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Joanna and Cajetan’s gorgeous British & Nigerian fusion wedding in Westminster, with Slawa Walczak Photography

Joanna and Cajetan’s wedding is a wonderfully sophisticated, elegant celebration with lush winter colours and a real sense of fun. The day focused on giving guests the time of their lives – food and entertainment were key and the images of their day capture every moment so beautifully. Joanna is so beautiful in a bespoke designer dress and I love that this gorgeous couple planned their day together as a team.

Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (3)

“Typically the girls get most of the credit for planning a wedding!? If you have a husband-to-be who is willing to pitch in – use him to your advantage! Cj was absolutely fantastic, we had a shared vision about the day and he did so much of the planning. It was so much easier to plan that way, as the load was shared and we went through the stress and then the satisfaction together! It was great teamwork and by the end he found suppliers and booked them, which is half the battle! We felt like we pulled off a spectacular day! With the added addition of cultural differences and family members flying from all over the world, we had to cater to both sides. We did it!

Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (14)

Our wedding was an amazing and vibrant mix of family, culture, tradition and love! The style and colour palette was pretty traditional – royal blue and champagne – and the general theme was the Nigerian/British mix, with food, clothing and music very much half. The best part was eating a three course British meal followed by a Nigerian buffet later in the ballroom!

Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (15)

Wedding photographer’s website:

www.slawawalczak.com

We were recommended this photographer- among others. After looking through her portfolio – we knew Slawa would be ideal for our wedding! We knew how good Slawa was because we had looked through many of her previous weddings on her website. I also loved one of the blogs she did about one of the weddings she shot – there was so much passion in it, I knew she would put everything into our day.

She had a hard task as there were 6 bridesmaids and a large wedding party who were pretty difficult to control for photos! She did it though and the image of all of us is one of my favorites. She was seemless on the day and so lovely to our guests. The portioning of each part of the day is great too, just the right amounts, which made it so beautiful to look through. I didn’t once think she had missed anything out. There were so many surprises and moments in her selections, I cant believe she captured them all. When looking through your own images – you see things that I would have missed in her examples of others.

Some of CJ’s family and friends could not make the wedding day due to being so far away in Nigeria. These pictures perfectly capture our day and make it look as magical and special as it was. This means so much to us – so we can share it with them.

We are going to receive our printed album soon ans I can’t wait! The first time we saw our images I was with Cj and we just couldn’t believe how stunning they were! We got to relive the day and see moments we had missed and moments we will cherish. The way Slawa captured the day (especially the cathedral) was stunning and something we can show our children. We sent the online album to family members and it is great for special people who couldn’t attend due to travel difficulties.

Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (6)

Discover more from Slawa Walczak Photography:

http://slawawalczak.com
Instagram.com/slawawalczakphotography
Facebook.com/slawawalczakphotography

Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (1)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (2)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (4)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (5)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (7)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (8)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (9)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (10)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (11)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (12)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (13)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (16)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (17)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (18)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (19)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (20)
Gorgeous blues and a spectacular venue for Joanna and Cajetan's Westminster wedding, Image by Slawa Walczak (21)

Wedding venue:

St. Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster, London SW1H 0QW

Wedding month:

October

Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)

Hitched.co.uk was good! Although a few of the suppliers we stumbled upon through internet searches in our area.
We read reviews for most so we knew what to expect – all of them were great!

What’s your top tip for saving money?

We saved on favours, ordering in bulk and then adding our homemade personal touches. We created our own candybar instead of hiring one, it was a big hit!
Also instead of hiring a photobooth, we got a cool wide screen polaroid that guests used and then put in our guestbook – it was personal and saved us loads!

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

The venue and the food was definitely worth the money. It made the day as we had access to so many areas of the hotel and the food was just fantastic!
That’s what people seemed to love!

