Crystal and Olayinka’s belief in God has always been paramount in their relationship…it’s actually the reason they met! So it only made sense that their Christian faith would play a huge role in their wedding day.
Since Crystal is currently deep in the trenches of Grad school (work, sis!) it was necessary to recruit some help in making important decisions about their big day. Thanks to a tasteful Houston-based wedding planner, Doyin Fash, and the couple’s family, the couple had no problem pulling off the finishing touches.
Of course, they encountered some unexpected realities about planning a wedding…like the fact that many designers don’t cater to all shapes and sizes and that some vendors will try to upsell you without a planner by your side. But all is well that end’s well. And what the Obasanyas ended up with was a wedding day they always dreamed of.
Scroll through for the most beautiful moments from their ceremony and reception.
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Crystal and Olayinka started following each other on social media. "At the time, he was getting his Masters in Divinity and leading a college ministry in a different city," Crystal tells ESSENCE. "We communicated over the phone to discuss [speaking engagements], but ended up drifting into conversations about personal life, for hours. I was still unsure about whether he liked me and I refused to make the first move."
How He Proposed
Crystal thought Olayinka had missed an important speaking engagement of hers, but was shocked at the big surprise he had up his sleeve. "I was invited to speak at a young adult’s bible study," she says. "After the announcements, they mentioned that they had one last video for us to watch. It was a video of my husband telling me how proud of me he was and apologizing for his absence. It was sweet, but in my head I thought, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah...but where is he?' At the end of the video, he appeared behind me with family and friends on his knees asking me to marry him. I was so in shock that I actually said 'no' three times out of disbelief."
"The first day I met her in person, I not only was amazed at her beauty... I also was impressed by the passion and conviction with which she spoke about her belief in God. She carried herself in a way that was really attractive and pretty early on, I embarked on the journey of making her my wife."
She Loves Her Some Him
"I love the many laughs we partake in together and how silly we can both be in front of each other. He is one of the wisest people I know and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be married to a walking library of wisdom."
When You Know, You Know
"When it came to finding a dress, I felt indifferent because I was so exhausted from school. I only visited one shop and tried on three dresses before I decided on the right dress for me. The embellishment and design were unique and caught my attention. My dress was designed by Parvani Vida."
Olayinka worked with his groomsmen in choosing their slate grey suits, and pink ties - coordinating with his wife-to-be to make sure that their attire complimented the blush and ivory tones of the bridesmaids' dresses. Looking sharp, fellas!
It's All Happening
"I do not think the reality of being a bride actually hit me until the morning of the wedding and then the flood of emotions and God’s goodness caught me as I sobbed down the aisle."
When Two Become One
"We included the unity candle, took communion together, worshipped, and ended with a scripture reading done by the officiant."
To God Be The Glory
"I’m incredibly grateful to my family and loved ones for all helping make that day happen," Olayinka says. "I’m grateful for my amazing wife for not settling. And most importantly, I’m grateful my Lord and Savior for making that day possible."
When All Else Fails...Get Your Praise On!
"On the way to the wedding ceremony, the radio in the limo was not working," Crystal revealed. "So the bridesmaids and I began to worship and it was such an intimate moment. I reflected on how God good had been to me and thought about the grace he had shown me. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I was also marrying the love of my life!"
The Bride's Favorite Detail
"I am obsessed with flowers, hence the flower canopy and the flower wall. I wanted the scene to look like it was cut out of a spring royal wedding magazine. The colors I chose were soft and I really love how the décor stood out and also complimented everything else in the room."
Accent Me Out
The Obasanyas had an array of gold centerpieces with flower arrangements to compliment the blush and ivory color palette of the ceremony.
Daddy's Little Girl
Crystal and her dad share a tender moment as the traditional Nigerian money spraying commences.
Come For The Love, Leave With A Message
"Our wedding was literally a dream," says the groom. "From the sermon to the vows, to the first dance, people still tell me that was the best wedding they’d ever been to. More than that, people left with a message of hope and love that pointed back to the faith that Crystal and I hold deeply in our hearts."
Who's Down For A Dance Battle?
The groomsmen and bridesmaids held a dance-off, which was a total hit. According to Crystal, the ladies took the win!
Life's Sweetest Moments
The exquisite five-tier cake matched the champagne, blush and ivory color scheme. For the flavors, Crystal and Olayinka went with amaretto paired with a raspberry jelly filling.
It Takes A Village
Crystal admits that decision making was not her strong suit, as she had a ton of other things on her plate. But thanks to her tribe, everything came together seamlessly. "I was in my toughest semester of Graduate school, so finding the balance was difficult. I am thankful for my mom and wedding planner who planned vigorously behind the scenes."
Tradition Always Wins
During the ceremony, Crystal changed into her second look - a traditional Nigerian gown made by her cousin.
A Nod to Mom
The couple's big day went so well thanks largely to her mother, who help put out several "fires" throughout the day. "Both families, the wedding planner and my mom played an active role in providing solutions for things I was unaware about," Crystal said. "I am thankful that they were able to take care of things while I enjoyed the day."
Dance The Night Away
This looked like a party for the ages.
Crystal's Advice For Future Brides
"Do not allow the opinions of others to make you feel like you are in the wrong, because it is your big day! Be confident in your wedding planning decisions and execute them."