August 09, 2011

The journey since Malta...

Hello everyone, 
I'm back and married !
Hmmm the "all-white" pre-wedding party, the ceremony and reception all went beautifully ...

Of course a couple of things went wrong:
1. as mentioned in my previous post, my make-up artist cancelled on me at the last minute - however, I was able to find a Maltese lady who was able to do my make-up and that of my bridesmaids nicely...and my friends AJ and Temidee did the make-up for the pre-wedding party...
2. My parents as well as a couple of friends and family from Nigeria did not make it to Malta no thanks to the Italian embassy who held their passports hostage for no reasonable explanation :( . 
3. I got an infection on my eye - a stye - thanks to my friend E and sis-in-law Sis T, who's an ophthalmologist. Sis T did "surgery" on my eye the morning of my wedding just before I was to get my make-up done... She popped the stye and drained it... extremely painful 

Here are some pictures from the wedding weekend:

KOK and I at the pre-wedding party

some of my family @ the pre-wedding - they missed the memo  on the dress code, but they came and that's the most important thing

mr. and mrs. a
love this picture of us kneeling at the altar
my uncle walking me down the aisle

exchanging rings 

I think this was the point where PAI said he couldn't find "the kiss" in the program ;)

July 29, 2011

Updates from Malta...

Hello everyone ! Greetings from Malta :)

First off, the trip from Pittsburgh, albeit delayed went off well. One of my friends, E sent me off in style by having a very nice car service take me off to the airport.
The flight from Pittsburgh to NJ went pretty well - I slept throughout though, so I don't know if I'm in a position to judge the quality of the flight ;), but my pre-wedding dress had an entire overhead cabin to itself, so that was awesome.

Arrived in NJ, and was promply met by my friend and bridesmaid's sister, Shirley, (who can't make it to Malta because of she's starting B-school at Wharton and has some pre-school stuff). She whisked me off to pick up my dress, which had been beautifully packed. Thanks to the wonderful ladies at Something Special bridals - Lisa, Lynda and their mom, Irene.

Made it back to the airport and went to check-in, thankfully the nice Lufthansa attendant, turned a blind eye to my excess handluggage - I'm only allowed 1 but I had my purse, my little stroller, my huge wedding dress bag and pre-wedding dress bag...Sadly though no upgrade for me, my dresses did however, fly in the first-class cabin. The flight attendants on the flight from EWR to MUC were so excited to keep watch over my prized possessions, while I slept throughout the entire flight .

Made it to Munich, safely and geez, the airport is big or maybe because I had to lug my two dress bags, roller suitcase carry-on and oversize purse across the airport (a picture of me would have been awesome here, but just thought about it, oh well).

The flight attendants on Air Malta from MUC to MLA were even more fantastic, I got an upgrade without even asking! As soon as I got on the plane with my dresses, they promptly cleared closet up front for one of my dresses, and strapped the other across three first class seats :) then asked me for my seat # (20F, way in the back) and he said why don't you just sit up here :) Yay me !

Finally made it to Malta :) KOK and 9 of his groomsmen arrived shortly after, and I immediately distributed all my heavy stuff to the men. Actually didn't even grab my bags from the carousel until they arrived.

Now for the horrible news, remember my make-up trial from a few weeks ago? She cancelled on me ! Yup you read that right, 4 days to my wedding and my make-up artist cancelled ! Long story here with lots of excuses. I just simply asked for my deposit back and didn't engage in any conversations. It may seem like I'm pretty calm, but I was livid and unfortunately KOK got the short-end yesterday... Will update on the status of the make-up saga tomorrow...

I did however have my hair trial today at Alfie's Hair & Beauty Salon, I don't remember the lady's name but will get it when I post pictures from the actual wedding... She did a great job and I really liked it. She didn't use any product in my hair for the trial since it's a weave and I won't be washing it. I have quite a few of my guests attending the wedding who read my blog but nonetheless, I'll put up a few teaser pictures for my blogville friends :)
BTW, yes I did finally find someone in Pittsburgh to do my weave for me, although I had found folks in other places, last minute issues didn't allow me to leave Pittsburgh to do my hair. Thanks to my friend Ms. O for the hook-up ;)

top view
view with the famous veil ;)
Ok folks - that's all for now. It's 1.11am in Malta and the bride really should be getting some beauty sleep :)

July 26, 2011

Only five days left ...

