Ral and Grant had absolutely no interest in getting to know each other, in fact they had no interest in even meeting. But sometimes it takes the intuition of others to bring two people together. “Grant’s cousin Emeka is married to a close family friend of mine Ngozi. I attended a wedding in 2012 with my sister Oby where I got to catch up with Emeka and Ngozi. When Ngozi found out I was single, she immediately started talking about how Grant & I would be a perfect match,” Ral shares. Uninterested in the set up Ral shrugged it off. “Neither Grant nor I were eager for the “introduction.” But Ngozi & Emeka convinced Grant this would be worth it while my sister Oby convinced me of the same,” she says. After a few weeks, Grant decided to take his cousin’s advice and send Ral a Facebook message introducing himself. Shortly after that Ral left for Liberia so the two continued to communicate via Facebook. “Facebook chat turned into phone conversations. We were on different time zones so we would often talk long into the night and deprived each other of sleep,” Ral shares. As soon as she got back to the U.S. Grant flew from Maryland to Houston to see her, spawning their relationship.
The beautiful couple said “I do” in a gorgeous purple and white Igbo wedding. Celebrating their Nigerian culture, they had a traditional ceremony in December 2014 preceding their glamorous wedding almost a year later in Houston. An abundance of white florals took center stage at the stunning reception. Circular tables covered in detailed white linens sat humbly beneath the grand floral chandeliers. Ral and Grant’s wedding was the stuff most of our dreams are made of and you won’t want to miss it. Take a look at their gorgeous wedding planned and designed by Chioma of Dure Events with photos by Somto Maduka of Imagio Photography and Raheem of RHPhotography.
Favorite item on the wedding menu: Stewed plantain and gizzard
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Ankara robes, jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair pieces), and personalized mirrors. For the Groomsmen: Ties & Socks
First dance song: “This is Love” by Kelly Rowland
Bride: Ral Nwankwo
Groom: Grant Obioha
Wedding date: 06/06/2015
Wedding location: Houston, Texas
Tell us all about the proposal!
When I was ready to propose, I called Naa, Ral’s very good friend to help me pick out the kind of ring that Ral wanted (I suspected that Ral had discussed it with Naa because she recently got engaged and they discussed rings at length). And I guessed right. I also called Ral’s sister Ogo and told her I was ready. Ral’s other sister Oby started a Whatsapp “Yes we can” group that also included Ije (another close friend) of Ral’s and Nora – Ral’s cousin. We all then started planning on how we were going to trick Ral. We planned to do it on February 13th. Meanwhile, I lied to Ral about my whereabouts. I told her I was on a job in Midland and all the while I was in Houston planning the proposal. I knew the lie was going to work because my work schedule had in the past messed with my plans to see Ral Meanwhile, Ije and Nora were working out their own tricks on Ral to make sure it was clear to her that she was going to spending v-day without me.
I had planned for Naa and Vivian to come with me but mother nature had other plans for the 13th. The snow storm in Baltimore was so bad and flights got canceled making it impossible for Naa to come. Luckily, Vivian and me were able to catch an early flight on the 14th and I made sure to take “my life savings” with me haha. By the time I got there, Ogo already set up her basement with rose flowers and “Will you marry me?” balloons and a Coldstone cake (Ral’s favorite). Nora and Ogo also arranged to have Skype and Facetime for Oby, Ije and Naa to watch the proposal in real time since the snowstorm also grounded them. Ogo picked out Ral’s favorite song John Legend’s “All of me” to play while I proposed to Ral. Before Ral came to the house, Ogo and Nora wanted to make sure that I everything handy so that I didn’t embarrass myself haha #awesomeinlawsIgot. When Ral got to the house, Ogo led her to the basement. From my hiding place, I heard her scream in surprise as Ogo read the love note from me. I just knew then that the “Yes we can” team did a good job because we made sure she didn’t see it coming. By the time Ral saw me, Ogo had just finished reading the letter to her. I then got down on one knee and asked her one simple question “Raluchukwu, will you marry me?” In all the excitement, I don’t think she really heard me but Nora was crying tears of joy on the side saying, “say yes yes yes yes” haha. Ral said yes and then I put my “life savings” on her finger and turned her around to say hi to Oby, Naa and Ije watching on skype. Typing this proposal is making me relive that awesome moment when I asked the lady of my dreams to spend the rest of her life with a knucklehead like me haha. Thanks to Ogo and everyone that gave up their Vday with their significance other to make mine worth the while!
Describe your wedding dress style.
I was looking for a dress that would have the “Princess” look but also be fitted. This dress had both….it truly made me feel like a ride 🙂 As soon as I tried in on, my sister Ogo said “that’s the one!”
How was culture incorporated in your wedding?
To incorporate our Igbo (Nigerian) culture, we had a traditional wedding in December 2014 in Nigeria and also had a second entrance into the wedding reception wearing our native attire.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding?
I don’t think I can pick just one! I had so many special moments. From our personal wedding vows, to our reception entrance, to my special choreographed dance with my sisters to the “groom’s peeps v. bride’s peeps” dance competition at the end of the reception. We had a blast!
What advice do you have for our brides-to-be?
Keep your eyes focused on the prize which is marrying the love of your life. Don’t prioritize the wedding, which is one day, over your relationship/upcoming marriage, which is a lifetime event. Try to talk about other things, not just wedding planning. Set clear expectations. Un-communicated expectations only hurt. Don’t forget to do date night! Wedding Planning can be stressful. Keep the love alive!
Wedding Planner – Chioma of Dure Events
Wedding Decor Design – Chioma of Dure Events
Wedding Photographer – Raheem of RH Photoarts
Traditional wedding photographer – Somto Maduka of Imagio Photography
Bride’s hair and makeup at wedding – Lyzadora
Bridesmaids’ makeup – Lyzadora
Bridesmaids’ hair – Rochelle
Bride’s hair – Pafuchi Hair
Wedding videography – Jummy of Oyemi Films
Wedding cake – Jessie of Edible Designs by Jessie
Wedding MC – Foxy P
Wedding DJ – DJ 6 Double 0
Wedding flowers – Flora Eventi
Wedding Transportation- R.A. Luxury Transportation and ACrystal Limousines
Food – Debra of Glorious Feasts
Photo Booth – Houston Photo Booth
Bride’s make-up & scarf (traditional wedding) – Claire Transformations