Friends First

May 2019 View more

For Miranda Rorer, 26, and Femi Oyewole, 25, friendship proved to be a solid foundation for future romance. They met their junior year on the track team at North Central College in Naperville. “We both made it to nationals … and when we got back, we hung out more and it blossomed from there,” says Rorer, who grew up in McHenry and now works as a human resources assistant. 

Under the guise of a photo shoot, Oyewole—who grew up in Bartlett and works as student activities coordinator for Lewis University in Romeoville—proposed at the Naperville Riverwalk with a ring he had custom-made by the same jeweler who made Rorer’s mother’s engagement ring. As they started to plan their big day, they realized they had different vibes in mind: While Rorer pictured a more minimalist affair, Oyewole envisioned a black-tie blowout. “I’m very extravagant,” he says. “I think it has to do with me being Nigerian, and my dad and uncles, they’re over-the-top.” They visited Mesón Sabika in Naperville and found that the light-filled mansion hit just the right note for their 150-guest celebration.

The day was truly a family endeavor: Oyewole’s cousin was their wedding planner; Rorer’s mother worked on decor, her aunt handled florals, and her cousin did hair and makeup. Oyewole wore a maroon velvet tuxedo jacket and loafers, while Rorer donned a 1920s-inspired beaded gown with accessories—a feathery bolero, her grandmother’s fur, and a sheer overskirt—to give distinct looks throughout the night.

Partway through the evening, the couple changed into traditional Nigerian clothing and made a second entrance. They danced to Nigerian music and guests participated in a money spray. “Honestly, it is what it sounds like: [Everyone] throws money at us!” Oyewole says. “It’s to celebrate our marriage as a whole, so family members … exchanged bigger bills for smaller bills and it’s another way to give us a gift.” 

After heartfelt toasts from the groom’s best friend and the bride’s sisters (“They had the whole audience laughing,” Oyewole says), all eyes fixed on Rorer as she danced with her father. “I think they were both crying the whole time,” Oyewole says. “It was very sweet watching them—very touching.” 


Venue and catering: Mesón Sabika

Wedding planner: Bukky Garcia, Exquisite Events & Floral Design

Bride’s attire: Gown and jacket by BHLDN; traditional attire custom-made in Nigeria

Bride’s accessories: Betsey Johnson shoes from DSW; jewelry borrowed from her aunt

Bridesmaids’ attire:

Hair and makeup: Chrissy Nestelberger with Salon Mackk, Crystal Lake

Groom’s attire: Tux by Kimono Kollection, loafers by Magnanni, watch by Gucci 

Groomsmen’s attire: BLACK by Vera Wang


Cake and cupcakes: Cali Girl Cakes, Bolingbrook

Music An Enchanted Evening, Schaumburg

Florist Carla Orchard

Rings Hers by Edward Ford Jewelers, Chicago; his by Georgetown Jewelers, Wood Dale

Photos by Stephanie Lang Photography