Aug. 23, a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon, Brooklyn’s Akwaaba Mansion was the exquisite venue for a traditional American and Nigerian wedding. Approximately 200 guests (including myself), friends and family witnessed the marriage of Ivie Lucille Erunse and Maduawuchi Clinton Nkwocha.

First, the bride wore a pretty white wedding dress and and groom a suit, as Pastor Thomas Oakley conducted the American-style service.

After the exchange of vows and rings, and the first dances came the very intricate Nigerian part of the wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Nkwocha changed outfits. The bride wore a traditional Benin wedding velvet lace wrapper, and her hair was made into the Eto-Okuku style, with coral beads sewn in. To complete her look, she also wore around her neck coral beads called Ivie-uru. Ivie in the Bini language means “precious.” The groom, from Imo State, wore a smart animal print shirt and pants with hat, complete with a cane.

The ceremony and celebration included prayers, speeches and the gifting of kola nuts, food stuffs, alcohol and money! Languages spoken included Bini (Edo), Yoruba and English. The music was from Nigerian classics to the latest. And the food—jollof rice, pounded yam— was traditional Nigerian fare.

Congratulations to the happy couple.