The dawn of my wedding day came and it was bliss. Bolaji and I ended up sleeping on the same bed anyway throughout the weekend. Again, we didn't plan it that way. My mother was supposed to share my room with me but things got a little mangled up and long story short, we just didn't think about it that much. I woke up at 5am, took a shower and got ready for the manicurist who was due at my room for 6am. While I was showering, Bolaji got his stuff together, and for some reason did quite a lot of cleaning in our suite! I think he was nervous but he did some washing up in the sink (we had had a party in the suite the night before), mopped the floor, put out the bins, stuff like that. After this he left to go meet his groomsmen and they went to do guy stuff I guess. I give him a peck on the cheek and off he went.
My wedding was a bit nuts because I didn't really micro-plan everything so up until that day really there were several things that weren't in place. I just figured things would work themselves out as they usually do and just did what I could do and went through the motions. My bridesmaids came to meet me at around 9am when I finished my manicure and pedicure. During this, the manicurist happened to ask me where I was getting my hair done and I replied, I actually don't know and asked her to recommend. Yes, you can actually read that again :-) I had no clue where I was going to get my hair done at 9am the MORNING of my wedding. She mentioned that she knew of someone but it was a bit late to try and reach her. Especially since I needed to be in a hair stylist's chair by 9:30! She calls a few times, no answer and then about 15min later the lady calls back and says okay, I can come by for 9:30 and that's they story of how my hair looked FAB! Seriously, that was just one of the miracles of the day. Another last minute miracle was my make-up. Since it was a destination wedding and I did NOT have a planner (can't you tell by now!) I had absolutely no idea who, how, or where my makeup was going to be done. I just had faith and a calmness that everything would be done. I went into the small mall on the island with my bridesmaids to find jewelry for them and randomly walked into a store that had a small MAC counter, I asked the first girl that said hello to me if she can do bridal makeup and if she was free that weekend, she answered yes to both. I scheduled a trial and the rest was history! Score #2.
Bridesmaids Dresses from JCrew
After doing my hair, my MoH decides to let us know right then that she actually didn't bring along the dresses to the salon so we where going to have to drive all the way back to the hotel to pick up her dress. It sounds a bit kooky but when you're on a strict timeline, then an extra 30/45min here and then can really mess things up. Which is another advice for brides-to-be, please create a time schedule for the day and make sure everyone on your bridal train knows exactly the timeline. This is very important as I found out later on. However on this my own day, I was just calm as a cucumber at this point. We drive back to the hotel, pick up the dress, then harass one of the groomsmen to chaffeur us to the venue. At this point we were running incredibly late. It was 1pm and my photographer was starting duty at 1pm and we only had him for 8 hours, meaning come rain or shine, whether cake had been cut or not, or whether first dance had been danced or not, he was going to leave at 9pm on the dot. Not only that, the sun was due to set by 6pm so again, whether we were finished the ceremony or not, once the sun set, it mean ALL the pictures would be taken indoors.
I was still in lalaland though. The groomsman drops us off, I meet my photographer in the hallway and he's kinda fuming, but I let it go. My girls and I just went into our dressing room and started about our business Make-up first. Now out of the entire day, I really loved the time I got to spend with my girls and the make-up artist getting ready, then the photographer comes and he's snapping away and truly I started becoming a bride only then. I was just loving the attention from everyone, it was nice :-) My band starts playing at about 3:20pm, our ceremony was scheduled to start at 3:30pm, I was actually fully ready but one small snag: my groom and his groomsmen were nowhere to be found! I sat in the golf cart fully dressed with my bridesmaids, fuming for about 45min! Where could they be and how come it was taking them so long to get to the venue??? Okay now, this 45min out of the entire day is the part I regret the most. I was very upset and even though the photographer wanted to take pics with myself and my bridesmaids, I couldn't manage it and was so upset. My brother and sister-in-law came to the cart and started doing a cute little tap dance number and still I couldn't enjoy the moment because I was worried about the time, loosing my daylight hours, and my groom being late!
Ceremony setup in the Garden
Jazz Singer from the Band (she was REALLY good)
Finally they arrive and from this moment until the end of the night, honestly in my heart just went by so fast. As the golf cart drove to the garden where the ceremony was to take place, I caught just a small glimpse of my groom and he had the widest smile on and all my tenseness and anger just dissipated like magic. I was so happy and felt ready to get the show on the road. We had to cut out two of the three hymns we were going to sing, but it was alright. The reading of the blessing of the hands left almost everyone crying! The ceremony was about 20/30 minutes and from there we went to sign the register.
Coming out of the barn where we signed the register, our friends and family where waiting right out there to throw the rose petals. I chose rose petals because I had read stories that throwing rice can actually sting the couple in a not so fun way but if you are going to get petals make sure your florists provides enough for your entire guests. Even though I had one massive bowl and a small guest list, people just grabbed big handfuls of the stuff and it didn't go around to everyone. From the barn Bolaji and I where literally whisked away by our photographer to different locations he had scouted out for great pics and we spent about an hour taking our personal couple photos. During this hour, our guests were served scrumptious canapes of chicken satay, roast beef, calamari, and spring rolls. Of course the description of these are a bit more va-voom but you get the idea :-). We had juice, water, iced tea, and mojitos served during the Cocktail Hour but it seems the mojitos where a big hit! My bill says everyone loved them ha!
Reception earlier in the day
Reception by the time we came in
The reception hall was very nicely lit with candles and was so intimate. I loved every aspect of it. The table in the background with the low candles was the bridal table and behind us we were supposed to have fairy lights but for some reason the lights weren't turned on. I don't know why and I paid a lot of money for the lights but it was just one of the things I decided to let go off. Also the balcony was supposed to be opened but it was quite cold and windy that night so they had to keep the doors shut. But it was such a fantastic and wonderful day for me, I couldn't care less. Bolaji and I decided to save money on the DJ and just created a wedding playlist on our Ipod which we connected to the sound system which a friend of mine manned. It was phenomenal! That was also a small miracle as my friend turned DJ had no clue he was going to be doing this, literally my cousin just walked in the room, looked around and apparently grabbed him to do the job and he did such a great job. Everyone was on the floor dancing in no time, the wine flowed, the champagne flowed. One of the hits of the night was Igwe by Midnight Crew which we must have played about 3 times. So many people loved it and it's actually one of my favorite songs. No one wanted it to end. We ended promptly at midnight (which even the hotel was surprised about) and packed everyone back home on the bus. Some of our guests carried bottles of champagne home with them even!
Oh the cake.
It was absolutely DELICIOUS! People demolished the bottom layer during the ceremony. We gifted my sister-in-law and her partner with the topmost layer, and divided the middle layer in three, for Bo's parents, for my parents, and for us. I brought the one for us back to Lagos but I'm afraid it's gone off. Anyone know how long cake lasts??? It's never been in the freezer, just from fridge to fridge. Is it still edible?
So did we consummate our marriage on the night? NOPE. My "aunty" was visiting so so much for that. I have to say though, Bolaji and I were tired quite alright and we had had a lot to drink, but we weren't too tired to do the boogie. I know loads of people say you'd be too tired, but I think it just depends. I certainly wasn't too tired. I just put on the special wedding night lingerie I bought sprayed myself with my nighttime perfume I bought at this specialist store and crept into bed with my husband.
Look out for Part 3 :-)