As a woman when you think of your wedding, you think of a beautiful day where you would look amazing, the venue would be a dream, your husband would be dapper and the weather would be perfect and at the end you both ride off into the sunset to the perfect honeymoon destination.
In reality however, the journey to the altar could be a hazardous one that could make a season of Survivor look like a picnic.
Since October 23, 2007, I had identified the dress that I wanted to be married in. It was a beautiful simple dress with a great silhouette made from white silk taffeta with the most exquisite silvery Chantilly lace overlay. I can’t be sure who the designer of the dress was but it had the esthetic of a Monique L’Huillier or Amsale wedding dress. I had seen it on the Ross Oscar Knight website (This link is actually about a decidedly romantic marriage proposal however at the end of the video I followed a link to one of Ross’s albums and there I saw the dress of my dreams).
So, when Femi proposed to me on Valentine’s day of 2008 there was no question as to what I would wear on our big day. I had always dreamed of having a custom dress made so that it would fit perfectly (given my height and curves). With a picture of what I wanted in hand, I engaged the services of wedding dress designer who assured me that he could replicate the dress and even exceed my expectations. With 7 months to D-day I entrusted my dream in the hands of this charming, reassuring, seemingly competent designer. He went further to tell me that his bridal package covered accessories and shoes, therefore I could strike those off my list. Boy! Was I relieved to have found him!!
After about 3 months, I had not had a fitting nor had I seen a shell of the dress, my inquiries about the progress of the work were met with bountiful reassurances that the situation was under control and that a fitting would be scheduled in the near future. When I finally have a fitting and I am faced with a calico like shell of a dress and I couldn’t help but wonder how the dress could still be at such an unfinished phase of it’s production at this time. On and on it went until one day, about 4 weeks to the wedding I got “the call” informing me that the dress was ready. Femi and I headed over to the designer’s and I promptly banished Femi downstairs while I skipped upstairs to see my dress. As I ascended my eye caught a voluminous lump of a dress and I remember thinking “Who’s is that??!!” And much to my horror the designer hoisted the ugly dress up and moved it towards me.

For a minute I stood rooted to the spot as I gave the dress a once over; it did not REMOTELY resemble the picture I had given him. Had I been drunk on a Grappa and Tequilla cocktail, I could neither have designed nor made a more hideously monstrous item of clothing!

He urged me to try it one promising that would look better on. I couldn’t possible see how that could be; the dress I wanted was sleek, simple and elegant whereas this creation was bulky, overworked and offensive. He had attached huge cream coloured sequined appliques on it that turned rainbow coloured when they caught the light. It was worse than a bad dream and I burst into tears as I looked at myself in the mirror. I mean, it is not rocket science to figure out  that since I am tall and not a size 6 that I do not need volumes of tulle or a basket under my skirt! I looked like a ladybug on steroids or worse THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN! I couldn’t believe that this was happening.
Femi had to come up to console me; of course I was inconsolable. There was no plan B. This was a disaster. Our honey-tongued designer once again “assured” us that he could fix it. Femi pleaded with me to give him one more chance and I did. After about 3 more weeks, with one week to go, I go for what should have been a final fitting and the disaster had gotten worse (I did not think it was possible for it to have worsened). Reality sets in: I do not have a dress to wear on my wedding day! And I have 7 days to find one.
My rescuer came in the form of friend who makes clothes for me and who had come to know my style and preferences. She runs a label called Gbemisoke. (
We explained the situation to her over the phone and thankfully  she consented to helping salvage the situation. We engaged her on a Thursday, she proceeded to shop for the fabrics on Friday, spent the whole day on Saturday making the dress and on Sunday I went for my first fitting and the dress fit perfectly. It wasn’t by any means what I had previously envisioned but at this stage, I couldn’t be choosy.

