Well, my name is Ijeoma, and my friends call me IJ. I'm Nigerian, and Ive been a member of PW for 2 months now (nominal member,lol). I stumbled on PW when i was checking out wedding websites on the internet; Im just realizing how much more content is assesible to me here than I originally thought. Whew.
Still checking out the boards and forums and photos, I'll probably get back to do a more detailed bio...
Ok, so I just got back from the honeymoon, moved house and got into a new routine of life with DH (seeing as we started living together after the wedding so a whole lot to get used to,lol) and guess what? Its one month already!! Yay me..
To all the wonderful ladies of PW, I want to say a huge thanks. You have all been helpful to me in this period of planning and execution of my wedding through your breathtaking inspirations, interesting boards discussions and most of all, the PMs and toasts.
I guess it’s finally time to rouse out of my laziness and get around to do that detailed bio I promised 3 months ago. That way, I get to add my own 2 cents worth and possibly (who knows?) help some other bride as I’ve been helped. Hm...where to start? I just wonder…
Ok, I get to start from the beginning. I and DH are both Nigerians, Ibos from South-east Nigeria,and have spent most of our lives in Nigeria, apart from a couple of holidays outside the country. Presently, we both live and work in Umuahia.
About me: Well, my name is Ijeoma. Presently, I’m a Senor Pharmacist in a tertiary hospital. How to describe me: I think I am a woman who is practical and principled. I‘m also very ambitious: though I butter that up with a diplomatic front. I enjoy making friends and travelling, but I would rather listen than talk, and I prefer reading books to watching TV. At heart, I guess I’m a home-body, and my family and friends really mean a lot to me.
DH is Jide, short for Jideofor. He’s an Engineer with the Power Holding Company. In a nutshell, he’s a philosophical, principled person who cannot be intimidated, but also outgoing and humorous. He has a very big heart, and for a guy his size, he can be SHY!! I can totally make him blush without trying too hard lol..
Jide and I met in church. We are both Christians. He started worshiping at my church and joined our youth group and I happened to be the Secretary of the group. Our meeting was uneventful, apart from the fact that I got his data for the records, and we would say hi on meeting days and other gatherings, I can’t say that anything out of the ordinary happened. Well, he later told me that he noticed that I had nice legs as I would always cross my leg while taking the minutes, so I guess he did have his eyes on me afterall**winks**
Fast-track 6 months later, when some of us were assigned to represent the group in a bazaar organized by another parish outside Umuahia. It turned out that Jide was the only one who knew the road to the place, so he volunteered to drive us there. To facilitate communication, we exchanged numbers, and in the course of the week, we kept in contact. Anyways, the d-day came, I got into the car, and that was it. We talked and laughed all the way to the program, throughout the program, all the way back to Umuahia, and then we spent the evening of the same day hanging out, still talking and laughing. I don’t remember the last time I had that much pleasure out of being with someone.
The proposal came up in December 5th 2012, 7months after we met, and a month after we started hanging out with each other. Prior to this time, we had been spending all the time together when we were around each other, and spending serious cash on calls and sms when we were apart. One of those days we were together, Jide asked me for an assessment of our relationship, as in where it was headed. I told him that I was enjoying the ride, but that I was involved with so many stuff at the same time and I was not sure he would have patience to cope with them all: and besides, I didn’t want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. The next thing I heard was: ok, why don’t we get married? I just looked at him and he was like: I’m serious. It took me all of 2minutes to say: yes, I kinda like the idea, let’s do it. And we sealed the agreement with serious laughter. Of course he didn’t have a ring then, I got my ring 2 month later.
And that was how we started the journey of April 20 2013. Awww…..
both of us at Xmas 2012
PS: It’s been months now, and we still spend all our time together when we were around each other, and spend crazy amounts of cash on calls and sms when we were apart. But truth is, neither of us knows what exactly we talk about. Crazy, right? But we just love it!!!
Our engagement pictures were shot by Kennies Photoshop Owerri. I met James, the owner of the outfit in 2011, when I was planning my cousin's wedding, and I needed a photographer to cover the event. I've never regretted that move: He's great at what he does, and he's calm, and most of all, he listens to you talk, which is the most important quality any vendor of mine should have. So far he has shot 5 weddings in my family, and he's going to do mine.
This is going to be our cover pics for the website and programs and favors and banners,etc, etc..
I totally love the ones below. I just smile whenever I look a them. Talk about an 'awww' moment..
After the proposal next step was to meet each other's family formally, and then set the dates. And really, it's not as easy as it sounds. Picking a date does not entirely on the couple: family has to be considered a great deal, so does tradition, the church program, and the weather!!
Like most Nigerian/African ladies,I'm going to have 3 wedding ceremonies: a civil marriage, a traditional marriage and a religious ceremony. So the walk to the altar will take the following course:
-the traditional introductory rites
-the traditional marriage (paying of the bride price)
-the civil ceremony
-the religious ceremony.
Which gives me 4 events to plan and execute (gasp!!).
After due considerations and deliberations, we decided it this way: we ll do all 4 (we dont have a choice) but we ll make the introduction and the civil ceremony very very low-key, leaving us with 2 events to plan.
Next consideration: the weather. the dry season runs from november to april, and the rainy season from april to november, with a brief break in august. We didnt want a long engagement, so November is out. So that leaves us between february to april. We also have 3months of mandatory pre-wedding counselling at church,so we re looking at April ending.
SO..we conclude: (drumroll)..
Introduction: Feb 16
Civil ceremony: Feb 26th
traditional wedding: Apr 1st
***Church wedding: APRIL 20TH***
DH's fave color is green while mine is blue. We decided to split the colors: use green for the traditional and blue for the church wedding.
For the trad:
mint green and orange.
Then for the wedding proper:
aqua and red.
Today, I found my dress!! I tried on this not-so-hot-on-the-racks dress, and I totally totally didnt believe the transformation. It's a michealangelo David bridal style T8612. I never want to get out of the dress; I now just to wear this wedding gown forever and ever and ever...
So, I'm home right now, watching my mum run frantically arround trying to coordinate caterers, decor, outfits etc etc. Hm, this event was supposed to be for just family, but now, the guest list is swollen to more than 50guests! What exactly is the whole fuss about? Ok, I'll start from the begining..
Well, it's a little unusual, but most Nigerian brides will agree with me that an average bride has 3 wedding ceremonies: a civil marriage (boring), a traditional marriage and a religious ceremony. At the very least, 2 ceremonies, but the traditional marriage according to native laws and customs is usually the most colorful of them all.
I'm from the Igbo tribe, which means that for me to be considered 'married', my fiance's family has to carry out a 4-step ceremony. First, the traditional introduction (Iku aka), then the payment of the brideprice (ime ego), and finally, the traditional marriage itself (igba nkwu). Afterwards, my family returns the favor by coming over to visit me in my new home (imaru ulo).
My igba nkwu is coming up next week. We ve done all the preceding ceremonies, and now I'm staring the grand finale in the face. I love my outfit, which is a mint green-peach ensemble with waist beads, and lots and lots of coral bead necklaces, headgear and bracelets; I look like an African princess in them. I cant wait to rush through the looonnngg traditions and get to my fave part, which is when my older uncles fill a wooden cup (Iko) with palm wine and pass it on to me while my fiance hides himself between the guests. And then I go dancing about looking for him, until I find him and make him drink from the cup, only then are we considered traditionally married!
Oh well, until then, I'm swamped with decisions of menu, color palates, which relatives to suck up to, the list is endless. Counting down..
So the traditional wedding went beautifully. And here are some of the pictures. The professional pictures are yet to come, but I couldnt wait to post some pictures..