Bridal Bliss: Nana and Akinola

Bridal Bliss: Nana and Akinola
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 10, 2009

1 of 60 Joseph Pessar

Ghanaian Nana Eyeson and Nigerian Akinola Akiwowo became husband and wife after just under two years of dating on July 18, 2009, at 6:00 P.M. The couple jumped the broom at the urban chic Mezzanine in Newark, New Jersey.

By: Bridgette Bartlett

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

2 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The groom steals a sweet kiss from his beautiful bride.

“I know that Aki will do anything for me. If I fell sick today, he would take care of me,” explains Nana.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

4 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The bride and groom share a passionate kiss as if no one else is in the room. However, they officially became husband and wife before 275 guests.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

9 of 60 Joseph Pessar

“The theme of our wedding was African chic, which can easily be translated into “Coming to America,” the bride explains with a laugh. “We were very adamant about keeping the look of the wedding clean,” she adds.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

10 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The newlyweds shake a tail-feather on the dance floor during their fun-filled wedding reception.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

11 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The bride’s natural glow was perfected by New York City makeup artist Oslyn Holder and her coif was tended to by hairstylist to the stars Yusef Williams.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

12 of 60 Joseph Pessar

“I’m usually the funny one but Aki messed up his vows during the ceremony and it really made the moment light and humorous,” says Nana.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

16 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The newlyweds cut a rug while their guests look on during the wedding reception.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

17 of 60 Joseph Pessar

Nana, who is the president and founder of the nonprofit organization African Health Now, wore an ivory tulle gown by Priscilla of Boston.

“I purchased it at a sample sale. I was very excited!” reveals the newlywed.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

20 of 60 Joseph Pessar

A pair of platinum strappy stilettos courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana helped complete the bride’s chic look.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

21 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The groom looks dapper in his Hugo Boss Red Label suit.

“Nana’s walk down the aisle with her father had to be the most memorable part of the wedding ceremony for me. I was excited to promise the rest of my living years to loving ‘us’,” shares Aki.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

22 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The creative bride added an ivory satin sash and two Swarovski crystal brooches to her wedding gown for a couture touch.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

23 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The gorgeous bride is surrounded by her seven equally gorgeous bridesmaids who also wore gowns by Priscilla of Boston.

“The color and style of the bridesmaids dress complemented my entire party which ranged from very tall and light complexioned to very short and dark complexioned,” says Nana.

28 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The groom’s proud parents turn heads as they saunter down the aisle on their son’s big day.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

29 of 60 Joseph Pessar

“The best moment of the wedding to me was getting to walk down the aisle with my father who lives in Ghana and had recently had a heart attack so we weren’t sure if he was going to make it. He also had visa issues. I had been rallying for him to get proper clearances from his doctors to come to wedding,” Nana explains with a smile.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

30 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The loving couple met in August of 2007 and were engaged the next year.

“He proposed to me on New Jersey Transit. I wasn’t expecting it because we had actually just finished arguing,” recalls Nana.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

31 of 60 Joseph Pessar

Hairstylist Yusef ensures that Nana doesn’t have a hair out of place on her big day.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

33 of 60 Joseph Pessar

Nana was determined to have Michelle Obama-esque arms and back muscles on her wedding day so the petite stylista committed to several weeks of boot camp to ensure her body was on point for her big day.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

34 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The bride and groom in their second look for the day: Nigerian garb that was purchased during a trip to the country.

“Changing from my traditional American gown into this look symbolizes me being recognized and embraced by Aki’s family,” shares Nana.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

35 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The groom shares a hearty laugh and some camera time with his buddies during the reception.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

39 of 60 Joseph Pessar

“Presentation is just as important as taste for us. We had the chef prepare the food with traditional West African seasonings. The venue worked with us and did a lot of research too. It was taking African food to another level. Everyone loved the spinach stuffed chicken!” shares Nana.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

40 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The bridesmaids carried lush ivory garden roses with royal satin ribbons to complement their dresses for their walks down the aisle.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

45 of 60 Joseph Pessar

Nana and I have surrendered ourselves to using our love to get us through any and everything. On our worst days, we love each other; on our best days, we love each other. We trust in love," reveals Aki.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

46 of 60 Joseph Pessar

A same-day wedding planner ensured that Nana and Aki’s big day was executed to meet their vision. The bride’s favorite color purple along with accent colors gold and cream, helped to create a breathtaking reception.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

47 of 60 Joseph Pessar

“People really got their dance on. My aunties from Ghana were doing the Cha Cha Slide!” recalls the bride.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

49 of 60 Joseph Pessar

“My courtship with Aki was fast but it was right. We met, we were exclusive, we were engaged, we were married. There was no in between,” explains Nana.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

52 of 60 Joseph Pessar

“You work really hard to get to this point so it’s nice to see people having so much fun. Yeah, you’re getting married but you’re also throwing a party. It was great for everyone to just have fun: party, dance, eat and celebrate!” Nana shares.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

53 of 60 Joseph Pessar

The couple’s wedding bands symbolize a lifetime of life and happiness.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

56 of 60 Joseph Pessar

Instead of blowing their budget on wedding cake, the couple purchased a smaller elaborate cake (shown here) for pictures and served a much less expensive sheet cake for the bulk of their guests. A non-edible Swarovski crystal brooch adds an unexpected dose of panache.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »

57 of 60 Joseph Pessar

After celebrating their new union with family and friends, the couple enjoyed six glorious day in St. Martin for their honeymoon.

Read more about Nana_and Aki’s love story »

Check out these wedding albums:

Rashida and Richard »

Katina and Royce »
Dane and Dolapo »
Imelba and Christopher »