Getting dressed on the big day

I rushed off the dress to the dry cleaners and my best friend, Moji and I proceeded to comb Lagos looking for the perfect shoes and accessories but it was difficult to find the ideal kitten heeled shoes at such short notice. By the time the news of my ordeal reached my close friends, Darbuni shipped her wedding dress, shoes, veil and corset to me from Abuja (to guard against any surprises from the dry cleaners) and Joke offered me a spare pair of wedding shoes that she had purchased for her wedding the year before. Thankfully the dry cleaners did not pull any surprises.

Walking down the aisle

Although I wore Joke’s shoes for the wedding ceremony, after we had said our vows, I kicked them off (they hurt my feet) and wore a pair of white sequined flip-flops valued at £1 for the photo session and the reception.

Our first dance

The wedding went well and I thank God for all the love and support that I received from my family and friends. It was a difficult time but it all worked out and except a select number of people, no on knew of the “drama” surrounding my journey to the altar.

Glowing with joy and relief

Update – September 13, 2014
So after 6 years, it looks like the hassle of the wedding was worth it. We have two amazing little ones and our relationship has grown and expanded in amazing ways; God has been truly awesome.
Here are some more pictures from the traditional wedding back I’m 2008, wedding pictures and a few random recent pictures.


















57 replies on “To be or knot to be

  • Bolzy

    Lovely story, you came out beautiful on the day. Many thanks to Gbemisoke.
    On the wedding day, the bride’s look is all about the Dress.
    Congratulations to both you and Gbemi.

  • Femi

    LOL @ bride of Frankenstein
    Hmmmm…..quite some experience back then. It sure was a beautiful day regardless & in my own opinion, a lovely dress. Thumbs up Gbemi

  • Tosan

    Yeah, I just asked my wife what colour of suit she wanted me to wear, what colour shirt…then went to Next and TMLewin, and I was sorted. Glad to be a man…
    Wifey, on the other hand, did a whole tour of wedding dress makers before she foun d the right one…and then had to get a naija tailor to do a bolero because of the censors at the church. Yep, glad to be a man…

  • Adenike AIyedun

    Wow, Nkem, who would have guessed?! You looked absolutely amazing, from the pictures you’ve put up. Such a gorgeous dress and it was just right for you. Thanks for this blog babe, I will definitely not be making my wedding dress unless its by Vera Wang or Gbemisoke!

    • nkemdilim

      Thanks love, the glory of the Lord covered me on that day because I was flustered! I definitely advise that you entrust your dress in the hands of a capable person! Gbemi is great! Vera Wang too 🙂
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  • Moji Daniel-Allen

    Phewww! Thank God for the happy ending,I couldn’t help but ask my husband 4 ┏̲A̶̲̅┓ hug after reading this. I can imagine how tensed that was 4 U̶̲̥̅̊. Really touching…I love d pics, U̶̲̥̅̊ look amazingly hot ąπϑ glowing.

  • Mena Osima Oyeniran

    I am so happy it turned out well for you. You were a beautiful bride. Sometimes less is more and the simplicity of your dress and your chignon and the joy of your smile and your classy but understated jewelry made you the most beautiful woman that day. Sometimes it all works well for good. Thank GOD you had this outcome sometimes its worse. i should know. lol..

  • Oluchi Nwaiwu

    What can I say? You are strong, cos I don’t know what I would have done if ‘our’ designer had goofed on my outfit too!!
    In retrospect though, I wonder why I didn’t use our ever reliable Gbemisoke.
    Thank God it all turned out well!!

    • nkemdilim

      Luchi!!! How could I have forgotten that you were part of this too?? Yes, I still marvel at how your dress came out so amazingly well and mine was a complete opposite. Oh well, all that’s history now.
      My dear Gbemi has proven to be quite reliable. Watch out for her creations on the catwalks of NY Fashion week!

  • Marjorie

    I haven’t laughed so much in a long while. Hearing this story a second time with all the humour made it so remarkable … and boy am I still reeling with laughter! You really looked amazing on that day and Gbemi is one of the very few who could whip up so much in such little time. God bless her.

    • nkemdilim

      You know? I am glad that we can laugh about this now 🙂 It just goes to show that situations can change and that with the passage of time our outlook on a challenge can change as well! Thanks love (I hope you’ve stopped laughing)

      • Marjorie

        Very well spoken. Each situation should be viewed as a challenge that we must overcome. And now, am just smiling!

