I never thought planning a wedding would be stressful. I know some of you are looking at the screen like, 'did she just say that?' Yes I did. Until about a week ago if anyone asked how my wedding planning was going, I gave an easy go lucky reply of 'fine' no stress in my face with a happy and cheerful voice. Now two weeks later after leaving the States and not completing everything that I wanted to...I'm becoming a bit tensed, but I'll be okay.
I have a wonderful and informative wedding planner my Aunt which thank God she is straight to the point and professional without giving you the run around. She knows how a Nigerian Wedding is and forewarns me about my 'people.' for example assigned seating.... I told her there will be assigned seating so they better get with it, she said okay, smiling.
I am having a SMALL wedding, and by Small I mean 200 guests. For a Nigerian Wedding of two first born children it is small. How do we plan to do it? By having an invite only guest list with bouncers and park police present (I'm so serious). Simply if you aren't invited don't come.
I know some people may be upset but at the end of the day it's an intimate day and it's OUR money. After getting married you have so many other financial obligations, i.e.: buying a house, buying furniture, a car of my choice, decor, honeymoon, travel expenses for the year, student loans and etc... thus I'm going all out on my wedding day but I am staying within our budget. And with the amount of money we are spending we'd like it to be with people we love and cherish. As they say it takes one day to get married, but it takes the rest of your lives to stay that way. I'm not getting married to impress anyone, I'm getting married to start my life off with my best friend, and we're going to have fun doing so.
Now I had some good and bad experiences in the DMV planning my wedding, and I want to share some with you now.
First the Guest List:
Since we are only having 200 guests we split the guest 4 ways. My fiance and I have 50 guests each and our parents have 50 guests each. I started off with 90 guests. And I have now swendled it down to 58. When people asked me when my date was this trip I simply said in the summer or told them upfront it's small and I don't have many guest to invite but we'll see, because I can't afford people who aren't invited.
Now to cut my list down I used two main rules:
Rule Number One: Have I spoken to this person in the last 6 months? If you haven't spoken to someone in the last 6 months, chances are they are not your friend, end of.
Rule Number Two: Would I feel offended or hurt if they didn't invite me to their wedding? If the answer is no, then they probably aren't that important to me, and aren't a close friend.
These two rules made planning the guest list a bit easier as it puts facts and emotions into perspective. There are obviously friends that I have not spoken to in the last several months or years because of distance but there are very few of them that made my guest list. I had to think long and hard with my guest list and I still have people that I'd like to invite but simply can't.
I went to three Bridal Shops:
Two in London and one in New York.
I tried on the dress I ended up getting in April of last year, but never thought it would be my dress, even though I cried in it. I wanted to keep looking. After exams and procrastinating I tried two more bridal shops in London, in December. I fell in love with a Vintage Inspired Sequined dress that I couldn't try on because the sample size was too small, but I thought I had to have it. Being that my Aunt's are buying my dress as a wedding gift, they told me to visit dress shops in the States during my Christmas trip.
I ending going back to RK Bridal in New York and getting the dress I cried in, during my April trip. Unfortunately the dress is discontinued, and cannot be made in extra length anymore. Fortunately, they had one more dress left in a size 16 which I bought and will tailor down to my size. Buying the dress several sizes up also makes the dress longer as well so I won't be looking tacky on my wedding day. Note: I hate brides when there dress doesn't hit the floor I often wonder if their friends didn't tell them they looked horrid?
Nonetheless RK Bridal ships dresses to the UK, so that was also a benefit. Now I only have to find a Wedding dress tailor for my alterations in London....
Bridal Shops I visited:
RK Bridal: 318 West 39th Street Manhattan, NY 10018
Always and Forever: 122 Hanworth Road, Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 1UG
Teokath: 16 The Broadway Wimbledon London SW19 1RF
*I tried Provonavis on New Bond Street but they were fully booked (so to visit there call months in advance)
I'll continue posting information about the Cake Tasting, Decor, Dessert Table, Photographer and Videographer hunt and Make-Up and Hair artist later in the following weeks if you want me too.
Long story short, my relaxed approach to life almost bit me in the butt when it comes to planning this wedding. I have a timeline to finish so much by the end of this month and I will! Say Amen! As my wedding is around the corner.