Real Wedding: Jensine + Micheal {Yoruba Vows in Baton Rouge}

Micheal and Jensine didn’t quite match up when they first interacted while online dating. It wasn’t until Micheal reached out to Jensine, a year after their first interaction, and began talking about a book that she was reading that the two connected.

“It took me a while to respond because I had not finished reading the book, (still haven’t finished reading it). I was hesitant and did not want to engage in conversation in the event he was well versed and wanted to discuss the book in depth,” Jensine says. “Finally, after about a few weeks, I replied to Mike and explained to him that I took a break from reading “1984.” After that confession, I asked him to tell me something interesting about himself. His exact words, ‘When I was younger my parents dropped me in a barrel of sugar, that’s why I’m so sweet.’ I thought that comment was so adorable and I literally ‘laughed out loud.’”

Turns out sweet was an accurate description for Micheal. From the first date where he nervously met Jensine at a coffee shop, he knew that she was someone special.

“It took a few tries and a couple of years to actually get it right, but we finally did,” Micheal says. “When Siney and I first met in person, I thought she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. We talked at that coffee shop for hours. Nothing seemed rushed; it felt quite natural. I did not have any expectations. I just knew I wanted to
see her again.”

When planning their wedding, the couple decided to have a traditional Yoruba wedding. Intertwined closely with Nigerian culture, Yoruba ceremonies are vibrant celebrations full of dance, rhythmic drums, call and responses and strong connections to ancestry, Jensine explains.

“When it was time for the groom to make his way to the altar, my nephew played a special drum covered in healing herbs and followed behind the groom. Each time my nephew played the drum he chanted, ‘The ancestors are here,’ to invite the ancestors of both families to be present for the ceremony. A similar tradition occurred when I approached the altar too,” Jensine describes. “I danced down the aisle to African drumming followed by our four nieces and cousin who rang special bells to bring respect to the ancestors while protecting the bride.”

Micheal and Jensine’s wedding planning wasn’t all smooth sailing though, as they were directly impacted by the Great Flood of Baton Rouge nearly a month before their wedding date.

“Mike and I weren’t sure what the future held as far as our living situation and basic needs. At one point in time, we strongly considered cancelling the wedding all together. Through much prayer and meditation we decided that we needed to celebrate ourselves and bring healing to the pain we experienced as a result of the flood,” Jensine says.

And celebrate their love they did! From having Jensine’s favorite band perform at the reception to reading each other their personally written vows, Jensine and Micheal had a beautiful day.

“I’m so grateful we decided to have the wedding because it was truly a magical event,” Jensine says. “I could not have asked for a better man to marry because he is so sincere and loves me to pieces.”

N.O.W. Vendors: PHOTOGRAPHY: Prince Photography | DECOR RENTALS: Event Rental

Additional Vendors: CEREMONY + RECEPTION: Baton Rouge Gallery for Contemporary Art | OFFICIANT: Ifa Seyi Bamiigbala | VIDEOGRAPHER: Jamal Pernell, Brother of the Bride | FLORALS: Peregrin’s Florist | BRIDE + GROOM’S ATTIRE: Custom made by Linda Evans, Aunt of the Groom | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Vera Wang, David’s Bridal | GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE: Dashiki from Odeneho Wear | BAKERY: Ambrosia Bakery | CEREMONY MUSIC: Bride’s Family, Howard-Omari Pernell, Kamau Fluker, Tommy Fluker | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Soul Jukeboxx | HAIR: Beauty By Design, Linda Franks | MAKEUP: Jada Cobbs, Groom’s Cousin | WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER: My Dream Affair Event Planning | CATERER: Debra’s House of Catering | INVITATIONS: Wedding Paper Divas | FAVORS: Pecan Candy by Jeriece Snowden

Starlight Williams

Wedding enthusiast. Multimedia Journalist. Scorpio. When not trying to meet a deadline, Starlight can be found singing off-key to Broadway show tunes, mourning the decline of manners, and watching the latest flick from the wonderful world of Disney.

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