After meeting at age eighteen on an internship in the City of London and years of friendship, Lekan and Funmi decided to embark on their forever journey.
Lekan whisked Funmi for a surprise birthday holiday to Nice in the South of France, staying in the amazing Hotel Le Negresco for their trip.
He took her on a romantic evening stroll to Castle Hill, a beautiful garden in the city that overlooks the French Riviera coast.
Just before the sun had set, he picked his moment and dropped down to one knee to ask for Funmi’s hand in marriage.
How We Met
By The Couple
Lekan: Funnily enough, myself and Funmi met at an investment banking networking event in the UK. I was speaking to one of the firm representatives, and after a few minutes of discussion, he began giving out networking cards. Typical Funmi, she came in at the end of the conversation and took a card too!
Funmi: Well, I noticed Lekan earlier so when I saw him in discussion I stopped to find out what the conversation was about and then also saw the opportunity to get the contact of the company representative, lol!
Lekan: After that initial meeting, we both ended up on an internship that same summer at the same company. I guess, both our networking ability caused our paths to meet once again.
Funmi: Lekan was tall, Nigerian and quite loud, lol. So on our first internship day it was quite easy to recognise him again. We were even paired in the same group for an internship presentation so we were forced to work closely together. Funny that during those initial interactions, I had no idea that I was literally talking to my future husband. After seven weeks of flirting and working lol, we actually developed a friendship and fortunately, Lekan lived near me too, so we’d frequently get the bus home together.
Lekan: After our internship, we knew we had an attraction and friendship but we were both heading to university in different cities so we decided to just remain friends. Throughout that friendship, we always supported each other’s career ambitions and business ventures, whether that be with myself, personal finance and Capital Moments or Funmi, her career and Papachichi Style.
Funmi: 3 odd years of friendship followed by 5 years of serious dating after we graduated and here we are, ready to start the rest of our lives together.
Lekan: I didn’t realise how romantic I was until I started planning the proposal, lol! Once Funmi and I began seriously dating, we went on our first ‘baecation’ for my birthday. I wanted to go to Monaco, for the F1 Grand Prix, so as a true compromising man we also decided to go to Paris on the same trip lol!
Funmi: Of course, aha, if I was going to travel to France, there was no way we could miss out on visiting Paris!
Lekan: On our original trip, we went to Paris, with a mid-stop in Nice before heading to Monaco. For our proposal, I wanted to take us back down memory lane, choosing our middle destination for a proposal! Nice was the model location, Funmi loves travelling, warm destinations, beaches and a taste of luxury so Nice ticked all the boxes.
Funmi: Lekan does know me so well, I’ve travelled to over 15 countries, visiting Malaysia, Thailand, LA, NYC, Dubai and a number of European destinations. A proposal abroad was always my dream!
Lekan: Once I’d identified the destination, I needed to pick a date, the most fitting time for Nice was between April and September.Lucky for me, Funmi’s birthday was in late April so the stars aligned. I alerted Funmi that I’d scheduled something for her birthday a few weeks beforehand so advised her to pack a few items and book her birthday off work.
Funmi: I had a slight feeling that he might be taking me to Nice but I wasn’t sure exactly how or what would be happening.
Lekan: So, the day before her birthday, I picked her up from her house and we headed to Gatwick on a Thursday evening. The flight to Nice was early on a Friday morning so I wanted to ensure she got enough rest so we stayed in the Gatwick Hilton for the night. We got the flight to Nice the next morning, arriving at one of the world’s best hotels: Hotel Negresco.
Funmi: No denial, the hotel room Lekan chose for us was astounding, and our room was filled with beautiful paintings and an even better sea view of the French Riviera. And the BED! The beds are lined with comfort material that adjusts its shape according to your body type and size. He really did a good job with the hotel choice.
Lekan: Yes, the hotel was superb, the room was perfect and as a former museum it was complimented with stunning and breath-taking artwork. For anyone that loves luxurious and high-brow experiences, it was a match made in heaven. But moving on with the story lol! As we arrived in Nice quite early, we decided to walk around the City for lunch and shopping before returning to our hotel to prep for my surprise dinner.
Funmi: Lekan kept stressing me to ensure I had my makeup done and made it adamant that I wear heels! He’d promised me we’d be going to a dinner for my birthday so he wanted me to look my best.