  • Ore

    Awww, your dress was absolutely gorgeous! I remember seeing it on your FB page. I can’t believe it was sewn days to the wedding. Wonderful things can come out of dire situations.

  • Ijeoma Uju

    Nkemdilim, your metaphors are hilarious! You were a stunning bride on your special day darling. The difference between Gbemisoke’s creation and your “famous designer’s” is the love she sowed into it. Also she knew you and put that knowledge to work. Everyday I realize that that things that we attach so much to don’t really matter… thing is that my realization is usually retrospective.

    • nkemdilim

      My darling! One must choose means of communicating one’s anguish and I find that metaphors work well for me 🙂
      Yes Gbemisoke made the dress as a labour of love and I am eternally grateful for it.

  • abiola

    Wow nkemdilim, didn’t realise all this happened prior to the wedding. I know you said the original designer messed up…. (Finally got to read your blog) its great

  • Gregory Osai

    WOW…thats an amazing turn-around, I couldn’t imagine the distress you must have experienced at that moment…but thank God for his intervention thru our friends 🙂
    You look very beautiful and elegant in that dress, you will definitely have to give my fiancee a hand in making such an amazing selection!

  • Marie-Anne

    Nkemdilim!!! I was actually rolling on the floor with laughter when reading this piece cus I thought I was the only one who went through some crazy stuff like this! my own story will require a whole blog & I’m sure will make you feel better! for you it was the dress: for me it was EVERYTHING! from the page boy outfit that ended up in Mauritius the night before the wedding, to the DJ who came drunk with no equipment, to the gas cookers that exploded & food on the day was a miracle….to a huge needle placed on my seat & if not for a Godly husband that saw it as I was about to bounce my behind on the seat, I would have had a blood stained dress the whole day… CDs not working… & sister missed their flights….ashoebi outfits lost by British Airways…..& the list goes on & on & on…..ha ha ha….but what is wonderful is that amidst this WE WALKED DOWN THAT AISLE IN VICTORY!!!!! and hell or high waters, WE ARE MARRIED!!!!! Congratulations once more!!!! The latter will be greater than the rest! and may I add that you looked absolutely divine! serene, royal & beautiful!!!! that veil was off the chains & made you look really really divine. I bless God for your life!!!!! now you have a story to tell your kids & grandkids! loved it!! thanks!!!

    • nkemdilim

      My darling! I applaud your courage and bravery!! And I thought I had it bad!!! There were other things that went wrong with my wedding that I didn’t include in the blog simply because there wouldn’t have been enough space!! Hahaha!!!! But we Thank God in all things who makes us victorious!!! Hugs
        “Everything great that has happened to humanity since the beginning, has occurred as a single thought in someone’s mind and if any of us is capable of such great thoughts then all of us have the same capacity and capability because we are all the same.”

  • Okiki Marinho

    It is amazing how many stories people have to share on the journey to get to the aisle. The devil will forever remain a liar. Your pictures look so beautiful who would have guessed there was any mayhem before hand lol. Mine started with my mother & father inlaw passing away 6 months apart the year of my wedding. The latter died the month before actually. I remember families being torn as to whether to shift the wedding date. But God had the final word and we went ahead. Seems some of us start the “for worse” part of the vows right from the start ?. Happy Anniversary dear & I pray you guys will keep enjoying the “for better” part forevermore ?

    • nkemdilim

      Oh my goodness Okiki! How did you guys cope? ! That is some heavy stuff!! We need to meet up and talk! I have never of such depth of problems before a wedding! Thanks for the warm wishes xoxo

  • Chinenye

    Phew! Have I heard that story before…you’d told me about it while we were at BC yet I still marvel at God’s faithfulness. Thank God for all the people He used to give you the victory that day.
    I too had my own wedding dress disaster (remember I asked you to refer me to Gbemi too) but I thank God it went well in the end as yours did.


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