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Category Archives: Planning

Natasha & Ikem: Newland Park Hall

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

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Reasons Why To Have A Pre-Wedding Shoot?

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

  1. 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

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Jayson & Hind’s Moroccan wedding: Grand Connaught Rooms

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

Amelle Chentouf Beauty

De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms Venues

Mati Gono Events Wedding Planner

Event Décor hire Décor

Manal Cake

Marv Brown Studios Cinema

Rachid Jalal Entertainment

Shaziana Catering

String Infusion – String Quartet

James Hassler Toast Master

VNV Live Production

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A Timeless Classic: Stephanie & Richard wedding

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 oit can be overwhelming in terms of key vendors to book and when they need to be booked. However, after receiving guidance on key vendors to be booked with a tiomeline of when they should be booked…this was extremely helpful.

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 and  preparations for the white wedding in London. Despite being informed by our original reception venue (two weeks before the wedding and whilst still in Nigeria) that there was a flooding at the venue, I immediately panicked (as every bride would), however Mati was already on the case and took control of everything. She found another venue within less than a week and before I flew back from Lagos to London, the new venue was even more beautiful than the original chosen venue. Mati and team turned everything around by contacting vendors, guests etc of the changes. I must admit I was anxious that we had forgotten something, or that the last few preparations had not been done, however Mati and her team went abpove and beyond to ensure that our day was more than special and it truly was.

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

 DJ Unbeetable

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

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The Best Man Speech

Giving speeches can be very daunting especially if you are not used to pubic speaking. Today we have a special treat for all the men who have been given the responsibility of giving a speech at a wedding. This is also very applicable for anyone who is preparing a speech for an event.
Loyes Diamonds sent us this lovely article and it was so good we just had to share! It gives you all the tricks and tips for delivering an amazing speech. We hope you enjoy it and find it very useful!
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Obi & Ada – Selsdon Park Hotel

When I saw that international code pop up on my phone +234 and I knew it was going to be an important call. Ada rang us all the way from Nigeria to organise her dream wedding here in London. She told me she had been referred to us at Just As planned by one of our previous brides. With less than 9 months to plan this wedding we got to work straight away looking for their ideal venue.

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I have my heart set on getting married at a “HOTEL VENUE”

There’s nothing like looking for your wedding venue…we find clients really struggle at this point as there are so many factors to take into consideration especially if you have your heart set on using a lovely hotel venue. We find most of our Nigerian & Asian clients struggle with things like space and the other big factor having their own cater. We assist lots of couples in finding their ideal venue so for us it’s a piece of cake.
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Lade & Hassan – The Langley

When I got the call to do this wedding, it was a really big honour and I knew what time it was. The bride & groom knew what they wanted and had already started planning with the help of the groom’s sister who did a fantastic job and was extremely key to the whole process. I knew that their expectations were high and Just As Planned would have to deliver on a different level. Our groom, being from an events background, as well as his whole family was already very well organised so in turn what he needed from us was to deliver his wedding Just As Planned.
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Real flowers anyone?

I find if there’s anything couples leave to last it’s the flowers, it’s the one place everyone loves to cut corners. Real/fresh flowers can add so much character to a table as well as color and smell which also add to the added advantage of having fresh flower centerpieces.

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The Wedding Planner – A professional?

I find it interesting when people are shocked that am a full time events planner and the bulk of our clients are couples getting married. People often wonder what there is to do and why you would pay someone to do it. Well would you pay someone to teach you how to drive? Or build your house? Or even how to do the tango? Especially if it’s your first time.
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