Tida and Ak’s Sierra Leonean’s Mosque Wedding in Maryland

Tida and AK’s love story began during the spring semester of 2012 when both had recently transferred to the same university.
To this day AK can’t recall what the topic of the class lecture was, but what he will never forget is the first time he laid eyes on Tida as she located a seat. After weeks of building up his confidence, AK decided to introduce himself. The connection between them was instantaneous, quickly becoming friends and study partners as they supported each other throughout their academic pursuits. Despite the long-distance between them following graduation, Tida and AK’s bond never wavered and it became clear that they were meant to be together always.

Bride & Groom: Tida & AK
Occupations: Accounting & Law Enforcement
Wedding Location: Lanham, Maryland

Tell us your love story. It was spring semester 2012 when Tida and AK both transferred to Bowie State University. As AK took his seat in the class, his eyes were drawn to a particular student as she picked out a seat of her own. AK could not recall the lecture being given that day as most of his time was spent observing his fellow classmates. He noted her serious demeanor, countered by a rare smile, but it was her beauty and persona that truly captured his attention. After a few months of observation, AK introduced himself to Tida. There was an instant connection and they quickly became friends.

Tida and AK bonded over their goals. They were both on the same path for graduation and naturally became each other’s support system. They spent countless hours studying together and helping each other complete assignments, both motivated by the objective of seeing the other succeed. By the time graduation came around, the pair had unknowingly developed an unexplained bond that impacted their lives in ways not yet imaginable.
After graduation, the close friends experienced a bittersweet “see you later” as they set off to pursue their individual dreams. AK joined the police force and Tida traveled across the world to teach English. As far apart as they were, no distance could lessen a friendship as they not only recognized but also valued each other’s worth. Via texts, calls, and short stays when Tida visited from China, the two continued to support one another through various stages of their lives. At times the distance felt like a nuisance but what they both failed to realize was that the distance was preparing them for a future to come.

AK appreciated Tida’s stride for exploration and adventure, as such, he respected her boundaries and the path she had chosen for herself. Having been separated by geography and time zones, their bond demonstrated that distance was not for the fearful but for the bold. So, when Tida finally made her grand return home from China, AK figured it was now or never. It was then that a connection rooted in friendship blossomed into a love story. A story of knowing a good thing when you see it, even if you don’t see it nearly enough. And a story of God’s timing; “What’s meant for you, will always be yours. God will give it to you at the right time and at the best moment”.
Tida and AK are excited to share the rest of their lives together as they seek to continue to strengthen their bond and to remain supportive of one another. AK looks back now and knows that it was all worth the wait! The serious girl worked her way into his heart and there she will forever stay. As for Tida, she’s thankful to have found her soulmate in her best friend. This is indeed a love worth celebrating.

Wedding Style: Timeless wedding, we wanted to look back at our wedding photos 20 years from now and feel like it just happened yesterday.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? Stressful because we planned our wedding in 6 months. Everyone wanted to have their way with our wedding.

Gifts for the groom: Gold Watch & Quran
Ceremony entrance song: “All Over” by Tiwa Savage
First dance song: “Why I Love You” by Major.

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We are both from Sierra Leone, West Africa and both of our families are Muslim. We had an all-inclusive wedding while respecting our culture and traditions. We paid our respects at the mosque for our ceremony and then we turned up at the reception.

Best memories: The groom’s speech took my breath away. He actually left me speechless. So much so that when it was my turn to speak I forgot everything that I prepared.
Advice for engaged couples: Give yourselves time to plan. We planned the wedding in six months, we didn’t give ourselves enough time to enjoy being engaged.

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