10 Things You're Bound To See At A West African Wedding
October 08, 2015 at 6:00 am
If you've ever had the opportunity to attend a West African wedding, you know it's a spectacular event. There are so many beautiful elements of culture involved that we decided to compile a list. Here are 10 things you're bound to see at a West African wedding:
A gele is a large, elaborate head tie, often worn at special occasions such as weddings. The bride often wears a gele with her traditional outfit of the night. Photo: trendyafrica.com
2. Outfit Changes
An African wedding is the furthest thing from subtle. This is most apparent through the multiple outfit changes from the bride and groom. The bride alone usually has at least three outfits, including the wedding dress, the traditional wedding outfit and a party outfit.
3. Fabulous Fashion
Outside of the bride and groom's spectacular wardrobes, the guests are expected to look just as fabulous. When at a West African wedding, you can expect to see beautiful African garb in many different colors and varieties. Photo: ghanagist.com
As the originators of CP time, waiting 2-3 hours for the bride and groom to arrive at their reception is expected. Oftentimes people arrive intentionally late to the reception just to make sure that they don't wait forever.
When the bride and groom make their first reception entrance, it is a West African tradition to shower the newly married couple with money. #makeitrainplease
6. Endless Food
One thing there is not a shortage of at West African weddings is food. Even if the wedding is catered, guests still bring food. Rows and rows of food.
7. Large Bridal Party
Because West Africans often have large families, they're expected to have all of their family members as part of the bridal party. This often creates parties of eight bridemaids and groomsmen or more. Photo: african-sweetheart.com
8. Lots of People
The proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" is evident at these weddings. Most African weddings have a guest list of at least 300 people because both the bride and groom come from large family backgrounds. A wedding is a major event in West African culture, so everyone shows up and shows out.
9. Non-stop Dancing
This is a celebration, of course, so dancing is a given. The DJ will play a plethora of music that caters to the crowd, so be prepared to stay on the dance floor all night.
10. Multiple Days of Partying
Outside of the reception, there are events that happen prior to and after the actual wedding. There's usually an engagement party where the groom's family visits the bride's family to ask for her hand in marriage. After the actual wedding, there is an Ashobi party where all guests are expected to wear traditional fabric picked by the bride and groom. All in all, a West African wedding is usually one for the books. Expect to see vibrant colors, lots of love, even more food, and to have the time of your life!
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