Mahogany Weddings: Ebony and Henry

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The first time I met Ebony and Henry was at our first meeting at Labadi Beach Hotel in December 2011.  I think with this couple it was love at first site. I liked them instantly.  Henry’s calm nature and Ebony’s sense of humor and trust in my capabilities.

Ebony is an Early Childhood Educator from USA and Henry is a Software Developer from Ghana.  They currently live in Japan, a place I am dying to visit.  I want to see Tokyo at night 🙂

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Both from worlds apart, now together in a strange land. How sexy is that?  The couple met on July 17th 2010 at Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha, Kenya while biking through the park.  They both had their eyes set on capturing the moment with the zebras in the background and had no idea that Henry’s interference in Ebony’s shot would be their very first picture together.

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After an apology and brief introductions, they rode on their separate ways.  Henry later invited Ebony and her friends to join his group in rock climbing, but she politely declined, later regretting not accepting his offer and just knew that she had missed out on an opportunity to connect with him.

Just as she was about to leave the park, there was a huge downpour of rain, so she and her friends were forced to wait it out until it eased up.  Shortly after, in the distance she sees Henry and his friends (who were soaking wet because they were caught in the downpour) riding towards them near the park entrance…they were reunited once again.  This time they did not pass up the chance to converse a bit more and to exchange contact information!  And as the saying goes…the rest is history!

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Then I ask Ebony if it was love at first site.  She replied, “there was definitely an instant attraction!” 🙂

She tells me their relationship journey has been amazing! Love knows no boundaries.  It truly has been a journey full of making it work through the distance while working towards building a life together. It seems like everything happened so fast, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for us.

Full of grins I asked who proposed.  He did! He proposed on May 18th 2011 she replies smiling, with her eyes filled with love every woman desires.  Of course I will ask how and this is how it went:

I flew to Kenya for a weekend trip, where Henry was staying at the time. We had been talking about becoming engaged for a while so it was not meant to be a surprise at all. I knew that it would happen during my short visit, but I didn’t know exactly when or where he would propose.  He proposed the very first night I arrived.  We were in his apartment and had just settled in. We were having a very normal conversation and just happy to see each other when he decided to “pop the question”.  He nervously poured his heart out and asked me to marry him.  No audience, no grand production…a private moment that was genuine and true to his character.

Were you caught off guard? And what was your reaction and immediate thoughts after the proposal? I asked, eager to hear more.  Yes, I was actually a bit caught off guard. Even though I knew it was coming, I didn’t think it would happen my very first night. But after he proposed I was so glad that he did it then. My anxiousness disappeared and I was able to simply relax and enjoy our weekend together as an engaged couple.  Prior to the proposal, all sorts of ideas were running through my mind. I was consumed with thinking about how and where, making it difficult to truly enjoy the little bit of time we would have together until I returned home to Abu Dhabi where I was teaching at the time.

I was unbelievably happy. It was something we had discussed and both wanted. To finally hear those words felt amazing!  After letting it soak in for a while and admiring my ring on my once empty finger, I called my family and shared the good news.

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There is this one question I ask every couple I am comfortable around and it is: “What is that one thing that keeps your bond together and still will?”  It is amazing what everyone has to say.  Ebony said: Aside from our faith in God which is the ultimate source of our relationship’s success, COMMUNICATION would have to be the thing that has and will always keep us together.  We met while traveling and dated long distance for a while. We made it a priority to communicate with each other all the time, about any and everything! We used all sorts of methods: Skype video chat, emails, texts, phone calls and we did things together even while apart.  There were very few, if any, days that we did not communicate. Being apart from one another was actually a very good thing for us. It allowed us to truly get to know one another. We couldn’t physically be together, so we had to communicate. Our conversations became deeper and less surface. Our emotional bond grew stronger.  Absence indeed makes the heart grow fonder and we learned to cherish all shared moments and not to take each other for granted.  Ultimately, being apart made us realize that we did not want to live without each other.  And now that we are living together as a married couple, communication is even more important to the success of our relationship.