Hello everyone, 

Yes this is really the final lap. I'm all packed up  - still need to pick up wedding dress in NJ today on my way to Malta. I was scheduled to do this on Saturday but series of events...
Anyway, I'm checked in for my flight and I'm sure everything will work out beautifully in the end...

toe accident
Yesterday, while rushing to pick up my contact lenses from my eye doctor, I stumbled on the concrete steps and wound-up with a horrible cut on my big toe - had to go to the ER and got a tetanus/diphtheria shot... It's expected that I should still be able to wear my cute wedding shoes...Excuse the non-manicured feet - I was also supposed to get a pedicure yesterday... Oh well already scheduled to get one in Malta for the wedding... I'll probably paint my toes sometime today though or at least take of the last bits of my very old nail polish...

wedding program production
Also spent the better part of yesterday and the night printing out my wedding programs (bad idea, don't leave stuff to the last minute) ... 

That's all for now - I'll update in the next couple of days while I'm in Malta and hopefully after the pre-wedding party as well...

July 20, 2011

Schengen Visa...

Anyone of you who's from Nigeria and only has a green passport (not those of you with dual citizenship and *red/blue passports in addition) has probably at some point or the other stood in line for a visa application.

When KOK and I chose Malta for our destination, we assumed since Malta was a Schengen State, the visa application process would be a breeze... It wasn't my first Schengen Visa, I had been to Rome just a year before...

Absolutely not! First indication was when I applied through the Maltese embassy for our site visit trip in February. They do not leave anything to chance, they called KOK to verify we were actually engaged, they called my wedding planner to verify we actually planned to meet with her, they called my employer to verify my employment, they called my health insurance to check that in the unlikely event that I need emergency medical services in the 4 days I would be in Malta, that I was covered... Finally, after theses exhaustive checks I was issued a Limited Territory Visa - permitting me entry into only Malta for exactly a period of 6 days !  It took ~ 2.5 weeks+ to get the visa

OK - they are just doing their job and subsequently after we've paid deposits and signed contracts with the vendors in Malta - this should get easier right?? Not quite...

Between the fact that you cannot apply for a Schengen visa greater than 3 months before intended date of travel and some personal trips I had planned, I didn't apply for my visa for the wedding until June 21. I had contacted the Maltese embassy to notify them that the trip in February had been great, and wedding plans were in full swing and they should expect visa applications from our guests...I confirmed the names of the guests that would be applying as well... 

Anyway, after almost calling the Maltese embassy daily since June 21, I finally received my passport in the mail today with my visa to travel for my wedding. Thanks to the fabulous folks at the Maltese embassy in DC - Mr. DG and Ms. NA. They answered my constant phone calls - even started greeting me by name. Also included with my visa was a letter wishing my groom and I all the best.

Some cool things that have happened as a result of having several people apply for visas for our wedding: 
1. Ms. NA at the embassy in Washington DC mentioned how beautiful my invitations were :) and told me I looked very pretty in the picture on the pre-wedding invitation.
2. At the Maltese embassy in Canada, my sister forgot to take a copy of the invitation but some other guests had applied, and taken their original invitation which the embassy retained on file - the consular lady in Canada says "O you're the sister of the bride, I have the invitation on file, very pretty" and pulls out our wedding invitation...
3. At the Maltese embassy in London, a friend handed over her visa documents and the consular officer says, "O you're going for K and K's wedding - you only have the pre-wedding invitation, where's your coral invite with the ribbon? " Luckily our friend had hers in her bag... 

All in all, everything has gone OK and I'm very grateful. 

*Red passport - British ; Blue passport - American

July 07, 2011

Checklist updates...

Today it's 3 weeks and 3 days left until I'm Mrs. A :) . This is the home stretch -the destination is in view -  I can't wait :) 

A couple of updates and checks off the to-do list: 

  1. Over the weekend, I picked up my bridesmaids dresses for distribution - I have bridesmaids all over. I dropped off the ones going to London with my sis-in-law's sister (she's headed there this weekend), mailed one to a bridesmaid in St. Louis, MO and will mail off the two going to Nigeria this weekend to one of KOK's cousins (she's headed to Lagos next week). 
  2. Had my last fitting - no pictures until after the wedding sorry - my veil also came in (veil part 1 & part 2), and everything looked gorgeous together - I'll be picking up at the end of the month, a few days before I fly out to Malta. I'm having slight panic attacks about that, hoping for some nice flight attendants on the Lufthansa flight, and hey, if it's not too much to ask, a free upgrade ;). Tried to upgrade with my FF miles but because my ticket is a heavily discounted group rate for the wedding, it's not eligible for upgrade awards :( . 
  3. The RSVP's are still coming in, but the guest list is a moving target, but that's a story for another update - look out later this week. See the RSVP tracker at the top left of the page...
  4. I am still unsure about my hair ! It's natural and I either wear it out as a fro (see pictures below) or in braids. Do not let the pictures deceive, it shrinks A LOT ! It's actually about 6"+ when straightened and I can put in a little ponytail... I'm planning to have a weave done, but no idea where to get it done. So if you know any great hair stylists in the Philadelphia, NJ (Jersey City area), NYC or even Baltimore, DC area please leave me a message. I am desperate ! 
  5. Finally, had my make-up trial as well with Sade of HauteLook by Sadé. She's KOK's cousin, and will be doing my make-up for the wedding weekend festivities. Here are some pictures : I think I'll keep the pink instead of the red lips? What do you think? I'll do the red lips for the pre-wedding party on the Saturday before the wedding... 

