When Leye Akinsanmi proposed to Ijoma Akabogu it was a sweet surprise. While out to dinner, Leye ordered Ijoma a special desert. Ijoma recalls, “There was a huge plate coming towards us with a cloud of mist surrounding it. As they placed it down the mist started to fade to reveal an open oyster shell on a bed of roses with a ring inside it. Written on the plate in chocolate sauce was ‘Will you marry me?’” The night got sweeter when Leye whisked Ijoma off to a secret location where their close family and friends were waiting to celebrate with them.
The joyous celebration of their love continued during their fall nuptials. Leye and Ijoma worked with their planner and designer, Debra Mai, to put together a fabulous wedding that was full of modern glamour. To achieve the chic atmosphere they desired, classic colors of ivory, grey and blue were integrated beautifully throughout their decor. Blue uplighting, crystal and silver accents, and stunning ivory flowers added a touch of glam to their festive reception. The couple, who was born and raised in England, made sure to incorporate their Nigerian culture by serving traditional Nigerian food and changing into Ashobi attire during their reception. Stephen Swain Photography photographed this chic celebration of love, culture and family.
- Wedding Date: 09/21/2012
- Wedding Location: Hampstead Church & The Avenue both in London
- Wedding Colors: Ivory, touches of crystals, blue, silver and grey
- Wedding Theme: Modern Glamour
- Wedding Flowers: White roses, hydrangeas and orchids.
- First Dance Song: “Those Who Wait” by Daley (sang by our live band)
- Wedding Cake Flavors: Red Velvet (also had vanilla wedding cupcakes on our dessert table)
- Wedding Menu Favorite: The shot glass of fresh miso soup which accompanied our grilled salmon starter.
- Bridesmaids Gifts: Matching ear rings and bracelet set and framed photos of them with the bride and groom.
- Groomsmen Gifts: Hugo Boss fragrance gift set.
How They Met
We first met by chance in Nandos. A friend and I were making our way out and as he was on his way in it happened that he was an old friend of the friend I was with. We all got talking and laughing then later that night he called my friend to ask her if I would mind if he added me on Facebook. Facebook messaging turned into texting which then turned into phone calls until finally he asked me out on a date. On our first date he took me on a surprise trip to the theater. After that we couldn’t get enough of each other.
The proposal had 2 parts to it, he started off by inviting me out to dinner, so I met him at Gilgamesh and we sat in one of the nice raised booths. Before I knew it, it was time for dessert but this happened to be one of the only times I didn’t feel like any dessert….he convinced me to indulge and so we ordered one to share. As the waiters began to bring our ‘dessert’ towards us I was like wow that wasn’t what we ordered was it? There was a huge plate coming towards us with a cloud of mist surrounding it. As they placed it down the mist started to fade to reveal an open oyster shell on a bed of roses with a ring inside it. Written on the plate in chocolate sauce was ‘will you marry me?’ I laughed at first, then cried, but of course then I managed to speak and said yes.
Afterwards he blindfolded me and whisked me off to a secret location where about 50 of our close friends and family were waiting to celebrate with us, it was an amazing night!
Modern Glamour – Neither of us had a very clear wedding theme in mind however our wedding planners were amazing and helped pull all of our very ambiguous ideas into an arrangement which I would name ‘Glamour’. My favorite colors together are black and white as they are so timeless and work with everything so this had to be incorporated somehow; however, I did not want our wedding to end up looking too much like a chic dinner party. So Debra Mai traded the white for ivory, added touches of crystals, silvers and greys and ‘glamed’ it up so we could still have what we wanted but wedding style.
My wedding dress was a classic white fishtail made from satin and organza, the tail started from just over my knee and swept out wide across the floor. I chose a sweetheart neckline and crystal embellishment which spiraled down the front.
Incorporation of Culture
Even though we were both born and raised in England we had no doubt about including our Nigerian roots into our special day and we did many of the traditional procedures, such as, changing into the Ashobi (traditional uniform) in the evening, we invited the families to dance into the reception with the mother and father of the bride and groom and we also served traditional Nigerian food and beverages during the evening party.
Most Memorable Moment
Waking up on the morning of the wedding with butterflies in my stomach in an enormous four poster bed at the Hendon Hall Hotels suite. My friend was praying over me and the atmosphere was really calm and serene. My make up artist, hair stylist and wedding planners were all on time, on top of their game and it was stress free. It set the pace for the rest of the day which was altogether perfect.
Your wedding day will likely be the happiest day of your life thus far and of course you will want it to be flawless but be sure that you and your partner choose a budget that suits you and stick to it firmly. There are many ways to save on costs and still meet all of your needs, for example, getting your girls over for arts and crafts and making your own wedding stationery or spending a little extra time writing out personal thank you notes as favors. This way you can invest any extra cash into an unforgettable honeymoon or into your married life together.