On Saturday 10th June 2017, Forbes rated Africa’s richest woman Folorunsho Alakija staged a lavish mutli billion naira world class wedding for her son Folarin Alakija and his Iranian beauty Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar at one of the most expensive world heritage sites, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. Reportedly one of the most expensive weddings worldwide, estimated at over £5million, the Alakijas spared no cost to make the luxuriant wedding ceremony a very ostentatious event. The couple, who met few years ago, got engaged in Greece, and held their traditional engagement in Lagos few months back. The love birds looked resplendent in their pricey wedding apparel as they were ushered into the historic wedding venue Blenheim Palace which was transformed into a haven of roses, to an excited audience of select classy guests who witnessed the momentous celebration. The groom Folarin Alakija is the son of Africa’s richest woman Folorunsho & billionaire Modupe Alakija. He is an entrepreneur, investor and cinematographer while the bride Naza is Model & Marketing Consultant born into the family of businessman Mr. Khosro and Mrs Nooshin Ghaissarifar, who are from Iran but she lived a major part of her life in the United Kingdom and USA. She studied Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Manchester. The lavish wedding bash was one of the most magnificent fairy tale weddings held at the historic palace and was replete with first class vendors from all over the world. The event took place at a custom glass marquee with marble floors and gold initials of the couple. Planned by UK celebrity wedding planner, Sade Awe of The Bridal Circle, the structured glass marquee was constructed by popular Ascot Structures company in UK.The exquisite continental cuisine was provided by UK celebrity caterer Rhubarb while classic entertainment of music and Orchestra was supplied by Scarlet Entertainment. One of the high points of the wedding was the surprise performance by American Singer Robin Thicke which is estimated to cost about £150,000 .According to a UK wedding site, ‘The preparations and construction of their custom clear marquee, including a bespoke marble floor with their gold initials, would have required up to a week of exclusive hire of the Palace, with the cost of the marquee on top.” ‘Venue hire would likely be up to £150,000 with the bespoke marquee with marble floor and production around £200,000 on top. ‘The spectacular endless flowers by Jeff Leatham are likely to have cost at least £200,000. With food and drink, Robin Thicke (at £150,000 ) and all the other items for the big day, including the dress, on top, the wedding will have no doubt cost more than £1 million and potentially several million more’ ’.The ceremony was captured by one of the best wedding photographers in England Ross Harvey who won Best Photographer in England 2013,2014 & number One Photographer in UK Award 2013/14.All guests were well catered for prior to and during the wedding, with UK top transport Service Company Bespoke Signature saddled with transportation of guests in an array of exotic cars to and fro the palace. Another aspect of the ceremony which is touted to have cost several millions is the two wedding couture gowns the stunning bride wore. She rocked a lace embellished couture gown for the wedding ceremony and later changed into another stunning white gown for reception both accessorised with diamonds. The groom Folarin wasn’t left out; he complimented his bride in multi-million naira apparel from sole to crown. Folarin who is a widower lost his first wife Chena to cancer and the union produced a baby girl.The pretty girl was the little bride at his wedding .The ceremony had a lot of celebrity guests in attendance, the likes of Aliko Dangote,Toyin Saraki,The Otedolas,Music star Mr Eazi,Soccer Star Victor Anichebe ,celebrity model Shanina Shaik among several others.



The wedding custom invitations were designed by LEHR AND BALCK, who are rated the best wedding invitation designers in Los Angeles California. The rose themed elaborate wedding invites had the couple’s initials engraved in gold colour with rose petal design encrusted in every little detail from the custom invitation cards, name tags, table menu, goody bags and all, for each guest and this is valued at several millions. The LehrandBlack is a Premier design & custom invitation company based in Los Angeles for over 50 years. Based in Beverly Hills, CA, Sol Lehr and Ellen Black are the brother-and-sister co-owners/creative forces of Lehr and Black Invitationers, a family owned company that’s been in existence now for over 30 years. Named “The Invitation Trendsetter” for 2008 by Modern Bride Magazine, Lehr & Black custom designs wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, and all party invitations for celebrities, high profile executives and discerning people all over the world. From engravers to hot stampers to dye cutters to custom jewelled products with sumptuous fabrics and superior workmanship, Ellen works with each client to design and Sol oversees the production of the products. The end result is always a one-of-a-kind creation that is truly a custom work of art.They have also won an Oscar Award for Best Oscar Party Invite and also designs Invitations for Oscar events.


