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Nigerian Wedding: “Once Upon a Dream.” Toyosi Williams and Lanre Oshinowo’s Splendid Wedding in Houston, Texas

Happy Sunday NW lovers, we are super excited to welcome you back with Toyosi & Lanre’s beautiful story. This beautiful couple’s love story will definitely make you tear up, so grab some tissues quickly!

God works in mysterious ways, and this couple’s story is a confirmation of GOD’s promise to those who earnestly seek his face! Their story started from the church and blossomed into something so beautiful it had to continue in marriage….enjoy the beautiful images, courtesy of Rhphotoarts

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The theme for their splendid wedding was “Once Upon a Dream.”

“It just fits us perfectly. Our being together was truly a dream come true and we just wanted everyone in the room to feel the love.We did have a few challenges here and there but thanks to God, we made it through. It was beautiful. ” Mrs Oshinowo excitedly narrated.

How we Met

Toyosi: I will never forget the day that I laid my eyes on my husband. It is so fresh in my memory, it seems like yesterday. Although Lanre says the day started off great for him, my day was not so great but little did I know that God was working something out in the middle of my cloudy day. I had just moved back to Houston after graduation not really knowing what life had in store for me. At that moment in my life, there were a lot of unanswered questions. Questions I could only share with my father in Heaven.

So on that faithful Sunday, I decided to visit RCCG Dominion Chapel. A friend of mine, Yemi, had invited me to visit. I decided to sit upstairs because I did not want to be noticed and I also wanted to observe and concentrate on the service without any distractions. I did not know that I was about to meet with my destiny.

I thought he was some gangsta wannabe looking like a fake mob boss.

Lanre: It was a beautiful morning as I arose to the sounds of birds chirping by my window. I rejoiced into the great day, but little did I know that the day was about to go from great to special. For on this very day, I will be crossing path with the woman that will become a friend, a helper, and now, My Wife.

I walked into church that Sunday morning and made my way upstairs to the media department, greeting those I saw along the way. I opened the door, and there she was to my right…seated by the balcony railings. She had on black pants, a purple top, with clear salty water streaming down her cheeks (this is how she got the nickname ‘The Crying Lady’). I walked up to her and asked if she was okay, she said she was, and I did not question her further. As I walked back to help with the media, I personally said a little prayer for her, and asked God to grant her heart desire.

Toyosi: I will be honest, I do not recall the sermon for that day but I do remember it being so real to my situation that it broke me into tears. I kept sobbing not caring if anyone saw me or not….well I thought I was invisible being that I was at the top in the balcony. Then came Olanrewaju with a question: “Are you okay?” To be honest, I was so embarrassed that I just blew it off by simply saying “I’ll be fine.” He simply said it is well and walked away. I wiped my eyes and looked up. Then it hit me, I know him! That is the guy from the flyer. (I had seen the flyer for his album release ‘DECLARE’ on Facebook).

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Upon realizing this, I busted out laughing. I bet you are wondering why. Well, when I saw the flyer on most of my friends pages back then, he had such a serious look on his face that I did not even know that he was a gospel artist. I thought he was some gangsta wannabe looking like a fake mob boss (forgive me honey, I know better now).

Service ended and I went my way.

Lanre: Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and I did not see her again. Suddenly…(Somebody say Suddenly!) on this particular Sunday, my nose was acting up in the morning. By the time I got ready for church, my allergies had subsided, but as I was about to leave home for church, I felt the need to grab some paper towel thinking I might need it for my nose later. I came into church and went to my usual spot upstairs in the media room to volunteer.

Upon getting to the media room, I saw that they had enough workers, so I sat in the balcony area to listen to the sermon. There she was, seated on the opposite side. Pastor wanted us to rise and read a chapter in the bible together as a church…I noticed she didn’t have a bible, so I walked over, and shared mine with her. After the reading of the word, she said she liked the version of my bible.

Ladies and Gents, the bible version I had was called The Good News Bible – little did I know that God was already bringing Good News my way…and He started the connection through the sharing of His word. As the sermon progressed, I could tell that the word was hitting home because Lo and behold, the tears started to flow down her cheeks again (The Crying Lady).

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Toyosi: Another Sunday came by and I found myself at Dominion Chapel again. While sitting in my usual spot, I had another encounter with him. Yep. The guy in the black suit from the flyer. He was sitting on the opposite side of the balcony so I just looked away. I was running late that morning so I left my bible in car while rushing into church.

