Bola and Tom met during a mutual client happy hour in San Francisco. Bola was new to the city and found herself tickled by his over-the-top stories of his “Coconut Tom” lifestyle (one that consisted of ample amounts of Rosé and tanning) coupled with his boisterous and affectionate personality. But to Tom “the entertainer’s” surprise, he had met his match in Bola. The even louder, Nigerian girl carried her own stimulating stories of European excursions along with a deep affection for truffle oil and Martini’s.
During his toilsome quest to convince Bola to date him, Tom constantly reminded himself that he was a salesman and that this – would be the biggest deal of his life. However, Tom found that he wouldn’t have to try as hard to “seal the deal” as Bola found herself head-over-heels in love, in no time. She references that her swift feelings could’ve been attributed to Tom’s love of Aretha Franklin and The Big Chill soundtrack (which is filled with gusty Motown hits).
Throughout the course of two years, the pair “wreaked havoc” together; spending time across North Beach and the Marina reveling in “boozy brunches”, rooftop rosé picnics, and late night twirls to Motown records. And by July 2014, Bola found herself trashing Tom ’s bachelor goods and together creating (what they refer to as), their “jungalow”. The same space in which Tom ultimately proposed to her in on November 4th, 2015.
Bride-to-Be: Bola Akinsanya
Groom-to-Be: Thomas Stankiewicz
Occupations: Bride: Global Operations at Airbnb | Groom: Sales Director at Verve Mobile
Wedding date: 10/8/2016
Wedding location: Atlanta, GA
What did you do on your first date?
Our first date was actually quite funny. We met about three months after I moved to San Francisco. We were both in the advertising industry at the time and I wasn’t sure if I actually wanted to date him. But, he was pretty keen and invited me to “client events” for a few months before asking me out. We met up for cocktail hour at an oyster bar in San Francisco and giggled it up until dinner at the cutest little Asian restaurant in North Beach called The House. We closed the place down and I knew then he was everything I ever wanted. It just took a few months and one-on-one time to figure it out.
Describe your engagement session! Did you have a theme?
We wanted a combination of at home shots, as well as the lovely Lands End in San Francisco, which is just a few blocks from our home. I’m Nigerian and my fiance is Polish. Since we’re are having two weddings it was important that we captured us in traditional garment as well as our authentic styles.
The morning of the engagement shoot I cut my hand in the kitchen. So, we decided versus cleaning the house we’d just go outside and do the shots to simply “get it over with”. I thought the whole day and photos would be ruined with the massive bandaid I had to tote on my right hand.
We love Land’s End and kept the shoot short and sweet. We skipped the at home pics as we were too exhausted and a bit shaken up with the glass incident. Regardless the shots turned out great!
Highlights from the engagement session?
Tom: Making out. She would say just give her a little kiss and we’d forget and get swept up in each other.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
Our favorite thing to do as a couple is urban hiking. San Francisco is stunning and has so many hidden gems. On any given Sunday you can find us brunching up a storm with a couple glasses of rosé before we take a walk – which can last up to several hours. Because of our busy lives, we simply love wandering the city and catching up.
How has wedding planning been so far?
Planning two weddings, both with almost 400 people, is simply ridiculous – but my mother says it’s the Nigerian way! I could care less about the details. I’m mostly interested in a relaxed and fun filled environment.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day!
Seeing family and friends.
Photography: Ashley Myers