A 2-Day Nigerian Wedding Celebration to Remember

I had the pleasure of planning my first traditional Nigerian wedding celebration. Bimpe and Ade’s wedding celebration was a . 2-day event; Day 1 was their traditional engagement ceremony and Day 2 was their church ceremony and reception. With a 2-day event to plan in little over 6 months, it sounded impossible thinking about it then. Planning this event didn’t come without any hurdles (which is worth another blog), nonetheless, I got the task accomplished and it came together beautifully.

Their traditional engagement ceremony took place on the first day. It was held at the Toronto Reference Library inside the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon. How can I best describe their Day 1? An eye catching, 3-hour event, filled with heart-pounding music, tons of dancing and food and a whole lot of showering of $$$.

Nigerians are avid lovers of colour. Their guests were all dressed in their traditional colourful, coordinated Nigerian outfits (side note – the bride had custom tailor-made dresses for her close friends and family in the same material) and their headgear or “gele” was something to be admired. The wardrobes our couple wore (they had 2 beautiful matching outfits to change to) were a feast to the eyes. For décor, our bride opted for simple design and soft colours. She chose ivory and gold tones which complemented the ambiance of the room and all rich colours of clothing worn by everyone. For dinner, guests were served with a buffet of delicious, authentic Nigerian cuisine. It is in their culture to serve their guests with a big feast, so our couple did not spare on this important detail. Aside from food, music is also of an importance.
Nigerians love to dance! From the words of the bride’s sister, she said, “in our culture, dance is very important”. A live Nigerian band playing traditional music in Yoruba native tongue and talking drums entertained their guests. Everyone, Nigerians and non-Nigerians really got down, and celebrated their engagement.

Venue: Toronto Reference Library
Wedding Planner: Hazel Boivin Weddings & Events
Décor & Florals: Rachel Clingen Wedding & Event Design
Photographer: Alakija Photography Studios
Videographer: Brightside Films
Catering: Stevag Restaurant and 10Tation Event Catering
Live Music: Mustafa Lawal
Make-up & Gele: Donus Hands of Beauty
Programs: Invitation House

The next day, the couple exchanged vows at the historic Knox College Chapel, followed by an elegant reception held at Four Seasons Hotel in the Aria East & West Rooms for their 300+ guests. Reception décor inside the Aria was totally opposite from their Day 1. Rachel A. Clingen created the look our bride had envisioned; clean modern lines with tons of colour; various shades of pinks, corals and gray. 2 bougainvillea trees were stunning features beside the gorgeous sweetheart table. A custom vinyl floor by Dance Floor Décor matched the couple’s invitation monogram in coral which added that luxurious look. Fine Cakes by Zehra created a beautiful 5-tier cake in the same shades as the floral & décor.

Bimpe and Ade wanted a memorable and elegant reception and they got just that. Their guests were so delighted with the décor and ambiance and the scrumptious food served. Entertainment didn’t come short with a surprise impromptu performance from the groom, the funny and heartfelt speeches and the guest’s lip-sync battles. And of course, guests kicked up their heels danced till the wee-hours of the night.

As much as their culture was all about dancing, over-the-top colourful clothing, the abundance of food, their religious and cultural beliefs, the one thing that truly resonated to me was the union of two communities (immediate and extended families and their friends), meeting each other, joining to become one family and formally giving their approval and blessing to the couple. It was truly an honour I got to be a part of this unforgettable celebration.

Venue: Four Seasons Toronto
Wedding Planner: Hazel Boivin Weddings & Events
Photographer: Alakija Photography Studios
Videographer: Brightside Films
Décor & Florals: Rachel Clingen Wedding & Event Design
Cake: Fine Cakes by Zehra
Vinyl Floor: Dance Floor Décor
Chairs: Detailz Couture
Music & MC: D&W Entertainment Group Inc.
Make-up: Blush Pretty and Donus Hands
Hair: Hair By Kahlae
Wedding Gown: Maggie Sotero
Formal Wear: Surmesur
Invitations and Programs: Invitation House
Photobooth: PhotoboothTO
Limo: Babylon Limousine

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