Engagement Sessions

From Campus Crush to Forever Love: An Engagement Session in Toronto, ON

For Akira and Tolbert, study sessions in college led them to find true love. The two first met in 2013 at the University of Toronto. Their friendship started with them studying together and hanging out in the Chemical Engineering common room with other classmates. Then they became closer in 2016 during their final year of university, when they were elected as president and vice president for the National Society of  Black Engineers (NSBE). As the couple prepared for their upcoming summer nuptials, they captured a romantic engagement session with Karimah Gheddai Photography

Bride: Akira Neckles, 29, Data Governance Manager  

Groom: Tolbert Akanni, 30, Engineer  

Place of Residence: Toronto, ON 

Engagement Shoot Location:  

– One King West Hotel  (Downtown Toronto) 

– University of Toronto 

– Scarborough Bluffs 

Wedding Date:  July 7, 2023 


Engagement Story

In December 2021, Tolbert and I visited his family in Ghana for the Christmas holidays. During our trip, he organized a surprise birthday party for his mom. On December 23, all his family and close friends attended what was supposed to be a birthday celebration. The party started off as intended. We surprised his mom, feasted on  delicious Ghanaian food, and took photos. Then I was asked to join the family to take a family photo. As I walked towards the group of people, there stood Tolbert in front of a beautifully decorated sign which read, “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” He went down on one knee, and he asked me to be his wife, and I happily said, “Yes!”

This was one of the most memorable moments of my life, and what made it better was that we shared this special moment with family and close friends, something that we both value and cherish dearly.  

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding? 

Celebrating our special day with our loved ones. Having our family and friends present to witness our love and commitment to each other is a blessing. 


Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish them many years of wedded bliss.

Check out more stunning bridal inspiration in the latest issue of Black Bride Magazine!

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