Prom night is thee night in the life of a teenager. We agonized about slaying in the right gown or tuxedo, who's limo we'd be riding in and who's table we'd dine at. But most importantly - the night centered around who we'd be taking as our date - and this was the dilemma placed in front of a teenage Bukky, who almost didn't attend prom because she was minus a "plus-one". Her older sister then contacted a friend (the older brother of Afolabi) questioning if his little brother was seeing anyone and cutely suggesting that if he wasn't, he should ask Bukky to prom. "I was horrified! I didn’t want him thinking I was some loser who couldn’t get a prom date!" laughs Bukky. So when he called and asked her, she played a little hard to get by telling him that she would think about it, figuring he would give up and never call again - little did she know, Afolabi was persistent.
The pair talked virtually every day until prom and once the "big-day" arrived, the two shared a special evening together and danced the night away. "Afterwards my sis said she was going to drop him and home [because] I was going to a friend’s house, so we said our goodbye's. I thought I wouldn’t hear from or talk to him again because all he promised to do was take me to prom" shares Bukky.
But to her surprise, early the next morning Afolabi texted her, "He said he spent the night at my house because no one was home to open the door at his house! So I rushed home to see him again before he left!" says Bukky. Next, she took her first drive down the highway to meet Afolabi at her house, to again, say her goodbye's. But that wouldn't be goodbye for the young lovebirds, because following that day, he never stopped calling. "Like any relationship, especially one started so young, we went through our growing pains but God always brought us back together stronger and closer than before" shares Bukky.
Read on for their individual versions of the proposal, while checking out the visuals from this charming couple's elegant blue & silver Nigerian wedding in Atlanta, gorgeously captured by coterie member, Fotos by Fola. The bride's gorgeous, royal blue lace-gown (worn during the reception) and bridesmaids dresses were also crafted by fellow coterie member, Brides by NoNA.
Bride: Bukky Alase
Groom: Afolabi Alexander
Wedding date: 10/10/2015
Wedding location: Atlanta, GA
Bukky’s version: So I have always loved ferris wheels and I'd been bugging him for months to take me on the Atlanta Skyview (a ferris wheel in Downtown Atlanta). He finally agreed to take me on a Friday and then we planned to head to a friend’s birthday dinner afterwards. On our way to Skyview i noticed that he was acting weird - quiet, not really paying attention, etc. I asked what was wrong and he said he was tired, so I let it go. We went on the ferris wheel as planned (I LOVED IT!) and after he suggested that we walk over to Centennial Park, by the water fountains. When we got there I told him that we needed to take a break and sit by the benches (my feet were hurting!). While we were sitting there, I heard our song ("No One Else Comes Close" by Joe) And I looked at him and said it was odd because its a slow song and its an old song for them to be playing at the park! He suggested we go closer the fountain and when we got down there i saw one of his friends (Dj Ecool) standing behind a speaker.
By the time I turned to him and asked what was going on, he had started his “proposal speech” and then the tears came! When he got on his knee, I saw Steve (Fotos by Fola) with a camera and then I heard screaming and shouting and looked up to see a huge crowd of our family and friends running towards us. Of course I said yes and he put the ring (AKA Rock) on my finger!
We have been dating since we were 16, so it was truly the best moment of my life as the man of my dreams asked me to become his queen just as the sun set in the background, the water fountain erupted, and family and friends cheered and supported us.
Afolabi’s Version: Planning this wonderful day all began when I approached Steve (Fotos by Fola) about my plans. Knowing he’s been doing this kinda stuff for a long time, he was the first person that came to mind. We sat down I told him I was going to propose soon, the ideas I had in mind and how I would like for him to be a part of it. I wanted something memorable, not too over the top but at the same time not a cliché type proposal. Since we met in Atlanta and this has been our home for years, I thought I needed do something that ties in with the city we love so much. An idea finally stuck when she told me she found out that there’s a ferris wheel downtown and she would love to go (keep in mind this was months ago). I didn’t want to take her on it and then use that that again for the proposal so I kept putting it off and coming up with excuse upon excuse every time she reminded me about it. What made it worse was we would drive through downtown and she’ll see it and be like “you still haven’t taken me on the ferris wheel but it’s cool” making me feel guilty each time.
So after talking to Steve, we planned to go downtown a couple of days later to make sure everything worked out precisely. We get there and before we knew it rain started pouring, that’s all it took to start second guessing the entire thing. I said maybe it’s a sign that this proposal plan won’t work but Steve and my close friend (Tobi) convinced me it will work out perfectly. Next step was getting the ring. I knew exactly what she liked since we’ve been ring shopping for months. The following week I went with her older brother (Lekan) to go buy the ring. On our way there I told him what I was getting ready to do and how nervous I was - he could see it all over my face! The following day I told her I got some free tickets at work for the ferris wheel and that we could finally go - she was so excited! I was like "hey we can go before we head to your friend Kemi's, birthday dinner since it’s close to downtown" and she agreed to it (Kemi was already in on it too!). I had to work some music into my plans so I called up my friend Ebi (DJ Ecool) and asked him if he was available on that day to play one of the songs we’ve loved since we started dating. A couple of days later it was time to have “the talk” with Bukky’s mom (as her daddy is resting in peace). Scheduling that was already proving to be an issue with mommy being home and Bukky being at home as well. Finally, with Lekan’s help I got mommy to come over to my place. I explained to her my plans and asked for her blessing - which she gladly gave, along with some really important advice I took to heart.
