It is so easy for us to get into a routine as wedding planners. While every wedding is different, much is the same; from the order of events to the way our couples usually go about planning. This wedding, however, took us far from our usual routine and changed things up in a wonderful way.
Carmen and Roger are originally from two different countries in Africa; Benin and the Ivory Coast respectively. They came to College Station in recent years and met in the states. It was very important to them to have their family/tribe traditions and cultures represented in their wedding celebration. This couple was the most fun and rewarding to work with! Not only were they incredibly sweet, they also taught us so much about their cultures and some good lessons for life.
Unlike many Americans, Carmen and Roger had no concern for time or stress. They made decisions easily and did not even think to worry about a detail. We worked together to incorporate their new American lifestyle and the traditions from which they came. My favorite use of culture was in the clothing! Roger's sister handmade outfits for the bride and groom to wear for the rehearsal. It was fun and such a happy reminder of why we were there; to celebrate an amazing couple!
They incorporated fun colors in the whole wedding at the beautiful Boathouse at Milican Reserve. It was natural and joyful and simply perfect for this small 80 person wedding. Fabulous Fare made a gorgeous ombre gold cake that was a great representation of Carmen and Roger's style. Additionally, Fabulous Fare created cake pops in cute painted flower pots for the edible centerpieces (what an awesome way to save on costs and keep from throwing more out at the end of the night!?).
Urban Rubbish worked their usual magic on the florals, again nodding to the vibrant colors of the African culture.
The ceremony and reception was captured by All Heart Photography and the music was done by DJ Azeez. As a nod to their traditional food, Taz catered the appetizers and main courses with delicious and colorful foods. The couple chose to change into Carmen's family's traditional dress for the first half of the reception. Everyone loved the way they were dressed and celebrated together! After the first dance, all the guests joined on the dance floor which made the couple feel so loved. Later on, the couple changed into Roger's family's traditional clothing. It symbolized that Carmen is joining their family. I loved seeing these two families embracing and loving one another.
We all learned how to let go a little more and relax more when it came to keeping on a schedule. We learned so much about different cultures and how to combine different lives into something whole and lovely. This wedding will always be special to me and I will treasure these memories for a lifetime.