Jennifer and Setor’s Sophisticated Garden Wedding in Canada

Jennifer and Setor's wedding was filled with laughter, love, and light. Surrounded by family and friends, they said "I do" at a beautiful outdoor ceremony. They then moved inside for a sophisticated reception complete with dinner and dancing.

Read all about Jennifer and Setor's relationship, proposal, and their breathtaking and sophisticated wedding in Canada.

Bride & Groom: Jennifer & Setor
Occupations: Business Consultant & Petroleum Engineer
Wedding date: August 13, 2017
Wedding location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Tell us all about the proposal. Setor is an avid fan of Beyoncé. Weeks prior to the concert here in Edmonton, AB, he began making jokes that he had been coordinating with Beyoncé's team to pull me on stage and get down on one knee in front of 60,000+ people when the song "Single Ladies" came on.  I would chuckle briefly here and there but failed to take any of his jokes lightly.  In retrospect, I admit it seemed a bit ludicrous and farfetched, but you quickly put reason aside when faced with situations like this. Being caught off guard is one of my least favourite things in the world, so I buckled up and managed to convince myself to shove reason aside and began preparing for the possibility of this moment; including what my potential response would be in front of a crowd that big. Comedic. As we approached the stadium that Friday evening, I began experiencing some anxious burst, now questioning whether he was really going to propose to me at a Beyoncé concert!?!? Two songs into the set, I came to the very unfortunate realization that it really was a joke and he was just tugging on my heartstrings. Who said men can't be evil? LOL. After the night ended, I quietly tucked away any anticipation that may have been lingering and settled comfortably with the idea that a proposal was not happening any time soon. Boy was I wrong!

We had barely gotten any rest after an exhilarating evening when he woke me up the next morning to proceed with a garden tour we had planned to attend.  It was wet, cold, and gloomy outside. Visiting an outdoor garden was the last thing on my mind.  As a matter of fact, after screaming at the top of my chilled lungs the night prior, the only thing I was looking forward to in that moment was staying cozy under my very comfortable bed sheets.  Of course I had no idea at this point what was planned and all that would transpire within a matter of hours.  When he realized we were running behind schedule and his efforts to get me out of bed were failing, he bribed me with a promise to brunch after our tour at one of our favorite brunch spots a few miles outside of the city. Yep, I'm a foodian! That's really all it took to get me up and dressed in a decent manner. I couldn't be bothered to spend any time on my hair knowing we were running late and it was raining anyway, so I decided to put a hat on.  He walked into the room and asked me if I was really sure that was what I wanted to wear.  Still clueless, I made a snarky remark and told him I was ready to go.  He smiled and said he would go and put a hat on too. I found this funny and teased him for biting my style.  I would later find out that the hat was actually a secure spot for the ring box throughout our tour. I still laugh hysterically whenever I recall this memory.  Setor had the ring on his head, under his hat for well over 2 hours!  He's a clever one!

Shortly after wrapping up the tour, he had made a comment alluding to the possibility of us getting married in one of the gardens. Given the roller coaster of emotions I had experienced the night prior, I didn't even bother to digest his comments or entertain his shenanigans.  I began to complain of being cold when he begged me to walk with him to one more garden.  I agreed and our tour guide parted ways as we entered the Japanese gardens. The surroundings were so calm and provided such a serene vibe.  I immediately threw out all notions of being cold and decided to live in the moment and enjoy the walk. The garden was beautiful despite the dreadful weather.  It felt as though we were secluded and one with nature.  It was very calming.

The ideal walk of the Japanese garden would prompt visitors to walk in a circle in order to get back to the point where you first began.  We had only walked halfway when he asked us to turn around and head back to the exit; now stating that he was also starting to get cold.  I questioned why we couldn't just continue the walk since it would be the same distance anyway but didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I was very zen at this point. When we turned around, I noticed a few people in hoodies running around and hiding but assumed that they were kids just having fun.  Just before we crossed the garden bridge, he stopped at a rock and asked me to look down at it, pointing to something behind the rock with fascination. When I walked over to look at what he was showing me, my gaze came to meet a white canvas that had Drake's "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" album artwork printed on it.  Intrigued and confused, I turned around to respond to this random sight only to see him grinning widely, signaling the some sort of go ahead to the individuals I had noticed earlier.  To my surprise, my sisters proceeded out of different vantage points, removed their hoodies and ran into their pre-planned positions.  Paralyzed with shock and so very confused, I began shaking and crying. I didn't even have time to ask questions before he got down on one knee, removed his hat … and retrieved that ring box that had been strategically stowed away under his hat all morning.  With my sisters present to share and document every moment, Setor asked me to marry him.

