"a chance meeting, a call a few days later and the rest is history. She's a Howard University alumni, the real HU by the way, but you couldn't tell by the number of times she spent at the University of Maryland. You could say she had a very good reason"Read More
" could have held a contest of smiles, giggles, and outright laughter. Ruth has mastered the power of her smile cause it disarms him instantly and gets him to join in."Read More
Undoubtedly, the engagement season of a bride's life is perhaps one of the best seasons when hopes are soaring and everything comes up roses. If you take the time to sow a handful of seeds during your engagement/planning season and you'll be reaping a bountiful harvest when you need it the most. Here are a few simple tips:
- Craft a love letter from the heart. This letter is from you to YOU, an anchor when your blue sky shows a patch of gray. You don't need to write it in one sitting but don't wait till the week of the wedding when the butterflies in your body are in full swing or your thoughts will be all jumbled together. Get a ‘strictly love letter’ journal if you love to write and you'll thank yourself later. To be clear, this is a safe haven letter and you're not compelled to give it to him but imagine the look on his face if he were to get a 'peek' into your thoughts. Your call!
- Pour out your heart on paper, no not on a gadget (nice try!), but put a pen to paper.
- How do you feel about him, and how does he make you feel. What made you say yes.
- Your wish for your future together. Your prayer for the man he is today (as in before 'I do') and the man you wish he will become.
- Set realistic expectations. No, he does not walk on water and neither do you. (you think you do, don't you? I think I so too :-))
- Nope! he truly does not always understand how fast the wheels in your head grinds. I'm not making excuses, I'm preparing you for a life of honeymoon together. Don't allow little things ruin your wonderful relationship.
- Make room for personal space like you hanging with your girls or him his boys as long as they understand you're committed to each other.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. So his sock doesn't land perfectly in the hamper or he presses the toothpaste from the center. Buy separate toothpaste if necessary, the point is these are what I call "ankle-biters", they keep you from focusing on what important: You + Him = US. Focus on your US!
- Dream about your future together. “dream about the world you’re gonna live in, one fine day … let imagination take you” Oakridge Boys. (The who? Google it already)
- EVERYTHING your eyes can see started in someone's imagination. It ALWAYS started with a dream, so dream BIG.
- List your personal goals and goals as a couple. Divide your goals 1, 5, 10, 15 years goal. You don't have to stop there, it's your life story.
- Document how you would like him to support yu and ask the same of him. How does he like to be supported? When you know what's important to your partner, you become each other's best advocate and nothing comes between you.
It's been said many times before, anything written is measurable. So plan for a great life together but most importantly, plan to flourish so you can regale your children and grandchildren with stories that can be passed down to generations.
I hope you find these tips useful. If so please pass it along, share with friends and families.
Until next week ... hugs and kisses
When the stars align, they do it perfectly.
When I suggested a date for Yewande and Colin's engagement session date, little did I know it was Loving Day wikipedia the anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that struck down all US laws against interracial marriage. How awesome is it that they get to celebrate on that very date? In turn, they couldn't have picked a better location for our session than Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore where Colin proposed, Yewande said 'yes' (of course!) and Colin's family had lived as far back as 1850.
We roamed around the neighborhood, from the little shops every kid runs to for candy and pop, to the house that lasted five generations itself. Now a café, it was both surreal and exhilarating at the same time. Of course, we ended the night at Federal Hill park itself to a great sunset and dancing to another perfect melody, ‘I Swear’ by John Michael Montgomery.
Enjoy their images.
You meet them, you fall in love with them. Simple. That's the only way to describe Ayisatu and James. Actually, we met over the phone, through a referal. I was in Las Vegas when the call came but missed it. I sent back a text message saying I'll be home by the end of the week. Instead of the typical 'ok', the response said, call when you get a chance. So, I did what any nice girl would do, I called, time difference and all. The introduction by my circle of sisters and friends was short, and on came two giddy, excited lovebirds. Before the conversation was over, I was in love, with both of them. Sight unseen. Not for the job, but for their genuine laughter and confidence that came right through the phone. They were unique in that they both know what they wanted. We set a date to meet and it was on.
Ayisatu and James are nothing short of a blessing because they continue to be even after their wedding. What they didn't know they asked. They wanted a traditional engagement session and wanted details of the why, when, how. I provided a crash course and then did one better, thanks again to my circle of sisters and friends. I happen to be a guest at an upcoming wedding, made a phone call practically days before the event and secured an extra invite to a strictly by invitation only event all the way in Baltimore. Love you Sister Kemi :-) Ayisatu showed up, with her game face. You would think she was getting ready to study for an exam. She paid attention, asked questions. She was there ... in the moment. Oh joy. And the only thing that kept James away? That traffic you run into when there is a ball game in Baltimore.
Next she assembled her dream team of vendors to meet at my house for a pre-planning session. Another blessing, we meet each other before the wedding, in person. Flurries of emails and text messages, an engagement session can read here. And then the big day finally came.
I should let the images take it from here.
