With a two-day celebration that had guests stepping into what felt like a romantic movie, Ashley and Jamaal’s Nigerian Traditional and white weddings in Atlanta featured stunning decor, fantastically luxurious looks, and the best love from their friends and family.
After Ashley’s sorority sisters set her up to meet Jamaal, the couple’s relationship kept going from strength to strength because of open communication and vulnerability. The two decided in 2020 to make their relationship official and that set the countdown to a surprise birthday proposal that Jamaal had up his sleeves.
With the couple heading toward the wedding of their dreams but still working full-time they needed a top-notch team to help them create an unforgettable experience. Guests enjoyed a wedding extravaganza that saw the couple and the wedding party wearing an incredible number of stylish looks and enjoying music and dancers that stole the show.
Scroll through the gallery below to see more from their dream weddings!
- Couple: Ashley & Jamaal
- Occupations: OB/GYN Physician Assistant| Fire Lieutenant
- Wedding dates: April 21st, 2023 & April 22nd, 2023
- Nigerian Traditional Wedding location: Eritrean American Community of Georgia
- White Wedding location: InterContinental Hotel – Buckhead
- Ceremony entrance songs: “Flavour” – Awele (feat. Umu Obiligbo)| Larry Gaaga – “Egedege” [feat. Pete Edochie, Theresa Onuorah, Flavour & Phyno]
- First dance songs: “Flavour” – Ada Ada | “Flavour” – Nnekata
- The honeymoon: Turks and Caicos
How they met…
“The two exchanged numbers and Jesus took the wheel”
Jamaal and Ashley were introduced to each other in 2020 by two people playing “Cupid”. Those two people, Telisa and Kernesha, are both friends and sorority sisters of Ashley. Telisa happens to also be the younger sister of Jamaal. The two exchanged numbers and Jesus took the wheel.
On June 1st, 2020, they had their first phone conversation and Ashley immediately noticed how witty Jamaal was. As their communication continued, the vibe they shared facilitated progression and connection. They learned that they shared very similar values involving love, family, education, accountability, and work ethic. Although both had busy work schedules, they found the time to constantly feed into each other. Communication and cooperation was easy. Nothing was ever forced.
They decided to make themselves vulnerable and open to love in the process. Things became deeper between the two, and they shared their deepest secrets. They learned what made them who they were and worked on their deficits. They began to work as a team.
Somewhere, they realized they were both in a special relationship that became official on September 18th, 2020.
Everyone who occupied the same space as them knew that their love was real and that they had something special. Who knew that the ideas of Telisa and Kernesha one random day would be Heaven sent and go so far?
Long before their engagement, Jamaal and Ashley knew that God made them for each other and that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. In June of 2022, Jamaal asked Ashley’s fathers, Anthony and Danny, for Ashley’s hand in marriage.
On August 6th, 2022, Jamaal got down on one knee and asked Ashley to marry him.
The wedding party…
The first look…
Popping the big question…
On August 6, 2022, Ashley celebrated her 32nd birthday party in Opelika, AL, thrown by her parents and Jamaal. Her mom had always talked about wanting to throw her a nice upscale party (mainly because she was never one to like to be fussed over), so she didn’t suspect an engagement would be in the mix also.
During a birthday toast by Ashley’s siblings, Jamaal got down on one knee behind her (Ashley kept looking for him during this time because she didn’t want him to miss the toast, but her little brother Chuku kept turning her back around so she wouldn’t ruin the surprise).
Tears of happiness and excitement fell as Jamaal told her that she was his PEACE and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, and there was no doubt in her mind when she said YES. It was something that they both knew in their hearts long before that moment and sharing that moment with family and friends made it even more special!
Ashley and Jamaal knew they did not want a long engagement, so they set out to plan their TWO weddings (a traditional Nigerian wedding and an American wedding) in 8 very short months.
