The Willow

The Willow

So I decided to officially start my own wedding and event planning company in August of 2017. After moving to Maryland to begin my new chapter, I decided it was time to step out in faith and do something big. Planning had always been a passion of mine, so why not get paid to do it, I thought. The thing is, when I moved here, I was scared to step out. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Maryland Wedding Industry, it is supersaturated with Nigerian wedding planners. I didn’t want to become another Nigerian planner. I knew I wanted to do something different but I didn’t know how to separate myself.

I remember doing research on all the planners in Maryland and it just seemed like there were a million and one already here. How do I stand out, what makes me different, why would people want to work with someone with no website, no clients, no Instagram, no reviews and frankly no experience in Maryland? All these horrid thoughts crowded my head but I was sure that this is what God wanted me to do. I began looking for people to shadow and intern with hoping someone would want free help, at the end of the day I had 4 years experience planning and running weddings, so why would they say no? Fortunately for me, all I received was no after no after no. Why fortunately, well it was God’s way of telling me to be bold and courageous and not to be afraid. He was telling me that I didn’t have to hide under the covering of someone else’s business because He will support me and help me build mine.

Now it was time to create a business… what will the name be? I tried to come up with names but nothing seemed right. I even went as far as to recruit family and friends and bribe my little cousins with a share of a no-name business if they came up with great name. All those efforts yielded nothing….Nothing! I remember one day while praying, I knelt down on the floor in the room and said “God i will not leave this spot until you give me a name”, I guess it was my little version of Jacob wrestling with God. A few minutes later I heard very clearly “Willow“. I remember thinking… “huh, Willow…? Like Willow Smith? God what is a willow?” It sounded so weird but it was just perfect, well compared to my previous idea of Sashey’s Soirees , LOL.

So why Willow? Well, I googled Willow I found, “slender, graceful, resilient, determined, courageous and beautiful”. All words that I hoped to God defined me… well slender maybe if i keep going to the gym, but the rest just seemed so perfect. It was like God was encouraging me to become more like a Willow. The next day I spoke to my Aunt who said Willow… that’s perfect you can name your event center The Willow and I laughed because i knew this is a dream that God placed on my heart and I am excited to see it happen.

So where is Willow now and how is it going? In the 5 months The Willow has been alive, I have booked 4 weddings. Can somebody say GOD IS FAITHFUL!!! With no reviews, no brochures, no pictures, no MD experience, no nothing… God continues to show himself. He has shown me that all it takes is a little faith

Join me on my wedding journey… follow @thewillowevents

Lots of Love!

-MzB

 

For wedding planning inquiries…click here!

info@thewillowevents.com

240-389-3164.

 

Valentines Day…What’s that?

Valentines Day…What’s that?

Valentine’s day… what’s that? Not only have I never had a Valentine, in the many years that I have been alive, I have only celebrated Valentines day once.. thanks to my awesome college roomies in 2011.

You see in my home, Valentines day was not Valentines day that the world has grown to obsess over. It wasn’t a day I spent out with bae or being all romantical with a guy who claimed to love me. In actuality it took me a while to understand why people were acting so crazy when this day was not about them but it was actually about my parents. For the past 27 years, Valentines day has been my parents anniversary and that’s what I have always known it to be and celebrated. It is the day I get to celebrate the awesome marriage my parents have displayed in front of me my whole life. Not only do they showcase what a Godly happy marriage should be like on this day, they display it every single day. Don’t get me wrong, no marriage is perfect, but these two awesome people I get to call my parents have shown me what God wants marriage to look like. They have shown me how to forgive, how to be humble, how to serve, how to love and how to embody Christ in your marriage.

Until recently, I did not know how blessed I am to have parents who don’t fight in front of you, parents who pray for you, parents who want to ensure that the love  between each and every single member of the family is unbroken. I didn’t know that this was not the norm until I started talking to other people about growing up and how their parents were. You see for me, waking up everyday at 6 am for family devotion is normal. Talking to your parents about life and relationships is normal. Laughing and acting a damn fool in the house is normal. Little did I know that all these “normal” things are blessings from God and not to be taken for granted.

