African American Weddings

african wedding ceremony

I have noticed that some ladies here are from african countries. Are you having an african wedding ceremony on top of the normal wedding ceremony? If so, what is the format of that ceremony? Is is formal? If so, who is conducting it and what are you doing especially that day?
since we don't have african food on our normal wedding day, FI thinks that we should be having another ceremony but I don't feel like planning  and I don't want to rent a room and pay another caterer for that; too much work for me. It is almost like having two weddings which is overwhelming for me! ! I don't really know how  this african cermony is supposed to be. If you have been to any, please give me some suggestions!!! ughhhh!!!!

Re: african wedding ceremony

  • edited December 2011
    Yep, I am having one the day before (Saturday)... but you knew that already :)

    I haven't decided on the format yet but it will be semi formal. We are not doing all the elements of the ceremony since we will be going to Cameroon in December for the formal one. I just finally got a place for it. I still have to decide who i am inviting to that ceremony though. I also need to find someone who will conduct it. Fi's uncle who was supposed to do that passed away < a month ago...

    I know what I want for the food and the music so that's good!

    It is overwhelming but my FI really wanted it.

    Maybe you can have a get together at your house or a friend's house the day after and cook African food, if you don't want to do the ceremony but want to share that part of ur culture with your guests...

    Where are you from by the way?
  • edited December 2011
    We are having an african ceremony the night before. My parents are taking care of that because it is called the "engagement ceremony" which is where he an dhis family formally ask my parents for my hand in marriage.
    It is more a semi-formal event and it will be conducted by my family and the elders in our nigerian community.

    Basically, before the ceremony, my dad will send FI information about what is entailed and things he'll need to bring to present. The most important being a bible and a "letter of intent". The letter will outline how John plans on taking care of me and his promise to always have my best interest at heart and on and on. Then the bible is going to be prayed on and used as the foundation for our lives and it will be used to hold my engagement ring which he will formally present to me at the ceremony.
    Of course I already have the ring and he asked for my hand from my dad before he proposed but this is still part of the ceremony.
    Since FI is not Nigerian, they'll likely find someone to help represent his family. That person will direct them on what needs to be done and when.
    It is a full evening and once all is said and done, we'll all eat, dance and welcome each other to the now blended family.
    Hope that helps. If you need more information, just PM me.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Weatney, very similar to how we will do ours...
  • edited December 2011
    Cool. Are you or your FI from West Africa? I hear it is similar in those areas.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • gatineaubridegatineaubride member
    edited December 2011
    That sounds like work for me. Pasmita, I am from Benin originally but born and raised in Canada. Are you having people dance or is it just the ceremony and food? does is mean that FI will be asking for your hand again? How long is that supposed to be especially if you are getting married the next day? I like the idea of having it the next day; and have something low key. this is another planning that I don't really need. Pasmita, how are you going to make the selection of guests? Our people get upset for everything and I don't see myself inviting all the 200 guests at my parents'house but at the same time I don't want to be the topic of more gossiping. Ughhhh
  • essianessian member
    edited December 2011
    gbride- I am from Ghana, West Africa and we do something very similar to what wheatney22 described .We had a traditional engagement ceremony back home where both families meet and FI's family presents the dowry and list of items to my family then there is food and drinks afterwards. That is considered marriage back home. The wedding ceremony is the same as weddings here and that is just icing on the cakeSmile

    Since we are also not having any African food at the reception(i.e because my venue wouldn't allow it)  we are having a lunch on the Sunday after the wedding. This is not not as formal, we'll wear african clothes, smaller group-mostly family and oot guests , just eat, drink, dance and get to know each other. Hope this helps!

  • edited December 2011
    Yeah we had the knocking at the door ceremony in Dec 08 in Cameroon, which I guess is the asking for the hand and proposal

    Now we will have the traditional wedding (I guess in west Africa it's called the engagement ceremony)

    We are both from Central Africa - Cameroon (though born/raised -me- in Belgium and -him- in the UK)
  • gatineaubridegatineaubride member
    edited December 2011
    excuse my ignorance of the traditions ladies but Pasmita from what I understood, FI won't be asking for your hand again that day. So what are you guys going to do (ceremony like) that day besides eating and maybe dancing? what is exactly traditional wedding since you said in Africa, he already asked for your hand?
    how is that cermony going to be different from the one in Cameroon?

    I just want to have the whole picture of that thing before saying yes to FI
  • edited December 2011
    I was going to make a whole post on that on the blog next week and will still do and add pictures for the things we have done...

    Marriage for us is a 4 step process where we are from in Cameroon. In old times, this is how it went (but obviously a little different now):

    Step 1:Knocking at the door ceremony
    Asking for the hand in marriage.  Then the families investigate that they are no diseases or barren -ness in the families and that they are not related and nothing is stopping the wedding from happening.

    Then a mid step is where the bride's family sets the dowry

    Step 2 The traditional ceremony
    this is where the groom's family comes to pay the dowry and then they both eat the cola nuts and drink the palm wine and according to the tradition they are married (obviously it's a lot more elaborate than I seem to insinuate)

    Step 3
    Civil ceremony

    Step 4
    Religious ceremony (whether Muslim or Christian)
  • edited December 2011
    Mypasmita...that's exactly how we do it back home. The version I described is the "americanized version". My mom described the same thing for when she got married but my sister had the american version which is what I'll be having too. Since my FI is not from Nigeria, we'll be skipping the family checking thing although I think my dad's done some googling on his own. Can't be too careful you know :-).
    gatineaubride do you have a concern about having 2 parties or just the whole process of what happens? Cause honestly, it is quite a fun and happy event. And yes, folks in the community will talk. They did that for my sister's wedding and I have no doubt they'll do it for my wedding as well but girl, you have to remember that when all is said and done, you have to live your life and be happy and they have to do the same. Plus the people who spend all that time talking are folks who have nothing better to do. Nothing wrong with that. Its OK for them to talk. As long as they are not disrespectful to you.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • gatineaubridegatineaubride member
    edited December 2011
    Thanks Ladies for all your precious advice!!! I am just coming from my all girl Saturday brunch (tradition between my mom, my sister and I). I shared my concerns with my mother and she said that they are hosting an african lunch for us on Sunday. My mother told me not to worry about it because the tradition is that it is supposed to be the family hosting that party and not us. She told me to worry only about Saturday as far as I am concerned. Of course, we will have less guests and I am supposed to change clothing 5 times! My mom is ordering stuff from back home so I need to have my measurements taken . As for the dowry, we will have a very intimate ceremony a week before with FI family and share a meal at the end. Again my parents are taking care of it. You cannot imagine how relieved I am now!!! Yeah!!!!
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