When love goes beyond borders!
Today’s love story celebrates how love can bring together the union of two people different backgrounds and continents and bring them into one. The beautiful Odinachi tied the knot to her prince charming, Michael in Houston. Their ceremony started with their Igbo traditional wedding at the bride’s father’s residence in Nnewi, Anambra State (you should totally check it out here). Their white wedding was certainly one to remember from the special moments at the church ceremony to the heartfelt speeches and memorable moments at the reception.
Did we mention that they partied? Oh yes, they did! Everyone certainly had a swell time rocking the dance floor. We know you’d want to know how they met. Keep scrolling to read from the bride and groom how their love story played out.
When I think about our story, I am reminded of the gospel; the good news of an unmerited gift from God, one of transparency covered in the fullness of grace. Unbeknownst by many, December 28, 2016, was the date that marked the beginning of almost two years it took for God to prepare us for one another. In August of 2017, I was reading a book by Elizabeth Elliot called “A Path through Suffering” during which time I was given an image of the beauty that can come from our suffering when we fully surrender everything to the Lord. I then decided to paint what I felt was a perfect illustration of what it looked like to surrender all to the Lord. I had no idea that this painting would turn around to become the catalyst that would ultimately kick off the beginning of a new journey in my life.
Fast forward to the summer of 2018, I painted a family portrait of a friend that he shared on Instagram. There were several comments under the photo but one caught my attention and I decided to send a friend request to the person who had made the comment. August 12, 2018, while passing time on Instagram, I received a message: “Just stopping by to say, wow! God has really blessed you with amazing talent. Continue to use it or His glory and He is going to take you places you never imagined. Cheers!”
This was the message from Oddie on this very same painting that would then kick off the start of our journey together. Little did she know that I was not going to respond with a simple “Thank You.” As a simple comment gravitated towards a friendship, we both realized one thing we had in common – our deal-breaker, that we would never do long distance. I truly believe that God laughed at that moment because here we are, me in Houston and Oddie in New York.
It took me a little while to confess, but a couple of weeks before receiving the comment from Oddie, I had talked to my brother Lanre about having an interest in pursuing her. However, I also expressed insecurity that had held me back from the pursuit due to previously failed relationships that had placed a big emphasis on one’s merit and title. Thankfully, Lanre was there to encourage me with his words, that beyond our jobs and titles, we all have a higher calling required of us for God’s kingdom.
Having had some really awful relationships and at that time, dealing with a traumatic experience she had just faced during the beginning of the intern year, It took a lot of convincing to get through to Oddie and the giant walls she had constructed around her heart. I am glad I was persistent and did not let all her attempts at pushing me away get to me. This is only the beginning of our story – tangible evidence of God’s grace and goodness. I look forward to all that will be written in our years to come.
Here’s how the proposal happened according to the bride:
It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November. 24th, Michael and I had just woken up. I made coffee for both of us before we sat down on my couch to have our devotion. Anyway, while reading my bible, I would turn around and find Michael looking at me, bible on his lap with his journal but his attention was obviously somewhere else, which is not typical of him. He was also being sneaky and weird, which got very distracting for me. A few minutes later he handed me a handwritten note that had me grinning from ear to ear while fighting the tears that were building up. After I was done, I hugged him and thanked him for the sweet words in the note, picked up my bible and journal and went right back to my devotion. Little did I know that Michael had other plans in mind.
He picked up his bible and journal and turned away from me, so I thought he had resumed his bible reading. However, I kept hearing sounds of paper being ripped apart but figured he had made a mess in his journal and did not think much of it. I put on my headphones for worship to close out my devotion, when I opened my eyes, I found him praying. I sat down waiting on him to be done so that we could pray together and get on with our day, but when Michael was done praying, he opened his eyes, turned around and just stared at me. I am extremely bashful and not the one to make eye contact, so this made me uncomfortable. To play it cool, I started giggling and asking why he was staring, he said nothing then grabbed my hands and said he had something to tell me.
He started talking about how he had brought me up to his friend 2 weeks prior to me commenting on his artwork but felt that I was out of his league. He went on to tell me how he had asked my dad for his blessing. Three weeks prior, my dad was visiting from Nigeria for a few days, so Michael took off work to fly into New York so that he could meet my dad. For me, it was important that any man, who was interested in marriage, first seek my father’s blessing prior to proposing. Anyway, I knew that he talked to my dad because my dad asked me about our relationship, but I was not sure if he had specifically asked for my hand in marriage.
So much more was said, but if I am being honest, I cannot recall most of what he said, because he had tears rolling down his face, which caught me off guard. I thought I had done something to hurt him, so I started freaking out. Before I could pull my thoughts together, Michael got on his knees in front of me, at which point it finally hit me that the entire time, all that was happening was leading up to this – he was proposing. I am not sure if I said yes because between the tears (both of us, more me this time) and me asking him what he was doing, I think we both skipped that part. In his typical goofy fashion, he pulled out an origami ring that he made from a piece of paper in his journal, which he had scribbled with the words, “I love you”. We both went from crying to laughing as he slipped the ring into my finger. I love that Michael listened to me and opted for a private proposal, but the best part of it all is that this happened in the very same spot where he first told me he loves me, which also happens to be the same spot where we shared our first kiss.
Ceremony Location: Willcrest Baptist Church
Ceremony Decor: @vibschulle⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Reception Decor: @decor2remember⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bride’s Hair: @godsfingerssalon
Bride’s dress: @stephenyearick through @weddingsbydebbie⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Veil & crown: @shandiecouture⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bride’s shoes: @badgleymischkabride⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Accessories: Bride’s mum⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Groom’s first suit (black): @maestrophilippe⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Groom’s second suit (dark green): @theblacktux⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Groom’s shoes: @stevemadden⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Groomsmen suit and shoes: @theblacktux⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bridesmaids dress: @dollhousebridesmaids⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bridesmaids hair: @_shes_royal⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Groom’s hair: @mwilson72