August 15th, 2014 finally arrived. I get to work and ALL I could think about was the proposal that evening. For everything to work out perfectly as planned timing was really important. Earlier in the week, Lekan sent out texts to friends and family I knew she would love to witness this day. After work I get home, she comes over to pick me up and we head to Skyview. The whole trip there I tried to remain as calm as possible reciting my speech in my head at the same time checking in with Tobi and Lekan to see if everyone had arrived. She could tell something was wrong but I played it off and said I had a long day at work and was tired. We finally get there and park the car. I immediately started looking around hoping not to run into anyone I invited. Thank God that didn’t happen! We get on the ride and it was really awesome! The view - seeing the whole of Atlanta, she loved it! I personally didn’t really get to enjoy much of it because I was so nervous! On the inside, I was trying to recite my speech, thinking how long the ride was going to last for, thinking if everyone had arrived - just so many thoughts, but I managed to keep cool! The ride finally ended.
Since we still had some time before dinner, I suggested we walk across the street to Centennial Park. As we’re walking I’m hoping she doesn’t spot anyone and right before we get to where I planned on doing it, she tells me her feet hurt and we should sit down for a bit. Ebi right on cue starts playing “No One Else Comes Close" by Joe. I asked her that we should get closer to the water fountain and by the time we walked up she started figuring out what was happening. The tears started coming, she didn’t even waste time! The speech I’d been working so hard to deliver perfectly, I didn’t have enough time to say everything. I hug her and whisper in her ear that I would love to spend the rest of my life with her if she would have me. The tears really came rolling. I get down on one knee and pull out the ring box from my shoe and asked the woman I love more than anything in this world to marry me - she said YES! Our friends and family saw the whole thing and came running towards us and the rest is history! A wonderful day I will never forget!
Bridesmaids/Groomsman gifts: Bridesmaids: Robes. Groomsmen: Sports team socks
Favorite menu item: Cake
First dance song: "Laye" by Kiss Daniel
Describe your wedding dress! What was wedding shopping like for you?
My wedding dress was a mermaid style, off white lace gown by Winnie Couture (Atlanta, GA). It had a jeweled waist band and featured a very low back. I knew it was the dress because it made me feel like a million bucks! Because the back was so low I knew I needed something added to my back so I looked high and low for the jeweled shoulder piece online and it was perfect! I finished the entire look with blue peep toe shoes from Badgley Mischka and an off white lace edged veil.
My second dress (Bespoke by BridesbyNona) was a royal blue lace dress with a mess back with beading in the back and a long gorgeous train. My Badgley Mischka shoes matched the dress perfectly.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
The highlight of the day was walking down the aisle. In the foyer before I came out, I almost hyperventilated thinking about walking towards my husband. My brother turned to me and said “Don’t look at anyone but Folabi and you will be fine”. And he was right! I stared at my husband the entire time I walked down the aisle, and although I cried he kept me from totally losing it.
Because my Daddy is late (R.I.P) my older brother walked me down the aisle, but I also made a bouquet charm that had a picture of my Daddy so I felt him close to me the whole time. My younger sister also created a tribute to my Daddy instead of a “Father-Daughter” dance which was amazing.
I LOVED the guys dance! Me and my bridal party did a choreographed dance but we had no idea the guys had planned something as well, and it was too cute! All in all I loved the fact that the wedding was fun. Family and friends came to celebrate us and that is exactly how I wanted my wedding to be.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
The most important advice I would give couples is to seek pre-marital counseling. Our pastor helped us not only prepare for the ups and downs of marriage but also allowed us to identify our personal thoughts and views about marriage and different those views were from each other. He also helped us break through spiritual barriers that we didn’t even think about. This was very important to me because I felt like me and my husband were truly starting our marriage on a clean slate without any personal (and generational) baggage.
Another major key in wedding planning is to figure out a budget and stick to it no matter what! If you do not have a strict budget, then you will find yourself in a financial hole that is very difficult to come out of. Financial difficulty is one of the top reasons couples get a divorce, so is that $150K wedding worth it if the marriage will not last a year? With a budget you can focus on what is truly important: each other. Also, add the honeymoon to the budget. Even if it is not somewhere expensive, a honeymoon is very necessary after all the stress and work it takes to plan a wedding.
Last but not least: DO YOUR RESEARCH! I am a very frugal person (blame my Ijebu roots) so whenever I received a price quote from any vendor I would research to make sure it was the most reasonable price or if I needed to seek out another vendor.
Photographer: Fotos by Fola
Videographer: Geoffrey’s Plane
Planner: Mide Events
Venue: Schwartz-Goldstein Hall at The Temple
Florist: Mide Events
DJ: DJ Ecool
Caterer: Buka Restaurant
Wedding dress: Winnie Couture
Reception dress: Brides by NoNA
Bridesmaids dresses: Brides by NoNA
Wedding shoes: Badgley Mischka
Cake: Cake by Publix (Designed by Bride)
Aso Ebi (Traditional Nigerian Clothing): Fabric Express in Nigeria
Hair & Make-up: Make up by Nneka Buchi
Groom’s tuxedo: Savvi Formalwear
Groomsmen suits: Savvi Formalwear