It is always the joy of every parent and a moment of pride to witness, arguably the happiest moment in the lives of their children – marriage to their desired spouses.
Such was the privilege of the families of  the Popoola and Olaiya  of Offa and Ekiti respectivelly recently as they witnessed the official and public affirmation of the love and affection that the young couple has for each other.The ceremony took place at Offa, Kwara State.
The atmosphere in the prestigious Banquet hall of Avalon Hotel in Offa that Saturday, February 9, 2019, was electrifying. The excitement was unquantifiable,and the creme de la creme adequately represented.
They came from far and near to witness what can be considered a perfect match made from heaven.The dignitaries, included a powerful delegation from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, led by the Deputy Provost, Dr Jide Johnson. There was also a litany of legal luminaries including justices of the court in attendance.
The groom and the groom’s men were impeccable in their Black blue asoebi with purple caps. The bride was elegant and radiant in both the traditional attire of white and gold asooke and a gold wedding gown laced with sparkling stones.
It was as if each party desired to outdo the other. The   bride’s friends were equally outstanding in their nice lilac lace material that was customized and fitted to accentuate their  physique to the admiration of the invited guests.
The groom, Mr  Olayinka Olaiya, a seasoned lawyer with Morayo Lebi and Company and a business mogul  hails from  Aiyetoro in Ido Osi Local Gorvernment area of Ekiti State. His father is the Obanla of Aiyetoro land.
The bride, Temitope Popoola Olaiya, a rounded media personnel with Naij: a broascaster, a writer and a poet who recently completed a post-graduate studies in Mass Communnication from the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism,  couldn’t have chosen a more perfect date for this event; February, 9th 2019, less than a week to Valentines day.
The wedding ceremony commenced with both the traditional introduction and traditional engagement, and on hand to coordinate was the professional Alaga Ijoko.
By way of a background, the Alaga Ijoko’s primary responsibility was to ensure accommodation of the traditions of both families, including the official letter reading  and exchange of gifts between the two families.
The bride and the groom were radiant in their traditional outfit as they danced into the waiting hands of their parents who in turn, showered them with prayers for a successful and productive marriage.
The reception followed immediately after the traditional ceremony at the banquet hall of the Avalon Hotel where guests were lavishly treated to a sumptuous hospitality not to mention the tasteful and elegant decoration of the banquet hall.
There was an appealing blend of purple and gold color in their decorations, depicting royalty, optimism, energy ,joy and happiness.
From the introduction of the dignitaries to the last detail on the programme schedule, the master of ceremony proved his mettle, helping to deliver a memorable event.
At the background was the music of Wasiu Ayinde Marshall brought to life by a young man who shares almost the same sounds produced by the vocal cords of the legend. There was the DJ too, a young man ready to tease the young and vibrant amidst the audience with the latest and trendy songs.
Both the live band and the DJ provided the much needed relaxation.
In his speech, the chairman of the occasion, Justice Adegoke congratulated the latest couple and enjoined them to make God the pillar, the bedrock  and the  foundation of their marriage.
He admonished that once this first condition is met, that communication becomes easier and understanding becomes the order of the day.
Marriage is like a retirement fund where you will invest so much into it at your younger years and you reap what you infuse into it at a later stage and it comes with its own peculiar and surmountable challenges with the God as the foundation of the marriage, he counseled.
In the same vein, the Mother of the day, Chief Mrs Ayodele Olufemi Oyeleke reminded the couple that marriage was given by God as part of His common grace and it illustrates the loving relationship of Christ and his church, with the husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church.
It also implies the wife submitting to her husband. She also implored them to hold on to God in all their undertakings and their path shall always be straight.
Alhaja Sherifat Jumoke Bakare, a veteran banker and a journalist was the chairperson of the day/
While taking the couple through the rituals of the cake cutting and its significance,  she reminded the couple that “Marriage is not a contest but a partnership.
What counts in making a blissful marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with the incompatibility”. In marriage, you don’t keep score but reach out and help each other which was demonstrated with the groom holding the knife and the bride’s hand placed on top to help in the cutting.
Alhaja Bakare has about 30 years of experience in marriage; thus, her expertise came in handy during that aspect of the ceremony.
The couple feeding section also followed with the same spectacle as the cutting of the cake ceremony. It was a combination of years of experience in marriage as embodied and on display  by Alhaja Sherifat Bakare on one hand, and  the manifestation of a respectful, loving ,caring  and dutiful wife as depicted by the Bride, Mrs Temi Popoola Olaiya.
She was able to announce to the world that she was equal to the task in her first public test with the display of her feeding dexterity. She was methodical and meticulous as she fed her husband to the thunderous applause of the audience.
The entire process was also reciprocated by her husband. There was a toast during which the couple had a sip of champagne to wash it down. It was indeed a spectacular moment.
This was followed by the Father and Daughter dance.
This initially started as a contest between the old generation and the new generation; a contest between Shaku Shaku dance of the Palongo,twist of the 60s.
The dance was not a contest afterall but a manifestation of the bond between a father and the daughter.
It was indeed another moment of pride. The mother of the bride joined towards the end of the dance.
The reception continued into the wee hour to the satifaction of all guests in attendance.
There have been so many wedding ceremonies, but obviously none like that of the Olaiyas.
We pray that their marriage will define  them as individuals and deepen their love for each other.
Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Temitope Olaiya.
Special congratulations to the parents of the groom and the bride.

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