusyBee!

    September 25, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Interesting stories.. Thanks alot for sharing. But a decorator forgetting she has an event to do??? wow, i salute the bride to still keep calm.
    That why, the place of an Event Planner can not be over emphasized. They save you the stress, attend to the minutest of details and save lots of time. Nice one BN! http://www.busybeeeventsng.com

    • Nutella

      October 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Most Nigerians, especially the ones outside Lagos are yet to catch on about events planners. let me not even start on the outrageous pricing requests eg N100,000 to plan an event of 400 guests…RME!

  13. tatafo!

    September 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    ha, the last bride is something else. I appreciate her candor sha

  14. Niyoola

    September 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    My wedding ……phew!!!!!
    The decorator was horrible. I told her I didn’t want wall drapping, I checked d hall the night b4 and everything seemed to be going well! When I entered for reception, I almost passed out. The colour was like dirty dish water!!”!!! No one noticed though
    My photographer didn’t come with a partner, he covered the event alone, so lots of my friends were missing from my album 🙁
    Every other thing was fab!

    Oh, I got AF ……. Disaster! But it behaved, no mp, changes.

    I realized that fretting over things will just stress you, whatever will go wrong will go wrong. And DELEGATING work cannot be over emphasized. You can’t do everything yourself.
    Ok bye

  15. lulu

    September 26, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I really enjoyed reading this. SO much to learn from and fun to read as well!!Xoxoxoxox

  16. R

    September 26, 2012 at 5:52 am

    How does an event coordinator forget her event??

    • Chi

      October 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      I AGREE – UNBELIEVABLE. FOR THAT I WOULD CHASE HER TO THE STATE THAT SHE DECIDED TO TAKE OFF TO. I really hope this bride got a refund

  17. Onyinye

    September 26, 2012 at 8:39 am

    By being a Nigeria….Nice write up sha BN

  18. oyin

    September 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Ladies, if you can afford it, just get a fantastic wedding planner. That was one of the best decisions i made, took a lot of stress off me. But i have to specify here, get an experienced and tested planner o….not ur sister/cousin that’s experimenting! They can help with the main planner.

  19. chi chi

    September 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

    oh lawd! lol. sooo many things can go wrong at a wedding even after good planning, especially here in Naija. From way back I already said that i DO NOT want a wedding ceremony, and the more stories i hear, the stronger my fears/resolve not to have one. I can be such a paranoid worry-wart, i would freak out if for instance my decorator went AWOL on me hours before the D-time. I can’t even imagine it. But weddings/love/marriage are all good things, so i guess it’s all worth it.

    http://www.jewelzmag.com

  20. nino

    September 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I loved this feature….WE WANT MORE….who is with me….
    I love me some bellanaija…you guys just always do it for me…

    i think we should make this a regular feature…Thanks BN team….

    • bellagirl

      September 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

      am with you on this and bella i want to feature too o ….makes the day look real….. away from the regular smiling brides lets see whats going on in their heads..lol

  21. Lynn

    September 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Am getting married in 2 mths tym n my BF thinks am a Bridezilla…I hv fired my Cake lady plus my Maid of hnr..eir getting on my nerves…My mother, mother in law…infact everyone including e groom…its good 2 read this

  22. Cool cat

    September 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Oh BN, this is what blogging shoul be about. Sharing life experiences that people can relate to, not just for gossip, entertaining as it may be.

    Absolutely loved this.. 1st bride brought a tear to my right eye!

  23. zee

    September 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    oh wow…am getting married next year aug and the way i have found to avoid stress is to start early. If for some reason the wedding has to hold tomorrow eh gbam! am ready!:)

  24. Occasions In Print

    September 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Always a good idea to share your wedding experiences. At the end of the day, it is all about the person you are starting your life with.

  25. Miss Mo

    September 27, 2012 at 3:17 am

    I have heard of one here in the US where a reputable bakery forgot to bake the wedding cake. Couple had to take pics with a cake bought from a grocery store. Bakery delivered cake later in the day but didn’t charge the couple.

    It is well…..

