How Tobi and I met:
In short we met in church! He was worshipping, I was ushering, prancing up and down in a long fitted black number. Apparently I caught his eye I didn t even notice- unlike him, I was too busy focusing on God.
A couple of weeks later I received a Facebook message asking if I was ok because I d been on his heart
I was shocked considering we d never even had a conversation before and a little confused but I still thought how sweet, Reverend Tobi is messaging me to see how I am! We got talking and I started pouring out my heart about how I d been struggling balancing so much. He took a real interest and made sure he followed things up with me regularly; by regularly I mean every day.
He began training me in the word, prayer and business so we began meeting at least once a week for mentoring.
Mentoring? Everybody said, which kind of mentoring!? Nic trust me he s interested in you, he likes you. Men of God are men too, they also have eyes you know .
I was trying to keep my thoughts pure! I didn t want to look at him like that. He was a leader in my church!
I switched myself off to all the signs and convinced myself he was just trying to be a good friend. I didn t want to believe he could be anything more, I was happy with where I was and to be honest I didn t know why he would ever be interested in someone like me. One day he decided to visit one of his friends in Kent not too far from me and invited me over to discuss a business opportunity. Of course I went! He spoke with so much eloquence and wisdom I felt that I could learn so much.
They say work hard play harder. As we both got more comfortable around each other, our business quickly turned to pleasure! He cooked me spaghetti Bolognese secretly hoping for that lip locking lady in the tramp moment. I ate till I was about to burst, laughed till I cried and play fought till I was bruised. And with every epic play fight comes the moment where eyes intensely lock, your heart stops beating and you both know if one of you don t get up things will rapidly turn from light humour to that awkward face to face breathing in 1/10th of a second (you all know what I m talking about). A little flirting never hurt nobody. Soon after I began travelling with him whenever he had a speaking engagement- for those of you who don t yet know, my husband is my favourite preacher and the best speaker in the world .
That s where it all began, from there our friendship just blossomed. I don t believe I fell in love because whatever you fall into you can fall out of. Rather he poured out himself in knowledge, wisdom. He loved me by investing in my inner being so I could become the best version of me. We grew in love and are growing together everyday. 3 years later here we are and there s nothing more beautiful. Mrs Arayomi
THE TRADITIONAL WEDDING
Wedding Planning Process
My now husband proposed to me on my 21st birthday- 2012, but we didn t actually get married until 13th December 2014! Naturally you would think 2 and a half years is an ample amount of time for preparation! The reality was VERY different. For one reason or another I began only really planning in March 2014. This meant I had only 8 months to find 2 available venues for the traditional and white wedding, a church, all of my vendors- photographers, videographers, caterers, decorators etc. It wasn t long but I knew with God it would be possible. My husband had left the country in Feb 2014 for work and wouldn t be returning till October 2014 so I had no choice but to look for any available date in November/December. The engagement period is supposed to be one of the most exciting and thrilling times in a woman s life. It s a dreamy, romantic, once in a lifetime experience! As nice as it sounds, planning requires being practical. The last thing you want is to be worrying about who s doing what and the overall logistics of the day. Now is the time to deal with that.
The first thing I did was write a checklist of everything I needed to organise. I found I missed out some of the finer details so using Google to gather ideas from lists other people had made was very useful.
I then prioritised what needed to be done and set myself realistic achievable time frames, monthly, weekly and daily to complete each task. I noticed that once written down everything I needed to accomplish looked a lot less on paper than it felt in my head, which helped to relieve a lot of the stress. My father is Nigerian-Igbo, my mother is Greek and Ghanaian and my husband s family are Nigerian-Yoruba. When it came to planning the traditional engagement we were faced with a bit of a dilemma. So as to honour my father and respect each culture, a traditional ceremony was held back home in my father s village. Unfortunately my husband and I were unable to attend but it was an intimate occasion for our families to become acquainted. Not only this I knew they would not be able to make it to London for the actual wedding so I thought it was only right to do so. For our traditional in London we fused together both Ghanaian and Yoruba traditions but most importantly we wanted God to be at the centre.
If you re mixing cultures as we did, it is definitely worth speaking to different family members to hear their opinions on what should be incorporated especially if you re not so clued up on what to do.
Whether it s concerning the traditional engagement or white wedding, hearing family members thoughts and opinions does not mean you have to do exactly what they say which is something I initially struggled with. You are allowed to have an opinion and be heard. Yes tensions may rise I mean tensions WILL rise and tensions definitely DID rise- your in-laws soon become outlaws and you may have to out-law some of their advise! Unless your family are just perfect but as challenging as it may be, if you feel strongly about something, the final decision should belong to you. Finally, during the planning process I learned that as much as I wanted everything to be perfect, I could not do everything on my own! Delegate, delegate, delegate! Your bridesmaids aren t in a competition for GB s next pageant queen! They are not just there to look cute! Their purpose is to be a maid to the bride, as harsh as that may sound it s true. There is nothing more frustrating as a bride than a friend that offers nothing but to buy lace for themselves to look good on insta. You want to make sure that those who you choose are those who will support you practically, emotionally and spiritually, as things may get a little overwhelming at times. I m so grateful for my bridesmaids, all 11 of them. They sacrificed their time to be involved and their finances to fund their outfits- all 3 of them! Believe me, if I had the finances to foot the bill for everybody I would have in a heartbeat and they did it without complaining. Well they did it with very little complaining and I so appreciate that. Their openness and transparency meant we were able to overcome obstacles together. If one needed help another was right there to back them up. Genuine friendships are priceless and hard to come by these days. I have so much love for each of them. And YES they looked DAMN GOOD on insta too!
PHOTOGRAPHY: T.PHILIPS PHOTOGRAPHY
MUA: YEYEPARIS MAKEUP (FOR TRAD) @THEQUEENHADASSAH (FOR WHITE WEDDING)
HAIR BY BRIDE S COUSIN
GOWN: VERA WANG