Six years ago, on the campus of Stanford University, the bride and the groom crossed paths. Their love story was built on a passion for justice, empathy for others, and a drive to make a difference. Their wedding day combined traditional Christian values and Ghanaian culture. It was beautiful!
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Bride: Anna Malaika Grace Ntiriwah Asare, 25, Doctoral Student and Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge
Groom: Michael Derrick Tubs, 27, Mayor, City of Stockton
The Big Day: 12/9/2017
Location: Stockton, California and Cartagena, Colombia
Style/Theme: Combining traditional Christian values with Ghanaian culture
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"I knew I wanted a backless mermaid dress and I loved the first one I tried on! A jewel tank mermaid dress with an open back," said the bride of one of her wedding gowns. "It was also on sale so I got it!"
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Michael and Anna were on vacation with one of their best friends, Lange, and his partner, Jason in Cartagena, CO to celebrate Michael’s mayoral win and Lange’s School Board win. The four friends went on a walking tour of the city and ended up at the top of the Iglesia de San Pedro Claver right at sunset where the sky was a beautiful orange and pink color, there was a view of the city landscape and take in the gorgeous sight of the beach. Then, Michael got down on one knee and asked Anna the question she didn’t even know was coming—"will you marry me?"—and of course, she said yes!
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"We met while undergraduate students at Stanford University," said Michael. "We were in a student group meeting organizing around the Troy Davis execution. Anna was just a sophomore but was the BSU President and I was the NAACP President. I was focused on outcomes and organizing the event and was somewhat rushing the meeting. Anna then spoke with such passion and emotion to the point of tears about the injustice of it all, and I knew then that she was the one. "
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Michael and Anna's family definitely surrounded the bride and groom with lots of love on their big day!
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"Michael is perfect in his imperfections, he is brilliant, handsome, confident, but he is also humble, God-fearing, and hilarious," said Anna of her groom. "He can command a room when he wants to but he also notices when others aren’t being included and he invites them to partake. He is giving and he always thinks about others before he thinks about himself."
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On their big day, the bride and groom celebrated with 160 of their closest family and friends and it definitely looks like they had the best day ever!
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"I knew when Michael and I went on our very first date that we would get married, which sometimes scared me because I was so young," recalls Anna. "But he showed me such respect and adoration, he put me above everything else, he didn’t play games. We connected so quickly on that first romantic date, the first time it was truly just the two of us spending time together and I knew we would build a beautiful life together."
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How gorgeous is this photo!
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"I said 'yes' because I cannot picture my life without him," the bride shared. "We have been through so much together and throughout the years we have grown, we have held on to each other during the hardest times, and we have always been thankful to God through it all. Michael makes me a better person, we balance each other perfectly, and we are unstoppable together."
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"I wanted the bridesmaids and groomsmen to look and feel regal and I knew I wanted to pay homage to my Ghanaian tribe--the Akyem people. I far exceeded even my own expectations, everything came together so beautifully!"
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On the bride and groom's friends were all smiles to celebrate the big day!
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"I chose Anna as my wife because she is so kind yet so strong and challenges me to become a better person," said Michael. "She has a heart of gold and is unafraid about speaking to and living her values."
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"The color scheme was red and gold, Rosita Mendoza provided red roses for centerpieces, with gold table settings and plates with red accents," shared the bride. "Everything matched the elegance of the theatre that looks like an opera house."
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"Anna is the personification of Proverbs 31 and Beyoncé’s song, 'Upgrade U,'" said Michael when asked to describe his bride. What a compliment!
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"The thing I love most about her is her passion for justice," explained Michael.
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For their first dance, the bride and groom shared a special moment to Lauryn Hill's "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You."
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"I love how no matter how much he accomplishes or achieves, he remains humble and thankful to God, giving Him all the praise," said Anna of what she loves most about Michael.
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