Life of the party

06/27/2012 2:17 PM

08/23/2012 11:30 AM

“If it hadn’t been for the cell phone, we probably never would have gotten together,” laughs Laura Ferguson as she remembers her first encounter with Michael Chumah. On the night she met Michael at an international students’ party at Winthrop University, he had dropped his phone in Laura’s car by accident as she drove him to his dorm. She didn’t think she would see him again, but when he appeared at her dorm the next morning in search of his phone, the two realized they shared an undeniable chemistry. Although the couple met in a classic story of boy-girl-attend-same-college-party, the proposal was full of surprises. After Laura’s graduation from Winthrop, Michael joined her family in a celebratory dinner at a nearby restaurant. The restaurant manager came over and said that every Saturday, a lucky table of her choosing receives the opportunity to enter a drawing for a special prize and that day their table had been selected. At the end of the meal, Laura’s name was picked. Expecting a free drink, Laura knew something was happening when the restaurant staff slowly ventured out from the kitchen with mischievous grins and watched as a white box was placed in front of her. She opened the box to find a smaller wooden box, in which a shining engagement ring was resting within. Amid the confusion, Michael dropped down to his knee. Although Laura cannot recall all the statements he made, it didn’t stop her from excitedly exclaiming, “Yes!” On the wedding day, Laura and Michael blended tradition and modernity as they merged their two backgrounds into a bicultural theme. Michael, originally from Kenya with the majority of his family still there, came from a culture with widely different ideologies from those Laura grew up with in Dallas, Texas. Laura and Michael fused their two histories to create a style all their own. Although most of Michael’s family was unable to attend, they incorporated African elements such as the acacia tree motif into the wedding, showing respect to his home, family and heritage. However, Laura says, “Our wedding was anything but traditional.” The fun-loving couple didn’t want the wedding to be an emotional and tear-filled event; rather, they created a day full of laughter. Laura explains, “He’s the life of the party and I’m shy, which makes us work well together. We wanted to show that and have fun. We wanted it to feel like a party.” There to document it all was Pixels on Paper. After winning a free engagement session at a bridal show, Laura was so impressed by the photography that she decided to have them capture their wedding’s special moments as well. “The engagement session was fun and casual and exactly the style we were going for. We liked more artistic than traditional photos, and that’s what they gave us. [Ryan and Misty] really listened to what we wanted,” says Laura. During the fall ceremony, Laura and Michael vowed to love and honor one another – while making humorous references to their inside jokes. Laura laughs as she remembers quoting rapper Nicki Minaj, joking about Michael’s favorite soccer team and promising to never make tofu for dinner again. After the ceremony, Laura and Michael prepared their guests for a night of dancing at the reception. With the high energy provided by the DJs from Split Second Sound, the party continued late into the night. Laura recalls, “They got the party going and made it last for hours. [They blended] laid-back music for cocktails and fast dancing music for later.” Now that the wedding’s over, the two are happy to settle into their life together. Although both are juggling hectic schedules, they are thankful for the perfect balance they’ve found in one another.

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