Nigerian couple Oluwafeyisayo “Feyi” Okunlola and Toluwani Adejuyigbe were set up by a very confident mutual friend. “One of Feyi's best friends and an old friend of mine messaged us both to say she was sure we were meant to be,” Toluwani remembers. It turned out, the friend was right. “As cliché as it sounds, it was love at first sight. We have never stopped speaking since.”
In September 2021, using his boss’ birthday party as a ruse to encourage Feyi to get dressed up, Toluwani pulled off an ultra-romantic proposal. “We headed down to The Newt in Somerset, a 17th-century country estate about two hours outside of London, and spent the afternoon walking through its splendid gardens, woodlands, and cider press,” Toluwani remembers. “I had secretly gone there the weekend before, location scouting for the perfect spot to propose. Feyi had mentioned that when she got engaged, she wanted for it to be scenic, and a romantic sunset. I was determined to give her just that, but also surprise her entirely—she’s impossible to surprise!”
So, that evening, Toluwani had a photographer (and drone photographer!) in place as Feyi got ready. “We got in the golf cart and drove maybe a kilometer into the woods and vineyards. I had specifically chosen the northernmost point in Somerset,” he explains. “Driving through the woods, I asked Feyi if we could please stop to take some pictures and take in the moment at a hill point, and she obliged. As she was recording a video of the views—the most beautiful countryside views we had ever seen—I was right behind her. I tapped her on the shoulder, she turned around and I got on my knees.” Feyi was completely surprised. “He asked me to marry him and of course I said ‘hell yes,’” she remembers.
For their wedding just seven months later, “we had three words when we envisioned it: timeless, intimate, and elegant,” Feyi says. “We really wanted it to be very us, and to authentically capture our love story.” Adds Toluwani: “We also wanted more than just a wedding—and instead, for it to be a true celebration of love with our favorite people in the world.”
They did a lot of research and mood board curating together. “We were less concerned about how each element looked in isolation, but rather the story they told collectively,” the couple shares. “We found the planning process both creatively stimulating and stressful. Feyi is a [details] person, while Toluwani sees the bigger picture, so we work really well together.”
They chose a destination location—Lake Como in Italy—and vendors from around the world. “It was important to work with vendors who weren’t just pre-selected or renowned for the Como area, but who saw and understood our vision and were able to execute,” Toluwani says. “Momental Designs, based in the U.S., set the tone for the wedding with watercolor invitations. MonAnnie, based in the UK, curated the elements of the villa as an inspiration for the cake. We knew Reece and Nora, the videographer and photographer, both based in Spain, would capture the color, energy, and diversity of the wedding perfectly.”
The couple also choose to keep the affair more intimate. “I always wanted a 50-person wedding, ever since I was a little girl,” Feyi says. Toluwani originally pushed for a larger guest count. "Our compromise was 70. Honestly, we wouldn’t have had it any other way,” he says. “The laughter, the joy, the speeches, and the tears—it was a day filled with people who not only loved us individually but were vested in our story and loved us even more together. That energy really did come through.”
The couple fell in love with Lake Como after visiting to see the unveiling of Cartier’s high jewelry collection, Sixième Sens par Cartier, at Il Sereno hotel. “The backdrop was stunning,” Toluwani says. “Feyi decided this is where we were getting married and I had zero objections.” Feyi continues: “After spending the next few days looking into venues, the pictures of Sola Cabiati were just irresistible and we knew it was ‘the one.’ It was the one venue that characterized our relationship. Villa Sola Cabiati maintained its beauty without looking outdated. It was intimate but perfect—just like our love story.”
Leading up to the wedding, Feyi kept up her usual regimen of cleanser, glycolic acid toner, hydrating serums, and sunscreen, and added in hydrafacials and facial massages. “Toluwani and I actually have the same skincare routine, so on the day of the wedding I got my best friend to sneak into his room to steal his REN Clean Skincare toner. I had left mine in London,” the bride remembers. “We love that particular product so much and I wanted to feel connected to him after hours of being away before the ceremony!”
Yet, as for her beauty look, “I had no vision,” she says. “I’m a stickler for giving people creative license—I think that’s when you really see artists' work shine through. My makeup and hair were both decided on the day of by Zakiyah Shani and Deborah Lola. I love their work and wanted them to decide after seeing my dress and taking in the villa.”
Feyi got ready in a custom robe also by Mazelle Bridal, the same designer who created her rehearsal dinner dress. “I wanted my pre-wedding dress to be high fashion and ‘va-va-voom,’ but really wanted to be classy when walking down the aisle,” she says.
My mum’s wedding dress was my biggest inspiration.
