Events Trends With Debra-Jane

ETWDJ Background - 2015 I am popular with my #SocialMedia antics, clogging up your #Instagram ……. #Twitter …… #Facebook …… #GooglePlus …… timelines I #Blog on when the mood is right I post videos on my #YouTube Chanel when I have some video materials Now I am going to bring you #Tips on #EventStyling , #EventPlanning, #EventCoordination, #EventsTrends and other general #Events subjects worth discussing under the hashtag: #EventsTrendsWithDebraJane #ThinkMahogany #MahoganyEvents #MahoganyEventsByDebraJane #DebraJaneNelson  #ETWDJ


Some of you may have already heard of me,

Some of you may have seen a picture of me,

Some of you may have seen me in person,

Some of you may (unfortunately :)) know me.

Well whatever the case may be, here is a photo of me, which I harassed my neighbour Caleb, a photographer to take on one cloudy Sunday in my parents’ home in Accra. Caleb is one of the photographers from Team 1000 Words Photography but on his own, he is known as The Black Shutter.  You can check him out on Instagram.

I am not your expert, but I think experience has thought me a thing or two worth sharing. So! Let me “officially” introduce you to……


Like I mentioned earlier, this post is solely to highlight some of the DOs and DONTs, as well as give tips on Events Styling, Events Planning, Events Coordination, Events Trends ……. And all its goodies!

April 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : One

Moving away from heavily-styled event themes, is the new wave of event styling.

UnknownApril 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Two

Blue is the new black.  From dark indigo – royal blue to classic navy – dark blue is our favourite this month. It will be replacing black as the go-to colour for formal dinner looks and event styling. Blue adds a crips modern twist, a Hamptons-style nautical flavour to lunches, weddings and casual events when teamed with vintage glass and white washed timber elements. So step aside black, there is a new kid on the block! As you can see, I do like blue shoes 🙂

May 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Three

Less fabric drapping, more event lighting.

May 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Four

People like to share their event experiences on social media.  Once it s done, you can’t control its circulation. If you are up with the times, simply create a hashtag and share it with your vendors and guests so that at least you can see what pictures about your event have been posted by others (as long as they use the hashtag). If you don’t want any of your event photos on social media, tell all your vendors, and politely make a note on your event programs notifying your guests not to share the photos on social media. The event MC must also make this announcement intermitently.

June 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Five Table Name

The concept of seating guests based on their social connection is not anything new and will continue to be adopted where events hosts feel they need to seat their guests at particular tables. Question is, “do your guests want to be seated on particular tables? From experience, this is more of a restriction for your guests than keeping your social event orderly. If you invited a particular number of guests, you must ensure you have adequate seating for them. A seat should be vacant for them, whichever time they arrive.

June 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Six 

b7265e4f150ea3d35102d778249d58c1First it was “All Of Me” by John Legend,

then it became “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.

If your wedding is coming up soon, let’s set a new trend.

“Make It To Me” by Sam Smith

Check it out on You Tube

July 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Seven

When it is overly done, you don’t have the opportunity to admire anything in particular. When it comes to decor or event styling, less is more. That which is less complicated is often better understood and more appreciated than what is more complicated; simplicity is preferable to complexity.

July 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Eight

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One of my pet peeves at weddings is seeing Bridesmaids holding on to their phones.

As they elegantly walk down the aisle with the bouquet or stem of flower in their hands, you also see a phone.

Totally ruining the look, photograph and videograph.  A bride goes through the efforts for a perfect wedding and as elegantly dressed and made up as they are, they don’t realise how a small phone can ruin it.

Through out the event, they are on their phones.  Again, ruining photos and videos.  Missing the moments.

The worst of it all is when they are taking photos on their phone during the event.

Bridesmaids, there is a photographer and videographer hired for the job.  Focus on your job!

Recently I almost lost my mind when a maid of honour walked down the aisle, got to the top, turned around, pulled up her phone and started taking photos of the bride and her dad on as they walked down the aisle.  Now imagine that!

July 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Nine

mirror table 1This beautiful Mirrored Table setting was done by Decor Talk Ghana

last month and it surely wasn’t her first attempt at using mirrors for table settings.

In Ghana lately, it seems to be the way for table settings.

I visited the Joy FM Bridal fair yesterday and all the Decorators at the fair except for one had mirrored table settings at their exhibition booths.

How long will this trend last?

July 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Ten

Since Kim and Kanye West’s wedding, it seems like Flower Walls are the only way to go.

Most “known” decorators in Ghana lately like to find a way to incorporate a flower wall into their wedding decor.

