Tag Archives: wedding

The Wedding Cake And Champagne Toast

By: Awuradjoa Quansema Sam (Mz Raj) – Professional MC/Voice Talent

At wedding receptions, guests are always excited to see that delectable tiered wedding cake being cut and tasted as well as the popping and toasting of the sparkling fizzy champagne or wine. They are wedding rituals greatly anticipated by guests, but do we know what they symbolize?

The Wedding Cake

It is mostly believed that a wedding is not a wedding without the wedding cake. The cake cutting is symbolically, the first task that the bride and groom perform jointly as husband and wife and it reflects the life they will share as a couple.

Together, the couple cut through the cake after which the groom will feed his bride with a piece of the cake and the bride does same before distributing it to the guests. For weddings I have emceed and possibly, almost all wedding receptions held in Ghana and some other parts of the continent, the couple is assisted by their mothers or some other women who are of high repute and have been married for so many years, so they can serve as example to them.The cake cutting by the couple symbolizes their union, their care for each other and their commitment to provide for each other. It also signifies good luck and fortune for the guests.

The Champagne ToastThe toasting and drinking of champagne to mark celebrations is said to be a long held tradition and was viewed as a status symbol.

At wedding receptions, the champagne toast is done to wish the newlywed the best of health and good luck. It is usually done before or after the cutting of the cake. After the bottles are popped, the glasses of the couple are filled, followed by the wedding party, the couple’s parents and all guests present. Then the Bestman, standing before the audience, holds up his wine glass in his right hand to signify friendship and peace. He gives a short speech of hopeful wishes, inspiration or advise to the couple. The Groom responds to the toast with a few words to his Bride and a word of appreciation to their parents, the wedding party and all present, following which the first sip of the wine is taken by All to express a collective feeling of joy.Sometimes, the parents of the couple and other guests take turns to express their felicitations after the Bestman.

So, next time you attend a wedding or if you are planning your own wedding, you won’t just participate in these two popular wedding traditions but you would do so with meaning.

What are your thoughts on the wedding cake and the toast? Comment below and don’t forget to share.


PhotosPinhole_Xpressions(www.instagram.com/pinhole_xpressions)
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The Magic of A WhatsApp Dp (The Agyepongs)

It’s been a while since I shared some highlights on events I have hosted, as I shifted focus towards guest blogs and features on Entrepreneurship & Financial Tit-bits, as well as Entertainment in the past weeks.

Well, we are back on track and today, I present to you a feature on the marriage ceremony of #rajcouple Michael  and Hilda Agyepong.  It’s a delayed post of about 3 weeks (forgive me😊) and those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram may have already fed your eyes with some photos from the events. It’s a long narrative but I hope you’ll enjoy reading and viewing the beautiful shots as captured by Pinhole_Xpressions.

Their Love Story…..

Do you believe in love at first sight? Well, Michael does and moreso, virtually. It all began with a whatsapp dp. Yes, Hilda’s photo as display picture on her friend, Alex, whatsapp in commemoration of her birthday. Michael, also a friend of Alex sees the photo of this damsel and it’s a jackpot!!! Here we are today, about a year and half later, with Mr. and Mrs. Agyepong.The Magical Whatsapp dp

The Surprise Bridal Shower…..
I was not only tipped as the official MC for the Wedding Reception but I also actively participated in planning the events, which involved not just anybody, but a bride-to-be who is more of a sister than a friend or client. Together with 7 other friends; Edna, Jemima, Priscilla, Adzo, Ruth, Stella and Aggie, we pulled off a surprise Bridal Shower for the bride, with our Chief Conspirator being the groom-to-be. It was so much fun, the following pictures can tell the story better…….

The Engagement……

Marriage Ceremonies in Ghana are never complete without the Traditional Marriage rites popularly known as Engagement. On Monday May 1, 2017, the city of Abelemkpe in Accra came to a standstill with a well-attended and colourful red and white-themed Engagement Ceremony. After all the initial introductions of families and presentations, it was time to see the groom. Clad in a beautiful Fathia Fata Nkrumah kente cloth, the groom was ushered unto the premises with Ohemaa Mercy’s Aseda, in the company of an entourage of gentlemen, majority clothed in white.Then it was time to see the bride…the Angel who’s got Michael’s heart beating so fast. Wearing a silver with red and gold embellished beaded kente gown, the bride arrived at the grounds flanked by a bevy of beauties (my humble self inclusive😊) in white apparel and red turbans, chereographing to Eben’s Victory song. The entire ceremony was a sight to behold and just before I forget, the two elderly women “Akyeame” (linguists/local MCs) were so on point!The Akyeames at work 

The Wedding…..
The divine, unique and subtle champagne, brown and red themed wedding ceremony was held at the Ghana Police Church in Accra on Saturday, May 6, 2017. 

