You know when you want to embrace your families culture, but keep your wedding completely true to you as a couple? It's HARD isn't it?! Today Seun and Micheal are going to show you exactly how to do it, and how to do it WELL. They've combined Seun's Nigerian background, with her Christian faith, the couple's home town of London, the food they love and the styling is modern and fresh too. Oh, and they kept 250 guests happy. Hard to believe isn't it?! Well fear not, we've got photographic evidence and we're not afraid to use it...

Our Story

Micheal the Groom: Seun and I had been together for about 8 years before I finally asked her to marry me. We met at university and I asked the question the night we moved into the flat we had bought together in London! That was in April 2015 and we decided to get married the next summer – 2016, with Seun being Nigerian the tradition was for a big wedding. We bargained it down to around 250 people and were quite pleased with ourselves for it. This did mean that we had to plan extensively and quickly to make sure everything would run smoothly on the day. My family are from Sunderland so the promising culture clash was definitely a curiosity for us.

Our Wedding

When we thought about the style and feel we wanted for our wedding it was something we hoped would reflect our personalities that being: laid-back and fun! We didn’t feel a need to be super traditional and really wanted to stay away from anything garish or cheesy. We decided that having a reception venue that involved some outdoor space and amazing food were two of our priorities. We also agreed on a few themes – a flowery garden feel and a colour scheme of copper (dulled not shiny), pastel green and white.

The Venues

Seun has been an active member of her Church in Kensington (Holy Trinity Brompton – Onslow square) for many years and so having the ceremony in one of the groups’ churches was very meaningful, we opted for the Church on Brompton Road for size and access purposes. HTB in general has quite a modern style in their approach and so we opted just for a singer and acoustic guitar for the music. We had met the priest a few times prior to the ceremony and he did a great job making the sermon really personal and injected some great touches of humour too. The reception was held outside of London with The Conservatory at Painshill Park in Cobham, we arranged for coaches to pick up the guests from the church using Clarkes of London. The venue was a gorgeous semi-permanent marquee within a walled garden and was the perfect size and style for what we had in mind. Being within Painshill Park also gave the opportunity for some excellent scenery for the photographers.

The Food

We contacted a lot of caterers! Most of which were dedicated wedding or event caterers and we really did not feel inspired, they were ok but just didn’t give us a ‘wow!’ factor. Seun suggested a well-known pop-up restaurant owner Jimmy Garcia - Jimmy's Popup at first I was sceptical, I thought there is no way he would take it on or that it would be crazy expensive, but we (Seun) went ahead and enquired. They were amazing! We met with Jimmy and Helen who would be managing our event, we told them our budget, the number of people we had attending as well as our taste in food and the team presented us with a number of options that might work. The end result was incredible food and the waiting, bar staff and all cutlery/glassware was also provided, they kept us informed and it was a really great feeling having them involved. The dessert was a real talking piece. Later in the evening we also had some traditional Nigerian food served to keep people’s stomach’s topped up. (Benny’s Cuisine, Benny – 07932972226)

The Cake

The cake was fantastic, the only thing wrong was that I was too busy to be able to eat as much as I wanted!! We found the creator The Indulgent Sugar Plum on Instagram and were blown away with the cakes she was making, after meeting her for a discussion about what we liked and tasting the potential flavours it was clear that we would be getting a special cake.

The Flowers

The florist we used Alright Petal was a friend of a friend just starting up a florist business, it made me slightly apprehensive that she may be inexperienced but upon meeting up we both felt that she really understood the look we were trying to achieve. A key decoration we wanted that was proving troublesome with some other florists was a hanging display throughout the inside of the marquee, King Wei was really up for trying it and actually came with us for a visit to the reception venue to measure up exactly what would be needed for the different displays. The result was exactly what we were hoping for, the venue looked gorgeous!! We were also fortunate that the people we had worked were all very down to Earth and worked together at the venue, Alright Petal supplying some extra flowers to decorate the cake was a very nice touch.

The Planning

Seun’s sister Seyi was an organising saviour, having set-up her own events planning business, With You Events, she had all of the resources we would need to have everything run smoothly. Her business partner Christine was present at both venues on the day and really ensured everything was set out to perfection, they pulled together the different catering, decorating and venue teams and were really efficient.

The Fashion

The wedding dress was from the bridal shop Morgan Davies and the dress was ‘Lana’ from Anna Georgina by Kobus Dippenaa. The evening dress Valentino (with her old converse!!) and the jewellery was borrowed from the two sets of parents. Bridesmaids’ dresses were designed and made by an old dear friend who is a designer has her own brand called GREY. I wore a three-piece suit from Suit Supply near Savile Row in a textured blue cotton with tan brogues from Loake and a textured pink tie from TM Lewin. The Groomsmen wore grey three-piece suits from Austin Reed together with pink ties to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, the shoes were also tan brogues from Loake.

The Photography

We found our main photographers Katy & Co online and met Katy and Wayne pretty quickly after checking out their website, they were extremely easy to get along with. It was great to be able to brief them with a task and have them get on with it with little stress or additional input from our side. Before the big day, they scouted the venue for photo shoot sites and the choices were awesome, exactly what we had asked for – not too cheesy! On the day, our wedding was quite large for a usual English wedding but this was handled with ease, there were a few ‘obstacles’ thrown in the way on the day but again this was dealt with professionally and with little stress for my wife and I. The thing that I think would really set Katy & Co apart from others has been their aftercare, the presentation of the photos was gorgeous and the continued interaction and help has been great.

The Videography

The videography was carried out by Wordless Media found via a friend’s recommendation, the guys were really personal and laid back, it definitely made everything very easy. Whilst everyone was getting ready to head to the church my wife and I were taken to one side and given a quick interview which was amazing and hilarious. They really captured the energy of the day well.

The Entertainment

Again on a friend’s recommendation, we hired DJ Yung Milli to take care of the music on the day, he was incredible the whole wedding party was dancing throughout the night, including an impromptu session in between dinner courses. As well as playing what we wanted he kept the rest of the party involved, varying the music to suit the different tastes of both families and the guests. I think that everybody that attended the wedding will remember the dancing and the music, he really judged it well.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

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