Lekan: Aha, I had to make sure she looked good for the pending proposal pictures we were going to take so I had to use the dinner as a decoy. Anyhow, we eventually got ready, Funmi looked glorious in an amazing dress and a @papachichistyle frontal wig that complimented her skin tone and heels.
Funmi: Yes, my baby knows me so well, he helped guide me on what to wear and the choice did not disappoint.
Lekan: After waiting for her to finish her makeup, which always takes longer than promised as many any man will tell you, lol! We were finally on our way in the taxi, we arrived at our destination, Castle Hill, in around 10 minutes. Castle Hill or Colline du Chateau in French, is the highest points in Old Nice, it provides a picturesque view of the French Riviera and provided the ultimate location for a proposal. The only problem is, the ideal location was near impossible to find!
Funmi: Yes, Lekan got lost and it was quite obvious lol. We’d gone away for this romantic walk to a restaurant and Lekan couldn’t find it!
Lekan: One thing I didn’t factor in my plan was needing to know the exact route to the proposal location. Luckily for me, my photographer was extremely helpful, he was able to message me the specific trail to the engagement spot. I had a whole speech planned talking about why I chose Nice and the journey back to our beginning but once I got down to one knee, the stress of finding the proposal location hit me. I just shunted out my words, “Funmi, will you marry me?” Funmi just started screaming with excitement and laughter.
Funmi: I was half expecting it after our stroll but the moment he actually went down to one knee, it still felt so surreal. Like I was starring in a movie, and the ring, my baby did such a good job. It’s amazing! He is the man I have prayed for and I continue love for his presence in my life.
Lekan: God’s Plan :D. After the proposal, I still had a few things more in store. After our shoot with the photographer, I took her to her actual birthday meal back at the hotel. ‘La Rotonde’ served us a beautiful meal with a complimentary cake.
Funmi: I thought my birthday presents were over, but Lekan took me to the birthday meal where we received excellent assistance.
Lekan: The following morning, we decided to return to the proposal spot, we were in such a rush and exuberant spirit at the time of the proposal that we didn’t actually get to enjoy the view and moment.
Funmi: Yes, Lekan and I love to stay healthy and active so we normally do some sort of physical activity on holiday whether that be hiking or climbing. The walk/hike back to the proposal spot was perfect for this. Then coincidentally, on our return to the proposal spot, there was a tree marked with other couple’s initials. It was like God had planned our return. Lekan marked our initials in the tree, and now we have a plan to revisit the spot every few years to remember the moment.
Lekan: After our return from our hike, we moved to another hotel (Radisson Blu).The Radisson Blu had a scenic rooftop pool with a full view of the sea and beach, I know Funmi loves beach lounging so she got the balance of luxury at the first hotel and relaxation at the second one.
Funmi: No denial, his execution was world class, the second hotel was superb, we relaxed by the pool and beach whilst enjoying the French sun. The surprises didn’t stop there! In the evening, Lekan had planned another surprise meal.
Lekan: We enjoy dining in nice restaurants and I am into cars and F1 driving so my second surprise involved us returning back to Monaco. We got a brief 30 minute Uber to Monaco before feasting in the Fairmont Nobu. We had excellent service and I’d arranged them to provide complimentary champagne to celebrate our engagement.
Funmi: The service was truly golden, we enjoyed the food before wandering around Monaco. In true Lekan fashion, his romantic meal coincided with the ‘SuperCar Festival’ weekend in Monaco so as we roamed through the Monte Carlo street, we also got to browse Lamborghinis and Ferraris before heading back to Nice.
Lekan: We woke up in the morning (Sunday) ready to return to London, I had one more surprise up my sleeve. Unbeknownst to Funmi I had planned a small gathering with her family and a few friends to celebrate our engagement.
Funmi: Lekan really displayed an Oscar acting performance all weekend, we arrived back in London, Lekan dropped me home and once I opened my door, my Mum, cousin and sister all screamed at me with excitement. I was so shocked, I almost fell down *smiles*
Lekan: It was perfect to end such a wonderful weekend with family, there was food and treats prepared and we gathered round to tell our family about the proposal story. I think we’re used to telling it now, lol!
Funmi: And here’s hoping there will be more stories to tell for the next 70 years.. <3