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First Look! Naza and Folarin Alakija’s Wedding – Robin Thicke performed, Jeff Leatham transformed Blenheim Palace

BellaNaija.com

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After a proposal in Greece last year followed by their traditional engagement in Lagos, Folarin Alakija married his love Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar yesterday at the historic Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

The groom Flo, a widower father-of-one, is an entrepreneur, investor and cinematographer while the bride Naza is a graduate of Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Manchester. She also has a graduate Diploma in Law and has worked as a model and marketing consultant.

Richest woman in Africa, Folorunsho Alakija and her husband Modupe were overjoyed as they celebrated with their son.

As expected, the wedding was a stunner!

Rockstar event designer Jeff Leatham transformed the venues for the ceremony and reception. Guests enjoyed a surprise performance by star musician Robin Thicke as well as a magnificent fireworks display. The grand cake was by Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium. The event was planned by Sade Awe of The Bridal Circle.

#RobinThicke performing at Naza and Folarin Alakija’s wedding in Oxfordshire yesterday.

A post shared by Africa’s Top Wedding Website (@bellanaijaweddings) on


Congrats to the couple!

Photo Credit: Instagram

42 Comments

  1. Darius

    June 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Robin Thicke? When they could’ve invited Nigerian artists. What ever happened to Asa, Timi Dakolo, Praiz, Bez, etc. I also noticed the wedding planning was done a British! Na wa o! They make their money in Nigeria, but choose to spend it elsewhere. Only God knows how much they’ve added to the British econnmy!

    1
    • Ramadan

      June 11, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      When you get your money, hire Nigerian vendors. Until then, leave others to distribute their money as they see fit.
      Sorry to say, but the “so called” Nigerian top event designers could learn a thing or two from this. I can bet that Jeff Leatham used not less than $100,000 worth of flowers for this, yet look at how CLEAN AND CLASSY AND SOFT it looks. If this had been Zapphire, Nwando’s Signatures, etc, you would’ve seen how garish and over the top it would’ve looked! You can’t compare those “Oriental Hotel/Blue Velvet’ weddings to this, sorry. Nigeria doesn’t even have enough variety in terms of venues as compared to the UK, US, Italy, etc.
      Maybe if Nigerian event designers were as good as the Jeff Leathams, they would hire them.

      1
    • B

      June 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Are you going to tell them how to spend their self earned money? If Luciano Pavarotti,the opera singer was still alive and I wanted him to perform at my wedding, I would make it happen as long it can be paid for. Next comes praying for the marriage itself to work.

      1
    • Mama

      June 11, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      @Ramadan…How will we have variety of venues when people will not invest here for the cash to flow. Will the money to invest in venues fall down from heaven? While we can’t decide where these wealthy people have their weddings, I agree with Darius that we need to start looking inwards. They make their money here (at the expense of all of us), yet when it is time for vendors to gain a little, they go outside to spend it.; how then can we develop? If the people whose countries they go to have the weddings did the same thing, they won’t be where they are today.

      1
    • True talk

      June 11, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Was probably the bride’s idea.

      1
    • Kandy

      June 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      @Mama But why should indigenous companies make money just on the basis of patriotism? If you want me to hire you and not go all the way to Britain for vendors, give me legitimate reasons to. Improve your services so that I can boldly say “let me get vendors from Naija because the people in Naija are just as good as the ones abroad.” Paying customers will NOT seek services based on patriotism, and they are under no obligation to. Paying customers will seek services based on QUALITY. Therefore, if they are assured of QUALITY abroad, OF COURSE they will go abroad. It is up to indigenous vendors to UP THEIR GAME so they can compete with their international counterparts.

      1
    • See

      June 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Obviously a wedding is to the taste of the bride. Why would she invite Nigerian artists when she isn’t Nigerian ?

      1
    • Binam

      June 11, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      @See, the bride is an Iranian, but she didn’t invite any iranian artist. Na wa for una reasoning!