  26. Joy

    September 27, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Thank you all for your kind wishes! Honestly, it’s almost impossible not to be a bridezilla. I think because I was a die hard “I must marry a Nigerian”, it came as a big surprise that I was marrying a Caucasian. We opted for a cheapish wedding as we had 2 weddings in different continents and were buying a house as well! In order not to overspend, I had to be blunt with my family & friends at all times. After all, na me go suffer am after! 6 of us travelled from the UK to Nigeria. 3 from both sides of the family, when you add those costs, then cheapish flies out the window.

    As for the RSVP, you had to give the venue a total number by a certain date or you’ll have to pay for maximum use of the venue. We also had 121 guests (73 Nigerians) so it was important to get the number right oh.

    • lilly

      September 28, 2012 at 12:23 am

      Joy my dear i hail you oooo. you try biko! Praying that my prayers will be answered.

  27. LOUDA

    September 27, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Wow I must say congratulations to the above lovely brides. Its a once in a life time affair to be remembered forever. My cousin’s chief bridesmaids decided to travel to Lagos on the wedding day to meet a new boyfriend who just came in from jand. My cousin cried but thank God another friend who came for the wedding in a long gown that looked like a bridesmaid dress took over and she did it so well. No matter what happens, the main thing is that you finally married your man, every other thing is secondary. Bella keep the good work rolling in.

    • Audrey

      September 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      This is sad but funny too. I’m sure your Cousin’s Chief bridesmaids was thinking ‘she’s found her husband let me go and catch mine’ lmao!

  28. Dapsy

    September 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    This is all so funny. Important not to stress at all. I think I fought everyone cos everybody got on my nerves. My mother-in-law decided that the groom’s family should wear blue (not telling anyone she changed what was agreed on at a meeting which she was a part of) AFTER we had bought and distributed aso ebi in the other colour printed the prior agreed colours on the IV. Coupled with the fact that we were wearing blue as well (my husband and I)and her own blue doesn’t go with the other colours of the day. I was so mad!

  29. Mma

    September 28, 2012 at 12:28 am

    yes, Wedding planning is indeed something else! Lol. Looks like the ladies did a great job.

    Check out this site.
    http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

  30. MEE

    September 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    My sister forgot to get a photographer for her Trads! I didn’t shower til d ceremony ended, was busy making sure evrytin was ok,still we forgot photographer!

  31. Wealthy one

    September 29, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I’m married now we dated for years. I will say the greatest advice I will give any bride to be or wife now is to build a daily altar – where you meet God daily at night 10-12pm anyone that suits you both, sing, praise him, read a chapter, confess the word and use the word as your prayer point.
    2. Decide what your union personally want to do for God. It’s private, not just being an usher in church or a worker in Gods house, what is your union bringing to the table for the body of Christ?Is it just an empty marriage of self love, money & making, kids, no God in the map? Ask these questions. God gave all of us a common assignment to go into the world and preach the gospel though some people are very shy I was too cos I’m suppose to be a fly babe in my sense didnt want to look like a “spiro” so I started copying and pasting on my Facebook gradually I now preach through the Internet. Loads of folks are blessed and some write to me saying: they look forward to my post daily that it encourages them. I make out time to teach, I visit charity homes alone, drop the gifts and go, no need to post pictures to show the world.
    3. 1 or 6 months if you are sexually active try hard to abstain or in fact abstain if possible before your wedding cos God will honor you greatly in ways you cant pay him back, hard but ask for grace, I did and he answered me.
    4. 1 year or 6 months to your wedding you and fiancée should start daily prayers on the phone, in traffic, any where you can pray together daily. Choose days to fast too. While both of you are doing this, your both families are also praying with other prayer warriors too behind the sceen, some will even come fasting on your behalf on your wedding day, mostly the traditional. Write everything you want in the marriage, wedding, future, personal ministry e.g charity, or sharing tracks privately, you can give cab men, security men hop me but we pray on the tract before we give to them to people anywhere, shocking almost everyone gladly collects them and they will say ha! I will help you share them! Me too I want God to bless me. I also drop them at schools and share at random places. Be private of all your plans. Don’t gather friends and start giving them all your wedding update.
    5. Focus on the purpose you are getting married is not to show off even is so obvious you are both blessed but because it’s Gods perfct will. Folks who came said my wedding was the best they have ever attended some even said they felt Gods presence at my wedding. And some had testimonies that day, breakthroughs from contacts they made.