“I never actually went dress shopping, and my decision was remarkably swift. I was very clear on what I wanted: elegant and timeless. Simple in the front and drama in the back,” Feyi says. She had an ace up her sleeve. “Luckily, my cousin Gbemi is a bespoke wedding dress designer, so she brought my vision to life quite easily. My mum’s wedding dress was my biggest inspiration here; it was so timeless that I’d easily wear it today, 28 years later. I was inspired by an Oscar de la Renta dress and took my inspiration from there. I described and Gbemi drew; a match made in heaven!” The result was a stunning silk Mikado sheath with a halter V-neck and dramatic bow in back.
She paired her AloNuko gown with pearl earrings, a pearl veil, and pearl heels from Sophia Webster, as a nod to one of her favorite parables, The Parable of the Pearl from Matthew 13. Her father came to help her put on the final crowning touch.
“I wore a fully handmade dinner suit from Cad & The Dandy,” Toluwani shares. “The jacket was single-breasted in grosgrain black silk with bellied shawl lapels to match. Grosgrain black silk was also braided across the trousers.” He paired it with Saint Laurent shoes, a shirt from Emmett London, his father’s black and gold cufflinks, and a spritz of Louis Vuitton Nuit de Feu. “We went perfume shopping for the wedding day and Feyi chose it!”
“The idea was to have pastel, soft, pink, and blush undertones throughout the wedding,” the couple says. “Given we got married in April, we wanted to go spring-esque. We were also careful to ensure the grandiosity of the villa wasn’t lost with our decor, but instead wanted to simply extend its natural character—hence why we didn’t overly decorate the Italian garden where the ceremony took place with flowers.”
My world froze. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my phenomenal best friend, partner, and wife.
Feyi walked down the aisle to “Hallelujah’ by Allen & Bright string quartet. “We chose this because it encapsulates our thanksgiving that we finally found each other,” the couple shares. She and her dad made their way down slowly. “I ended up holding him up because he started tearing up as soon as he saw Toluwani shed tears at the end of the aisle,” Feyi says. “Imagine!”
At his end of the aisle, Toluwani was just as emotional. “I felt like my world froze,” he says. “Against the backdrop and with ‘Hallelujah’ playing, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my phenomenal best friend, partner, and wife.”
In addition to the standard Christian vows, the couple wrote personal vows—but they didn’t want to think about them too far ahead. “We both decided to write our vows on our wedding day so they truly came from the heart and there was little room for perfectionism,” they share. “We promised to love, honor, and be co-pilots forever.” Feyi’s included the line: “I vow to create a life with you that’ll spark millions of love eulogies, and redefine life’s moments in time.”
The newlyweds recessed out to “You’ve Got the Love” by Florence + the Machine, then traversed the incredible property for portraits as guests headed into apertivo.
“The baroque interior, the detailed cherubim, the colored tones around the villa, the private white-paneled museum upstairs—the villa truly channels the hedonism of the Belle Époque,” the couple shares. “Our centerpieces were chosen to complement the villa and the menus, nude and gold with blush undertones. We kept the linens and place settings very classic and consistent with the broader theme.”
An Italian tenor serenaded guests during dinner, a feast that began with king prawns, roasted tomatoes on buffalo mozzarella soup, and spinach with fresh chili peppers. Following an authentic Italian pasta with squid, guests chose between sea bream with spiced caper sauce or veal filet in a Tuscan wine sauce.
Cake designer MonAnnie pulled inspiration directly from the frescoes and stucco at the villa, and worked with the floral designer to handcraft sugar flowers that matched the variety and hue of the wedding florals. Engraved on the cake was a series of numbers and initials that have special meaning to the couple. “Our cake was really important to us; we wanted it to speak to just us,” the couple says. “We knew people wouldn’t see the detail or remember what it looked like, so we kept this one just for the two of us. Our cake designer, similar to Feyi, is a stickler for detail and this is why we chose her. She spent time with us and got to know our love story before embarking on the design process.”
“During the reception, Feyi and I went upstairs to the private museum to get some time alone and get some pictures together,” Toluwani says. “We wanted to spend some private time on our wedding day, given we only started [seeing each other] at 4 p.m. It was very romantic and there were tears and a lot of kissing.” When they returned to join the party—DJed by the groom’s younger brother, Tiwa—Feyi debuted her second look, another custom design by AloNuko.
“It was so beautiful to see how the mood instantly shifted through different elements of the wedding,” the couple reflects. “The ceremony was very emotional and intense; the reception was entertaining and captivating; and the afterparty was wild—the villa staff had to remind us there were, in fact, historic monuments as Champagne flew. We danced like never before! It was a true celebration of love.”
Venue Villa Sola Cabiati
Wedding Planner Savvy Event Studio
Bridal Gown and Veil Designer AloNuko
Bride’s Shoes Sophia Webster
Bride’s Hair Deborah Lola
Bride’s Makeup Zakiyah Shani
Groom’s Attire Cad & The Dandy
Floral Designer White Pepper Studio
Invitations and Signage Momental Designs
Catering Sunlake Catering
Videographer Reece Iveson Videography
Photographer Nora Photography