There are some things in life whose entire essence cannot be fully expressed or captured in words. Love is one of such. We can’t fully describe its depth and how to encompasses our hearts and makes us feel so whole is an indeed indescribable and amazing phenomenon. Top-notch fashion brands, Ama and Renoni, beautifully captures the essence of finding love with this bridal campaign themed “Let Love Lead.”
We’re absolutely mesmerized by every single outfit in this collection. Neatly seamed, and intricately designed, the collection features a series of vibrant prints, neutral tones, and exquisitely embellished pieces. Now, that’s not all that came with this campaign shoot. So, get ready to be thrilled. While you enjoy the beautiful photos from the shoot, you also get to enjoy a heartwarming tale of all. We know that pictures tell a story. So enjoy a complete story both in photos and words. We bet you’ll be captivated till the very end!
Chapter 1: A Flash of Pink.
That evening I had settled down for a drink at X just after signing a major deal, one could even say that I was in high spirits. The beautiful thing about Lagos is that there is an innumerable number of tasteful little hideaways, with new ones springing up every other week. Each of them bursting with colours, light, life and energy. My poison of choice that evening was a nice crisp draught; always on tap. I sipped from the glass, with the foam resting on my upper lip. I gave it a cheeky little lick and smiled. It truly was a good day.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a flask of bright pink. I looked up to see the most beautiful brown girl I had ever seen in my life, you had to have seen her, a premium pie. All of a sudden, it was like time froze, I could no longer hear the murmurs of the waiters or the crashing of place. A truly odd sensation, in which there was complete sensory deprivation whilst feeling so alive. I knew that I must talk to this girl. I stealthily watched her as she sashayed to her table at the back of the restaurant, with waiters following her like little lap dogs. Full eye service in tow. I notice the “Reserved” Sign on the table of her choosing and I thought to myself:
“Was she alone?”
I knew that she was not the kind of girl that would accept a free drink from a stranger, this wasn’t the average girl, forgive me if I sound foolish; this was my wife and now the game was afoot. So as a guy man, I chugged the remainder of my beer and gunned straight for the bar strategically located a few metres from her table. I noticed the waiter had just taken her food and drink order and as the waiter approached the bar, I asked him what the lady ordered to drink and told him that her drink will be one on me and ordered another for myself. By this time, I noticed the Lady in Pink was now staring in the direction of the bar with the most adorable frown I had seen in a while and immediately our eyes met, with the straightest look on her face she beckoned me like my mother with her long dainty painted fingers mouthing “Come here.”
“This one na good problem,” I muttered to myself.
With our drinks in tow, I walked over to her table, as I was about to set the drinks down. She said “Don’t put your drinks on my table, we will drink them at the bar, now help me up. I immediately bolted to her side and gave out my arm for her, her touch was soft she gently lifted herself while carrying her body weight making sure I did not spill our drinks. The moment felt surreal like she was a lifelong friend. Her presence felt like home. I laid the drinks on the bar and pulled up one of the bar stools for her to sit on. Then I asked her: “Does the sassy beautiful girl have a name?”
“Yes she does” she replied, “Her name is Isabella.”
“Enchante, my name is Hakeem, its lovely to meet you.”
Time seemed to fly by we laughed and talked about everything under the sun, from politics to the economy and even religion. Aside from being beautiful, her mind was like a well, with such a neverending quality to it, she was so knowledgeable about so many things.
Before I knew it a waiter come up to us letting us know that they were closing. She whispered into his ear and smiled at me as the waiter turned to leave she said “Don’t worry, I got it, let’s go.” Before I could ask if she drove I heard the beep of the most beautiful jet black Mercedes, I became weak in the knees, I had never met a woman who did not need me it as frightening albeit very bewitching.
I opened up the car door and leaned in for a hug, she kissed me on the cheek and said to me in a soft yet stern voice.
“Meet me here at noon tomorrow and do not be late because I will leave.” I smiled and replied, “Yes Ma.”
Omo. What a woman!
“Guy I have seen my wife o!” I shouted at the phone.
“Bro abeg you still dey streets.” Afolabi, childhood friend turned brother, and I was not entirely surprised by his reaction, we had quite the reputation as the typecast bad boys although slightly annoyed that he would think me so lowly I just replied:
“Her name is Isabella, she’s beautiful, smart, funny and so seductive.
“I hope to say you no follow Mami Water, make dem no use your destiny,” Afolabi grunted through the phone.
“Osheyy toxic masculinity,” I replied sarcastically. “I’m sha seeing her at noon, so let’s catch up in the evening.”
