Nigerian-American bride Abi Ishola married her one true love Kunle Ayodeji in a spring inspired wedding at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina on March 27, 2010, mixing Nigerian flair with western tradition for one gorgeous affair.
Abi’s maid of honor and cousin Yetunde Bamishigbin was the designated beauty guru for the wedding. Yetinde was the makeup artist and hair stylist for the entire bridal party.
“She is an extraordinary artist,” Abi says. “She was literally working up until the last minute.”
The gorgeous bride completed her look with jewelry from Amrita Singh. She shows off her finished hair and makeup before slipping into her gown.
The bridal slippers.
Abi found her wedding gown at Designer Loft boutique in Manhattan, NYC.
“When I saw that dress, I loved it because it wasn’t white. It’s color is called Oyster Pearl. It’s kind of shiny and bright and it was just perfect for me.”
The colorful bridal bouquet extends Abi and Kunle’s spring theme.
Kunle and his groomsmen strut confidently to the site of the wedding ceremony.
Abi’s wedding colors were hot pink and orange. “I wanted people from a cold place to come down to a warm place and see some brightness,” she explains.
Abi’s niece and nephew prepare for their responsibilities as ring bearer and flower girl.
Since it was a warm Florida day, Abi tied straw fans with bright pink ribbon and wedding programs for guests to keep cool during the ceremony.
In the Nigerian tradition of Aso Ebi, which requires friends of the bride and groom to don headdresses of specific colors. In Abi and Kunle’s wedding, the bride’s guests wear a magenta cloth as head ties and hats and the groom’s guests wear blue on their heads.
In Aso Ebe style, Abi’s mother welcomes her friends and family all wearing their magenta headdresses in support of the bride.
Abi’s sister and her friends get into the spring theme with matching lime green dresses and shimmery gold headdresses.
Abi says she fell in love with Kunle when she saw him interact with his friends and his cousins.
“I just thought, ‘this man is going to be an amazing family man.’ That was when I knew he was the person I wanted to be with forever.”
Kunle proposed to Abi holding a two karat pave set engagement ring with a brilliant cut diamond as the center stone. The bride’s wedding band includes 1.5 karats of brilliant cut diamonds tracing the ring and the groom’s band is a simple, masculine tungsten ring.
Abi’s loyal girlfriends were a great help during her wedding planning process. One friend started a Facebook e-mail chain to make sure everything went as planned.
Seconds after being pronounced husband and wife, the happy newlyweds share a smooch.
“I knew I was going to see him again and again and again,” Abi says of the feeling she got on the night that she met Kunle.
The new wife strikes a pose with her mother after saying, “I Do.”
Abi’s uncle Chief Bayo Akande flew in to Florida from Nigeria to walk his niece down the aisle.
Kunle’s parents welcome their daughter-in-law into the Ayodeji family.
Abi and Kunle’s bright spring-themed reception was created by Natalie Greene of NBTT Event Management and Production in Miami.
The couple started their first dance to the sounds of Teddy Pendergrass’s “Latest, Greatest, Inspiration” and surprised friends and family by switching up the tempo mid-song to dance to an upbeat Nigerian Fuju song.
It took Abi a while to find the perfect wedding cake. She finally found what she was looking for from Chicago bakers, The Cake Girls, www.thecakegirls.com.
“When I saw my wedding, I was like, ‘This is what I’ve always dreamed of,’” Abi gushes. “It felt like everything was worth it. I am excited to start my life with Kunle.”