The Afolabis: Preparing for a Successful Marriage and The National Wedding Show in London

Brianna Kozlarek / Thursday October 12, 2017

Great to back with you again this month. So, the last few weeks have been very interesting to say the least…

Perfect isn’t real but real is perfect

In an amongst the genuine love we have for each other and the excitement of getting to spend our lives together, the reality is that for any couple heading towards marriage, the season of engagement is a time of challenge and growth. For us, we believe that marriage is about two becoming one. And for us we are both very independent and strong willed people so it’s a time of transition.

We’re both Nigerian and we’ve realised that although from the same country, we are very culturally different and on occasion, we realise we’ve had different perspectives on how we want things to be lol! The last few weeks we’ve spent time finalising the venue for our traditional engagement and the venue for our wedding. The fact is that as tricky as the process can be, the perfection of this isn’t in some ill-conceived notion of a perfect transition into marriage because you’re “oh so in love” and you’re both “oh so perfect.”

Thank goodness that notion of perfection does not exist for us, as we’d probably have killed each other by now. The secret to this is being to take each other as we are – warts ‘n’ all – and as real sas we can be… And that’s the beauty of any union where one can be real with their spouse; the ability to love and see the perfection where there’s imperfection. That’s REAL perfection.

Learning to Embrace Each Other’s Differences

So one of the things that we are definitely learning about each other is that we are DIFFERENT… Lol – I know that statement seems really basic and ridiculously obvious, but what tends to happen (once you get past the misty-eyed, rose tinted love glasses) is that the way those differences play out actually provide the fertile breeding ground for disagreements… (ahem, we’re trying to use as diluted a word as possible for full blown war). Ok ok, not that bad, but you get our point.

This wedding planning process has definitely taught us that we need to learn how to accept and even embrace those differences as we all have something to bring to the table and if we’re accommodating, the fusion can be a rich one. Being open minded and not set in our ways has been a tricky one, especially as we’re both so strong-willed and are both never wrong (Ruth will outlive God trying to have the last word!).

The fact is that this negotiation is one that will continue for the rest of our marital lives together so we best get it right now! If we can master the art of embracing each other’s differences now, then it will make the journey forward a more fruitful one. I guess the trick is to keep reminding ourselves the following: We bat for the same team!

Preparing for a Successful Marriage – The Marriage Prep Course

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail…” Never has this old adage been true when preparing to commit to a life-long partnership with your other half. We’re about a third of the way through our marriage prep course and we can truly say that the impact has been profound to the extent that we’re seeing the positive effects already!

With all the planning and preparation that goes into planning weddings, one thing that we were definitely not going to trivialize was the preparation for what happens after we say I do… Where will we live? How many children do we want to have? What kind of values do we want to have? What church will we go to? How will we manage our finances? How will we manage conflict? How will we manage the in-laws? What love languages do we respond to? What love languages does your spouse respond? Will we build our marriage on the strong foundations of our Christian faith…? If you think this list is long, then best realise this is just the tip of the iceberg (!)

The one take away that we have from our sessions so far is that you have to put in the work for the kind of marriage that you both want to have – it doesn’t just happen naturally, and that work (as far as we know, won’t stop). But one thing’s for sure, we certainly feel more equipped for the road ahead thanks to these classes.

The Fun Bits of Planning

So in the midst of all the serious business about becoming husband and wife – there’s also been lots to get excited about from a planning perspective (more from Ruth’s side lol!). Ruth recently went to The National Wedding Show in London. It’s an annual event where almost 100 wedding vendors come together to showcase their offerings from dresses to cakes, to honeymoons and gifts for guests.

You can check out the highlights of Ruth’s trip here.

So that’s all for this month guys! We’ve got so much more to come for you from choosing our bridal party, to going to visit our beautiful wedding destination in Europe, to Ruth finding the perfect dress so stay tuned for more.



Ayo and Ruth

Say ‘hi’ to us on Instagram:

AYO – @_ayo_afolabi

RUTH – @ruthymag