Happy Anniversary!! Christina & Akinyele’s July Wedding: Just What the Doctor (and Nurse) Ordered

Outside Pic

Happy Anniversary to our couple Christina & Akinyele! We had the pleasure of not only working with them for their big day but also more recently had the chance to coordinate their daughter Gabby’s 1st Birthday! Check out more on their special day – wishing them many, many more years of happiness and love!


Christina & Akinyele came to us to make sure their special day would run perfectly.  Some of their plans were set – the venue, photographer, flowers…. but something very important was missing. They wanted to put their own one of a kind mark on their wedding.  After a great initial consultation we started right away working on how to make their special day unique, and creating ways to showcase how their love grew while they worked together at a NJ hospital (Christina is a Nurse and Akinyele is a Doctor).  Our design team got to work coming up with fun and elegant ideas and put together one of their signature Decor Books to give the couple inspiration for how their big event would come to life.

With the decor elements in place, Soroya worked closely with both Christina and Akinyele (who was a very involved Groom) over several months to finalize all of the arrangements, and to make sure all of the details would be perfect.  Soroya worked with the pair on everything from selecting engagment pictures and frames, determining the rehearsal dinner location, confirming linens, draping and lighting for the ceremony and reception, selecting entertainment, establishing shuttle transportation for hotel guests to and from the wedding, choosing welcome bag amenities for hotel guests, and suggesting gifts for loved ones who participated in the wedding.

Finally the big day arrived.  It was a beautiful July afternoon when the Bride’s limo from Entertainment Express Limo pulled up to the Pantagis Renaissance in Scotch Plains, NJ.  Christina was greeted by Soroya, who brought her, her bridesmaids and family up to the bridal suite to get ready to look picture perfect for the amazing day ahead.


While the ladies were getting their hair and makeup done by Jeline Bland (the Bride’s talented Aunt) and Felicia Enix from MAC Cosmetics, the Groom, his father and Groomsmen were taking fun photos done by Mark S. Cunningham Photography.

Groom and Groomsmen

Throughout the afternoon, Pantagis was buzzing with the ceremony room and ballroom being transformed with the help of Jersey Street Furniture Rental (draping and uplighting), M&B Party Designs (linens), and River Dell Florist (floral decorations).

Everything was set and it was time for the ceremony to begin.  Guests arrived at the ceremony and were greeted by the groomsmen handing out ceremony programs.  The programs featured the couple’s custom monogram designed by The Finishing Touch Event Design which resembled a hospital logo featuring the quote “…loves heals everything”.  The ceremony room was a sight to behold with elegant floor to ceiling ivory draping, a beautiful arch of white flowers and greenery, and the glow of romantic candlelight.


All eyes were on the gorgeous Bride as she processed in accompanied by her proud parents to the beautiful sounds of a harpist from Cloud Nine Harp.  She met her handsome Groom at the altar where a touching ceremony was performed by the Groom’s uncle, Reverend Terry Carmichael.

Ceremony After Kiss

Toward the end of the ceremony, Christina & Akinyele performed the traditional “Jumping of the Broom.”  This is an African American tradition in which the Bride and Groom signify their entrance into their new life, and creation of a new family by symbolically “sweeping away” their former single lives, former problems and concerns, and jumping over the broom to enter upon a new adventure as husband and wife.  The broom was the same broom used by the Bride’s parents on their wedding day, so it was a very symbolic moment.

Jumping Broom

Following the ceremony, guests headed to the cocktail hour and picked up their escort cards, where they were assigned to tables bearing names that went along with the couple’s hospital/medical theme.

Close up seating cards

Guests also had the pleasure of seeing the gorgeous engagement photos the couple had taken with Mark S. Cunningham Photography which were displayed in beautiful gold frames on easels before entering the ballroom.

Large engagement pic

Engagement Pics

As a fun twist on the traditional guest book, The Finishing Touch Event Design developed faux prescription sheets that gave guests the opportunity to write the couple a “Prescription for a Good Marriage.”  The creative and often hilarious “prescriptions” written out by the guests were put in a keepsake scrapbook and presented to the couple at the end of the evening as a special momento.

Prescription pads cropped

The ballroom was truly a gorgeous setting.  The windows were draped with soft flowing sheer fabric, and were all aglow with lilac uplighting.  The chairs were decked out in form fitting ivory satin covers with alternating sheer bows in champagne and chocolate brown.  The tables were topped with ivory lines, chocolate brown sheer overlays, and alternating chocolate brown and ivory napkins.  Gorgeous centerpieces of purple and white flowers stood atop elegant candelabras.  To add some extra sparkle, crystals and rose petals were sprinkled on each table, and favors of heart topped wine stoppers were at each place setting.


Reception Room 2 Cropped

Reception Room Cropped

To complete the look, The Finishing Touch Event Design created custom table names in shimmery plum and gold that featured the names of television medical dramas, which were mounted on beautiful gold table easels.

Table Name Cropped

Introductions could have seemed to be a daunting task for the DJs, Keith Wilhelmson and Lyn Rick Rhyme, considering the couple requested that each bridal party member be introduced to their own song, but the DJs pulled it off without a hitch.  Each bridal party member (including the parents) had songs chosen specifically for each of them including “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays and “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson.  To add to the fun, the bridal party came out strutting “Soul Train” style with their own individual dance moves!  This was a great kick off to the fun filled reception.

After a quick hairstyle change for the Bride, and the bustling of her dress, the couple was announced, and decended the magnificant staircase decorated with beautiful blooms.


Following a high energy entrance through the traditional bridal party arch, the couple went right into their first dance, which was a beautifully choregraphed ballroom dance to “The Best is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra.  Their guests were captivated and impressed with the fancy footwork, and the very dramatic dip at the end of the dance.

First Dance

After dances with their parents, toasts, and a blessing of the meal, the couple and their guests settled in to enjoy a delicious dinner.


Once dinner was complete, the DJs kept the crowd moving on the dance floor, but there were more surprises to come…

Party People

Little did everyone know that Christina and her family are a VERY talented bunch.  More memorable moments kicked off when Christina surprised Akinyele by serenading him with a love song.  Guests were blown away by Christina’s beautiful and powerful singing voice.  Then Christina, her father, sister, and uncle performed some songs together.  The group actually performs together professionally as The Temple Dynasty singing a mix of R&B, House, and Jazz music, so this was very special treat for all in attendance.

Family Singing

To add to the surprises, Christina’s father, using the name DJ Dynasty (and who is also a member of legendary rap group, The Original Sugar Hill Gang, along with original members Wonder Mike and Master Gee and new member Hendog) gave a spontaneous performance of their groundbreaking hip hop single “Rapper’s Delight.”  Everyone jumped to their feet, and the energy in the room was so electrifying, there was no was left in their chairs.

Sugar Hill Gang

When the excitement calmed down, Christina & Akinyele cut their wedding cake, that was gorgeously decorated with fresh flowers which coordinated with their wedding colors.

Cake Cutting

Cake Kiss

To put a sweet ending to the perfect evening, guests were treated to a candy buffet with a special twist.  Guests had the chance to fill personalized pill bottles with the purple, gold, and white candies (including gourmet chocolates and jelly beans) to take home. The pill bottles featured a special message from Christina and Akinyele along with their custom monogram.

Candy Bar Cropped

Candy Jars

It was a wonderful evening filled with surprises and special touches and we are thankful and honored that we were able to be a part of it.  We wish nothing but the best for this adorable young couple as they embark on a new chapter in their lives.

Christina Smiling

Soroya with Bride and Groom

FT Team

Happy Planning,

Soroya, Priscilla, and Misha