This was followed by a well organised and coordinated reception at the Log Base at Burma Camp. Yours truly, #theversatileemcee and #ladyonthemic Mz_Raj…. I was in full control of the mic. As part of the asides for the day, the bride dared to do the reverse of the spot your wife challenge by spotting her husband. The performances and presentations by the Krobo Girls Old Students Association (KOGA) and the Old Boys of the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School where the bride and groom respectively belong, is just unforgettable. It was also a delight working with the wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) on a few weddding games and an exciting dance battle.

To the newly weds, Congratulations! I pray for God’s blessings in your marriage.

And finally, to all vendors, you were super!

List of Vendors

Bridal Shower

  • Accessories- Raeem Bridal Stuff & Swoon Bridal Wear
  • Cake- Luscious Treats
  • Finger Foods: Silver Refined Foods
  • Photography: Pinhole_Xpressions

Engagement & Wedding

  • Photo/Video: Pinhole_Xpressions
  • Decor/Set up: Royal Settings
  • MUAs: Beauty by Teby & Na_Cole
  • Kente Gown: Priscyant Wear
  • Hair fixing/styling: Revup Salon Gh
  • Bridesmaids Turbans: Balkyzz
  • Bridesmaids Fascinators: A Touch By Gloo
  • Bride’s Gown: Xclusiv Bridals
  • Groom’s Suit: Royal Suits Gh
  • Favours: The Favourhub Gh
  • MC: Mz_Raj (@mz_raj.gh)


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The Versatility Test: An Encounter With Sadiq And Najat

With my tagline #Theversatileemcee, I seek to explore more opportunities and embrace new challenges in events hosting, but little did I know that my versatility would soon be put to a test through an encounter with my latest couple, Sadiq and Najat.

Their Love Story: In 2014, Sadiq Abubakar Seidu, a young professional and graduate of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), met his lovely bride, Najat Yusif, then a student of the University of Ghana through a mutual friend. That was the begining of a beautiful friendship which has resulted in marriage after 3 years.

The Test: I had attended an Islamic marriage reception only once in 2013 and did not pay much attention to the proceedings.
But here I was, hired to officiate one on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Top Venue, Adenta. The couple initially prefered a Hausa-speaking MC and their planner had earlier called to ask if I could speak Hausa and it was a BIG NO. I knew that gig was not for me and I made attempts to recommend any colleague MC well versed in the language. However, after a phone conversation with the bride and a meeting with the groom and planner on Friday evening to finalize photography and video arrangements (https://www.facebook.com/PinholeXpressions/),  I left the meeting grounds as a Co-MC for the big day. Then on Saturday night, the groom calls and says, “Raj you’re handling the show alone.” Wow! I don’t know what informed their decision; perhaps, the actualization of Steve Martin’s “be so good they can’t ignore you.”

It was a mixed feeling- I was excited because I had another opportunity to serve and do what I’m passionate about but I also thought of it as a challenge, considering that I was going to address a different kind of audience, the majority whose language I could not speak nor understand. I also had less than 24hours to get myself ready. But I was not puturbed. I said to myself “this is a test of  your versatility….. Mz Raj, be yourself and give it your best shot!” Besides, “The will of God will never lead you to where His Grace cannot keep you”.

The day was finally here and interestingly, my perceived challenge was not insurmountable. I rocked the mic in confidence and style and it got easier and more fun working with a wonderful couple and audience who were very accommodating and easily moved with the flow. English and Akan (Twi) carried the day, but not without “As-Salaam-Alaikum” in my opening sentence. 😉

The beautiful thing about the reception was that, it had all the features of a standard wedding reception with a fusion of Islamic wedding traditions such as the frequent change of outfits accompanied by several dance moments by the couple. It was a learning experience for me; there was a lot of merrymaking and the sudden change in whether did not deter the couple, the guests and myself from turning up.

At the end of the day, it was very clear that indeed I had been put to a test, but I passed and resolved that I have not met my greatest challenge yet. By Grace, I get better everyday!

Photo Credit : Pinhole_Xpressions

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WEDDING RECEPTION GAMES- YAY OR NAY?

