Tag Archives: weddings

A nation of foodies!

I attended a wedding with my aunt and uncle a few weeks ago in Lagos. After a few hours, I commented to my aunt that I had noticed that at Nigerian parties, there is constant flow of different kinds of food. She replied saying, “Yes, without it, a party would be boring.” I said “Well, let me prepare you, when you come for my wedding in London, there wont be this much food” To which she replied, “Even if I have to bring a caterer from Nigeria for your wedding, there must be a constant flow of food.” I laughed then but it got me thinking.


Truly, at parties in Nigeria, food and drink pretty much makes the event. Let me give you the breakdown

-As guests arrive and are seated, they are immediately given bottles of water
-Following that, waiters start to take orders, and plates of food are distributed
-Then soft drinks like coke, fanta, sprite and malt start to make the rounds
-If alcohol is being served, bottles of wine, beer etc also come round.
-After the main meal, dessert follows – all types of milky, creamy goodness
-Then smaller plates of small chops begin their rounds – think puff puff samosas, spring rolls and musa
-Not long after that, cocktails begin to go round – chapman, pina colada, fruit punch etc
-Somewhere down the line, food like ofada rice, tuwo, amala begin to go round
-By now, champagne would have made an appearance on some guest tables
-Asun and/or pepper soup, fish and chips, BBQ chicken and chips will also be introduced into the mix (chips can be swapped with fried yam or plantain)
-Meanwhile, drinks continue to flow
-I even saw an exotic dish of salad with meat on skewers, king prawns and ribs served at a recent reception

So there you have it folks; Nigerian weddings are what people have in mind when they talk of ‘feasting’. In order to make this ‘feast’ a success and please this nation of foodies, a great amount of planning and coordination is required. From an event coordinator’s point of view, here is my experience of what is required for the feast.

1) Experience of vendors – the kind of feast I have described requires fast service. Guests at Nigerian weddings wont accept that the caterer is still frying or plating up, they want service NOW. So be clear that a particular vendor can deliver this for you before you engage them.

2) Ensure vendors attend a vendors meeting at the venue at the latest the week before the wedding – here you brief them on the wedding details, guest numbers, numbers they are specifically catering for, colours, expected arrival times etc

3) Arrive early on the morning of the wedding (7am) to receive your vendors

4) Allocate different spaces to vendors inside the venue and outside. We’ve talked about a large variety of foods meaning lots of food vendors, ensure those serving larger numbers of guests, and earlier are given more prominent/closer places.

5) If vendors are being placed outside, consider canopies being erected to protect them and the food from the elements.

6) It is essential to having running water as invariably there will be a need for caterers to wash dishes, cups and cutlery at some point during the wedding.

7) During the event, various coordinators have to be put in charge of the various food vendors, so that the distribution of food is kept under control and things don’t run out too early. For example, if a caterer has been commissioned to do small chops for 300 guests. They should ideally start by frying for 150 guests so that they have more for later.

8) And finally, prepare for the attitude you will invariably get when you tell some guests that certain foods are no longer available or not immediately available.

There you have it, a coordinator’s helpful guide to serving and pleasing what I can only describe as a nation of foodies.


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Moodboard Monday…Simply Kayo 2012 in pictures

Hello darlings

So we’re cheating a little this week. Our inspiration is more of a theme than one particular item. Here’s a very condensed view of Simply Kayo’s events last year. Lovely couples, amazing venues and talented suppliers. Let us know what you think of this moodboard.

Simply Kayo 2012 in Pics

Fikayo x


Adebayo Deru

Atunbi Photography

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Guest Post: Top Tips for planning your luxury wedding abroad

Simply Kayo loves to plan exceptional events in exceptional venues. We absolutely loved this film set in Dubai.

But aside from the glamour of the occasion we need to bare in mind some tips for getting married abroad.

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and get married abroad – either at short notice or next year then there are a few things you should be aware of first. That’s why we’ve pulled together our top 10 tips for getting married abroad…

1) First of all, do your homework before you go and get your travel agent to shop around for the best deals and destinations for what you have in mind. There are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming but he or she can advise. You might even choose to go with a wedding specialist but bear in mind that this will almost certainly be more expensive than planning everything yourself.

