Ready to craft the perfect African wedding? It’s a long process, but you’ll soon realise it’s a pretty exciting one to be involved with.
Since African culture is so rich and resplendent, it’s pretty hard to get started, which is why we’ve taken a look at just five things to consider when planning the big day.
Bring Out Varied Palettes
For some, it’s the dancing, for others, it’s the promise of lots of food and drink that makes wedding days all the more exciting, and seeing how Africa is a rather large continent, there’s tons of amazing dishes and beverages to call upon.
In South Africa, one of the most treasured cuisines would be Bunny Chow, which is a common street food from Durban, serving up a hollow piece of bread, jam packed with spicy curry.
Over in Nigeria, the locals often quench their thirst with a glass of Palm wine, as this fresh tasting concoction is perfect with meals.
Embrace Different Cultures Through Dance
Africans love to dance, so make sure this plays a huge part of your ceremony.
Over the years, African dancing has melded a variety of rhythms and traditions from lots of regions, building up a sizable catalogue of fantastic routines which provide waves of thrill and excitement.
They’re also used to express values held dear to communities, and although it’s common for improvisation to play a role, most routines are thoroughly choreographed to convey these morals in the most impactful way, all through the power of dance.
You want examples? Well, there’s the Indlamu dance, made famous for its association with Zulu people, who are the largest ethnic group in South Africa.
And for Zimbabwe, it’s all about the Jerusarema dance, and how this requires fast, synchronised movements from men and women, so great for wedding occasions which are all about bringing two people together.
Bright & Daring Clothing
Forget about black suits and white dresses! For African weddings, you’ll be drawing on every colour in the rainbow besides these pretty formal tones.
You can go pretty wild with your choices, but for the ladies, try and stick with long dresses, otherwise your garments may not be appropriate for traditional ceremonies.
Once you’ve picked out a dress, your attention turns to African head gear, which is normally a lavish, brightly coloured scarf that breathes new life into your outfit. A famous example would be the Dhuku, often touted as being the African equivalent to a Queen wearing her crown.
For men, consider donning the Dashiki, as this colourful garment is a culturally aligned method of covering the top part of your body.
There’s lots of colours to choose from, but grey is often the go-to for traditional weddings, however informal occasions can play host to blue versions, a colour which represents love and peace.
Make Your Propose; Ghanian Style
Before the wedding day arrives, African grooms from Ghana will need approval from their partner’s family.
He gets this through the Knocking Ceremony, in which a visit to the bride’s family, allows him to express his desire to take her hand in marriage.
When the day arrives, the groom will knock on the door, bearing gifts. Someone from his own family will then announce the wedding plans, before the bride enters the room and either accepts or rejects the proposal.
You don’t have to do this of course, and there’s nothing wrong with simply getting down on one knee, but if you’re shooting for an African styled wedding, taking part in this treasured Ghanian tradition may not be the worst idea.
Start Throwing Money; Yes Really!
You shouldn’t just throw money away, well, unless you’re in the middle of the Money Spray dance at Nigerian weddings.
This tradition symbolises the act of spreading happiness and fortune, as wedding guests willingly thrust notes onto the bride and groom.
Using currency from the couple’s country of origin can also promote a sense of pride in where they’re from.