By: Awuradjoa Quansema Sam (Mz Raj) -Professional MC/ Voice Talent
People are divided on the issue of playing games at wedding receptions. While some find wedding games entertaining, those on the other side of the divide feel weddings are enjoyable by themselves and so there’s no need adding on extra activities and games. Some even argue that such games could be embarrassing. Whichever side you are on, you may be right! I have hosted wedding receptions where the couple and I agreed to play some games and others where there were no games at all, but were still fun. Your wedding day is your special day, you are unique and your wedding should be customized to suit your taste and preferences. What matters is your happiness and that of your guests.
Usually, the major form of entertainment at wedding receptions is music. Some folks may find such a reception very boring, especially if they don’t love to dance. In such a situation and if you belong to the second school of thought, you may not want to play games per se but inculcate other fun activities so not to make your reception mundane. That is why it is important to hire a Professional MC, who will plan the reception with you, consider the calibre of guests that would be in attendance and suggest ideas that would make each guest feel special and involved. You could do more music and dance, some comedy or hilarious wedding-related pieces by the MC or a Professional comedian, Poet or Spoken Word Artist or even, surprise Artiste performances, choreography, among others.
On the other hand, if you are a fan of wedding games, you and your MC can agree on a number of games to play at your wedding reception. Ones, which your guests will enjoy. Note however, that, too many games in just one event can drag it unnecessarily, especially if there already are a lot of items on the running order. For most receptions I have officiated, I have played not more than 2 games in one event. I believe just one or two interesting short games will do the magic! In playing wedding games, my focus as MC is usually to create a merry atmosphere and as much as possible, involve the hosts (couple), guests, bridal party, all functionaries and vendors present in the event, without losing focus of the most important activities of the day.
Wedding games are icebreakers and also come in handy to shield any delays or unforeseen circumstances as they occur. If you enjoy wedding games and probably thinking of playing one at your wedding reception, below are a few you can choose from.
The Shoe Game: This a very common wedding game, intended to find out how well the couple know each other. All that is needed for this game to be played is two chairs (positioned back to back) and your shoes. You take off your shoes and switch one with your partner, therefore; the groom holds one of his shoes and that of the bride and vice versa and you take your positions on the two chairs. The MC then asks a series of questions about the couple. For example, who is more romantic? When you’re asked a question, you raise your partner’s shoes if it best represents or describes them or your shoes if it best describes you. The interesting bit about this game is that, you can’t see your spouse and so you’ll have no idea if your answers are the same, although reactions from the guests can give a clue.
photogrid_1467135438244                                       The Shoe Game
Charades: This can be simply put in the Ghanaian context as “Pick and Act”. A single person would act out an idea,  phrase or sentence (usually provided by the MC) while the other person or rest of the group will guess. The charade is done without speech, but gestures and sometimes, mimes. Many times, I have not engaged only the couple in this game; but also the bridal party, by pitching the groomsmen against the bridesmaids and sometimes, the guests. At the end of the day, the winning team is declared.
photogrid_1477954799107                                        Charade
Spot Your Wife: Some couples are not comfortable playing this game. The reason being, “what if I choose the wrong woman?” For the few who have dared to play, it is very interesting and the guests love it too. In this game, the groom is blind-folded and is tasked to identify his wife from a queue of ladies. Some grooms use clues as their wives perfume or cologne, rings, height or body shape and the wedding gown, which obviously feels very different from all dresses worn by the other ladies in queue. When he chooses right, the aftermath is up to the couple on what they decide to do or what the MC suggests they do- hug, kiss, dance – whatever excites them. And what if he makes the wrong pick? Well, that will be unfortunate but something fun can still be created out of the situation. However, it appears most men are very smart and two grooms I have so far worked with on this game both got it right. But, on a second thought, should it always be “spot your wife”? I guess not as the tables can be turned for the bride to spot her husband…. simply, the “spot your spouse” game. I can’t wait to have a brave bride who would want to try this game.
photogrid_1477955119668                                    Spot your wife/Spouse Game
Clinking of Glasses: I was introduced to this game by a Canadian-based Ghanaian couple, whose reception I hosted in September this year, Nana Offei and Ernestina. They said it was very popular in Canada and some other parts of the world. They could not tell me exactly what the game was called, but I got the concept. After our planning meeting, I decided to read about the game and discovered it’s termed “clinking of glasses”. It’s simple, anytime during the reception, guests who would love to see the couple kiss would clink their drinking glasses with their cutlery and the MC, at his or her discretion, would heed to their calls and ask the couple to kiss, or sometimes, ignore. Trust me, it’s really fun and a sure way of getting your guests actively involved in the event. If you are not a shy couple, you might want to try this!
img-20160925-wa0060                Couple kissing during Clinking of Glasses
Garter Removal and Toss: The garter is a piece of clothing which a bride wears underneath her gown, usually on her thigh. Historically, there are various beliefs surrounding the garter, including it being a symbol of the newlyweds consummating their marriage, as well as bringing good luck to any of the guests who is able to rip it off the bride. Today, the removal of the garter is the sole preserve of the groom. In the course of the reception, the groom dances toward the bride (who would then be seated), buries his head beneath her gown and removes the garter. After the bride tosses the bouquet to the single ladies present, the groom tosses the garter to the bachelors. The man who catches the garter would then place the garter on the woman who caught the bouquet, believed to be a sign of good luck and the next in line to get married.
          Removal of Garter                                         Tossing of Bouquet
The list of wedding reception games is endless……… and you can also create one to spice up your big day if you are a lover of games but f you are not fond of wedding games, create your own kind of fun; weddings shouldn’t be boring. As an MC, I always say, your wedding is the biggest party you may ever have in your lifetime so it is important that you inject as much fun into it as possible –games or no games.
NB: All photos are from wedding receptions I have hosted or officiated
To Book Mz Raj to MC any social or Corporate Events and Pinhole Xpressions for photography/Video Services: Call/Whatsapp: 0244450156/0246312871
Photo Credit: Pinhole_Xpressions (http://www.instagram.com/pinhole_xpressions)
                           El Edem (Salt Photos)
                           Seth Appiah

