A beautiful, heartfelt wedding at Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church and One A The Square, University of Glasgow
Originally from Ghana and living in Paris at the time, Akosua first met James whilst on her year abroad from university.
She was to spend twelve months living and learning in Glasgow, but little did she know she’d be throwing love into the mix too, when James moved to the city for teacher training.
After a whirlwind three months, she was back on French soil and their long-distance relationship began.
Four years later, James decided it was time to get down on one knee.
“Our engagement story is a sign of the times,” explains Akosua.
“James had planned to propose in April 2020 when visiting me in Paris but the pandemic had other ideas.
“He planned again for September when we’d meet in Milan but just before the trip, I caught Covid and couldn’t travel!”
It was third time lucky when the couple found one country – Sweden – relaxed enough to host them both in October.
James popped the question with a custom-made ring in Tyresta National Park, just outside Stockholm, and came prepared with champagne.
After a special weekend together, however, strict travel restrictions meant the couple didn’t actually see one another again until the wedding day!
The planning begins
Both of Christian faith, the pair immediately added a personal element by booking their ceremony at Sandyford Henderson, the church where they met, became friends, and started dating.
Organising the reception proved a little trickier as many venues were already booked out but, after advice from James’ parents, they found One A The Square
at the University of Glasgow.
Next up, the guest list!
“We first organised our wedding for only 20 guests and, as restrictions eased, increased the guest list to 40 then 50 people.
Finally, two weeks before the big day Scotland moved to Level 1 and we were able to have 100 people at the church and 50 for the reception,” explains Akosua.
This boost in numbers also meant bridesmaids were an option, and she asked two friends she’d met when living in Glasgow; “We’re all in the same friendship group and they’d witnessed my growing relationship with James.”
An experience many brides dream of, dress shopping in Paris was a practical choice for Akosua.
On her second shopping trip, she found her simple, elegant, boho-style dress and teamed it with a pearl necklace and matching earrings from So Hélo, a small, independent French brand.
Whilst his bride channelled the chic Parisian vibe, James celebrated his background by sporting his Innes family kilt; a 21st birthday present from his parents.
Back where it all began
On the big day, James was incredibly chilled and just couldn’t wait to get married.
Akosua remembers feeling “incredibly happy and serene” as she walked into the church, overjoyed that she was finally going to be with the person she loved most in the world.
Willie Black, a retired minister and missionary to South Korea, conducted a meaningful ceremony, peppered with witty anecdotes, and it was video linked to others around the world.
The guests enjoyed a Prosecco reception (“We missed it as we were too busy being photographed in Kelvingrove Park,” laughs Akosua) before reconvening at One A The Square where the bride’s hard work on the décor was obvious.
There was a definite rustic yet elegant vibe, with flourishes of carmine red, royal blue and baby pink.
Jan, a friend of the couple from church, added some extra special sentiment with some “incredible DIY items,” including a memory circle and flower arch.
A meal, pictures and speeches followed before a first dance, a father-daughter dance and the cake-cutting.
Akosua says, “It was a joyful, serene and intimate evening.
My father is a lawyer and gave a typically well-articulated 20-minute speech where he reminded us about the importance of future children with a toast!
The highlight of James’ speech was reading out a long-lost love letter I’d written early on in the relationship, and I made my bridesmaids cry, while crying myself
while addressing my parents.
I also almost made James cry by confessing he wasn’t my ideal man as I’d always dreamed of marrying a Korean!”
Together at last
Now, living together after four years apart is very special, although the couple admits this has brought up interesting new challenges!
“We’re currently loving spending each day with our best friend,” smiles Akosua.
The bride adds, “As special as the wedding was, the marriage to come is far more important.
“Everyone should spend as much time planning for married life as the big day itself.”