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What has been the most challenging moments in your relationship?  The initial distance she replied.  And not being able to see each other as much as we would have liked.

What has been the most cherished moments in your relationship?

We cherish all of the moments we have made together. But committing ourselves to one another has been the most special decision and moment we have shared to date. We have so many wonderful memories throughout the course of our relationship and we are making new moments each day as husband and wife.

I was given the privilege to style and coordinate their wedding on December 29th 2012 at Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana, on the same day one of my closest friends Erin was getting married in Nigeria.  God knows if I could be in two places at the same time I would.

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What influenced your decision with regards to your wedding?

The Colors – I love bold, rich colors. Fuchsia and purple compliment each other so well. The colors convey a bright, fun and celebratory mood. They communicate passion, warmth and richness. The colors tied in beautifully with the tropical setting.

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The Theme – There was no dominate theme, we let our colors set the tone. The colors along with the flowers created a feeling of tropical elegance.

The Venue – We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony, and we liked the grounds at Labadi. We knew it would be perfect for our small and intimate ceremony.

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The Event Décor – We wanted the decor to be fun and festive, elegant and special. We knew we wanted certain elements for our decor such as orchids in the flower arrangements, paper lanterns, buri palm leaf fans, and Adinkra symbol table names.

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The Bride’s Gown – I’ve always loved the mermaid/fit-and-flair style and I love Maggie Sottero’s corsette back gowns. My dress was the first one I tried on and I knew it was “the one!”

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Your Rings – I wanted a simple band to compliment my engagement ring. He wanted something simple but unique and stylish.

The Bride’s Bouquet – I wanted fuchsia and white flowers with white and green orchids. I wanted my bouquet to have a tropical feel like the other flower arrangements.

The Wedding Cake – We wanted the cake to be simple, elegant and delicious. We chose a monogram cake topper, pink ribbon and edible diamond accents. The flavors were chosen by Henry and were delicious!

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How would you describe your wedding day?

In a phrase, “Like a dream come true”!

Click here for their wedding trailer video.

After the wedding, the couple sent me this message 🙂

Deb!!!!!

Where do we begin? Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you have done to make our wedding a very special one. It’s crazy to think that we have been at this for a year and now it is all over. What a relief! But we could not have done it with out you.

Thank you for responding to our numerous calls, emails, facebook messages, texts and accommodating us with multiple in-person meetings. Thank you for taking our inspiration photos, ideas and vision and creating something absolutely fabulous. The decor was ON POINT, beyond beautiful and one of the most memorable things about our wedding. There is not a facebook message, email or call that I receive that does not mention our wedding day decor. Our guests are still talking about it and friends and family back home are complimenting your work. We were blown away by the amazing job you did! You definitely delivered. But did we ever have any doubts? Absolutely NOT!

We sincerely appreciate all of your hard work, but we are even more grateful to say that we have gained a friend. From our first meeting last December I immediately liked you and was able to leave Ghana confident in knowing that we made a good choice to work with you. Debra you go out of your way and above and beyond. And for that we are so appreciative. We are happy that the planning and preparation is over, but sad to know that we won’t be sending another long email out about decor, or text you to remind you we’re running late and on our way, or call asking for the number to a tailor or different vendor. But do expect a random ‘Hey Deb! How are you?’  every now and then. We’re not letting you get rid of us that easily. lol We must do lunch or dinner and drinks sometime. 🙂

Wishing a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!!!

Sincerely,

Ebony and Henry Addo

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For more photos from this event, click here to watch a slide show of their wedding photos or visit us on Facebook to look at some still images.

Photo credit:       Steven Adusei Photography

Nicki Photography

Videography:      One Shot Studios

Venue:                Labadi Beach Hotel

Event Styling:      Mahogany Events by Debra-Jane

Hair & Makeup:   Renee Q

Wedding Cake:   Fairy Dust

 

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