“Okay o! Talk to you later bro” he replied then I hung up.
I looked down at my watch. It was 10:30 am, good on time, I ripped off my t-shirt and headed to the shower, had to make a few calls and a quick pit stop before I headed off to lunch. I had opted for a brown and cream two-piece, super comfy yet super smart. For the first time in my life, I was excited to wow a woman, she makes me want to be better. Is that weird?
I hopped into the car at around 11 am to arrive at the restaurant by 11:30 am. My heart was racing, then I realized I didn’t even have her number. Would she show up? Luckily, the waiter from the previous night recognized me and guided me to Isabelle’s table. I sat down and tried to get Zen. Took a few deep breaths and sighed. I ordered a green tea to start and a bottle of champagne for later, as my return treat for her treating me.
« Where was she? “ I thought.
Glanced at my watch one last time at 11:45 am, got a text from my mom telling me she loves me. I believe the Universe was letting me know in some way. Foreshadowing things to come, I spaced out into my head for a few minutes until I heard the click-clacking of Miss Isabella’s stilettos. Suddenly it hit me again, everything went silent and it was just her in the room. She could be an assassin for all I cared. I would love her anyway.
“You’re here early,” she said in the most syrupy tone.
I spun my head around and stood from my chair. We were matching! She was in this brown and cream number, she was all legs. Venus has nothing on Lil Miss Isabella.
“I didn’t want you to cancel me.” As I drew her in for a squeeze and kissed her on the cheek.
Don’t worry I won’t, she said in a girly pitch and giggled.
How could she be so powerful and yet so childlike? I was intrigued by her, she ordered us both salads, I watched as she had a rapport with the staff. She really could level with everybody, giving to each person like a friend, lover and healer. I began to realize this was someone I could The next thing that fell from her lips were:
“Let’s cut to the chase, I don’t have time for nonsense, tell me what the trajectory of this relationship is, I know you cannot deny the chemistry. So Mr Hakeem Peters what do you want from me?
Whoa. How did she know my last name? Who is this girl?
I laughed nervously now I was sweating. Was Afolabi right?
I told her that I knew she was special and there were deeper things that I wanted to learn about her. I know she’s the kinda girl that will make you glow you know? My mother would love her. So I said it first so foolishly yet very truly those three hallowed words “I love you.”
From that day forward we became inseparable we were almost always together, making an insane number of home-cooked meals of many different flavours and persuasions. Staycations and a ton of vacations. She made it all easy. I learnt about her likes, her dislikes, her triggers. I saw her cry, get angry, be upset and sometimes act like a total drama queen. I never thought much of it, this was the woman I wanted to be with forever. My twin flame.
Chapter 3: The Proposal.
After many nights and days of falling asleep and waking up next to each other. I thought of ways to “pop the question.” It was a gruelling experience, because how could I surprise, shock and enthral a woman that has everything. A Universe in and of herself. Each day I am introduced to new versions of her and watch her grow. No need to control her and knowing that she is not mine. That she belongs to herself first.
Little did she know the morning of the Power Lunch, I called up my jeweller and had him find me the most beautiful ring that money could buy in Lagos. While she went off on her morning run, I kissed her goodbye and proceeded to call her family starting in order of succession: Her Father, Her Mother and finally her siblings and grandparents. To let them know that I would be proposing that evening and that a car would be there to pick each of them at 7:30 pm for dinner at eight.
Her Mother screamed “Hallelujah! Na man you be! Thank you, Hakeem, you have put to shame our enemies.”
“We bless God Mummy, please help to coordinate the drivers.” As I laced up my brogues to head out for work.
“I will my Son, have a blessed day.” She said as she hung up.
On my end I had only two people to call my Mom and Afolabi, my father had died when I was 3years old leaving the family business to my mother to run. Our home was like a shrine to him, my mother told me stories of how he was a good man and all his feats in business. She called him “Hero.” I wanted to be just like him and today I finally felt like a part of him truly was with me, as a sort of guiding light. I opened the closet to see the beautiful black dress I bought for her, unbeknownst to her we were just going on our weekly date. I wanted to surprise her so much so I went to great lengths to hide my recently acquired maroon suit from AMA Lagos. I think I will pair it with a black turtleneck for a clean and comfortable look. At that moment I heard Iz’s keys in the door, I hurriedly scurried to the kitchen just like when I was a little boy and my Mom would come home from the office. Damn. I was excited.
I had ordered her a breakfast tray and made her a cup of green tea, Iz hates coffee. As she opened the door she laughed and said “Ahn Ahn is it my birthday?”
