It’s only appropriate to say that Kelechi and Maurice are a Howard University love story. First connecting back in 2010, while the two worked at HU’s Upward Bound program as Dormitory Directors. “Throughout the summer we established a great work relationship and ultimately a friendship. In August 2010, I started my doctoral degree, as Maurice was finishing up his masters in Human genetics” says Kelechi. Amidst their demanding study schedules, the pair still managed to keep in contact, often chatting via phone, text and Facebook.
And over time, the two began to develop a stronger friendship and bound, eventually finding themselves spending more and more time together. “We shared similar interests, so we started hanging around with each other a lot. Often so much so that everyone thought we were “together.” We were amazed at how our friendship grew so much in such a short amount of time. We went from Kelechi and Maurice to “KC” and “Bruce” says Kelechi. It was then that feelings began to grow and the thought of crossing the already blurred lines between friendship to a relationship became real. And after multiple conversations and prayer – “KC and Bruce”, made the decision to enter courtship.
“Through our courtship, we have always talked about everything, including marriage. So for me, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when. Maurice had the opportunity to meet my parents a year after our courtship began. I had never taken a guy to meet my parents, so I knew he was not only special, but the one. Unknown to me, after meeting my dad in June when I first introduced them, Maurice returned and secretly met with my dad in July 2014 and asked for my hand in marriage” says Kelechi.
Read on for more details from Maurice’s touching proposal while viewing photos from this HU love’s royal purple and gold wedding in Washington D.C. shot by Dayo Kosoko of Hype Creative Company. The bride also worked with bridal salon and coterie member Cherry Blossom Bridal, to select her gorgeous Maggie Sottero gown! Check it out below!
Bride: Kelechi C. Fluitt (Maiden name Anyanwu)
Groom: Maurice B. Fluitt
Occupations: Bride: Doctoral Candidate, Counseling Psychology (Howard University) | Groom: Geneticist (Ph.D.Howard University, May 2016)
Wedding date: 10/17/15
Wedding location: Dunbarton Chapel , Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC
Tell us about the proposal!
Kelechi: On 11.11.2014 Maurice randomly showed up in my office and gave me a card. When I opened it, it had a picture of us with a poem on the back. I’ve always loved Maurice’s writing. For eight days straight Maurice gave me a different picture of us with a poem on the back. These cards would show up in the most random places. It was then that I realized that each of the poems on the back of the card was a story and started to connect the dots. On the 9th day, Maurice got sick and was chained to his couch for two days. I went to his house to bring him some soup and medicine.
After he recovered, Maurice asked that I meet him for diner and to hang out. I told him that I had an engagement, but would call him afterwards. Following my event, I went to meet Maurice. We went to see Beyond the Lights and then headed to dinner. Over dinner we laughed and talked. I joked on him and even had a dessert toast, ironically celebrating our future. After dinner, Maurice said, “I have your cards.” I said, “Oh yeah. It’s been three days. I am owed about three cards.” Maurice gave me the first two, which were more pictures and poems. The last sentence said “Not in fear but in faith…. Lets do this together.” By this time my eyes started to water, but I kept telling myself “why are you crying over a card?” He then presented me with fresh flowers and a final card. This was an actual card not a picture. I have gotten this card twice before, once for my birthday and then on Valentine’s Day 2014. The card had a red heart with a piece missing and on the inside of the card it reads only “You complete me”. At the bottom of this card Maurice hand wrote proverbs 12:4, and the verse read, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown.”
As I was putting the card away saying, “aww babe this is so sweet”, he started talking. I remember hearing, “You are the first person I think of when I wake up and the last person I think of when I go to bed. I don’t want to be with you for one year and five months or 10 years. I want to spend forever with you. I hope you will spend the rest of your life with me— Kelechi will you marry me?” He opened up the box, and then the waterworks really started. I was in complete shock because I am not an easy person to surprise. Finally, I said “yes!” we hugged, prayed, and attempted to call our families, but everyone was sleeping.
On 11.22.2014, one year and five months into our courtship, we were engaged.
