A Beautiful French & Ghanian wedding in the heart of London.
Recent Posts by Mati Gono
I will never forget the call that I got from Natasha, she mentioned that we had done a friend of here fiancees wedding some years back. I remember reassuring Natasha that we had plenty of time as we had about 7 months to the wedding and they had already secured the venue and catering. My first meeting with Natasha and Ikem was at the venue and we had a lovely site visit the couple were clear on the colour theme that they wanted to go for. With an autumn wedding, Teal and burnt Orange became the central colour contrast for the décor. After we had decided on the colour scheme, Ikem took charge as an active groom and used his graphic design skills to create all of the beautiful stationery. It is always nice when the couple adds a personal touch through their skills in the planning process and use their skills for the big day. I was so excited to work on this intimate wedding, the wedding day was relaxed and you could feel the love in the room and the natural rustic barn and house were the perfect location.
The graceful Natasha looked elegant in her classic wedding dress. The reception was exciting and energetic with the beautiful fuse of both Natasha’s Mauritian and Ikem’s Nigerian Igbo cultural coming together as one to celebrate their union.
Planner: Mati Gono Events
Photography & Videography: Bridge Weddings
DJ: DJ Mri
Cater: Jemmy’s Catering
MC: Simply Andy
After having a few interesting conversations with some of our couples and photographers about pre-wedding shoots, whether they are needed or not? How to go about planning one? What the do’s and don’t? I thought it a good idea to have a bigger conversation and share from a few different perspectives.
Now pre-wedding shoots are not for all couples and it doesn’t mean if you don’t have on your not going to get married…lol!
Pre-wedding shoots are meant to be FUN! You can use your pre-wedding photos for your wedding website, for your wedding stationery and even more importantly for the memories & experience. As a planner, its so important to me that my couples are comfortable on their wedding day especially with their photographer as he/she will be communicating with the couple all day and shooting some personal and sometimes emotional moments with them. Having a pre-wedding shoot helps you get to know your photographer, helps you get over being camera shy, gives you confidence and breaks the ice. In turn, the photographer gets to know you as a couple and knows the best angles to shoot you from in prep for the big day.
Theming, as a wedding planner I get to know my brides & grooms, by the time it comes to planning the pre-wedding shoot I usually have a bag of ideas as to what the theme of the shoot should be.
As a couple you want your pre-wed shoot to reflect the two of you, whether that’s your personalities, hobbies, mutual interests or even if you want to be outlandishly creative, it’s all about what works for the two of you as this will set the tone for the wedding and help in build lasting memories.
John & Lydia recently had their pre-wedding shoot with the talented Enitan photography. Leading up to the shoot we planned, Enitan asked the question about if they had any ideas or a theme in mind. I remember waiting for all of 5 minutes before making any suggestions as I wanted to see what John & Lydia would come up with. The ideas where flowing however I knew exactly what would work, John the gym fanatic and the Lovely Lydia it was a no brainer. Here are some of the amazing photo’s taken by Enitan from John & Lydia’s exciting pre-wedding shoot.
Here are 5 top tips From The Man Behind The lens: Enitan Photography
- Be excited about your pre-wedding shoot – A couples energy is motivating to a photographer, Fun and positive vibes are the key to a successful shoot… If they are upset or demoralised for any reason, it will have an effect on the pictures… So be excited
- 2. Uniqueness – Every couple has their own uniqueness so don’t be afraid to explore that as one of your themes for the pre-wed… Forget the typical “park or garden look” and embrace your uniqueness
- 3. Outfits – take time and choose your outfits carefully. Aim to look your best for your shoots. If you look your best, then you feel your best. (Side note:- brides, it’s a good idea to book your makeup trial on the day of the shoot as well 😉)
- 4. ARRIVE EARLY TO THE SHOOT – Couples need to understand that if your photographer has arrived early and is left waiting for long periods of time, it is incredibly demoralising and will have a negative impact on their performance and the overall shoot
- 5. Choice of photographer – every photographer is different, take time to choose a photographer that matches your style/ personality… Let your choice of photographer be done to style and not price. You get what you pay for so the cheaper you go, the likelihood you will not like the final result.
All photos by – Enitan photography
Shoot concept & Wedding Planner – Mati Gono Events
Thanks to John & Lydia for allowing us to share
I will never forget that day in mid-December when I got that email from Jayson regarding his Moroccan wedding, it was about the décor/design for his wedding. I contacted him and arranged a décor meeting with him and Hind; they had an idea of what they wanted but were open to ideas. We started working on some ideas and as we only had four months to the wedding I knew they needed a bit more support and we went from wedding design to planning. From food tasting to the planning meetings at the venue, I could tell that Hind & Jayson wanted to create an unforgettable Moroccan experience for their guests. This beautiful Moroccan wedding was full of love, colour and beautiful Moroccan culture. See more of Hind & Jayson’s wedding below.