2) Think about hiring a wedding co-ordinator if your chosen resort doesn’t have one. Your co-ordinator can sort out all those special little touches and iron out any issues. He or she can help to organise the necessary legal paperwork before and after so that you don’t have to. It always helps to have someone who speaks the language on-board too.

But, again, just be aware of the costs involved. Some resorts offer a bespoke service just to input when you need them to and this idea is more likely to keep their fee to a minimum. If you’re leaving the marriage license up to them, make sure it’s definitely in their remit and don’t leave it to chance. Also consider that, if you’re hiring an off-site co-ordinator, they will usually need a couple of months’ notice.

3) Hire a translator for your ceremony – it’s a requirement for many places anyway. Sometimes your wedding co-ordinator will be able to do this as part of his or her role.

4) Invest in a specific wedding dress suitcase to protect your clothes during transit.

5) Don’t worry too much about your guests – just give them the date and time of the wedding, where you are staying and a few overnight suggestions before leaving them to it.

6) Don’t sweat the small stuff – invest in a sweat shield undershirt for the groom to withstand the heat. He’ll perspire less and feel better too.

7) Don’t forget your insurance. Find a policy which covers you best and pay the premium. You don’t want to end up stuck at the airport and entitled to nothing.

8) Talk to your travel agent or do some online research to find out whether or not you require a Visa – most good agents will be able to sort this out for you.

9) Instead of trying to arrange music while you’re overseas, compile a CD with favourite songs that will last the duration of the ceremony or reception.

10) Remember to find out about things like minimum residency requirements for getting married at certain places, such as chapels and public or private parks.

And one final thing! Don’t forget to change some currency before you travel!

By Linda Hamilton

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Top 5 Things to do once you’ve said “I Do”

Hello all

Being that it’s Valentine’s week, some romantic guys out there may have popped the question (congratulations :-D). If you find yourself newly engaged after Valentine’s day, here are some helpful tips on the Top 5 Thing you need to do to ease you into bride-to-be mode.

1) Tell your loved ones – no doubt you will be overjoyed to have your rock so do share that wonderful news with those closest to you


2) Set a budget – it is very important to know what you are working with so you know the scale of the wedding and what you can and can’t do


3) Set a date – this will allow you to plan your time


4) Create a timeline – this will give you a detailed breakdown of what needs to be done and when, all to help create that gorgeous day you want


5) Get a team of people you trust to help you – as they say “man is not an island” and you definitely cannot do it alone. Be it hiring a professional wedding planner or enlisting the help of organised friends and family, get a team on board.

I hope our 5 Top tips are useful for you and don’t forget to enjoy your planning period.

Fikayo x

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Simply Kayo’s Top 13 Wedding Trends for 2013 featured in Mimi Magazine

Mimi Magazine promotes soul, substance and style. It is described as ‘a voice for African women’ and we are proud to be featured in the Editor’s blog


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Guest Post: 10 top tips for organising a great surprise party

Ifeoma-Jerome1117-650x433Need help planning a surprise party? Here are 10 top tips for organising a great celebratory event.

1. Speak to the friends of the person you’re throwing a party for. Ask them what they think about the idea of throwing a party and get a couple of them to help you with the planning. Two heads are better than one.

2. Make a list of everyone you’d like to be there and make a rough estimate of how many would be likely to make it. That figure could be tricky to predict if you’re working at limited notice.

3. Think about the location of the party and whether you want the party to be at someone’s house or an booked venue. If it’s going to the be the latter option, which may be more suitable for bigger guest numbers, you’ll need to decide what are you will be looking at and how many people (as per point 2) you need it to accommodate.

4. Think about whether you want food at the party. You may need external catering or the venue you are going to may be able to provide it for you.

5. Based on the number of people who are coming, what part of town the party you’d like the town to be in and whether you need food, you should now have a good criteria for choosing a possible venue.

6. Speak to the venue and confirm that they have availability on the days you have in mind and can meet your requirements. You may want to be flexible with those criteria to get the best venue. Each venue may have a different method of charging. Some will charge per head, some for the room and others will let you have a room if you can guarantee a certain amount of takings behind the bar.

7. Book up the venue and start inviting people. Be more formal with the invites for a more definitive idea of numbers and if there’s time. Otherwise, do a ring around and email. Be prepared to pester people if necessary and make sure they all know it is a surprise party. You don’t the guest of honour being tipped off!

