Taylor and Eleanor’s Multi-cultural Nigerian-Malawian Royal Wedding

In today’s world, divine intervention is viewed by most as something that only happens in days of old. However, anyone that has witnessed the love story of Eleanor and Taylor could affirm that their love was written in the stars long before they met at a wedding in October 2011.
When your steps are ordered by divine direction, God always sends signs that you’re going the right way. In a room full of people, it was Eleanor, Taylor, and God whom shared a moment completely alone. “I could feel the presence of God, and I knew in the moment that heaven was rejoicing as Taylor and I took this leap of faith to spend out live together,” she said of the moment she walked down the aisle looking at her husband for what felt like the first time…

Read all about Eleanor & Taylor’s love story, two romantic proposals, and beautiful African royal wedding in Las Colinas – beautifully captured by Teshorn Jackson Photography.

Bride & Groom: Eleanor & Taylor
Occupations: PhD Candidate/International Civil Servant & Logistics Business
Wedding date: May 24,2018 and May 27, 2018
Wedding location: Omni Mandalay – Las Colinas Texas
Traditional Wedding: Thursday, May 24, 2018, The Ranch at The Springs
Outdoor Wedding: The Omni Mandalay, Las Colinas May 28th, 2018

Tell us how you met. It was Friday, October 21, 2011 that we first met. For Taylor, it was just another night out, hanging out with his boys, and celebrating a friend’s wedding. For Eleanor, having just moved to Geneva from Dallas the month before, going to a wedding on a Friday evening was an unexpected invite from a school colleague. As odd as she thought it was to attend the wedding of a couple she had never once met, so as not to disappoint a friend, she unenthusiastically got ready and made her way to the wedding reception.
“WOW!” is the first thought that came to Taylor’s mind when he saw this beautiful girl wearing a red dress, and sitting at a table, curiously looking around. Just from the way that she was dressed, and how she carried herself, Taylor knew this girl wasn’t from around here. Being the shy and laid back guy that he was, Taylor knew he had to quickly come up with a game plan. After building up some courage, Taylor made his way to this young woman, but had no idea what he would actually say to her. He asked his friends to accompany him on the mission, which would soon unravel in a very surprising way.

“Who are all these people staring at me and talking to me? Why am I crashing a wedding of a couple I don’t even know, especially in a city I am not even familiar with?” Those were some of the thoughts going through Eleanor’s mind as she tried to keep herself distracted. As she aimlessly looked around, she saw coming right in her direction, a very fine man wearing a classic black suit and crisp white shirt. Her first thoughts; “he is so fine.” The first words out of Taylor’s mouth when he finally made his way across the room to speak to the girl in red, “will you take a picture with me.”
Although Eleanor should have found it odd that this stranger was asking to take a picture with her, the only thing she did was smile and agreed to take the photo with the man. Taylor asked Eleanor to dance, and in typical Eleanor fashion, within the first 5 minutes of their dancing, she grilled him with questions about his life. Satisfied with the initial answers, she continued to talk to him for the rest of the night, and as they say, the rest is history…

Tell us all about the proposal. Taylor and I actually had two proposals, in a period of a year and a half. Sounds really strange, but it’s actually really beautiful. I have always been a strong advocate and voice for women knowing exactly what they want and being able to authentically express it. In that framework, I knew that when the time came to choose to get married, I wanted to be able to express whether I was ready or not; in other words, I wanted to totally kill the romance in a surprise proposal and actually choose when to get engaged. Taylor being the gentleman he is, agreed (did he though?). We had a conversation and asked each other about marriage and decided to get married. He bought my dream ring! We had the most amazing engagement celebration and we were engaged! Well, so I thought!
Fast forward about a year and a half, Taylor and I were on vacation in Miami, where he planned the most romantic proposal! I came to find out, the whole mutual proposal I had forced him into, was actually never his dream to begin with. He had always imagined surprising me, but out of respect for me, had gone ahead with my plan, and here we were in Miami, about to experience his own plan! On the night we were celebrating my birthday, Taylor took me to what has since become one of our favorite restaurants in Miami. At some point during dinner, here I am thinking the birthday dessert is coming, only to look up and see all the wait staff approaching our table with cameras and there was my fiance somewhere in the midst of them, on his knees with my ring! Forgetting that he had randomly asked me for my ring earlier in the night and never gave it back, here I was thinking, why is he on his knees, how did he end up with my ring… Before I could fully process what was happening, everyone in the restaurant was cheering and I was screaming yes, like he was asking me to marry him for the very first time! This was one of the best moments of my life as it took me by total surprise, and it remains a life teaching moment for me on the great value of compromise and letting your man be your man!

