Tonight on MTV Tr3s’ reality series, Quiero Mi Boda, we meet 25-year-old Jessyca and 28-year-old Osaze, a Texan couple who share the same religious faith but very different cultural customs. Jessyca was born in Mexico and Osaze was born in Washington, D.C. to Nigerian parents and because their respective cultures mean a lot to them, figuring out how to mesh both backgrounds on their special day proved a challenge. They managed to do so, African dancers and the Virgin Mary included. As if planning for the big day wasn’t difficult enough, Jessyca had to deal with the additional stress of having recently spoken to her biological father, whom she has never met.
Jessyca spoke to Latina.com recently to dish about her episode, which airs tonight at 7 p.m. EST.
Tell us about your episode of Quiero Mi Boda.
It was more than what I expected. Osaze and I do come from two different cultures so we already knew about that but during the whole episode, we got to relive our dating and all these things about our families. We noticed more of our cultures.
You lived with your parents at home and your fiancé moved into the house next door to be closer to you? What was that like to have him live so close to you?
At first it was exciting. It made me feel really comfortable because I knew that once we were married, it wouldn’t be a huge change for me – I would just be able to walk right next door. To be really honest, I’ve been so lazy that I haven’t even moved all of my stuff out from my mom’s!
You’re originally from Mexico and your husband’s family is from Nigeria. How did coming from two very different cultures affect how you planned your wedding?
Both of us are pretty grounded in our cultures – its something that was just in our upbringing so we knew that we needed to have something – especially because of our families. Both came from different countries so even stuff that they do at their houses – what they would do or eat in Nigeria and same thing at my house – it was really important to have that in the wedding. It was just deciding on what we wanted to do.
Tell us how you both tried to incorporate each other’s cultures in your wedding ceremony.
Honestly, I don’t know how we made the decision! People have asked us, ‘How did you pick this?’ or ‘How did you pick that?’ There were things that I was set on doing. For example, I really wanted to do the flowers to the Virgin Mary. That’s something that I really, really wanted to do so I just told him, ‘This is what I want.’ We had African dancers at our wedding and we wanted that to be a surprise for his parents. It really just fit together perfectly. It came naturally but we were both set on certain things that we wanted to do.
Why was that important to incorporate both cultures?
It was important for us to do that because that’s how we were brought up. It’s part of who we are and Osaze and I are both very close to our family. I’m the only child and Osaze is the oldest of four so it was something that we felt it was right to do.
How did both your families respond to each other’s traditions?
They really loved it. My family, I know for sure, loved seeing his side of the family dressed in all the different Nigerian outfits and all the colors. They thought it was so neat. And when the African dancers came out, some of my family had never seen anything like that before ever – ever! And some of his family had never seen mariachi so we both got really great responses from our families saying that they enjoyed seeing that at a wedding. I know it sounds cheesy but that’s what it’s about – having both cultures or both individuals come together and share that with each other.
We understand you had never met your biological father and, after speaking to him, he wanted to be included in the wedding. How did that make you feel?
He left that up to me if I feel like he should be included in the wedding but because I’d never been close to him, never met him, never had any communication with him until before the wedding, it was awkward. When I told him my position on it, I think he was okay. Honestly, I think I don’t feel like I was as nervous at the wedding, but I was nervous talking to him.
What advice would you give to other Latinas who may be struggling with incorporating both their culture and that of their fiancé’s?
I think if other brides are engaged and they both come from different cultures, it’s definitely a give and take. You have to compromise. One thing that Osaze and I did is ask each other ‘What is really important in your culture?’ And if it’s really important to them, why not? It’s their wedding too. I know a lot of people try to make it about the bride but it’s his wedding too and his family is going to be there. Definitely try to compromise and figure out what parts of the cultures are most important.