“I reluctantly went out with friends on the 26th of December, 2016 not knowing that I was going to meet my Happy Ever After. It was just a group of young people eating together but it became a very significant moment in my life.” Iyanuoluwa Alarape, CEO of Events by Aiwai, said smiling like the world was as it should be.
The starry-eyed bride-to-be is a legal practitioner who doubles as an Events Planner in Nigeria. She is amongst the many brides-to-be who unfortunately, would not get married in 2020. She sat with 234star to give the gist of how the lockdown impacted her relationship.
How did you meet your fiancé?
We met in Ibadan. We both grew up there. It was on Boxing Day in 2016. I remember not feeling christmas-y and just wanting to sleep. A friend pressured me to go on a hang out and I gave in. If I had known what the future held for me, I would have jumped out quickly.
Anyway, I lost my way while trying to get to the meet up point. My friend had to come pick me up. The man who drove her to pick me up is my fiance.
That is cute. How did the day go with him?
It went well. We had an instant connection. We had mutual friends so my guard was down. You know everyone in Ibadan knows each other somehow. It turned out his mum and my mum were close friends. For some weird reason, we had never met each other or our mums. This revelation sped up our friendship.
Wow. Talk about fate. How did your friendship become a romantic one?
There was a connection from the moment we met. So it did not take too long. We didn’t start dating immediately because he had just come out of a long term relationship and was not looking for anything serious. But he met the awesome me and knew he had to have me (haha!). We met December, 2016 and started dating in March, 2017. I was working in Ibadan at the time and he was in Lagos.
It was a long distance relationship?
Yes. In fact, for most of our relationship period, we were working in different states. The lockdown was miraculously the one time we were together for a long time. The lockdown caught us in Ibadan. Our family houses are very close to each other. We saw almost every day. This made us very close and definitely brought a lot of fights. It definitely made the relationship more intimate.
This is sweet. Is this how marriage came up?
We had always talked about marriage since day one. However, more serious talks on marriage came up during this lockdown. We enjoyed being with each other in the same place. We did not want it to end. We also saw how the pandemic was causing havoc round the world and omo, we did not want to take chances. We want to face the pandemic and everything life has to offer together. This pandemic really gave us the time to reanalyze our relationship and lives.
Would you say the lockdown encouraged your decision to get married?
Amongst other reasons, yes. This lockdown gave my fiancé and I the opportunity to be together physically and more emotionally. There is a threat of a second lockdown and we would rather be together again. We knew we wanted to continue being together so we got engaged during the lockdown.
Omg! How was your proposal?!
It was the sweetest thing ever! My mum was even in on it! So my mum is a caterer. Her job influenced my decision to be an events planner. I always help her out when I can. So on this day she told me she had a small event and she needed my help. So I got dressed early and left the house. My sister and her friend were still lazing around when I left. I don’t know how they dressed up and got to the venue before me.
I walked into a decorated room filled with my family and friends. I was so confused at first. Then I was shocked. Then I saw him and everything made sense. He came to me, said a few sweet words, got down on his knees and asked me to marry him. I said Yes a million times.
Haha. Don’t worry, if you want it, it will come. It was one of the most beautiful days in my life. I have planned proposals for people so I know the drill. When it came to my own, I suspected nothing! I love the fact that he kept it hidden from me so well.
Congratulations once again. When is the wedding?
It was supposed to be this year. As an events planner, I already had everything figured out. I had an excel sheet for the budget. I knew where my dress would come from and who my vendors would be. There’s a pandemic so it was going to be my dream small wedding. I’ve planned some for my 2020 lockdown brides. Small weddings are the rave now. But our parents said No.
They want a big wedding. They are willing to wait for Covid to go. So there’s no wedding planning right now.
Sorry to hear that. We hope you still have the wedding of your dreams.
Thank you. I’m sure I will.
Thank you so much for speaking with us! Happy Married Life in advance.