Technology plays a daily role in John Oakley’s job as a software architect for FTD, but it also introduced him to his wife, Susan Ityavyar. “When an algorithm loves two people very much, it matches them on the internet,” Oakley says.
Though dating site OkCupid.com may have brought them together while living in Washington, D.C., a mutual attraction and love of food kept them together. For their first date, Oakley chose an exclusive restaurant to show off his foodie cred, but she ended up impressing him with her culinary knowledge, even one-upping him at times. “It was exciting to be challenged,” he says. East Coast native Oakley, 35, also made an impression on Ityavyar, 31, a marketing manager at Deloitte born in Jos, Nigeria. “The food was delicious, but I remember looking at John and feeling that he was delicious,” she says.
“From that very first moment, we were always sharing food,” Oakley says. They kicked off their wedding weekend with a suya (Nigerian barbecue) party where Ityavyar’s brother grilled 300 kabobs. Pastor Jon Dennis from their church, Holy Trinity in River North, married them May 4 at Stan Mansion in Logan Square. Guests dined on a buffet of traditional Nigerian cuisine, with gold linens, white blooms, and towering candelabras complementing the mansion’s opulent decor.
Oakley was also inducted into Ityavyar’s tribe, Tiv. “I was given a spear and a bag because … they’re a tribe traditionally of hunters and gatherers and warriors,” Oakley says. “The spear is to hunt and protect, and the bag is to gather, and Susan’s father said, ‘Whenever you find yourself needing to provide for your wife, reach into the bag and you’ll find something you need.’ ” They now live in Bronzeville and hope to plan a honeymoon sometime next year.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Venue: Stan Mansion, 2408 N. Kedzie, stanmansion.com
Wedding planner: Exquisite Events and Floral Design, exquisiteeventsandfloraldesign.com
Bridesmaids’ attire: Tabeka Bespoke (handmade by a friend of the bride)
Hair and makeup: Liberation Hair by Lani, liberationhairbylani.com; FMA Beauty
Groom’s attire: The Black Tux at Nordstrom, theblacktux.com
Catering: Bolat Catering
Cake: Vanilla-ginger and devil’s food cake with cream cheese and salted caramel buttercream by Amy Beck Cake Design, 636 N. Racine, amybeckcakedesign.com
Florals: White hydrangeas and roses by Exquisite Events and Floral Design
Photography: TWA Photographic Artists
Entertainment: DJ AK21
Rings: Numined Diamonds, 5 S. Wabash, Suite 1734, numineddiamonds.com
Photos by TWA Photographic Artists