The pastor wanted the church to rise and read the Word when I realized the mistake I had made in my haste. I left my bible in the car. Who comes to church without their bible? I thought to myself. Before I could get my thoughts together, there he was beside me asking if I wanted to share the Bible with him. “hmm, all these ‘church boys’ trying to pull numbers instead of focusing on the word.” Yep, I thought he was throwing a pass at me but I needed a Bible so I agreed. As we kept reading the Word together, I realized that he didn’t even look up much less look at me. Can you imagine that? There was this beautiful damsel standing next to him and he didn’t even show color? What kind of man is this? LOL, no I am just kidding. His focus on the Word was what got my attention. I also happened to like his Bible translation so I let him know.

Lanre: Towards the end, Pastor had asked us to come to the front if we had a special prayer request, where the ministers will then pray for us. I went down for prayers, and while heading back upstairs, I saw her again. “The Crying Lady” and what was she doing when I saw her….Yes you guessed right…Crying. I pulled out the paper towel from my pocket (here I was thinking it was meant for my nose – Our God works in mysterious ways) and handed it to her. She looked shocked, but she said thank you. I helped her up the stairs, and once again, asked if everything was okay. She gave me her usual response, “I’ll be fine.”

Toyosi: As the pastor closed on the message, he asked anyone who needed prayer to come forth. At this point in my life, I was praying for so many things- A job, peace at home and also my future husband….. I was praying for restoration with someone I thought was my husband. I laugh now looking back at everything. I went to the altar, prayed with a minister who told me something I will never forget.

She said, “Leave your husband to God. Let Him prepare him for you.” I did not fully understand and I was still devastated but I kept walking back towards the staircase. My eyes were filled with so much tears that I could not even see. Suddenly, I saw a white handkerchief dangling in front of me….. Ok it was tissue. Lol. I took it and wiped my eyes. Upon opening my eyes, it was him again.

See the power of my God. I was praying about ‘my husband’ and he was standing before me without my knowledge. I just stood there, looking down as he guided me towards the stairway then he let go after I told him that I was okay. From that point on, I knew there was something different about Lanre and I wanted to know what it was. I just wanted to know him.

Our paths crossed again at a friend’s concert. I approached him because I was interested in being a bone marrow donor for a patient battling leukemia at that time (there was an announcement at church earlier and he was the spokesperson). He requested for my number so that the organization could contact me. I gave it to him and walked away. According to Lanre, he said I was rude but I was just getting to the point (maybe that is why he stored my name as ‘Toyosi Bone Marrow’ on his phone…yep, my last name was bone marrow. lol).

Lanre: Later on in the year, an opportunity arose to help raise awareness, funds, and participants for a dear brother that was in need of a bone marrow transplant. ‘The Crying Lady came to the event we had put together and that was when I officially got her first name…Toyosi. I said first name because she was soooo ruuudddeee.…(Nowadays, when we talk about that day, she says she was just getting to the point lol). She just gave me her info and her name so fast that all I got was that first name…so when I stored it in my phone, there was no last name to go with it…so as to not confuse her with any other ‘toyosi’, I put her last name as Bone Marrow.

Toyosi: Later on in the year, there was a youth program at RCCG Kings Palace and I was in charge of the choir and also helped with the drama team. (Lanre) was one of the guest artists invited. His ministration really touched me. There was something different about this man…FOR REAL. Prior to the ministration, he was just this quiet, relaxed person and upon getting on the altar, he was on FIRE for God. I sat there saying to myself. I want this man to be my friend. I can learn a lot from him. It did not matter if he was a man. All that mattered was he had a passion that clearly showed his dedication to the things of God and I needed people like that around me to keep me grounded. I called him later that day and asked him to be my friend. Not sure what to expect, I heard him say “anything to encourage someone.”

The ‘brother /sister friendship’ was established but it took a whole year for us to truly become friends. I was helping with fundraising towards his concert and he was there to pray with me during a very dark period in my life. He was the ray of sunshine through the cloudy days but I did not think much of it. I was just grateful that he was there.

All of a sudden, he no longer was. He disappeared. He was gone for almost 2 months!!! I was truly worried. I did not know if I had offended him or if he just did not care anymore…. I was upset. When he reappeared, he explained the reason for his absence. He said that I was his wife but he needed time to pray about it. Ladies and gentlemen, I bet you think this was the beginning of our happily ever after right? Nope. I turned him down! Yep, there was no way he was my husband. What? Impossible I said to myself. I felt so horrible because I had just hurt my best friend but I was in a committed relationship and no matter what, I was staying committed. Little did I know that I had made a terrible mistake but thank God for his mercy.