July 01, 2011

It's July !

Today is July 1 and I'm getting married this month :) 
30 days to go !

June 22, 2011

Rue La La Style I Do

OK this is a post and run but wanted to share with this with everyone. 
Rue La La is having a wedding sale today - a few nice items for weddings - it already started about an hour ago, and some items are already sold out, but you still may find something you like.

Also thanks for all the new comments - will respond later today (I promise) @doll, @integratedmemoirs @mrspancakes. @doll you got mail in about 5 minutes :) 

June 08, 2011

Veil Update ...

So remember my veil dilemma  from a few weeks ago - I had a fitting over memorial day weekend and I picked a veil...
I decided to splurge ! I settled on the veil I couldn't get out of my mind :)  

June 07, 2011

RSVP rant...

This is just a quick one. But why do Nigerians have such an aversion to completing RSVP's? OK that's making a very broad generalization but still...
If you look at the top left of my blog, I'm keeping track of our rsvp responses, and it's sad especially since for quite a few of those "undecided" people are folks I know have purchased tickets and made hotel reservations. I could just mark them down as yes but I need their entrée choices.  We even made it easy, included stamps on the rsvp envelopes (for folks in Nigeria, they can drop at my sis-in-law's office), gave the option of email and online via our website - really no excuses.

Oh well I'm giving folks till this weekend, then I'm going to start calling... KOK already starting calling some UK folks, and my sis-in-law volunteered to help call UK folks too - I've sent her phone numbers... 
I'm sure people realize you can't just show up in Malta - I would think that the fact you have to consciously book air tickets and hotels would make a difference. Oh well... 

But Yay so far 100 out of 342 have responded :) Getting there slowly but surely....

May 20, 2011

Shopping for a veil

The designer of my dress, Lazaro, makes a gorgeous veil that matches my dress and from the pictures, I knew I would love it... I called before going for my first fitting to inquire about the price, and just as I expected, it was ridiculous... So why did I get there and ask to try on the veil ?? Well fortunately, they didn't have it but had a very similar one by Toni Federici - gosh not that the price is any better but I didn't ask before 1. trying it on and 2. falling in love with it. 

look of dream veil
There dear friends, is where my dilemma begins. I called about a dozen stores looking for the veil in ivory - hoping to snag a sample; the one at the store I bought my dress is white - No luck ! 
Finally, I discuss this veil with KOK, hoping he would talk some sense into me and give me a host of reasons why it was ridiculous. But no, instead he says - "babe if they will sell you the veil for x or less, I'll make up the difference between your veil budget and the price for the dream veil."  I must have said, "are you sure?" like a dozen times and he said, "yup, go for it."
I was ecstatic and the next morning, I call Irene at the bridal store to purchase my beloved veil. She gives a great deal - she's willing to sell the veil for 67% of the retail price; so I call KOK and ask what he thinks, he says to ask for 58% of the retail price. Irene says no, and we settle mid-way at 62% of the price, I give her my card details, and then she gives me the disclaimer that the purchase is non-refundable etc and that she'll place the order with the manufacturer as soon as we got off the phone. 
I felt my stomach knot up, and I knew I could not go through with the purchase of the veil, yes it was a great discount, but the price was still ridiculous. I backed out, told Irene that I had changed my mind and I would call back later if I wanted it. I haven't called back and I still can't get my mind off the veil... 

May 14, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Rome trip ...

Found some pictures K had from the famous Rome birthday trip and dinner . Enjoy :)

first day in Roma :)

Roma birthday dinner :) Waiting for our dinner to arrive...

Downstairs in the restaurant - there was a very interesting story about it - need to ask KOK

St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City

with some guards somewhere in Roma

During our Vatican City tour

at restaurant in Rome - birthday dinner

May 11, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Traditional Wedding Recap 1

I posted the link to view pictures from our traditional wedding earlier this week. Over the next few weeks, I'll be doing a recap of the events of the day.  

