Week Long Nigerian Irish Destination Wedding in Puerto Rico: Erin + Jubril

After having to postpone their wedding by a few months due to the arrival of a beautiful blessing, Erin, a Marketing Director for a commercial real estate firm and Jubril, owner of his own medical transportation business were overjoyed to start a new chapter of their lives in paradise. Puerto Rico to be precise. The happy couple invited their family and friends to an island resort for a week-long destination wedding celebration and boy, did they celebrate!

Wedding Date: July 30, 2014

Wedding Location: Encanto at The El San Juan Resort and Casino, Carolina, Puerto Rico.

First Dance Song: “By Your Side” by Sade. Early in our relationship, we were driving together to a party and this song came on. To Jubril's surprise, I knew every word and was singing along to the song as it played on the radio. When it was over, he asked me how I knew it and I told it was one of my favorites. Turns out it was one of his as well and Sade was one of his very first crushes as a young boy growing up in Nigeria. He couldn't believe that his favorite artist that he had always thought was popular only in Nigeria had made it into my heart as well. Since then, the song has always been special to us and was the obvious choice to share our first dance as husband and wife to.

Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!

It all started at a little nightclub in Providence, Rhode Island. My college girlfriends and I went to Providence to dance the night away. It just so happened that Jubril and his best buds decided to head out that night too. It wasn't long before both groups of us ended up out on the dance floor together, where one of Jubril's friends asked Erin to dance. The dance lasted about half a song before Jubril stole me away from his bud and stole my heart.

Jubril popped the question in the backyard of our home in North Providence, Rhode Island. We were hosting a BBQ to celebrate my birthday. The night was perfect: good food, good company - but there was much more in store. As the night got later, my brother, Sean and Jubril brought out a birthday cake and just as everyone finished singing “Happy Birthday,” Jubril asked me to hold on making my wish. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. After a little trouble getting the ring out of the box, Jubril slipped the ring of my dreams on my finger!

Wedding Style

My wedding dress was a very class, off the shoulder style with ruched tulle and a short train. The dress I wore on my wedding day was actually my second dress, as I had a purchased a much more casual, slinky dress that I fell in love with several months prior. However, throughout the fitting and alteration process, I realized it was just not the look I wanted on our wedding day. The dress was gorgeous but it was just not bridal enough for me. So three weeks before our wedding, I grabbed my best girlfriend (who must’ve thought I'd gone crazy) and we rushed to a bridal boutique in our town. As soon as we walked in, I noticed the dress - a cancelled order that was exactly my size and the exact style I was envisioning. I tried it on and it fit like a glove! Neither of us could believe the incredible luck of finding the perfect dress, in my exact size, with just three weeks to spare until the big day!

Culture

We sure did! Mid-way through the evening, we changed from our formal clothing into beautiful, hand-sewn, traditional African lace outfits. We selected the lace with help from Jubril's sister, who runs a business specializing in African lace and Ankara fabrics and had them hand-sewn by a family friend. My gele was hand-tied and the beads were hand made, given as gifts from family friends as well. When we made our second entrance to the party in our traditional outfits, both sides of our family erupted in cheers and generously sprayed us with money as we shared a second 'first-dance' to our favorite Iyanya song!

Memories

Our best memories from the wedding were, not surprisingly, had on the dance floor! I don't think there was one moment from the time the music started to the last song of the night that our friends and family were not showing off their moves! We danced the night away to all our favorite songs and introduced our DJ to a whole new genre of music with my husband's favorite Nigerian artists! Also, our after-party was one for the books! True to my Irish roots, the party doesn't stop just because the bar closes! Shortly after the wedding event ended, our bridal parties and several of our guests found their way to the beach adjacent to our ceremony location. The bride's brothers made several bottles of wine appear from what seemed like thin air and we spent laugh, dancing and enjoying the most magical night! We never wanted it to end!

Help a bride-to-be out!

The best advice we could share is to really do your best to focus and enjoy your wedding day. The day will zoom by so quickly and you can become so overwhelmed with all the details but try to let it go. Focus on each other, focus on all the people who have come to share in the day with you. You have done everything that you can to ensure the day goes perfectly but once it is there, just go with the flow and enjoy what you have worked so hard to put together. 

Vendors:

Photography: Vanessa Velez Photography
Ceremony and Reception: El San Juan Resort & Casino
Coordinator: Eventus by Zahira
Hair/Makeup: Caridad Vidro
Florist: Lorraine's Flower
Cake Baker: C+M Contemporary Cake Designers
Entertainment: DJ Fabian

 

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