THEIR STORY IN MOROLAKE’S WORDS:
“Will and I met through friends. I spent the summer after college working at a summer camp with some of his closest friends. We hung out a lot in the following months and I was into it! Will is funny and charismatic, and I had a huge crush on him. It wasn’t long after our first kiss that I fell in love with him. Fast forward 10 years and we were still going strong.
For our anniversary that year, we drove to a picturesque hotel in upstate New York, dressed up and went out to a fancy dinner. Over wine and steak, Will told me how much he wanted to marry me. At first, I wasn’t sure what to do with this information. We’d been together through thick and thin for a decade with no definitive talk of marriage and I’m the kind of lady to passionately denounce the diamond trade and use of marriage to prop up the patriarchy. So I laughed it off and jokingly said something like “Well, whatever you do, don’t get me a diamond.” And then Will looked away and got silent.
And I realized that he HAD bought me a diamond. Without thinking, I blurted out “You bought me a ring?!” And he smiled at me shyly and said “Yeah, but you don’t want it …” And I nearly jumped out of my seat and screamed “Give me the goddamn ring!” Will presented me with a princess cut engagement ring with an infinity band. I smiled for a week straight.”
“I loved every minute of my wedding day. We worked hard to pull everything together – mobilizing our friends and family to help cut and place flowers, set up chairs, prepare the food stations, and more! And because the planning was done well in advance, we managed to do it all in good spirits.” – Morolake
“When the time finally came to get my makeup done and get dressed, I was ready. I slipped into my gown and the look on my mom’s face filled me with joy. Walking down the aisle with my parents at my sides, I saw smiles on the faces of all my favorite people. Then, I had the incredible fortune to actually marry the man of my dreams.”
“The ceremony was built around family. More than anything, we wanted our families to understand how important they are to us, and to be invested in the success of our union. So using the framework of an afrocentric spice ceremony, we invited our parents to give us words of wisdom inspired by a particular spice – Sweet, Sour, Savory and Spicy: Will’s mom, Lisa, spoke about life’s sweetness; Will’s father, Bill, gave us advice for times that lack in sweetness; Morolake’s mom, Cheryl, shared insights into the marriage of reward and sacrifice; Morolake’s dad, Ayokunle, spoke about the value of fun and exploration.
After receiving our parents words of wisdom, we exchanged our vows … and tried not to ugly cry!”
Morolake and Will’s guests enjoyed a picnic style reception in the garden at The Mazant and danced the night away under the canopy of a tent illuminated with market lights. The couple opted for a traditional New Orleans treat – Beignets from Cafe du Monde – in place of a wedding cake!
“The reception is a bit of a blur for me now. Between all the laughing and dancing and chatting and dancing, all I really remember is thinking ‘This is the best party I’ve ever been to.'” – Morolake
PHOTOGRAPHY: Rare Sighting Photography | EVENT PLANNER: The Bridal Citizen (PeP Holman) + Morolake Odeleye (The Bride) | REHEARSAL DINNER, GETTING READY, CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION: The Mazant | OFFICIANT: Lynn Weaver Pitts (Will’s Aunt) | FLOWERS: Walmart | ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Jeremy Avalon | BRIDAL GOWN: Teuta Matoshi | HAIR: Char for H2 Salon | MAKEUP: Renise Williams | DECOR AND LIGHTING RENTALS: Mascaro Bros Party Rentals | CATERING: Frey Smoked Meat Company, Sweet Vegan Soulfood, Cafe du Monde | JEWELER: Zales | FAVORS: Oriental Trading (raffia fans) | INVITATIONS: Keahilani Kam
“I am incredibly thankful to the small and committed group of people who made my wedding the wonderful day that it was. In particular, I want to thank Pep Holman of Bridal Citizen. She was an amazing partner who made sure that I felt taken care of in the weeks leading up to the wedding. From the moment we landed in New Orleans until we left, she was present and working hard to make sure the event came together seamlessly. She put me and my family at ease. Thank you!” – Morolake