September 4, 2016
Love and basketball always seem to go hand in hand (we’ve all seen the film, right?), but for Sade and Nick, the happily ever after didn’t begin quite like you might expect. Mutual friends introduced the two one night at a party – she a senior at Loyola University and he a senior in the Naval Academy – and within minutes of meeting, they were verbally sparring. “Nick’s originally from Ohio so he worships LeBron James, but I hate him,” Sade laughs. “We ended up getting in a heated argument over him the first night we ever met.”
But, rather than holding a grudge against his future wife for insulting his hero, Nick found her intriguing. They ran into each other again the following night, and he purposefully brought the subject again in order to spur another conversation. He even managed to score her phone number. “He kept calling me after that and at first I didn’t understand why… We’d just end up arguing! But I guess he appreciated that I challenged him,” Sade muses.
From there, the couple’s playful relationship continued through the rest of undergrad. Then, when Sade’s med school path kept her in Baltimore and later sent her to Philadelphia while Nick’s career as a submarine officer brought him to several different states, their love only flourished despite the long distance. They were committed to still seeing each other on a regular basis, so when Sade had time off for the holiday season in 2014, she chose to spend it with Nick in Georgia.
“He came home from early Christmas morning and we ended up opening presents at the crack of dawn,” Sade recalls. A large package had been placed underneath the tree, but it didn’t contain a puppy like Sade initially guessed (read: hoped), nor was it a gag gift – something Sade assumed when she opened the box to reveal a plethora of packing peanuts. “Nick likes to pull pranks and he was recording my reaction on his phone, so I figured a snake was going to pop out at me or something,” she laughs. “When I finally pulled out a little box it didn’t even occur to me that he might be proposing.
But, indeed, he was.
While saying “yes” may have come naturally to Sade, wedding planning did not. Because of their busy schedules, the two opted for a longer engagement. “I’ll admit that I dragged my feet a little bit…It was overwhelming! I didn’t know what I wanted,” she says. But then Sade, a lover of all things fashion-related, fell head over heels for a lilac Hayley Paige gown, and everything else also fell into place. “I finally had a concept: Saint Tropez-themed on the water. Classy, but not over-the-top,” she explains. The intended aesthetic led the Portsmouth Abbey to return to her roots in Newport and book the waterfront Bohlin. From there, Nimota Garcia, a wedding planner whom the couple could not praise enough, took over the reins and helped them nail down the rest of their vendors and details.
But even with a concrete plan and an excellent team of professionals, Sade was still a self-proclaimed nervous wreck the morning of hers and Nick’s nuptials. That is, until she saw her soon-to-be spouse. “I’m so glad we decided to do a first look because it really helped calm me down, she says. “He was just smiling and telling me that I looked great and that it didn’t matter if anything went wrong, because we were together, and we were finally getting married.”
After that, Sade was able to thoroughly enjoy her big day. And, happily, her fears were unfounded because nothing went wrong! Highlights include: exchanging vows right on Narragansett Bay with a beautiful, sun-filled backdrop; watching Sade’s adorable niece-turned-flower-girl (dubbed the “understudy” of the bride due to her own infatuation with Nick) dropping flower petals around the newlyweds as they swayed to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight” during their first dance; cry-laughing as a homemade slideshow projected a mix of embarrassing and nostalgic photos of the couple and their loved ones throughout the night; indulging in every sweet tooth’s dream candy bar (a surprise addition by the bride for the groom); and participating in a traditional “money dance” where each dollar thrown at the couple on the dance floor represented a blessing on their marriage.
“My parents are from Nigeria, so incorporating our culture into the wedding was very important to me,” Sade says. “Nick and I changed after dinner and my mother made sure we took photos before Blueflash called it a night, and I think that was my favorite moment. Just seeing my parents – who are not emotional people by any means – get all choked up over seeing my new husband and I happy together in our Nigerian outfits… I’ll never forget that feeling.”
Photography: Blueflash Photography // Ceremony, Reception, Catering and Candy Bar: The Bohlin // Cake: Scrumptions // Makeup: Adeola Osinaga // Hair: Latrisha Wright (bridesmaid) // Bride’s Dress: Hayley Paige, Bridal Garden in Marlton, New Jersey // Groom’s Suit: US Navy Service Dress White Chokers // Groomsmen’s Suits: Carl Anthony Tuxedo // Wedding Planner: Nimota Garcia // Officiants: Laura and Ed Schlessinger // Transportation: P&J Limousines