Tropical Chic Ivorian Marriage Brunch
A popular West African song claims that “Sundays in Bamako are for marriage ceremonies” ; this statement stands true also in Abidjan, the capital city of Cote d’Ivoire, a multifaceted country highly influenced by the Akan culture, the largest ethnic group in the country.
In the Akan tradition, the marriage ceremonies are sacred and have very formal and distinguished rites, one of which is the traditional Sunday Brunch hosted by the family of the bride who takes great pride in officially receiving their in laws, in order to celebrate the new couple in a festive ambiance embedded with culture and local folklore.
Traditionally, the entire planning and execution of this family matter is left to the parents of the bride since it is a gift they are offering to their newly married children.
The brunch is usually held at the parents’ house in an open garden or under a covered terrace.
With the growing influence of social media and multicultural connections, African couples are more involved and starting to infuse some modern touches in the way this long standing tradition must now be played out.
The Overall Design Theme
For this special occasion, the goal was to keep up with the tradition while still being different and unique, hence the idea of working around the authenticity of nature with the tropical leaves and the handmade bronze statues infused with touches of glam and sophistication.
A local type of Akan symbols jewellery, originated from the Baoule ethnic group, and called “poids Baoule”, served as inspiration for the towel rings and as decorative details for the suspended ceiling décor and throughout the entire styled shoot. These symbolic jewellery were also used as decorative details on the chairs’ backing as well as on the candy bar and the buffet table.
Keeping with the green colour theme, modern chameleon chairs with emerald cushion complimented the seating area.
A massive suspended greenery arrangement with white flowers and gold-tinted leaves was placed above the head table, with small decorative bronze symbols hanging all over the ceiling décor.
The tabletop was nicely arranged with beautiful white plates set up on wood & clear charger plates decorated with the “poids baoule” symbols. The cutlery and decorative glasses were also coordinated with, in gold.
In accordance with the general theme, the invitations and menu cards’ design incorporated greenery for the tropical feel along with gold trims to bring out the chic and classy look.
Sunday’s traditional marriage brunch is all about revisiting the local food. Usual meals such as fried plantain, grilled fish, and chicken as well as cassava couscous (attieke) or even spicy stews with pounded yam are non-negotiable.
For this style shoot, the buffet incorporated a few afro fusion propositions such as snail mini burgers and hibiscus flower jelly.
A special focus was put on the presentation with the bronze statues and the bronze symbols mixed with heavy ivory pearl garlands for the “chic & classy” touch
Green leaves and tree branches were also added to keep the earthy and authentic feel.
The Candy Bar Decor
Having sweets at this type of function is one of the major innovations that modern Ivorian couples have been incorporating. But these are not your usual candy store sweets. Since this Sunday Traditional Marriage Brunch is also about celebrating culture and traditions, only local, ethnic sweets such as coconut milk toffee or caramelized grated coconut flesh, can be served. Packaging is also as important as taste so small goody bags made from jute bags are offered to the guests so they can fill them up with their selection and take them home.