Bree Bozeman (28) & Ben Ajayi (27)
MY BIG FAT NIGERIAN WEDDING
Location: Austin, TX
Wedding Date: September 6 & 7, 2019
Wedding Venue: Riverbend Church
Guest Count: 200
BIG BRIDAL SAYS: Do one wedding really well, instead of trying to pull off two.
WEDDICULOUS SAYS: Well, I prefer to order a half sandwich/cup of soup combo over having either one alone.
Bree & Ben's Story
Bree and Ben have been together for six years and are planning 2 epic weddings over two-days in September.
Ben's parents are very traditional and Bree's are divorced and non-traditional. While divorced, they still get along and have a good relationship.
Ben’s parents were born in Nigeria, and his mother is planning an over-the-top Nigerian wedding in addition to their “American wedding”. A Nigerian wedding is when two entire families join together as one. It is an all-out affair that is full of bright colors, toe-tapping music, and ancient traditions.
Nigerian weddings include lavish, custom-made clothing called Aso-Ebi which means “Family Clothes”. This is when family members of the couple, decide to wear identical colors and fabrics at an event to identify themselves. So at a Nigerian wedding you could differentiate the bride’s family from the groom’s family based on the colors and fabrics they’re wearing. Finally, no Nigerian wedding is complete without the traditional “Money Dance”, where the guests spray money of their own free will to show their happiness for the couple!
Bree and Ben both belonged to African American sororities and fraternities in college and met through Bree's sorority sister. Between the two, they have about 50 frat and sorority friends attending their wedding!
A Story - The Deep Dive
BACKSTORY: Bree has two maids of honor: her childhood best friend, Meghan, and her college best friend, Cheria. They've both been stressing Bree out, competing for her attention.
Cheria is incredibly threatened by Meghan’s history with Bree. She says she is Bree’s “true” best friend and “knows her better than anyone in the world.” She feels like she was born to be her Maid of Honor and hates that she has to share the title.
Meghan was brokenhearted and shocked when she heard she was sharing the MOH title with Cheria. She expected the MOH title to be her own and it has been difficult to share the responsibilities with Cheria. Bree thought the two women would work together and Bree is nervous that tensions will come to a head at the wedding and the events leading up to it. She desperately wants both ladies to learn to love each other and keep things cool.
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie would pull the co-MOHs aside and, with love, say, “Cut the drama because it's not about you. We are not burdening the bride with your jealousies.” Then, Jamie would help them come up with something they could do together -- collaborate on a joint collage of family photos -- to surprise the bride.
PAY OFF: Jamie gets Cheria and Meghan to start working together to make sure Bree’s wedding day goes off without a hitch!
B Story - The Hand Off
BACKSTORY: Bree is completely overwhelmed and out of the loop when it comes to the Nigerian wedding. Her parents are divorced and she’s just not very traditional. Ben’s mom, Queen, who is very traditional, is acting like it’s HER wedding! Queen is calling the shots on everything from wardrobe and food to the guest list. When it comes to Nigerian weddings, everyone is invited and Bree is particularly worried that she will arrive at her own wedding and won’t know half the faces in the crowd.
TASK & PROCESS: Bree needs Jamie’s help with Queen’s guest list. Jamie works with Queen to determine who she really wants at their wedding, pulling a full-on Mary Kondo, but with people, i.e. “Does Janice from your book club REALLY spark joy?” She also explains to Queen that “everyone has a place,” and helps her plan a fun off-shoot event for the rejected guests. “You cherish them, you miss them, but they have nothing to do with your son. Have a brunch!”
PAY OFF: Jamie convinces Queen to cut down her guest list from 200 to 50 of her closest friends!
Alternative Hand Off
BACKSTORY: Carson is Ben’s fraternity brother. He is Ben’s most wild (and slobby) friend and known for his “nasty pick-up lines.” Bree is nervous he will get too drunk and rowdy at the weddings and is unsure if she will even invite him to the wedding.
TASK & PROCESS:
In this hand off, Jamie implements a two-step approach to wrangling Carson.
1. Prep him.
2. Prep FOR him.
Jamie and Carson go to a bar, where she watches him in his element -- sees how he handles himself, what he says to women etc. Days later, when he is sober, she reviews the footage with Carson, pausing tape to point out questionable moments, where Carson has to then confront who is when he is wasted. At the wedding, Jamie alerts the bartender to Carson’s go-to drink. The bartender prepares a watered-down version of it and keeps it in a secret bottle behind the bar, to then regulate Carson’s intake throughout the night without him even knowing.
PAY OFF: Carson is invited to the wedding and behaves himself.
C Story - The Quick Fix
BACKSTORY: Bree’s dad has two left feet and absolutely no rhythm. He cannot dance to save his life! With dancing such an important part of a Nigerian wedding, Bree wants her father to step up his dancing game.
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie attends Nigerian dance classes with Bree’s father and, in realizing it’s actually quite arduous to learn, she pitches that they make up their own dance - whether it’s the electric slide or twerking or just a modeling strut! Jamie reminds the bride and her father that the “good” dancer at a wedding is always a little annoying anyway. Like… relax, Patrick Swayze. (RIP)
PAY OFF: Bree’s dad and Jamie perform a number at the wedding to present to Bree and Ben.
Queen 100% lives up to her name! She is hands down the Queen of the family and everyone knows it. She is calling the shots for the Nigerian wedding and won’t let anyone ruin her day. She is keeping her outfit a “surprise” and Bree is worried it’s going to be extremely ridiculous
Keeping with Nigerian customs, Queen is inviting all 200 of her closest friends. Bree has no idea who is on the guest list and is dreading being in a room of people she doesn’t know
Maid of Honor
Cheria is legit obsessed with Bree. She BEGGED to be her MOH and says this is the reason she was placed on this earth.
Cheria is known for her famous twerking. She says Ben’s family is so conservative and can’t handle her moves.
Cheria is very single, but doesn’t think any of Ben’s friends are man enough for her.
Maid of Honor
Megan is Bree’s childhood best friend. They were inseparable when they were little, but drifted apart a bit when Bree went to college.
Megan thinks Cheria is “crazy” and doesn’t understand why Bree is so close with her.
Carson is Ben’s most annoying friend. Bree genuinely can’t stand him and is questioning having him at the wedding.
Carson constantly uses cheesy pick-up lines on Bree’s friends and is hoping he’ll get lucky at the wedding.