A couple of months later, I knew. It was like a dream to me. Someone I had thought was nothing more than a friend, the man with the white handkerchief, the guy in the flyer was my husband!!!! Wow, God is truly amazing. Yes, I had to go through some things but God knew that was the only way that I would be in HIS will. You can only run from God but his mercy will always find you even when you hide from Him. That is my testimony. The MASTER planner began to put the pieces back together to realign me to HIS will and my Ola was there every step of the way. Looking back now, I am grateful for every tear, every scar, and every pain because it led me to my DESTINY. My GREAT DISTRACTION is now going to be my husband. The fairytale has just begun .

The Proposal

Lanre: Well, well, well…Soooooo… The Proposal. My wife is the most curious woman you would ever meet. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT hint to her that you are planning a surprise for her because, she will most likely make you reveal the surprise before the set date…She will ask and probe…I call it her Matthew 7:7 weapon “Ask and it shall be given unto you” Ife mi will ASK questions upon questions until you unknowingly spill the beans.

I made up my mind that no matter how hard she pushes, no matter how many times she will ask me the question over and over, I will not budge. A couple of weeks into the proposal, I had taken her on a few dates…and on each date, I knew she will think I was going to propose. After 3 outings and no proposal, she got used to no “Will you marry me?” (Mission Accomplished).

I called Ife one Tuesday and told her to cancel her plans for July 19th 2012. I told her we will be going to dinner…knowing my baby, she began to ask questions, “Where are we going? What should I wear? What are you wearing? Should I put on long earrings or short earrings? X-A-Tera, X-A-Tera…So I said to her, “Honey bunches of sweet caramel oats, you will look great in anything you wear…but If you must ask, put on a nice dinner outfit because we are going to Sambuca Jazz Cafe.”

Toyosi: Well, let’s just say he got me. During our courtship, we KNEW we were getting married but I did not know how the proposal was going to happen. Being the control freak that I am, I gave him a list of do’s and don’ts (make sure you get my parents’ permission, this is the kind of ring I like, do not propose at a restaurant or a park, make sure my hair and nails are done, the songs I would love for him to play, etc). Yes, I am that calculating but thank God, I have a very, very, very patient husband. After the details comes the timing right? Well, Lanre was very tricky. He had the habit of wining and dining me and I would say to myself, this is it! He is going to propose!!!! I was wrong every time.

There was particular day that I was so sure that he was going to propose. He told me he had a ministration and he wanted me to come along but he was being so secretive. Once again NOTHING!!! After a while, it became so frustrating that I just gave up (this was all part of his plan by the way). ‘

I decided to live in the moment and forget about the proposal. Then on that Thursday, July the 19th, 2012, it happened. There was no way I would have known. For one, it was a week day and secondly, my hair was a disaster!

On Tuesday, the 17th, he told me that we would be going to dinner on Thursday to catch up.

I got off work and I was on my way to get ready when he called me to tell me that there was a change of plans- his uncle wanted to meet me before we headed to dinner. Hmmm? What? I knew what I wanted to wear to dinner and it was not a ‘meet the uncle for the first time’ outfit. LOL.

So I had to find something that could work for both dinner and an impromptu visit to see his “uncle”.

Lanre: I stopped by The James’s to get ready, and then I was on my way to pick her up. Upon getting to her place, I told her that I had spoken to my uncle on the way, and he will love to meet her…So we will have to stop by his house briefly before heading to Sambuca. When we got into the car, I made a fake call to Sambuca and spoke to the Air saying, “Hello, this is the 7pm reservation for 2 under the name Osinowo. We are running a little bit late, and was wondering if we could move our reservation to 8pm” I nodded to the air, said thank you, and ended the call. She fell for it. We got to my “Uncle’s House” and knocked on the door our waiter opened the door, and welcomed her to “Omotoyosis’s Kitchen” I could tell that she was still confused on what was going on. The waiter led us to the dining area, and there before her laid a candlelight dinner set up for two. The waiter pulled out her chair and she sat down. I likewise took my seat across the table from her. The waiter then brought the menu that I had made for her, and instantly she melted. The music came on with all her favorite songs (Shout out to DJ Joe), and the waiter brought our meal. We talked, laughed, and simply enjoyed each other’s company. Then came desert, but at that time, I could not wait another second more. I rose from my seat and approached her…my approach was so quick that before she knew what was happening, I was on my knee by her side. I gently took her hand, and poured out my heart to her. The tears started flowing down her cheeks “The Crying Lady” She said YES! We rose together and danced into the evening. I then reminded her that we need to start leaving for our appointment at Sambuca. She was like, “We are still going there?” I smiled and nodded.

