This Groom’s First-Look Reaction Was Absolutely Priceless
The couple honored their Igbo and Yoruba cultures at their traditional ceremony.
The best weddings are the ones that are most personal, paying homage to the couple’s life together and their respective backgrounds. Take, for example, one Maas Building celebration filled with nods to the pair’s Chinese heritage. Or another union that blended the duo’s Jewish and Hindu religions. Here, this couple honored their Igbo and Yoruba cultures in a traditional ceremony at Regal Banquet Hall followed by a modern Please Touch Museum wedding. SGW Photography snapped all of the special moments below.
While South Philly software engineers Amos Akinola and Obiajulu (“Ajulu”) Adigwe were friends in passing for years — they met during their church’s bible study — they say their “spark” really began in 2018, when they were helping teenagers at a summer SAT prep class.
“I personally thought she was way out of my league,” says Amos, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria. As for Ajulu? “He was always the nice guy,” says the Upper Darby native.
Shortly after that first “spark,” in October of that year, Amos joined Ajulu for a day of errands in NYC. After the tasks had been completed, they started talking over coffee, lost track of time — and missed the bus back home. Rather than wait around for the next one, they took a walk by the Hudson River, where Amos asked Ajulu to be his girlfriend. And in January 2021 while on a trip to Acadia National Park, Amos asked Ajulu to be his wife.
Nine months later, the couple said “I do.” It was important to both of them to honor their African backgrounds — Amos is of Yoruba heritage and Ajulu is of the Igbo culture — so their festivities began on October 29, 2021 with a traditional union at Regal Banquet Hall in Pennsauken Township. Here, they combined the most important parts of their respective cultures’ ceremonies into one.
For example, in honor of Yoruba traditions, Amos and his groomsmen laid flat on the floor, at the feet of his future in-laws, to show respect. While he did this, her family prayed for him. As an Igbo bride, Ajulu had her “igba nkwu,” or wine carrying, during which she received a cup of palm wine from her father, who then instructed her to go into the crowd, find the man she wanted to marry, and bring him back. When she found him, she presented the wine, which Amos drank. He then put a monetary offering into the cup to present to her father. More prayers came from the bride’s parents, then the couple received a blessing from the groom’s parents. Throughout it all, family and friends showered them with money — a practice that signifies well wishes.
The day afterward, 210 guests joined Amos and Ajulu for their modern wedding and reception at Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall. While the couple didn’t have a particular theme — they say they chose the things they loved — the children’s museum was delightful for all.
“What really blew us away was how pretty everything turned out to be,” says Amos. “We had visited the Please Touch Museum a couple times, and every time we wondered how things would turn out. The folks at Brûlée Catering did a fantastic job.”
The food, naturally, was a highlight, with appetizers including bourbon-braised short ribs and smoked tuna tacos, a signature amaretto sour cocktail, and a dinner with choices such as roasted acorn squash salad and seared salmon.
But for the bride, her favorite wedding detail was keeping her dress a secret — not only from her groom but also her attendants. “The morning of the wedding, I lined all my bridesmaids up and had a first look,” recalls Ajulu, who donned a Pronovias gown and carried a bouquet of white tulips wrapped in white ribbon. “Having that moment on video was so special.”
The first dance, to “Only Wanna Be With You” by Samm Henshaw, was equally poignant. “I had always been anxious in front of so many people, but sharing that moment with Amos to such a beautiful song made me feel like [we were] the only ones in the room.” The rest of the dancing included Afrobeat music in a nod to their heritage.
Ask the couple to describe it all, and they call it rich, cultural, heartwarming — and unforgettable.
Photographer: SGW Photography | Venues: Regal Banquet Hall (traditional ceremony); Please Touch Museum (wedding and reception) | Planning/Design: Events by Brenda | Florals: Tosin Ojo | Catering: Brûlée Catering | Bride’s Gown: Pronovias | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Custom | Hair & Makeup: Mia Farah Beautique | Groom’s Attire: Suitsupply | Entertainment: TSG Productions | Cake: Isgro Pastries | Invitations: Truly Engaging (formerly Magnet Street) | Videography: JPG Photo & Video | Officiant: Funmi Obilana | Rings: D’Antonio & Klein Jewelers | Photo Booth: Instaglamour Photo Booth | Reception Decor: Mama Tee’s Decor (family friend)
Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.