Ona and Osa first met at a Nigerian Independence Day party in 2009. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that Osa worked up the courage to ask Ona on a date. By their second date, she knew he was the one. Despite this, Osa’s proposal in 2016 was a complete surprise to Ona! What she thought was a quiet birthday dinner turned out to be a huge party. She was so shocked when Osa proposed in front of their family and friends she stood frozen until she eventually said “Yes!” Their wedding day was the perfect blend of both Ona’s southeastern Virginian lifestyle as well as their Nigerian culture.
Read all about Ona and Osa’s relationship, surprise proposal, and southern glam wedding in Virginia.
Bride & Groom: Ona & Osa
Occupations: Critical Care Registered Nurse & Electronics Technician
Wedding date: August 19, 2017
Wedding location: The First Lady of Suffolk
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Osa and I originally met in 2009 at a Nigerian Independence day party at a friend’s house. We moved around in the same circle of friends for two in a half years before Osa asked to take me on a date in 2012. I knew he was the one on our second date. We went bowling and I just remember feeling very comfortable with him. Plus he is an excellent bowler which was very impressive.
The proposal: December 2015 I was away in Nigeria for a friends wedding. Osa and his elder brother went to visit my father to gain his blessing for marriage. Once my father gave his blessing, it was on Osa to ask me for my hand. Saturday February 6th 2016 Osa planned to take me to a quiet dinner for my birthday, which was on Monday the 8th. Things started to get strange when I arrived at his home and he was not there. I started to worry because he is NEVER late. I called him repeatedly but he kept giving me excuses. After an hour of texting back and forth, I started to get upset because this was not his normal behavior. Finally, I calmed down, because if he was late for my birthday dinner, it must be something very important. He arrived an hour late and we headed to the restaurant. When we arrive he said we needed to park at the mall and walk down the street to the restaurant. Again, I was confused because there was plenty of parking in front of the restaurant. It was 30 degrees outside and I was wearing a dress and heels. We quickly dashed down the street and into the restaurant . As we entered the restaurant we were led to a back room. As I looked through the foggy glass I saw a lot of shadows and what looked like balloons. Still not realizing what was happening, I walked into the room and saw 40 of our friends who shouted, “ SURPRISE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. All I could do was cry because I was so appreciative of the great lengths Osa went through to coordinate and keep this a secret from me. Halfway through dinner, Osa’s elder brother started playing music in the party room. However, all of the songs were wedding songs (I thought it was a little weird). He called me up to the front to cut the cake. Osa wanted to give a speech and thank everyone for coming. I was caught off guard because in the five years that we have been together, I have never heard him speak publicly. He gave this long speech about our relationship and then he said “ She has held the title of girlfriend for four years, and today I am going to change that title”. What he said did not register into my mind until he kneeled in front of me and showed me the ring. Once he asked “will you marry me”, I just froze for what felt like forever. I could only shake my head yes. His brother said “Is that a yes or…” Finally, I came to reality and I said “YES”.
What was wedding shopping like for you? I tried on at least 50 dresses before I found my gown. I grew frustrated and decided to settle on any dress. Just when I wanted to give up, I saw this sparkly dress the consultant put in my dressing room. For some reason I felt compelled to try it on. It was a beautiful mermaid style gown with a sheer overlay of crystals and beadwork. Once I put it on, I instantly knew it was the dress. To finish the look off I designed a custom detachable train to give the dress more drama and a different look from the ceremony to reception. Our wedding attire was Southern Glam since I live in Southeastern Virginia.
Groom: My tux style was a clean and classic look. Originally, I had a suit custom made in Nigeria. When it arrived, I decided that It did not give me the look I was going for. I was able to travel to another state to a well known tailor who was able to give me the look I was hoping to achieve.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We incorporated our Nigerian culture into the wedding. We had a full traditional marriage the day before our White wedding on Saturday. On our wedding day we also changed into our traditional attire for the reception. We represented Osa’s Bini tribe and my Isoko tribe.
Bridesmaid/Groomsmen Gifts: The bridesmaids received personalixed gift bags full of makeup brushes, roll up travel cases, robes, jewelry, planners, journals, organic body washes, and lotions. The groomsmen received matching watches
Favorite item on the menu: Saffron Rice
First dance song: “Fall for You” by Leela James
What is your best memory from your wedding? The Best Memory from our wedding was our horse and carriage grand exit. The wedding was over and everyone was outside waiting for us to leave. We were dancing around the ballroom all by ourselves. The carriage ride to the hotel was so peaceful and relaxing. The two of us were able to just enjoy each other’s company and talk about the events of the day.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Enjoy the engagement phase and grow closer together during that period. There is NO RUSH! Do not make wedding planning a chore, enjoy it and hire a planner if it becomes too much. Hiring an excellent videographer and photographer is crucial because this is the only way you will remember your day. Start early and give yourself plenty of time to plan. Make sure to be present in the moment and be happy. Nothing else matters on that day.
Wedding Dress Designer: Sottero & Midgley
Wedding Dress Salon: House of maya Bridal Salon
Groom’s Tuxedo: Tuxedo shop in Maryland
Groom’s Shoes: Magnanni
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Badgley Mischka
Groomsmen Suits: Seyi Mark Custom Tailoring
Bride’s Hair, Makeup, and Gele : Bdash Makeup Artistry
Bridesmaids’ Makeup: Christina Chanel, Ms Make you pretty MUA
Ceremony and Reception Location: The First lady of Suffolk, Suffolk, Virginia
Photography: Tony Shorunke, Shony Studios
Videography: Roger Mitchell, Motiontography
Wedding Planner: Memorable Events by Apryl
The Wedding Singer: Rachel Ajani
MC: Luqman Haskett
Florist: Isha Foss
Cake: Bella Custom Cakes
Royal Loveseat: Tanya Graceful Designs
Stationery: Designed and created by the bride
Event Designer: Venue design by the bride and venue director
Groomsmen and Groom’s Native attire: Grace Apparel,Lagos, Nigeria
Bride’s Native Tailor: Caroline Fashions in Suffolk, Virginia
Brides Third Reception Dress: Caroline Fashions, Suffolk, Virginia