Love Wins Over Hate: A Beautiful Intimate German-Gambian Wedding | Photography by Soven

High from all the emotions, it almost felt like love wins over hate and prejudice. 

A beautiful German-Gambian love story for you to enjoy today.

Welcome the delightful Catharina and Abdoulie who met on Facebook, of all places!

After a long-distance relationship, they chose to tie the knot and fused their German, Gambian-British cultures together in an intimate wedding, with their own rules.

What was touching was that with many of their families living overseas, most of them met for the very first time on their wedding day. A perfect union of two families from different corners of the world. As such, they chose to celebrate with their nearest dearest at the Rossetti room in Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall on the 27th July 2017, followed by a wider celebration a couple of weeks later in Germany.

Enjoy this beautiful intimate celebration with handsome Abdoulie wearing his Army uniform and Catharina wearing a timeless elegant dress, who choose to walk down the aisle together.

See how their day unfolded for them both with beautiful images captured by Photography by Soven

How did you meet?

The way we met is actually quite unromantic. (Nu Bride: LOL!)

My Facebook profile popped up on Abdoulie’s list of “do you also know”. He decided to send me a message. At that time I was living in Texas, USA and he was in Germany. We kept in contact and by the time I moved back to Germany we decided to meet up. The rest is history!

Your Proposal?

It is hard to say when we started thinking and actually knowing that we wanted to spend the rest of our life together, but it was definitely very early in our relationship. However, the time of the actual proposal was a little bit of a surprise. We have always been in a long-distance relationship, because Abdoulie was in the Army and they were constantly either on training or on deployment (e.g. Afghanistan). It also didn’t help that I moved away for University and later on for a good job. Long story short, we hadn’t seen in a while, which is why it was already a special weekend, because we could spend time with each other. The weather was good, so we walked outside along a river and when he asked me to marry him, the weekend became even more special.  

Coming Together

We wanted a small, intimate wedding, which we organised ourselves to make sure it is the way we wanted it to be.

When we started planning our wedding, we were overwhelmed with the different options, themes and traditions, which ultimately lead to obligations. Especially if you are bringing different cultures together, there are very different expectations. So we decided to plan our wedding under the theme “everyone makes their own rules”.  (Nu Bride: Great theme!)  We wanted a wedding that represents us. As we have always used this theme as a guideline to find our way together, it represented us perfectly on our day.

From the beginning, we both had a clear vision on how we wanted our wedding to be, so we were not lacking inspirations. Nonetheless, we have to admit that it was challenging to find what we had in mind. I guess that is the disadvantage of already knowing what you want.

Our photographer was Photography by Soven.

As we are both not living in London, we decided to search online for a photographer. We came across Soven and his photography and liked his pictures instantly. His pictures don’t look posed or artificial, they look like screenshots of someone else’s special day full of emotions.

On the day of our wedding, the weather was really bad. It was raining nonstop. We didn’t think we would be able to get any nice pictures outside, but Soven used the rain to make our pictures special. Besides that, he is a wonderful person and we can definitely recommend him.

The Dress:

Before looking for a dress, I knew I wanted a tight fitted dress with thin straps. I like dresses that are simple/classy with a touch of vintage. Of course, I collected ideas on several social media accounts. When I actually started looking at wedding dresses, I decided to begin with a local store called Wed2B. I picked out several dresses, thinking this will help me to find out if a tight fitted dress suited me, but I won’t buy one in the first store. However destiny often plays a role, amongst the dresses was my wedding dress. It was exactly what I wanted. A classy, simple dress with nice little details like the back. I bought it and brought it home the same day.


The suit

Since recently Abdoulie was in the Army for several years. This has always been a big part in his and even our lives, so it was clear that he wanted to get married in his uniform. (Nu Bride: Perfect!)


The Ceremony

Our wedding ceremony took place in the town hall in Chelsea. We chose this registry office, because we liked the atmosphere. I won’t just have fond memories of our wedding venue just because we got married there, but also because most members of our families met for the first time in person at the location. Abdoulie’s parents live in Gambia and came over especially for our wedding day.

Very much in keeping with our motto “everyone makes their own rules”, we decided to walk down the aisle side by side. It just felt right to walk into our marriage together.

Favourite Moments

The whole wedding was an overwhelming, indescribable and happy experience. (Nu Bride: Perfect description)

Bringing our families together and being able to celebrate our love made our day special.

One of my favorite moments was when the ceremony was actually over. After taking pictures with our family, they left to get changed and relax before meeting again.

At this point Abdoulie and I went off to take some more pictures on our own. Walking down King’s Road on our own to our first photo location.

It was at that moment Abdoulie and I started to realise what just happened. In that moment, passing a full restaurant, people started clapping and cheering for us, even passing cars started honking.

We will never forget how complete strangers picked up on our happiness and almost celebrated this moment with us.

High from all the emotions, it almost felt like love wins over hate and prejudice. 

(Nu Bride: Love always wins!)

For our wedding location we chose the Blue Bird Chelsea. We wanted a nice location not far from our hotels. If you ever need a nice location, we can definitely recommend it. The food and the service were great.

Although it wasn’t funny instantly, we did laugh about the weather. In the morning whilst we were getting ready, it was really nice outside, but from the moment we stepped outside it started raining and didn’t stop anymore until late night. In the end we laugh about it, because apparently it brings luck when a new union is blessed with rain.

For sure we will have one lucky marriage.

Challenges and Triumphs

Being in a long-distance relationship, we found it hard to find time together planning not only our wedding/registry ceremony in London, but also our big party with family and friends in Germany.

It was a triumph when we realised that everything we had planned and booked was exactly how we wanted it to be. Our family was happy, our outfits looked good together, the location suited us, the atmosphere of the lively streets in Chelsea was great and we had a fantastic photographer, who was able to capture all of this and more!

What one tip would you give to other couples?

I think it is very important to listen to what you as a couple want for your wedding.

As more people as you ask for an opinion, the more opinions you will get. This creates stress and your wedding shouldn’t be stressful. If you are happy with what you have chosen, I am sure your contentment will apply to everyone attending.


The Talent

Photographer: Photography by Soven 

Venue: Chelsea Old Town Hall 

Bride’s Fashion:  Dress / outfit:  Wed2B 

Accessories / Jewellery: Earrings inherited

Shoes:  Present from my mother

Hair & Makeup: Helen Lancaster 

Flowers and Décor: The Real Flower Company 

Grooms suit: Army uniform


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