      1
    • Xoxo

      June 11, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      @ Darious,
      Where were you when they had their traditional engagement in Lagos late last year?! Typically, it shouldn’t have even taken place in Lagos, as the bride isn’t Nigerian, but they did. She and her family even wore Yoruba attire, and the entire ceremony was performed as a Yoruba engagement.

      Secondly, only one half of the couple is Nigerian. Couldn’t we also ask why there weren’t any Iranian vendors?

      Lastly, Elizabeth (cake maker) is Nigerian. So is Sade (event planner).

      PS. I’ve been following the Nigeiran wedding scene for a few years, and let’s be honest, Nigeiran weddings are always, to a certain degree, a hot mess. Especially those deemed society weddings. Notice how only a couple of people are recording the Alakija’s first dance! Had it been in Nigeria, 100s of people would have flocked around the couple to record or take pictures. Then you’ll also have those that will be spraying filthy notes on you, with one lady carrying a plastic bag picking up the notes. Let’s no forget the 25 different photographers and videographers vying for space., and the badly dressed security men wearing tank tops and bullet proof vests. On top of that, you’ll have badly plated food, garnished with a wilted leaf of lettuce.

      I don’t blame them for having it in England!

      2
    • Ajiun

      June 11, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      Ramadan & Kandy. You have said it all!

      I chuckled when I saw the garish! That’s what Nigeria’s today wedding all look like! Over the top and tacky. Zero finesse and they are all okay with this. To get the quality you want you have to micromanage your planner and designer which obsolete the whole point of hiring them.

      As always Nigerians want you to pity them and patronise them without wanting to improve their standards. Very frustrating ideology. If you criticise their work so they can grow, they will call you a hater. Even on this very blog when some readers criticise the drop of content quality or lack of direction, you will see some people telling them to start their own blog.

      Even the owner of the blog can’t take criticism easily, yet she posts harsh and explosive comments. To be fair, she has managed to listen a bit. I don’t see her competing so hard anymore to be like “the other blogger”. I see her struggling more to make returns to keep the blog/business afloat now. This is partly why I still visit and start to even comment,because I understand she is struggling to run a business and maintain/keep the great standard she started with. And for her to get it right, she needs support and the traffic (I am still here because I believe she can keep the standard with more support).

      Nigerians just expect pity all the time and don’t want to push hard to be better. Yet they want us to buy & patronise Nigerian. Every freaking industry in the country doesn’t take criticism so they can grow. It is just so sad because Nigerians are so intelligent, creative and adaptable!

      So much potential yet they want to remain mediocre. If you make a fuss or lament about lack of passion and quality in their work they will say you are troublesome or difficult. I still remember bad news flying about a certain celeb wife (she now owns a magazine) being difficult to her planner and people around her. When her wedding pics hit the web, it is same Nigerians who ranted that started calling it classy, western quality and elegant. If she hadn’t been so hands on with her planner and everyone who didn’t want to listen to/give her taste, the details of the wedding won’t be so classy and elegant or international standard.

      It is very difficult to trust a Nigerian vendor or service provider; from hair stylists to tailors to plumbers to carpenters, to network providers and etc. Even home builders! Every time now we are hearing of houses collapsing and people losing their lives. You cant hand over your work or yourself to them, leave or close your eyes and let them do their magic. You will regret it. And it usually takes time to find ones who cares about customer service. It also takes time for the bond to exist so you can trust them wholeheartedly because they get you. But abroad, they respect you because they care about their work, their delivery, retaining customers and lawsuits.

      1
  2. Nakoms

    June 11, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    @Ramadan and B. Take it easy with the “self made money” line. No oil money in Nigeria is self made and what you have here is the creamiest of the rent seeking gang. From seamstress to oil mogul. Success tailored in Nigeria!

    1
    • B

      June 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      @ Nakoms, like most people you assume all of the funding came from Mrs Alakija, hence your oil money statement. What insider evidence do you have to prove that the son did not use his any of his self earned money from his career to contribute to the wedding? Not all wealthy children rely on their parents a 100 percent you know. And yes I am aware of the oil block thing, but Mrs Alakija is still working very hard to utilise what she was given many years ago.

