Beautiful Nigerian couple tie-the-knot in a romantic summer garden wedding at a Bastide du Roy in the French Riviera.
Following a postponed wedding originally set for 2020, Afooma and Chukwudi finally celebrated their love in a gorgeous intimate wedding in Antibes, France in September of 2021. While their wedding was much smaller than they originally intended, they were determined to make the best out of COVID’s restrictions. Afooma even planned their entire wedding! And surrounded by 65 of their closest friends and family, the final result was quite spectacular!
With a beautiful couple, emotional highlights, a gorgeous venue, and breathtaking floral décor, their wedding is truly “a Pinterest dream come true.”
Keep scrolling for more on their love story and photography from their romantic summer garden wedding.
- Couple: Afooma Jideonwo & Chukwudi Udeani
- Wedding Date: September 6, 2021
- Location of Wedding: Antibes, France (Bastide du Roy in the French Riviera)
- Photographer for Wedding: Wani Olatunde
- Wedding flowers: Flowers were provided by LalyRose. Afooma wanted “something pretty, romantic and care-free.” She also had a “color palette which included a bunch of colors” and (with the help of LalyRose) she chose “cream and blush pink roses, peach ranunculus’s, white and dusty rose hydrangeas, and green eucalyptus.”
- Favorite item on menu: Their wedding cake. “It was amazing! Velvety vanilla sponge, fluffy meringue buttercream with salted caramel layers! Yum!”
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: The couple wanted to make sure their bridal party felt loved and included. Their groomsmen received personalized cufflinks and bridesmaids were given a personalized self-care package complete with pajamas, sleeping masks, champagne glasses, perfume, bath salts, and candles.
- First dance song: The couple danced to “Fall Again” by Robin Thicke & Kenny G. However, Ed Sheeram & Beyonce’s song “Perfect” was a close second as it “describes their relationship perfectly.”
How they met…
Afooma and Chukky first met in Lagos, Nigeria in 2012. At the time, Afooma was visiting while on break before her Masters program started. She also happened to have a nasty bought of food poisoning all week.
“I hadn’t planned to go out the Friday we met,” she admits. “[But] after some persuasion, I figured I would just dance a bit, mingle and go back home. Well, that was the plan, till I met Chukky.”
Covering his friends birthday party, Chukky was in the corner taking photos. When he suddenly took a photo of Afooma, she found herself uncharacteristically walking towards him and introducing herself. She even gave him her number.
“I remember leaving that night feeling so excited,” she says. “But he didn’t call me. He says that he felt that ‘a girl like me was so out of his league’ and ‘he didn’t want to be added to a long list of guys he assumed would be on my case.’ He didn’t trust his game but he did keep the pictures of me and says he kept talking about me.”
Two weeks passed. And then one day Chukky’s name came up in conversation, so Afooma took the opportunity to make a remark about him never reaching out. “This was eventually communicated to him [and] when he heard, he thought “She remembered me”, so he called immediately.”
Their first conversation lasted 6 whole hours! “I immediately felt so connected to him,” she says, smiling.
“As a hopeless romantic, it was hard, but I tried not to get too excited. After all, I was leaving in 2 weeks. But I figured I [would] see where this goes. We went on as many dates as we could in 2 weeks. It was all very fun, like a movie. We actually called each other ‘movie guy’ and ‘movie girl’.”
“The day before I had to leave, I felt so sad. I already knew I wanted to be with him. But it didn’t make sense. ‘You want to be with a guy you met 2 weeks ago?’ But that’s all it took for me. I figured I would stay true to myself and let him know my feelings and if it didn’t work out then I’ll go back and be fine knowing I tried. I had prepared my speech, but unbeknownst to me, he felt the same way. We decided to give it a go that night and have been together ever since!”
Chukky’s proposal was centered around Afooma’s birthday in 2018.
Afooma recalls, “The proposal was so unexpected… He planned the most perfect day. Brunch, a couples pottery class, spa, and dinner. I had the best time.”
When they finally arrived home, Chukky opened a bottle of wine and soon he was in a deep conversation about life, love, and how much Afooma meant to him.
“I remember feeling so loved and happy in the moment, but I wasn’t thinking of a proposal cause I thought it was all for my birthday.”
Then, he suddenly got down on one knee.
“… I was so confused. We had been together for 6 years at this point and we lived together. So I remember thinking, how did all of this happen without me being aware? It was an amazing surprise and of course I said yes to forever!”
When she knew he was “the one”…
When they first met, Afooma remembers feeling something she had never felt before. While it could have just been her excitement, over time, three things made her realize she was with the right person:
“Everything just felt right and easy with him from the get go. There was never any uncertainty or discomfort. I could always be as open, authentic and vulnerable with him.”
