What will definitely go down in annals as the first ever Nollywood fairytale wedding recently took place in the ancient city of Cernay, in the outskirts of Paris, France, when Linus Idahosa and Nollywood star actress/filmmaker Stephanie Okereke exchanged marital vows inside a 16th century castle tucked on an Island.
Surrounded by family members, friends, associates and colleagues, the elated couple began their wedding rites inside a marquee, beautifully erected at another section of the expansive and extant castle, which legend said was once inhabited by a former King of France.
With specially invited guests seated, the solemnization proper, which was officiated by Apostle Johnson Suleman, began with the majestic arrival of the groom, Linus Idahosa, who was accompanied by his Best Man.
Idahosa, who was swathed in an all white attire, looked like an Arabian Prince, as he stylishly walked into the church, amid cheers and applauses.
Few minutes later, pretty Stephanie, who radiated beauty in her angelic and gorgeous free flowing white wedding gown, was escorted into the church, by her proud father, Deacon Chima Okereke alongside her Bridesmaid and younger sister, Chioma.
A standing ovation from the already seated guests heralded her intimidating presence inside the capacity-filled marquee that served as the church’s venue.
Youthful and firebrand Apostle Suleman, was assisted on the pulpit by three other anointed ministers of God- Pastors Rhoda Awiliki, David Babalola and Poju Oyemade, who was unavoidably absent.
In his captivating and analogies-filled sermon, which kicked off with Blessed Assurance and How Great Thou Art, hymns, Suleman urged the couple, to always put God first in whatever they do. While reading from the book of Ephesians in the Bible, he also drew the couple’s attention to God’s love and promises to married couples.
“Linus, you must make out time to talk and gist with your wife always, because women like talking. And you Stephanie, you must be submissive to your husband always…” he admonished.
With the solemnization and signing of marriage certificates over, Suleman invited all men of God present in the house, to come and lay hands of anointing on the couple. This religious ritual was done with the couple kneeling and praying alongside all in the hall.
Interestingly, the elaborate reception ceremony, which held inside the main Arena of the 16th century castle known as La Ville, was beautifully anchored by the duo of Frank Edoho and Israel Edjeren. As professionals, they handled proceedings at the event with so much expertise, to the admiration of all present.
With two live bands and two DJ stands strategically positioned at different parts of the hall, good music alongside victuals flowed endlessly throughout the period the reception lasted.
In fact, guests had difficulty in choosing from the choice drinks and assorted menus that littered the entire hall, including Nigerian delicacies.
The very colourful and memorable reception reached its apogee, when the couple was invited from their raised King-like seats to perform their first official function together as husband and wife- the cutting of the six-tier cake.
This they did with so much swagger, love and finesse and got another rousing applause from the ecstatic guests.
Linus and Stephanie, who kept brimming with smiles and professing their love for each other with sensuous kisses and cuddles, immediately hit the dance floor and mesmerized guests with electrifying and enchanting dance steps, while rocking to the music of DJ Krisper.
They were later joined on the jam-packed floor by family members, colleagues and friends who formed a circle while jiving with them amid more cheers.
In her brief remarks, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, who was the special guest of honour, congratulated the couple for putting together a successful wedding outside Nigeria.
She also advised them to put God first in whatever they do as a couple.
Nollywood’s newest and hottest bride, Mrs. Stephanie Idahosa, in an exclusive hearty chat with Entertainment Express, said words cannot express her feelings on the huge success recorded at the wedding with her heartthrob, Mr. Linus.
“We thank God and our families for standing by us throughout the period of this wedding. We are also grateful to all of you that came from far and wide to honour us with your presence.”
On why they settled for Paris, France, as venue for the very expensive nuptials that was reeking in opulence, the cerebral screen goddess had this to say:
“I’ve always dreamt of a fairytale wedding, especially as a child growing up. I’ve always imagined a fairytale wedding with my prince charming in a castle on an Island. And thank God that my husband finally made that possible inside this 16th century castle in Cernay, Paris, France. It was a fairytale dream come true,” she gushed with smiles.
The historic wedding that kept the city of Cernay bubbling for 24 hours came to a glorious end in the wee hours of the following morning with the unleashing of beautiful and well coordinated fire works into the serene skylines of Paris. It was indeed a wonderful sight to behold and relish.
This was witnessed by the honeymoon bound couple and all their invited guests for the over 30 minutes that it lasted.
It was truly, a once in a life time fairytale wedding experience cum extravaganza for all those that were fortunate to witness it live and the memories will surely linger for a very long time in their minds.
Tit bits from Stephanie/Linus fairytale wedding
-The wondrous boat cruise
One of the memorable moments at the recently held fairytale wedding between Nollywood star, Stephanie Okereke and her hubby, Linus Idahosa, in Paris, France, was the wondrous and eye popping boat cruise, organized by the latest couple in Tinsel town.
The cruise, which held on the eve of the international wedding, took specially invited guests round the beautiful city of Paris, aboard the luxurious River Palace yacht.
The cruise, which had the couple, their families, friends and several Nollywood stars in attendance reached a crescendo when the ship slowly sailed through the famous Eiffel Tower, thus giving excited guests the opportunity to savour its beauty at night and equally capture it live with their cameras, amid cheers.
While the cruise, which was anchored by Frank Edoho with support from Yours Sincerely lasted, family members and friends of the couple took time to pray and render special numbers for them.