      1
  3. Deleke

    June 11, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Chai see money. God bless me oh Lord that I can throw weddings for my boys at the White House south lawn. Now that’s classified

    2
  4. Fabulous

    June 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Money well spent.

    1
  5. john

    June 11, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    they don’t even spend Nigeria

    1
  6. blackbeatle

    June 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    chaiyeee..(in mama peace voice) …see decor !! see owo, ego ,kudi…

    1
  7. Billionaire in grace

    June 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    One word is good to have money

    1
  8. Nene

    June 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Are any Alakijas married to Nigerians? The wedding does look stunning

    1
    • Anon

      June 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Ladi married Lolade nee Cardoso about 5 years ago.

      1
  9. my opinion

    June 11, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Let’s not forget that it’s the girl that dreams up a wedding and in this case, she is not Nigerian. It’s not everything that we must find fault in.

    1
  10. Yellow one

    June 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Money is good.

    1
  11. Gandalfess

    June 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    He now went abroad and used our oil money to marry foreign wife whereas pressure is placed on the Nigerian ladies to marry only Nigerian guys.

    Naija ladies abroad, shine your eyes. If you meet a non-nigerian who genuinely likes you and wants to marry you, ignore your family’s talk. Marry him.

    2
  12. Somto

    June 11, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    And yet she evicted her tenants from her property in Ikorodu because they owe 150k rent. N

    1
    • Ajala&Foodie

      June 11, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      @Somto, what has that got to do with anything?? She is a business woman, if she gave everything away for free because o it is just a lil amount, she will have nothing. If the renters could not afford rent then they need to move into something more affordable. This nonesense mentality that because someone is “rich” they need to give EVERYTHING out for free is ridiculous, money is not infinite, if not managed properly can and will run out. Before you say you don’t mean everything you only referred to this one situation, but guess what if every other person she had business relationships felt this way, guess where she will be today? Yep flat broke. This is the “sense of entitlement” mentality we need to get rid off.

      On another note, I just want to point out that for those arguing the buying Nigerian or Non-Nigerian: first, they had a Nigerian wedding in Nigeria where Nigerian vendors were used. Secondly, wedding designer is different from wedding planner. The wedding planner is Nigerian or at least her name Sade Awe sounds Nigerian to me.

      2
    • Ajala & Foodie

      June 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      @ BN, my comment is kindly awaiting moderation.

      1
    • Ajiun

      June 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Why are you so sentimental. The woman didn’t become a billionaire by running business on sentiments. She rented her property based on returns agreement. The tenants didn’t pay up and she evicted them. Why are you here ranting. Nigbati o kin se ota aje, i.e. when you are not an enemy of progress. So she shouldnt evict them nor throw a wedding for her son because she evicted them.

      Business is business. If you want to talk about her spending, you can suggest she shouldn’t forget the poor. The woman does have charity programs. She has publicized her “give back to widow” project often. And we don’t know what other charity projects she does. But we can only keep reminding and encouraging her.

      Most people don’t work to give all their money away, they work to be able to afford the sort of life they want. Some come across the money from just pursuing their passion. While others make the money specifically to invest on their dream projects or charities. The only message to pass on to everyone, both rich, OK and poor, is to not be selfish/self-centred and to care for one another. But you can’t dictate how anyone should spend their money. I am tired of Nigerians being so sentimental and entitled. If you want to help the tenants she evicted, rally around and raise funds.

      That’s how some of you will be lobbying for blood money without knowing. Yet you are always the first to rant about how so, so and so made their money.

      Moreover a lot of OK and rich people keep off helping the poor often because a lot of Nigerians tend to become liabilities or leeches. They always take advantage of kind hearted or soft hearted people. They don’t want the sort of help that will gradually help them stand on their feet, they either want these people to help them to “blow” instantly or they want them to become an ATM machine that keeps pouring out money to sustain the life they can’t afford, forgetting that everyone has their struggles and everyone needs balance and peace of mind. This is why the oyinbos can easily give money to charity. There is accountability, privacy, balance and peace of mind. How many oyinbo landlord did you hear of during the global recession few years ago that are millionaires/billionaires who didn’t evict a broke tenant. I am sure they are hardly many. Even the financially OK landlords evict the poor. And in recent times, it is a recurring reality for a lot of people.

