Ezra stopped Nicole in downtown New York City and took her all the way to Africa to say “I Do.” The two wed in a beautiful, traditional Xhosa wedding in the groom’s hometown of Ibhayi, South Africa on March 24, 2007.
The groom’s aunt applied Nicole’s makeup for the wedding.“She applied traditional Xhosa makeup to my face,” Nicole remembers. “When I looked in the mirror I was amazed to see Makoti, the African princess bride looking back at me!”
Nicole’s dress was made by a local Xhosa seamstress in Ezra’s town. The style was a surprise by her mother-in-law.“A few months before our wedding, my husband’s mother called me for my measurements. She also asked me what colors I liked. Not knowing what to expect, I gave her the colors of blue and yellow. When I arrived in South Africa for my fitting I was not disappointed!”
Naturally Nicole is overjoyed by her new union.“When two come together, they make each other stronger, complimenting each other, challenging one another to reach for the stars! It is a wonderful feeling.”
Nicole feels secure in her relationship with Ezra because he’s a man of faith.
“I fell in love with Ezra’s integrity and his faith. When I encountered Ezra, this God confidence that he has was very apparent. I admired his honesty, he was truly authentic every moment we spent together!”
Nicole said she cried at the site of her proud husband-to-be at their wedding ceremony.“He beamed with joy. It was quite disarming! And then to see the beauty of the garden and the guests who serenaded us with Xhosa and Pedi songs! I struggled to keep the false eyelashes on that my friend meticulously applied the night before the ceremony!”
The bride and her beautiful mother embrace and smile under the South African sun. We see where Nicole gets her smile.
Ezra’s mother was an integral part of planning his and Nicole’s wedding at St. George’s Park in SA. She got family members to pitch in and help, worked out the expenses and even planned her new daughter-in-law’s wedding dress.
Knowing that Ezra is a man of conviction, made giving his little girl away easier for the father of the bride.
“March was ideal for the garden ceremony in South Africa,” Nicole said. “We were surrounded by a plethora of colorful flowers, trees, ponds, and shrubs in St. George’s garden.”
While the ceremony was over, the day’s festivities were far from done.“My husband’s eldest sister assisted me with my traditional house dress and prepared my duuk (head wrap). I was presented with my bridal mat and we listened to advice from the elders.”
Back at Ezra’s mother’s home, traditional dancers greeted Nicole, the Makoti, and entertained guests.
For their traditional Xhosa wedding, Nicole and Ezra wore bright colors that captured South Africa’s Eastern Cape’s natural beauty.
The newlyweds held a reception in Philadelphia for friends and family that didn’t make it to S.A. They suggest taking a few months’ break in between the festivities if you plan to have more than one party.
“He is my other half, if you will. With him I know that we can accomplish great things,” Nicole beams about Ezra.
Nicole was lucky enough to find the dress for her Philadelphia reception at Neiman Marcus.“It was on the rack and needed very little alteration. It was sleek and comfortable and looked far more expensive than what I paid for it.”
“Being a newlywed doesn’t always mean that you will fall neatly into your new life as a Mrs.,” the new bride advises. “No matter how long you have been with your spouse, newlyweds have to consider that other person on a whole new level after the marriage.”
The new husband poses with his two leading ladies, his new wife and his loving mother.
“I recognized that, for the first time, I was in a relationship where my man’s expectations of a relationship mirrored my own,” Nicole explains of knowing that Ezra was the one for her.
Nicole’s newlywed advice is don’t get bored.“Remember that there is still so much more to learn and experience with that person. Get dressed up and explore new date places.”
Nicole reflects on her two amazing wedding events in S.A. and USA.“I am happy to have had two wedding events. While the wedding celebrations in South Africa were elaborate, with many ceremonies involved, the Philadelphia wedding was quite simple and elegant. However, both events were amazing and unique in their own way, blending our distinctive cultures.”