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?

www.littleangelweddings.com – Samantha was amazing and very reasonably priced.
We had so many cards to print and the quality and the diamante finish and blue satin ribbon was stunning!
Example : http://www.littleangelweddings.com/handmade-invitation-chelsea.htm

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

I got to design my wedding dress! That was the best thing about it – it was exactly what I wanted and tailored to fit my shape. I went into the boutique as I had seen the most beautiful dresses on their website. Lara then said I could pick and choose designs and create my own dress. I was thrilled with the final result – it really was beautiful and had all the elements I wanted. When I first tried it on – I couldn’t believe it.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

www.ingridabridal.com/
My dress was a unique design but I used the main material and jeweled back from the Ruby II – https://www.ingridabridal.com/en/wedding-dresses/collection-the-empress/wedding-dress-Ruby-2/
Ingrida, the designer, was there for my second and third fitting and the result was amazing!!!

Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!

I had silver accessories, with pearl earrings and pearl hair pins, Russel and Bromley gold sparkling shoes!
The beautiful necklace I wore was handmade by my Aunty, Naomi James. She had seen my dress design with v mesh at the front.
So she though the long pendant design would be perfect! It was by far my favorite piece and was made with love! Check her out here : http://www.naomijames.co.uk/

And what did the groom wear?

He was suited in booted in TM Lewin and Hugo Boss. Dark blue suit with Champagne waistcoat & tie..finished off with thistle buttonhole arrangements. His brother, the best man, was matching.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

The 6 girls looked beautiful in dusty pink dresses, which were the same but had different variations on the straps – which they could choose how to tie.
It looked stunning with the cream flowers and the Scottish thistles.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

We had two make up and hair girls helping on the morning of the wedding. It was quite a challenge to get 7 girls ready in time! Definitely recommend making sure you have enough time to reduce the stress on the day.

Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)

We were recommended Mary Jane Vaughn by Westminster Cathedral – www.maryjanevaughan.co.uk. They do know the dos and don’ts at the church and our priest said they did the most beautiful arrangements. We went for a few meetings with Tove Carroll at their warehouse in London and we were pleased from start to finish.
She knew exactly what to suggest and helped us create what we had imagined.
The flowers were stunning and the table arrangements were my favorite part. We had the blue and cream theme -beautiful candles too! Royal blue and ivory – roses, spray roses, white hydrangeas, blue b delphiniums, thistles, deep blue hydrangeas with a little tidy greenery.

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Not really as the hotel was so grand – it spoke for itself! With the addition of flowers and a candy bar/photo area we were sorted. Although, the huge Mr and Mrs LED piece was a great asset for the dance floor!

Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?

We ordered vintage Key shaped bottle openers (surname Kii – pronounced Key)- and butterfly card packages for favours. We then made little blue and tartan bows with thank-you tags to attach to the bottle openers. Time consuming but cute! My sister then made love heart shaped Scottish tablet to fill the butterfly packages. These were a really nice touch and saved us some money. We decorated the table with these favours.

The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?

We chose 4 tiers with different flavors, delicious!
Lemon drizzle, Red velvet, Chocolate and Victoria sponge.
I went for an elegant cake which I loved as soon as I saw it.
It was on display during dinner then we cut it on the dancfloor with the Mr and Mrs background.

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

It was really good entertainment on the day. First we had the professional choir in Westminster, we had never heard such beautiful live singing! Then we had a Saz played to come and perform during dinner at the hotel – he was great and created a really good atmosphere. Then when we went through the the ballroom – the Dj and dancefloor was set us with Blue lighting to match the hotel’s Led blue lights. He played our first dance – slow and romantic – then upbeat Nigerian Dance song! Their tunes are unrivaled – along with their dance moves! That got everybody up and the dance floor was full from then on. He did a great mix of music, as it was important CJ’s family could enjoy the music too.

What’s the best thing about being married?

Simple and soppy.. getting to wake up with my best friend everyday!
Officially showing the world that we have chosen one another to forever and always.

Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:

www.ingridabridal.com/ – Wedding Dress
www.littleangelweddings.com – Stationary
www.naomijames.co.uk – Jewelry
www.maryjanevaughan.co.uk – Flowers

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in 2011 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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