With a colourful reception held immediately after the church service, actress Mercy Johnson’s wedding to her heartthrob, Odianose Okojie last weekend, climaxed the month-long controversies that preceded the wedding.
The wedding also opened a new vista for celebrity wedding in Nigeria. The two lovebirds exchanged vows at a ceremony that was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of celebrities from all walks of life.
They were joined at the Christ Embassy Church, Ikeja, while the reception took place at 10 Degree Event Centre along Billings way, Ikeja.
We bring to you the inside story of the celebrity wedding…
At first, it looked like Mercy’s colleagues in the movie industry weren’t going to attend the wedding. But when the event got underway, they started thronging the reception venue in their droves.
The church service was a different kettle of fish. A combined team of security operatives were in place to control the event.
The groom, looking dapper in an all white suit and dark shade, walked into the Christ Embassy auditorium escorted by his best man Kenneth Kadiri and grooms men.
Shortly after, the congregation were on their feet as the Bride made a head turning entrance into the church.
Looking beautiful by all definitions in her all white flowing wedding gown, Mercy Johnson was like a queen escorted by her chief bridesmaid, sexy Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson and a star studded bridal train that included Waje, Empress Njamah, Chika Ike, Queen Nwokoye and Goldie.
Conspicuously absent at the wedding was the head Pastor of the Christ Embassy Church, Rev. Chris Oyakhilome. He was said have travelled to the United Kingdom for an urgent assignment However, in his absence, Pastor Ton Obiazi led other men of God to perform the wedding ritual.
The exchange of vows, rings and kisses was done amidst cheers from the guests. After a few hours of dancing and praise singing, the Church wedding ended and all roads led to 10 Degrees Event Centre, the reception venue.
Once they were settled at the reception hall, elegantly decorated by Royalandmarks, the guests were left in the hands of AY, MC of the event, who let loose his jokes to the enjoyment of the gathering.
Munchies, Villa Sophia and Drinks Plus provided the refreshment for the teeming crowd.
The beautifully decorated cake, which stood high enough to be seen from every angle of the hall, was made by Cakes n Cream. Guests were thrilled by the Ebony Band who kept everyone grooving all through the event. It was indeed a wedding of class, and a celebration of true love.
Who wears what @ the wedding
A dress-to- kill event, every notable Nollywood and Ghollywood star that graced the celebrity wedding strived to make a statement in different ways.
From Genevieve Nnaji who wore a simple short skirt upon a black blouse with a matching black purse, to Emeka Ike and Chinedu Ikedieze, a.k.a Aki who respectively dressed in white linen trousers upon blue designer’s suit and an ash-coloured suit with a black shoes to match, it was a fashion parade of sort.
The star studded bridal train made up of singer Waje, Empress Njamah, Chika Ike, Queen Nwokoye and Goldie, were all in purple and gold attire, the aso-ebi colours for the wedding.
Other notable celebrities in attendance like Anita Joseph, Tricia Eseigbe-Kerry preferred a mix of long dresses and short wears with a touch of purple.
Patience Ozokwor in a gold coloured blouse worn upon her Igbo native purple-coloured wrapper and a head-tie looked radiant and adorable.
Just as Stephanie Okereke in a gold-colopured long gown was outstanding with her long weave and high heels, sultry actress, Chika Ike looked girlie in her all purple sleeveless gown and high heeled gold shoes and a white purse.
Her striking look was toned down with a fan like accessory pinned to her hair.
Apart from Ghanaian Majid Mitchel who was noticeable in his light-green suit, one other actor whose attire stood out was Jim Iyke.
He looked cool in his designer’s suit. His arrival at the reception venue caused quite a stir.
Other Nollywood stars who made statements in their respective attires included Segun Arinze, Mike Ezuruonye, Kenneth Okonkwo, Shan George, Francis Duru, Dj Jimmy Jatt, twin actress Chidinma and Chidiebere Ekene, Rosemary Ingbi and Femi Ogedengbe.
Who steals the show?
Opinions varied in this regard, as many people gave it to actress Patience Ozokwor. But names like the Ghanaian play boy actor Majid Mitchel, Genevieve Nnaji, Jim Iyke, and Emeka Ike were also listed as show stoppers at the event.
Majid’s presence at the reception was visibly noticed as his Nigerian fans, especially the women, feted him with unequal appreciation.
Emeka Ike’s arrival at the reception was also greeted and hailed by some of the guests as was Jim Iyke. But some of the movie stars may have deliberately avoided attending the church service.
A parade of automobiles
From all indications, the couple really made a momentous statement with the quality automobiles in their convoy.
There were two Island Hummer (limos) jeeps for the groom and the bridal train. Also, in the convoy were two horse riders.
And as soon as the church service ended at 2. 30pm, it was a royal like march to the reception centre.
The white coloured Island Hummers(Limos) were the major attraction throughout the ceremony. The automobile did not only make a statement for the couple, but it also set a standard for celebrity wedding in this part of the world.
For hours, the world stood still for Mercy and her heartthrob as they were escorted to the reception by a Voltron security truck.
Security operatives and Paparazzis!
Memories of the event will forever live with the paparazzis who thronged the wedding venue. They were humiliated and subjected to all manner of torture as the untamed private security personnel ruled the vicinity. Policemen who were also at the event kept their distance and did nothing to save the photographers.
The security men according to our investigation, were acting out of the instructions given to them by the couple who didn’t favour the presence of men of the fourth estate of the realm.
Cameras were seized or broken by these overzealous men as they tried to enforce their presence at the wedding. It was a most disgusting experience for the photographers who were not allowed to take photographs or be seen around the venue of the Church wedding. Those who tried to disobey the standing order had a sorry tale to tell.
A photographer with E- 247 , an entertainment magazine was rough-handed by the bouncers as he struggled to gain entry into the reception venue. It was that bad.
At a point, the security operatives resorted to throwing tear gas canisters at the crowd, an act that was condemned by all and sundry at the event.
A handful of the guests were there, just to satisfy their curiosity; that the wedding was not marred by crisis.
For instance, a teenager confessed that she travelled all the way from Jos to witness the wedding.
10 Degree Event Centre owner goes gaga
Another ugly incident that happened at the reception ground was the action of the owner of 10 Degree Event Centre, Deji Doherty. He descended from his high position and was visibly seen taking charge of affairs as he tried to checkmate a mob that caused the gate to his centre to collapse.
With the aid of some of the gun-totting security operatives, the visibly angry Deji clad in an all white Guinea brocade threw caution to the wind as he was seen running and shouting after the mob who were desperate to gain entry into the place.
Most of them, we learnt, came to the venue as early as 8 am to welcome the couple to the venue of the reception.
Mercy Johnson weeps
Believe it or not, Mercy was overwhelmed by emotion while the ceremony lasted. Shortly after the clergy asked the actress to pronounce her own line of vows, she broke down in tears.
As she sobbed, her chiefbrides maid Yvonne Nelson wiped her tears. The second time Mercy wept was when she sighted Genevieve Nnaji at the reception.
She wept like a baby for few minutes. Mercy later confided to close friends that Genevieve is her idol and her appearance meant the world to her. Expectedly, when the couple took to the floor for a dance, the crowd besieged them, raining money on them. Genny surprised everyone as she sprayed endless large sum of money on Mercy and her hubby.