To those who gave us a perfect wedding day...

Let me tell you guys something: marriage is something that is not to be entered into lightly. However, if you do decide to take that step, I hope that your special day is nothing short of perfect. I can say that at least for me (and by extension meh whole husband), we had an amazing wedding day. The day flew by quickly, no joke, there were no major hiccups and nothing that could put a damper on the day. All of our family and friends made the day possible (seriously, family from both sides showed their support in so many ways). But in addition to them, I wanted to take this time to highlight the service providers whom I gave my complete trust to execute their tasks flawlessly. The end result of all their work was a day that I will never forget. 

Celebrant: I had absolutely no doubt that I wanted Msgr Cuthbert Alexander to officiate our ceremony. Why? Because I absolutely adore him. We worked together for about two years until he was reassigned to the Seminary at Mt St Benedict. He was my go to for feedback on most if not all things faith related, whether it was a question that was submitted via social media or just something that I wanted to know for myself. He'd give me sound advice, and always left me with something to think about. Plus! His use of emojis would leave me in stitches. He was always accessible during the months before the wedding, even with his tight schedule. That helped so much in the midst of the planning.

Choir: Since we got married in my home parish, it was only fitting that my church choir sang. And oh yes, they sang. The traditional songs had me all nostalgic of my choir days. The highlight for me, was my Confirmation Catechist, Mrs Judy Montenegro, who belted out such a beautiful rendition of the Ave Maria, that Jason's best man had to verify it is was really her singing or a recording lol. 

Photography: Admittedly this was something that took me a while to settle on, but in the end, Arvin of Naalri's Weddings and Family seemed like the right fit. And oh boy was he. From his professionalism, to his endearing personality, he could make anyone feel comfortable in front of the camera. This helped a whole lot because my husband does not like posing for pictures. However, you wouldn't think that when you saw Arvin's photos from our wedding day (I'm still geeking from how awesome the sample pics he sent us are). I also had a second shooter, Marc of Marc'd Images, who is relatively new on the scene, but provided us with some additionally amazing candid shots throughout the day.  

Videography: Lawdie, this in itself was tricky because after we crunched the numbers, we just weren't going to be able to have a videographer. While the hubby wasn't bothered by this, I was, but eventually, I resigned myself to the fact that I'd only have photos. But! Fate had other plans. It was only by chance in chatting with a fellow content creator, Gerard of Gerard Rodriguez Photography, that the topic of wedding videography came up. Long story short, I harassed him to do it for me lol. He agreed... eventually lol, and even though he doesn't do videography on the regular, my wedding video (which I've only seen a teaser of to date, I'll update this when it is ready), is going to be the bomb!!!

Transport: I had no idea how in the heck I was going to be transported to the church and reception lol. But as luck would have it, Marlon Dennis came to the rescue, which resulted in Jason and I riding in a Lincoln. Marlon was so awesome, you guys have no idea! Need a wedding driver? Driver for your graduation? I can hook you up!

Decor: When Jason and I got engaged, I immediately knew who was going to be my decorator, Grace of Rated Elegance. She was able to bring my vision to life! And went beyond the call to make sure that everything was on point and then some. From the beautifully lit back drop on stage, to us dancing on fog, to her and her wonderful team doing on the day coordination for us. She is such a joy to work with, and I'm wondering if I can find a way to work with her again. Perhaps a baby shower in the future? Who knows..

Volunteers: I have to make mention of two colleagues of mine who gave of their Saturday to help usher at the reception. Rochelle of Eller Style and Renee of Anugraha Yoga. Thank you both, not just for ushering, but also for being a listening ear and a source of calm and/random shenanigans when I felt stressed out in the lead up to our wedding day. 

Food: This was a no brainer. Les Bourgeois Gourmet Services is our go to for family weddings and they did not disappoint. The food was fantastic! Their staff is courteous, professional and fun! Special mention to the ladies who held down the bar, you two were on point with your service and I will ask for you both by name if I ever need any bar persons for an event. 

Cake: I entrusted the lovely Savi Lakhansingh and her daughter Ruth. Once we had a discussion on what I had in mind, they brought my vision to life. And the cake tasted goooooooood. Also, special  has to be made to mention to Lystra Stewart who baked all the take away cake. Talk about the best black cake ever!!!

