Jasmine and Criston met in 2007 during Jasmine's sophomore year at the University of Oklahoma. "I was working at this sandwich place on campus called Cate. One Sunday night, Cris came in to the sandwich shop to get a sandwich made. I made Cris a chicken sandwich wrap, gave him a drink, and a cookie for FREE! He had the nerve to ask for extra cookies and complained about his sandwich being bad and the worst one he had ever tasted! After this, I didn’t see Cris for a while. Time went by, and I remember I was having bad day and I posted a status on Facebook saying that I had a bad day. Out of all my friends that saw that status, Cris was the only one that reached out to me and checked to see if I was alright. I had not seen him for at least year, and barely remembered him. I was surprised that he reached out, but he gave me such a great conversation and a good listening ear," recalled Jasmine. Shortly after conversing via Facebook, the two swapped numbers and started texting. Frequent texts turned into hanging out and eventually a beautiful romance formed between them. Jasmine and Criston celebrated their union with an "enchanted vintage dream" themed wedding in Houston, TX. Check out their special day captured by Lulu Lopez Photography!
Bride: Jasmine Okoli, 28, Chemist
Groom: Criston Okoli, 29, Engineer
Place of residence: Houston, TX
Wedding date: 1/25/15
Wedding location: Houston, TX
Honeymoon Destination: Cozumel, Mexico
One day in May 2011, Cris surprised me with a secret weekend getaway to a location unknown to me. He picked me up from work with our bags packed and said he was taking me out of town. We drove all day and night until we ended up at our final destination of Hot Springs, AR where we checked into a hotel.
The next morning we woke up, ventured into the town to see the natural springs, a wax museum, and a guided boat tour of the lake. Later that day, Cris told me to dress to impress because he wanted to take me to a really nice restaurant for dinner. We went to a fancy Italian restaurant and had a nice, romantic dinner. Afterwards, Cris told me that he had one more surprise for me. We got back in the car and Cris drove to a nearby lake where there were Memorial Day fireworks going off. He parked the car and we went to shoreline and started watching the show. Cris said he forgot the camera in the car and when he came back he handed me a book that was titled “The Story of Us: Cris & Jasmine.” It had both of our names written on it and it included pages and pages of pictures of us throughout various stages in our relationship and all of the events and trips we had taken together since 2007. The last pages read "We've done so many things together but there's one more thing to make The Story of Us complete….Jasmine Monique Carrie…Will you marry me?" When I read the last page I turned around to Cris, who was already down on one knee. He reached for my hand and said:
"Jasmine, I wanted to make this book for you to show you all of the great memories we've made together in such a short time. We've laughed, taken vacations, and gone to various events together. This book just represents our time together so far. And if you'll be my wife, I can't wait to fill an entire library full of these memory books with you. So Jasmine, will you marry me?"
Then I worked up the nerve to finally say yes. At this point, I was crying, Cris is crying, and there is a complete uproar of applause from the other people at the lake who are no longer watching the fireworks but instead watching an important moment in our lives transpire. We hug, kiss, and wipe away each others tears of joy and continued to watch the fireworks as a newly engaged couple.
From the Groom:
The wedding came fast but it was without a doubt the best time I’ve ever had in my life. Everything went smoothly (for the most part) and it seemed like all of our guests had as great a time as we did. The day was full of emotions but the turn up after the ceremony was great.
The most memorable moments:
The most memorable aspect of my wedding was the ceremony. My father passed away in 2012 and there was a seat reserved in the front row that was reserved with a picture of my father and a lit candle to honor him. Instead of my father walking me down the aisle, I walked halfway, and my future husband walked down to escort me down the remainder of the aisle.
From the Bride:
On my wedding day, I felt like time stood still. It rained the entire week leading up to the big day but God provided one sun-shining day. It was absolutely breathtaking. I married my best friend and my knight in shining armor of 7 years. Everybody looked amazing and I truly had a whimsical, fairy tale night that I’ll never forget.
What makes your love special?
We’ve been together for 7 years and we are truly best friends at heart. And even though we are completely opposite, our personalities intertwine so perfectly. What she’s good at, he’s bad at. And what he’s good at, she’s bad at. Our focus has always been how we can better each other and better the relationship. We are completely down to earth people that love to have a good time, whose family-oriented, and who loves to laugh. The bumps in life have challenged us, but our bond has never been broken.
Favorite wedding detail :
The junior bridesmaids and bridesmaids attire was beautiful. They had a classic, old Hollywood, vintage feel with their long satin gloves and fascinators.
Divisi Strings, our stringed quartet, really set the mood during the ceremony by playing nice ambience music and began the process of getting the party started by playing pop and upbeat songs during the cocktail hour.
The cake 6 foot tall cake was AMAZING!
The toasts were very heartfelt and emotional
The Nigerian celebration was a great hit and we really enjoyed showing people some aspects of a traditional Nigerian wedding reception
Our favors were a white chocolate fountain, a dessert bar spread, and a mini-funnel cake station. Everything was devoured within minutes!
My wedding party walked in to Christina Perry – A Thousand Years and my aisle walk song was Turning Pages by Sleeping at Last. These songs were played by Divisi Strings, our stringed quartet, and it was definitely inspired by the Twilight wedding which I absolutely love. The entire ceremony was so beautiful.
During the Nigerian reception, my husband’s father and uncles wished numerous blessings on our new marriage. But then they also prayed over my womb multiple times for us to have a baby in front of everybody! Then, after our traditional Nigerian celebration during the reception, we were too tired to go back out and do the bouquet and garter toss so we just opted to do the last dance and exit instead. We just decided to exit early and have everybody prepare for it. We wanted to spend the last few moments doing one more slow dance and focused on each other.
What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?
We’re looking forward to spending countless days together especially in our new move to Chicago, IL this summer and embarking on a new and refreshing life. We’re also looking forward to growing our family by getting a new puppy and planning on having a baby and settling into a new home.
Advice for a Bride/Groom on their wedding day:
From the groom: I would say to just sit back and relax. At this point, you’ve planned the best you could and more often than not, things are going to go just fine.
From the bride: Take in every single moment, remove all distractions, and just focus on what the true meaning of the day is.
Congrats to the newlyweds Jasmine and Criston. We wish you many more years of wedded bliss!
Photography: Lulu Lopez Photography
Venue: Chateau Polonez
Event Planning + Design: Jane Deux
Décor & Floral Design: Darryl & Co.
Head Piece + Jewelry: Bo & Luca
Shoes: Betsey Johnson
Dress: Ysa Makino
Tuxedo: Bengjof Couture
Music: Divisi Strings
DJ: DJ That Boy Be Jammin’
Cake: Cakes by Gina
Dessert: Chocolate Fountain Express
Candy Bar: Sugar Bunch Creations
Videography: Luxe Films Houston
Lighting: LG Entertainment
Transportation: Monarch British Limousines
Hair & Makeup – Double Dutch Inc.
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