Lolade Cardoso and Ladi Alakija‘s wedding journey was all of the above and more. It was magical, it was enchanting and it was definitely breathtaking!
We love the intricate attention to every exquisite detail. The homage to the rich cultural heritage of the couple. The celebration of love. It started with Lolade and Ladi’s culturally infused introduction then their exotic traditional engagement in Lagos, immaculately elegant wedding in London and finally the joyous thanksgiving celebration.
The couple’s love shone through the glamour and dazzle.
BN wishes Ladi & Lolade all the very best in love and life as they begin their blessed journey as husband and wife.
With over 30 years of design experience, the mother of the bride, Bimbo Cardoso of Party Perfect Event Group produced a stunning trio of events – as a mother of triplets (one of whom is the bride), perhaps the number 3 has a special place in her heart. The groom’s family – the Alakijas took the reigns for the final chapter in the wedding story – the thanksgiving celebration and welcome party. BellaNaijaWeddingstakes you through the exquisite details of this showstopping wedding.
Save The Date
A “save the date” was sent to all invited guests. Guests were informed of the dates and given a guide to the dress code of each event .
The Wedding - 15th August 2012
The Dress – Hayley by Vera Wang
Here is how the designer, Vera Wang describes Lolade’s dress “If there is any one dress in my Spring 2012 collection that epitomizes the pageantry of the Paris Opera, it’s Hayley. The centerpiece of this dress, for me, is the absolutely stunning, theatrical cascade of organza petals in the skirt, all cut from the most delicate tissue organza. They just float on the dress like a spilling bouquet.“
Enchanted in London – The Wedding
Lolade Cardoso and Ladi Alakija‘s wedding was a moving private ceremony followed by a cocktail reception and wedding banquet at the Hilton Park Lane in London where very close family and friends were invited to have a share in the first meal of the couple as husband and wife, in what can be described as a most romantic setting of an enchanted garden. Swans metamorphosing into ballerinas of Swan Lake – the great traditional Russian ballet, the love scene was brought to life, the swans formed a human arch and ushered in the couple, then lit the candles around their love boudoir, and performed the love scene pas de deux to the wonderment of all guests.
The 28-man grand orchestra provided the sound of the most beautiful waltzes, starting with Edelweiss, the Blue Danube and Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers. The couple and their bridal train waltzed the night away in true Austrian tradition until the clock stuck 12, the transition for the bride to Mrs Lolade Alakija was over. From then the tempo went up even higher as the after party began – the beginning of a life of marital bliss for Lolade and Ladi.
~ Photography by Jide Alakija Photography
“Family Fusion” – The Introduction - 5th May 2012
A notice decorated in yellow gerbera flowers was circulated to family and friends announcing the proposal of Ladi to Lolade for her hand in marriage…
A lollipop bride complete with veil and dress was actually Cacasa, a flavour of Brazilian chocolate and latte macchiato meant to be enjoyed on that sunny yellow afternoon.
The introduction highlighted the origin and heritage of both families who all hail from Lagos State.
Unique from the usual style of introduction ceremonies, this ceremony navigated the past, the present and a peep into the future.
Both paternal sides are from the Brazilian quarters of Lagos with both maternal sides hailing from Ikorodu.
The introduction ceremony which took place a week before Christmas closed the evening with the a grand Christmas dinner party, the garden at the family home of the Cardosos was twinkling all over with lights, dotted with a celebration of Christmas trees and turkeys lined up for the Christmas dinner.
The Alakijas made it well known, their intention to cart away one of the triplets of the Cardoso family – Lolade, they even playfully hinted to take two for the price of one….
An array of carefully guarded gifts was set at the entrance by one in town chosen connoisseur of presentation of ‘eru iyawo’, satin and lace.
One look at the glass display housing the proposal letter sent the message that this was serious business, the letter was read by the bride’s triplet sister and an encased reply was given to the head of the grooms family, Modupe Alakija who flinched all trappings of shyness and prostrated before the bride’s family elders, pledging on behalf of the family that their daughter is loved by all members of their family.
The Engagement - - 24th August 2012
The bride’s family reply and build -up to the Engagement Ceremony started off with the call to the Aso ebi… the complete component of the Aso ebi was an emerald couture Italian lace complete with emerald gele and velvet wrapper and an unusual combination of silk aso oke and velvet to form a shawl, very different from the standard ipele. The Peacock representing pride of both families was used as the underlying theme of the event and it carried through the invitations to design style and décor of the event. The Peacock was selected as it is known for its majestic regal beauty and the timelessness of beauty of the colour of the emerald gem.
A blend of pinks and greens were shared as the family of colours of both families, where the Cardosos celebrated emeralds, the Alakijas celebrated with peridot green which was also incorporated into the colour of the day; where the Alakijas were resplendent in fuchsia, the Cardosos were sporting a rose pink blend from stationery to decor – the colours emerald and fuchsia were represented.
The invitation came in a beautiful keepsake gift box personally designed by the bride’s mum and executed by her company, Party Perfect.
It was an emerald green love pillow serving as the keepsake souvenir and a brass key to get you through the gates into the ‘Wisteria Gardens’, the imaginative location of the reception.
The inscription on the box read as follows…
Traditional Engagement Ceremony & Reception
The venue for the engagement, Eko Hotel was transformed for the two events; the engagement ceremony was held in the Grand Ballroom whilst the engagement party was in the created – Wisteria Gardens.
The events of the day were conceptualized by Bimbo Cardoso. The ceremony was produced to be entertaining, breathtaking and effortless, whilst still retaining the cultural integrity of the Cardoso and Alakija families.
The ‘peacocks’ identified by their peacock feathered fans and bride’s family gathered at the Cardoso family residence for brunch after which they departed for Eko Hotel.
In the Grand Ballroom, music was provided by Tosin Alao to usher in the guests. The ceremony started off when the Cardoso family welcomed the Alakija family in. The ceremony went on from there with the traditional spoke person of the respective families; ‘Alaga ijoko’ and ‘Alaga iduro’. The groom was brought in eventually after being playfully harassed as expected, the bride was requested to be brought in, and then the drama started.
A soloist sang to introduce the bridal procession accompanied by ‘Ewi’ (traditional poem of affirmation and heritage). The bridal procession told a story of the bride’s heritage and cultural connection starting from palace maids to Liberian mothers to Ibo daughters to ‘Sisi Ekos’ to Brazilian samba dancers to the bride’s friends, and then to the triplets accompanied by a song and ‘Oriki Ibeta’.
The soloist filled the room with his baritone rendition of “Olorun Ife“, dressed in her stunning cape designed by couturier Ade Bakare, the bride Lolade was carried in Cleopatra-style as special greetings for triplet and multiple birth situations were chanted.
The rest of the engagement celebration was all fun and festivities as the couple danced and enjoyed their day with family and friends.
Thanksgiving & Welcome Party – 15th September 2012
On Saturday 15th of September 2012, the groom’s family took over the celebrations with a thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of Christ in Lagos and a welcome party in a stunning marquee at the Tafawa Balewa Square for their new bride, daughter and wife, their jewel.
Invitations for this event were delivered in an intricate pink and royal blue jewellery box created by the Wedding Store. The theme was built around travel and flights so guests had their boarding passes which gave them access to the “tarmac” where exotic cocktails were served and the main event where they enjoyed performances by Nigerian superstars Tiwa Savage and Wande Coal. There was a silver royal carriage and so many beautiful moments that made the day even more special for Ladi and his bride Lolade whom her new family described in their own words as ‘our rare gem of invaluable worth’.