The countdown is officially on!!!! 10,9,8,7………                                         …………………

The countdown is on and all of my hard work, stress, money, and tears will come into fruition in what I am praying will be a happiest day of my life!!! I am setting forth to marry the love of my life and man that God has sent to me and that makes me smile with happy anticipation. However, as fun as some aspects of wedding planning has been, I can honestly say that I am happy that it is coming to a close and I can reclaim my life. I loved it so much that my life was engulfed in wedding planning and for the past year that is all I did, thought about, and devoted my free time to. This process has taught me so much about myself, my creativity, my fiancée, my family, my friends and people who I thought were my friends.

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My relationship with my husband-to-be has changed as we shifted the roles from boyfriend/girlfriend, to fiancée/Feyoncé, and soon to husband/wife. I have learned (and I am still learning) that there are some things more important than how gorgeous your wedding invitations are, if you are not communicating to your spouse about the things that you are unhappy with and the stress and you are trying to manage by yourself. I was so worried about the glitz and glamour of the wedding that I didn’t take enough time out for us, and that’s what is essential for this all to work. We had to also remember to put God first in our relationship, pray often and seek wise council when we needed it to ensure that our marriage has a stable Christian foundation. I have learned that marriage is between two people only and the wedding is just for an audience. That means that if him and I aren’t at our best, the show may be beautiful and the audience may enjoy themselves, but it all will lack substance and character.

It seems like I have anticipated this day more than I did the engagement day and I almost lost sight of what really matters, and that’s my love for my soon-to-be husband. I have devoted so much time to my Pinterest boards, my wedding blogs, my favorite Instagram pages, and the fantasies in my head that I let some things get away from me. I had to stop and smell the roses and realize that there was a huge discrepancy in who I thought I could count on, who was likely to disappoint me and who really was happy for this union I was preparing to enter into. “Friends” who I thought I could rely on fell short and I was too busy deciding on floral arrangements that I didn’t even pick up on it!!! Well I guess that’s a good thing, and the lessons that I learned from this experience has helped me grow exponentially.

My family members have been a critical part in these upcoming events. I say this, because I am not just preparing for 1 wedding but I am getting ready for 2. I am honoring my Nigerian culture and having a day devoted to a traditional Nigerian wedding ceremony, which will be orchestrated by my family to capture the true essence of my heritage and ethnicity. This has been a learning experience on its own, since my fiancé and I had to study the traditions to ensure that it is done properly and wrestle with my parents who only want things done a certain way. With 2 weddings and a village of support, I have gained so much support and love from my family and I am eternally grateful. I do not know what I would do without my parents, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family members. I plan on carrying my Nigerian traditions on to my future children and enrich my life and my American fiancée’s life.

I love my bridesmaids (some of the time) and I am forever grateful for the support, time, money and efforts put into supporting me during my time and helping my dreams come true. The road with these girls was not exactly seamless the entire time but I am so still happy with my decisions and excited to share the final days with them. My bridal shower was a Breakfast and Tiffany’s theme and it looked better than my Pinterest board and was filled with so much love. My bachelorette party was a Nauti Nautical/ Last Sail Before the Veil theme in San Diego, CA.  The fun, partying, jokes, laughter, dancing and good times did not stop as we lived it up in our private weekend beach house and private Jacuzzi boat. These two events are very significant for a bride preparing for marriage and some people understand that and are willing to do what it takes to honor you, and that is the most important gift I received from my friends and my bridesmaids. My tip that I would give to a new bride when choosing a wedding party, is the most important persons in that wedding party are you and your maid of honor. You have to always put yourself first when making all decisions, and have a maid of honor that is selfless to this situation and also a voice of reason when things get out of hand. My oldest sister is my maid of honor and I could not have asked for a better co-pilot, she hears my needs, the needs of the group, the needs of my groom and the reality of each event. I am forever indebted to her for her servitude and love for me during this time.

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Well the countdown is here and I have less than 5 days to go before I walk down that aisle twice!!! I am thankful for everything and I loved blogging as an outlet to get some things off my mind, even if no one ever reads it. I know that I said I would blog more, but the reality of time I had between work, fun and wedding planning was almost non-existent. I hope that every woman preparing to walk down the aisle, just getting engaged or hoping to find the love that she will marry one day, has beautiful wedding planning experiences and a happy married life. As I cross this threshold I hope that I can give a hand, a lesson or a word of advice to anyone in need. I needed support during the planning and I wish that more people offered it up. And now I am ready to but on my wedding gown, say my vows, kiss my man and leave the wedding planning in the past…………….

Or I just may go into the wedding planning business because I love it so much!!!!!!!! LOL

XOXO

Signing Off,

Joanne AKA The Budgeted Bride