Today is June 11, and I just wanted to summarize what I have achieved sofar so I have a clearer idea what I still have to get done.
First of all, some basic info.
Type of wedding: Traditional African - meaning the actual african "wedding" where a dowry is being exchanged and some symbolic drinks and food items are being shared, as well as other rituals symbolizing the union not of 2 persons but of 2 families. I believe those same elements are found in every african culture/ethnic group with slight variations on the process depending on the culture.
Number of guests: we are just having close friends and family members. I guess we can call this a small private wedding but we still would like it to look/feel classy and elegant. To answer the questions, not more than 80 people (hopefully!)
Colors: Royal blue and gold
A few other details: We really don't have to have invitations since all our guests would be people that are part of our daily life but I still want to make them feel special and would also love to have something to look at and remember... I am not good (or interest in) scrapbooking, so this I guess is as close as it gets... By now you would have guessed that I am doing my invitations DIY entirely!! I explain how I came to doing that and the result on a different post.
Where we are at this point
- the venue: It is a small and beautiful community room that belong to small townhouse community in the outskirts of the DC metro area in Germantown, Maryland. It is the kind of room that does not need to be decorate too much to look elegant. The walls are a creme color with some crown molding. There is an adjacent kitchen with a fridge, a stove, a microwave and the restrooms are super clean with a hotel feeling. The room also opens up to a white balcony that overlooks the community's swimming pool. Finally there is beautiful landscaping in front of and around the venue with the added value of the clean, quiet neighborhood. There is also some parking spaces (maybe not enough to accommodate everybody but we are all friends and family so I guess carpooling would be okay).
- the photographer and videographer: I got an extra sweet deal with a combination of both services for an unlimited duration. It is unbeatable! I looked a lot on craigslist, almost everyday for professionals offering their services at a discounted price. It paid off. I got redirected to their website and got it rolling from there. It looks like they are just starting out as a business and are trying to build their clientele. Must I add they are based about 83 miles away!
- the DJ: I had gone to a baby shower about 3 months ago or so (at that particular venue- that's how I got to know about it as it is not advertised) and he was the DJ; he had the songs I wanted (from coupe decale to old school congolese rumba, to ndombolo, to zouk and afrozouk to african dancehall!!!) and played that in smooth transition. I asked him for his business card and here we are.
- The coordinator: A friend that coordinated the baby shower that took place at the venue that I'm using... and it is free!!!
- the MC: a friend of a friend who has exceptional artistry skills, who is extremely eloquent and knows how to interact with an audience.
- Decoration: this are deserves a post of its own. I'll outline websites where wedding decorating material can be purchased from.
- The Makeup: a very talented nigerian lady who does an excellent job, very subtle and elegant makeup. I discovered her browsing for a good african makeup artist who understands the essence of a traditional african ceremony.
In working progress:
- I still have to sign a contract for the rental of chair covers, sashes and table cloths. I am ordering personalized napkins (with our names and the wedding date) for dirt cheap. Look for the post on decorating my venue for details and upcoming pictures.
- The menu has been finalized for the most part. Some items have been assigned to different friends for cooking, some I will actually cook myself the day before, and some will be ordered from various african restaurants.
- My outfits: I decided to treat myself and following my love for african clothing, I will be wearing 3 different outfits, all sewn by a tailor (whose elegant work I have seen before). I purchased the material from a nigerian store that sells laces and various fabrics. See the upcoming post on my wedding look. As I speak my fabrics are at the tailor's, in queue, due for sewing in a few weeks.
- I have not started working on my fiance's outfit for the day... as I meaning to have a final idea of what mine would look like. But I think I have found what would look good (he is naturally cute ;-) hehehe, just need to convince him that my idea is THE idea that would make him look like a prince and THEN convince him to go to the tailor for measurements.
I am probably forgetting a few minor things... but it is currently 85 degrees outside, and my brains are slowly turning into jelly 8-l
Good morning! Today is June 17... A little more than 60 days left!
Just an update on the planning.
- This past week I got all of the flatware. They are plastic silver looking flatware; they look chic and elegant and save the hassle and the cost of renting and cleaning afterwards; they can even be reused because they are sturdy (See the Decorated Table tab for pictures of the blue and gold-decorated flatware).
- I also got the dishware; white plastic disposable sturdy china-like plate with a silver rim. Got it from an online store but I wish I would have just driven to Costco as they were a little cheaper there and no shipping to pay for (I got a set with the dinner larger plates and the smaller salad/dessert plates). But I guess I am okay as I saved a little bit at the online store on the flatware as compared to Costco.
- I got the plastic 8oz wine glasses from the same store.
- I also got dinner and beverage blue and gold napkins as well as some that were personalized with our names on it imprinted in gold.
- Finally we got chafing dishes and aluminium foil pans as well as the burners for darn cheap.
My goal is to have at home everything that we possibly need before the end of month and at the same time be able to focus on saving the money for food items through July.
I have also been working on the invitations and purchased all the material needed for it. I made one to have an idea of the final result and I was really pleased. I'll describe the process and the final result in a dedicated post.
update: The Invitations post is now up with pictures!