The weather was perfect for Akinwande and Jarell’s rooftop wedding in the French Quarter. The beautiful Nigerian couple said, “I do” during the sunset in front of 250 who celebrated with them with a brass band and second line along the colorful streets of New Orleans. What a wonderful time these lovebirds had!
Wedding Date: October 30, 2015
Wedding Location: Riverview Room French Quarters New Orleans, LA
First Dance Song: “You Are” by Charlie Wilson
Favorite Item on the Menu: Gumbo!
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Gifts: Bridesmaids received robes and jewelry while the groomsmen received flasks.
Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!
I was at home lounging my Saturday away when two of my girlfriends told me about the H St Festival. Since two people were telling me about it within the same hour, I figured it would be worth my while. As we were walking down H St., we decided to try out one of the food trucks. There was one food truck in particular that tickled my fancy. It was a “po’ boy” food truck. Now anyone that knows me, knows I love po’ boys and I hate to waste my appetite. So I had to ask someone if the po’ boys were worth my time and money. I saw a random guy eating one and asked him if he would recommend it. He shrugged and let me know it was just okay so we kept walking until we found a better food truck.
After eating, enjoying music, and checking out great art, a serious storm began. Instead of calling it a day, we decided to go into Smith Commons Restaurant and Bar because the DJ was “everything.” We could hear him from outside. As more of my friends met up in Smith Commons, we took over a section of the bar. As my friends and I were dancing and people watching, this random guy approached me. He reminded me that he was the sandwich guy from the food truck. I barely noticed him at the food truck so I politely said “Oh okay.” We exchanged a few words and then he offered to buy me a drink and I obliged. We exchanged numbers and I continued partying with my friends.
As time passed, he would reach out to me via text messages but I had a lot going on so I couldn’t really carry on a text conversation. But we ended up seeing each other a month later. Once we linked up a third time, we had instant chemistry. It was like we’d known each other for years. We had such a good time together. I guess three times the charm.
On September 27, 2014, I thought I was preparing for my housewarming party. I had family and friends come from near and far. Throughout the weekend, as I ran errands and prepared for the party, several people suggested I go get my nails done but I just never had time. On the day of the party, a couple people wanted to take me to the salon but it wasn’t a priority. Guests began to arrive, including about 15 of Akinwande’s friends, family, and co-workers. I still had no idea. We blessed the house and enjoyed the cookout along with about 75 of our friends and family.
Then, a friend asked me to open her housewarming gift because she had to leave but she wanted to see me my reaction to her gift. So I opened it and everyone gathered around me. It was an electronic picture frame. I played it and saw pictures of my family and friends. I thought it was so cute that she even included my late father. In the moment, I also thought it was strange that a third of the party had gathered to watch me open this picture frame. Since they were so enthralled, I turned the frame so that they could see it as well. Then they screamed at me, telling me to look at. So then I was really confused. Next, I saw a picture of A.O. holding a sign with my name on it as he stood on top of the H St. sign post where we met at the H St. festival. It finally hit me. Then I saw another photo with him holding a sign at Smith Commons where we exchanged numbers, then another where we finally hung out with each other at the club, another where he took me on a fancy date when I got promoted, and then the slideshow stopped.
Then, I felt him walking up behind me. He was holding another sign and he got down on one knee. I honestly never read any signs besides the first one. But that one knee bend was all I needed to see to know that our lives were forever changed. I stood in shock and screamed, “Yes!” It was perfect!
My wedding dress was by Pronovias. It was lace and backless, very romantic and so fitting for New Orleans French Quarter. Wedding shopping was fun and the dress I chose was the first one I tried on when I walked into the Pronovias Flagship store in New York.
Our theme was #naijameetsnola. We incorporated Nigerian attire, music, dance, and food. My husband’s side of the family is Nigerian. In addition to New Orleans Creole food, we served goat, jollof rice, snail, and a host of other traditional Nigerian foods. We all dressed in silver and purple lace with matching geles (head ties). We also had the money dance. As for New Orleans traditions, we had a brass band and second line throughout the streets of the French Quarters to finish the wedding!
The second line! It was amazing. Due to the Halloween festivities, we had many tourists join our second line. I looked back and we had over 300 people behind us dancing through the French Quarters. Strangers were taking pictures of us and helping us celebrate. We also had family from Nigeria and out of town who had never experienced a second line before. It was definitely the highlight.
Help a bride-to-be out!
Stay under budget while creating your vision. Don’t pay attention to other people’s opinions and vision for your wedding. Most importantly, enjoy every bit of it, even if things don’t go as planned.
Photographer: Tregg Iste, 63 Films
Venue: Riverview Room
DJ: DJ Chris Stylez
Florist: Bella Blooms
Makeup: T.Wynn Artistry
Hair: Mariah Grant