Adebayo Deru Photography
Alastair Clarke DJ
De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms Venues
Mati Gono Events Wedding Planner
Event Décor hire Décor
I remember when Hannah and I have our first meeting, she knew exactly what she didn’t want, which made our process much easier. Hannah had given me the brief for an “all white” white wedding regarding the decor However the venue posed a small challenge with its stone detail walls. I arranged a site visit with Hannah & VNV live the production company we work with to see how we could work with the layout, take measurements and do something different. Hannah & Olu’s wedding was stunning! They celebrated their union in style surrounded by all their friends & family.
A big thank you to all the suppliers who made Hannah & Olu’s a memorable day and for winner Wedding of the year 2017
Hannah & Olu’s Youtube Page (The Ayegbusi’s)
Photographer: Adebayo Deru
Wedding Planner: Mati Gono Events
Videographer: Sam On Films
Cake: Sweet hollywood
Production & sound: VNV Live
DJ: DJ SEAN
Bridal room decor: Memorise for you Wedding decor
Make Up Artist: The Queen Hadassah
Hair Stylist: Honey Hand
When Stephanie first contacted me she had a vague idea of what she wanted however Stephanie & Richard both knew exactly where the ceremony and wedding reception would take place. At our first meeting the idea’s and possibilities were flowing and Stephanie knew she was in good hands, the planning process was eventful… (The venue booked cancelled 2 weeks before the wedding) but read on to hear Stephanie’s perceptive & take on all the happenings, their Love story and see images from Stephanie & Richards Nigeria White wedding in London which took place at The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich followed by their reception at The Park Lane Hotel, Sheraton.
How Stephanie & Richard met: We both met in January 2010 during my trip to Lagos from London at a party/event where we were both invited by a mutual friend. I attended with two friends (one of them was our mutual friend) and Richard came over to say ‘hi’ to our mutual friend, before he introduced himself to me and my other friend. He then left and joined his friends on the other side of the room, and throughout the night we made small eye contact from time to time until Richard came back and made conversation with me and my friends. Somehow, the conversation ended up with just the two of us and at that point my girls were ready to leave. Before I left, Richard asked for my number (though I refused to give it to him). I replied by asking him for his Facebook name/details (of which he was reluctant as he preferred to contact me over the phone, however he eventually reluctantly agreed to hand it over) and I promised to contact him before I was due to fly back to London (in a few days). Unfortunately, as I was so busy visiting family, I didn’t contact Richard and we never got to see again during that trip. However I did contact him via Facebook and we began chatting and became friends instantly…I eventually gave him my number. Over the next couple of years our friendship grew into a relationship…and as they say, the rest is history.
How Richard proposed: I always travel to Lagos during Christmas holidays, however during December 2014 (few days before new year’s) Richard suggested that we go for a meal, I was tired and suggested that we just chill indoors. However Richard got phone call from his friend inviting us to a pre-new year’s party. Though I was not up for it, Richard managed to persuade (as he does) me to go. The party ended early (pretty much as we got there) So Richards spontaneously decided that we should go for a meal. We ended up going to a nice restaurant, and during our meal, Richard proposed and asked me to marry him.
Why Mati Gono events: After attending a friend’s wedding six months before I got engaged, I was impressed with the way that the wedding was coordinated ( I must say it was probably the best organised Nigerian wedding that I had attended). I called the bride for tips on how to ensure that my wedding will run as smoothly as possible and she encouraged me to give Mati (Just as Planned now Mati Gono Events) a call and she will take care of the rest. The most useful piece of advice/guidance from Mati Gono events was to plan well ahead and prioritising on key vendors and booking them first. When you are planning a wedding that is a year away, you feel that you have all the time in the world to plan, and
How would you describe your wedding day: One word…MAGICAL! I had just done my traditional wedding in Nigeria and planned to finalise with Mati and her team on the last few details
Do you think a planner what needed for your big day & would you recommend Mati Gono Events: Yes! We will and have done so. Every couple due to get married should consider getting hiring Just as Planned to ensure everything regarding their wedding is catered for and also it is very helpful to gain advice/guidance from those who are experienced in that field, to coordinate the day itself to ensure that the day is organised runs smoothly.