Reliving The Love Story of Chris and Catherine

It was the morning of Saturday, 21st March, 2015 and as is often said, Saturdays are for weddings. Clad in a mid-length yellow polished-cotton and lace-infused dress accessorized with a purple and gold necklace – to match the colours of the event, (I love to wear the colors of almost every wedding I attend or at least, have a touch of it) I headed for the Praise Community Church at Adenta to witness and actively partake in the wedding ceremony of a young couple; Chris and Catherine (Kate).
Catherine, an intelligent and humble lady, was my mate back in Senior High School. We were not classmates, but course mates as we both studied General Arts and met a few times in class during common Elective lessons. We were not close pals, but from a distance, I really admired her and we were on very good terms too. After three years in High School, Catherine and I met again at the University of Ghana in August 2008 as “Freshers”. Coincidentally, we were residents of the same Hall (Akuafo Main) and more interestingly, we were only two rooms away from each other. We met often and talked quite often too, hence building a stronger relationship. It was therefore not surprising that when after our first year we had to seek off-campus accommodation due to the in-out-out-in system at Legon, we decided to move into the same room at Evandy Hostel, together with an old and good friend of ours, Edith (Naa Dedei), who you will meet in subsequent episodes. Evandy Hostel – that’s where I met Chris, Kate’s boyfriend, then a student at the Pentecost University College and a regular visitor to our room. We also had a fourth roomie, Sophia, then a first year student at IPS, now UPSA. We were roommates for two years, until we decided to move into separate rooms in our final year.
Fast-forward to 3rd March 2015, Kate sent me her wedding invitation via WhatsApp with the request “Awura, please be the Co-MC at my reception”. On receiving the message, I exclaimed in excitement, not only because she acknowledged my talent and honored me by requesting me to be the compẻre for her big day, but also, she was settling down with her sweetheart of about 7 years.
It was a beautiful wedding and to God’s glory, I hosted the reception with my Co-host, Jude Aboagye (now Pastor Jude), to the admiration of all. We were so easily connected and flowed so well as if we had met earlier to rehearse. The connection was just divine! And if our encounter had resulted in a love relationship, it would be best described with the cliché, “Love at first sight”. (That is just by the way, as he was happily married at the time and still is). I remember doing a solo ministration of Newlove Annan’s Your Grace and Mercy… rendered in three languages; English, Akan and Ga and everyone loved it! The Climax for me was when the Chairman for the occasion, Mr. Alex Boamah literally “doffed his hat” out for me for such great officiating skills and spoke blessings over my life.
I had plans of pursuing events hosting as a career someday, but this very wedding I officiated, is one event that motivated me the more to as soon as possible, make use of the great talents and positive energy God has blessed me with.
A year and five months gone by, Chris and Catherine, now Mr. and Mrs. Gakpo-Gabson have been blessed with an adorable baby girl and I look forward to attending the Christening soon.
This is one of the many weddings I have ever hosted on gratis. I did not receive a pay cheque, cash or any other form of physical reward and I sincerely did not expect anything in return for my services, especially at a time when events hosting for me, was just a hobby. But trust me, it was fulfilling and would do it for them over and over again.
For me as an MC, It’s a joy to be part of such a great love story which is still unfolding.