“Family knows best” is an old adage familiar to us all, dismissed by some, but never without value – and for Nkosazana and Lukman this motto couldn’t hold more truth. Upon meeting Lukman, Nkosazana’s mother knew that he would make a fine partner for some lucky girl. Friends with him on Facebook, the proud parents posted images of Nkosazana’s graduation, and Lukman, upon seeing those pictures fell in love at first sight…
Continue reading all about Nkosazana and Lukman’s love story, romantic proposal, and experiences in their intimate Trinidadian and Nigerian inspired wedding in Houston.
Bride & Groom: Nkosazana & Lukman
Occupations: Special Eduation Administrator & Studio Artist/Creative Director of Fakeye Yoruba Art (6th Generation)
Wedding date: March 10, 2018
Wedding location: Venue at Memorial – Houston, TX
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. My parents had met Lukman a few years prior due to his art. My mother, upon meeting him said he was such a nice guy and would make a nice boyfriend. When Facebook came out, he reconnected with my parents and would check in from time to time. When I graduated from high school, my mother posted my graduation party photos. She said that after she posted those pics, Lukman began to actively contact her and my dad, ALL THE TIME. My parents could not understand the upsurge in his communication, until one day he asked my mother, “So the girl in the red dress is your daughter?” Mom said that was the “AH-HA!” moment, as to why he was being so nice and communicating more often.
When my mother suggested him for me, I had a fit and told her I had ZERO interest! I went away to college and began to date a guy that my parents could not stand. This guy eventually turned out to be exactly as my mother has predicted. Brokenhearted, I traveled home for the weekend. When mom saw my puffy eyes and swollen face, she inquired as to what had happened. When I told her of this guy’s betrayal, she hugged and comforted me, while secretly celebrating behind my back!.
It was on this same day that Lukman happened to call, Miss Big Mouth Mom, told him I was home for the weekend and in my room, doing nothing, and that he should text me. He did and the rest is history!
During this time, he was teaching art and had an exhibit showing at a university in Brazil. Since childhood, I have been a huge lover of the arts, especially visual arts. Lukman called my father and asked permission for me to visit him in Brazil so he could show me the art scene there. My father granted permission and off to Brazil I went. It was a whirlwind trip, full of the best of Brazilian art, home cooked Nigerian food by Lukman, and lazy days at Copacabana Beach.
When it was time for me to leave, I realized I loved this man, and did not want to be apart from him. I knew he liked me, but did not realize he felt the same. A few months later, after a lot of whatsapp’ing and facetime’ing, Lukman called my dad, again, but the call had nothing to do with seeing art. It was all about “hand in marriage” and “getting blessings.”
Dad gave his blessings, failing to tell me anything. He just told me that Lukman called and wanted to know if I could return for a second trip to Brazil. Off I went, completely clueless that a proposal was waiting for me.
I had always wanted to see the Cristo Redentor statue. On a star lit, Brazilian night, we made our way to the top … and it was there, on that hill, that Lukman popped the question! I was hot, sweaty, thirsty, and so shocked – I am surprised I did not roll down the hill! I said, “YES!”… and here we are today as man and wife!
How did you know they were “the one”? He is a very laid back, soft spoken, kind hearted, devout Muslim guy, much like my father. The day he looked me in my eye and said, “Nko, If you give me a chance I will take care of you for the rest of your life. You will never have to worry about anything. Just give me a chance and I’ll keep my promise forever.”
That may not seem like a lot to some people, but for a guy who doesn’t talk much, that was a Shakespearean monologue! My heart opened because I knew he was not playing around, and I knew this was my life partner.
Describe your wedding attire. Lukman was in a classic black and white evening tuxedo. I wore a long-sleeved, empire-necked, Giapure lace gown designed by She-Lia Cotour of Trinidad and Tobago, with a hijab wrapped by my mother.
What was wedding shopping like for you? Stressful! I tried on so many dresses, and I was never satisfied. I have a very funky, afrocentric, eclectic style in my everyday dress, so the cookie cutter wedding dress was simply not for me.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes! My family is 1000%, die hard, Soca loving, Trinidadians! The groom is Nigerian. So it was an amalgamation of our cultures. We had wooden cutouts that said “IFE” which means love in Yoruba, as part of the table setting decor. We also had traditional Caribbean Black Rum cake as favors. Lukman and I have traveled the world, so the table names were the names of countries we have visited, with the tables of honor, of course, being Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria! There was an African American owned, string trio playing classical in gospel in honor of my grandmother who loved classical and gospel. She was a very proper and god fearing lady. We then had West African drummers who played not only west African songs, but classics like “Afro Blue” and “Over The Rainbow” accompanied by saxophone and guitars. Our entrance song for the reception was “FANGA” which is a west African song of welcome. Our menu was a complete combination of Nigerian and Trinidadian fare. For the mother/son dance my mother and Lukman began to dance to “Once, Twice, Three times a lady,” until the MC interrupted and said …”I heard a rumor that Nigerians dance better than Trinidadians,” which was met by yelling and clapping from family members and guests of the two cultures. The MC said the only way to put the end to the rumors was to have a dance off. My mom and Lukman went into a full blown choreographed dance to “OLA” by Olatunji. This was a surprise and I was in SHOCK and thinking, “WAIT? WHAT?! What is happening!”
The DJ, then, did a mix where he played non-stop, seamlessly mixing Trinidadian Soca, with the hottest Nigerian Dance tunes, as our families and all of our guest formed a soul train line while waving Trinidad and Nigerian flags. Lukman and I were given one big flag of our two country’s flags sewn together, and we danced our way down the soul train line in a halo of red, black, white and green.
Wedding Party gifts: Ife wooden cut outs (Ife means “love” in Yoruba); a lot of people took them and made earrings from them! Traditional Caribbean black rum cake – given in boxes.
Favorite item on the menu: Nigerian jollof rice and Trinidadian corn soup!
First dance song: “What God has joined together” by Obey Commander.
What is your best memory from your wedding? My father’s speech. Yes, I am a daddy’s girl! Like Lukman, my dad is a do’er and not a talker. So when Daddy stood up to give that speech, expressing his love not only for me, but for his new “soccer watching, Nollywood movie loving, Egusi cooking” son in law … I was a bundle of tears and emotions. I will never forget that speech as long as I live.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Be patient, but have fun in the planning process. Brides should not see their grooms when they try on their wedding clothes. It is very exciting to see your groom, dressed up, as you walk down the aisle to him! Make sure there is good communication between you all and your family members, so everyone is on the same page and there are no toes stepped on or hurt feelings.
Wedding Dress Designer: She-Lia Cotour of Trinidad and Tobago
Bridesmaids Dresses: BooHoo
Hair: Hijab by my Mom!
Makeup: Ronnee Legington of BELAAN Beauty
Ceremony/Reception Location: Venue At Memorial
Photography: Andrew Browne Photography
Wedding Planner/Event Designer: June Plumm Events
Florist: Sylmar Creations by Silvia Gaona
Cake: Exquisite Cakes by Lisa, Houston, Tx
Stationery: The Artsy/creative BRIDE!
Strings: Divisi Strings | Providing Big Sounds for Your Big Day®
Drummers: Joy of Djembe Drumming