DJ: I entrusted my colleague Tony Rostant with this job, however with work commitments, he was unable to, but! He placed our reception vibes in the hands of Jermeel Pierre, who ensured that our reception was full ah vibes!! You know yuh reception sell off when you have people dancing and singing to "Powermaster, dis battery is it!" Jermeel is hands down one of the most versatile DJ's that I have ever met. Trust and believe I will be keeping his contact number.

Okay okay okay... let's talk about my glam squad. Now originally, I wanted a vintage theme, but after a visit to the Emancipation village last year, I felt that an African inspired theme would be more fitting, BEST. DECISION. EVER!!!!!!!!

Garments: First off let me say that, I have no idea how you brides who have worn those big poofy princess dresses do it. HOW??!!! I modelled one for a photoshoot and nearly lost my mind! Too much cloth!! Waaaayyyy too much cloth. With that said, I wanted a very simple dress, with a hint of extra. My dress, as well as the bridesmaids' and flower girls' dresses were sewn by Marlene Weatherhead. I took inspiration from dresses that I saw online and tweaked to suit. For my dress in particular, I realised that I needed something extra since I was not about that veil life. In comes a cape, and that added so much to the dress. She also made the waistcoat for the ring bearer and for Jason.

Accessories: Our bridal jewellery was created by the one and only Melissa of Belle by Mel Designs. I've been a long supporter of her button jewellery and to me, giving her that task was a no brainer. She did not disappoint at all. The flowers for my hair and the bridesmaid's hair were made by Shanice of Thousand Curls who whipped up those flowers in no time. I also used them on my bouquet and my cake stand. Hair accessories for my matron of honour, flower girls, as well as the ties for the groom, groomsmen and my dad were made by Jurnelle of Bows et al. To round it off, Miquel of MJ Dorset Painting & Graphic Designs covered my wedding heels in the same African print to match my accessories.

Hair: Between Nayota of R.E.D. Hair Salon and Anika of Beauty by Nature, my hair was styled in a beautifully rolled and pinned hair do, accessorised with African print flowers. God alone knows how may hair pins held my hair together lol.

Make up: If you follow me on social media, you would know that only Mo of  Make up by Mo would be the one to make me look like Beyonce on my wedding day!! A warm toned glitter cut crease made everything pop!! And of course, she used her signature Caribbean Queen Cosmetic products. My make up lasted all day, and night, and into the next day. What? I was tired, I washed it off eventually.

Nails: Now I do not wear any type of nail extensions, but Sarah of Sarah Sookraj Beauty changed my mind about that. I gave her creative control and the end result was nothing short of spectacular! An ombre French nail, with a pop of colour and some gems that were a good length for me to still be able to function.... for the most part lol. Our time spent together that evening was so much fun too.

Henna: Risa Raghunnan-Mohammed of Henna Trinidad obliged my request for mehendi. What a lot of people don't know is that henna art is more cultural than religious and is done in so many parts of the African/Indian/Arab diaspora. Again I gave her creative control. She opted to use Jagua (which gives a darker stain) and settled on a more Sudanese style of henna which, when fully dried and flaked off, revealed bold strong lines, swirls, flowers, and I loved every bit of it. I reckon I will have some mehendi done again for my birthday.

Song: Yes, I sang for my husband. It was so nerve wrecking and I'm positive I sang off key. But! yuh girl was emotional, so I guess can get a pass. I could not have done it without the amazing work of Daniel from Heaven Sent Productions, who created an instrumental track of Brandy's He is. He is amazing at what he does.

All in all, these people, their skills, their personalities, all played a huge part in our wedding day. I had no issues with any of the service providers that we used. I was able to trust them and give them full control of what they needed to do, and I do not regret it one bit. I cannot thank them enough for saying yes to us and taking on the task of doing what they do best. THANK YOU!!!! For making our wedding day magical.

Tshenelle aka Nelly B., and Jason too.

PS: To see some of the other photos (since it is way too many to post here), you can follow the hashtag #jasonandtshenelle2018 on Facebook and on Instagram. Also, I know I don't look like Beyonce, but for some reason, when women want to look their best when it comes to make up, they use her as a reference, can someone explain why?

Photo credits: Naalri's Weddings and FamilyMarc'd Images