It all starts wilththe gele (headtie) for tradition
Promises of things to come
A little time for portrait and details
The waiting while the moderator does her thing
When your daughter is the one getting married, there's a song in your heart that only you hear, and an extra bounce in your steps And your son has found a good thing Ready for guests
Skip a few ... on to reason we are here ...
The Letter ... from his family to her family ... worth dancing for
And one very bold young lady who did not skip a bit reading the letter, well, except for those family names that must be pronounced correctly Part 1 formality taken care of ...
Here comes the groom, with bells and whistles And the most important tradition of all ... reverence to her parents, and his parents. A must!
A reminder that you asked,
strike that, you 'begged' for her hand in marriage.
And in your sheer exuberance when your dance is on, you forgot the matching cap, but that's why God made brothers
Here comes the bride, in matching blue veil, with an entourage of sisters and friends
The prayers From a mother's heart, and you know a girl needs a second mom so she prays too
From your new parents because there are no in-laws
It's time to bid 'your girls' farewell, no more clubbing, book club is perfectly fine
Did I say prayer?
Africans have first dibs on that thing called prayer. Ask any African kid, they can write a book So we pray on the ring He can finally put a ring on it (I didn't coin that!),
raise it high, put the world on notice
No tag necessary the look says it all
Did I say prayer?
Made possible by the love and passion of these awesome wedding vendors
Photography: Ronnie Bliss
Co-Photographer: Toyin Photos
Master of Ceremonies:
Cake: Classic Bakery
Catering: Royal Envy Catering & Decor
Headtie/Gele – Dondonni Makeovers
Makeup – Shervii
Wedding Coordinator: Subtle Touch Events
Video: Expert Vision Productions
At the crossroad of life, I entered 2015 knowing it is a year of many changes in every area of my life. Simply put, crazy scary at the same time wildly exciting. Afterall it’s not every day you’re handed the opportunity to stand at a crossroad of a new lease on life. What to do! Take a left, a right or stay put? Decisions! Decisions!! Decisions!!! With this rare and exciting ‘opportunity’, I decided to immerse myself in some personal development, explore honing my photography skill by attending several workshops for different reasons. The Bayside Bride Workshop was the first, hosted by Natalie Franke and Krista Jones. It was wedding business strategies meet styled shoots. Not just one styled shoot but engagement + wedding. As if that was not enough, how about shooting digital or film? Fear not, my goal was personal development so I stayed digital.
On a personal level, I came away with tons of new ideas, skills were definitely honed, gained an entire community of friends and a movement called Community over Competition. A group of creatives, in the same relative creative space, who are genuinely rooting for your business to succeed. Wow!
Here are some images from the engagement session.
Thank you for visiting, more on the wedding images next week.
Assuming you’ve returned from cloud nine – whoooo, and coherent, here are 5 fun things to do before the whirlwind of the budget, headcount, venue, date, dress, shoes, color, coordinator etc. kicks in.
- Gather the girls together. You know, your bff’s, wing(wo)man, keeper of all your secrets, minder of your broken heart. Before you put it on social media, this is waayyyy to important to drop it on social media. You’ll have all the time to hit ‘post’, trust me. I’m talking serious girls night out here, details, details, details, it’s on!
- Get a manicure, you have some serious bling to show off. Go for clear or neutral color, you don't want anything to compete with your bling. No punchy neon color or glitters. YOU. ARE. THE. STAR. not OPI, Essie or China Glaze. And, oh bring the girls along.
- Perfect your engagement story. Why? Because you didn't hear what he said in the first place. You saw the ring and everything else was a blur. You are going to be tell this epic story over and over and over again. The idea here is not to tell a fib, but to perfect your unique, award winning, New York best seller story of how he proposed. Perfect one for the ages.
- Dream. You’ll thank me for this later. Dream. A lot. It’s free. Imagine how you would love your very special day to unfold. What would you love to happen on that day? You know, ... out of the abundance of the heart.... It’s free and cheaper. You’ve been dreaming of this moment your entire life, haven’t you? You time has finally come. You're limited only by your imagination.
- Start practicing your new signature and the sound of your new name. Remember what you did with your first boyfriend’s name? Practicing your signature as a kid, a combination of your maiden name and his? Or altogether adopting his name, aww, it doesn’t matter, the idea is to have fun before the details hits.
Most importantly, get a professional engagement photo. Right away. As in now. While you’re still glowing. Selfies are great, there nothing wrong with them, it just the fashion right now. Don’t believe me? How selfie crazy were we 10 years ago? You’ll need professional images for your announcements, invitation cards, giveaways, websites, social media profile, phone, tablet, laptop, pc screen cover, right? You get it. Call me, let’s capture the glow and leave evidence of your love for your children, grandchildren and generations to come.
Bonus tip. Add your honeymoon fund to the wedding registry, you can afford your own toaster or that 20 place setting you'll never use. Your friends and families truly would love to give you a great start. Take the trip of a lifetime and fall in love all over again.
Love the article? Share with a friend.