What comes to mind when you hear the word tradition? Boring? Uncreative? Obligatory? It doesn’t have to be any of that. When planning a wedding, […]
You move me. You shift my equilibrium like weights on a scale, you tip the balance and upturn my spirits.
Meet the incredible. Assumpta and Horia.
Assumpta has been a wonderful Nu Bride reader for ever a year, so it is such a joy to be able to share her and her husband Horia’s love story with you today.
Another online dating success story! Hurrah! This is the love story of all love stories, so hold onto your hats.
Assumpta of Nigerian heritage and Horia of Romanian heritage met on OK Cupid. It was love at first sight for Horia (which is ironic because Horia never thought he would get married), and Assumpta was Horia’s first love! For Assumpta, Horia was a little more of a slow burner, but on their first date it didn’t take Assumpta to realise he was a very special man indeed.
With traditional Nigerian, Esan (Edo) and western celebrations, Horia and Assumpta absolutely know how to throw a party or two and fused not only their cultures but a plethora of religions together, effortlessly.
Even with a guest list of 350, they managed to make their reception feel intimate and personal, infusing it with personal details like the bride’s favourite colour, meaningful music, and an A-frame decorated with flowers, candles and photos as a remembrance of those who were dearly missed.
Keep an eye out for the impeccable attention to details and the beautiful touches added by Assumpta’s stunning poetry. Elegant, stylish and hugely romantic, such a wonderful union.
I absolutely love surprises and I never wanted to see a proposal coming. Horia knows this and did a pretty good job of making sure that happened by choosing a random date night (on a Monday of all days) to take me to a nice dinner in Canary Wharf after work. Oftentimes when we are out, we record videos for Horia’s parents to show them what we are doing, as they do not live in the UK.
Horia suggested that we do so that night but I said no and asked him to send them a photo instead. He asked again and I did not want to be argumentative as we were having such a lovely evening so I gave in. While I was saying hi to the camera and showing the surroundings, Horia got on one knee and asked me to marry him. Watching my reaction is both cringe-worthy and hilarious, but I am happy that he managed to document it without raising my suspicions.
(Nu Bride: Now we want to see it!)
The theme of our wedding was timeless elegance and fun.
Both of our styles are quite classic and at times, traditional. We wanted the day to reflect that, so chose a black tie dress code. We wanted a wedding that transcended fads, so that in ten, twenty, thirty, or fifty years when we look back on it, we will have no regrets as elegance does not go out of fashion.
I have a love and deep appreciation for finer details so there were a number of small, thoughtful touches, such as the tables being named after qualities we want our marriage to exemplify (Nu Bride: ADORE this)
Finding inspiration was not difficult, but cultural representation was disappointingly lacking. There were no black brides in the wedding magazines my friend bought me when we first got engaged, nor did many of the dress designers I liked use any brides of colour – thank God for the internet! It is a shame that, other than Nu Bride, I had to turn to American and African sites for inspiration for the sort of quality we wanted, plus ethnic diversity.
Our photographer was Tino Antoniou. Tino was really helpful and I would recommend him. In fact, I did, and a friend of mine used him for her wedding three months after ours!
For our cinematography, we chose Urban Cinematography. We would highly recommend them. Professional, helpful and a joy to be around.
I planned our weddings (both Nigerian and English) myself, and I now have a planning, coordination and styling business (AVE Creations). We also hired a coordinator on the day (IMT Event Management) and they did a great job.
My wedding dress was one of the most remarkable pieces of clothing that I have ever put on my body.
(Nu Bride: Oh my – what an incredible accolade!)
Formal-wear (and dresses in general) are my favourite, so as you can imagine, I have worn many gorgeous clothes in my time. The road to finding my wedding dress was paved with potholes but they were worth it when I put my dress on that morning.
I wore a couture gown designed and made by Fran Rios. I chose the bespoke route after having such an underwhelming time in bridal shops. It was a fascinating experience getting to influence the design, choose the fabric, beading, and placement of folds. It made my experience so special and Fran is one of the most welcoming, knowledgeable, professional and personable individuals I have ever met. So much so, that I had one of my dresses for our Nigerian wedding made by her as well. My second dress (for dancing the night away) was a sparkly wedding dress from David’s Bridal.
Horia always knew that he wanted to wear a bespoke suit on our wedding day. The designer he went with (Keye London) was recommended by our videographers when he told them of his desire. When he met Kay (the owner of the brand), he seemed to understand what Horia wanted and offered helpful suggestions. He made him a white shirt and black three-piece tuxedo with green accents (for example the suit lining, strategically placed stitching, plus his initials on the shirt cuffs). The whole experience was very convenient, as Kay comes to you. The father of the bride also ended up having a suit made by him for the wedding.