Photographer: Zuberi Weddings
Wedding Planner: Mati Gono Events
Mc: Simply Andy
Decorator/Rental: Designer chair covers to go
Hair stylist: Rachel Arike
Florist: Chelles Flowers
Makeup Artist: OTS Beauty Bridesmaids: Jennifer Olaleye
Videographer: Samon Films
Cake: Vanilla Orchid Bakery
Grooms Suit: SuitSupply London
Brides dress: Yemi Kosibah
All photos from official wedding photographer, opening paragraph by Mati Gono and Words from the bride Stephanie. x
In 2017 I travelled to South African for a powerful Wedding & Events industry retreat that changed the way I saw my business. I met a lovely lady called Liene Stevens the founder of Think Splendid who did an amazing job speaking on the behavioral psychology of millennials how decisions and made when it comes to their weddings. I was blown away by how well Liene’s communicated her industry knowledge and the level of research she had done. This got me thinking about how I could connect better with my clients/potential clients and how I could make the name and the service more personal than it already was? I asked myself. Over the duration of the trip different speakers talked about the seasons within business and how to reinvent/refresh your business & brand in a fast moving, ever changing world. However I loved our business name Just As Planned and it had come a long way and we had already done so much work to build the brand it and its reputation.
Even though Just As Planned was a great name and when I started the business back in 2011 I wanted a business name that translated very well what we did and how we did it, I knew it had served its purpose. I had the opportunity to speak with Liene in passing a few times whilst at the conference, however that ride to the airport & the last meal we had in South Africa changed everything for me. Liene asked me what my business name was, she told me how common the name was amongst the wedding industry then she went to work on her phone, did some searches and stated her case as to why the best move at that time would be to rebrand and change my business name, that was all the confirmation I needed.
She asked me for my full name and just like that she said, ‘thats it, Mati Gono events’. She explained and affirmed how the clients/couples I’d worked with in the past came to me because of me and what better way to rebrand than with my own name. I’d always meet people who said “Your name sounds like a famous persons name” I would always laugh at this statement. Using my name made the brand more unique, more visible and much more personal. Liene was right! I knew this change would be challenging as I had always been a behind the scenes type of person and this change would be a bold move. Liene asked for my Instagram page, then for my phone and just like that changed my business page name to Mati Gono Events and from there I was challenged and committed to moving my business up a level! So now is 2019 with a new logo and website, we find ourselves as a business building greater relationships with suppliers and attracting the right couples and clients that want their events planned by ‘Mati Gono Events”. The key tips to take away from this blog are:
- Invest in workshops & Industry Retreats that will aid your growth and expand your network.
- Be willing to learn from others (experts in your field)
- Do not get comfortable with where you are, as you can always do better (reinvent yourself).
- Connecting with others is 50% of the work done, before you even provide your service.
- Believe in yourself no matter what!
During wedding season I get to work with some amazing suppliers who are passionate about their craft & delivery. As a planner some couples come to me with a venue in mind but most need us to find their venue for them, which is perfect. Getting a couple to visualise the endless possibilities a venue has to offer on a site visit in an empty space can be challenging, however thats what makes my role so great.
I had the opportunity to collaborate with some of these amazing creative suppliers at London’s luxurious venue Grand Sapphire. We set out to transform this venue in a way it had never been done before… By the end of the shoot we were all just saying ‘this should’ve been a wedding!’…lol It felt like a wedding day. Working with Yemi Kosibah, Anthoy’s London on the suits, MUA Beauty Boudoir & Papachichi Style on hair it definitely felt like a wedding. All photos by the Talented Adebayo Deru & Videography by Samon films
I worked closely on styling & design with Mary from Designer Chair Covers to go from fresh flowers, to silks flowers, gold rim charger plates and luxury ivory & gold rim chairs we came up with a classic timeless wedding look that would show off current trends and set some new ones.
Theres something about this wedding cake style that is romantic, regal & Classically timeless just beautiful by Tees bakery . For those that know me well I am obsessed with a good table setting and a well folded napkin.
Entertainment at wedding gets over looked often and there are so many way it can add to the guest experience as well as add a bit of culture.
Moving forward with the times we used the LED visual screen by Production team & AV company VNV live… what an amazing job on this seamless gold mirror dance floor, stage, lighting & DJ booth.
Grand Sapphire can host up to 800 guests and have great catering options for Nigerian, Ghanian, Jamaican (afro-caribbean weddings), Asian and English weddings. So if you’re looking for a venue to London, with a car park for even 300 guests they have banquet rooms to accommodate your guests.
Much thanks to the following amazing suppliers for their contributed and patience towards this amazing shoot. Credit & website links below:
Venue: Grand Sapphire
Shoot concept & design: MatiGonoEvents
Photographer: Adebayo Deru
Videography: Samon films
Violinist: Iyanna Monique
Decorator & flowers: Designer Chair Covers to go
Sound Lighting production & Dance floor: VNV Live
Dj: Danny Yega
Dance Performance: Fantiacrobats
Cars: Smart City Prestige
Makeup: Beauty Boudoir
Hair: Papachichi Style
Wedding dresses: Yemi Kosibah
Suits: Anthony’s London
Bridesmaids Dresses: Little Mistress
Models: Groom – Isi Ijagbone, Best Man – Saffori Tajah, Bride – Abena, Bridesmaids – Stacey Chellz, Genoveva Abogo