I smiled and kissed her warm sweaty lips.
“Ew. I’m sweaty.” As she walked to the kitchen counter and picked up a rasher of bacon. Biting into it she says “Mm… Crunchy, what’s the big idea, Mr Peters?”
“Ah, nothing Mrs Peters”
“Hm. Mrs Peters?”
“Dinner is for 8 and better don’t be late” as I kissed her on her lips and bolted for the door.
Could she tell I was nervous? Fast forward to 8 pm, I was sitting at our usual table at X waiting for my date. At 8:01, I saw my wife strutting towards me, she looked beautiful in that dress. It was a good choice. She smiled as we locked eyes, as she got to the table I stood up to meet her and she said “Thank you, Hakeem. The dress is beautiful.”
“Free me jo! By only one minute.” As she sat down and laughed.
At that point I gave the signal to send in the violin player, she looked at me squinting “What happened to your eye?”
“Oh nothing, maybe it’s the harmattan.”
Immediately she heard the violin playing, I saw the colour wash from her face, the gig was up and she knew what was going on. Tears began to stream down her cheeks. I went down on one knee and hugged her waist unable to control my tears I looked up with my voice shaking I asked:
“Will you marry me?”
“Yes,” she whispered as she kissed me softly. “I love you”
At that moment her family burst through the door and in typical Nigerian commotion. It was a flood of emotions, happy tears, shrieks of laughter, the shouting of hallelujah and praises to God Almighty. And suddenly after such a long time, I felt it again, that total sensory deprivation whilst feeling truly alive. Then and there I knew that although there is no “one” for you. She was the one that I chose and for that, I was eternally grateful.
Chapter 4: The Traditional Wedding
“Ada, Mummy says you should wake up, your glam squad is here.”
“Already? You people give me like 5minutes I’m sleepy.”
“You’re getting married, Sis! Or are you having cold feet?” As she plopped down unto the bed beside.
“Cold feet ke? Have you seen my man? I’m an excited girl! but let me rest. It’s about to be a long day.”
“Ada Beke?” My mama said peering through the crack in the door.
“Yes Mummy, I’m up.” As I stretched my arms and sat up.
I thought about how it all began that evening at X restaurant, immediately I walked into the restaurant and saw him in that pink kaftan set, I have a weakness for men that are impeccably dressed. I walked a little slower such as to observe him as licked the froth off his upper lip and smiled. Please remember thinking to myself how attractive he was most unknowingly. Although I pretended not to notice him and averted his gaze when he caught wind of my killer dress from. I wear it when I want to cause serious roadblock and I must say that evening it worked.
From the very beginning, he was the perfect gentleman in many ways just like my father, I saw how beautifully he loved Mummy and I had yearned that for myself. In Lagos, it’s almost like wanting a career and a perfect marriage were mutually exclusive and having it all was always far from the norm. Didn’t stop me from wanting it anyway. I wanted him and I got him but the chemistry aside I prayed for him. After my breakup with Femi and his harem of women, I told God that the next man I meet will be my husband. I was putting God to the task. I needed a breath of fresh air and that I was given.
As I got in the shower and began to get ready, gratitude welled up inside me. I was truly content. Had a quick bite to eat and began the glam process. I checked my phone for the time 11:11 am, the angels are on guard. As I looked in the mirror dressed to the nines, blue crop top and skirt accented with Aso-oke to match with Hakeem’s agbada. It was time for my first outing, surrounded by my mother, aunties, sisters and my closest friends. I danced out to cheers and smiling faces and with Hakeem sitting right beside his Mom. I blew him a kiss as I passed where he sat as I danced around greeting guests.
Once that was over me and my battalion of strong women raced back inside to get changed. To a sexy emerald green number also from X, again matching with Hakeem’s agbada. It was time to look for my husband and give him palm wine, on this second outing I knelt before my father as he blessed me and bid me farewell. Tears filled his eyes as he poured the palm wine into the calabash. As I arose from my knees he held me and kissed me on my forehead and handed it to me.
I turned to begin the journey of finding my husband, in normal Igbo fashion friends of my husband were shouting out “He’s here o!” Whilst other men in attendance hollered out to me. I caught a glimpse of him at one of the canopies at the back sitting with Afolabi and a few of his friends. I danced my way to the canopy with the biggest smile on my face. I knelt before my husband took a sip from the calabash and looking up handing it to him I said “Mr Peters.” He replied after taking a sip “Mrs Peters.”
He helped me to stand up whilst still sitting down, I placed my hands on his shoulders and blessed him kissing him on the forehead with the knowledge I had found the man that was created just for me.