Jul 21, 2012
Well, for now I am set on Costa Rica, I am waiting for hubby to agree. I really would have liked to have done an Asia trip but hubby dosen't want to go so far away.
We decided not to take a honeymoon initially however we still plan to do a few things, just so many other things that are a priority after the wedding. For now we are going to take a trip to Negril Treehouse in Negril Jamaica either in Sept or Oct. The facility is owned by one of my clients so when I saw the deal on LivingSocial I picked it up. I am still researching Costa Rica and have an idea on where I want to stay but need hubby to get on board. He is traveling to his home country of Nigeria, I may tag along for a little bit but I don't consider this a vacation since he will be working most of the time but if we can get a trip to visit Accra, Ghana then I will be pleased.
It is a 70 room property located on Negril's famous 7 Mile Beach. I am sure hubby is going to try to run that 7 miles, he loves to jog/run on the beach. It includes a complimentary breakfast buffet that I have heard great reviews on so I am excited. It's an older resort compared to what you find in Montego or Negril but it is small and quaint, with old fashion charm, so just what we are looking for and still maintains the characteristics of the island.
Costa Rica - Papagayo Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
I have been researching this property near the papagayo area, this property has a lot of amenities and things to do and all inclusive.
I'm really excited to visit the peninsula papagayo area even if it's not at the Hilton, this area is breathtaking.
I keep hearing wonderful things about this area so I am excited to visit since we are normally a few hours away by plane from Nigeria. I want to visit Labadi beach, this picture is Labadi Beach Hotel area.
Updated 2/10/2013 - So far the only thing we've done is visited the Negril Treehouse during the weekend on 2/24/13 for 5 days and 4 nights and it was awesome, it was very calming. It's a very low key type of place, it's not a big or first class resort, it's a small 70 room resort in Negril that sits right on a stretch of 7 mile beach and it is really chill and beautiful all at the same time. It is not all inclusive, breakfast is included complimentary, and there are some discounts on a few services, and free paddle boarding lessons but the rate was very reasonable. I like that food was not included because it forced us to visit and walk more to visit some of the local restaurants. We went snorkeling, did stand up paddle boarding and sailing, I think it was a nice break for us since we haven't taken a honeymoon yet and this is the first break we have had since the wedding last July. From the wedding, we both went back to work, moved in to our new place and have been settling in to married life.......marriage is a lot of work ladies! We plan to do Costa Rica or somewhere late on in the year. Here is a picture from Negril.
Our Wedding Day Slideshow
Our Wedding Day Photographs
It was such a busy day, it kind of flew by now that I look back on it. One thing I realize is that it will be different for all of us, but still special and unique because it's your close friends and loved ones coming to celebrate with you.
My advice is to plan, plan, plan far in advance and get everything done and then the week of the wedding just go with the flow. Always helpful to have the right people by yourside, we kept the wedding party small, my 2 MOH's were my life line, they removed all stress away from me the last two days and my husband's best man and his 1 groomsmen was very helpful. If you don't have a wedding planner or day of coordinator, get a family or friend to be that point person to help you the day of because you are going to need it. Are things going to go wrong, yes! Is everything you wanted going to fall into place, no, but the one wish will come true, you will be happily married and that counts more than anything. I say this to say, no need for me to repeat what went wrong, were married and thankful for the opportunity to have the day and glad we did it, the real work starts after the wedding! Now, see our special day and how it turned out!
Professional photography by Elton Anderson. www.eltonanderson.com
Here are a few of my photos, I will post some more once I get from Elton. Last but not least, I tried to source or note where my pictures came from as much as possible, but I am human and may have missed so my apologies. Thank you to all of you for your inspiration and ideas, peace and blessings.
