This gorgeous couple embraced Groom Emmanuel’s Nigerian background and incorporated both cultures into their wedding day. Starting with a traditional English church ceremony followed by a silver & pink themed marquee reception at Wethele Manor in Warwickshire.
Bride Stephanie looked absolutely beautiful in her Maggie Sottero ‘Geneva’ gown and that beaded cape is just heavenly and completed her bridal look perfectly. I also absolutely adore her magenta Nigerian outfit that she got changed into to dance the night away in.
Talking of dancing, I love that Stephanie & Emmanuel instead of having a traditional UK first dance opted for a Nigerian Money Dance, where the guests all throw dollar bills at them.
Bailey The Bride: I wasn’t very particular when it came to what style of dress I wanted (I don’t think!), the one definite was that I did not want to have a strapless gown. Suffice to say, I wore a strapless Maggie Sottero dress. My friend, cake maker and Bridesmaid (!) booked an appointment at a dress shop when I was visiting home, my Mum and Nan came along and I tried on a few. When I walked out in the ‘Geneva’ dress, my Mum loved it and Nan said ‘your Dad would be so proud’, so that was it! That was the dress for me. I fell out of love with it several times, and decided I had to get it altered to make sure that I felt comfortable on the day; I had the belt and flower design removed and also some of the petal details.
I wore minimal jewellery as the Maggie Sottero beaded jacket was so detailed I didn’t want to look to over the top. I wore simple stud earrings and my 18th birthday present bracelet. My shoes were from Harriet Wilde.
I wore two other dresses during the day. Emmanuel’s Aunt in Nigeria sourced fabric for us and we had the dresses made by a tailor in London. I wore a magenta purple colour wrapper and blouse for my traditional Nigerian outfit, with matching gele. For the second, modern Nigerian dress I wore a peachy coral dress with matching beads. I loved both Nigerian outfits, the fabric of both is beautiful. I wore Nean gold shoes by Aldo for both outfits.
Emmanuel didn’t want to wear black and I agreed. He rathered grey, I disagreed. He wore a bright navy blue, slim fit DKNY suit. He looked so handsome. His bow tie and pocket square were from Mrs Bow Tie and his shoes from Ted Baker. The Groomsmen, 7 in total, also wore navy, however the shade of navy was much darker, allowing Emmanuel to stand out. We bought the Groomsmen’s suits and cufflinks as presents, all from Moss Bros.
Male family members from the Isle of Man; Grandad, Brother and Brother-in-Law all wore Manx tartan ties. I loved this little touch!
I chose my niece who was 13, an old school friend who’s been through thick and thin with me, and two close friends I have made here in Birmingham to be my Bridesmaids. They were all so helpful in the lead up and on the day, literally could not have done it without them. Two Bridesmaids wore the Lori Lee Lace maxi dress from Coast and two wore the Silver Rosie dress from BHS. I really liked the contrast between the two dresses, they all looked beautiful!
We hunted high and low for a venue. Initially, we wanted somewhere with a church onsite and that could hold upwards of 200 people, however this really narrowed our options! Emmanuel found Wethele Manor online and I remember getting so excited before visiting it, thinking this is the one. We went with my Mum and fell in love instantly, there was a wedding party packing up when we arrived and the Father-of-the-Bride quipped ‘don’t even look around, just book it!’. Exclusivity, church nearby (we got married in the beautiful St
￼Gregory’s, Offchurch), lush scenery and able to accommodate our numbers – it really ticked all our boxes!
Hair and Makeup
The Bridesmaids, myself and Mother-of-the-Bride had our hair and makeup done by Roseanna and Laura from Makeup by Jodie. I had a trail with the make up artist and hair stylist beforehand and they were both amazing. So committed to the job, they even helped me into my wedding dress! They worked really well with the Bridesmaids, complimenting each of their personal style and taste.
