There is no greater honor in the wedding industry than to be asked to provide the same service for a wedding vendor who is to be wed. So when Kafi of Lady Iman Photography asked me to be her wedding photographer, I felt so much joy! I was also a little anxious because of the fact that Kafi IS a wedding photographer. We tend to be very Type A and super particular when it comes to our images. And it’s kind of hard to turn that off. But all of the anxiety went out the window when I arrived for the day to photograph Kafi and Adrian’s Henderson NC wedding. It was a beautiful day to photograph their wedding! And as I began shooting, I just felt grateful to have been asked to be a part of such a special time. Here is Kafi and Adrian’s story.
How did you two meet?
Adrian’s dad, Bobbie, kind of had a hand in this. Bobbie is my mom’s mechanic and childhood friend, so I met Adrian at his dad’s shop. Adrian would NEVER talk to me. I initially thought he was rude for not speaking…he initially thought I was stuck up! That was his excuse for why he claims he didn’t speak *insert eye roll* lol. Adrian’s dad would always send him to the country store to pick up a snack when I was there. Bobbie would always tell me to ride with Adrian to the store, but I refused because Adrian didn’t ask. lol. After a few times of Bobbie trying to get me to ride with him, both Adrian and I figured out what Bobbie was trying to do… so we gave in. I rode with him to the store and we talked about completely random stuff. It didn’t feel awkward at all. We were very comfortable with one another. He eventually invited me to go with him, his brother and friends to Kings Dominion. We rode each ride together and the rest is history. 🙂
How long have you been together?
January 2018 will be six years that Adrian and I have been together.
Did you see each other before the wedding? If not, did you like waiting or would you have rather done it differently? Tell me why or why not!
Yes we saw each other. We are both fatties lol, so we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and had sausage and peach cobbler pancakes! It was nice to see him before everything got started.
What were your favorite moments from the wedding?
I enjoyed walking down the steps and looking over to the ceremony location, seeing Adrian watch me walk to him. I was getting anxious waiting for my queue. So when it was time for me to walk, I was ready!
I enjoyed dancing with my dad and I enjoyed taking photos with my mom prior to the ceremony.
I also enjoyed seeing Adrian dance (LOL!). Adrian is not big on dancing, especially in front of people. I appreciated how he stepped out of his comfort zone a little bit for me and his mother. We even practiced a few slides at home, just so he could get the hang of it before the reception.
I also enjoyed having all of my siblings in the same room together, as this has NEVER happened before… and the experience was pleasant.
Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?
I found my dress while I was looking online at the David’s Bridal website. I saw it and instantly knew that the Oleg Cassini gown was the one I was going to get. I didn’t care about the price. lol. I still tried on other dresses during my appointment, but I still knew which one I was going to purchase. I only tried on 5 dresses and I only went shopping once. The other 4 dresses were nice, but no other dress made me light up the way I did when I tried on THE DRESS.
My dress was a lace trumpet dress with subtle beading on the bodice and some drama on the train. I chose a strapless dress with a slight sweetheart neckline. The colors were ivory and white.
What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?
I was afraid some of my girls were going to be late for makeup. To my surprise everyone was either super early or right on time! I know how important it is for the makeup appointments to stay on schedule and how it can throw off the timeline for the entire day if just one person is a few minutes late. They definitely exceeded my expectations!
I was also anxious about the reception decor. I purchased and DIY’d the table decor and I was excited yet anxious to see how Monica of Nouveau Events would set up everything. I left it all in her hands to coordinate on the day of, and I was completely satisfied when I saw the end result!
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
The day of was so calm for me. Everything leading up to it was not. lol. I made a vow to myself that I would not let anything mess up my mood on the day of, and that’s exactly what I did. I put my phone on silent and let the day flow. I wanted to be able to take it all in.
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?
Do whatever the two of you want to do!
Hire as many professionals as possible! This will cut down on people calling you and asking questions on the day of. On the day of the wedding, the bride and groom are supposed to sit back, relax and enjoy the day. With professionals running the show, you don’t have to worry about anything at. I don’t know much about what went on behind the scenes, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be! Professional vendors have dealt with many different scenarios for weddings, and they know how to “work out the kinks” without bothering the couple!
Choose a bridal party that you love and that loves you back just as much.
What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?
Choose a professional, PLEASE! I many cases, you definitely get what you pay for. You’re not only paying for a photographer to show up and “click a button” for a few hours. You’re hiring them for their professionalism, personality, photography education, countless hours they spend post producing/retouching photos, their ability to work around unexpected situations, and the extra things that they do for you to make your wedding experience and photos that much better!
How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day?
It was a breeze. I knew when I booked you that it would be!
Being that I know your work and have worked with you before, I knew what to expect and I knew exactly what you were capable of! I knew that you were great with lighting and I knew that you could pleasantly work around chaos, if anything were to happen. I was drawn to your calm yet fun, eager personality. I was certain that we would get along great throughout the planning process and on the day of! You were the first vendor I booked! I know I’m biased because I’m a photographer lol, but I feel that wedding photos are EVERYTHING!
Any tips that you have about preparing your wedding party and family for the photos? What did you tell them and how did you get them to cooperate?
I don’t think we had many issues getting people to cooperate for photos. I think because I am a photographer, our family and bridal party knew I had high expectations of them when it came to photos. For the ladies, I let them know prior to the wedding date to bring only the essentials to the room, as it will cut down on clutter in the background of photos. I’m not sure what the guys’ room looked like. lol. As for family formals, I informed family prior to the wedding that I needed them to hang around the ceremony location for a few mins to take family photos. Some snuck off to cocktail hour anyway, but the most of them stayed and were pleasant for photos. I didn’t have to run around and find anyone from the bridal party for photos, which was a major plus!
We loved the food at your reception! Tell us about your caterer.
We had soul food, and it was amazing! Adrian was in charge of finding and booking the caterer, and I was very pleased with his choice. I’m trying to find another reason to hire LC’s Catering again. lol. The food was so good!
Venue: Vance Granville Community College
Coordinator: Nouveau Events
Linens: CE Rentals
Draping and Reception chairs: For Your Occasion
Dresses, veil and jewelry: David’s Bridal
Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Video: Moments and Memories
DJ: DJ Free
Caterer: LC’s Catering
Cake: Cake Couture
Bridal Shoes: Nakisha Hunt, Unique Custom Designs
Bouquet and boutonnieres (and larger centerpieces): Etsy, Innocent Chaos
Stationary: J’Marie Design Studios
Makeup: Pink Diamonds by Tiwa Lawrence
Bridesmaids clutches: Aldo
Hair: A Cut Above, Shonda Terry
Kafi and Adrian, watching the two of you on your wedding day made my heart sing. I wish the two of you nothing but the best in life.