Delali and Matthew are living proof that the best things happen unexpectedly. Just as Matthew was going to leave a party in LA, he made eye contact with Delali from across the room and was instantly captivated. It didn’t take long for the love-struck couple to fall head over heels for one another.
The groom proposed in LA fashion- at a movie theater after playing a photo montage of him and Delali. Matthew shares, “We went to see Lady Bird. The trailers rolled and then a video played pretending to be a sequel to her favorite movie ‘Waking Ned Devine’. Instead, the trailer gave way to a photo montage of us to raucous Irish folk music. All our friends were there. The trailer music slowed, the lights went up and I popped the question.”
In order to honor both of their cultures and backgrounds, they held two equally beautiful and unique wedding ceremonies; a Ghanaian wedding and a Western wedding honoring the groom’s Jewish heritage. Most importantly, they wanted their weddings to be fun and inclusive for their international guests. They found distinctive and creative ways to include various aspects of their diverse backgrounds throughout both ceremonies and had an absolute blast celebrating with family and friends.
See the gorgeous details from this beautiful wedding featured in our Winter 2021 magazine below!
- Full Name of Couple: Delali Kpodzo & Matthew Conrad
- Location of Wedding: Pomona, CA
- Wedding Date: April 13th, 2019
- Photographer for Wedding: Katrina Jayne Photography
- Wedding flowers: A stunning bouquet that featured roses and peonies. We wanted a very “south of France/Provence” feel. We had white, cream, and soft blush floral bouquets. Our centerpieces and floral decor were the same color scheme centered in a mix of stone planters and tall gold stands. We had green swag on our chuppah as well as on the stairs for the reception. We also had dainty herbs wrapped in white ribbon for our napkin treatments which consisted of a mix of rosemary, olive, and lavender.
- Favorite item on menu: The wedding cake was delicious!
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids received a beautiful box adorned with fresh flowers and filled with pre-wedding goodies.
- First dance song: Dancing in the Moonlight Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader
- Advice for brides: Be present! Don’t sweat the small stuff, especially on your big day. Your day should be stress-free and filled with joy.
How did you know they were “the one”?
Groom: Have you met her?! Well I guess not, but take a look at the pictures. She’s even more beautiful on the inside. And that’s saying something.
Bride: I don’t think there was a specific moment for me. It was a lot of little moments. It was the way he spoke with his parents – how he joked with them and cared for them. He was in LA, they were back in London and he did everything he could to stay connected almost every day. It was the way he loved his nieces, how hard he worked to remain an active part of their lives even though they were 5,000 miles away. It was his humor. His outlook on life. The way he loved me – honestly and completely. He was always the one.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
Groom: Lots of stuff. For us there was no other way; the weekend felt really different and unique to us. We had a Ghanaian wedding at my mother-in-law’s house which was so much fun. It’s called the “Knocking Ceremony” where the groom’s family has to go and bargain for the hand of the “beautiful flower”. The Ghanaian culture is matriarchal so the groom has to bring a dowry. I was given a list of dozens of items to track down. Many are only available in Ghana. The in-laws really put me to the test and I wasn’t about to be the white dude who fell short and brought the wrong type of “sodabe”. I also learned some Adowa and Agbagza dance moves for extra points. (Points for effort. Not execution. I’m still sore 16 months later). Marianne Greenidge was the planner for the Ghanaian wedding and it was wonderful – truly unforgettable. Dozens of tiny special details made the day feel unique.
We also did a western wedding the next day under a chuppah that incorporated some of my Jewish heritage and was conducted by the very inclusive, Dr. Michael Beckwith. He’s awesome and a truly inspiring guy. Our band was also terrific, we danced our asses off! Brits, Americans, Ghanaians, Togolese and everything in between got DOWN.
Describe your wedding style.
Fun! We wanted it to be fun and it absolutely was. Our number one objective was to make this wedding weekend an absolute blast. We had 150 guests traveling from all over the world to celebrate with us and we owed them and ourselves an epic party.
