As you’ll soon see from the photos, Jade and Kelechi’s Philadelphia wedding was filled with exuberant joy, huge grins and many hugs! And their photographer was the perfect match for all of this – Susan Stripling’s photos captured every moment of beauty and sweet emotion, effortlessly.
Junebug: What adjectives best describe your wedding?
Jade and Kelechi: Spiritual, Joyful, Unique and Beautiful.
Junebug: What inspired your personal wedding style, and how did you incorporate your style and personalities into your big day?
Jade: First off, I love flowers and I wanted them to be incorporated into every room, and every memorable moment of my wedding. I’m also very classic so I didn’t want anything too traditional nor anything too modern that I would look back on and say why did I do that? However, I wanted to include the things that were personal to me. For instance, I love my dog and I had to figure out a non-tacky way to incorporate her. Thus came the idea of the enlarged cutout of her with a reception sign around her neck. She sat on a high top between the archways that led into the reception. People loved it. My grandfather passed away and he loved Cadillacs. As an honor to him I wanted our car to be a classic Cadillac, it wasn’t easy to find but we did it!
I wanted to integrate my husbands Nigerian culture so for the seating chart we made a large map of Igbo land within Nigeria. All of the Igbo villages were the names of the tables. All of the villages were displayed on the map so the guests knew exactly where their village/table was in Nigeria.
Music is so important to us and our family so we wanted to use it gradually throughout the night. The DJ played Nigerian music for 30 minutes and R&B classics for another 30 minutes during cocktail hour. During the reception our band was phenomenal and they played a variety of music. The after party was exactly how I imagined it. The DJ played a lot of current hip hop/R&B. It was a ton of fun.
Junebug: Looking back, what are the moments, decisions or memories that you love the most about your wedding?
Jade and Kelechi: One of my favorite moments was the prayer I shared with my soon-to-be husband before walking down the aisle. Hearing the choir sing, holding his hand and not being able to see him made it one of the most intense moments of my life.
I also loved when my father sang Jesus is Love with the choir to us during the ceremony. Definitely one of the best and most special moments! Made us both cry.
My cousin JR (the officiant) speaking a small sermon before we said our vows was wonderful. There was an unbelievable message in his words! My guests said it was the best ceremony they had ever been to. And of course, walking into my reception and seeing all the hard work Gina and I had done over the past year. I loved everything! Another great moment was praying with my bridesmaids and family before we took pictures and went on our way to the church. And the first time I said “my husband”!
Junebug: What specifically drew you to Susan Stripling and her imagery?
Jade and Kelechi: We absolutely loved her use of light and the unique images that she captures.
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Susan Stripling Photography
Event Planner: Gina Sole
Ceremony Venue: Trinity Memorial Church
Reception Venue: Arts Ballroom
Videographer/Film Maker: Lucky Productions
Officiant: JR Wilkerson
Invitation Designer: The Papery of Philly
Catering: Stephen STARR Events
Florist: Carl Alan Floral Design
Cake: Whipped Bake Shop
Wedding Dress: Christos
Bridal accessories: Tiffany & Co. and hitched
Bridesmaids apparel and accessories: Hitched Maids Amsale dresses
Groom apparel and accessories: Tuxedo – Barneys New York; Bow Tie – Ralph Lauren Black Label; Shoes – Gucci
Groomsmen Apparel: Men’s Wearhouse
Makeup: Mandy at Cheekadee
Hair: Michelle Casselle at Hair Prescriptions
DJ: Scott Melker
Live music: Soul FX
Transportation: Cescaphe trolley and Philadelphia Trolley Works
Favors: CD’s of all music from our wedding day
Rentals: Party Rental
Rings: Paul Jacobs, Ascot diamonds
Photobooth: Shutterbooth Philadelphia