May it be a natural flower wall, a paper flower wall or an artificial flower wall.

How long will this trend last?

kim's flower wall

July 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Eleven

Why do you as a guest feel you need to take a picture of the bridal party walking down the aisle?

The couple’s exchange of rings?

The couple’s first kiss?

The couple signing their marriage certificate?

The couple’s entrance into the reception?

The couple’s first dance?

Cutting of the cake?

Etc…… As a wedding guest, please note you look bad doing that!  It is not classy to say the least!

Yes, we all want to be part of the exciting moments but remember there are professional photographers and videographers hired for the job. And most of the time, you the guest, block these people and sometimes the couple miss those moments in their photo collection because you jumped in front of them with your iPad or Phone.

My team and I are labelled rude for not allowing guests to block the aisles, block other guests’ views and block the professional photographers and videographers during our coordination duty.  We are not being rude, we seek excellence in execution.

July 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twelve

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Look closely at this photograph of one of my weddings.

There is a woman bent to the floor with her purse open picking up money.

There is money sitting on the table to the left behind one of our staff dressed in red.

There is a man in a white suite and black bow tie behind with money in his hand.

At Nigerian weddings, the couple are usually have money thrown on them during their entrance to the reception or in moments where they are dancing.  This money is supposed to be picked up by designated people only and kept for the couple. BUT!

You will find guest jumping our of their seats to pick up this money.  As a guest, what does this say about you?

These moments are captured in photos and videos.  Do you want to be that guest seen to be running and jumping after the couple’s money?

Word of advise, when money is being sprayed, stay in your seat!  It is money for the couple, not the guests!

We see you, other guests see you, family members see you, other vendors see you. Its embarassing.

July 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirteen


You know you have amazing #Bridesmaids when they all come to the venue early to set up willingly after spending the entire day before helping with errands

In my entire time of doing weddings in Ghana, not once have bridesmaids rallied to the venue early to help out to make the bride feel at ease

Sometimes they pass by to dictate 
Sometimes they pass by to see and go and make unnecessary reports to the bride
Sometimes they pass by to comment on what they don’t know as they weren’t in the numerous meetings you have had with the bride
They are often the reason the bride is late because they take their sweet times to get ready as though it was their wedding day
The bride’s MAID means you are to help the bride out!
They don’t allow the make up artist or hair stylist to do their job because suddenly they know better than the professionals and will disrupt with dictations and comments
Some of them throw tantrums
Some make the bride upset
11141138_1001900186509772_2165327371171687127_nDear bridesmaids kindly think through the role before you accept to be a bridesmaid
Put all ego and emotions aside for that day
Do all you can to make the bride feel at ease and happy
It truly isn’t about you

And dear brides please chose your bridesmaids wisely!

One of our followers said: “bridesmaids are kept too idle in the round up to the wedding; if they understand their role in making the bride COMFORTABLE for the day, they will do as they are asked, not what they think the bride wants.  It is a 3 way communication system, that needs to be clearly defined at times of discussion…”

August 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Fourteen

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August 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Fifteen

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Getting Overwhelmed by Pinterest….I know, I know. You’ve got your whole wedding mapped out on Pinterest …. but all of its magical inspiration powers are kind of a double edged sword. A constant stream of ideas is great for getting you started, but it can also cause confusion and indecision if you aren’t careful. Once you’ve made up your mind on something, stick to it. You’re always going to find new ideas, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. A girl can only handle so many DIY projects.

Some of the DIY ideas don’t work and a lot of the things you see, especially with weddings, are from events with huge budgets. You can’t take a picture of a $500 centerpiece to your florist and ask her to recreate it for $50 … it’s just impossible.

August 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Sixteen

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August 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Seventeen

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Traditionally, you’ll ask your sisters to be bridesmaids (assuming you have any, and you’re at least relatively close) and also any future sisters-in-law.

Also, I’m all in favor of appointing a “man of honor” or having close guy friends in the bridal party.

Keep in mind that being in a bridal party can be expensive, so some people may decline your request. Sure, it’s disappointing, but try to be respectful of the fact that other people have budgets.

August 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Eighteen

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When it comes to the wedding party, it’s a nice gesture to allow everyone to bring a date — even for the single bridesmaids and groomsmen. You want to avoid singling out the single people.

August 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Nineteen

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September 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty

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I have coordinated weddings where the ceremony started before the bride and her maids arrived.

September 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty One

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September 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Two

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September 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Three

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September 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Four

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When you walk down the aisle at your wedding, walk with someone who loves you and supports your decision to marry your loved one. Enjoy the moment, and take time to absorb the conversation, the emotion, and even your surroundings, from attending guests to decor. Then you’ll feel at ease and at peace for the moment you’ll take your groom’s hand, say your vows, and begin your blessed marriage as a happy couple.

