This is by far one of the most heartfelt love stories we’ve ever shared on BellaNaija Weddings.
When the bride-to-be – Ewemade‘s mother passed away in September 2001, it changed the meaning of the month to her. 12 years later, Bode proposed on the anniversary of the passing, and gave the day and month a whole new meaning.
For their pre-wedding shoot, the bride-to-be – Ewemade Erhabor-Emokpae, who also happens to be head designer – the brains & beauty behind Shakara Couture and her fiance Bode play out their relationship like scenes from a 1950s movie, which you’ll fully appreciate after reading their story.
BN Weddings would like to thank the couple for sharing their special story with us, and wish them the best in their wedding planning and future ahead!
SEPTEMBER 14TH 2001…
I wake up excited…the unbelievable has happened! At the ripe old age of seventeen, I have finally been permitted to have my very first sleep over. I have worn the Mummy-nator down and she has permitted me to go to spend one night only at Soala’s. Unkown to her, Aunty Sola D.G, Soala’s mum, as well as Soala’s Dad are out of town. It is completely unlike mummy dearest to be so lax with security, in fact it is unheard of. But she is totally distracted….Aaliyah has recently died, so has Tina Onwundiwe and now there’s been an attack on the twin towers and many have lost their lives. She is distraught about it and spends all day staring at the TV while massaging her hand (she is recovering from a stroke and the hand being massaged doesn’t work any longer).
As I wake up, I get ready and walk out of our room and straight into hers. Her room is directly across from ours, something she loves as it allows her to sneak up on us and watch us all hawk-like and what not. As I walk in, I try to contain my joy and disbelief and will her to stay distracted so she does not change her mind and un-permit me (you see Soala and I had planned the beach party to end all beach parties…we even had cake and hot dog…all manner of nice things woulf be at this shindig). As I kneel to greet her, she looks at me and smiles her now lopsided-yet-amazingly beautiful smile and says one word,
This is what she calls me…’baby’, with a y between the first “b” and the following “a”. I smile at her and say to her that I will soon be leaving for Soala’s house. I am almost faint with the mind power I am trying to use to control her. Must…not….change…mind.
She says to me, “oh yes, Soala my girl! Hmmm…..you know, last night I had a dream”. I then sit with her to listen to her talk. She tells me about how the now late Tina Onwudinwe came to her and talked to her in this her dream. With a smile and several nods I listen to my mother whose baby I am, yet, who has also become my baby. The conversation ends with a sorrowful, sigh-filled statement about the state of the world and the terrorist act waged against the United States. She is deeply affected by it. I hug her and tell her I will be leaving now and I that I would only be gone for a day. But my big brother, Isaac-the-stoic 🙂 would take exceptional care of her. I make her promise me she wouldn’t stress him out.
In response to this, she smiles and says “it will be one of two things, we will either bond or we will fight”. Isaac has now come to stand by the door and we all laugh at this last statement. As I leave, she walks me all the way to the front door, Bro is carrying my bag for me and mummy is very chatty and happy. I hug mummy at the front door and walk away…. She stands there and waves at me till I am out of sight. You’d think I was leaving forever!
I will come to HATE September and all things that come of September as this would be the last time I would ever see her alive.
The days that followed were a blur of horror and disbelief. It made no sense that my shield was gone. Who would tell me who was bad and who was good? Who would protect me from men at large? Who would roar in my defence when I was wronged? Who would correct me when I was wrong? Where were we to go? From that day, our lives would be split into two clear parts; before Mummy’s death and after Mummy’s death.
September 14th 2001 was a dark day.
SEPTEMBER 9TH 2006 (My sister’s wedding day)
Mummy has been gone for a while now and we have grown up some. But today is a different day. It is my Five’s wedding day. I am elated and suddenly September isn’t so awful at all. I look at Iwiyisi as she is being hoisted into her dress…my mummy’s “lokoilobi”…..limbs are everywhere, I can barely make her out in the middle of the dressers, but for a row of shiny teeth. She does NOT stop smiling.
If you do not know Iwiyisi, you will not understand what a gift this is. She smiled as soon as she woke up next to me at my Brother’s house that morning and she does not stop smiling till the end of the day. She does not stop, even for a moment to mourn my absent mother and father. She is beside herself with joy from morning till night. I know this because I am her shadow, on this her wedding day, every day before and I will be everyday after. I watch her smile and I fret in my mind, waiting at any turn to go and talk her out of any single one cry..but it never comes. Her joy is complete in this September.
SEPTEMBER 14TH 2013
I wake up groggy. I have had only two hours of sleep, having attended friday night vigil the night before and all I want to do is turn over and go back to sleep but there is much to be done. ‘Sure boy’ (Bode) has had the misfortune of being around me at a time where I am ready to fight over any single thing. It is not entirely my fault…the sun is hot in Lagos…frustration has frustrated me. But the night before, at the vigil we all were asked to pray a very specific prayer, the prayer was directed at fighters such as my (former) self, each of us was directed to ask God to free us from fighting spirit, I prayed this prayer like I was saying my last prayer, because I knew God sent me to this vigil for this very purpose.
