Friday, 24 August 2018

Traditional Nigerian Wedding In Houston, TX

It all began in 2009. Emeka was in Houston for a work-related training course. He called a local friend of theirs for restaurant recommendations. That friend offered to take him out to dinner and brought Chioma along because she thought Chioma and Emeka might "get along." However, neither Chioma nor Emeka seemed particularly interested in each other that night. Emeka was starving and only had eyes for his dinner; Chioma thought Emeka could do with a haircut and be more outgoing. 

However, a few months after this meeting, plus a handful of game nights, backyard BBQs, and potlucks specifically done so that Chioma and Emeka would get to know each other better, Emeka asked Chioma out on a date to SeaWorld in San Antonio. After an extremely hot day roaming around the park and dinner at a local steakhouse, Emeka asked Chioma to be his girlfriend. She totally went for it!

Chioma is very intutive; she knew the exact day and time that Emeka was going to "pop the question."  So when he asked her out to dinner with two of their friends, she carefully planned her outfit and practiced crying. On the way to dinner, Chioma's friend Uche, asked her to stop by and help her pick out an outfit. Chioma obliged because the Texas humidity had messed up her hair and she wanted to look perfect. What Chioma didn't know, was that this was just a way to stall her so that Emeka more time to set up his proposal. 40 mins late, the ladies finally made their way to Emeka's apartment.  When Chioma opened the door, the entire living room was filled with candles and rose petals, there was soft music coming through the speakers and Emeka was standing in the candlelight holding a single rose. A friend popped out of the kitchen to photograph the special moment. To add to Chioma's surprise, when they finally made it to dinner, a dozen of their close friends were waiting there to celebrate with them. It was PERFECT!

When asked to describe their wedding theme, Chioma shares, "[It was ] Simple, Clean and Personal. We love straight lines and block print, but didn't want anything ultra modern. We wanted to have a personal touch on everything, so we had a lot of DIY projects including invitations and all stationery, wedding magazines, centerpieces, aisle runner, paper flowers for some of the decor, table numbers, escort was a long list!" Pedro Damian Photography captured all the beautiful details of their union, which included a 400 guest traditional wedding in Lagos, Nigeria!!

Quick Facts

Wedding Date: 3.1.14
Wedding Location: Ceremony~ First united Methodist Church. Reception~ The Petroleum Club of Houston
Wedding Flowers: Baby's breath, carnations, and garden and spray roses. Her bouquet was made of orchids.
Favorite Accessory: Lapis Lazuli earrings, necklace, and bracelet; all gifts from her mother. She prefers heavier, earthy pieces and the gift from her mother was perfect!
First Dance Song: "Love Song" by Adele.
Wedding Cake Flavors: Chioma and Emeka had a 4-tier wedding cake with a flavor for each layer; red velvet with cream cheese filling, vanilla cake with chocolate ganache & hazelnut mouse, vanilla cake with strawberry mouse, and chocolate cake with chocolate mouse and ganache.
Wedding Menu Favorite: The appetizer, "The Mark Twain." It was half of an avocado, filled with a mixture of crabmeat, shrimp, tomatoes, and olives.
Bridesmaids Gifts: Scarves and personalized mugs with a message in the bottom.
Groomsmen Gifts: Personalized cufflinks, ties, and pocket squares.

Wedding Style

My wedding dress was an ivory, silk dupioni, drop-waist, fit-and-flare gown with a sweetheart neckline. For the ceremony I paired it with a wide, blinged out belt from my MOH and a matching sleeveless lace jacket that created a scalloped illusion neckline. For the reception, I removed the jacket and replaced the belt with a soft, floral, highly textured belt with minimal bling. My favorite wedding accessories were my Lapis Lazuli earrings, necklace and bracelet given to me by my mother. I'm not into sparkly jewelry and prefer heavier, earthy pieces, so this set was perfection!

Incorporation of Culture

We had a traditional Nigerian wedding "process" with all the trimmings, including an Introduction ("Door Knocking") and a 400 guest traditional wedding in Lagos, Nigeria.

Most Memorable Moment

While our guests were at the cocktail hour, my husband and I had a private dinner together in a room above our reception hall. We had originally planned it that way because with 350 guests we would have been too busy making rounds at tables to eat. It turned out to be more than just practical, it was a quiet, special moment for reality to set in. We were MARRIED and sharing our first meal as a married couple quietly and privately while our family, friends and the world raged on around us.

Help A Bride-To-Be Out

As important and memorable as your wedding day is, it only lasts one day. Remember that all the planning and prep work is part of the excitement, too. I was lucky enough to have 435 days to plan my wedding and I cherished every single day of it. I wrote a letter to my fiancé every day of our engagement telling him how excited or frustrated or nervous I was feeling. I took pictures of EVERYTHING wedding related, and now have a wonderful album with images of my mom buried in half-stuffed favor bags, my fiancé splattered in spray paint, my sisters asleep in awkward positions while making escort cards, my face after eating 11 slices of potential wedding cakes, and many, many more. Honestly, looking back on those goofy pictures and re-reading those unedited letters gives me just as many chuckles, tears and face-palms as looking at our (ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS) wedding pictures.

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