It was a feast of love as Nollywood hunk, Okechukwu Chukwudi
Ukeje took his longtime love, Senami Ibukunoluwa Tosin
Togunu-Bickersteth down the aisle in a spectacular ceremony on Saturday,
November 8, 2014. See excerpts from Encomium’s new report:
THE WHITE WEDDING
The solemnization of holy matrimony between Okechukwu Chukwudi Ukeje
and his longtime love, Senami Ibukunoluwa Tosin Togunu-Bickersteth held
at Hoares Memorial Methodist Cathedral, Herbert Macaulay Street, Sabo,
The ceremony kicked off at noon with the procession of both families.
The bridal party, following afterwards, won many hearts; the
ministers-in-charge of the day also marched in.
The marriage proper went in the fashion of the Methodist church. The
bride and groom, after individually declaring that they know not of any
lawful impediment to their union, said their ‘I dos’.
The minister-in-charge , Very Revd. Oluwole Subuloye, calling both
names of bride and groom, asked: Do you believe that God has blessed and
guided you and now call you into marriage? They both responded: I do.
Minister then asked: “Who has the honour of presenting this woman to
be married to this man?” Bride’s father stepped forward and said: “I
do”. Bride’s father then officially handed over daughter to groom –
sealing the union.
Using the scriptural book of Songs of Solomon, Ven. (Arc) Olusegun
Kuti admonished the couple to let love lead. According to him, marriage
is ‘the journey of no return’.
Continuing, he said: “Let there be no bitterness between you, a great
marriage is not made of two great lovers. Rather it is made of two
great forgivers”. To the groom, he said: “Be a Bible-believing man”.
CHOIR LEAD CHORUS AS FAMILIES STEP OUT FOR THANKSGIVING
The gloriously-dressed choir dished out melodious tunes as both
families, joined by friends and well-wishers, swayed from left to right
for the thanksgiving. The procession was led by the couple and was
concluded with a prayer session.
PRESENTING OF THE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
The latest couple were presented to the guests as they were served their marriage certificate amid applause and cheers.
THE RECEPTION CEREMONY – AS IT HAPPENED
The wedding train rode over the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge to the
Incubator, Yusuf Abiodun Way, City of David Road, Victoria Island, Lagos
for the second installment of the celebration.
Here’s how it happened…
15:45: The evidently loved-up couple stepped out of
their chariot and walked into the auditorium, hand-in-hand; they were
joined by friends as they all swayed to DJ Cool’s banging tunes.
16:04: Pastor Ayodeji Oke asked heads to be bowed as he formally opened the reception with prayer.
16:06: In honour of the late father of the groom, one minute of silence was observed.
16:12: The chairman of the occasion, Engr. Olarongbo
Awosika, in his opening remark, noted that marriage is a school where
you get your certificate at the very beginning.
16:20: Master of the ceremony, Akin Akinsoji asked
both parents to give the new couple a target of how many children they
should have. Mother of the groom gave them a target of eight children;
mother of bride backed the target.
16:29: The Gideons’ International presented couple a Bible.
16:34: MC handed over mic to the chairman as couple stepped forward to cut the multi-level wedding cake.
16:40: Bride fed groom, he returned the favour.
16:46: MC lit up auditorium as he traced the dance
steps that hit the Nigerian landscape over the years. From Galala,
Makossa, Suo, Yahoozee, Alanta, Azonto, Alingo, Etighi, Skelewu to Sekem
and Shoki; the MC displayed his dexterity.
17:00: Couple danced to soul-lifting music as naira notes rain.
17:07: Groom granted the request of bride’s father to dance with his daughter. Bride and father danced to some oldies.
17:25: The bridal party was called up the stage for their dance. Song after song, the bridal train showed off their dancing skills.
17:30: Groom joined them, showed off rehearsed steps along with groom’s men.
17:34: MC called up groom’s friends to join him on the dance floor. They did but instead of dancing, it was selfie time!
17:56: The toast. Bankole of the bridal party led
the toast. He toasted to long life, happiness and a loving relationship
to the couple.
18:04: Tossing of the bouquet…when it was time for
the bride to toss her bouquet, the MC called up the bride’s sister,
Winnie, who in turn, pleaded with the single ladies in the house to step
out. Cynthia caught the bouquet.
18:16: Praiz (in a surprise appearance) took control
of the stage as he performed his latest hit, Mercy. The couple totally
let their hair down as they danced cuddled up to each other.
18:21: Groom grabbed the mic to thank everyone who
made the day a reality. ‘It was actually surreal that I’m a married man,
that someone decided to spend the rest of her life with me’, he opened.
18:30: The MC officially declared the dance floor
open. But first, the mommies and daddies in the house were served with
some oldies before the energy of youth took over.
18:45: Groom’s celebrity friends and colleagues stepped on the dance floor as they took selfies.
19:13: Still on dance floor…fresh hits after fresh
hits, the DJ was evidently prepared for the youthful audience who swayed
and grinded endlessly.
THE FAMILIES OF THE COUPLE SPEAK…
We were unable to get the couple to speak to us as the groom rebuffed our requests, but the families obliged…
‘It’s pretty amazing- CHIBUZOR UKEJE, groom’s brother
How does it feel witnessing your brother’s wedding?
I feel great. It’s pretty amazing. I’m very happy for my brother.
What do you wish the new couple?
I wish my brother and his new wife all the best in their new life.
‘I’m sure this marriage will work’ – NNENNAYA UKEJE, groom’s mother
It must be a thing of joy to witness your son get married, tell us how you feel now?
Great. I feel great.
What do you wish them?
Long life, happiness, unity and the peace of God in the home.
What are those character traits in your son that would make this marriage work?
So many things to tell. I’m sure the marriage will work.
‘It is a thing of joy’ – MR. CHARLES TOGUNU-BICKERSTETH, bride’s father
We spoke with the father of the bride.
How does it feel witnessing this day?
I’m very happy. It is a thing of joy.
What do you wish the couple?
The greatest in life is what I wish them.
‘My daughter has been brought up in the way of the Lord’ – MRS. OMOWUNMI TOGUNU-BICKERSTETH, bride’s mother
Blissful and successful marriage with lovely children and good life.
What are those traits in your daughter that’d make this marriage work?
She’s a loving person. She’s very humble, respectful and was brought up in the way of the Lord.