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Everything posted by AfricanVenus

  1. Muchas gracias! She did an amazing job Hope you experience the same!
  2. I searched as best as I could to make sure I wasn't repeating my post, but I didn't see anything. I just wanted to share my TTD pics with the community, esp. to my Chocolate Brides out there who might be afraid to get their hair wet, lol. The links are below: http://www.ebony.com/photos/style/black-wedding-style-bride-goes-underwater http://www.vimeo.com/26791034 (Wedding clip vid) http://www.shariann-kofi.auroragphotography.com/ (photog's gallery) Here are some teasers: Enjoy ladies!
  3. Trash the Dress....yes or no???
  4. BeesBride, My apologies for my late response. I hope my answer is still somewhat relevant! In total, we held 10 rooms.
  5. 2012mrstobe, I still have my email notifications set so I can respond to this thread. The photographer I used, Aurora Gutierrez, was someone I found while researching. My venue came with a photographer as part of my package, so I had 3 photogs that day (2 photogs and 1 assistant). Aurora divides her time I think between Southern California (Studio Eternity) and Mexico (AuroraGPhotography). I believe her headquarters, if you will, is Mexico. She lived 4 hrs from our venue, so I paid her toll fare since she drove. She was so wonderful and extremely personable. A really lovely person, as well as professional. I didn't take any service providers with me. I think Mexico is full of local talent. If you search hard enough, you can find anyone within your price range. Where are you planning to wed?
  6. Thank you so much for the kind words! The TTD was so much fun. I wash my weaves all the time, so getting it wet was no problem for me. The sand came out very easily. Hoping all the best for your big day
  7. $15,000??!!? Like real currency, CAD or US? Wow, lol. I'd be laughing in their faces too. No offense to those who worked with them, but I don't think La Luna gets the point of destination weddings. They're supposed to be cheaper. That's more than the cost of most DWs in their entirety. I came across a few togs with outrageous prices myself. Some people just believe their own hype. While I believe in quality, I don't believe in overspending to get it. Even with a recession, that amount is ridiculous, lol.
  8. @LonaJ: Thank you very much! I didn't feel l was at my absolute best on my day, but I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, lol. My dress was made by Pronovias of Barcelona, Spain. They are one of my favorite design houses, so I had to get one! The original one I wanted was called Enebro, but they discontinued it. I was heartbroken, but I this was 2nd on my list anyway, so it all worked out. I named my dress Lupe, lol. All the best to you in your wedding planning. Feel free to contact me if you need any advice, help, etc.
  9. My wedding was during the hot season for my location, so plan accordingly! My hair was a virgin Indian weave and it seized up like you wouldn't believe! I like my weaves to be on the silky side, but decided for my wedding to go with a weave more in line with my hair's natural texture. It looked TOO real if you can understand me, lol. The weave became big, puffy, and frizzy in that kind of humid Mexican heat. My own hair does that so it was super annoying to pay money to deal with my own type of hair, lol. It was very hard to style as a result. The hotel hairdressser did what she could, but my hair had almost zero movement. I thought it was the type of weave. However, I went to Jamaica in November 2011 for my sister's wedding and used my traditional weave. Jamaica isn't as humid as Mexico, but the weave can still feel limp and lifeless in such conditions. I wet set my hair and the curls came out much better than the pure virgin Indian, but it was hot. If anyone chooses weaves, aim for the store bought versions, rather than the absolutely virgin hair. I don't think they hold up well in heat, but the treated ones do. Just a consideration if you're going that route... For those wondering what my hair looked like on my wedding day, here's a link: http://www.shariann-kofi.auroragphotography.com/
  10. Photography was a MAJOR deal, but I didn't want to break the bank over it. We hired a local photographer, Aurora Gutierrez, and a Canadian videographer, UrbanVid (of Urban Weddings). Local does not equal no quality. She's got 5 years in the business, comes highly recommended, and still works out of Southern California, where she's originally from. We got a sweet deal with Aurora: A 30-pg coffee table album for us (12x12), 2 parent albums (6x6), a 12x16 photo, 8x11, 5x7, and several wallet sized photos. We also got a CD slideshow set to music and a website for our guests. Additionally, she was there all day (contractually 8 hrs, but she stayed longer), surprised me with a second shooter I didn't have to pay for, and shot a TTD session the next day. All of this for $1650! And her stuff isn't just so-so. I thought we got a lot of bang for our buck. We only had to pay $50 in travel fees as she was from a further part of the state we were getting married in and needed to pay tolls. As for our video, the guys gave me a sweet deal after I helped them catch an intellectual property thief. They charged me a 1/3 of their normal rate, because they wanted to add to their portfolio a destination wedding. Their work is amazing! Initially, we only contracted for one videographer with the usual: travel fees and accomodations. He helped me find a cheaper ticket than I would have found and I found him a nice hotel that was cheap and close to our hotel. That came up to $1500. At our wedding, he surprised me with a second shooter (I was already familiar with his work as he works for the company so I wasn't worried). The reason he added a second shooter was because he wanted to make the video as great as it could possibly be. That touched me and was such a mark of professionalism. So, that part of our budget was high, but we thought it was an even split and we don't regret our decision. The product of both vendors was amazing. I think B2Bs can get what they're looking for if they're willing to shop around and think outside the box. Some vendors will give you great deals. We were blessed to be able to get so much for what we thought was a little. Don't just settle for anything and you won't be disappointed.