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Toyosi: Upon arriving at “uncle’s’’ house, I noticed that there was no car in the driveway so I began to inquire but he assured me that “his uncle” was home and the car was in the garage.
We got to the door, Lanre knocked on the door with such authority (for those that know my man, he is so subtle and gentle so this came as a surprise). A gentleman opens the door and says: “Welcome to Omotoyosi’s Kitchen”. I laughed thinking that it was his uncle’s son just teasing. The face looked familiar but I paid it no attention. We walked in but there was no uncle. I began to ask questions: “Lanre. Whose house is this?” and of course, he just kept leading me further into the house until we got to the destination!!!

Omg, a candlelight dinner perfectly set up for two. The gentleman then pulls out my seat and handed me a menu that said “Omotoyosi’s Kitchen”.
As I was about to go in (I love sweets), I just noticed that Ola was on one knee next to me. I was like, “no way. Not now.”

That was when I understood what he said earlier. My love simply sat across the room just staring. The set up was beautiful, the candles smelt so right, the music was playing even though I did not pay attention to the songs (he made the playlist that I requested), and my favorite meal (pasta mardi gras with the Salmon and scallops)was served. It was over the top but for some reason, it still didn’t hit me. I kept telling myself that he was not going to propose that day. To be honest, the proposal did not even matter anymore at that point. I was living in the moment. I could barely eat my food but Lanre insisted that the waiter should bring dessert. So he did.

As I was about to go in (I love sweets), I just noticed that Ola was on one knee next to me. I was like, “no way. Not now.” He started talking. I remember his first words: “The day is finally here.” Everything after that was a blur. I was in complete shock. I asked if he was recording (I noticed a camcorder on the counter), he said yes, so I took the time to put on my shoes cause you know I had to look on point!!! This was a once in a lifetime event. Lol. He asked me to be his wife and I said YES, without hesitation. We embraced each other shared a toast and I thought that was it but I was wrong. He tells me that we had one more place to go. We headed towards the door but my “waiter” kept following us with the camcorder. I began to tell him that the show was over and he could put the camera away but before I could utter a word, the door opened and everyone screamed “surprise!!!”. That was when it hit me. The tears just kept on flowing. I could not contain it. The man of my dreams just gave me the BEST proposal EVER!!

Best Memories: (Toyosi) The most memorable part of our wedding day was the ceremony. From the moment I walked down the aisle, he was all I could see. Reading our vows to each other was a moment I will never forget. It was perfect. On a lighter note, I also enjoyed the garter toss! My wonderful husband had his Groomsmen serenaded me with a choreographed dance to “My girl” by the Temptations before the he finally sealed the deal.

Wedding Style (Toyosi) For my big day, I wanted to be “Very Romantic” but still “Edgy” hence why I got the hairpiece. I wanted to feel like a Queen rather than a princess.

He loves…

He tells me that he loves my heart and compassion. He tells me that even though I don’t see it, I am one of the most selfless people he has ever met.

She loves…
I love his faith in God. No matter what He is always so positive, gentle and never waivers. His faith allows me see courage and strength from a new perspective. He challenges me to see the good in everyone and every situation.

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Nigerian wedding wishes the couple a very happy married life…..

Vendors

Wedding Planner – A Conceal Affair, Inc
Photography- Rhphotoarts
Wedding Dress Designer – Casablanca Couture
Wedding Dress Salon – Parvani Vida
Wedding Shoes- Benjamin Adams
Groom’s Tux- Bengjof Couture
Groom’s Shoes – Zara
Bridesmaids Dresses – Creative Inspiration
Hair/Makeup – Lyzadora Beauty Consultants
Ceremony & Reception Location- The Hyatt North Houston
Videography- Navio Media
Florist – Keisha’s Creations
Edible Designs by Jessie – Bride’s Cake
Who Made the Cake- Groom’s Cake
Eccentric Creations – Stationery
Event Designer – A Conceal Affair/Keisha’s Creations

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XOXO
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5 Comments
  • Adaora Onyenede
    June 29, 2014

    Omg! I love the details…what an amazing love story…was worth the wait! Absolutely divine! Remain blessed forever Toyosi “the crying lady!” *laughs* and Lanre ! I so love this couple!

  • yemisi
    June 29, 2014

    Touching story

  • happiness
    June 30, 2014

    Long read,but worth it

  • tosan
    July 22, 2014

    i love love your story so touching…

  • cynthia chubi
    October 27, 2014

    i love this……..reminds me sooo much of me and my bae….hope that God unites us same way as he did for u….amen