Downtown Denver Wedding with Traditional Nigerian Elements

Brianna Kozlarek / Wednesday April 26, 2017

Ranti and Ben’s October wedding was a designer’s dream. These two met over gourmet pizza and quickly fell for each other. Their wedding planner, Sarah Faulkner, with Ever So Chic Events, says she once heard them described as “she is the balloon and he holds the string.” They have a way of complementing each other that can only be described as a perfect balance. Ranti and Ben both work in the design world, she as a fashion blogger (she’s the beauty and brains behind Ranti in Review) and he as an architect, so a clean, modern aesthetic was essential when creating the vision and feel for their wedding day. The bride’s grey + champagne tulle dress popped against the monochromatic grey dresses and suits of the wedding party. Grey served as the dominant color for their wedding accented with white, chartreuse, and pops of rich purple.

With a fashion blogger for a bride, you can imagine how important the wedding dress was! After many shopping trips in search of the perfect gown, Ranti ultimately decided that only a custom gown would do. She worked with Emma & Grace Bridal to design the dress of her dreams! But, she didn’t stop there–the bride planned for 4 wardrobe changes throughout her reception. After donning her second look of the night with much fanfare, a traditional Nigerian garment, the bride realized how much she loved her wedding dress and opted to skip the third and fourth outfit and enjoyed the rest of the evening back in her custom gown! We certainly don’t blame her; have you seen the gorgeous dress?!  Joni Schrantz captured their gorgeous day:


The Ceremony

Ranti and Ben’s wedding ceremony was anything but commonplace. Underneath a grey tulle draped arch in the industrial sculpture garden of an art gallery, the two exchanged vows in front of their closest family and friends. They incorporated a unique practice they conceptualized with their officiant and had a blessing of the rings. Their wedding bands were passed to each and every guest in attendance. Upon receipt, each loved one offered a single word of well wishing for the couple and then passed the rings to the next guest. Such an intimate shared experience certainly set the tone for the evening!

The Reception

Their venue, a modern art gallery, can accommodate a dinner for over 200 people, so with only 90 guests attending the couple had to create a way to fill the space. The open space between head table and the guests’ table created an intimate dance floor that was packed all night long. While the couple’s general design aesthetic may be clean and modern, the flowers can only be described as lush! The bride was raised in Nigeria and found many ways to incorporate her heritage into the festivities. During cocktail hour, a variety of traditional Nigerian snacks were passed amongst the guests. While many of the bride’s family members were excited to see old favorites offered as hors d’oeuvres, other guests were delighted to try the foreign delicacies for the first time. After dinner, the bride, groom, and their immediate families all changed into traditional Nigerian garb for an African money dance. A wedding staple in Nigeria, the money dance involves all the guests encircling the bride and groom and gently pressing $1 bills to the bride’s forehead while dancing to upbeat African music. Bridesmaids scurry to gather all the fallen money into specially designed bags. The dance goes on for the better part of the hour and Ranti and Ben’s guests all had the pleasure of partaking in this age-old tradition.



Venue: Space Gallery | Planning + Design: Ever So Chic Events |Photography: Joni Schrantz | Florist: Flowers Forever Design | Hair & Makeup:  Ranti Onayemi Blanchard (The Bride) | Custom Wedding Dress: Emma & Grace Bridal | Bride shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Music: Elite Entertainment | Bakery: Sugarmill | Catering: Relish Catering |Bar:AppleJack’s Liquors | Officiant: Small Circles Ceremonies | Rentals:        Colorado Party Rentals | Transportation: Denver Limo