Having that many women match behind you is something new to me. And it is disgraceful how persistent they are in wanting to stand around outside waiting for the bride to arrive so that they follow her in. As a wedding coordinator, this is a big challenge I face. Even guests refuse to sit down and wait for the ceremony to begin. They want to stand outside the ceremony, waiting for the bride.

If you are one of the people who does this at weddings, or you know people who do this at weddings. Please help spread the news. Let us evolve into a classy way of having wedding ceremonies.

Of course, each bride is different. You have to find what best works for you, your family, and your fiance. But if you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few “walk down the aisle” options

If your father and mother are married and both are important to you: You love the idea of walking down the aisle with Dad. However, since Mom played a huge role in your life too, you don’t want her to feel like she’s not included or recognized in your wedding. Ask Mom how she wants to be involved. Does she want to walk you down the aisle? She may be completely content letting Dad walk you down the aisle since she’s involved in many separate, important roles in the wedding. But if you both feel that’s not enough, feel free to ask Mom to escort you down the aisle with Dad. With one parent on each arm, you’ll show your guests just how important both your parents are to you.

If you want your father to walk you down the aisle: You’ve always known Dad would walk you down the aisle. Now that special moment is coming quicker than you can imagine, and you can’t wait to share this special moment as father and daughter. When you walk together at your wedding, take small steps to take your time and soak in the moment. Share a few final words with Dad, who raised you, loved you, and is now letting you go for you to become the woman he always hoped you’d be. Even if you don’t remember what was said, you’ll remember the way you felt on your wedding day, arm-in-arm with Dad as he walked you to your groom.

If your parents and step parents equally important to you: Your parents are divorced, and both Mom and Dad have been remarried for years. You’ve always considered yourself lucky because you have two father figures–Dad and Step Dad–and both have always treated you like their own kid. Or you may have two mother figures. Since you love them both and want to show them your appreciation, you can ask both sets of parents to be involved in the wedding aisle walk. Have one of them walk you halfway. When you reach  halfway down the aisle, have the other parent(s) walk you the rest of the way and give your hand to your fiance. Also, if you have enough room in the aisle way, you can consider having one “father” figure on each arm the whole way.

If your father has passed away: You love your Dad, and you always envisioned him walking you down the aisle for your wedding day. Even if he isn’t physically present, you can include his memory in the ceremony. Ask your mom, uncle, grandparent, sister or brother. You may consider walking alone since no one can truly fill Dad or Mom’s shoes. Just remember it may be beneficial to have someone who loves you and supports you at your side for this big moment on your special day.

If your biological father wants to walk you down the aisle but your stepfather raised you: You see Dad once a year, if that, and frankly even those memories aren’t so great. On the other hand, your stepfather has been consistently there for you, Mom, and your siblings. You wish your step dad could walk you down the aisle, but Dad is getting pretty demanding. If he can’t walk you all the way, he won’t come to your wedding. As the bride, you deserve to make the decision of who will walk you, not to have it made for you. If you want both Dad and Step Dad to be involved, consider compromises, like having them both walk with you. This includes Dad but also honors your stepfather. However, if you’d regret having your biological father give you away, then you’ll have to talk with him. Calmly explain that you would love to have him in attendance at your wedding. However, you are the bride and you are the one with the right to decide who walks you down the aisle. If you have wholeheartedly chosen only your stepfather for your walk, don’t let family drama deter you. Hope for the best, and remember how happy you’ll be when you’re supported on your wedding day walk by the stepfather who has supported you every day of your life.

If your mother and/or extended family raised you: Dad has never been in the picture. Mom has raised you, and she did a pretty good job, if you do say so yourself. Now that you’re older, she’s become not just a mother, but also a good friend. Honor Mom by asking her to walk with you down the aisle. If you were raised by Mom’s family as a joint effort, consider asking extended family members. If you are close to your grandfather or an uncle, ask him to walk you down the aisle and give your hand to your groom. Don’t forget to think about your brother. If he has always been there for you, he might be honored to step up and fill these shoes. Whichever family member you choose for the aisle walk, they’ll all be there as guests to support your marriage.

