One of our favorite photographers, Ayokunu Oduniyi of AO Media, recently got engaged to the lovely Susan Deborahs and we couldn't be happier for these two love birds. The couple met on Facebook in 2009. "Facebook kept suggesting him as a friend and we had a lot of mutual friends, so I gave in to Facebook's secret matchmaking and went to his profile," said Susan. "He wrote a few notes that I loved and I inboxed him (I slid right into his DMs) and told him I liked it. From that day we spoke every day." For Ayokunu he knew right away that there was something special about Susan. "I literally fell in love with her, it was more than beauty, attraction etc....(she is smoking hot!), it was heart, chemistry, unison of thought and language, just like actual best friends doing life," shared Ayokunu.
Unfortunately, after a whirlwind romance Susan decided to end their relationship and they didn't speak to each other for a while. However, as fate would have it, that was not the end of their love story. "Fast forward to early 2013, I felt as though God opened my eyes to the type of man I needed," said Susan. Finally, in December of 2013 Ayokunu and Susan gave love a second chance. "I forgave her and something radical changed in my heart and it exploded out with love for her (it was uncontrollable and not fair! Lol)," said Ayokunu. The happy couple are counting down the days until their fall wedding at Froyle Park in Hampshire. See more from their proposal and engagement session below.
Bride: Susan Deborahs, 26, Writer, Speaker, Singer.
Groom: Ayokunu Oduniyi, 27, Entrepreneur
Place of residence: London
Engagement Shoot Location: Grosvenor Hotel, London Victoria
Wedding date: September 7, 2017
We had spoken about marriage and knew that was the goal for us. I had a tiny idea of the time because I can be nosy. However, everything he had planned was honestly a surprise and just so beautiful. Honestly, the whole day touched me because he tailored it to me and my love language. For instance, in the morning he brought me white roses that were just stunning. It was the little things that made me realize that he studied me and knew me. I knew it was more than a ring, it was a man that was ready to lay his life down to serve me and love me, like Christ. At that point It felt safe to give him my heart by saying yes.
For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day
Well it consisted of a lot of lying! Our dear friend Michelle Davies, just had to be real with me and reminded me to tailor it to her love language, to keep it simple but thoughtful. I didn't need to do anything extravagant (best advice ever by the way!). She really helped me to make this day special. So, I took note of what Susan loves, and shaped the proposal around that. She loves the colour white and loves wearing white for her special occasions. So, I had to lie and say I had a business networking brunch that I needed her to be at, to get her in all white. She loves Italian food, so I took her to Amaranto (Four Seasons Hotel). She loves words, so I wrote her a proposal poem. To make the lie believable, I got my friend Craig (Craig Dean Studio) to design a business networking brunch event flyer, which settled any questions she had regarding the event and it was the first step of getting this proposal day on a roll. As a photographer, photos and filming was crucial, I got our good friend Paul from PDESIGNS to do photography and Fola from XW Media to film, these guys had to hide in the bushes to get this moment captured unnoticed.
What makes your love special?
The true friendship we have and laughter that we share makes our love special and keeps us in wonder of one another. Our faith and trust in God makes our love not only special but durable. Our love gives us the ability to see the beauty and greatness in one another and that's key.
What was the theme of your shoot?
We wanted to have images of us wearing formal/classy outfits because we have a lot of smart casual shots together. So, we wanted to do something a little different and wear a color that we wouldn't normally wear.
Were there any memorable moments during the shoot?
Bride: I'm so used to Ayo taking pictures of me. So having someone else behind the lens made me extra shy. However, over time, I came out of my shell a little. I enjoyed doing the shots of us laughing together especially, they encapsulate how we are day to day.
Groom: I think the only memorable moment is seeing how shy she got in portrait shots, for someone who commands me to take pics of her in every season, it was funny to witness.
What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
Groom: Our first kiss and of course looking forward to seeing her at the altar in her dress.
Bride: Our first kiss, we've waited many years for this epic moment. Ha! And finally being his wife.
Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish you a wonderful wedding and a beautiful marriage.