By Okon Ekpenyong, with Contributions from Ganel Leconte
Ezinne and Derrick’s wedding was a two-day extravagant where a Cameroonian and Nigerian joined hands in a nuptial ceremony celebrating love, happiness, faith, friendship, and families.
The traditional wedding was a stunning cultural ceremony at the Bridgewater Banquet & Conference Center in Dublin, Ohio. And the church wedding was inside the gorgeous Columbus Museum of Art, specifically at the Derby Court & The McCoy Family Broad Street Lobby in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Like many fathers, the first time Mr. Steve Ndukwe held his daughter, Ezinne, on this earth in their hands was a joyful occasion that ended with teardrops. It was not just his job but a responsibility to provide for her, share countless moments, and protect her journey from elementary, middle, and throughout her secondary Education.
Next, watching her graduate from college was also one of every father’s most significant wishes when they grew up, and of course, it creates yet another tearful moment. In the process of raising a daughter, the thought of one day walking her down the aisle is not a scary thing precisely but often becomes the furthest thing from his mind. However, he hopes it does not get in the way of her dreams and aspirations if the right knucklehead comes along.
In the case of Derrick, he was just what the retired Engineer from Honda had hoped for a young man who would one day becomes his daughter’s better half.
Cameroonian and Nigerian Traditional Wedding
Derrick, the Groom
“I was excited about the traditional wedding because it merges the Cameroonian and Nigerian cultural celebrations. Witnessing friends and families from both sides coming together to celebrate love, especially wearing their cultural outfits, dancing, and all of the cultural ceremonies of a traditional wedding, was exciting.
“At the core of it all, we are all from one place; we are all one people and sharing these moments with our communities and others who’ve never experienced such a joyful occasion makes the night special,” Derrick, the Groom, said.
Ezinne, the Bride
You can celebrate all parts of you, whether you live in your native country or abroad. It is not exclusive; you can be all of those things at the same time. You can celebrate all those pieces, and it can be beautiful when they come together.
“Learning and seeing how we could merge our culture, lives, and future jointly has led us to this moment,” Derrick said. The newlyweds met in Columbus in 2009, and Derrick admitted that he made the first move. They had a class together, and he asked if she wanted to study with him.
“When I saw him with his family, how supportive and encouraging they were with his Education, hopes, and aspirations. That’s how I knew he was the real deal, especially how well he respected his family,” Ezinne said.
“As we were planning, we thought both cultures were so different, but soon we realized there were many similarities than differences between the two,” Ezinne & Derrick said. Some celebrations can be the same in most cultures, but how they call it or go about it may be the differences between the two.
The bride’s father said they looked at multiple venues for the wedding, but Ezinne chose Columbus Art Museum for its arts and cultures. It was a beautiful place for a wedding, and all attendees captured every moment before and after the ceremony. Some even stayed to tour the museum since the reception didn’t start at a later time at Hilton Columbus at Easton. So, it was a win-win situation for those who gathered to celebrate Ezinne and Derrick’s perfect day and for the lovers of arts.
The museum describes it as a traditional space with Dale Chihuly’s Isola di San Giacomo in Palude glass sculpture and a skylight ceiling with stars and suns. Broad Street Lobby has an intricately painted gilt ceiling and limestone arches that lead to an interior courtyard.”
Derrick said he was looking to have a good time at the Saturday wedding because we’ve been planning and working hard to ensure it is a memorable event for everybody.
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