Happy Monday! We are kicking off this week...the last week in 2014...with this traditional yet classy Nigerian wedding photographed by Lilian Haidar Photography. The wedding took place in New York, where Chinwe and Ojay met. In fact, they were married at the Harvard Club - the same venue where Ojay's parents married. There's so much beauty and inspiration fused with rich culture in these photos so go ahead and start scrolling!
Before you dive into the gorgeous wedding photos, here are the equally stunning engagement photos they took with Lilian Haidar.
The First Encounter
"We met in March 2007 at a mutual friend’s farewell party in New York. We hit it off right away and spent a good part of the night talking to each other. We didn’t exchange numbers that night but became facebook friends and would bump into each other or hang out with friends from time to time. It took a few years but the pieces finally fell into place and we went on our first date in the fall of 2009…the rest is history."
"I pretty much knew a proposal was coming but didn’t know how or when. One of Ojay’s hobbies is the guitar; he is very good at it and wins me over each time he plays to me. One evening, right before the holidays, we were sitting at home practicing Christmas carols for a caroling event, when he switches up songs and starts playing and singing “Marry Me” by Train…..and I said yes."
The engagement session
"We wanted a simple engagement session that would capture the essence of our relationship. We had countless of memorable dates in New York and wanted to feature a few of them. The Coffee Shop and Union Square for one; City College, Ojay’s alma mater and Ojay’s guitar of course! City College was especially beautiful because of its neo-gothic architecture which appealed to our appreciation for aesthetics from a bygone era. Our excellent photographer Lillian Haidar helped us achieve our vision and more."
And here are their wedding photos.
Bride: Chinwe Ozobia - Strategic Sourcing Consultant
Groom: Ojay Obinani - Architect
Wedding Date: 08/17/2013
Wedding Venue: The Harvard Club of New York
Wedding Story - From the Bride
"About eight years ago I had run an event planning company with three of my best friends. So when we got engaged I knew I wanted to plan our wedding. It wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped. It might have to do the fact that I am a slightly obsessive planner. But I stuck with it, met every deadline and with the help of my very patient husband, wonderful friends and superb vendors everything worked out beautifully.
We knew we had to get married in New York, the city we fell in love. As concrete and cold as New York may appear to some, while we were dating the city became a dynamic character in our story, a welcome third wheel to our relationship. We wanted our wedding to be traditional, romantic, intimate but still relaxed and fun. The first decision we made was to select The Harvard Club of New York as the location for both the ceremony and reception. Being the same location of Ojay’s parents wedding forty one years before, the venue also held a particularly sentimental appeal.
The space at this historic landmark built in 1865 is formal with a genteel elegance. The high ceilings, ornamental bronze chandeliers and rich wood paneling exude a sense of romance and inviting warmth. This backdrop infused with pedicab rides with our bridal party, a latin jazz quartet that played everything from Sinatra to Nigerian gospel songs, and an amusing photo booth brought the fun and excitement to our evening.
Inspired by Mediterranean sunsets from a vacation we took in April 2012, the wedding colors were subtle tones of ivory and gold punctuated with bursts of orange, and underlined in deep blue.
Even though we both paid very close attention to the details, we knew that after every napkin was folded to perfection and the trio of floral arrangements exactly triangulated, our wedding was about our love. We wanted to share our love with our family and friends, thank them for having loved us and create memories to last a lifetime. We were only too blessed to have received exactly what we prayed for; a truly amazing wedding day that overflowed with an abundance of love and joy."
From Her: "With Ojay, I can truly be myself. I love that we laugh together, pray together, talk for hours together and sit in beautiful silence together. Ojay is peaceful, dependable, kind and loving. He is my calm in every storm. He is eternally optimistic and sees the good in every situation."
From Him: "My Chinwe has a beautiful heart that manifests in many ways - it’s in the way she takes care of me, helping me become a better man, her kindness and compassion for others, her graceful and elegant demeanor, her trusting, willing and adventurous spirit, her fun-loving nature. She is reliable and easy to talk to about issues, and I value her listening ear and honest counsel. All of this and more makes me love her and remain continually thankful to God for our union."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Harvard Club of New York
Catering: The Harvard Club of New York
Photography: Lilian Haidar Photography
Florist: Nature’s Petal
Wedding Cake: Betty Bakery
Wedding Dress: Birnbaum and Bullock
Men’s Attire: T.M. Lewin
Day of Event Coordinators: Tianna Vivienne Events and Design
Makeup Artist: 3D Looks Makeup Artistry
Hair Stylist: Weaves by Wu
DJ: D2 Productions Inc
Cocktail Hour Music: Domenica Fossati
Additional Photography: Carlos Gonzalez
More pictures in the gallery!