Amy Ogbonna and Samuel Oiwoh both swiped right on the dating app Tinder in December 2014, but neither of them messaged the other.
Three weeks later, Ms. Ogbonna spotted Mr. Oiwoh at a party. She walked up to him and asked if he was the guy who didn’t talk to her on the app.
“I was stumped until she pulled out her phone and showed me that we matched,” said Mr. Oiwoh, 33. Now a freelance user experience designer and researcher, he grew up in London, and graduated from Swansea University in Wales and received a master’s degree in journalism from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. “I thought she was funny for calling me out,” he said.
The couple flirted, exchanged phone numbers and made a date for the next weekend.
“I liked Sam,” said Ms. Ogbonna, 31, a graduate of the College of New Jersey and now an industry account manager for Microsoft Advertising. “He was tall, charming, well dressed, and took me to a museum for our first date. He was born in Nigeria, as were my parents, so we shared cultural experiences and understanding. We are both Igbo, an ethnic group in Nigeria. My 24-year-old self thought he was cool and cultured, with a British accent to boot.”
They scheduled a second date for the upcoming Thursday.
“He didn’t try to kiss me the first or second time we hung out,” Ms. Ogbonna said. “I thought we may just be headed for the friend zone.”
Eventually their relationship shifted and they spent every weekend together for the next two months.
Then things took a turn for the worse.
Mr. Oiwoh invited her for breakfast at a diner one morning and told her that his former girlfriend was moving to New York, near where he lived, in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Also, he was confused about his relationship with Ms. Ogbonna.
“Embarrassingly, I cried in the diner,” Ms. Ogbonna said. “I told Sam if he wanted to explore something with his ex-girlfriend, he wasn’t the guy for me.”
They went their separate ways.
Several weeks later, Mr. Oiwoh called and told Ms. Ogbonna that he made a big mistake. He asked if she wanted to start hanging out again.
They slowly started seeing each other. In June, at the Governors Ball Music Festival on Randalls Island, he introduced her as his girlfriend. “I just went with it,” she said.
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In the summer of 2016, Ms. Ogbonna moved in with Mr. Oiwoh and two of his roommates. Two years later they got their own place in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
“After moving in together, a proposal was on my mind,” Ms. Ogbonna said. “We were very integrated into each other’s families by that point and it seemed like the right time.”
Although they had great adventures traveling together — to Colombia, and California — there was no proposal. They vacationed in Paris, London and Amsterdam over the 2019 winter holidays. “I was positive we were getting engaged on that trip,” Ms. Ogbonna said. “I was wrong.” They went to Maryland for his Aunt Stella’s birthday. “I figured he’d do it that weekend,” she said. “Nothing.”
“I knew I was going to marry her eventually,” Mr. Oiwoh said. “I just wasn’t in a rush.”
He finally proposed March 8, 2020, on Ms. Ogbonna’s 30th birthday.
Their celebration started on Sept. 10 with about 70 guests and a traditional Nigerian wedding, which includes palm wine and a blessing from the bride’s parents. An American-style legal ceremony, with 186 guests, followed on Sept. 11. Both events were held at the Village Club of Sands Point on Long Island, N.Y.
Peter Anyanwu, a Catholic deacon at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Newark, N.J., officiated. Most attendees were vaccinated, and negative Covid tests were requested for those who were not.
They may have been a long time coming, but, “The proposal, wedding and marriage were worth the wait,” Ms. Ogbonna said. “It was a win.”
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