Here are some photos from the wedding. It was really something special for us, we had family and friends from all over as far as Denmark, Nigeria to all over the US, really something special to have them here with us and the contributions I can't put a price on it, having them here and knowing what everyone did was truly a gift in itself. Happy planning and marriage to you all....we will all continue to pray for God's blessings to shower and manifest in our lives, in the lives of our families and in the unions that myself and all of you PW ladies are creating. I am forever thankful for this day, this moment and for finding PW, it really helped me to get all of this going. I'm thinking the greatest DIY is being your own planner, because you really get to see a special moment in your life created by you.
Write up in the South Florida Times:
I had been looking at programs for the ceremony and reception for months, and noticed that they were all seperate documents, so I decided to incorporate it in one. I used Word to create the programs and played around with various fonts and styles. I decided to use some of the same font I used for my DIY invitations and inserts and added my monogram to the background layout for our acknowledgement page and also added a map. The final program includes a cover page, acknowledgement, wedding party, ceremony, reception and map page, an all in one. I only printed the cover page in color (my cherry red was used in the Welcome) and the remaining pages were in black to keep the cost down.
I pdf'd each page seperately and then had them printed at Office Depot, I printed about 35 pages for each page for a total of about 105 programs. The pages were created in Word w/three colums so each document had a total of 3 programs that could be created. Office Depot printed, I used a $10 off coupon I had at the office. I then used my paper cutter at the office and had help from one of my maids and my daughter who sat and cut them in 3's and I showed them how to layer and place the bow. I used ivory linen paper that I purchased at Office Depot with a $10 coupon and purchased black card stock from Joann's for the back. We used a whole punch gadget that I also purchased from Office Depot to create the side whole where the ribbon (the ribbon represented the same ribbon I used to wrap the wedding invitations, I had some left over, I had purchased from Michael's) was tied. This allowed to have so coheasion btw the invitations and program. I also embossed the word Love with a love stamp that I purchased from Michael's with the goldish/mettalic looking embossing dust. I had also used this dust on the invitations. I learned the embossing technique from one of the reps. at Michael's and also looked at some DIY youtube videos, I purchased the embossing fan at Michael's.
Here was my inspiration, I think my replica's were not so bad.
Here are a few pictures and if you want the Word doc. so that you can create your own, I am willing to share, no need for someone else to get stressed out trying to recreate this.
Lovely, lovely day, I enjoyed the day, that's all I can say, one week before the wedding and I am just as happy as can be! I planned my make up trial for the wedding the Saturday b4 the wedding which just so happen to be my bridal shower day, definitely try to kill two birds with one stone. I also plan on using my complimentary facial and makeup by Bloomingdale's the day of the traditional ceremony so that my face can be done w/o me having to spend more money.
For the bridal shower, I DIY'd margarite bar and let everyone else do their thing. One year I got tired of being an accountant and decided I wanted to bartend, so I got my license and did that for about 8 months, then my mom told me to get my head together and to not waste the money spend on my getting my accounting degree, that I should go back to accounting and give this bartending thing up....so I did, but I can still make a few drinks here and there.
I'm happy we are near but paining because I'm a little bit overwhelmed. I feel the writing here is a little theraputic. I found that not everyone understands it unless they have witnessed this, I'm finding understanding in someone who can relate to what I'm going thru through a friends friend who just got married in March. She has given me so much help, hints, tips, vendors and her attention. Not sure about anyone else but I can honestly say that after a while ppl get tired about hearing about your wedn and its not just friends its also family. I have a lot of single friends and family members and either their just tired of hearing about wedn but I haven't felt like I've gotten the help I thought I would from them. Many don't even call to see how your doing or what they can help you with. I'm not terribly upset because I know their all busy w/work and their families but still....I'm not sure if its because I didn't invite them to be BMs, but again I thought that was the best decision for me. Even w/the 2 BM's I have there were issues so now imagine trying to deal w/more women near and far and busy. We changed the dresses 4 them 3 times and their both busy, one near, one far. My mom has been supportive in that she bought my dress, gave us some money for the reception and letting the bridal shower be hosted at her home, she's my mom and I know she wants the best for me, but she even had her own momzilla moment. One of the blessings is my daughter, she tied ribbons and made invitations w/me late night and has been my wedn planner assistant side kick....love her. Another advice, if ppl want to help, let them help because hard to find them, also if you can get a planner, nothing crazy expensive...then get one.
