Shilu and Akinwole chose Durham’s Cotton Room for their wedding ceremony and celebration. Even though they live in New York City now, Durham was the perfect place for their wedding since they met while attending Duke. As guests arrived for the ceremony, Arioso Strings provided music. They had 2 officiants for the ceremony combining elements of an American ceremony with those of African and Indian. It was a beautiful ceremony with floral arrangements by Fresh Affairs!
The ceremony ended and guests made their way to the front of the room for cocktails and appetizers and I started a mix of classic soul and current R&B that had the wedding party starting to dance while having pics taken by photographer Ethan Yang and videographer Lindsey from Heart Stone Films. I knew this was going to be a wedding to remember!
After pics were finished, the staff at The Cotton Room quickly set the room up for dinner and dancing and the wedding party made their way to the front for introductions. Guests found their seats with assignment cards attached to keys (LOVE that idea!). I lined up the wedding party after practicing pronunciations for 2 weeks and every other couple had their own song to enter to and danced into the room to loud applause! Aki and Shilu entered to Jay Z and Beyonce’s “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” and went right into their first dance to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. They took their seats and Shilu’s father said a few words followed by Aki’s brother blessing the meal. The individually served dinners came out and I continued a mix of classic & current soul with some soft rock mixed in.
After the salads were done, we had a few toasts and then the main courses came out. Shilu and Aki were ready to get the party started and Shilu and her father came to the floor for their dance to “Because You Loved Me” and Aki’s nephew did a modern dance/ballet routine to Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” for Aki’s mother that could not have been more perfect! He was AWESOME!!! We went right into the Cinda’s cake cutting to Lauryn Hill’s “Nothing Even Matters” and the bouquet toss to “Single Ladies”. They had a live cigar roller with a table next to me and I opened the floor to everyone with The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and then into The O’Jay’s “Love Train” that filled the floor. I mixed into “Blurred Lines” that took the energy through the roof. The floor stayed packed for the next 2 hours to top 40 & hip-hop, old school hip-hop, reggae and a few Indian songs.
I was thrilled to be able to play for Aki and Shilu and their families. They could not be a nicer couple and I will never forget this wedding. Thank you Shilu & Aki and congratulations!!!