Yesterday, we shared the beautiful story and photos of the traditional wedding of our Ladybrille Contributor Elfonnie Inokon who wedded her beau last year. Today, check out the “White Wedding” photos, Part I.

Elfonnie Inokon WHITE WEDDING
“To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.” -Robert Brault

Ofonime “Elfonnie” Inokon and Reagan Anusionwu got married on August 24, 2013 at Terrace on the Park in Corona, New York. In celebration of their rich Ibibio and Igbo cultures, they also had a traditional wedding ceremony on August 23, 2013 in Bronx, New York.

Elfonnie’s Version:
I’ll keep my story brief as I believe the details are better told in person so I can add the necessary dramatization it deserves. It was a very busy Spring evening for me – my family was hosting a small retirement party for my dad. My phone kept ringing and it was my girl, Ak. Just as I was about to let the call go to voicemail (as I was in the middle of serving guests), I decided to pick up. I thought; maybe she has “gist!” and I wasn’t gonna miss out on some hot gist. I answered the call and the following convo ensued:

Fonnie: Ak, what’s up?
Ak: Is the party over?

Fonnie: No, people are still here…I am busy, what’s up?
Ak: Is there puff-puff?

Fonnie: So you called me to ask about puff-puff? Didn’t I invite you? I gotta go, I’ll call you later
Ak: Wait, wait….I want you to speak with my friend

Fonnie: Which friend is this?

Ak: Hold on na….

Friend: Hi hun, how are you?
Fonnie: HUN!!!?????? I am fine……who are you?
Friend: Sorry, my name is Reagan….your friend told me a lot about you so I just wanted to say hi…
…The conversation continued for a few minutes (with a lot of sweet talking on Reagan’s part – and eye rolling on my end, lol) and somehow, by the end of the night he was in front of my house to pick up puff-puff for Ak. That night when he showed up, I was quite taken aback by his handsomeness, lol. I can’t “categorically” say that it was love at first (or was it?) but I can say that within moments of meeting Reagan, I felt an undeniably strong bond between us.

As I look back at the time we have spent together and how we have gone from being total strangers to best friends and now husband and wife, I know that destiny and the heavens (with help from Ak and puff-puff) match-made us, perfectly. I am immensely blessed to have such a super-caring, uber-loving and extremely hardworking partner to spend the rest of my life with and proud to be your wife. I’ll always love you babe and with God on our side, our love will continue to grow even stronger.

Reagan’s Version:
My story with love has been interesting but I’ll focus on where I am now; which is deeply in love with my wife. Once a man discovers that precious jewel he spent years searching for a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction fills his mind. Growing up, I faced lots of challenges, most of which seemed impossible to accomplish initially, however with persistent hard work and endurance I overcame them all. Yet, with all my accomplishments I still felt empty and incomplete on the inside. In my quest to find the missing piece; to fill the void, I went on a mission. The mission was to find that jewel that shines as bright as the sunrise, a jewel that would complete me as a man.

One random evening, I was home doing some work and having reflective thoughts as to what direction my life was heading when my door bell rang. At the door was one of my good guy friends and a lovely young woman. “Wow!” I said as I saw the pretty lady (Ak) and proceeded to welcome them in. The lovely lady kept looking around my strewed apartment, which was filled with books and unwashed dishes (mind you, I was not expecting any guest at that time). To my amazement, the next question from Ak was, “Your apartment seems as if you are single?” I immediately said “yes, I am and why do you ask?” At this point I was wondering why she is asking me such a question especially knowing that she walked into my apartment with my friend. She then replied, “I have a good friend whom I think would fit you well”. I replied “WHY? does she look like you? or better?” She said “trust me, you’ll like what she looks like.” Like most men would do, I immediately demanded to see a picture of this girl who would “fit me well.”

Minutes later, she showed me a picture of the “very girl” and I requested to talk to her immediately ….Ak made me beg several times before making the call. At this time, I was already feeling butterflies stomping me internally. I felt like a 2-year old boy anticipating meeting Santa for the first time. Finally Ak made the call… and when she handed over the phone to me, I felt my heart skip a beat. Finally! here comes her voice; “Hello, Hello…” I was rendered speechless; my very first time experiencing numbness and speechlessness since I …….please fill in that blank for people that understand exactly where I’m going.

“… hello, hello” As I heard it the third and fourth time, I didn’t know exactly what to say but, “Hi Hun?” to which she responded – “HUN???” “Yes, hi, sorry if you didn’t like the word “Hun” but I….” stuttering wouldn’t allow me to fully explain the reason for choosing such an opening statement. After speaking for a few minutes I became more anxious to meet her. Although I saw her picture and it presented everything I’ve always wanted in a woman – slim with ebony-brown skin, etc, etc… – but images especially on smart devices can be deceiving with the birth of editing tools such as Picasa and Photoshop, you know? Armed with the excuse of picking up puff-puff for Ak, I headed over to her house that same night….

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, then seeing someone live should be worth a million words? When I saw her walk down her driveway towards my car, the only words I could say was – OMG, OMG, OMG! She looked so effortlessly beautiful in her casual home wear and when I hugged her, I was attacked by a strong smell of jollof rice! According to her, she had been home all day cooking pots and pots of rice for her dad’s party. As I hugged her, I felt this sense of completeness and I thought – is this the missing piece to my puzzle? YES it is, because today, I can proudly say she is my wife. Fonnie is a very genuine person, caring, loving, great rice cooker and the best candidate as my life partner. I used to doubt the theory of love at first sight but WOW! I fell in love at first sight, despite the strong smell of jollof rice!

I used to be so indecisive about staying in a relationship. The major reason to my indecisiveness was having not found that which makes me feel complete. At this point in my life, it’s good to clarify that finding a girl was not the problem but finding one who understands my personality as I can be quite complex. Let me add that ever since I met Ofonime, countless blessings have come my way….it’s like she’s my good luck charm. I’ll always love you babe… Remember falling in love is easy, but learning to remain in love forever is our goal. I can never thank God enough for sending you to me!

***With the blessings of our families, Reagan proposed at a minute past midnight on Janaury 1, 2013. ***

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…”
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Courtesy photos

Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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