For many of us, the relationship we see between our parents has a huge impact on how we see and define relationships for ourselves in the future. The picture of love and marriage that my parents have chosen to paint for my siblings and I is one that has molded and shaped my thinking about what my future marriage should look like. It has helped me to be excited to have devotion with my children and husband and ensure there is always laughter in my home. It has given me a positive image of a happy marriage, one that I am grateful to God for.

So on this Valentines day.. aka my parents wedding anniversary, I say to married couples, be careful what picture you are painting for your children. Be the example of what a godly marriage should look like every single day and not just one day a year. Your children are always watching and most learned habits are unspoken. To single people, whatever you have been through is not your fault. Learn to forgive your parents; They can only pour out of what they were given.  Let God heal you by letting go of all your hurt. Your past hurts are not an indication of what your future will look like.

And finally to my parents…thank you mommy and daddy for showing me what love looks like everyday and not just on February 14th. 

Happy 31st Anniversary. I wish you many more!

Happy birthday to my baby bro, Valentine 😜!

-MzB

Waiting Sucks!

Waiting Sucks!

Who do you talk to?? When you need advice, when you have doubts, when you feel really low or really down, who is that person in your life that makes it all feel better? Who encourages you, who scolds and checks you, who guides you in life? Who prays for you, keeps you accountable and challenges you? Who is your mentor?

Well, for the first 25.5 years of my life, I didn’t have a mentor. I didn’t have anyone that I felt accountable to. I walked through life making decisions based on how I felt and what I thought would benefit me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was being selfish.. at least I hope I wasn’t, but I didn’t feel like my actions or decisions would let any one down… well besides God I guess. Having a mentor or some one to guide me and hold me accountable was something I had wanted for a while but it just didn’t happened.

After graduating from college, I moved back home with no job and no idea where my life was headed. It was difficult to be optimistic, but thank God for family and praying parents. After a few months at home, I eventually got a job. Throughout my 4 years of living at home and working, it seemed like God was teasing me with “mentors”. He would bring certain people into my life for the specific times and situations I was going through, but then they would either move or sort of fade away.  It was a bit strange but somehow God was always looking out for me.

At the beginning of every year I would ask God to bring me a mentor, but He just wouldn’t listen, lol… talk about frustrating but He was teaching me to be patient, little did I know that the worlds bestest mentor aka my Big Seester was right around the corner.

Not only is my mentor beyond amazing, she is everything I prayed for and more. I had always wondered what my relationship with my potential mentor would be like and what we would do or talk about. Would the person be old or young, male or female, Nigerian or not, tall or short, emotional, crazy, loud, friendly, shy, lover of God? Well not only did God exceed my expectations in every way, sometimes i feel like she loves me more than I love me.

Looking back on the last year, I can’t help but be extremely grateful to God. This past year with my mentor has taught me that God gives perfect Gifts and although the waiting period absolutely sucks sometimes, its most definitely worth it in the end. He gives gifts that add no sorrow. Because His ways are nothing like our ways, ideas or dreams, count on him to exceed your expectations always. Patience is a virtue because it is not easy to be patient, but after waiting for a while for something, you learn to appreciate it even more when you get it.

No, I don’t want to just brag about the awesomeness of my mentor, lol, I want to encourage you that although waiting on God or anything is not the easiest thing, what is on the other side of your wait will be more amazing than you can imagine. I know how long I prayed for a mentor and God responded at the perfect time with the perfect person. So don’t give up, don’t let go, just wait and be patient and I can say whole-heartedly that what you are waiting for will blow you away at the right time, if God is in it!

Also, no man is an island. Get yourself a mentor. Navigating life on your own with no one guiding you or keeping you accountable is not wise. Proverbs 20:18 says “Plans succeed with good counsel, don’t go to war without advice.”

Prayer of encouragement- “God keep me firm on faith during my wait”

Lots of Love

MzB