My family and I are Catholic, so we got married in a Catholic Church. The service was moving and the sermon in particular was enlightening, entertaining and had touches of humour. It meant a lot that Horia’s Romanian Orthodox family and our Muslim, atheist, Hindu and agnostic friends alike all enjoyed it. I think the choir and charming priest helped! Some of the funniest moments of the day were during the sermon.
The traditions we honoured were mostly at our traditional Nigerian wedding. This wasn’t necessarily a tradition, but something important to me was praying with my friend before I left to go to church. Also, earlier in the year Horia’s Aunt had gifted me a rosary, which happened to be blue. My grandma (and only surviving grandparent) also gifted me a blue rosary. They were both my ‘something blue’ and one was wrapped around my bouquet so I felt like my grandma was with me (she could not travel from Nigeria unfortunately to make the day for health reasons).
Our timeless elegance theme carried over to our flowers and reception detail. Our chosen colour palette was blush, white, green and gold. Green is my favourite colour but I did not want it to overwhelm, so green shone through in the foliage and smaller details like the text of printed items. Guests dined using gold cutlery and drank from gold-lined glasses. The bridesmaids wore rose gold evening dresses and I wore green shoes! As mentioned before, Horia’s suit was lined in green with green stitched details and the groomsmen wore black and green waistcoats.
Bringing in those finer details again, we had a memory A-frame decorated with flowers, candles and photographs of important loved ones who had passed. This was a surprise to both of our parents and made Horia’s mum particularly emotional and grateful as her mother passed earlier in the year. We are both music lovers as well, which is where the fun element came in. A choir sang during our church service, a saxophonist played during cocktail hour and while guests took their seats, and finally our DJ was excellent – no one wanted to leave the dance floor once the dancing got started!
Our florist and decorators Seventh Heaven also did a fabulous job. Seventh Heaven are flower importers, so it meant that I got to choose a unique rose-peony hybrid to have in my bouquet. Having fresh flowers throughout also meant that the marquee smelled pleasant when our guests walked in, as well as looking striking.
Our caterers, Caper & Berry, were outstanding. We were very particular about the food, as we have been hungry (Nu Bride: never a good look) or disappointed at a few weddings in the past and did not want to do that to our guests. I love hot food to be served HOT, not lukewarm ( Nu Bride: ditto), and Caper & Berry have that down to a fine art. Everything was delicious, from the creative canapés during cocktail hour to the three-course menu, and all so beautifully plated – I eat with my eyes. In addition, their time management was impeccable and there were enough staff members to serve our 350 guests at the sit-down wedding breakfast in a timely fashion.
Watching the groomsmen dance into the reception was pretty amusing and so was the father-daughter dance. My dad started stretching beforehand, so I mimicked him and did the same! Both the father-daughter dance and mother-son dance were really fun and lively, as both were danced to upbeat songs, which meant our guests enjoyed watching.
Our first dance was to Anthony Hamilton’s ‘Best of Me’. It is a beautiful song and one of my favourites. It was between this and John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ (suggested by Horia) but we decided on Best of Me as it’s not as common and the lyrics are very relatable for us. Plus it is a song you can move slowly to, or pick up the pace a bit.
After the ‘official dances’ we opened our dance floor with ‘Candy’ by Cameo as opposed to playing it later in the evening (an excellent suggestion by our DJ). It meant that almost everyone got on the dance floor and we had over 200 people doing the electric slide. The fun continued from there and the dance floor was never empty. (Nu Bride: I can’t even cope with how epic this must’ve been!)
Challenges and Triumphs
Managing guest numbers was pretty challenging. Not only do I have a big family, I know a lot of people and so do my parents! A triumph was creating the table names, menus, seating plan and place cards for 350 people, along with a detailed floorplan for the caterers so they knew precisely where every guest (particularly those with a special dietary requirement) was seated in the room.
Top Tip for Other Couples
First, choose your wedding party carefully. Ours were so supportive and fun! Also, plan as best you can, then hand over to a co-ordinator (or trusted person if your budget does not permit) so you can really let go and enjoy yourself on the day.
Photographer: Tino Antoniou
Ceremony Venue: St Anthony’s Church, Slough
Reception Venue: Ditton Manor, Datchet
Cinematographer: Urban Cinematography
Planning: Ave Creations
Co-ordination: IMT Event Management
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Suit: Keye London
Shoes: Russell & Bromley
Bridesmaid Outfits: Nazz Collection
Bridesmaid Robes: Custom made in Romania
Flower Girl Outfits: Sourced in Romania
Groomsmen Suits: French Connection at Moss Bros
Pageboy Outfit: Marks & Spencer
Cake: The Cake Fairy
Flowers & Decor: Seventh Heaven Decor
Food: Caper & Berry
Stationery: Ave Creations
DJ: DJ Whateva
Dance Floor & DJ Booth: VNV Live