Hello strangers. I'm back for good now. I have been super busy in the last few months with major changes. In order of timeline:
- Qualified as solicitor. Whhohhhooo
- Moved to Dubai with be with the hubby to be
- Got married!!!!! (With all the stress and planning that goes into it, the wedding took over my life)
We chose to get married in the Ivory Coast as with the traditional wedding. More for Arif than for me it was very important that we get married in home country. It beat getting married anywhere else so I threw myself in. The wedding took place over two days (if you take into consideration the pre-wedding ceremonies over the last two years we are at 4 ceremonies now). This means multiple anniversaries per year so no complaint here.
I will try to put in some hair related articles in between the wedding ones so please bear with me.
The most important thing for me was to have an organic wedding, let the surroundings act as decoration and not have the a-typical west African wedding which can be lacking in personality and be overly generic. I was lucky enough after a lot of research to work with some amazing people and for those of you not familiar with the Ivory Coast, you will be enamoured with the place and in West Africa by the time I am done.
The most important factors for me in terms of the day were as follows:
- Dress(es) I had two wedding gowns
- Hair (there is a growing natural hair movement in the Ivory Coast as shown by groups such as Nappys de Babi (naturals of Abidjan).
So lets start with the dress. The morning dress was a breeze to find. I found it on my first day of searching with my mother, sister and aunt. The dress was the Antoinette by Ian Stuart. It went against everything I thought I would go for. I started my search wanting something that was more typical, tight with a mermaid tail. I tried numerous dresses with that design but found them all just ok. They fit was perfect, my waist looked tint but they just lacked a certain oommmpphh. I came out for a last walk around the shop, saw The Dress which was the opposite of everything I had looked for and just thought what the hell. When I tried it on…. Lets say I knew. I had a greater sense of certainty with that dress than I've had with a lot of other things in my life so if that's not love I don't know what is! I had the dress amended slightly (I always need something out of the ordinary!). So the dress has a romantic falling sleeve while the original is a strapless dress.
Now for the second dress. Firstly why did I need two dresses… Well for those of you who are Africans you know that our weddings can be rather grandiose affairs. The traditional wedding had over 500 people (did I mention you know maybe 30% of that number very well!!). The hubby wanted a large number of people and I wanted an intimate gathering so we compromised. An open ceremony in the morning where all were invited and in the evening a small wedding for just 150 of our closest friends and family. So I needed two dresses of course. The second dress was another dream dress. It was perfect for the evening and one I designed based on a dress I tried on in NYC.
Getting this dress was as hard as the first was easy. It took over a year to find someone who would accept to do it due to its intricate details. And when they did begin the work they majorly messed it up. I felt like I was going crazy trying to explain to my Lebanese designers whose shop is in Dubai but whose tailor lives in Lebanon. Anyway look below at the many trials and tribulations and the final perfect piece.
Needless to say I was sssssoooo exited. Two beautiful dresses. I could not have done with only one and I feel so blessed and lucky to have been able to get the two. One may be sold (the Ian Stuart) but the second stays in my wardrobe forever. I WILL find another occasion to which I can wear it.
Tune in for more wedding prep tales. Xo