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The Best Parts of Wedding Planning

I could write a whole book about all the things that went wrong during our wedding ceremonies. Boy could I! However, my extremely charming and positive husband told me to focus on the beautiful things that went right, rather than the negatives. Then, as if God was trying to tell me something, while listening to an old sermon on the Elevation with Steven Furtick Podcast, Pastor Steven mentioned that sometimes when we complain, the real problem is that we need to change our focus. So here I am, practicing what I’ve been told. Changing my focus to only the positive things that really matter and sharing the best part of my wedding planning experience. Maybe a bride-to-be out there will find this helpful.

Getting to marry my best friend

“First comes love, then comes marriage…” How can I talk about planning a wedding without talking about the love of my life and my best friend, Brandon. If you’ve seen his proposal video, then you saw me crying my eyes out in disbelief that he was asking ME to marry him. I’ve never had someone, anyone, love me the way this man loves me. Despite my flaws, and I have many, he still wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

From my entry into this country, to our eHarmony matching, to our life now, I have to say, all our steps have been ordered by God and our love story is nothing short of a miracle.

Marriage counseling

All the above being said, we knew we needed God to be in the center of it all (he actually said as much during his proposal speech). Also, one of my father’s conditions when he gave his blessing was that we should get married in the family church and in order for us to get married in my family church, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), we had to be counseled by a pastor in the church. So in the months leading up to the wedding, we actually found ourselves attending about 4 churches. We went to marriage counseling every first Sunday in South Carolina (the pastor is a family friend), and on other Sundays we either attended my church (another RCCG church in North Carolina), Brandon’s church, or Elevation (I just loved the worship experience and felt like I learnt a lot here).

As tedious as it may sound, I actually had fun doing this. We had cute little dates every Sunday afternoon and sometimes got to hang out with some naughty ducks at the lake. Those long days actually brought us closer especially when the wedding planning stress started getting to us.

Makeup and photo shoots

The day we got engaged, we took some good old fashioned selfies because we were too excited to remember to ask someone to take pictures of us. So, when I started working on the website, I realized we needed to schedule a professional photo shoot. We found a photographer on Groupon and started making plans.

There is a lot I can say about how pricey this guy turned out to be thanks to hidden fees and so on, but that wouldn’t be very positive of me.

Prepping for the shoot was so much fun. Who doesn’t like a good pamper session? I got to shop for dresses and accessories, get my hair, nails, and makeup done professionally, and started to feel like a bride.

In the end, I have to say, I loved almost every picture he took of us. It actually turned out to be a good thing that we had to narrow down our choices and pick only our absolute favorites. He was also very accommodating of my outfit changes and was a pleasure to work with.

Because we wanted to take some more pictures at our wedding venue in Greensboro, we ended up scheduling another photo shoot. This time around, we were experienced "models". We were introduced to an amazing photographer, Hossein Amini and had the best time working with him and his lovely wife. We loved the pictures so much that we now consider him the family photographer. Also, his prices were just right, no hidden fees, and we got way more bang for the buck (we got to keep all the pictures). Thanks Hossein!

Touring venues and mini getaways

Since Brandon’s family lives in Greensboro and mine live in Nigeria and other parts of the world, we decided to have the wedding in his home town so that only one side of the family has to travel. This made things a little tricky since we both live in Charlotte and most venues in Greensboro were already booked.

We got engaged in March and the wedding was set to be in October so the short notice gave us a slight disadvantage. As soon as we realized this, we hit the ground running and started calling venues to see what was possible. When we narrowed it down to 3 or 4 places, we scheduled some site visits. Since Brandon travels for work, and site visits can only be done on week days becau