    No sentiments! I sacked my planner some months to my wedding got another prayerful one and very organize but decided I will pay her and other vendors after the wedding cos we sensed foul play during the tradtional wedding, Everyone received their monies & bonuses right there at the venue.
    6. If you hate prayers, please don’t marry. It’s a praying ground. Attend fellowships during the week that will strengthen you or boost your faith. Watch gospel channels, you will learn a lot.

    7. A lot of folks will annoy you please forgive them and make peace before that day.

    8. Also go to a good church where you will learn everythin possible and please apply them, dont apply friends or oh my Anty’s advice, Gods own rule. Challenges will come but because the foundation is in God, not just you both, it will always overcome. The marriage is a lifetime. The prayers were for the marriage, wedding and all our expectations as a couple. So far God has granted us easy wisdom in marriage. We still have our daily altar where we pray daily. We are hip, both very good looking & enlightened but we knew a good marriage is maintained by God not just wealth only and romance as they make it seem most times. I have so much passion in speaking to married folks. It’s not how long, it’s the information and the foundation of your relationship with God and your man. Sorry for the long sermon. A good marriage is priceless, seek deep wisdom before you say I do. After marriage advice is for another day. Lol……. I have countless testimonies sometimes I don’t share so people don’t think they are too good to be true considering what many folks are going though now. or feel bad. God honors those ho honors him.

  32. Funke BUCKNOR obruthe

    September 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Hmmm

  33. Sisiekomi

    September 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I really enjoyed this post!

    Wealthy one ,your comment is right on point. I would love to contact you, my email is sisiekomi @gmail.com ,I would be glad if you can email me .

  34. Wealthy one

    September 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Sorry for some of my typo errors in my earlier post. I was very tired that night. I didn’t take proper time to read through.

  35. Wealthy one

    September 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Sisiekomi I will contact you shortly. Thanks.

  36. miz bellisima

    October 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    @wealthy one I would also like to contact U̶̲̥̅̊,can’t U̶̲̥̅̊ please leave a contact email.God bless U̶̲̥̅̊,I totally support doing charity works quietly.

  37. lahips

    October 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    nice piece

  38. sista in the Lord

    October 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

    @ wealthy one please I would also like to contact you, God bless you for sharing such a rich and helpful post. My email adress is [email protected]

  39. Chi

    October 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Na wah! LOL. It is so true about giving the venue the final numbers so you still have ot ask yourself why as Nigerians we are too happy to have excess number of people and then complain of cost. Why can’t everyone respect the RSVP and know that each extra head requires kudi?

  40. altini

    October 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Suddenly I find my joy and happiness here at belle naija, reading thru the story of the 3 brides and wealthy one. For the past 6 months I have buried myself in planning my wedding and coming to gaze at other bides wedding pics, stress myself, day dream about how my day will look like. Howvere when 27th october finally arrives am lying down on my bed, crying silently and wondering how my D day is just nau an ordinary day. You see my wedding was postpone 2 weeks due to security threat in my state which the wedding ought to take place. But reading thru the comments here I realise the joy of finding love and sharing life with that special one far surpasses the joy and thrill of the D day. @wealthy one thanks for making me remember the power of prayer. Pls email me [email protected]. And bella naija thanks for providing a world in which I can come to and find solace while I wait for jan 12 2013 my new D day.

    • Louisa

      December 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      Smile dear! Smile with you face and your heart will smile along with you. You still have your beloved….and the wedding will still go on.

  41. Maybelle

    October 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    A wedding planner takes away the stress of having to organize that perfect dream wedding all by yourself. The best thing any bride can do is leave the planning to the pros and focus on the marriage itself. Then Pray!Pray!!Pray!!!
    tsoule.com is a great place to start! *wink wink*

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