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Lydia & John #TheSoneyes

Three words I would use to describe John & Lydia’s wedding day and the planning process “Pure love & Enjoyment”.  That’s right I have used enjoyment for the first time ever in a blog post! The Soneye’s, honestly I wasn’t too sure where to start with the blog but I guess the beginning is good enough. I met Lydia in 2013, I was planning her big sister (Yvonne’s) wedding (19.10.2013) and Lydia was a bridesmaid. 

5 years later my phone rings and it’s Lydia (I still had her number saved in my phone), Yvonne had dropped me a message to say Lydia would call. Lydia was excited and told me the good news she’s engaged and wants to get married in 2020. After a few wedding meetings, that soon changed and they wanted to get married in November 2019. See for yourself the pure love & enjoyment I referred to at the beginning of this blog, also hear directly from our bride why it’s a good idea to reply to Facebook DM’s and how our groom John proposed.

How we met…

In true millennial style, John and I actually met over Facebook. I was struggling to complete my A-Level History homework, looking for any distraction and little did I know that John was planning to captivate my whole evening.  I had a notification come through about a new message in my Facebook inbox and John had simply wrote “you’re blessed”.

I was so confused at this approach, definitely a new technique but I responded “who’s this” and cut a long story short, 8 years down the line and we haven’t gone a day without speaking to each other.

I may have got a D in that coursework (thanks to John) but I gained a soulmate and lifelong best friend.

Ladies – respond to your DMs, there’s a treasure among the madness.

How John proposed…

We were off to Marrakech for my birthday for a few days and I had a full itinerary of things to do. John usually lets me organise things but he assured me that he had arranged our plans for Sunday which was strange but I thought it was a birthday activity.

I woke up on Sunday and noticed John was nowhere to be seen and going into the bathroom I saw a note – I had no idea that this was the start of the journey into a new chapter of our relationship.

There were 6 notes at different points of that day that led us up to the big question.

Morning Note 1: John told me to get ready and have breakfast as he had booked me in for a traditional hammam massage.

Note 2:  As I was leaving the spa, the receptionist gave me another note that asked me to meet John in our room. The room was beautifully decorated with cake for my birthday

*Afternoon* Note 3: This note interrupted my nap as hotel staff knocked on my door to deliver another note and champagne which asked me to be ready for 7 pm.

*Evening* Note 4: Now John had been disappearing throughout the day but in preparation for note 4, he told me he was off to pay the spa. I thought this was strange but I left it and soon after he left, there was a knock on the door from another member of staff at the hotel with a note saying I should meet my “Prince Charming” outside

Note 5: In the ride to the restaurant I was convinced that there would be one final note as 4 was a random number to leave things. John remained poker-faced. We got to this romantic restaurant and whilst John was very strangely not eating, it didn’t stop him from hinting that the proposal would likely come next year (now 2019). I believed him and had no feeling at all that a proposal was coming. When John gave me what I thought would be the last note, it simply said “I love you forever” and I was relieved that there would be no more surprises.

Note 6: I was wrong. John excused himself to go to the bathroom and soon after the restaurant manager came to me with the 6th note. I was confused. The note told me that John had one final surprise and I should come and meet him upstairs. I walked hesitantly up a candlelit staircase and the rest is a tear-filled blur.

After 8 long years, John asked me to be his wife and my heart was, is and always will be full.

To all the amazing vendors that made Lydia & John’s wedding and unforgettable experience, we thank you & acknowledge you.

Wedding Planner: Mati Gono Events

Videography: Sam on films 

Photography: Enitan photography

Decor: Luxe Event Decor 

Hair: Herdefinition

Makeup: Queen Hadassah

DJ: Sean

Dance floor: Platinum Ace & production

MC: Don’t Jealous Me

Cake: Rohima cakes

Desert table: Isha Wedding Cakes

Wedding Dress: Yinka Alli

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Second outfit Stylist: The wardrobe manager

Fabric: @glitzallurefabrics

Outfit: @marveeofficial

Shoes: Steve Madden

Grooms Suit: Made western bespoke

Photobooth: Blithe photo booth

Cocktails: Stirrers and Shakers

Security: Close protection security  

Catering: Nimz Kitchen 


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


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


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


Hannah & Olu: Northbrook Park

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 UKAWA

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

MC: Adot

Decorator: Afmenaevents


Bridal room decor: Memorise for you Wedding decor

Make Up Artist: The Queen Hadassah

Hair Stylist: Honey Hand


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


Why Mati Gono Events ?

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:

  1. Invest in workshops & Industry Retreats that will aid your growth and expand your network.
  2. Be willing to learn from others (experts in your field)
  3. Do not get comfortable with where you are, as you can always do better (reinvent yourself).
  4. Connecting with others is 50% of the work done, before you even provide your service.
  5. Believe in yourself no matter what!


The New Year & a bit of Jimmy Choo…


​Ok Ladies & gents this will be the last time I will be saying …’Happy New Year’ as we are already 3 days into the New Year.  I hope that this year is everything you hope it to be & more!
So we thought as a team we would start the year off a little differently by letting you know what to expect from us in terms of blog content & resources to assist you regarding all things wedding. So there will be venue features, bridal event updates, tips on planning your wedding and what’s on offer, we will be your go to bridal guide. We will also be sharing some of the awesome weddings from 2016 with you to give you some timeless inspiration for your own big day.



