A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a wedding where I was asked to be one of the photographers. Well today I finally have time to share more about that weekend of festivities.
This wedding was for a couple from the church, Frank and Sandra. Both of them are teachers, Sandra teaches at Champions where I worked all of this school year.
Saturday was the Introduction ceremony, where the man pays the bride price. Basically, the parents of the bride have made a list of things that they want from the man before they will say yes to him. During this ceremony the man brings some representatives from his side to the woman’s village and meets with her family to present the gifts. There is A LOT of talking throughout the day, dances are preformed and food is eaten at the end of it all.
Everyone here is very surprised to find out that we don’t have Introduction ceremony or a bride price.
Oh, interesting side note, family is such a big part of this ceremony that people hire or have friends stand in to play roles that you might not have or to make your family appear larger. Like, I would hire or have people act as my brothers and get more sisters if I were to get married here.
Here are a few pictures from the day:
Arriving back from the village late Saturday night, we didn’t get too much sleep before the traditional ceremony of Sunday. The ceremony on Sunday was woven into church service, which I guess some people do here. This ceremony was similar to our wedding ceremonies, except Sandra was not walked up the aisle by her father, she was escorted by her matron [maid of honor].
After they said their vows, exchanged rings, the preacher gave a sermon, and they signed their marriage liscence, we left to take some photos.
That was a lot of fun!
Returning from the pictures, the reception began. Speeches, speeches, and more speeches; there was more talking at the reception than I have ever heard. The cake had sparklers on it, which was fun. When it was time for gifts, everyone lined up to hand the gifts to Frank and Sandra personally.
Interesting fact #2, for this couple, these two ceremonies took place in the same weekend. However, the Introduction and traditional ceremony may take place days, months or even years apart. Some couples never even have a traditional ceremony [they consider themselves married after the Introduction].
Even though it was a tiring weekend, it was very good. In my opinion, if you’re mzungu [white], being the photographer is definitely the way to attend a Ugandan wedding; everyone is going to stare at you anyways!