The elaborate wedding was planned by a renowned luxury wedding planner Sade Awe, founder and architect of The Bridal Circle Company, Who is a trusted resource for an elite clientele and luxury partners alike. With an impressive background as an (ERP) Enterprise Resource Planning Consultant in the world of IT for Fortune 500 companies for over a decade, Sade brings a vast amount of knowledge to the table. Paired with her ability to effectively discern aesthetic excellence and her fascination with elegance, Sade’s lifelong interest in the world of luxury weddings transitioned beautifully into her innovative concept for The Bridal Circle Company. One of the most novel concepts the luxury wedding industry has ever seen, The Bridal Circle Company has become the culmination of Sade’s achievements, interests and passions. Sade is truly a well-travelled woman. Having lived in such diverse locations as London, Brussels, The Netherlands and Nigeria, Sade has visited nearly every continent. Her travels have allowed her to explore the intricacies of the world of luxury on a global level. As such, The Bridal Circle Company itself has been built upon the concept of creating global solidarity for the multi-faceted world of luxury.


The venue was draped in an aesthetic view of a million roses to showcase a floral art that left many awestruck. The design which cost a fortune was done by Hollywood’s renowned floral art, artistic director ,floral designer JEFF LEATHAM, who flew into England with his team for the event. Asides the cost of flying in the world’s best floral designer to decorate the wedding venue, it was gathered that the celebrants doled out a huge sum to purchase one million roses which was used to decorate the big marquee. Jeff Leatham is the Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, has been creating a sensation with his floral designs and installations since he first began working with flowers at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Jeff was Awarded the prestigious “Knighthood” / “Chevalier de L’Order des Arts et Letters”, in 2014 – The French Governments its Highest Honor for Artists whom have made a significant contribution to French culture.Jeff’s work is a combination of his love for flowers and his passion for design. His creations are bold statements, using shape, color and simplicity to produce a dramatic effect. Breath taking and unforgettable, Jeff’s flowers and design essentials are always integral to the setting, never merely a backdrop. Jeff’s expertise continues to attract praise around the world as seen in his first two books “FLOWERS BY JEFF LEATHAM” and “FLOWERS BY DESIGN”, Jeff’s New Floral Design Inspiration book “Jeff Leatham – Visionary Floral art and Design” by Rizzoli. Known for his floral installations that are often compared to contemporary art, His continuous collaboration with international luxury brands has allowed him to present his work in several international design expositions around the world. He has worked with celebrities and renowned designers Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bulgari, Philip Treacy, Swarovski Crystal, Givenchy, Ellie Saab, Burberry, Tiffany & Co, Waterford Crystal, Dom Perignon and Samsung have commissioned Leatham’s design signature style.Leatham’s floral design clientele is as impressive as his work, including Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, The Kardashians and Celine Dion, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President and Secretary of State Clinton.Leatham had the Honor of designing the flowers for the Wedding of Marc Mezvinsky to Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.


It was definitely a selection of the best vendors for this classy wedding and the best cake company in UK, Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium was billed to make the gigantic cake. The 8 tiers cake, which was elaborately decorated with hundreds of roses and ornate doves is estimated to have cost up to £10,000.Elizabeth is a three times winner of The Great Cake Bake, a show which featured the best wedding cake makers in the country. Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium founded by Elizabeth Solaru is recognised as one of the best wedding cake companies in the UK. The company creates beautifully handcrafted cakes that are adorned with the most realistic edible jewellery, sugar flowers, lace, pearls and gems. Their creations have been featured in numerous national and international publications and their clients include British, European and Middle Eastern Royalty, celebrities and high net worth individuals. Elizabeth has appeared on the BBC Good Food Channel, BBC Radio and Sky Living as a cake expert. She is also a regular on Sky TV being the only three times winner of The Great Cake Bake, a show which featured the best wedding cake makers in the country. Winner of the Best Cake Designer award, she is a star speaker, competition judge and host on The Cake and Bake Show and recently judged Championnat de France de Cake Design, the French cake championships. Elizabeth is in demand as a sugarcraft expert and has appeared on Sky Living’s “Who’d Be a Billionaire” and her cakes have appeared in the remake of the film, “My Best Friend’s wedding” by Sony Columbia Pictures.



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