-Nollywood fully represented in Paris
Nollywood, the pride of Africa and Nigeria’s most revered export globally, virtually ‘relocated’ to Paris, France, for the Stephanie/Linus nuptials, already dubbed: Nollywood Fairytale International Wedding of the Year. Below is the roll call of some big names from the industry that breezed into Paris, to felicitate and groove with the newest couple in town.
They include: Monalisa Chinda, Kanayo O. Kanayo Genevieve Nnaji, Lilian Bach, Ini Edo, Susan Peters, Paul Obazele, Emem Isong, Frank Edoho, Odia Mba and Uche Nancy.
Surprisingly, most foreigners (Whites) recognized and greeted most of these stars, whose intimidating presence added colour and razzmatazz to the wedding in Paris.
-Entertainment Express, the only Nigerian paper in Paris for the fairytale wedding
Your soar away newspaper, Entertainment Express and its sister publication, Sunday Express were the only Nigerian newspapers invited to cover the fairytale wedding live in Paris, France through Yours Sincerely.
The papers presence was overwhelmingly felt at the event and even beyond. As you read this, we are proud to announce that all the stories and pictures we are giving you darling readers are only exclusive to our two papers.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire presenter, Frank Edoho and former DBN TV personality, Israel Edjeren were the official anchors of the fairytale wedding in Paris.
As thorough bred professionals they did a great job in France handling proceedings at both the church service and reception, respectively. They were supported by the amiable DJ Mannie, from Cool FM, who beautifully coordinated all the dance floor moves and swings.
While Edoho attended with his partner-Sandra, Edjeren stormed Paris with his pretty wife, Rachael and son, Tega.
-When Nollywood stars rocked the dance floor
The trio of Ini Edo, Genevieve Nnaji and Susan Peters were unanimously voted best dancers when some Nollywood stars stormed the reception’s dance floor to rock with the couple.
Their arrival on the crowded dance floor of the 16th century venue of the reception reverberated within the well decorated hall and sent guests into wild jubilations.
-Only Monalisa, KOK obeyed dress code
With the exception of Monalisa Chinda and KOK, who came to the reception swathed in the official colours of black and white, the other Nollywood stars including Genevieve, Ini, Lilian, Obazele and Emem all flagrantly refused to adhere to the above colours which were visible at the grand wedding.
Their gorgeous attires were conspicuously devoid of any hue of black and white. Obazele, the worst culprit sauntered into the venue donning burgundy native attire known as ‘Resource Control.’
-Princess Stella Oduah’s large heart
Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, who graced the wedding with a few of her aides, looked splendid and ravishing in her attire. The Anambra State-born former boss of SPG, displayed her generous mien when she dashed a lady dancing rigorously by her table side two hundred dollars. She also took photographs with the lucky lady and several others before zooming out with her entourage.
-Two foreign band stands in the house
The lavish wedding that has further repositioned Nollywood on the global map had a lot of good things of life in excess, including music. The event boasted of two foreign live bands. Music was officially supplied by the Firebyrd Ensemble, an all white opera band. Another all white band from the Caribbean mounted its instruments by the entrance of the venue and kept guests busy with eclectic songs while the ceremony lasted. Two disc jockeys were also in the house, while DJ Krisper, kept the hall busy with Nigerian hit songs, his colleague was standing by at the rear of the hall and graciously waiting to be called upon.
-Liz Benson’s surprise appearance
One of the surprises at the wedding was the appearance of screen goddess, Liz Benson, now married to Bishop Ameye. The couple flew into Paris together and from the look of things thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Ageless and still ravishingly beautiful Liz, glued to her hubby like a secondary school girl that just fell in love throughout our stay in Paris.
Gawd! Victuals were in surplus at Stephanie and Idahosa’s fairytale wedding. From continental to African cuisines, the lavish and historic union had it all on its very rich menu list.
In fact, the assorted and choice drinks complemented the foods that were generously and richly served. Here is a peep at some of the sumptuous traditional Nigerian menus dished out at the wedding:
Pepper Soup, Plantain and Gizzard, Fried Rice with Turkey and Chicken, Moimoi, White Rice and Curry Sauce, Stew Beef, Nkwobi and to cap it all, Egusi soup with Pounded Yam. Trust guests, especially Nigerians, they devoured and savoured the local delicacies with relish.
-Lilian Bach’s late arrival
Sexy actress turned producer Lilian Bach was the last famous entertainer to fly into Paris, from Lagos, Nigerian for the wedding. While her colleagues breezed in on Friday, the sensuous mulatto strolled in the following morning. She however, kept the entire hall busy and flowing with her radiating beauty. She’s still chilling in Paris and is expected back in the next couple of days.
-The beautiful fire works
The superlative wedding that held the serene city of Cernay, Paris, France spellbound for 24 hours came to a glorious end in the wee hours of Sunday, April 23, with the unleashing of well coordinated fire works into the air.
The colourful fire works that dotted the country’s skyline for over 30 minutes was witnessed by the visibly excited couple and their enthralled guests. It ended with the shouts of “Congratulations and Happy Married Life,” to the newest couple in town, Mr. and Mrs. Linus Idahosa.
Princess Stella Oduah, Aviation Minister
Philip Oduoza and wife
Kanayo O. Kanayo
Liz Benson and Bishop Ameye
Israel and Rachael Edjeren