Today I am so excited to share with you a post all about *drum roll please* MY WEDDING DAY! It’s been officially a month since I married my better half, days fly by when you are having fun!
We planned our wedding soon after the engagement, to see our engagement story click here, we were engaged on September 24, 2017 and began planning a month later but let me be real, I am a last-minute gal so the last few months were HECTIC. Don’t be like Jessica, bride-to-be! Haha.
We checked out 4 venues before we made our decision. I knew I wanted something that was all in one, both the ceremony and reception in one location. It was important that our guests didn’t get lost moving from one location to the other. Figure what you both want to make searching for a venue easier. I ultimately decided to book Ashton Gardens North as my venue, there are 2 locations in the Houston area. We fell in love with the venue right away. The chapel was perfect, white pews, glass windows all around and a touch of the old- fashioned chapel vibe with a modern twist. We decided to get a few extra amenities to make our day more special and romantic. Our wedding took place in the evening, so I decided to have candles on the outside of the chapel stairs leading to the front door following all along the aisle leading up to the altar. It was beautiful! My sister helped me so much with the planning and had the amazing idea of having one of my favorite bible verses, “Love is patient, love is kind…” to be placed in photo frames all down the aisle as well. The cross I rented was from a local business here in Houston, Lovely Grace & Events. She was so helpful, sweet and attentive. I also used her business to rent my charger plates, napkins and cocktail hour table linens.
We hired Houston String Music to play for our prelude, postlude, ceremony and cocktail hour. My Bridal Party walked down to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri with a violin, cello and piano playing. I walked down to “You are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker and I ugly cried all down the aisle! I couldn’t contain myself. All the planning, the stress of it all was worth it to replay that moment 100 times over! My mom didn’t make it any better, she was in the backroom with me, waiting to walk me down, just pouring love unto me and my new journey, praying, hugging me and kissing me. A moment I will never forget.
A little backstory on why my mom walked me down: Growing up in a single parent home, seeing the struggles mom faced daily, seeing her work over 16 hours a day after my parent’s divorce, was heartbreaking but more than that, inspirational. My sister and I saw firsthand the love and determination our mom had to see our family succeed. So, one day, we sat her down as a 12 and 13-year-old girl, to promise her that regardless of what life throws at us, regardless if my father came back around or not, she will walk us down the aisle. No one could have that moment to give me away but her so on my wedding day, it was so emotional to live out that promise I made her.
Sunny and I knew it was important to give God the glory for bringing us together and living out our dreams to be married to each other, so we had a short praise and worship moment, having “Oceans” by Hillsong played in the background as our family and friends prayed over us. One of the most special moments of my life, hands down.
We said I DO to each other and were officially announced as Mr. & Mrs. Okpon!
The Cocktail Hour/Reception
The reception room was gorgeous. The staircase showcased on the side for my bridal party and for Sunny and I’s grand entrance was perfect! The lit-up chandeliers were the touch of glam that sold me right away, with glass walls surrounding the entire space. We had a formal dinner, meaning it was a table seated dinner vs a buffet style of family style dinner. I loved seeing all my guest names on their assigned seat, it felt more special and thoughtful, but it was also a pain! Sunny was in charge of adding all the names to each name plate; he may still have nightmares from that whole process haha but when he saw the result the day of, he was so proud and happy he pulled through! I have close friends and family with children, I wasn’t sure about children at first, but in some cases I know finding a sitter, leaving your children behind can be hard so I had coloring books and crayons on each seat where a child was assigned. The children enjoyed their time and the parents did too! Win Win! 😉
My husband is biracial, if you already didn’t know. He is half Nigerian and half Caucasian. To honor his mother, I found him a locket that he wore on his jacket on left side, by his heart, with his mom’s photo. His mom passed away a few years ago but we knew she had to be part of our day.
To honor Sunny’s other side, we had a Traditional African Money Dance. His dad was EXCITED to say the least. He was the first one on the dance floor with dollar bills. It was so fun to see. Family and friends gathered around us showering us with money and dancing to traditional African music.
We ended the night with offering our guests with a thank you gift, Mexican Coca-Cola bottle and a cup of French fries as they left! Sunny and I LOVE French fries and thought a mini Mexican Coca-Cola could be cute
Our grand exit was with sparklers and I loved it! We were surprised by my sisters with the perfect getaway car, a white Porsche!
Thank you for all those who checked on me throughout my engagement and the entire wedding planning process. Thank you to my bridal party, my bridesmaids! It couldn’t have been the same without you by my side!
I am so grateful for everything you did to make our day special, for running errands to be part of our day, Erika for purchasing things to help yo’ sister OUT! I am forever grateful to you! I love you!
To my MOM & SISTER
Thank you for being attentive, supportive, helpful, willing to change your plans to head to Hobby Lobby more than I can count, sometimes more than twice on a week span. The amount of love and care I received from you two was my favorite memory!
Cynthia, you practically were my wingman through it ALL and always have been! I love you SO much my future nurse! The hours you set aside for me when you could be sleeping, doing homework, catching up on shows.. hehe I wish I could give them back to you!
Mom, you were the best mom. Your excitement for my wedding made me excited. My mom decorated a lot of my decorations, adding pearls, flowers to many things to make them more me, to also creating amazing floral arrangements for my bridal shower and sweetheart table on my wedding day! I love you and I hope I can be half the woman you are! Your advice is with me all the time.
Thank you for stopping by and wanting to be part of my day by reading this post! I appreciate you 🙂
Next blog post will be all about our honeymoon to London and Paris, stay tuned!