Today, I'll start with the first outfit I wore. First off, I did not see the outfit until the morning of the event. Among the Yoruba people, apparently, the grooms family is responsible for providing all that the bride wears that day. I use the word apparently because during the course of our traditional wedding coming together, there were many different opinions and some of my family felt it was their responsibility to dress me as I should come out in my own clothes as I was not married yet. The issues were resolved, and I wore the clothes provided by the K's family.
Since I hadn't seen the outfit, I had to rely on my sis-in-laws to describe the colours to me so I could pick the shoes and bag I would carry.  

Jewellery - Coral beads known as Iyun Yoruba. The jewellery was custom made by Cephas Jewelers in LagosTouche Plaza, 25B Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos - 08029050775, 0818216655. My mom together with the owner of the store came up with the design and I didn't see until the week of the ceremony when I arrived in Lagos. 

My make-up was done by the fabulous Banke Meshida Lawal; This was one of non-negotiable's. She also tied my head-tie and iro as well. I always knew I wanted her to do my make-up so when the traditional wedding was being planned, I left everything to my mom except make-up and my photographer. She did ask for my input on other stuff but I did not actively make the decisions. 


My outfit was made up of a yellowish-cream aso-oke buba (the top of the outfit) , a fuschia pink gele (my head-tie) hand designed with touches of coral coloured designs and the iro (wrapper around my waist) is actually a single piece, the same fabric used in the buba was sewn on to the bottom of the alaari.The alaari cloth is mostly worn by the Ondo people in Nigeria (where K is from) and so it came into play in my outfit. For some reason, I do not have a close up of my shoes or clutch;  will add when I get the CD of pictures from Enimien - our photographer. 

Kola and I got our shoes from a shop in London called Ivory, they are located on Bond Street down the street from Pronovias shop there, and my clutch was from a friend - Yuwa who sells accessories - Sorrela

complete outfit

another view of our outfits

 Kola's outfit was sort of a tribute to his dad. His father passed away in January of 2006 and to honour him, Kola wore his fathers own clothes and the alaari cloth I had was actually custom designed to match. The only new items Kola wore was the white buba (his top) and his shoes. He also wore coral beads as well... 
I love this picture of KOK

Complete Attire
All the photographs are by Enimien Etomi Inegbedion, our fantastic photographer. My other non-negotiable vendor for my wedding. She was amazing !! She will be doing a photo-booth  at the wedding in Malta - I can't wait :)  She was assisted by Lanre Balogun of Libran Eye

All photographs by Enimien Etomi Photography

May 10, 2011

Shoesday Tuesday

Remember my last post about my shoe search coming to an end? Well I didn't get the Stuart Weitzmann shoes ... I shared the price with K, and he was not on board with it at all...

So it was back to the drawing board but not for long...

I came across these pretty, girly, romantic Badgley Mischka sandals at the Nordstrom Rack in Dallas when we went to visit K's brother and sis-in-law for New Years.

My eyes scanned the size of the shoes 7.5 :( I was disappointed but decided to look around to see if there were any other shoes that would catch my eyes.. Sitting under the final sale table was my size 8.5 :)

The best part in all this? These shoes were $16.22 and they fit beautifully ! I also went on to embellish as one of my something blues

So operation pick out wedding shoes officially complete !

I was also able to get my shoe-fix shopping for the different shoes for my traditional wedding - Look out next Tuesday for another Shoesday post !


May 08, 2011

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mothers !!

my first mommy who's now in heaven. I'll always love you and you have a special place just for you in my heart :) I do wish you were here to celebrate and share with me in all the exciting things happening in my life but I know you're looking down from heaven and celebrating up there. 
my wonderful second mom, who put in so much effort into making the traditional engagement spectacular! - Thank you. To my dad, who was "mr. mom" and dad as well for a while. I love you both too ! 

finally my amazing mother-in-law. According to her I'm her favourite :) lol ! But anyway she's a wonderful woman, who interestingly taught my first mommy in high school ! I'm excited to join your family :) 

Photo of mom and dad and mother-in-law by EEtomi Photography

May 07, 2011

Traditional Wedding...

After a long hiatus, I am finally back! So many different things of gone on in the past few months. More about later: For now.. We had our traditional engagement on April 30, 2011.. Here is a slideshow of pictures from our wonderful photographer - Enimien Etomi Inegbedion

Photo by EEtomi Photography