She also attributes their love to Chukky’s ability to see her and accept her for everything she is, flaws and all.
“He didn’t want to change me, he just wanted me. That was important for me.”
And lastly, “his words matched his actions.
“I had met someone who opened his heart to me, was invested in a future with me and did the work to create a life together. We both were looking for love, partnership and commitment and we found it with each other.”
Although the couple reside in Texas, they are both Nigerian and actually had a traditional wedding pre-COVID in 2019.
So, for this wedding, they didn’t incorporate much culture into it.
“But being Nigerian,” Afooma adds, “there was a lot of dancing and spraying of money!”
Their wedding style…
Since they chose to wed in a Bastide in France filled with lots of lush gardens, they incorporated a theme of “a romantic summer garden wedding.” Afooma describes her own wedding style as “timeless, delicate and romantic.”
“For my look, I wanted something clean but romantic, something that would stand out but mirror our venue/ location.”
So, she opted for a stunning silk dress and wore her hair in long loose curls. Keeping things understated and glamorous, Afooma accentuated the simplicity of her dress with pearl hair accessories and a pearl veil.
“I opted for a pearl veil because I wanted something to amplify the simplicity of my dress…. This also trickled down to the décor for the wedding, with beautiful florals, lush gardens, and romantic candles and lights.”
Her dress & favorite wedding accessory…
Afooma kept her dress classic and chose a “strapless mermaid silk gown.”
In relation to what she’d been saving on Pinterest, it was totally different than what she thought she wanted in a wedding dress.
She admits, “once I tried it on, I felt so beautiful in it.”
Her favorite wedding accessory was her bouquet charm, which she dedicated to her dad.
“I lost my dad in 2018, and I got a bouquet charm with his picture in it, so he could be part of my day and feel like he was walking down the aisle with me.”
Best memory from their wedding…
For Afooma, dinner was her favorite part of their wedding.
“The speeches had me laughing, and crying and were just so touching. We played “the wedding shoe game” which was so fun. The decorations were so beautiful and just seeing all our loved ones in the room, my heart was full.”
Wedding advice for other engaged couples…
Afooma embraced planning her romantic summer garden wedding, but she admits it wasn’t easy. For other engaged couple’s taking on the task of wedding planning, she advices them to “make sure to never let [the stress] get to you [and] always keep the wedding separate from your relationship.”
“Never let the drama and stress that comes with planning a wedding affect you and your partner’s relationship,” she says. “If your relatives or friends cause issues, make sure it doesn’t filter down to your relationship. Do not fight with your partner on their behalf, and make sure to have a mindset of moving forward to resolve things quickly. The wedding is just one day, but your relationship is your lifetime.”
For their bridal party, Afooma and Chukky wanted to make their friends and family feel comfortable in what they wore and in expressing their individuality.
From their shoes to their hair styles and dress choices, Afooma let her bridesmaids show off their unique personalities.
“We opted for coordinated colors, but the different styles were selected by themselves. I think it pulled together beautifully.”
Their wedding goal…
As a COVID bride, Afooma gained a lot of perspective during the pandemic.
“… I wanted our wedding to be not just a celebration of love, but a celebration of life, friendship, family and togetherness. So we made sure to incorporate many of our friends and family into the wedding, and also had a lot of pre-wedding events and hangouts to really cherish our time together.”
Advice from the bride…
“Remember it is a huge feat planning a wedding and it’s very easy to get lost in details while trying to make sure you have the perfect day and accommodate a lot of people’s needs,” she says. “But it’s [also] important to remember you’re not just planning an event, you’re planning an event to celebrate love and togetherness.”
“So try not to stress too much about the millions of tiny details that would not matter at the end of the day and [always] focus on the big picture. Make sure to remind yourself that it’s about you and your partner’s journey to forever and your loved ones who are there to celebrate that journey [with you]. So have fun, relax and enjoy the process, you’ll miss it all when it’s over!”
Looking for more romantic summer garden wedding inspiration?
- Photographer: Wani Olatunde Photography
- Videographer: Axel Lanier
- MC: Chinedu Azinge
- Ceremony, Reception, & Wedding Cordination: Bastide du Roy
- Wedding Planner: Afooma U. (Bride) & Abi Gold
- Decor & Florals: Laly Rose Decoration
- Catering & Wedding Cake: Les filles du sud
- Wedding Dress: Louvienne, Lovely Bride NYC
- Brides’s Second Dress: Crystal Design, Viero Bridal NY
- Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jarlo London
- Groom’s Suit: The Bespoke Room
- Bride’s Makeup: GB Beats
- Bride’s Hair: Jennif Hair Beauty