Day 16 (6/6) - mad dash all day, I made it to 7am mass, from their stopped by the office to research my destinations 4 the day 2 get organized. Hit a few Michael's on the other side of town sekn black vases (use ur 50% coupons at Michael's); found BM bag and jewelry at Burlington, stopped by bridal store to look at veils, decided still 2 expensive 4 me since I don't even care for them that much. Headed right back to office and ordered candles (candles4less) and veil (wedding-veil) online. By the end of the night I obtained renter's insurance and hired the make-up person 4 wedn (she will do my trial day of bridal shower, pefect!), successful tiring day.
Day 15 (6/7) - Mom stopped by my room to give me a mom's pep talk...sweet of her. Happy she found her dress this week. I'm excited today, FI and I move into r new place 2day, keys in hand! Spent most of the day on a payn to add 5 more guest, at Michael's and mall, tiring!
Day 14 (6/8) - Today was a day filled w/joy. The Lord will be in this marriage, that much I know for sure. Our names were announced at mass today and in annoucements, which is normal b4 wedn in Catholic church, but I found out by our church sponsor and counselor 4 the wedn that the priest decided to waive the $900 wedn fee and instead let us make a donation, what a blessing. After mass, we met w/ceremony musician, to work on music selections, $300 fee, unbelievable but happy because MOH agreed to pick up the tab as her gift to us. I spent the day cleaning our new place w/FI! Plus the ladies started preparing for my bridal shower for next Saturday, can't wait.
Day 13 (6/9) - I think FI hired transportation for wedn, not sure. CD's for Nigerian music is in, FI's brother handled for us and I found out my friend got the 2 CD's with the Haitian music on it, so now we just need to make sure the DJ can mix all of this. I set the metn w/the officiant to go over program for the final time. And our 2nd set of favors came in, a gift from FI's mom. Lots of things happen during this 2 week mad dash, brace yourselves ladies.
Day 12 (6/10) - Will be a slow day, I have to work. I visited one of my clients who owns a pastry shop and asked her if I could borrow her beautiful cake stand for the wedn and she said yes, supper excited (my advice, use the ppl around you, ask for their help, even something as small as this is helpful....I looked around and cake stands run about $50 to $150)! I plan to do some returns later today. And I called to confirm my 2nd dress fitting today and found out that they have it scheduled for the night b4 the wedn, my advice ppl, confirm, confirm, confirm, don't leave it to chance that ppl are on top of stuff, even paid professionals. ok, back to work. By nights end, my Fedex package w/the Nigerian clothing came in....they look great!
Day 11 (6/11) - Today is a good day, started off w/a good workout. Had a board meeting but after that, I met DOC and her assistant at the reception venue, we went through everything, thank goodness! I started handing stuff off to her. Now for me to work on program and edits that she recommended to menu font, this and that! FSIL purchased the 12 ivory/cream colored pomanders for the ceremony and a really nice looking aisle runner, glad I can check these off and appreciated the help. Alright back to work! Going to look at furniture again for the 2nd time w/FI plus I think he has a surprise, I hope I'm right.
Day 10 (6/12) - FI and I to meet w/officiant to review program.
Day 9 (6/13) - Complimentary spa day for me w/a friend! Dress fitting today for myself and my mom! MOB picks up her dress! It was a busy day but started off really nice w/the spa, I got a facial, massage and meni/pedi. Then I did a mad dash to get mom and daughter to head out for fittings. I realized at fitting that I needed cups. I then had to drop them off and go to work. I can't even remember what else happened, my brain is fried.
