AK and Tida first met in college. They admit that they weren’t exactly high school sweethearts, just two students who happened to be in the same classes semester after semester. “We bonded over our goals and we helped one another get through some of the most challenging assignments during undergrad,” they tell ESSENCE.
During their seven-year friendship, AK began to realize he and Tida were destined to be more than friends. He was just waiting on the right time to make his move. “AK slid in my DMs and professed his admiration for me,” Tida remembers. “We were engaged one month later.”
Since AK had known for years that Tida was his soul mate, he suggested they not waste more time and get married right away. Tida agreed and, in six months, they planned the wedding of their dreams. Tida went the DIY route, planning all the details of their wedding with her maid of honor, matron of honor, mother and day-of coordinator. “I must have watched our wedding highlight video about 80 times,” says the gleeful bride.
Scroll through the gallery for the most gorgeous
moments from AK and Tida’s fairytale wedding in Maryland.
Meet The Koromas
Tida Koroma, accountant, 28
AK Koroma, Law enforcement, 27
Diyanet Center of America inLanham, MD
Coordinator: Kareema Sesay
Videography: Miguel Asua
Darlington Curtis @dcurtiscomedy
Ibmatu Soumah @theteitouchluxe
Darrel Dabney @bipordrown
Makeup: Rebecca Cunningham @bambybecky & Brooke @brookenthecity
Brides Second Dress: Sia Ngeba
Decorations: Anna Bolima
Chairs: Prudencia Mangebi
Uplighting, floor wrap and sparklers
: Ife Adebeyejo
Desserts table: Jemelle Williams
Limo Service: Escort Limo Service
Wedding dress designers only on WeChat:
Blue Jade Bridal and Love Encounter Bridal
Ak planned a surprise dinner with the help of Tida’s maid & matron of honor. Tida and her friends all ordered drinks, the waiter brought Tida a gift box with a scroll and rose petals inside. To her surprise, it was a hand-written letter from AK professing his love once again. "By the time I finished reading the letter, there were tears running down my face. A cake was them delivered by one of AK’s good friends with the words 'Will you marry me Tida?' I turned around in shock and AK was on his knees proposing in the middle of the restaurant."
"We had our traditional Muslim wedding ceremony (Nikau) the night before the white wedding," says Tida. "I didn’t sleep for about 3 days leading up to the wedding day because I was getting things in order for both Friday and Saturday festivities. All the stress was totally worth it because I had the wedding of my dreams."
The Blushing Bride
Tida's modern glam perfectly complemented her beauty.
The One For Me
"I’ve always known that Tida was the one," says AK. "I just need eda chance. I studied her for years. I loved her personality and characteristics. It got to a point where I said to myself, 'even if I can't have her, I want someone like her.'"
Fit For A Queen
Tida's diamond tiara was a total showstopper.
A Perfect Fit
Tida only had six months to find her perfect wedding dress, and she flew all the way to China to make it happen. "Through the use of WeChat, a Chinese messaging app, me and the designer were able to communicate and bring my vision to life. After making a few fitting adjustments, I was thoroughly pleased with the end result."
Its All In The Details
"We chose the Diyanet Center of America for our ceremony because of the architectural details," says Tida. "We also knew that the prayer hall would be able to fit our guests."
The Power Of Love
Tears flowed as the couple sealed their union.
AK and Tida sealed their union with a traditional Muslim ceremony.
The Man Of Her Dreams
Tida first fell for AK in college. "He would wait for me before every class we had together," she remembers. "He would save me a seat, remind me of assignments that we had due, offer to help me study for exams and text me or call me out of concern if I didn’t attend class. He has always been mature & responsible in my eyes."
"I always tend to be the one to motivate others," says AK. "But when I met Tida, she motivated me. Though I knew what I had to do to complete my goals, it was great having someone to lean on and look out for me."
This Is Why I Love You
"I’ve always admired AK," says Tida. "He is in touch with his emotions, and a huge romantic. These are qualities I’ve always wanted in a man."
"The bridesmaids had their dresses custom made," says Tida. "I picked the material and allowed them to choose their own individual styles. AK's groomsmen wore blue suits to match with the blue theme."
"My wedding day was a proud moment for me," says AK. "I began thinking of ways to keep growing as a person and as a family unit. I asked myself, 'what do I need to do to make sure our marriage is successful and to make sure we’re happy?'"
A Grand Entrance
All eyes were on the Koromas as they entered their wedding reception full of joy.
Dance With Me
The couple's first dance shined as bright as their love for one another.
Dance The Night Away
Th guests grooved all night on the danced floor to a mix of top hits and traditional music.
AK and Tida hosted a whopping 500 wedding guests at their reception. "My guests are still talking about the wedding, and the ones that couldn’t make it are disappointed that they missed out on such a good time," says the bride.
Party vibes were in the air as guests danced the night away.
Cheers To Love!
We'll drink to that.
Tida's Advice To Brides
"Please give yourself time to plan. I’m happy that we didn’t prolong it, however I didn’t realize how much I was taking on. I was happy to see everything come together and it was great seeing my guest have a good time but I was pooped."