Wedding Style: I’m still not sure I can summarize our wedding style into one category.  I had the opportunity of planning the wedding from start to finish, so I definitely took advantage of inserting various ideas and themes as I pleased.  I knew I wanted some rustic elements mixed with moderate elegant hints, some enchanting feels and a sprinkle of vogue.  We initially wanted an outdoor ceremony + reception, with fantasies of dancing the night away under moonlit stars but chose not to take the risk of having an outdoor reception, as Edmonton is widely known for its indecisive weather.  Sure enough, it rained right after we finished up with our bridal party photos!

Our outdoor wedding ceremony took place in the city of Leduc's Cultural Village and Stone Barn Garden. I wanted some rustic elements incorporated in the wedding and the unfinished stone barn, milking shed and beautiful floral greenery filled surroundings allowed this vision to come fruition.

After the ceremony, we gathered with family and friends who flew into Edmonton from different parts of the world to capture some group shots, leaving shortly after to capture our stunning bridal party shots at Alberta's Legislature Grounds downtown Edmonton - these pictures scream elegance and black excellence!

Our wedding reception took place at the award-winning venue, The Oasis Centre. The enchantment was captured modestly at our reception venue and sealed in design with a floral suspension placed strategically above the dance-floor. I look back in retrospect and can firmly say that we were able to encapsulate some of these details.

Favorite item on the menu:  Market Salad and Larbi Barbie (Personalized Drink Menu)

First dance song:  "Never Would Have Made It" by Marvin Sapp

How was wedding shopping? I either know what I want, or I spend ages going through countless options to make my decisions.  I am not one for the Brick & Mortar shopping, so spending time trying on different dresses was not necessarily something I was looking forward to.  My maid of honor/best friend accompanied me for my first dress try on which was in an awkward basement apartment. It wasn’t the worst experience in life but it’s definitely not the premier experience suggested to any new brides. I ended up choosing the second dress I tried on at one of my girlfriend’s bridal boutique, Delica Bridal, in Edmonton, AB.  Nicole, Ashley & team were so pleasant to work with and made my choice so much easier! I went with a fit & flare, champagne and Ivory wedding dress made by wedding designer Lazaro. I’ve always known that I wanted to walk down the aisle in a pair of Jimmy’s, so shoe shopping was easy as pie.

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Setor is from the Ewe tribe in Ghana and I am from the Edo tribe in Nigeria.  By default, our wedding festivities were richly infused with aspects from both cultures.  We celebrated our traditional engagement 2 days before the wedding at my parents’ house in Edmonton, AB.  The atmosphere was very vibrant and colorful as the room was transformed by guests dressed in kente, coral beads and the traditional Nigerian gele.  We performed some rites of passage as we would normally do if we were back in the motherland and exchanged gifts from both sides of the family. The neighborhood echoed with sounds from both Nigeria and Ghana as both families came together to celebrate and dance the night away.

We incorporated culture on the wedding day mainly through music and dance. Since our traditional engagement was so close in date, we opted out of changing into any cultural wear on the night of the wedding.  I stayed in my wedding dress for the majority of the night and Setor remained in his tuxedo (although his bowtie and jacket came off immediate to the ending of the evening’s formalities.)

What is your best memory from your wedding? Setor doing pushups and dancing with my grandmother.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? The first piece of advice I have is live every moment and enjoy the process.  Time flies by way too quickly. Next, be mindful! This is a great process to weed out the unintentional people taking up space in your life!  You really find out who has your best interest in heart and who doesn't. Finally, remember to smile and be merry on your wedding day regardless of what is falling apart in or around you.

Photography & Videography - Moments by Suria
Wedding Planner & Coordinator – Bride
Event Designer -  Bride
Ceremony Event Designer - Leduc Stone Barn
Reception Venue - The Oasis Centre
Wedding Dress - Delica Bridal
Bride’s Robe - Hayley Paige
Bride’s Shoes - Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids' Robes - Amazon
Groom’s Tuxedo: EPH Apparel
Groom’s Shoes - Cole Haan
Groomsmen Tuxedos - Moores
Bridesmaid Dresses - Tailored
Makeup Artist - Avaya Noelle
Bride’s Hair - Hair by Amber Ali
Florals & Floral Suspension - Fleurs Flowers
Wedding Cake - The Art of Cake
Caterer - Stir Catering
Décor Equipment - Exquisite Affairs & Special Event Rentals
MC - Jonathan Lombin
DJ - DJ DeeMaks 

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