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Highlights of Year 32!

Bridal, Engaged, Love, Personal, Weddings

the blog:

Well hello there, friends! On this rainy Friday in Richmond, I get to celebrate 32 years of being alive!! These past 12 months have been ones for the record books. Let’s walk through some of my favorite parts…

1. Getting Engaged!!!

My incredible fiancé proposed in August of 2022, re-enacting the final scene from You’ve Got Mail (my favorite rom-com) at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Virginia. He completely tricked me by using some of my best friends to schedule their yearly family photoshoot at the Gardens so I was completely in photographer mode!!! See the reel of this crazy event HERE!

2. Our Engagement Shoot

As a wedding photographer myself, it was SO FUN to have a turn on the other side!! I love Richmond, Virginia, and the diversity of culture and beauty of locations throughout the city. So many of our most fun outings during dating took place around Brown’s Island or Libby Hill Park! Naturally, we had to return for our own engagement session. My friend and photographer Dani White did our photos and we just laughed THE WHOLE TIME! How can you not when your photographer prompts you to whisper sweet words into each other’s ears, and your fiancé starts saying things like, “Baking soda… peanut butter… bananas… onions…”?!?! I was dying. These photos are such a special memory for me! It makes my job as a wedding photographer taking engagement photos for clients all the more significant!!

3. Our Multicultural, Double-Wedding!!

Six months is a relatively short time to plan one wedding… let alone TWO! What a whirlwind August 2022 to February 2023 was!! Thankfully, my fiancé and I were mainly the decision makers and our amazing Mommas were the researchers and planners!!!

Early on after getting engaged, my soon-to-be-Mother-law approached us about having a traditional Nigerian ceremony in addition to the normal American style of tying the knot. Our Nigerian celebration would be more like an engagement ceremony, she explained, where the families would be honored and my fiancé and his family would formally get my family’s permission for me to leave the Deans and join the Ekos. We decided to go for it, and embarked on what would be the most non-stop months of measurements, calls, emails, Zooms, and visits up to Northern Virginia, where our double-wedding weekend would be held.

Let me tell you… planning a back to back, Saturday + Sunday wedding celebration is no joke!! For all you brides planning multicultural and/or double-weddings, LADIES I am here for you! I don’t think people realize unless they are in it that couples are still working, still having friend + family events, still going through the daily grind of responsibilities, still trying to workout/eat/sleep, and still trying trying to have a healthy engaged relationship ON TOP OF wedding planning!! I’ll be writing a lot more about the ins and outs of multicultural wedding planning later on with this blog, but for now, if you’re a bride planning one or two weddings… I see you in the fun but exhausting season you’re in!!! Take a nap, get some Starbucks, and get back to those emails — you can do it!!

Because when all is said and done and you have put in the work… out pops the best weekend you could imagine, worth every ounce of planning stress. Ours was PURE JOY and FUN and a MASSIVE CELEBRATION with our favorite people in the whole world! A Nigerian-American wedding weekend to remember! (All thanks to Dani White Photography for capturing it so perfectly! Love you, friend!!!)

4. Moving to Richmond!!!

Let me tell ya… I love being a Richmond resident!! I made the move after we got married in February, and doing life in this sweet city is so fun! Not only has being a newlywed with my husband been special, but I am loving photographing families and couples around Main Street Station, Belle Isle, Maymont Park, and many more since of Richmond’s phenomenal locations. Bringing my photography business from Hampton Roads to this new abode gets me pumped for focusing my services on specifically telling the stories of couples and families from multicultural, biracial backgrounds (like mine and my husband’s!). It is such a unique space, and I love showcasing the beauty of diversity under one roof!

Caleb & Elsa’s full story is coming soon, but I cannot help but share some favorites from Main Street Station in Richmond, doing our styled wedding photography shoot there early in April…

5. Getting my husband behind the camera!

Part of the reason for changing Debbie Dean Photography to Debbie Eko Photography was to be able to grow my business as Debbie EKO, with my new family and husband feeling involved! He is the most supportive individual to my business, and he’s a mastermind in brainstorming ways for me (us!) to grow and serve more families in the multicultural photography world. He has been joining me on some shoots and learning his eye for the camera… he took the below shots! I’m so proud of him, proud to have him cheering this business on, and can’t wait to see where we go!!!

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