Bridgette’s Pick of the Week – Cultural Wedding Traditions

Scene from a traditional Ethiopian wedding ceremony

Scene from a traditional Ethiopian wedding ceremony

At the recent Triple B Bride-to-Be Vision Board Workshop, one of the planning brides — who happens to be Nigerian — expressed how torn she is about incorporating Nigerian customs into her wedding. Her fiance, who is also Nigerian, was adamant about them having a traditional large wedding affair complete with 400+ guests. The bride would have been content with small, intimate nuptials but in addition to her fiance wanted to at least meet some of her parent’s requests to follow tradition as well. As you can imagine, feeding 400+ guests can get pretty darn expensive — even for a truly savvy couple.

People from the African Diaspora have lost so much cultural identity so I can understand why it might be especially important to preserve as much legacy as possible and weddings are a ripe time to do so. Even more than 200 guests at a wedding is large to me however, I know better than to judge someone else’s cultural traditions. I can say without hesitation that I don’t think anyone should go into debt for a wedding nor should people get invited to a wedding solely for a monetary gift. Yet from the Nigerian and Eritrean weddings I have attended thus far in my life, I can admit that I learned so much more about those cultures from simply being a guest and the memories are priceless for all in attendance.

What advice or tips do you have for someone who wants to incorporate their family’s traditions into their wedding day while still remaining true to who they are now and stay in or under budget? Share in the comments!

[Image via: http://www.kuaike.co]

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    Comments

    1. Patrice says:

      Great topic for discussion! This is an issue that I’m sure many first-generation Africans living in America have…

    2. Anonymous says:

      WOW111 400 GUESTS? Now that’s a lot of folks to feed…………..

    3. MY CORRECTED COMMENT:

      My first question would be who is going to pay for it, as weddings are already expensive with less than 400 guests. More on topic though, a compromise about which traditions to incorporate could be arrived at, ie. the bride and groom-to-be could each choose one or two customs to be practiced and limit themselves accordingly. Also, I recently read a post about involving family members as much as possible. Enlisting the help/support of family and friends could lower the total wedding cost while at the same time bringing the families closer together.

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