A Multicultural Wedding at Leopold’s Mississippi Gardens in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dame Idossa (26 and a physician) and Olyad (Oli) Joba (26 and an accountant) met at age 12, when Oli’s family flew to the United States to visit Dame’s family (Dame and Oli were born in Ethiopia, and Oli’s dad good friends with Dame’s uncle). They reconnected 10 years later when Dame vacationed in London, England, before starting at Yale School of Medicine. “We were amazed at how much we had in common and enjoyed each other’s company so much. Sparks were flying,” she says. Over the next few months, they kept in touch, “and a summer fling blossomed into something beautiful.” Dame spent valuable time with Oli in England during her gap year of medical school, when they grew closer than ever. The day before she flew home, he proposed in the streets of London. The couple got married in Minnesota, but because Dame was busy finishing medical school and Oli was still in London, they didn't have a lot of time to work with multiple wedding vendors. They settled on Leopold’s Mississippi Gardens in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which offered the whole package. It a lovely venue, the manager was a joy to work with, and the staff truly seemed to care, Dame says. “They made me feel like part of the family from day one. I was sold,” Dame says. On their wedding day, Dame and Oli included Oromo-Ethiopian traditions, including a morning blessing ceremony at Dame’s sister’s house, then mixed in American and British culture at the outdoor ceremony overlooking the Mississippi River and indoor reception. They weaved in soft colors of gold and champagne and personalized details like a ring bearer in a red wagon with a “ring security” sign on the back, handwritten vows and a cake topper displaying American and British birds. After dating long-distance for most of their relationship, Dame and Oli are excited to be together—on the same continent—as they start the next chapter in their lives. Says Oli, “I thank God for the love that brought our hearts and minds together.” —Chrissy Sorenson