A Contemporary Nigerian Wedding at Heaven on Earth in Missouri City, Texas

Similola “Simi” Falase (28 and an electrical engineer) and Kingsley Ewetuya (29 and a subsea engineer) said “I do” at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston surrounded by 250 friends and family members. Next they celebrated with a giant bash at Heaven on Earth in Missouri City, Texas. “We wanted locations in the Houston area that had inherent character, charm, intrinsic beauty and history, with enough room for our 250 guests,” Simi says. “It was considered a small wedding by our parents’ standards.” A traditional Methodist ceremony included hymns from both of their parents’ weddings, a unity-candle ritual and bagpipe music—a nod to Kinglsey’s affinity for all things Scottish. The ceremony was followed by cocktail hour, dinner and dancing at the stunning plantation mansion Heaven on Earth. “We had a very upbeat reception championed by our emcee, DJ and magician,” Simi says. “As Nigerians, we love to dance.” The bridal party and the bride's and groom's parents kicked off the reception dancing to Nigerian and US pop songs, and then Simi and Kingsley made their grand entrance down Heaven on Earth's elegant staircase into the main ballroom to “Aye” a Nigerian hit song by Davido and “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon. Dinner was accompanied by an entertaining 30-minute magic show, and the final dinner course was paired with jazz and R&B music. “We danced a lot with our guests to many upbeat hip-hop and pop songs from Nigerian and American artists as we were 'sprayed' by our guests,” Simi says. “In Nigerian culture guests shower cash on the couple to wish them luck.” The couple’s contemporary Nigerian wedding ended with a bang—a champagne tower and a toast, a spectacular fireworks show and a grand sparkler exit. —Marissa Hermanson