As I am getting out of bed, I see that we are running late. “Oh no!”, I think, ‘sure boy’ should be here by now but he is not. A vision of him primping and preening in front of a full length mirror flashes before my eyes…I just KNOW in my heart that somewhere, somehow, sure boy is gazing upon his much loved reflection and appreciating himself. I reach for my phone, ready to put my hand inside it and drag him to my house, as my entire day and the schedule for the same rest on him being at mine on time. I call him and he is on his way or so he says, even though there is a noticeable echo as he speaks (you know, the kind of echo that occurs in a bathroom…….IN FRONT OF A MIRROR!!) I remind him of our tight schedule but as always, he is unfazed and unflappable in his perpetual state of happiness. He laughs and tells me to “chill, jo..” sigh.
Finally sure boy arrives and we start our day. It is a day like any other..save for the fact that this is the day Matilda left us twelve years before. This casts a bit of a pall on the day, but a great deal of time has passed and tears, once so easy to summon..have now dried up and given way to cautious optimism, I am always hopeful but constantly aware that what I love can be taken away from me without so much as a moment’s notice. We spend the day together and are finally done with our day by 11:00 p.m. I go into my room and fall into my mattress (No, not “on”…”into”). There is tired and there is TIRED! I am TIRED. Sure boy offers to get me a drink, I don’t want a drink but I want something nice and healthy..you know, I am watching my weight and have told sure boy over and over that I want him to be my personal trainer so I can look EXACTLY like Beyonce. Not a pound more, not a fraction less. I think for a while and finally announce to him, at this eleven o’clock midnight, in this very dead of night, that I shall be having a bowl of blue bunny vanilla ice cream, garnished with full-fat marshmallows and generously doused in strawberry sauce.
Ordinarily, this announcement, like ALL my meal choices, would have sent sure boy into a sleep inducing lecture about health and all such things, but today he simply says “okay, go and get it from the kitchen”. Hmmmmm….I am elated to be having two treats tonight no lecture from sureboy AND a bowl of ice cream?? and it’s not even Christmas!? Things are looking up! I walk into the kitchen and for some reason the lights have been switched off. I turn them on and there in front of me is a box opened up and something in it sparkles. I stand there for a minute trying to understand what is happening. It takes a while for me to process that I am being proposed to! My mind is FULL of questions. I think to myself,
1.”Does this mean I am now engaged?”
2. “Can I still have my ice cream?”
3. “Wait oh! But does this mean I am engaged?”
And then I start laughing and laughing and laughing and I haven’t stopped since. Its a new September, the 14th is a new anniversary, this day means a whole new thing now. My mourning has literally been turned into dancing because my adornment has adorned me. Jo, E ba mi pa te wo fun oko mi atata!
How We Met
We first met over Christmas three years ago. Bode was visiting and I was out with my friends at the Radisson Blu Hotel and then went on to Likwid for like ten minutes, where a fight broke out and my friends and I beat a hasty retreat. Somehow, Bode and his friends had been at the Radisson and then went on to Likwid from there. So, yeah, right place(s) at the right time(s) I guess. Lol!
Well, like I said, he was from out of town. I would come to find out that he lived and worked in all kinds of strange places, so we ended up in the one situation I had sworn, I would never be in, a long distance relationship. However, because of the nature of his job, I could never visit him on site, we would have to travel to be able to see each other. So basically, when we were not having to journey, we would be struggling to keep up with each other’s time zone and would literally be talking from the moment we woke up, till we slept. Every day. It was not easy, but it was well worth it.
Anyway, finally after a year and some months Bode asked me to marry him and now we are those people that have pre-wedding pictures taken #sideeye #whataretheyfeelinglike #I’msorryIwon’thashtagagain.
When I saw her for the first time, Ewemade looked a little sad and was not talking. I later got to find out she had recently lost a loved one. My boys and I went out to Radisson and she was there with a group of her friends in a black dress…yeah, I remember. Well, I noticed her but she was gone before I could speak with her and I let my blessing slip away, but God had other plans…LOL! Later on that night I ran into her at Likwid and I took advantage of this last opportunity.
With all my confidence, I have to say it was not easy oh! The shakara was real (I mean her behaviour, not her brand) but I made it! Lol! Once we started talking, we just wouldn’t stop and I knew soon after that, that she was “The One”.
At the time I proposed to her, we’d been discussing marriage and I had made a few trips back home for her to meet my family and for me to meet hers. But I had to wait until I met her father and ask for his blessing. When I finally got to meet him and he approved, I asked for her hand. She said Yes!
~ Photography: Isaac Emokpae Photography
The shoot was a 1950s themed story of the couple’s relationship. It was styled to depict the elements of their journey thus far.
The first scene, shot at a vintage styled restaurant, where the bride looks subdued and the groom appears to be searching for her. It is meant to be a depiction of the situation at the time of their meeting.
The Second scene is of the couple in transit. Travelling, each waiting for the other to arrive and they are happy when they finally see each other and get to spend time together at the terminal before they part ways again.
The third scene depicts the couple on holiday as most of the time they were able to see was on holiday. According to Ewemade, “It always feels like a holiday when we are together, because the time spent is so precious and is always meticulously planned in advance”.
The fourth scene is symbolic of the couple’s long distance communication, depicted in the 50s era…the bride speaks into a vintage telephone and the groom is shown reading a well worn letter from the bride, with vintage war posters behind him which are a reference to his work with the US Military.
In the final scene, the couple re-enacts the point the groom proposed and the Bride accepted!
Wedding/Pre-Wedding Shoot Planner: Trendy Bee Elite Events | bisola (at) trendybeevents.com
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