Kemi Nurudeen and Martin Scruggs were both looking for love when, surprisingly, they found it in 2015 using a professional matchmaking service called It’s Just Lunch (IJL). Martin had moved to Houston from DC in 2013, while Kemi was returning after completing her in vitro fertilization fellowship at Columbia in New York.
“I was about to quit IJL when I met Kemi,” Martin says, after having used the matchmaking service for a year. “When she walked in the restaurant very late for our date, I immediately forgave her and fell for her beautiful smile.” Kemi recalls, “I went to the wrong restaurant and was late for our date. I ran in apologizing and saw this handsome man waiting patiently for me. We stayed late after dinner, just talking. I remember after the date thinking that I hadn’t felt this excited about anyone in a long time.”
After successfully completing her reproductive endocrinology and infertility board certification exam, Kemi was ready to commit – she and Martin were already discussing their futures together. On April 3, 2016, the couple was lounging by the pool at sunset after a full day of sightseeing in St. Barths. “A waiter came by with a bottle of champagne, and I tried to send him away,” Kemi describes. “Martin quickly stopped him and explained that the champagne was for us. He began talking about the progression of our relationship, how much I meant to him, and how he couldn’t imagine his life without me. I suddenly started hyperventilating when he brought out the ring – I immediately yelled ‘yes’ and couldn’t stop giggling! It was a beautiful and very special moment.”
“I IMMEDIATELY YELLED ‘YES’ AND COULDN’T STOP GIGGLING! IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL AND VERY SPECIAL MOMENT” KEMI NURUDEEN
Soon after the proposal, Kemi’s mother traveled to Lagos, Nigeria to shop for the fabrics and jewelry for their traditional Nigerian wedding ceremony. Martin paraded into the ceremony with friends, and prostrated for Kemi’s hand in marriage. Kemi then danced in, surrounded by bridesmaids and friends. “Seeing our families and friends dressed in the Aso Ebi was the most beautiful part of the ceremony,” Kemi explains. “The ceremony was elegant, glamorous, and filled with a rich, dark color palette – without coming off as gothic. The design really reflected my personality.”
After the ceremony, guests indulged in a feast of Nigerian and American cuisines, followed by a night filled with dancing. “By the end of the day, my initial feeling was that of amazement,” says the bride. “Words cannot express our sincere appreciation for Exquisitely Dunn by Kayla Marie, the best event planner in Houston. We are still receiving so many compliments. They were very organized throughout the whole process and, thanks to their attention to detail, we had an event that was classy, unique, and tailored to us. But the minute our car drove off at the end of the night, I wanted to be teleported, fully prepared for bed!”
Reception Location: Christopher, St. Barth; Event Design and Planner (St. Barths & Texas): Exquisitely Dunn By Kayla Marie, Houston, TX; Floral and Event Design (St. Barths): Emilio Olabarrieta Event Atelier, San Juan, PR; Stationery (St. Barths): Ceci New York, New York New York, NY; Floral and Event Design, Rentals Flora & Eventi, Houston, TX; Cake: Edible Moments, Houston, TX; Lighting: GTX Event Productions, Houston, TX; Makeup: (Texas & St. Barths): Kim Clark Artistry, Houston, TX: Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo; Wedding Dress: Rivini; Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal Atelier, Houston, TX; Groom’s Attire: Established Bespoke