"...first date to forever..." A phrase that so perfectly encapsulates the love story of Jessica & Idongesit. A chance encounter in the university cafeteria would bring them into the attention of each other's worlds, but it wasn't until a mutual friend secretly brought them together were they formally introduced. And as Jessica so eloquently states it, "from that day forward it went from morning text messages to long phone conversations to our first date to forever…"
During a vacation celebrating Jessica's 30th birthday and their relationship anniversary, on a beach in Mykonos, Greece - Idongesit asked Jessica to spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife - a perfect proposal and a moment neither will ever forget.
Read all about Jessica and Idongesit's beautiful and intimate wedding in Newton White Mansion, Maryland, featuring a reception of lovely Nigerian traditions.
Bride & Groom: Jessica Simone Umo & Idongesit Thompson Umo
Occupations: Corporate Event Coordinator & Attorney
Wedding date: September 24, 2016
Wedding location: Newton White Mansion, Maryland
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal: Idongesit and I first met in the cafeteria at Howard University School of Law. He was a graduating law student and I was working as a law school staff employee. We were originally introduced through a mutual friend, who was also a law student at the time. Our friend secretly called both of us at different times so that we could meet him for lunch. It was then, that Idongesit and I formally met. Not accidentally but on purpose. From that day forward it went from morning text messages to long phone conversations to our first date to forever…
Our engagement was beautiful! We traveled to Athens, Greece for my 30th birthday vacation & our anniversary. On the day of my birthday & our anniversary (August 10th), we flew to Mykonos, Greece to celebrate. We laid on the beach for hours and enjoyed each other’s company. Late in the afternoon, Idongesit turned to me and said he wanted to talk about how our relationship was going. We discussed how proud we were of each other and said a prayer together. Shortly after, he pulled out the ring and proposed on the beach. It was such a special moment for both of us. A moment that we will never forget.
Wedding Style: I went for something simple and comfortable. The dress was blush with a princess cut neckline, rhinestone beading, and lace.
What was wedding shopping like for you? Wedding shopping was a bit stressful. I had trouble finding a lot of dresses I liked within my budget and I wasn’t totally at the weight I wanted to be during the preliminary stages of trying on dresses. I found myself shopping around more than I wanted to. A lot of bridal boutiques may have the dress you want but not in your size, so it makes the search for the perfect dress that much more stressful. I finally found something that I felt beautiful in and was exactly in my price range.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? My husband is Nigerian and to pay homage to his family and their tradition, we changed into traditional Nigerian clothing and performed the “money dance” during the reception. We also hired Nigerian dancers to perform before our money dance entrance.
What is your best memory from your wedding?: There was a moment when my husband and I looked out into crowd during the reception and saw all of our friends and family from near and far. It was an emotional moment to see all the people that love us in one place at the same time.
Brides: Bridesmaid Robe, Bottle of Champagne, Wedding Jewelry, Professional Makeup
Groom: Gentleman Jack Cognac, Branded Wrist Watch, Lapel Pin, Handkerchief, Tuxedo socks, and Cigar
Favorite item on the menu: Chocolate Glazed Bacon Doughnuts
First dance song: “Sweet Love” by Anita Baker
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Don’t let wedding planning feel like a chore. Plan based off of what will make you and your mate happy. Most importantly, create a budget and stick to it! The earlier you get a head start on planning the less work you will need to do closer to the big day. Create payment plans early, in order for you not to feel the stress of spending tons of money all at one time. DIY is Gold! Find a wedding designer that does not mind you bringing in a few DIY items to cut on costs! Lastly, a wedding is just one day! Don’t stress over the small things. The day will be perfect regardless because you are marrying your soulmate.
Venue (Ceremony& Reception): Newton White Mansion
Wedding Planner: Create-Me Events by Nidia
Event Designer & Florist: Da Vinci Florist
Photographer: Terri Baskin Photography
Wedding Cake: Sweet Ladies Bakery
Doughnut Bar: Duck Donuts
DJ: DJ Marvalous – Marvin Ganthier
Jazz Band: Howard University Alumni Jazz Quartet
Make Up: Blushen by Tiffany
Hair: Kiss The Knight by Krystal
Bridal Dress Boutique: Bridals by Natalie
Bridal Dress: Maggie Sottero
Groom Tuxedo: Lapel
Bridesmaid Dress: Dessy Collection
Groomsmen Tuxedo: Men’s Warehouse
Transportation: Corporate Class Chauffeurs
Accommodations: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
Save-The-Date Announcements/Menus/Thank You Cards: Paperless Posts
Wedding Invitations: J’Marie Design Studios