So lets get started… at the beginning of every year the fabulous Jimmy choo’s ‘I do’ bridal team launch their new 2017 bridal collection. This year their collection is full exquisite styles, from the timeless elegance of ivory satin courts and sleek strappy sandals to the Hollywood glamour of crystal embellished pumps – as stated on their website. Jimmy choo have also thought of the bridesmaids too, I do have to say my top 3  shoe styles from the 2017 collection will have to be Viola: White Suede and Hot Fix Crystal Embellished Sandals with an Ostrich Feather Tassel, Abel: White Suede with Crystal Mix Pointy Toe Pumps and Lance: Gold Mirror Leather Sandals.
The collection really is exquisite and I suggest even if your not looking for bridal shoes to take a look as you may see something you’d like for a night out, date night or lunch with the ladies.

​We couldn’t forget to tell you about the made to order service. For brides looking for something exceptional their Made-to-Order service offers an alluring suite of signature styles that can be custom-made in a myriad of colours, textures and finishes. You can also create the ultimate keep-sake and personalize your shoes with you initials or wedding date (see the Jimmy choo website for more details).



​What a great way to start the year, ladies & gents there is a lot to look forward to this year…
Image of Mati Gono by Alakija studios
Pictures of shoes from Jimmy choo’s website

Tobi & Emmanuel – Boreham House Essex


Tobi & Emmanual’s dream wedding was exactly what they wanted, surrounded by their loving friends & family at the beautiful Boreham House set in the countryside, known for its amazing grounds and history. This venue added to the couple’s wedding day as they utilised the space and scenery of the grounds to capture some amazing pictures taken by the talented Jide Alakija (Alakija Studios). “Boreham is such a functional venue you have the scenery as well as that marquee outdoor feel which is perfect for a summer wedding. They had an emotional ceremony surrounded by their family & friends. Followed by a champagne reception before guests were ushered into the lovely reception space. They had around 320 guests who were just as glamorous as they were; all the guests came out dressed to impress and to celebrate the new Mr & Mrs in town. Wedding guests included: Wale Gates & his wife, the bride & grooms bridal party was amazing and set the pace when the time came to party and they partied hard Just as Planned! Read more on their love story & see their awesome photos below.


Brides Story…
Love at first sight was most definitely not the case for Emmanuel & I, well actually I believe that my fine face was too much for him so it must have been love at first sight for him!
Brunel University; the land of love! Preparing university choices in my first and second year of A levels, I just forever kept dreaming of Aston University, I was so adamant that I was going there. I went to visit the campus twice just to start mentally preparing myself for my new home. Brunel University was my second choice and although I was not interested I thought, at the very last minute that I would go and visit the campus..I fell in love instantly!
Emmanuel was popular and quite frankly I wasn’t interested initially; especially when i found out that he was a PK (pastors kid), I just thought..”gosh, he’s one of them!”…Don’t mind me, as if I’m not a PK myself! I think when I started to ‘like’/ take greater interest in Emmanuel was as we spoke more and I found out more of who he was. I had spoken to many guys in my time; some genuinely lovely, some…well lets leave that to God, but there was something different about Emmanuel; he had vision, passion, such a humble character…and he played the drums!!!
From our first date in Creams in Ealing, to memories that I would treasure for the rest of my life, leading up to our wedding day and a lifetime of so many more memories that I can’t even begin to imagine!


Grooms story…
It all started in September 2011. I was really excited about my 2nd year of uni and the opportunity to meet the new Freshers. That faithful Sunday that the freshers moved onto campus was the day me and my guys from the ACS were going around promoting all the ACS events for freshers week. I can remember walking to campus in my shiny blue Nike slippers and after aa few minutes on campus we spot a group of girls standing together. PERFECT. We weren’t trying to ‘move’ to the girls but it was an easy opportunity to promote the events. Little did we know it wasn’t the best idea. those girls were sooooo STOOSH (unapproachable).  It’s either they wanted to fight you, they thought you were ugly or they just weren’t interested. To be honest i thought all three, really knocked my confidence!! Ha!
So now we started talking to the ladies and i spotted one ‘lighty’ the back. I know I looked fresh and to be honest she did also! AND THAT!! was the moment that I knew we had a connection!
Jokes aside. As much as girls like mystery, guys do to. I’m not sure if Tobi was convinced about me in the first few weeks. I mean she knew I was a Pastor’s kid too but because of my popularity on campus I think she thought I was a bit suspect. After a while me and my boys used to chill with her and her circle of friends. This got us in trouble because the female friends in our year started getting jealous. I mean it wasn’t easy being the coolest guys on campus (too much stress!!). We (circle of friends) all started getting closer and now people were now making jokes about people liking each other (TOO AWKWARD). Now people were pairing Tobi and I together and the funniest thing is, we weren’t really talking much. I was the uncle of my group and she was the aunty of hers.And obviously aunty’s marry uncle’s.
I cant remember how exactly we started talking more but we did and got a lot more closer. I didn’t know she had developed feelings for me until one faithful day. After some time towards the end on the academic year things changed and we started working things out and talking more like we did in the beginning.
I remember how we prayed together and that was important for both of us as we always said God was going to be the centre of our relationship.







Wedding Planner: Just As Planned (Mati Gono)
Photographer: Jide Alakija
White wedding Venue: Boreham House
Decorator: Posh n Sparkle & Just As Planned
Florist: Your London Florist   
Mc: Abidemi Alaran
Wedding dress: Wedding Atelier
Bridesmaids Dresses: Veronica’s Closet (insta- @_veronicascloset)
Grooms suit: McJonathan 
Groomsmen suits- Debenhams 
Hair stylist: Funlola Tijani
Makeup Artist: Dolly Okusanya (Dee Beaute by Dolly)
DJ: DJ Yung Milli
Live Band: Segun Ologo
Videographer: Alex Eyre