Chika and Bryan met on the campus of FAMU. "Chika was my god sister’s roommate during her freshman year and I would often get called to take them to the store, mall, etc. She was a cheerleader and I was in the Marching 100. We began as friends due to circumstance (we had all of the same friends, most of which were in the band or cheerleading). We continued to be only friends for years, though we hung out almost every day," recalled Bryan. However, Chika and Bryan would soon have to come to terms with the fact that their friendship was turning into much more. "One summer Chika’s best friend decided to tell us what we were both either avoiding or not wanting to see…That we would be great together. We both laughed and brushed it off! But as time progressed, we started hanging out more and more with only each other and not the usual group," said Bryan. Chika and Bryan's friendship blossomed into a beautiful romance which has now led them to make the ultimate promise to a lifetime of love and friendship as husband and wife. The two are planning a Fall wedding this year in Orlando, FL. Check out their romantic engagement session captured by Leon Bailey of Lasting Blueprint Productions.
Bride: Chika Ofuani
Groom: Bryan Hooper Jr.
Place of residence: Tallahassee, FL
Engagement Shoot Location: Winter Park, FL
Wedding date: 09/06/15
Wedding location: Hyatt Regency Orlando
Engagement story from the bride-to-be:
The funny thing is I think everyone would have probably guessed he was going to propose except me. We were in Hawaii for a conference and of course, Bryan was going to accompany me because Hawaii is paradise, who wouldn't want their lover there. I remember he was very intent about reminding me to make sure I had "going out "clothes and my nails done prior to the trip which should have been a sign. Once in the lobby of the hotel, he had the butler call the prearranged limo to pick us up and escort us to the restaurant where he had already made reservations. Again, I should have picked up on the possible proposal at this point but no. So upon arrival we were seated, ordered our drinks and food. Bryan kept fidgeting and running back and forth "to the bathroom" the moment we arrived and I recall asking him, "What are you doing??"He politely replied, "Nothing" so I shrugged it off and continued to enjoy my drink and appetizer. A few moments later right at sunset, the restaurant which was outdoor, lifted the shades to allow for the most beautiful sunset over the Hawaii mountain one could imagine. As I turn to look at the view, I hear a musician playing the ukulele come from around the corner. To my surprise he was playing my favorite song. Bryan gets up, goes down on one knee and recites the most genuine heart felt words I had ever heard. I immediately start crying so unfortunately I can't recall just what those words were exactly but more importantly I said yes! I was completely surprised, happy, and honored. He chose me and I chose him.
For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day:
I actually had the ring in my possession about 6 months before the trip, I made sure I ran it by all the important people that could verify that it was the One. Once travel plans were locked in for Hawaii, I began to plan vigorously. From interviewing Ukulele players via skype to see if they could play her favorite song, calling the limo service, reservations with the restaurant to get a table next to the beach that would give us a full view if the sunset, making sure the hostess could video the whole thing, this entire process was tedious!!! But WELL worth it. I just wanted something I felt worthy of her, and what she means to me. Everything went exactly as planned! She said YES!
Click HERE to see their proposal video!
What was the theme of your Engagement session?
We chose to have part of the photo shoot with a FAMU theme because, that’s not only where we met, but FAMU is where we grew and learned about ourselves. It is such a HUGE part of who we are that it seemed only fitting. The second half of the shoot we just wanted to capture our natural selves out on the town. We didn’t want the look of stiff and scripted photos, we wanted them to look like a glimpse into a regular date night. Leon gave us exactly what we were looking for.
What makes your love special?
Our love is special because it wasn't love at first sight. We had been around each other for years, dated other people, but always remained in the same circles. I believe it was God that put people in our lives that could see what we couldn't, that we were perfect for each other. Our love is such a blessing. Secondly, we truly have a friendship. We were friends first and continue to remain close. We can be our authentic selves around each other without any apologies. I love our love.
What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
Groom: " I look forward to seeing my bride walk down the aisle and knowing that I officially get to spend the rest of my life with her."
Bride: "I look forward to a new beginning that will last forever. I cannot wait to be one with my soul mate."
Have you started planning your wedding?
We have not begun planning our wedding besides finding our venue. However, we both looking forward to sharing this special weekend and day with our friends and family.
Congrats to the lovely couple Chika and Bryan. We wish you a wonderful wedding and marriage!
Photographs by Leon Bailey of Lasting Blueprint Productions