Real Engagements {Chicago}: Ruth & James! –

Ruth and James first met through James' best friend Rotimi in 2009. James was in the process of finishing his masters degree in Aberdeen, Scotland at the time and his friend Rotimi introduced the two via a conference.  After the chat, James asked several questions about Ruth. "I was very impressed by her level of intellect," said James.  Almost 3 years later, James was visiting the US and decided to finally make a move see Ruth. "I asked her out and she said a very big “YES”, so the journey started." Check out their chic and artsy engagement session, captured by Olu Akintorin of OluJr Photography!

Bride: Ruth O. Ovunwo; 28; Associate Director of Quality Assurance

Groom: James C. Awam; 32; Project Manager

Place of residence: Chicago

Engagement Shoot Location: Art Institute, Hyatt Hotel (Downtown Chicago)

Wedding date: 7/12/14

Engagement story:

It was Ruth's first trip to Lagos [Nigeria] and I wanted to make it a memorable one for her. Even though we had time constraints, I tried to take her to the very best spots in the city. So I had gathered a few of my friends and family on July 12, 2013 at the boat club in the CIVIC center to go on a boat cruise, with so much to eat and drink, and give Ruth a view of the Lagos coastline. She saw the beaches of Lagos and breathtaking landscaping, such a perfect scene so much so that she was drawn to believing that I would propose to her while we walked side by side on the beautiful white sands of Taqua Bay… but it wasn't to be on that day. Instead, I had rather planned a bigger party of 20 friends and family who had decided to honor the event on July, 14, 2013. After church service on Sunday, I said to Ruth that one last thing we needed to do before she left Nigeria the next day was to see a movie at the cinemas together. We got to the Mall and there was so much traffic entering into it, I was praying that I wouldn't miss this as friends were all seated. We eventually got to the cinema with everyone seated and shortly before the movie started, a short video I had made on my iPhone for her with lovely background music and my voice over began to play. The last image was an Image of my Beloved Ruth and then she knew this was it. I immediately went down on my right knee and asked her, “Will you marry me?" There was huge shock on her face and everyone in the theater, in chorus, was saying, say yes! and with tears streaming down her cheek, she said “Yes”.

For the Groom: How did you decide that you wanted to propose in such a grand way? Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day.

 I wanted Ruth’s visit to be a memorable one so the only thing on my mind was to give her the best, starting with her engagement ring to the finest restaurants in town. Before Ruth arrived Lagos, I had gone to my mentor (Dr. Tunde Fowler) who owns a boat to ask him for it and told him how I intended make the day special for her but would not propose to her. I only wanted to create the moment and make her believe that that was the case. Then after that I went to the mall and met with the management of the Cinemas and gave them a copy of the video I wanted them to play, told them what day and what movie we will be seeing. I also texted 20 of my friends and family and a photographer who would sit right in front of us in the cinema to capture the moment.


What makes your love special?

Choosing to leave my Job, family and friends back in Lagos to come start a life with Ruth Ovunwo. Summed up in two words, Commitment and Sacrifice makes our love special.

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?

We’re mostly looking forward to sharing our day with friends and family, but we’re more excited about the day after. That’s when the real journey begins. We’re excited about daily learning from one another and letting God use us for His purpose. The never ending covenant is our truest joy.


Congratulations to Ruth and James, we wish you a wonderful wedding day and marriage.


Photographer: Olu Akintorin, OluJr Photography

Curated by our Wedding Features Editor, C.K. Alexander. C.K. is the owner and founder of  Love Ink and Brownstone Bridal. Keep up with C.K. on Twitter here: @Love_Ink

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