Some thought it would be impossible between their busy work schedules in the healthcare field and everyday life, however, when you have exceptional wedding planners like Unique Events by Shollah and Enrich Events and Designs, literally ANYTHING is possible.
For their Nigerian traditional wedding, Shollah and her team made the planning process not only seamless but also exciting and enjoyable.
Ashley and Jamaal lived two hours away in Alabama, but that never caused any issues. They chose the “dream team” of vendors with the help of Shollah and picked a venue in Stone Mountain, GA.
Between virtual planning meetings with Shollah and her team after busy work days, to tastings, fittings for multiple traditional outfits, coordinating outfits and accessories for Ashley’s asoebi ladies and Jamaal’s groomsmen, and routine vendor calls, one thing Ashley always left each call saying was how excited she was and how surprisingly stress-free the process had been.
Simply put, the Nigerian wedding was a DREAM, and Ashley and Jamaal definitely fulfilled their wish of wanting to give everyone the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The day was full of color and life, from Ashley’s unique orange getting-ready robe to the traditional coral beads worn by Ashley, Jamaal, and their bridal party, to the colorful and extravagant outfits worn by Ashley, Jamaal, and guests, and finally, to the vibrant, beautiful decor that transformed the venue from a regular hall to a beautiful Nigerian village.
Setting the table…
The breaking of the kola nut, entertaining colorful Igbo dancers and drummers, money spray, authentic palm wine and Nigerian food, traditional outfits, and the wine carry ceremony gave everyone the full experience of Nigerian culture and tradition.
Ashley and Jamaal’s favorite part of their traditional wedding day was the moment they received the blessing of their marriage from Ashley’s fathers during the wine-carry ceremony, and of course, dancing and having the time of their lives with their family and friends who were there to celebrate their love and union!
We see you, Ashley…
The white wedding…
After meeting Ashley during her brother’s wedding (which I was the planner for), I knew instantly we clicked!Cassie Payton (Enrich Events + Designs)
Upon our first meeting, she mentioned how important it was to have a planner and florist who was more like a friend than simply someone interested in a business transaction; over the next eight months, she would become one of my most beloved friends!
Planning and designing a wedding for 405 people with over 20+ vendors is no easy feat, but working with Ashley and Jamaal made all the stress worth it.
One thing I love to establish with my brides is the term I’ve coined, “Wedding Brand Identity,” this is a helpful design tool to stay the course and not have a vision that clashes.
We started with three keywords the bride would use to describe her style (romantic, modern, and elegant were the three we landed upon), and from there, I spent hours curating a custom mood board for her. Ashley desired mauve dresses for her bridesmaids, and because it was a spring wedding, she thought she could only have bright spring colors, but she loved nudes, mauve, and black together.
Thankfully for her, I offer my clients a mockup (and trips to the linen showroom, if they desire) of their table design with linens, place settings, and a couple of different floral centerpieces for them to see part of the vision in real life and not just a Pinterest board photo, this is essential when my clients are spending so much time, money, and emotional energy — that they enjoy the process and get excited for that special day!
Once Ashley saw her florals, linens, and tablescape in person — she fell in love and knew that even though it may go against the season, black was a beautiful complementary color for her wedding.
From driving two hours to put a smile on our faces during some of the most tedious moments during wedding planning to taking me to my final dress fitting, talking through ideas for floral and design late at night or early in the morning, to praying for us and with us on multiple occasions throughout this journey… no task was too big or too small, and Cassie was there for it all.Ashley (The Bride)
The final touches…
The wedding ceremony…
Shedding tears of joy…
Pledging our vows to one another…
A wedding reception to remember…
Ashley’s wedding design was one of the most complicated designs to date, simply because of the adjustments that had to be made to the design plan just months before due to linen availability, additional guests, and the necessary family tables. Thankfully, one of my fantastic linen vendors, iDo Linens in Atlanta, GA, was able to custom-make some additional linens to accommodate our new floor plan!
