Adiam Tekeste and Raif Rucker were married at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on February 10, 2018. The bride, 35, and the groom, 36, work at Shell. Adiam, who was born and raised in Dallas, graduated from University of Texas at Dallas, where she majored in public affairs. Raif, who grew up in Forrest City, Arkansas, graduated from University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in Management Information Systems.
The couple, who live in Houston, worked in the same office for five years before dating. During that time, their colleagues tried to set them up repeatedly. “They thought we were perfect for each other,” says Adiam. But she and Raif didn’t want to ruin their work relationship. After a failed attempt at an initial date, they finally went out. They dated for a year and a half before getting engaged. Raif proposed on a romantic birthday trip to Italy. “We were on a gondola ride when Raif asked the gondolier to take a photo of us,” remembers Adiam. “I was so worried that the gondolier was going to crash that I didn’t even realize Raif had gotten down on one knee!”
The ceremony at St. Thomas Aquinas was officiated by same priest who confirmed the bride and married her sister as well as her brother. The exchange of vows was followed by a lavish reception at the Doubletree by Hilton (near the Galleria). For the decor, Adiam was inspired by the Victorian era—with its dresses, ballrooms, and candlelit ambiance. “Although there were over 600 people there, it felt so intimate,” she says. The bride also incorporated her Eritrean roots into the celebration. The hotel allowed for Eritrean catering, and the “Stevie Wonder of Eritrea” sang at the wedding. On the second day of festivities, Adiam and Raif wore traditional Eritrean clothing and rode into the hotel on horses. “It was fun times!” says Adiam.
See more with the wedding hashtag: #RuckerRomance