Swahili Culture Inspired Fall Wedding in Nashville: Saida and Kenny

On the campus of Tennessee State University, Saida caught Kenny's attention. Though it wasn't until after both graduated and found themselves in each other's presence at a mutual friend's dinner did the two meet and sparks began to fly. Cut to four years later, the beautiful couple wed on September 5, 2015 in Nashville, not too far from Kenny's very casual and personable proposal.

Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!

Kenny and I both attended Tennessee State University but our paths never really crossed until both of us had graduated, 2008 for him and 2009 for me. A few years ago, we were both invited out to dinner through a mutual friend. He said he remembered seeing me around campus and asked for my number.

We both knew we wanted to get married so the wedding planning happened before we officially got engaged. Kenny surprised me when I was out and about with my girlfriends in East Nashville shopping. He met me there and in true Kenny fashion, he proposed to me in his truck. There are no rules to love! It was perfect. I was speechless and I loved my Henri Duassi engagement ring!

Wedding Style

The wedding planning process was exciting but also stressful for me because I got accepted into graduate school in Illinois in May. So, I actually moved away for school and continued to plan our wedding from a distance. I absolutely adore my amazing planner, Paige Brown who was such pleasure to work with. I knew I was in good hands and entrusted her in making our wedding vision come true.

Kenny and I both wanted a beautiful and visually aesthetically pleasing wedding. We wanted our venue, East Ivy Mansion transformed into a beautiful gold and purple regal garden wedding. The venue made our wedding day very intimate and allowed our guests to just explore the beautiful grounds.


I wanted to incorporate my Swahili culture and language along with Kenny’s American culture. Our wedding favors were custom Kenyan bags made out of beautiful African batik prints that a friend of the family made for us in Malindi, Kenya. We also had my brother translate the wedding party announcement and speeches into Swahili.

The most important aspect of our wedding was the music! I provided our dj with music to play that was a mixture of American genres, Swahili, African, and Arabic music. All of our wedding guests really enjoyed dancing!


My favorite moment of our wedding day was taking wedding photos around East Ivy Mansion. Kenny and I had so much fun coming up with different pictures we wanted to capture and our talented friend and photographer,Stephanie Sorenson totally nailed it! We had worked with her during our engagement photo session, and we couldn’t have imagined our wedding photos looking any more spectacular than they did.

Help a bride-to-be out!

Get a wedding planner! I highly recommend getting a planner so that you and your family can enjoy the big day! Find someone that will cater to the specific needs you have, your vision, and most importantly, is respectful of your budget. You’ll be surprised how many little details go into the bigger ones! Have someone else worry about them and enjoy being a beautiful bride.

Planning and Design: Paige Brown Designs
Photography: Stephanie Sorenson Photography
Rentals: Draping: Nashville Event Draping
Lighting: Nashville Audio Visual
Linen: Liberty Party Rentals
Cake: Devyne Delights
Catering: A Dream Come True Catering
DJ: Premier DJ Nashville
Venue: East Ivy Mansion
Hair: John Lane Studio
Makeup: Charlene Northington
Videography: Peerless Films

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