Real Weddings

Friday, August 26, 2011

Un-Traditional Cakes

Today, we are bringing you a collection of wedding cakes that are as beautiful and creative as they are humorous. These are not just ordinary wedding cakes with delicate features and designs used for white weddings.  No, these cakes are special because they are used in the traditional African wedding ceremony (a.k.a. Traditional Engagement). The purpose of these cakes are similar to that of the Traditional wedding cake but they are also a canvas in which the couple can display their personalities, creativity and most importantly...Their Culture.  
This is by far the cutest :-)

Cake Notes:
  1. Most Traditional cakes either have figurines of the couple, fruit (representing a fruitful union) or paraphernalia specific to that culture/region (eg Calabash or Cowries).
  2. It is best to find someone who is specialized in African cake decorating.
  3. In an event where that is not possible be sure to sit with your baker well in advanced and provide pictures/models that can aid with design.
  4. The cake taste just as good as western cakes (If you were wondering).

I like the Fila and Gele ;-)
An elegant figurine

Representing a Fruitful Marriage

Classically simple

My's gorgeous!
Close up of the couple Cake!

Lagos Riviera
Cakes by Andy Clark
Flourish Cakes and Occasions
NC & N.Thumberland DailyPhoto

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gele: The Other Crown

When a West African Bride dons her traditional wear, it would not be complete without her Gele. It is the equivalent of a wedding cake without a topper (or some other ornate piece) and just seems…Incomplete. On the Bride, the Gele is worn during her engagement ceremony/ Traditional wedding and during the second introduction of the Bride and Groom (In traditional attire) at the reception. The New couple are royalty of the day and the Gele is her crown.
So What Is A Gele?
Gele is the Yoruba word for (A woman’s) Head wrap.  In the Igbo culture it is called Ichafu.
It is a large rectangular cloth tied on a woman’s head in a variety of fashions.  The material used to make the gele is usually of a stiff, but flexible, nature e.g. Aso-oke (thickly woven silk), Brocade (cotton) and Damask. These materials come in a wide array of colors, patterns and textures.  The bigger the cloth (and the greater the skill) the more elaborate the look.
Gele tying is an Art form that takes practice, patience and often times a well-toned arm, but once tied, a Gele can make any woman look regal. Every Gele is unique and there is no true formula to achieve the exact look twice. If you take a closer look, you will see that no two Geles (once tied) are alike.
We absolutely love Gele’s because not only are they tied in various styles but they are an aspect of culture that make women feel beautiful no matter the occasion. The style and color of the Gele can be a reflection of your mood, style or personality. Creativity is key ;-)

1. Since Geles are such glamorous statement pieces, the should be complemented (not over shadowed) with the right amount of jewelry and make up. TOO much of either can be overwhelming.
2. Gele tend to draw attention to the face, expecially the eyes, so having well groomed/shaped eyebrows, and flawless makeup are a huge plus.
3. If you cannot tie the piece yourself, ask a friend to help. 
4. Make use of Bobby and Safety pins to achieve a desired style. 

Here are a few breath taking Gele looks…

 Photos Courtesy of 
Ade Adetayo Photography 
Pink Diamonds

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Drape It Beautiful

You have hired the planner, booked the caterer and florists and rented all your tables and chairs. but what about the Reception Hall? What happens when, due to a tight budget, a large number of guests or "No availability" the hall you booked has more "Lack" than "Lustre"?  We are talking about orange walls, green carpets and exposed brick in the wrong places. Ok, maybe it's not that bad but it's NOT the venue of your dreams.

The reception hall is very vital to any wedding. After all, this is where you will entertain guests with food, music and dancing, and the ever present high table speeches (lol). Apart from the ceremony snapshots, most of your wedding day memories will be captured during the reception and who wants those gorgeous photos marred by an unflattering backdrop. I can tell you...There is hope.

With the right lighting and wall coverings, even the darkest room can rival the lounges in a five-star hotel.
That last line was kind of cheesy but its true. Look at these Before and After Photos of a Real Reception held in a church hall courtesy of (Blog)
Ordinary Church Hall...

Ordinary Church Hall Transformed  

Here are a few more draping inspirations...
PhotoCredit:  Midway Party Rental

PhotoCredit:  Midway Party Rental

Can you tell that this is an indoor basketball court? I couldn't either ;-)

PhotoCredit: Royal Receptions UTAH

PhotoCredit: NES Weddings

Obviously, this is not a drape but it's a beautiful decor idea to cover an unsightly wall ;-)


Quick Tip: Cut the cost of having a florist in half by using drapes and lighting to make a statement in your decor

Have you considered (or used) draping for your Special day?! 
Leave a comment below. We would love to hear your experiences!