Bridal Bliss: After Meeting On Instagram, Sydaiya And Sheriff Married In Tanzania
Brainbongo

Before Sydaiya and Sheriff Oladimeji ever met, they were preparing themselves to be in each other’s lives. For Sydaiya, a Boston native, she manifested her husband. Shaken by past dating woes, she began to do the internal work to be at her best for the man meant to find her and spoke his arrival into existence. She asked God, the universe and “all divine energies” for a good man. To be specific, a good man from abroad because she felt her match was waiting for her outside the States.

“Two days later I got an Instagram DM from this handsome Nigerian man living in Dubai and said, ‘ok God, ok!'” she tells ESSENCE. “I accepted the assignment, and boy was it divine!”

The man was Sheriff. Ready to settle down and find love, Sheriff also took action. A year before they would connect, he started paying towards the engagement ring he would give his future wife, whoever she was.

“Back in 2018 I was in the marketplace in Dubai and passed a window with this beautiful diamond ring being showcased in the glass. Without giving it a second thought I went in and put down a deposit on it,” he says. “At the time I was still single, but I was on the search for the woman who would wear it. Fortunately, before 2019 ran, I found the love of my life on Instagram.”

After connecting online, a significant spark was created between Sydaiya and Sheriff. For her, he was the man she manifested, a better partner than she could have ever hoped for. For him, the woman meant to wear the ring he’d been waiting to give. Three weeks after connecting, he told her that she would be his wife.

However, it wasn’t an easy road to get to that point. They met for the first time in person in Dubai in January 2020 where the two celebrated their birthdays together (January 10 and 12 respectively). They enjoyed each other’s company for 10 days and then found themselves separated for eight months. Covid-19 began to shut down most of the world and the couple, already long distance, worried about when they would have the chance to see each other again.

But after doing some research, they found that there were some places less impacted by the virus and still accepting travelers. They decided to flock to East Africa, in Tanzania, to come together. Once reunited in September 2020, they realized they didn’t want to be without each other and decided to move there with plans to marry.

On June 12, 2021, on a rooftop pool terrace overlooking the Indian ocean, Sydaiya and Sheriff said “I do.” She planned the wedding, heavily incorporating Sheriff’s Yoruba culture while also integrating nods to African-American culture (like jumping the broom). They said their vows in the ultimate destination wedding. About 30 loved ones traveled to be present for the extravagant celebration, which included handmade outfits, native drumming and a bilingual MC to carry out the ceremony in two languages.

“It was a brilliant merger of cultures all in one place,” she says. “It was truly stunning.”

The photos certainly affirm that. Check out the gorgeous images from the couple’s one-of-a-kind wedding and learn more about the love that brought them together.

Vendors

Wedding Venue: Hotel Slipway, Masaki, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Wedding Planner: Sydaiya Oladimeji

Wedding Decorator and Onsite Coordinator: Chemmysix Events

Photography and Videography: Brainbongo

Bridal Ceremony Dressmaker: Mahaumes Patron

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nony Brown

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Geles: Asoke Gele Tanzania

Bridal Makeup Artist: Rayma House of Makeup

Want your wedding to be considered for feature in Bridal Bliss? Email us a few wedding photos and the story of your big day at bridalbliss@essence.com.

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