8. Make sure the guests know what the policy is with regards to presents. You don’t want some bringing gifts and others not. They’ll only blame you if they feel foolish.

9. Consider the most plausible explanation for why you are taking the guest to that venue on that day. If you are going to a bar or restaurant, why not come up with fake plans about meeting one or two other friends there to mark the occasion…ie, their birthday.

10. Depending on how surprised you want them to be, you may want to be quite elaborate with how you reveal the party to them. This could include turning off the lights or getting guests to hide. Either way, I think the least they can do is yell ‘Surprise!’.

If you want to throw the party at a bar in London, make sure you find somewhere that meets all your criteria, such as with the food and capacity. Make sure you choose the best party venue London has to offer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_Berry-Smith

By Robert Berry Smith

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Event Supplier Profile: Delights by Cynthia

The Simply Kayo team has had the good fortune to sample some of Cynthia’s Delights and we can safely say that they are indeed DELIGHTFUL. Here we profile this talented cake creator and baker and find out her inspiration.

LOVE Cake Blue backgroundWhat inspired you to start your business?

It started as a love and a passion for baking (I also have a very sweet tooth).  I started off baking cakes and desserts for family and friends.  Several people commented that I should consider going into business.  I looked at my skills, work experience and knowledge and realised that I had what it takes to run a business. I started the business in 2005 and have never looked back.  Delights by Cynthia is a fantastic opportunity to pool together the things I’m good at and to be creative.


Favourite client experiences

I made a wedding cake for a Nigerian and Iranian couple.  Before cutting the cake, it is an Iranian tradition that all the single ladies dance with the knife, around the cake, before handing the knife to the bride to finally cut the cake.  I was also invited to the wedding, so I was delighted to see my cake in action…Iranians know how to party and have a good time.


Delights by C2Another memorable story behind a cake was for a young man ordered a cake for his homesick girlfriend.  It was a post-box with the words ‘you’ve got mail’ on the board.  He presented her with the cake, with letters from her family back home in Cyprus, which he’d been collecting for weeks…Very romantic.


I made a cake for a girl who had recently been adopted.  The cake was for a blessing for the girl and to welcome her into her new family…It’s such a joy to be part of some memorable occasions.


What advice would you give someone starting up in your industry?

Be professional from the word go.  There is a very fine line between being someone who ‘makes cakes for friends’, and a professional cake maker.  Look at all the legal requirements you might need before you start trading (health and safety and insurance).  When you are making a cake for a special event and someone has chosen to pay for a bespoke cake, you must provide an excellent service; from initial contact, right through to the delivery of the cake.  Know your market and your customers; and what their expectation of your business is.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


What are your long term goals?

Delights by CTo open a cake shop of sorts.  It will be fully fledged premises with an enticing shop front…I won’t give away too much at the moment.  Sometime this year I will be running some classes…but with a difference, so watch this space.


What events do you particularly enjoy supplying cakes for?

I enjoy creating cakes for ‘special birthdays’- where the cake is centre stage at the celebration; or when the cake is a surprise for someone…I’m good at keeping a secret.  Wedding cakes are wonderful to make and great celebrations to be part of.  I enjoy working with couples who don’t want a conventional wedding cake, but are looking for something contemporary, with their personality stamped on the cake.  And of course baby shower cakes are lovely to make…

 015_cupcakes_158_online_ - Delights By Cynthia


Contact details:


Delights by Cynthia

T: 020 7278 6872


Follow us on Twitter at Delightsbyc

‘Like’ us on Facebook

Read our blog 


Delights by Cynthia satisfy the desires of the sweetest tooth; creating premier cakes and cupcakes for birthdays, weddings, celebrations and corporate events.



We take pride in the fact that their cakes are bespoke and baked to order.  Delights by Cynthia use the finest, fresh ingredients; using free-range eggs, fair-trade and organic chocolate and fruit wherever possible.  It is a pleasure for Delights by Cynthia to provide our customers with superb quality and service; this is done with a spirit of excellence.


Delights by Cynthia is owned by Cynthia Akinsanya.  She has been nominated for the Business Mums Award 2011 by Mumsclub and the Business Woman of the Year for the Women4Africa Awards UK.


For more information about the Delights by Cynthia cake and cupcake collection, please call 020 7278 6872 or visit the website at www.delightsbycynthia.com




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