Jessica & Maurice
Photography By: Yvan Gabon Pictures & Vince

Jessica & Maurice

For couple Jessica and Maurice, meeting at a barbecue way back in 2009, was the beginning of their relationship. They had both been invited by Maurice’s childhood friend coincidentally a cousin to Jessica.


Maurice proposed to Jessica on the day of ‘presentations’ at her parents’ home (presentations are the first step the families take in preparation for the traditional marriage ceremony, during which the man (groom) in the company of some representatives of his family, announces his intentions towards the young woman (the bride); this is also a formal way of the
groom warding off any other suitors from the young woman and her family. In some other African cultures this ceremony is called ‘knocking’ or ‘introduction’. 


At the end of the ‘presentations’ Maurice surprised everyone by going down on one knee while offering Jessica a bouquet of lilies and asked her to marry him by placing a ring on her finger.


After the proposal, the couple begun planning the ceremonies with assistance from their bridesmaids and groomsmen and family members. No specific theme was chosen; they simply wanted something simple and casual while still being exciting and therefore chose to have both ceremonies on the beach, creating a chic tropical style ambiance.

The Concept

The traditional ceremony took place at Cape Esterias, at the brides’ family estate followed by the civil ceremony, at River Lodge at Pointe Denis. For the traditional (customary)marriage ceremony, Jessica wore a white loincloth with a red border called Okorwe (traditional marriage ceremony attire among the Mpongwè – her Ethnicity), with some details reminiscent of the loincloth that were worn by her family, complimented with accessories in raffia, pearls and coris.

Maurice wore a loincloth outfit (loincloth in the colours of the groom’s family) made by a local couturier (Christ ‘On Obame Nguema – located in the Holy Mountain district). After the exchange of gifts and presentation, she then as custom would have it, changed into another outfit, this time made out of the colours of the loincloth that Maurice and his family wore. The outfit consisted of a bustier embroidered with golden threads, and a “mermaid” cut skirt also embroidered with a few touches of Madras – a nod to Maurice’s Martinican origins. Throughout the ceremony Jessica was barefoot with raffia foot ornaments.

The outfits were made by local couturiers. The bride walked barefoot on the beach in a mermaid cut dress with an openwork lace at the back with her feet adorned with foot jewellery towards Maurice who wore an embroidered cream coloured tuxedo from Emmanuel Khan.

Although the couple preferred a low toned-down event at the beach, they had a combined group of a relatively bridal party and groomsmen.


The groomsmen wore white shirts, beige linen pants, and navy-blue sneakers; while the bridesmaids wore
beige “multi-styled” dresses from DC Dress, they were barefoot and, like the bride, wore foot jewelry. The little boys in the procession wore white shirts and beige linen Bermuda shorts and blue tennis. The little girls had little white lace dresses and flowered sandals.

The Look


The look was achieved with the collective effort between the couple, their families and friends. Jessica with the help of her bridesmaids, came up with the concept on how the décor and event design should be and had it set up by her cousins; the couple engaged the service of a young Gabonese from the event performing “Equator Circus” band to work on the arch which was draped by another family member.


The flowers (all floral arrangements + arch and central aisle decoration + evening centerpieces) were provided by Phine Fleur (local florist)


The reception was in two parts: After the civil ceremony, there was a cocktail at noon, then in the evening a dinner where their guests were treated to mouthwatering meals both simple and refreshing to help create a great overall mood.


Larded plantains with shrimps

Shrimp tartare with Spicy pineapple 

Chicken skewers with yassa


Captain’s Tartare

Ginger prawns skewers

Chicken Skewers seasoned with Lemongrass

Green papaya gratin


The decor was simple and classic with soft tones of colours–white with touches of gold and the “green” for the tropical foliage. The infusion of white flowers for the central aisle of green composition made from the leaves of the traveler’s tree and painted coconuts created a perfect natural look.


This theme was translated into the look of the cake which was a white layer cake, decorated with white flowers and tropical foliage.



The opening of the reception was on a piece of kizomba but throughout the evening, different styles of music were played alongside various performances to include that of the acrobats of the Circus of Ecuador which was really breathtaking (fire eater, human pyramid …)


Most Memorable Moments

The rehearsal of the day before D-Day with the bridesmaids and groomsmen for the entrance of the bride and groom

The exchange of vows and rings during the ceremony.

The release of lanterns into the sky at the beach, just before cutting the cake in the evening

The wedding first dance in the evening.



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