      Rather than waiting on the rich people and govt, we Nigerians needs to work on our character. If we are all more honest and trustworthy, then it isn’t so hard for all of us to start up funding schemes. If a million Nigerians contribute 5k each to help each other or those who didn’t contribute start a business we will all be better off. But an average Nigerian will be skeptical, simply because he/she knows how cunning and dishonest his/her fellow countrymen is. Nobody want to be dupe or become an ATM/a mugu. Yet you expect all the rich folks to come to your rescue.

      1
    • sho-sho

      June 11, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      wait, is it sand she used to build the property. Pls never nix business with sentiments. This explains why she is wealthy today…

      1
    • mama

      June 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      because 150k is money you pick from the road. foolish Nigerians who always expect to reap where they did not sow…do you know the whole facts of the matter? her money, her house, her choice…the woman has done and still doing a lot for charity so your talk doesn’t hold water

      1
  13. Seriously

    June 11, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    All I see is Robin Thicke is THICK.

    1
    • Ada

      June 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      lmaooo. same thing I said

      Robin don got a gut!

      1
  14. blackbeatle

    June 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    ajala and ajuin..thanks for your comments ..this sense of entitlement and “abeg abeg “in this country is too much

    1
    • New Girl

      June 12, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Ajala and Ajuin I wish I could like your comments a hundred times. I run a business and relying on Nigerian vendors is one of the most difficult parts. They are beyond unreliable and very unapologetic about it. It’s troubling. Yet people are here clamoring for made in Nigeri.a please stop the sentiments and we need to do better as accept criticisms instead of expecting handouts because, Nigerian.

  15. Just a Little Bit

    June 11, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Wow. Is it jealousy that leads to these entirely ridiculous comments? If they used Nigerian vendors some people will still come and say that with all their money, they couldn’t even use the best of British vendors? Well done to you.

    Jeff Leatham slayed the florals in the way that no other Nigerian decorator could do. He is in a class of his own. Moreover the bride is not Nigerian. Why must she? If any of you were marrying an oyibo man, would you allow him to dictate all the vendors you should use? No you wouldn’t.

    And as for the cake maker, just know that she is Nigerian principally by name. I have it on record that she doesn’t particularly like to service Nigerians as clients, or do business with them. But I guess money talks…and this cake would have been talking close to 5 figures.

  16. Lola

    June 11, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Hello

  17. Bola

    June 11, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Please show me a venue in nigeria or a wedding in nigeria that is big enough for a 1000 guests but actually used for 400 guests. That’s what they’ve obviously done here.

  18. Bola

    June 11, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    How can someone say that zapphaire is garish. Zapphaire events is an event planning and production company that has consistently delivered excellent service. I can testify as my wedding was perfect .

    • Padita

      June 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Obviously you don’t understand the meaning of garish. I’ll bet your wedding had 3 different colors

  19. Nkechi

    June 11, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Has anyone also stopped to think that they used event planners and designers and vendors based in the U.K./USA . Why would they fly in nigeria vendors based in nigeria to England ?

  20. Simi

    June 11, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Winston Churchill’s birthplace?!?!?!

  21. Idomagirl

    June 12, 2017 at 11:11 am

    The decor is stunning!

  22. James Hasler

    June 12, 2017 at 11:49 am

    All I can say is that is was a pleasure for me to be a part of this epic affair. All the guests we amazing and so quick to move when I requested their participation. Sade, helped put together an event that rivalled that other “little Society gathering” held in Berkshire last month! Everybody involved from Robin Thicke, who was every bit as good as you would expect, to all the band Get Funked were a delight to work with.
    Congratulations to Folarian and Nazanin, You both looked amazing. I hope you enjoyed the day as much as your guests.
    James, The Man in the Red Coat

    • Abi

      June 13, 2017 at 6:54 am

      Gosh the shade directed at Pippa Middleton’s wedding though!!!
      Sounds like you’ve got the tea…pour us some to sip on James

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