Four Cross-Cultural Celebrations on Three Continents

Because of the pandemic they ended up spending their final months of law school, as well as graduation, at Mr. Vemuri’s childhood home in Portland, in separate bedrooms. They also studied there for the California bar exam, and campaigned for Joe Biden. Their lives were interrupted in July 2020, when Ms. Akita needed fibroid surgery. In January 2021, they moved to Santa Monica.

In February 2022, they proposed to each other during a weekend getaway in Sonoma County, to which many of their close friends were also invited. As perhaps a foreshadowing of their wedding, they asked each other three times: in a Sonoma County redwood forest, on the beach at Bodega Bay, and in their apartment. Rather than rings, they exchanged two-stranded rope necklaces. They then flipped a coin to determine whose last name would come first in their future children’s joint last name. (Mr. Vemuri won.)

They were legally married Oct. 22, 2022 at El Matador State Beach in Malibu, Calif. Patricia Ann Yim Cowett, a former judge of the San Diego County Superior Court who is also a friend and neighbor of the couple, officiated.

On Dec. 8, they had a wedding ceremony performed before 100 guests by friends of the Akita family, Abigail Mensah, representing the Vemuri family, and Susuana Anang, representing the Akita family, at Peduase Valley Resort, a resort town north of Accra, Ghana. Ms. Akita’s request for a vegetarian wedding was honored, despite it being far from the norm there. There was also a Ghanaian ritual, with women relatives of the bride assessing the dowry and then presenting their findings to the men, who decide if the wedding can go forward.

“Removing that, is, in effect, not having a Ghanaian wedding,” Ms. Akita said, “and it was important to my parents that we honor where I come from.”