Both part of the Greek system at Sacramento State University, Tiffany was in the Sigma Kappa sorority and Andrew in the Sigma Pi fraternity. “My sorority ‘big sister’ Ashley, who was friends with Andrew, introduced us,” says Tiffany. The college sweethearts stayed together and enjoyed a life in Sacramento. In 2018, they took dance lessons on Latin night at On the Edge in Old Sacramento followed by drinks at the German Biergarden. “We watched the fireworks by the Tower Bridge when Andrew surprised me by getting on one knee and proposing,” shares Tiffany.

Andrew knew he wanted to embrace his Nigerian culture for their wedding, but otherwise the couple didn’t have huge expectations for their big day. “I wasn’t the girl who dreamt of her wedding day when I was a little kid,” confides the bride. “We just knew we wanted our guests to have a good time, eat yummy food and have lots of good memories.”

In the Nigerian culture there are specific traditions that the couple were expected to embrace, such as the attire, identification of the bride, blessings by family members and the sharing of the drink. Since Tiffany and Andrew were having Nigerian and American ceremonies, and including both attires and cuisines, they say it felt like we were planning two weddings. “There were some very overwhelming moments trying to put it all together,” she shares. But some of their favorite times were food tasting with the different Nigerian caterers and restaurants in Sacramento and the Bay Area. “I personally enjoyed tasting Nigerian food because I never had it before and his family members would join us so it was also an opportunity for me to get to know them better,” says Tiffany.

The wedding started with the American ceremony, which included a string quartet trio for the ceremony music, scripture readings and vows. “We also did the ‘wine ceremony’ which included us writing letters to each other, picking a bottle of wine out and locking it in a box for us to open in a year,” says Tiffany.

The Nigerian ceremony began with Andrew’s family coming into the barn dancing and singing to traditional Nigerian music. “Our parents sat on separate couches in the front of the barn and Andrew’s uncle announced that the groom saw a beautiful flower (aka me) to my parents and family and bridesmaids that were standing nearby,” remembers Tiffany. “Then we did the identification of the bride: part of the Nigerian ceremony where Andrew and his family and friends would give my family money to bring out a potential bride to see if it was the flower Andrew was looking for.” Following the announcement of Andrew finding his bride, Andrew took Tiffany to her parents and kneeled in front of them for a blessing and more dancing leading into the reception.

Seeing all their hard work come together and everyone having an amazing time was a highlight of the day for the newlyweds. “There was so much love and celebration in the barn,” says Tiffany. “Everyone was embracing both cultures and just having a great time. We were both so excited to finally get married and celebrate with all of our friends and family. We were also so thankful people from all over the world were able to join us in celebration. I wish we could do it every quarter!”

—Darren Elms