We met with Cindy from Pure Botanics last Autumn, she was great – showing me lots of examples. I, of course, went armed with all sorts of pictures I’d sourced from Pinterest. Emmanuel got so carried away, trying to get a quote for decorating every part of the venue you could think of, I had to rein him in a bit! We pretty much decided on the flowers at that first meeting, with a few tweaks here and there. My bouquet was made up of roses, peonies and hydrangeas, the Bridesmaids had a smaller version of my bouquet. The flowers were beautiful, I remember on the morning of the wedding I felt like a robot and didn’t really feel like it was my wedding day, until I saw the flowers. Then it hit me.
Aimée Ford, aka Butterfingers Cupcakes made our gorgeous cake. We were so lucky, she kindly gifted it to us a present. She asked if she could surprise us with the cake, i.e. I wouldn’t be able to see the cake design before the wedding day, so that she could see my reaction. I can’t lie, the thought stressed me out a little, but it was so worth it. I loved the cake, it was beautiful! I did send her a lot of images of cakes I liked and those I wasn’t such a fan of, so she knew what style to design. Neither Emmanuel or I like fruit cake, so we decided to have 3 flavours; lemon, victoria sponge and chocolate. It tasted bloody delicious!
As a large number of our guests were non alcoholic drinkers, it was important to us to make sure we served a good variety of both alcoholic and soft drinks. Emmanuel and I really like Fentimans, and they are packaged beautifully, so I ordered tonnes of the stuff! We had 6 different flavours of Fentimans, 6 drinks dispensers with a mix of drinks (lemon, lime, apple juice etc) and Schloer for the toast. For those that were drinking alcohol, we served Prosecco and Bucks Fizz during canapés, 2 bottles of Rose and White per table and 1 bottle of red with champagne for the toast. We really didn’t want people to be thirsty!
￼We asked three of our Sisters to give readings at the Church. We tried to suit the verse to the person delivering the reading. Fayokemi read 1 Corinthians 13, Glynis read The Art of a Good Marriage and Kellie read The Apache Wedding Blessing. I was so happy that they all agreed to do a reading, as I know public reading isn’t for everyone! Reverend David Forster conducted the ceremony, with Pastor Leke Sanusi delivering a sermon.
As the venue was surrounded by such lovely countryside, I wanted to bring part of that into the marquee. I sourced salal foliage which decorated the bar and top table. I also got some hop bines for the beams in the courtyard. The stationery all followed a ‘chalkboard’ style.
My old friend Antony Cash was our ace DJ. We also had a Nigerian band play traditional Yoruba music, Joshua Maestro Gospel Choir. We had a photobooth for some fun pics, from Flashbox UK. They were fab.
What to say about Jo?! She has been amazing from start to finish – so helpful with suggesting timings and things to consider throughout the day. She and her second shooter Lisa did such a fab job, they made everyone feel at ease and took beautiful pictures. I’d highly recommend her, I know two of our guests who are getting married in the near future are in touch to hopefully book her!
It will no doubt be stressful and hard work, people will ask questions that you haven’t even considered yet – but you need to remember why you are doing it. It’s one day in your life where everyone is coming together to celebrate you and your Husband, you’ll never have another day like it. So, make the most of all those people that offer to help, they really do want to help! Don’t worry about the little details and remember to take a moment on the day with your Husband to just relax and appreciate the moment.
Photography by Jo Hastings Photography
- Dress Designer Maggie Sottero – Geneva
- Veil Deborah Marie Bridal
- Bridal Shoes Harriet Wilde – Bella
- Hair & Makeup Makeup by Jodie
- Bridesmaid Dress Coast Lori Lee Maxi Dress
- BHS Silver Rosie
- Grooms Suit DKNY at Moss Bros
- Bow Tie Mrs Bow Tie
- Groomsmen Suits Moss Bros
- Venue Wethele Manor
- Florist Pure Botanics
- Cake Butter Fingers Cupcakes
- Salal Foliage Tregothnan
- Hop Bines The Hop Shop
- DJ Concrete Cinema
- PhotoBooth Flash Box UK
- Vintage English white 1957 Bentley Aston Cars
- 1970 Westfalia VW campervan Moonstruck VW