Today we have a special treat for you. Real couple Kenneth and Nikky Nwobu are blessing us with the most fashionable looks for a traditional Nigerian wedding.
The couple who met in church years ago, donned three regal, elegant, and eye-catching looks for their pre-wedding shoot, and we can’t decide which one we love the most.
Read on as they share their love story, wedding advice, and approach to honoring their Nigerian heritage through their fabulous wedding attire.
- Couple: Mr Kenneth Nwobu; Dr Nkiruka Nwobu (Nikky)
- Occupations: Kenneth is the program director of Modest Community Services and Nkiruka is a certified registered Nurse Anesthetist. They are co founders of the HELLO- International non-profit organization.
- Wedding date: March 4, 2020
- Wedding location: New Jersey
How did you meet?
We attend the same church . I (Nikky) always knew Kenneth since he was in the church choir and the youth president. We knew of each other and acknowledged one another whenever our paths crossed but never actually spoke.
I (Kenneth) always noticed Nikky and was intrigued by her class and grace. While I was more active and outgoing, she was more quiet, reserved, and poised. She had that captivating smile that made me want to know her more than just being church members. I found her on Facebook and sent her a message on January 2017 asking her if she was okay since I did not see her in church the previous Sunday. She responded that she was on vacation in Puerto Rico. Needless to say, that was the beginning of a friendship like none other. For me there was an instant attraction. Our friendship blossomed and by December 2017, I knew she was going to be my wife. I told her that I would be in her life forever but she thought I was referring to us being best friends. Nikky decided let’s take some time apart to pray about it and make sure this is God’s will for us.
As 2018 rolled in, while we remained best friends and very in touch with each other, we went ahead to our separate careers and goals. She went ahead to conclude her doctoral degree and travel the world while I focused on my passion which is mission work.
In 2019, we reconnected but this time on a deeper level, we shared the same vision and passion especially in the areas of giving back, sharing God’s love and making a difference.This time we knew, this is it. This is meant to be and here we are.
I thought of the one spot that would symbolize what was the most important to us. I decided to propose in the park. This was significant because that was where we first decided to take our relationship to the next level. To be exclusive. We have taken many walks at the park, but the first walk was the most significant because that was where I first asked her to be exclusive. The vulnerability and authenticity of that moment stood out for me.I knew I wanted to capture that moment again with the proposal. Just the two of us and nature.
I remember Kenneth was his usual bubbly self, so I did not suspect he was going to propose. The sunset walk at the park is an especially fun activity for us. So, it was not out of the ordinary when he asked for us to go for a walk. As we walked at the park, Kenneth was especially attentive and held my hands firmly. Then we came to the spot, it was a peaceful oasis of trees and grass, a very beautiful landscape scenery, sky background, with the fresh scent of nature. As we sat there in the quiet evening watching the sun set, no words, just enjoying each other’s presence, I noticed Ken move like he wanted to pick something from the ground, but instead, he got on his knees and popped the question. That was a very magical moment that will forever be engraved in our memories.
We are both from the Igbo tribe of the eastern part of Nigeria. The wedding style is the Igbo traditional wedding known as igba nkwu. These ceremonies go beyond a mere party. It is a pinnacle facet of the culture. It’s akin to a festival, where entire communities gather to enjoy and celebrate the Union.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?
Customary to the Igbo traditional weddings is the amazing high fashion outfits and accessories adorned by the bride and groom. The shopping experience was very exciting as there was a wide array of choices of fabrics and designs to choose from. We wanted to capture the ethnic designs that complements our rich culture. Since there are different styles popularly adorned by the bride and groom, we decided to make different outfits that represented the igbo tradition. This experience was intriguing as it allowed us the opportunity to inculcate our flare for fashion and creativity, with our love for our culture. Most of the fabrics and accessories were purchased from the eastern part of Nigeria because that was where we had versatility of materials from laces, damask, prints, and so on.
Describe your wedding attire.
These outfits were thoughtfully designed to be regal, elegant, and eye-catching. Our entree attire was the gold attire. This dress was a decorative piece with embroideries that added a dramatic flare. The clothes are usually made to add to the bride’s beauty. The tailor therefore opted for a fitted mermaid dress to accentuate my body style with exaggerated puffy sleeves for a more dramatic flare. All the other outfits had similarities as they highlighted and complemented my style. I adorned the aso oke, which is a prominent material in Nigerian weddings popular for its most extraordinary quality. The aso oke is used as a head gear and also draped on my shoulder which gives that air of royalty.
The groom’s outfit should complement and not clash with the bride’s attire. As such, all the attires were made out of the same or similar fabric or color. The grooms too put a lot of thought into their outfits. For the gold outfit, I chose a long sleeve shirt that reaches the knees with simple embroidery. To add to the uniformity, I wrapped a stoned aso oke on my neck while my bride tied the same fabric as gele which is a popular head gear adorned by the Igbos especially in weddings. The other outfits include the isiagu shirt which is a type of pullover shirt, usually embroidered with lion heads. My yellow outfit was the agbada style which is found among the Yoruba tribe from the southwestern Nigeria. Simple trousers that are traditionally wide-legged was worn with all the outfits.
For accessories, I matched my bride by wearing hand made coral beads necklaces. She wore hers on her head as well as her neck. These beads symbolize power, wealth, royalty and beauty. A common trend in the Igbo culture among grooms is carrying of a walking stick covered in intricate designs. These sticks signify title, longevity, and wisdom. With the white attire, I carried the Ofo (or Ofor) which is a particular type of staff which is smaller and mostly made of wood. It signifies leadership and truth.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Preparing for a wedding can be very exciting, with a lot of emphasis on creating an unforgettable event. Our advice to engaged couples is that it does not really matter what the groom or bride are wearing or how beautiful and colorful the D-day is. The prettiest clothes or most exuberant wedding will not keep a couple together if there is no love between them. That been said, if love is present, it should be commemorated, and there is no better way to do it than with carrying on your people’s legacy and honoring their traditions and culture.
- Photographer: Anu Aketi Photos
- Seamstress: Grace Ibe (Tailor/Seamstress)= 862) 371-6320. Irvington New Jersey
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