Bridesmaids gifts: Custom-made hangers, custom made glasses, jewelry, and a manicure set.
Flower girl gifts: The flower girls received lace gloves, earrings and a silver broach hair pin.
Favorite item on the menu: Jerk Chicken and Mac & Cheese
First dance song: “Meant to Be” by Melissa Polinar
Describe your wedding dress! What was wedding shopping like for you?
Kelechi: I’ve always known that I wanted my wedding to be timeless and classic. So when shopping for my wedding dress, I wanted to find something that form fitting but also appropriate for the church ceremony. Unlike most brides, I did not take a large entourage with me but instead went shopping with either my sister or mom. After visiting a couple of bridal boutiques and finding nothing, I was referred to a Black owned, women owned boutique, Cherry Blossom Bridal – whose owner happened to be a member of my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. The owner Keba and her staff were professional, supportive, encouraging and made dress shopping for me a phenomenal experience.
After trying on three dresses, I was placed in a Maggie Sottero gown. It was a form fitted mermaid gown with a sweetheart neckline. The bodice was embellished with corded lace, Swarovski crystals, and a corset back. The selling point for me was the full, dramatic, two-tiered, lace bottom lay ered on top of tulle and a lengthy train. When I finally emerged from the dressing room and saw myself in the mirror I started crying only to turn to the side and see my sister crying. It was then I knew that this was the dress I would wear when I married the love of my life. After saying “Yes to the Dress” I added a handmade lace jacket to go on top, which matched the dress perfectly.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
Kelechi: On July 11, 2015 we had our Traditional Nigerian Igbo Wedding, also known as an Igba Nkwu. In attendance were 400 of our closest friends and family. This wedding is a celebration of my (the bride’s) culture and had important cultural components including the blessing and sharing of the kola nut, revealing of the bride, finding the groom and blessing by the parents. The colors for our traditional wedding were red and gold and traditional Nigerian food was served.
Following our traditional Nigerian wedding we had our white wedding on October 17, 2015. The theme was Southern Spice, a fusion of my Nigerian culture and Maurice’s Southern roots. Our wedding ceremony was filled with harmonious sounds of praise and worship, a staple of African wedding culture. The ceremony ended with a tradition common among African American couples in the south, the jumping of the broom. During the wedding reception, we changed from our formal attire into custom Nigerian attire and re-entered the reception led by Asoebi ladies, clad in a royal purple and gold print.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
Prior to the start of the wedding ceremony, Maurice and I met at the chapel entrance, he on one side of the door and I on the other, surrounded by members of the bridal party. We didn’t want to see each other, but we wanted to connect in prayer. He grabbed my hand and began to pray. An overwhelming presence and tears filled the atrium of the chapel. This moment was the absolute best memory from our wedding.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
The best advice to engaged couples is to attend a pre-marital course or pre- martital counseling, enjoy the engagement period, and spend time doing non-wedding related activities.
Bridal Gown: Cherry Blossom Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Evelyn’s Joy
Bridesmaid Dresses & Traditional Nigerian Attire: Mrs. Abigail Asante, Abigail Fashions
Bride’s Make Up Artist: Luxury Brown Beauty
Bride’s Hair: Ngozi Opara, Heat Free Hair
Wedding Party Make Up Artist: Sheena Maria
Groom’s Attire: Why Knot Boutique
Entertainment: DJ Kishi
Branding & Creative Services: Six17 Creative Solutions
Wedding Invitations & Stationary: Mrs. Chevonne Boyd, Elite Essentials
Event Planning: Mrs. Kelechi C. Fluitt, Fulfilling Dreams (the Bride!)
Day Coordinators: Sabrina Pringle and Gabriel Mclean
Flowers & Decor: Beau Decors
Photography & Videography: Hype Creative Company
Wedding Cake: Kake Korner
Service Staff: Protocol Staffing
Rentals:Dr. Josephine Oguntimein, Soft Touch Rentals
Reception Mistress of Ceremony: Mrs. Tameka Harris