Go shawty, it’s your birthday! (I couldn’t think of any song featuring the word “anniversary” so yeah.) 2 little years down!!! ❤
I can’t believe it, but at the same time, it feels like forever. By the way, let me stop you RIGHT HERE if you are expecting some kind of marital advice from this post: I got none.😂 Mr. Dafrastar is amazing and shit, but I’m still working on being okay sharing my food with another human being, and tolerating silly habits like EATING PIZZA WITH A FORK AND KNIFE. One thing I can say though- be with someone who embraces your crazy, and you will be happy.
That said, what I CAN talk about with a fair amount of conviction is my actual wedding day and what I would have done differently, so anyone may learn from my mistakes. It was a phenomenal day (I’m obviously biased) that went by VERY VERY fast. I did take some breaks to soak it all in, but still- I felt scammed at the end of the night. I wanted to dance some more, hug my friends and family some more, wear my dress (es) some more; when the music ended, I literally saw a year of planning abruptly end with the last notes of “Uptown Funk” from Bruno Mars. Wah! (We did keep the party going at a local bar until 4:00 AM though, so I did get more moves in. Also, I got to re-wear my dresses for the shoot featured here, so I did see that wish come true too 😂.)
I hope you like this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Let me know if you have any questions at all in the comments! (about my dresses: both were custom made for me, and I’m more than happy to talk about my dress journey in a subsequent post. It was the best option for me personally.)
Okay so here’s what I learned:
1- Know what you want early on; STICK WITH IT THROUGH YOUR WEDDING DAY.
We were very clear from our engagement that our wedding day was for us to come together as a family, BUT in our own terms. We both had to be comfortable on that day, and we both had to feel loved and happy. It meant that we (an Indian Atheist and a Burkinabe Catholic) needed to compromise on the ceremony itself and hold our ground when our respective families inevitably questioned our choices, which is easier said than done (my mother is still salty I didn’t get married in a church.)
On a lighter note, it also meant we got to determine what we most wanted: my husband wanted a great selection of Indian food, and I wanted a killer DJ. We both also knew we wanted a day full of levity, and we built everything around those things… Which leads us to the next point.
2- Do not cut corners on food, booze or music (replace those three items with whatever you care about)
ZERO IN on what you know will make your day awesome and KNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK. We knew we were bringing two cultures together, so we were terrified of being in a room where one half hated the food and the other half hated the music. I tasked my cousins and bridesmaids to get me the hottest tunes from our respective countries and I actually sat down with the DJ to create a playlist that flowed well between both genres, with top 40 US music serving as a buffer/transition. We also went to multiple food tastings at the venue, pleaded our favorite Indian restaurant to cater for us, and took a lot of care choosing the flavor of our cake. None of this was done in a snobbish way; we wanted food to bring people together because it was good and varied, and based on the feedback we got afterward… we did alright 😊 We also helped the bonding by making sure the bar was open all night, ha!!!! I would say that 50% of our budget went to the items above, and I don’t regret it one bit.
3- It’s YOUR WEDDING; DO expect it to be amazing, but DON’T let small missteps stress you out.
Missteps happen at all weddings. Forgotten rings, speeches, place cards (I’m looking at you, A.), wilted flowers, sassy relatives, whatever. Those things are minuscule in the larger scheme of things, but they can seem huge to a tired and stressed bride. My advice: let that shit go and focus on marrying that hunk. Forreal.
My wedding was no exception; a once esteemed family friend turned into a huge control freak and had a meltdown because she was not consulted for everything… including decorations. SHE ACTUALLY ENDED UP SKIPPING THE WEDDING, in spite of flying to CA from Chicago for it. She literally locked herself up in her hotel room and refused to come out.
Guess what I did when informed? Nothing. I raised my eyebrows, shook my head and asked my mom for a snack. Granted, maybe I was just too tired to care (that was an hour before walking down the aisle), but even in hindsight, that was the right thing to do.
4- Run away from your family if needed; your bridesmaids will help.
My family showed up ten days before the festivities, and while it was a huge relief, it was also a huge ordeal to help them move around, shop, get ethnic food, etc. While I wanted nothing to do but cuddle with my mom, I started feeling overwhelmed when, a couple days before the big day, I had to leave my wedding hair appointment to rescue them for the tenth time- in that case, because they had gone shopping at Costco without a membership. They called me panicking from the cashier, with $300 worth of groceries and a less than happy store manager.
My bridesmaid R. (who was with me at the salon) took one good look at me and decided that I needed sleep. She pretty much kidnapped me and drove me to my other bridesmaid I.’s house, who had ordered me a massage via Soothe. They had some pajamas at the ready, some food on the way and some cozy blankets. I fell asleep immediately after eating and didn’t wake up until the next day. Meanwhile, my 3rd bridesmaid K. moved in with my parents to help them, and my 4th bridesmaid A. stayed with me at I.’s house while R. ran all the errands. They told my parents I was okay but needed a break. It was the best thing ever, and I relaxed SO MUCH. Friends, man. You need them.
5- Don’t leave things until the last minute.
Whatever you can control, attempt to do it ahead of time. Nails, extensions, whatever- please don’t schedule anything right before your wedding day; it’s a risky proposition. Better to have week old nails than jacked up nails at the last minute. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind!
I thought I was prepared, guys. I had two hair and makeup trials six months before the wedding. I bought my wedding extensions months in advance and had them professionally made into a unit. Even with all that, something possessed me to wait until a few days before my wedding to get my unit installed. Lo and behold: it was a disaster. The day before the wedding, I realized that my own hair wouldn’t stay straight for the style I had chosen, my extensions wouldn’t stay curled, and everything was overall just limp and flat. My bridesmaids (thank God for those girls) had to painstakingly take my extensions down that very night, and put in some new ones I had THANKFULLY thought to bring to the venue. Can you imagine if I hadn’t? The venue was 50 miles away from my house.
6- BONUS: Mold traditions around you and what you’re comfortable with.
That one is self-explanatory: avoid shit you don’t want to do. Simple.
- Mr. Dafrastar hates being the center of attention, so we had our parents join us for the first dance (we almost skipped it altogether).
- I wasn’t about to have anyone under my dress in front of my mother, so no garter toss.
- Where I almost succumbed to peer pressure was the wedding shoes. I got gorgeous heels because I thought I should, had them photographed, etc… And then I walked down the aisle in awesome Amazon flats bedazzled by my bridesmaid A. Nobody could see my feet anyway and I was much happier! See them below.
Phew- that’s it for this long ass post! Share any thoughts you may have below, and thanks as always for stopping by!