What was wedding shopping like for you? Although I always imagined that my wedding dress would be extremely untraditional, when I actually started the wedding planning process and began to think about what I wanted my dress to say, what came to my mind was something that would speak elegance, beauty and timelessness. Seeing that my groom is very classic in style, I chose to appeal to his more traditional values and also looked to something that my mother would beam to see me walking in. As soon as I had seen the Fall 2016 bridal collection, I knew without a single element of doubt that I wanted a timeless beauty with a removable train. Debating between different wedding designers who featured this style, I finally settled on Ysa Makino on one hand, and Enzoani on the other. I loved the daring edginess with a timeless feel of Ysa Makino dresses but couldn’t shake the beauty, elegance and lace regality of Enzoani dresses. When I run across Lucie by Enzoani, I knew she was the one. The dress was everything that I was looking for and more, and with an objective to try on and buy that dress, that is exactly what I did. The minute I put it on, I started crying, a note in my spirit that this was the dress I would wear on the glorious date of May 27, 2018.
My second wedding dress was just a dream come true. I had a Turkish Couture Designer, Dakkasinda Couture, bring my own design to life.

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We had a weeklong of events, which included a traditional engagement (where my then fiance formally asked for my hand in marriage from my parents’ clan) and we had a beautiful traditional wedding that brought together our different worlds. Even though we met in Geneva, Switzerland, Taylor is actually from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria and my roots stem from the Ngoni tribe of Malawi. Our traditional wedding, themed, “An African Royalty,” wedding was an opportunity to see what royalty looks like when the South meets the West. This was a perfect platform to enable our friends and family to experience the richness and diversity present on the African continent. Seeing that we were in Texas, we thought a ranch, which features a luxe village feel, would be the perfect location to create our own “African Royalty Wedding” atmosphere, an atmosphere where the South and West would cozy up to create something so very beautiful.

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids – dancing sandals, personalized tote bags, kimono bathrobes, earrings, wedding day accessories, bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes, journals, bookmarks, African beads, makeup bags.
Groomsmen – Personalized toiletry bags, socks, personalized flasks, mints, bookmark, flower pin lapel.
Favorite item on the menu: Everything was amazing, but the salmon and the lamb were so delicious!
First dance song: “By Your Side” by Sade, and “Endless Love” by Shania Twain and Lionel Richie.

What is your best memory from your wedding? For both of us, the moment when I walked down the aisle was the best moment of our wedding. I could feel the presence of God, and I knew in that moment that heaven was rejoicing as Taylor and I took this leap of faith to spend our lives together. The presence of the Divine set the perfect tone of what would come to pass during the rest of that beautiful day.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Yes, weddings are stressful, and yes, they are extremely expensive. But, what God has given you is the tool to make what you see in your mind the reality of your world. Learn to use your mouth to speak exactly what you want and declare it into being. Have faith that everything is going to work out for good, and trust that the God who began a good work in the both of you will complete it. Our wedding is not only our dream wedding, but even going through it felt like a complete dream. To see everything that we spoke about become a reality was more than we could ask for. Thus, as you plan your wedding, this moment that you will recall and celebrate for the rest of your lives, walk by faith and not by sight. Just because you cannot see it in that moment, doesn’t mean that you don’t already have it, that God has not already given it to you!

Wedding Dress Designer: Enzoani
Reception Wedding Dress Designer: Dakkasinda Couture
Bouquet: Sharon Ngwenya
Veil: Samantha Stark
Bridesmaids Makeup: Leticia
Bridesmaids Dresses: Dakkasinda Couture
Groom’s Suit: Custom Design and Make by Ottavio Nuccio
Groom’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Wedding Dress Salon: Stardust Celebrations
Hair: Jaclyn Irabor
MUA: Rhonda Collins
Shoes (Bride): Manolo Blahnik
Ceremony Location: Omni Mandalay Las Colinas
Reception Location: Omni Mandalay Las Colinas
Photography: Teshorn Jackson
Cinematography: Henry Adewale
Planner: Reytheda Jackson
DJ: Lance Panton
Florist and Event Designer: Sharon Ngwenya
Cake: Fancy Cakes by Lauren
Dance Floor: DFW Dance Floors
MC: MC Yaz

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