Soul mates Deborah, 24, and Chidi, 29, were introduced by a mutual friend. Although she lived in Texas and he called California home, they found a way to keep the sparks between them flying. On August 27, 2011, they were married in a church ceremony followed by a lavish sit-down reception in Dallas.
Deborah, who admits she loved Chidi more and more each day they spent together, takes a moment to admire her makeup artist’s masterpiece as she prepares to head down the aisle.
Deborah fell in love with this gorgeous multi-tiered La Sposa gown the minute she slipped into it, but was crushed to learn that it was discontinued, according to a sales woman. She returned to the store days later to find it was on the wrong rack before, and was actually still available; only it was way out of her budget. With a little internet searching she found it for less at another boutique. This time, both her fiance and her mother insisted that she splurge on the gown she loved.
Debroah’s bridal bouquet was made up of two dozen Calla lilies and ivory roses — a soft and romantic combination.
Every bride dreams of her groom being as pleased to see his bride-to-be as Chidi clearly was the moment he first saw Deborah on their wedding day.
His and her left-hand bling for the new Mr. and Mrs. Umeh.
Even though she tried to be diplomatic when it was time to pick the bridesmaid dresses, in the end, Deborah realized it’s impossible to get nine women to agree. Instead she made the final call on these lovely blue Alfred Angelo gowns. (Smart choice, Deborah!) They look amazing on all the ladies.
Prayer and love were in abundance on Deborah and Chidi’s wedding day.
“The groom wanted to avoid the traditional tux for both his and the groomsman attire,” says Deborah. “He opted for the mandarin-style Jean Yves Mirage Tux, complete with matching cravats and vests.”
What a lovely group shot of the ladies. That electric blue hue really makes the photos pop. Great job on allowing your girls to shine too, Deborah.
Deborah’s La Sposa gown features a sexy one-shoulder strap and one stunning ruffled tier after another. Absolutely gorgeous.
“The format of our wedding was a church ceremony followed by a cocktail hour and seated dinner reception,” says Deborah.
Deborah and Chidi enlisted the help of Karmen Panell of KP Event Designs to help orchestrate her dream wedding and design the fabulous floral arrangements.
“My husband is of Catholic faith, so having a mass during our wedding was very important to him,” Deborah tells us. “Since he doesn’t live locally, and I am not Catholic, it wasn’t easy finding a local church to accommodate us as non-members.”
The bride’s brother escorted her down the aisle as guests hurried to try and capture a photo of the lovely bride to be on her way to the altar.
The newlyweds bow their heads in prayer during their ceremony.
Want to cut decor costs? Pick a church with a beauty all its own. Deborah and Chidi didn’t have decorate for their ceremony because they found a location too beautiful to touch. “The architecture of the church, both internally and externally, was so beautiful, we didn’t have to add any decorations to it.”
“The decor we chose was an incorporation of things that my husband and I liked,” Deborah tells us. “We love the look of elegance the color ivory evokes, so my husband decided to stray away from the traditional black tux.”
Deborah is all smiles as her new husband plants a big happy pucker on her pretty cheek. We adore everything about this picture shot, don’t you?
We can see the couple spared no expense when it came to perfecting their dream wedding style. “We love bling, so we found ways to incorporate that throughout the wedding; from the crystals in my bouquet and adding a crystal sash to my dress to my shoes adorned with Swarvoski crystals and crystals hanging from the centerpieces,” gushes Deborah.
“We were on a tight budget,” says Deborah, who admits they wound up going over it big time. “Especially since we’d already planned one wedding before in Nigeria. It was very difficult sticking to it. We found it difficult to compromise on a lot of things we wanted but knew were way over budget.”
“I surprised my husband with a dove release ceremony in honor of his late father after the church ceremony,” says Deborah. She says the look on his face was priceless and one she’ll never forget.
“The entire day was memorable,” Deborah tells us. Her cathedral length veil caught a ride from the wind and nearly stole the show in this romantic portrait.
Sometimes it only takes one great prop to create photo perfection. For Chidi and Deborah it was this custom “Thank You” parasol that helped to make this portrait all the more magical.
You can’t recreate moments this precious. Just enjoy every second.
During their engagement, Deborah and Chidi set up a section where guests could submit their favorite songs on their wedding website. They used them to create a must-play list for the deejay during their reception. It was a real crowd pleaser.
“Being Nigerian, it was very important that we serve both Nigerian and American cuisine at the wedding,” says Deborah. “The Old Red Courthouse was the perfect fit. It’s a historic location in the heart of downtown Dallas.” The couple raved about the staff, who let them serve drinks and traditional foods with zero hassle.
The couple’s six tier vanilla cake featured a different filling in each layer. We’re just nuts about the mixed textures in the cake’s design — they’re so eye-catching.
Deborah swapped out her wedding gown for a pretty cocktail dress so she and her new husband could really cut a rug.
Deborah and Chidi make silly faces for the camera while inside their photo booth. “We chose a photo booth as our wedding favors,” Deborah tells us. “Aside from the fact that we both love taking photographs, we wanted it to be fun and enjoyable for guests and a wonderful keepsake.”
“Somewhere in the middle of the reception, my husband and I changed into traditional Nigerian attire,” explains Deborah. “Friends and well-wishers joined us in dancing and ‘made it rain’ on us. This is something typically done in Nigerian weddings. Guests do this to support the couple as they start their new lives together.”
The newlyweds snuck in a few special moments just for two — something we recommend all couples try their best to do on their wedding night.
Deborah and Chidi ended their magical day with the perfect fairytale ending, a romantic horse drawn carriage ride. See more amazing photos from their big day over on The Bride’s Cafe.