  11. You don't have to necessarily trash it. You can make your own rules. Ride horseback, pose by ruins, stroll thru a town, play in a park, pose in an ice cream shop, etc. TTD can be anything really. It's just your dress in an unconventional location.
  12. I was just trying to get a more rounded view of the problem. I obviously don't know your family dynamics. However, just because someone was raised by their grandparents doesn't mean their parents are out of the picture or don't matter. It appears your parents matter, as you want them involved in your wedding. If advice was what you were seeking, may I suggest you just privately sit down with them and explain your feelings? You want them to be apart of the day as much as possible, but it's a little sad for you that they seem to be distant? I'm not trying to impose or make assumptions. If the point of your vent was just to ask people if they're going thru something similar in terms of feeling the way you do without any understanding of why your parents may be acting this way, then there's nothing for me to say and I apologize if I offended you.
  13. Is it possible that one of your parents is still grieving over the loss of their parent? Perhaps they're preoccupied with the aftermath of dealing with estate issues and the headaches involved with that. They may not even realize they're being "unsupportive."
  14. I forgot all about this thread, lol. So B2Bs, you'll experience everyone being on board at first, only to have the numbers dwindle. Folks will avoid your calls/emails about booking. You'll panic about numbers. But I've learned that those who take those steps to go initially, are who will be there for you. Actions always speak louder than words. We lost the original best man due to his jealousy and his own wedding (which he failed to inform until too late to go anyway). I've stopped speaking to people who just lied about what they were going to do. It really tests your relationships and your mettle. If you have a small wedding, it's all good. You're still married. Enjoy it and don't sweat it. With the lower numbers, your budget may open up! In the end, we had 14, including DH and I. While I too was jealous of weddings where there were at least 50 guests, I realized my dream wedding wouldn't have happened with more people. It was just enough and so incredibly intimate. People who never met before got to know each other and everyone got along great! My grampy and auntie flew in from Jamaica, which meant THE WORLD to me. My three best friends were my b-maids. My sister was my MOH. DH's 2 brothers were g-men and one of his good friends from church came to represent as his best man. My DH's stepdad performed the ceremony. It was just very family-oriented and lovely. While more guests look nice picture-wise, there's something about smaller numbers that is really quite special.
  15. @ cupcake and mrstgunn: What in the world is this even all about? First of all, the vent made absolutely no sense. I wasn't able to figure out what was going on until mrstgunn responded in all honesty. Second, this should be between the two of you. If you can't talk it out, then move on. I honestly cannot figure out what the problem is. Cupcake's mad because she allegedly said your non-denominational ceremony was doomed? Or because she allegedly called you an atheist? Or Cupcake allegedly said mrstgunn's beliefs were offensive? If either of you did these things, how does that change the price of cheese in China? I'm not trying to be facetious. I just don't know what was supposed to be the point of your vents. Cupcake, either tell her you'd like to still be "acquaintances", but her comments on religion are quite hurtful for you and if she could mellow out or stop talking to her. Period. I personally don't mind vents IF they are constructive (i.e. looking for advice, help, etc). What I don't understand are vents to just vent. The problem is that they're one-sided. It does come across as an attempt to get others to agree with you. We never hear the other person(s) side so we can objectively tell you, "You know what? She was wrong for that, but you were wrong also." We all just clamor and say, "Oh, sucks you're going through that! And those people suck!" and we really don't know the other side. What is the point really? Are you trying to solve the problem, or get sympathy? If you're above immaturity, then TALK to each other like two grown women and human beings. Don't bring your issues on a public forum. I know there's freedom to vent, hence the thread, but just because it exists doesn't mean you have to use it. Some things just don't have to be dignified with a response. I pray you ladies work it out and move on.
  16. When I was looking around for photogs, Liz suggested him to me as well. I didn't think his packages were big enough, so I never booked. Maybe you could ask her if he has a complete wedding portfolio?
  17. You can try Etsy seller Erin Nicole. Her store is Erin Nicole's Boutique. All she does is make convertible dresses to fit each person. The dresses, at last look, were $89/each. If anyone is plus size, or would like to add a tube top for add'l support, then extra fees were incurred. I found her to be a little difficult, as the dresses were not finished the day I asked for, but they still arrived on time. Other than that, the dresses were great.
