Real Nigerian Wedding in {Florida}: Oluwatitoyin + Shomari

Oluwatitoyin and Shomari had a real cultural fusion at their wedding. They combined elements of the bride's Nigerian Yoruba culture with influences from the groom's Caribbean roots. The combination created a beautiful masterpiece of joy, celebration and cultural fusion. Their special union was photographed by Bryan Glann of BG Pictures Photography.

Bride: Oluwatitoyin Ogunsola
Groom: Shomari Smith
Occupations: Bride - Doctor of Physical Therapy; Groom - Manager in IT sales
Wedding Date: 08.04.2012
The Location: A La Carte Pavilion, Tampa, Florida 


How He Proposed ..... "His proposal was in Naples, Florida, while on vacation. First, we went to an elegantly planned dinner. Afterwards, we made what I thought was a pit-stop at our friends' condo which we were staying in. When we arrived, there were flower petals and pictures of our entire relationship placed all over. He hired an interior decorator to set the mood and to tape the event. With my favorite R &B songs playing, he bent down on one knee on the outdoor patio. I clearly said, "yes.""

Wedding Details ..... "We had a modern Nigerian wedding with a guest count of 480 people, with several international guests. Among the guests present were two Yoruba kings who the bride's father grew up with. The wedding and reception were both very colorful with all the bride's family dressed in Yoruba attire. The bride wore a traditional white gown for the ceremony and first half of the reception, and then changed into an unconventional yellow Grecian ball gown to dance the night away at the rest of the reception. The inspiration for the color scheme was summery and tropical. The attendants wore a combination of fuchsia and champagne, with cymbidium orchids as the hair pieces, boutonnieres, and bouquets. Planning an event for that many people can be difficult, so we hired Tammy Waterman from Special Moments Events 15 months prior who really helped make the process easier. It was challenging to plan the Tampa-based event from where we live in Philadelphia; but she was able to negotiate on our behalf, and think of all the details that helped make the day so special. One of the challenges that occurred during the reception was the 5-tier cake falling in front of our guests. It was a frustrating experience, but resolved with another tiered cake the venue was able to quickly make. We didn’t let it ruin our day; this is something we have to laugh about now."

Incorporating Culture ..... "The bride is Nigerian from the Yoruba ethnic group and the groom is of Caribbean descent. The day before our wedding, we had a traditional Nigerian engagement ceremony in which the groom and his family ask for the bride's hand in marriage by giving a dowry, and presenting a formally written letter to the bride's family. The groom and groomsmen are required to prostrate in front of the guests by doing push-ups, jumping, or whatever is asked to demonstrate how much the groom wants the bride. Most of our guests and the groom's family were not Nigerian so they were given all of the background information prior to the event. They did a wonderful job dancing and participating in the culture, and all our guests seemed entertained and impressed by their willingness to participate.

The next day was our wedding ceremony and reception in which we incorporated aspects of Nigerian and Caribbean culture. At the end of our ceremony, we had a Nigerian "Thanksgiving" in which all the guests dance or walk up to the front where the bride and groom are seated and place money in baskets at their feet. All the proceeds will be donated to the charity, International Justice Mission. During the reception and throughout the evening, the bride and groom were showered with dollar bills as they dance, which is considered a way to bless the bride and the groom. It is done in many Nigerian events where dancing is involved. Several of the bride's family and friends gave various gift favors at the end of the reception. The food at the wedding was Caribbean-inspired; the groom's mother graciously gave each guest an elegantly boxed piece of Jamaican Rum cake, which is a custom in Jamaican weddings."

Unforgettable Moments ..... "For the groom, the most memorable part of the day was the bride walking down the aisle toward him. For the bride, the most memorable part was hearing the groom read his own written vows. The rest of the evening happened so quickly."


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{You Make Loving You So Easy}

He loves ..... "her elegance. I say, "elegance", because to me it means she has both an inner/outer beauty and presence that signifies intelligence, character, and confidence. She always knows how to handle herself in any situation, which is something I admire greatly. That and her sex appeal :)"

She loves ..... "I love his kindness. He's the type of man who will help a stranger in need, and has the most integrity out of anyone I've ever met. He’s an amazing friend and his character is unwavering. He's an inspiration to me, and I love him dearly."



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