Chikemma and Kenneth's love story began when they were introduced by a mutual friend at a Labor Day event in New York. The sparks were in the air that evening, as they danced the night away, lost in a conversation that could've continued till morning. In Chikemma's words, "he asked for my number and the rest is history. It’s been a fairy tale love between us since then."
Read all about Chikemma & Kenneth's love story, proposal, and experiences in their vivid and vibrant wedding in Nigeria.
Bride & Groom: Chikemma & Kenneth
Occupations: Strategic Project Manager & Software Engineer
Wedding date: 12/15/2018
Wedding location: Abuja, Nigeria
How did you meet? We met at a Labor Day event in New York. A mutual friend, introduced us. After a night of conversation and dancing, he asked for my number and the rest is history. It’s been a fairy tale love between us since then.
Tell us about the proposal. My friend had invited me to her boyfriend’s 30th birthday, or so I thought, and I had asked Ken to come with me. When we got to the venue, Kenny pulled me to the side, claiming he needed to discuss something important with me. My surprise came to a climax when I realized that Kenny had pulled me unto what seemed like a stage and was beginning to get down on one knee. Kenny reminded me about how he had prayed in church that morning; thanking God for bringing him a beautiful God-fearing woman. He was now asking me to do him the honor of spending our lives together. All at the same time – I said yes, started to cry in joy, started to laugh, and then started to panic. I thought Kenny was stealing the thunder of my friend’s boyfriend’s birthday celebration. I was about to ask Kenny to get up and maybe even temporarily hide the ring. But I looked to the side and noticed that a row of people had walked out of the restaurant. They were all holding up cut-out-connected letters which read “K-E-M-M-A W-I-L-L Y-O-U M-A-R-R-Y M-E”
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? I wanted my wedding dress to be very classy – one that would be timeless and ever fashionable. So, I went for a sophisticated, lacey, beaded custom ball gown dress with invisible tulle and a cathedral veil. Nigerian wedding dress designer, Brides and Babies, made my dress to perfection and it was everything I wanted. I enjoyed walking through each component – e.g. number of layers for the skirt portion, type of lace, beaded vs. not beaded, wide vs. narrow veil. The awesome part is that I did not get to see my dress in-person until 1 month before the wedding, but the moment I saw it, I was filled with excitement, tears, and gratification for the accuracy of the details. I immediately said YES to the dress!
My husband’s suit was also custom-made. It was a 3-piece suit made by Tiva Bespoke, a Nigerian tailoring and designer company. He wanted to go with a darker shade of blue for the jacket – something that had a pattern albeit with a black lapel. His suit was everything he wanted – dapper, fitted, and groom-like.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? As Nigerians / Igbos, we wanted to embrace every aspect of our culture in the wedding. A key part of every Igbo reception is the breaking of kolanuts. So, after the opening prayer, the MC called on the chairman to conduct the kolanut aspect of the wedding – which is usually done before any other item on the agenda. In our culture, it is believed that the Kolanut does not speak English, so the chairman informed the guests that he would switch from English to Igbo since that aspect of the reception was to be conducted in Igbo per our custom and tradition. This aspect of our culture is something we appreciate and were glad to include it in the reception program. We also played Nigerian music for the most part, incorporating the famous “shaku shaku” dance moves where necessary.
Wedding party gifts: Bridesmaids: Customized, hand-made, wedding dress cards with a makeup kit. Groomsmen: Customized, hand-made, groom suit card with a customized whiskey flask
Ceremony entrance song: “Can't Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley and “Woju” by Kiss Daniel
First dance song: “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
What is your best memory from your wedding? Saying our vows in the church in front of family and friends is one of my best memories from the wedding. Also, the after party was awesome because our parents danced more than us to our surprise!
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Plan your wedding for yourselves and enjoy every bit of it. The day will come and go, so make sure the decisions you make together as a couple are what you both want. More importantly, have fun and smile from the heart!
Bride’s Wedding Dress: Brides and Babies
Groom and Groomsmen Suit: Tiva Bespoke
Dessert: Jenny’s Sweet Eats
Bride’s Reception Dress: Topefnr
Bride’s Hair: Mimi Hair Artistry
Bridesmaid Dress: Flat17Studio
Bouquet: Lillys Concept
Robes and Slippers: Fabs by Nunu
Videographer: Nate Genius Films
Special Effects: Mkali Effects
Light/Sound/PA System: Option A International
MC: Chuey Chu
Decorator: Monarch Design Limited
Cake: Cakes by La
Drinks & Mobile Bar: 365 Butlerz
Wedding Planner: Exquisite Events Abuja