  18. Here's the rundown: Budget: $1000 max. I wasn't trying to have another wedding, but the budget is creeping up. Type: Very informal, but nicely put together. It's an all-white party. We're renting a room in a church gym. When: Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 for 4.5 hrs. Food: African, Jamaican, and American foods. Lots of light appetizers, some heavier foods for buffet dinner, and a dessert bar. Clothes: I'm wearing a traditional Ghanaian dress. My DH will be wearing the male version (He's Ghanaian). Invitations: Sent off already. We basically got one of our photos from the wedding, used an invitation template, and plugged and chugged. RSVPs are required by phone or on our wedsite. Photographer: None, but there will be a photo booth. Cake: Basic sheet cake from BJ's Decorations: Our wedding decor plus the following --> All white linens and babies' breath as centerpieces. (See photo inspirati below) DW Photos: Playing on screen throughout. We'll also be featuring our video clip before our entrance the the full length during dinner. Have some other cool ideas brewing, like a wedding museum (all the stuff from our actual wedding laid out), bringing a laptop for our online guestbook, and having choirs sing. I'm not as into it as the wedding, and I'm a little burned out, but I'm excited. Especially for my dress!
  19. Thanks to you both ladies! Everyone loved their look. I'm glad they were happy with it. The Best Man has worn the pieces in different arrangement a few times at church which makes me feel good that he can wear it again.
  20. Doing a TTD doesn't stop anyone from donating their dress. I did a TTD in my designer wedding gown. I'm planning on cleaning it, having it at my AHR, selling it, and donating the proceeds to my favorite charities. Or, I may donate the gown to military brides, which I've always wanted to do. The dress is yours to do what you will until you give it away. No one is required to donate their dress simply because others can't afford it. It's a nice gesture, but people must do it because their spirit moves them to. I understand where you're coming from, but I don't see how using one's dress and cleaning it (when many dirty the dress the wedding day anyway and clean it after) is wasteful. The dresses can in fact be used again. Hope this helps.
  21. I don't presume to know JLo and the inner workings of her relationships/mind, but here are my thoughts based on what I've seen. She reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor. Some women just need to BE in love and have that feeling of euphoria of the "this time might be it." I watched E.T.'s bio after she died (RIP), and she basically admitted to this. JLO has been married three times: Ojani Something, Chris Something (the backup dancer), and Marc Anthony. She's been engaged twice: Sean P. Diddy Coombs and Ben Affleck. From my understanding, she met Marc Anthony quite early on, even possibly before Ojani, but the timing was never right. Even when she was dating Sean, he was floating in the background. I thought she found something solid in M.A., but apparently not. I think in Hollywood, reality isn't our sense of reality. No one is really themselves. There are expectations that put stress on already fragile marriages and egos. Many of these celebrity couples rarely see each other and barely know each other as a result. In all honesty, I bet they would benefit from counseling before marriage, but they simply get caught up in the hype. Everything is bigger, more dramatic, more this, more that. It finally becomes like a movie in itself and they get tired of playing the parts. Marriage takes work. It takes commitment, effort, devotion, and a solid sense of stick-to-it-tiveness. When trouble hits, you fight to keep your marriage. You make marriage your priority. Not your career, not your fame. In the celebrity world, divorces are a quick fixes for just not wanting to deal with imperfections and facing difficulties. From what I've seen of her life, I've noticed a subtle pattern. If her career is on the rise, her relationships tend to evaporate. For example, after marrying Ojani, her career began to take off. She began to see Sean, as it was good business sense. As a result, her marriage ended. She rode the Sean train until she realized his life was a bit more chaotic than her burgeoning career could stand. Exit Sean, enter Chris, the dependable stable backup dancer. She's a musician, she travels with him, naturally they hit it off and her career continues to rise. However, Chris wasn't famous enough, and likely couldn't deal with the pressure of being Mr. JLo. Also, she wanted to become more known as a serious actress. Exit Chris, enter Ben, Hollywood's fave leading man. She rode that train for awhile until her career suffered a hit with Gigli. Plus, I think Ben is far too simple a guy for someone like JLo. Exit Ben, enter Marc Anthony again. Despite his marriage to Dayanara Torres, they begin a relationship. If you notice, she's very quiet about this relationship and they are going along swimmingly. They have kids, her career is not a priority, publicity concerning them is pretty quiet. They make their movies together, raise their family, basically under the radar chill. Now that she's trying to restart her music career, and her fledgling acting one with that ridic in-vitro flick, she's back in the public eye. With her spot on American Idol, and being on the charts, the marriage all of a sudden starts to crumble. What's my point? I think she has a hard time balancing career and relationships. I think she loves M.A. very much, but she loves attention even more. THAT'S my hypothesis for why she keeps getting married. She loves the feeling of being in love, but she's utterly unprepared for the rigors of maintaining a marriage.
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