If you are afraid of upsetting too many people by choosing the wrong person: You have no idea who to choose for your aisle walk. In the wake of your parents’ divorce, Mom’s family would take it as a personal affront if you to choose to walk with Dad. You considered asking your best friend who’s had your back since middle school, but he thinks it’s horridly inappropriate. Your brother is volunteering, but you haven’t been close in recent years. Rather than deal with this, you just want to throw your hands in the air and walk by yourself. While this may solve the problem, you don’t want to look back on your wedding with regrets. Talk with your groom, and decide together what would be appropriate and make you happy. Then find a way to make it happen. Easier said than done, I know. See how you can compromise and remind yourself that this is your wedding. While that doesn’t give you power to lord over others, it does give you the right to choose who you want to walk you down the aisle, whether it’s your father or your groom himself.

If you are getting remarried: Dad walked with you once, and he is willing to support you again. If you would like him to escort you down the aisle, then go for it! There’s nothing that says you can’t walk with him just because you haven’t been living under his roof for fifteen years. Enjoy this special moment with Dad. However, if you’ve grown apart from your parents, you’re also allowed to consider your options. If you have a son who’s old enough and mature, ask him if he would like to participate in your new marriage in this way. Either way, make sure that you and the person you’re walking with feels comfortable and proud to be walking down the wedding aisle arm-in-arm.

If you want to walk alone: You’ve been on your own for a long time, and there are no family members who you feel comfortable asking. Also, as an independent bride, you worry that leaning on someone else’ arm as you walk down the aisle shows you’re not self-sufficient. We’re all about beautiful brides with spirit. By carrying yourself to your fiance, you certainly can symbolize your independence as a woman as well as your choice, not anyone else’s decision, to join with your partner in marriage. However, I recommend walking down the aisle with someone not because I doubt what you’re made of. Rather, I know how special it is to have someone with you to share those moments and morally support you as you enter a new stage of life. If you’re walking alone, consider your motives, your family’s wishes, and your happiness with this decision. If you’re walking alone to dodge family drama, then consider compromises and ultimately choose what makes you feel the most happy and supported on your wedding day. However, if you’re confident about going solo and you can gather all the support you need by looking to the end of the aisle where your groom awaits, then step out and strut down that aisle on your own to your future husband. From that moment forward, you’ll never have to walk alone again.

How to Choose: Final Thoughts

As a bride, you can choose whatever you want for your walk down the aisle. Keep your family’s feelings in mind, and do your best to make sure all sides are pleased. But remember this is your wedding day. Don’t compromise your happiness. If family drama arises, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You’re the bride. You deserve to be happy on your wedding day.

October 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Five

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October 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Six

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October 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Seven

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November 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Eight

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November 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Twenty Nine

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November 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirty

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November 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirty One

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November 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirty Two

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December 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirty Three

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I have always wondered why people would contact us and say “my friend is getting married or my sister is getting married or my cousin is getting married and I would like to make enquiries on her behalf” and then later you find out it wasn’t her sister, cousin or friend’s wedding but her own wedding.
Like really?
Who cares?
Based on enquiries only, our statistics show that on an average there could be 20 Mahogany Weddings every Saturday of the year so what is with the “bride identity management crisis”?
I just can’t help but be irritated by this non ethical approach to wanting to build a business relationship with someone, if you can’t even start on an honest note.
My assistant once told me it is because maybe they don’t want anyone to know they are getting married.
Then I ask, what ever happened to confidentiality?
What makes people think as soon as they make an enquiry we will tell the world they are getting married!
News flash…. You aren’t the only one getting married in the world that day!
Can you imagine us putting our work aside and start focusing on spreading news that an enquiry was made 🤔🙄
Ok point is, it’s not that serious. It is ok to say you are enquiring for yourself!
Ok back to sipping on the Cranberry Juice 😒

December 2015, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirty Four

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January 2016, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirty Five


What are your thoughts on Wedding Trends these days?

February 2018, Events Trends With Debra-Jane : Thirty Six


I say “Pre-wedding photoshoots best portray the essence of the couple to its fullest. It gives them an intimate memorable experience which is often fun-filled and sets the tone for the wedding (not the marriage)”
Pre-wedding shoot – when the soon to be newlyweds head out with their photographer to a location of their choice to capture some romantic images that express their interest, talk about their journey as a couple and their excitement of their wedding day.
Essence – the indispensable quality of something, which determines its character.
There has been that question lingering about regarding the necessity of PRE-WEDDING PHOTO SHOOTS (these days).
I add these days because people often think it is something that only just begun happening because I guess they are now more exposed to it due to social media.
Then they ask. Is it necessary?
I answer, it’s a personal choice and people should not condemn those who decide to participate in pre-wedding photo shoots, no matter how extravagant or simple.
They are sure to cherish the moments later in time when these photos remind them of how it all started. They will surely bring a smile on their faces as years pass on and they will remember the time spent together.

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