My team and I worked over 80+ hours that week to execute this large wedding (big shoutout to the amazing vendors that deliver every time and my fantastic team of 15+ freelancers and event staff).
From the beautiful criss-cross pipe and drape to the dance floor wrap to the 20+ lush candelabra centerpieces, right down to the black taper candlesticks, we meticulously planned and thought out every detail to give my friend the wedding of her dreams!
I asked her to trust me throughout the process, and on the day of the wedding, she said to me, “You asked me to trust you, but I had no idea it would turn out like this; this is beautiful,” those words were music to my ears.
There is no greater feeling than being able to be stress-free on one of the most important days of your life, and Cassie made sure of that. I was told multiple times by multiple vendors that I was by far one of the calmest brides they’ve ever seen because I was truly all smiles that day, and my response to that was “It is nothing but God… and Cassie!” All of the preparation, hard work, logistics, and behind-the-scenes work were absolutely worth it.Ashley (The Bride)
Cassie became more than just a wedding planner to us, she became a lifelong friend. She always made sure that we knew that we were supported, cared for, and heard throughout the process. She took my vision for our wedding day and magnified that beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined, and I still truly feel like that day was a dream!!Ashley (The Bride)
Nigerian Traditional Wedding Vendors:
- Photo: Tay Tesvich Photo
- Video: Love In Motion Films
- BTS Video: Delano Halo
- Bridal Stylist|Hairstylist: SOSO Nigerian Bridals
- Accessories: Synach Palace
- Bridal MUA: tomilolaofbiggles
- Bridesmaids MUA: uchelovely| 2nd Bridesmaid MUA: Luxurious Beauty Studio | 3rd Bridesmaids MUA: Glammed By Kiana
- Venue: Eritrean American Community
- Decor: Unique Events By Shollah
- Catering: Rea Kitchen Rentals
- Palmwine/kolanut/Garden egg: Ibileusa Adenike
- Bartender: ATL Bar Concierge
- Gele Artist (family): Gele Sisi
- Gele Artist (Guest):Mosmo Gele
- Transportation: Greene Worldwide Transportation
- Palmwine/kolanut/Garden egg: Ibileusa Adenike
- Hotel: InterContinental Buckhead ATL
- MC|host: Nnaemeka Nweke, MD
White Wedding Vendors:
- Venue + catering: Intercontinental Hotel
- Photo:Tay Tesvich Photo
- Video: Love In Motion Films
- 2nd Videographer: G Dud Vision
- Planning, design + florals: Enrich Events and Designs
- DJ’s: DJ Lenny Love + Dj Fide
- Smoke canons + cold sparklers: DJ Lenny Love
- MC: Nnaemeka Nweke, MD
- Saxophonist: Abraham on Sax
- Bridal MUA: tomilolaofbiggles
- Hair: Glam By Maame
- Bridesmaids MUA: Luxurious Beauty Studio ATL | Uchelovely_ | Kiana Lashaunn
- Bridal gown designer: Ese Azenabor
- Bridal gown, styling, alterations + veil: Elite Pour La Vie
- Bride’s reception dress: Veekee James
- Bride’s gele: Gele Sisi
- Beige sultry linen + black napkins: Nuage Designs
- Stone satin, blush supreme, oatmeal velvet linens: I Do Linens
- Estate table + black bistro chair rentals: Atlanta Party Rentals
- Black bistro chair rentals: ATL Modern Events
- Black flatware + black chargers: Enrich Events and Designs
- Pipe + drape: Unique Event Elements
- Aisle + dance floor wrap: Inkredible Dance Floors
- White Rolls Royce Cullinan: MVP Atlanta
- Cake: Bohemian Bakery GA
- Stage wrap: Showadex
- Photo Booth: Shutter Booth ATL
- Seating chart: Decoraid Designs
- Freelance florists: Cassandra Paul Events |Catherine Huynh Design |Phavy Huynh