This is the first British / African / Caribbean wedding I've ever featured and I'm super excited to share it with you!
In recognition of their British upbringing, Ryan and Nana chose to have their wedding at Great Fosters, a traditional, historic English venue.
To represent Nana's African culture, her mum worked with tailors in Ghana to design a unique Kente cloth (a traditional ceremonial cloth symbolizing the two sides coming together) in the couple's favourite colours of pink and blue.
And as a nodd to Ryan's Caribbean (Bajan and Jamaican) heritage, there was a steel band to entertain their guests.
There were also origami hearts, an incredible Kente inspired cake, pretty, sandalwood floral fans for the bridesmaids, ‘something blue' suede shoes for the bride and an adorably cheeky ring bearer.
‘Chic and unique' is an understatement ~ this wedding is off the charts!
From Nana, the bride:
We decided if this wedding is going to be about us then the theme doesn’t really matter. We’ll pick colours we like – I love pink, he loves blue. And then we’ll just start picking things we both like!
I am Ghanaian, Ryan is a Bajan/Jamaican Mix and we love Oriental art and culture but love the fact we have a British/Cultural upbringing. This was the basis for us as we had to make sure all aspects of our cultures, what we loved and our upbringing flowed throughout the wedding.
The Groom’s Attire ~ Ryan wanted something quite sharp and form fitting, he liked the Harrogate Blue Slim Fit suit from Jack Bunneys. He loved the fit, and modern look of it. He knew he wanted his groomsmen to have tails, so he had to have something quite sharp to stand out.
The Florals These were provided by Steph from Fairynuff Flowers. Steph is a flower goddess. I was never keen on flowers for my wedding day, but meeting her and seeing her light up when she tallked about flowers was infectious. She certainly educated me and made me fall in love with flowers. I told her the theme of the day and wanted to make sure there were no strong colours in the flowers to clash with the Kente and she delivered!
Bouquet ~ Beautiful hand tied bouquet including pink and peach garden Roses with a mix of pale pink and peach Lisianthus and Eucalyptus with a couple of Dendrobium Orchids to top it off.
Bridesmaids ~ Pink and apricot Lisianthus attached to the sandalwood fans and Pink roses in their hair.
Buttonholes ~ Hand tied pale pink and apricot Lisianthus buttonholes with Eucalyptus.
Aisle – Fresh ivory rose petals, ivory Carnation heart on the table.
Centerpieces – Fishbowl vases filled with beargrass and twisted pale pink & white dendrobium Orchids.
The Ceremony ~ We made our ceremony personal by having readings from songs that meant a lot to us. One of our favourites is a song called ‘Steel & Feathers’ by Nikki Jean which has some meaningful lyrics:
Don't ever take yourself away
Don't ever take yourself to a place where I can't find you
Don't ever take yourself away
I will never leave you, I will never deceive you I'll be right there walkin behind you
The Ceremony Music ~ For our wedding march song we had ‘MMMMMM’ by Laura Izibor, which is much nicer than the title gives or rather doesn’t give away. It’s a song I heard on TV and loved it, so I kept playing it to Ryan telling him this is the song we are walking down the aisle to!
We walked out to ‘Yeah 3X’ by Chris Brown so we could have a dance!
With This Ring…?
When the registrar asked our little page boys for the rings then brought over their rings bowls and we noticed one of the rings was missing. Slight Panic!!! We asked our littlest page boy (in a slightly angry whisper) ‘Sebastian, where’s the ring?’ – he looked up at me and Ryan and said ‘This Ring” showing us the ring on his finger with a cheeky smile! Panic over hahaha
Sounds Of The Caribbean ~ One of our friends actually got us a Steel Band to provide perfect sounds of a Caribbean after the ceremony. This tied in perfecty with the Bajan Rum Punch reception drinks and the guests were loving it!
The Bridesmaid's Dresses ~ The dresses were made by a friend with the Kente scarf used as a sash. Myself and my mum went hunting for the right blue/green shade of fabric in Shepherds Bush. One very long day with back and forth fabric hunting taking swatches inside and outside the shop to make sure the colour was just right. A little bit overboard some may say, but not for me!
Nana explains how they incorporated each culture into their day:
African ~ Our Kente Cloth ran throughout the theme and dress code. My mum actually had the fabric hand woven in Ghana for the wedding – it had to be authentic. She chose the shades and repeat patterns, and what an amazing choice! She even flew to Ghana to pick up all the fabric and scarves for the wedding! Some of the women that featured throughout my life wore outfits made completely from the Kente fabric. The bridesmaids wore them as sashes on their dresses, and the men wore them as scarves.
Carribean ~ We had a steel band to entertain our guests with the sounds of the carribean, our evening bcanapes were from Caribbean Cookpot which supplied canapes with a modern take on West Indian food. Great Fosters’ bar manager, Jonathan, also created two signature drinks (totally loved the tasting!) for our big day – Bajan Punch and Bajan Mojito.
Oriental ~ The lanterns in the ceremony room, our handmade origami hearts used for table settings and the touch of Orchid flowers were the perfect little touches for our love of the orient.
It was important to make sure people could see elements of US throughout the day, but also just how well the mix of cultural & British upbringings made us who we were.
How awesome! And aren't the photos by My Love Story Photography stunning?
Ryan and Nana's gorgeous multicultural nuptials demonstrate how you can incorporate the things that make you unique as a couple, including your culture and heritage, in a chic, classy and fun way.
See you tomorrow for Part 2!