From the Bride
“We met through mutual friends at a birthday party while I was on holiday in the US,” says Yvonne Yanney, who recently married Felix Ollennu (Olaynew). “Upon returning to Australia, Felix and I started talking through different social media and eventually exchanged phone numbers.”
Their long distance relationship was challenging due to the time difference. “But we made it work and here we are today, making it till infinity through marriage before God, our families, and all our loved ones!”
In 2011, Felix flew to Europe to meet members of her family who lived there. “It took me by surprise. A part of me already knew Felix was the one, not only because he visited my family, but also because he was very caring, confident, and God-fearing.”
Felix surprised her once again by flying to Australia to meet her father and ask for her hand in marriage. “His out-of-the-blue surprises made loving him very easy.”
Last spring, Felix set up a dinner date for them in South Orange, NJ. As they walked in the nearby park, she suddenly saw candles and rose petals on the ground. “Then Felix got down on one knee pretending to tie his shoe lace. I saw a photographer and two of my best friends holding a banner with my name and ‘Will you marry me?’ written on it. I started crying and in the presence of our bridal party, close family, and friends, I said ‘Yes.’ ”
They chose a wedding date, got a venue, and realized how large a task they faced. “So hiring a wedding planner seemed like the wise thing to do. Felix and Yasheca had been friends for years and he knew we could trust her.”
Detail-Oriented Elegance ... Though Felix raved about his friend Yasheca’s detail-oriented company, Torcianna’s, and also about her simple and elegant designs, Yvonne was skeptical. “But I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding planning experience from start to finish.
“Torcianna’s incorporated every piece of what Felix and I wanted into our wedding. Yasheca stayed in contact with us and provided updates every time she spoke to one of our vendors. She made sure details were confirmed and written into our contracts.”
Yasheca and her team were even able to stretch their floral design budget. “Small decisions added up to big savings for us. We had over 300 guests on-site for a three-part wedding, with a traditional Ghanaian ceremony, an American-style ceremony, and our reception. I was extremely happy to have Torcianna’s help us juggle all the details that made our wedding ever so special and stress-free the entire weekend.”
Yvonne tells us the best wedding advice she got from Torcianna’s team was to, “Always pray together as a couple, never go to bed angry, and even during the hard times, find a reason to laugh and to remember what brought us together.”
From the Wedding Planner
“I've known Felix for over 10 years,” says Yasheca Williams of Torcianna Events & Florals. “He was extremely happy with royal navy blue suits for the groomsmen and we figured a way to make it work within their wedding’s color palette, though it was not part of the original vision. Felix wore a white jacket with black lapels plus a bow tie custom made with rhinestones.”
Yvonne was in Australia when they started planning, so Yasheca first got to know her over the phone and through Skype. “She wanted a theme of royalty and simple elegance, with colors of purple and white. When I met her in person, to get a feel for her style and personality, I took notice of how she dressed and how she interacted with her vendors and with Felix.
“He is very detail-oriented and Yvonne is a more ‘open ideas’ person, so they blended very well together in planning. Her family was traveling from Europe, Australia, and Ghana, so she wanted them to really feel it was worth the trip.”
Felix and Yvonne had a Ghanaian wedding, “so we made sure the team we assembled could create a cultural wedding and stay within their budget.”
A Well-Rounded Team ... Torcianna Events starts by meeting each bride and groom to get a sense of their personalities, expectations, color palette, and wedding theme. “We’ve added event design as part of our planning, so we keep the entire day from start to finish in mind, not just the administrative portion. We’re planning everything from florals to vendor coordination, menu cards, food, and even what the MC says.”
Yasheca and her well-educated team are from the Caribbean Islands. “I am finishing my doctorate in neuroscience, Sharie has her master’s in social work, Jasmine works in marketing, and Kaylan has been in cosmetology for years.”
They met while attending an all-girls college, where they started a club and put on pageants to represent different islands. “We helped with gowns, decorations, entertainment, and food. When people walked into the cafeteria, they would experience the Caribbean. We would transform the room with our floral designs and unique dinner menus.” Reconnecting about a year after graduation, they discovered their shared love of event planning had prompted each of them to become certified wedding planners!
“The most exciting part of working with brides is to see their unconditional love. I love seeing that excitement and that wonderful chemistry the bride and groom share together.”