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A prayer before exchanging rings

A week ago Saturday I attended my friend Adrian’s wedding here in Kitwe. It was a joyful celebration and I was honored to be counted among his representative family, as his own family could not make it from Europe. The wedding itself took place at the UCZ church here on my compound. My muzungu friends and I arrived just after the wedding was supposed to start and found a few other standing around while the Boy’s Brigade band moved their practice outside since there was going to be a wedding inside. We hung around for quite a while until Adrian arrived, then others began to file in as well. Finally the bride, Violet, arrived and the service could begin. The bridesmaids and groomsmen danced in the center aisle as the Violet made her way into the church.

The bride's entrance

The liturgy of the wedding service was familiar to me, as the UCZ is a reformed denomination, but there were also some very Zambian elements. At one point the choir sang a song about Eve being created from Adam’s rib with the instruction that the groom must care for his bride because she is part of him. The song itself was quite rambunctious and got the congregation laughing and cheering. Also, once the service was over we left dancing in celebration. One of the Zambian women caught me by the arm and danced with me all the way out of the church.

Me, Wendy, and Jenny at the wedding

On the way to the reception we stopped off at a beautiful garden to take photos. Traditionally a Zambian bride is not supposed to smile, similar to what I talked about at the kitchen party. She is supposed to keep her head down and show no emotion as a sign of respect to her husband and family. However, since Adrian is a muzungu and we like to smile in our photos she could express more of her joy. It was interesting to observe how both Adrian and Violet are living between two cultures and will continue to do so as they enter married life.

Adrian's representative family - aka crazy muzungus!

The reception was a good party with lots of dancing, blasting music, and of course a feast. We had to play the waiting game again while everything was made ready for the reception but had a great time once things got started. The bridesmaids and groomsmen did several dances, everything from traditional Zambian dances to a salsa dance complete with lifts! Once everyone had eaten there was a ceremony to cut and distribute the wedding cakes. There was a knife girl who danced in with the knife to cut the cake. She danced for at least five minutes and could really shake her hips. When Adrian and Violet cut the cake they fed each other a piece and shared a sweet kiss. Then cakes were presented to each family by the bride and groom. As Adrian’s representative family we were presented with a cake, which was a very precious moment.

Talitha and me with the cake for Adrian's family

As the reception was winding down the MC invited everyone to come and greet the newly married couple. By this time everyone was looking tired but happy. It was great to have one more chance to say congratulations and offer blessings to Adrian and Violet. Please pray for their new marriage and that they can find a way to be family together which honors both of their cultures. 



...and more dancing!

Posted August 20, 2012


How lovely someone arranged to get married while you were still there to enjoy the event! It looked to be a wonderful, colorful time for all.

Kathy H on September 4, 2012

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