Inclusive. We wanted to create a wedding weekend that brought our two cultures together beautifully and with a lot of help we pulled it off. We wanted to honor the bride’s Ghanaina heritage and customs and it was an incredible experience not just for our wedding party but also our larger family and friends, some of whom had never been to a traditional Ghanaian wedding before. It was also very important that we incorporate Mattew’s Jewish culture – bringing in a chuppa, and the breaking of the glass to honor his heritage and solidify our intent to honor both of our cultures in our life together.
Personal. There were a couple of small details that we both wanted to make this experience feel personal including our place setting that incorporated lavender sprigs as a nod to Matthew’s childhood spent in the South of France. Not everyone will have noticed them all but we did, and it made the day even sweeter.
Describe your wedding dress and your favorite wedding accessory.
Bride: When I first started researching dresses I was convinced that I would select a mermaid style fitted dress. But as these things go, I ultimately went with a stunning princess-style dress that had stunning lace flower appliques.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
Groom: My wife is going to hope I say “seeing her for the first time as she walked down the steps to the ceremony.” I’m going to hope she says “seeing my husband-to-be for the first time under the chuppah.” But the truth is WE LOVED the food at both weddings and we gorged ourselves.
But seriously, it’s impossible to pick one moment the whole thing was a blast. So much of our family lives abroad and the fact that so many people made it was again “unforgettable.” It was a two-day joy-a-thon filled with laughter and love.
Ok fine, one memory I have to mention: walking down the aisle as the song of my favorite soccer team was played by the string quartet was amazing. Come on you Spurs!!
Bride: One of my favorite moments from the wedding was our vows. We had both written about the same incident from different perspectives without knowing it: our shared fear about having to write vows and how our Rev. Michael Beckwith called us out for it. For me it was terrifying to try to gather all my thoughts together into one thoughtful moment – what if I left something out? What if I couldn’t find the right words to express my love and dedication to our future?
The morning of our wedding I finally found the words and it turns out Matthew went through the same experience and the opening lines from his vows were almost identical to mine – both of us talking about how Rev. Michael had called us out, and how we had both written our vows that morning! It made for a hilarious moment at the altar but it was so honest and such a telling moment. We were in that moment, and would forever be, in step with each other.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Groom: You thought the proposal was stressful?! You ain’t seen nothing yet. Just kidding. Here are 5 simple steps to making this thing a lot easier on yourselves:
- Get a wedding planner.
- Try and make that Wedding planner either Heather Freedman or Marianne Greenidge. Preferably both.
- Pick a few big things and a few small things that are really important to you and try not to stress about the rest. It’s going to be awesome.
- Have great music.
- Don’t skimp on the booze.
Bride: Be present in every moment. Enjoy every part of it. It’s a marathon, but the finish line is unforgettable. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on a few key things that matter most to you and let the other parts fall in place. Hire a wedding planner! On your big day you don’t want to be thinking about any logistics.
The Bride was born in Ghana, raised Catholic with roots in Togo, Germany, and Canada. The Groom was born in London, from a Jewish family, with roots in Italy and France. There was a lot to cram into the wedding for it to make sense and tell a story. We wanted little touches that would surprise and delight guests – easter eggs that unspooled throughout the evening. We had a Chuppah and a priest, flags instead of confetti, National dress rather than black-tie, Italian cocktails, and miniature herbal bouquets from the South of France adorning every plate. As we were introduced, a troop of African dancers appeared and danced us into the fray. Those dance lessons really came in handy sparing the groom from abject humiliation in front of 60 Ghanaians.
- Wedding Planner: Delmar Events
- Photographer: Katrina Jayne Photography
- Venue: Kellogg House At Cal Poly Pamona
- Videographer: The Seven Production
- Band: City Connection
- Florist: Flowers By Mae Mae
- Rentals: Madam Palooza Emporium
- Lighting: Primetime Music DJ
- Cake/Dessert: Artistic Cakes
- Calligrapher: Something Lettered
- Hair Stylist: Kenya On Hair
- Makeup: Eric Jallen
- Officiant: Michel Beckwith Agape Spiritual Center
- Transportation: B&W Limo
- Dancers: @yelaco #ZadonuAfricanMusic&DanceCo
- Dress: Watters
- Wedding Submission Services: Published + Pretty