A Romantic African Wedding at Grand Sapphire Croydon

500 guests joined Adeola and Folayo as they exchanged vows in a church ceremony, followed by a vibrant wedding reception filled with music and dancing.

Looking at these gorgeous photos, it’s difficult to imagine that when bride Adeola and groom Folayo’s families plotted to set them up three years ago, neither were interested.

“Our mothers went to primary school together and our fathers went to university together in Nigeria. Over the years they had lost contact, but they reconnected at a wedding in 2017 where they were sat on the same table and started talking. They realised they both had single children and attempted to create a way to try to set us up. We both were not interested,” admitted Adeola.

“A few months later Folayo’s father became ill with cancer and our family went to visit in December 2017. We met, chatted and we became friends. We joked and laughed and spent time chatting and sharing memories together and before I knew it, I knew this friendship was with someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”

Less than two years later, on the 9th February 2019, Folayo planned an epic proposal at his home complete with rose petals, light-up letters and a slideshow: “It was perfect. He picked the perfect ring!”

Nearly nine months after the proposal, the couple tied the knot at Emmanuel Church in Croydon.

Photographer: Zoet Moments

The Wedding Dress

Adeola tried on around seven dresses before finding the one for her: an ivory princess dress with lots of lace appliqué and pearls across the top from Elizabeth James Bridal.

She finished the regal look with a cathedral length veil, pearl earrings, a white gold bangle and a stunning pearl and crystal hairpiece nestled in her elegant up-do.

For the evening reception, Adeola slipped into a mermaid-style, custom-made red dress from Berry Haute.

The Wedding Party

Adeola chose six bridesmaids – two cousins and four of her closest friends – who each wore stunning navy, embellished dresses from Virgos Lounge.

The groom and his best man wore tailor-made, dark green velvet blazers with red and white bow ties by Osekita Silks. The groomsmen perfectly complemented the duo in dark green suits with red and white ties. All of the groomsmen had their outfits selected by the groom himself.

The Wedding Ceremony

The bride made her way to Emmanuel Church in Croydon in a Rolls Royce Phantom before her father walked her down the aisle. She was led down to the sound of her friend Rasma singing The One He Kept for Me by Maurette Clark, accompanied by a live band.

“We had praise and worship from Life City Church worship team and Queen Esther Mills and her team did awesome African praise and worship. We had a special song by Junior Robinson when signing our register. Readings and prayers were said, and the sermon was preached by Steve Sutherland of Life City Church. The service and vows were conducted by Dharius.”

The couple exchanged rings from Kingshill Jewellery as well as Bibles: “A sign that we will forever build our lives in Christ.”

The Wedding Venue

After the beautiful ceremony, Adeola and Folayo moved the celebrations to Grand Sapphire, Croydon where they enjoyed family-style Nigerian cuisine with their 500 guests.

The dazzling reception space was decorated in pinks, purples and golds by the Grand Sapphire team and all of the details were pulled together by wedding planner Ronke of Bliss Nuptials. “She did a phenomenal job!” said Adeola.

The Décor and Special Touches

“The wedding stationery was perfectly arranged by Ronke and designed by Elle Dee Creations,” the bride said.

A wedding monogram logo was also created by Kat Bocanog with a musical theme to reflect the couples shared love of music.

Wedding planner Ronke created the favours that perfectly matched the décor: “We had pyramid shaped favour boxes that had accents of gold to match the colour scheme. The boxes were filled with popcorn. We also had traditional sugar-coated almonds.”

The Wedding Flowers and Cake

Adeola’s bouquet was a teardrop, orchid arrangement that complemented her traditional wedding style. Folayo wore a matching buttonhole and complementary floral arrangements stood at the top of the aisle, all created by Millie at Maurice Hyde Florist in Selsdon.

They used vibrant artificial flowers in the rich pink flower arrangements around the venue and a statement installation around the bride and groom’s sweetheart table acted as the centrepiece of the room. Tall floral arrangements sat on guest tables as well as circular pieces with hanging orbs and foliage.

The five-tier cake, made by Elsa from Let It Be Cake, was also embellished with pink sugar roses and featured white chocolate, lemon, carrot and walnut, fruit and marble cake tiers.

The Entertainment

It’s no surprise that music-loving Adeola and Folayo chose a live band, DJ and saxophonist to perform at their wedding.

The couple also used their own musical talents when it came to their first dance.

“We did a special performance: Folayo played the cello and saxophone, I sang and then we danced to a song I had written and recorded especially for our day. It was so special.”

The Suppliers

Photographer: Zoet Moments

Wedding Planner: Bliss Nuptials and Events

Wedding Dress: Elizabeth James Bridal

Hair and Makeup: Virtuous Hair and Beauty

Groomswear: Looks Like a Good Man

Bridesmaid Dresses: Virgos Lounge

Venue: De Vere Selsdon EstateEmmanuel Church and Grand Sapphire

Wedding Cake: Let it Be Cake

Flowers: Maurice Hyde Florist

Stationery: Elle Dee Creations

Entertainment: DJ Yung MilliSolo SaxLekan Ariya and MC Yinx

Catering: Jemmy’s Catering

Thanks so much Adeola and Folayo for sharing your fabulous day with us!