Day 8 (6/14) - Bridal shower and make up trial are today! It was a beautiful day, I did a little cleaning around mom's place and then headed over to my make-up trial for wedn, she definitely made me look like a princess/beauty pagent. My FI, his family and friends didn't recognize me. I then headed over to my bridal shower, it was perfect.
Day 7 (6/15) - It was a relaxing type of Sunday for me. I got to hear our 2nd wedn bann at mass today, one more to go. I then headed to office to start researching bedroom sets and then worked on template for programs. I then headed to mall to look for dress for pre-wedn event FBIL is hosting on Friday after the Nigerian ceremony/reception. I am a little concerned, it poured heavily and the weather is predicting a stormy week. I hope it settles by the wekn.
Day 6 (6/16) - Today was an interesting day, I worked out first thing and then headed over to office to get a few things sorted out for clients. Then mad dash to FI's mom's house to pick her up, she purchased all of the water/soft drinks for the traditional Nigerian ceremony for Friday. Then back to office to meet a client that owns a Haitian bakery, they offered to bake a cake for me for Friday, so sweet. Then mad dash to house to drop things off at mom's place. FI and I ended the day by purchasing our bedroom set for our new place, still no furniture, so much going on.
Day 5 (6/17) - It's been a busy day for me. I made it to 7am mass and heard our 3rd wedding bann. I think stopped by the office to print the programs for the traditional ceremony/reception on Friday, all done. Then headed to florist to drop off the vases and paid the final balance in full. I then headed over to the bridal shop to do my last and final fitting, the cups fit perfectly, I will pick up on Thursday of this week after they have steamed it. I then had to stop to pick up my moms dress and then to my cousins place to finalize the list for the food I need to buy for her to cook for the mini Friday ceremony/reception we are having at my mom's place. Then mad dash to get FI, we dropped off boxes of mug favors and champagne to the reception venue across down and I just got back. I also confirmed that the aisle and pom poms FSIL purchased came in, yeah! Now going to do a mad dash to the mall and then Michael's, if I can get to Costco great if not, another day. I need to return a few things and get my Friday night pre-wedding outfit and our cake topper.
Day 4 (6/18) -
Day 3 (6/19) - Rehearsal today and FI's birthday!
Day 2 (6/20) - Traditional Nigerian Ceremony and after party hosted by FI's brother!
Day 1 (6/21) - W Day!
8/2/2012: Let me just say, it got way to busy those last couple of days and I didn't have time to even look by PW. My advice is to finalize, settle, select everything 1 to 2 weeks before W day, if you are being indecisive about something, do inny menny minny mooo and pick something so that you can move on. The night before the wedding we had to do the traditional nigerian ceremony, it took up so much time and didn't allow free time to do much, it was 1am when my MOH and I were at my office printing the remaining place cards and stuff that could have been done earlier. Do everything early, settle on stuff early on or forget about it.
The best thing is that my two MOH's really stepped up to the plate, the minute my MOH flew in from Nigeria West Africa, the Thursday the day of the rehearsal, she really started to help relieve a lot of the stress from me and carried it on to herself, she really tried to pull me out of the equation, she had the calls going to her phone, she was in contact w/make up lady, photographer, DOC......this really really helped. I was able to go to do my pedicure, facial and makeup on Friday before the traditional with ease. Really really get ppl who can be by your side who have your best interest at heart and who are not worried about anything but you enjoying your special day because that is what she did for me. And my other MOH really worked well with me throughout the wedding, trying to help me here and there which helped, she was limited at times because of her job and motherly responsibilities as was the other who was far away but they really did their best to put me first and I love them for that. Get ppl who are not just friends, but ppl who genuinely care for you and want nothing but make it your day. I had only 2 ladies which worked out good for me, but my cousin and other good friend really helped me out a lot towards the end, love, love the ppl around me. Love, love my daughter, she was my wedding assistant and was there for me every step of the way and my mother was my dear heart, she walked me down the aisle. I'm sure everyone is happy it's over, no more wedding talk and my sanity back.