You meet them, you fall in love with them. Simple. That's the only way to describe Ayisatu and James. Actually, we met over the phone, through a referal. I was in Las Vegas when the call came but missed it. I sent back a text message saying I'll be home by the end of the week. Instead of the typical 'ok', the response said, call when you get a chance. So, I did what any nice girl would do, I called, time difference and all. The introduction by my circle of sisters and friends was short, and on came two giddy, excited lovebirds. Before the conversation was over, I was in love, with both of them. Sight unseen. Not for the job, but for their genuine laughter and confidence that came right through the phone. They were unique in that they both know what they wanted. We set a date to meet and it was on.
Ayisatu and James are nothing short of a blessing because they continue to be even after their wedding. What they didn't know they asked. They wanted a traditional engagement session and wanted details of the why, when, how. I provided a crash course and then did one better, thanks again to my circle of sisters and friends. I happen to be a guest at an upcoming wedding, made a phone call practically days before the event and secured an extra invite to a strictly by invitation only event all the way in Baltimore. Love you Sister Kemi :-) Ayisatu showed up, with her game face. You would think she was getting ready to study for an exam. She paid attention, asked questions. She was there ... in the moment. Oh joy. And the only thing that kept James away? That traffic you run into when there is a ball game in Baltimore.
Next she assembled her dream team of vendors to meet at my house for a pre-planning session. Another blessing, we meet each other before the wedding, in person. Flurries of emails and text messages, an engagement session can read here. And then the big day finally came.
I should let the images take it from here.
It all starts wilththe gele (headtie) for tradition
Promises of things to come
A little time for portrait and details
The waiting while the moderator does her thing
When your daughter is the one getting married, there's a song in your heart that only you hear, and an extra bounce in your steps And your son has found a good thing Ready for guests
Skip a few ... on to reason we are here ...
The Letter ... from his family to her family ... worth dancing for
And one very bold young lady who did not skip a bit reading the letter, well, except for those family names that must be pronounced correctly Part 1 formality taken care of ...
Here comes the groom, with bells and whistles And the most important tradition of all ... reverence to her parents, and his parents. A must!
A reminder that you asked,
strike that, you 'begged' for her hand in marriage.
And in your sheer exuberance when your dance is on, you forgot the matching cap, but that's why God made brothers
Here comes the bride, in matching blue veil, with an entourage of sisters and friends
The prayers From a mother's heart, and you know a girl needs a second mom so she prays too
From your new parents because there are no in-laws
It's time to bid 'your girls' farewell, no more clubbing, book club is perfectly fine
Did I say prayer?
Africans have first dibs on that thing called prayer. Ask any African kid, they can write a book So we pray on the ring He can finally put a ring on it (I didn't coin that!),
raise it high, put the world on notice
No tag necessary the look says it all
Did I say prayer?
Made possible by the love and passion of these awesome wedding vendors
Photography: Ronnie Bliss
Co-Photographer: Toyin Photos
Master of Ceremonies:
Cake: Classic Bakery
Catering: Royal Envy Catering & Decor
Headtie/Gele – Dondonni Makeovers
Makeup – Shervii
Wedding Coordinator: Subtle Touch Events
Video: Expert Vision Productions