Friday, October 31, 2008

Wedding Oddities

Guest Post By Mcheku who is just back to blogosphere after a looooong hiatus. Welcome back Mcheku.

Weddings are known to be grand, classy, glamorous, sophisticated affairs, where everyone is on their best behaviour. I am sure like me you have attended a countless number of weddings. I am also sure that there are some that stand out in your mind for all kinds of reasons. Today I want to talk about the other the side of weddings. The bride is expected to behave in a certain way and some things are just common sense. For example it will be highly frowned upon if the bride or groom gets excessively drunk during the reception. For heaven’s sake! It is only a one day affair and surely you can keep yourself from indulging in some of these things.

A few months ago, I attended a wedding where my cousin was getting hitched to a man from a totally different culture from ours. In my culture when a bride is entering the precincts of the wedding ceremony, women start singing in praise of the bride and at the same time mock the groom’s family. This singing goes on till the bride reaches the church just before she starts marching to the bridal song. Well the women singers got carried a bit with all their singing and dancing and when the bride reached the aisle she just shouted at the top of her voice, gestures included ‘Nyamazeni, nyamazeni’. What a way to start a wedding!!

Speaking as someone from a culture that requires brides to be cool, calm and collected on that day. All smiley and holding hands, sticking to the groom like glue. I am always taken aback when I attend weddings where brides are a bit jumpy and all over the place talking loudly and high fiving, no holding hands and leaving the groom to walk around on their own the whole day!! My friend got married the other day and to say the least I haven’t yet seen such behaviour in a bride. Well as she was marching into the church in her veil held by her mum and dad on either side, she extricated her hand from her mums elbow and started waving at the people she knew who had come for the wedding. Can you imagine a bride walking down the aisle to the organ tunes of ‘Here comes the bride’ and she is all up waving at people and saying ‘Sasa?’ ‘Kumbe ulicome?’ ‘Enjoy yourself’!! Then during the reception she came to sit with us for most of the time and left the groom at the high table. I know people have different cultures but that was just a bit too much if you ask me.

A bride’s attire is a focal point in the wedding. Beautiful as it is, when it is complicated and restricts the brides movement it can be a quite cumbersome to lag around an entire day. A close relative of mine was getting married deep in the rural areas. Her dress was made in such a way that she could not visit the washroom without external help. Those who have had the opportunity to get entangled in a bride's net and all will know exactly what I am talking about. As her brides maids we were enlisted as her close aides for that special day. In the middle of the ceremony she announced her intention to go. The washrooms were so far away from the house it was not plausible for the bride to walk all the way there and back and we were forced to improvise. So we found a tin somewhere and a private secluded place (very difficult at a crowded wedding!) and we surrounded her as she relieved herself. You could see the relief on her face and in her smile as she returned to take her place in the proceedings.

However, that incident was nothing compared to this wedding I attended in a neighbouring country. The wedding ceremony and reception all went well but it seems that the excitement of the day was all too much for her because during the evening reception she just suddenly collapsed and passed out. There was a big gasp of shock across the room and when we got to her we realized that she had peed on herself on that beautiful evening gown that had cost a fortune! With the help of a nurse who was in attendance we managed to revive her somewhat and we helped her clean up as best as she could and she returned to reassure the anxious guests.

Grooms are not to be left out either. I attended this wedding where the parents of the boy were elders in a church and did not want their son to go into a come-we-stay affair like he wanted to. Since they were a little moneyed they organised the whole affair for him to save face in the church. Now this son of theirs was a well known pot smoker and in the middle of the reception, he pretended he was going to use the facilities and we could not trace him for a long while. People started whispering about his long disappearance and surprise! surprise! He was brought back to the high table all high and happy, about two hours later!! much to the embarrassment of the bride, his parents and the family at large.

Some of the strange happenings cannot be controlled or avoided; I mean those involving bodily functions. But someone should honestly come up with a manual of how brides and grooms are expected to behave on that day to keep guests from witnessing the embarrassments that cannot be avoided.


Anonymous said...

hahahaha...wah, so funny, 'nyamazeni, nyamazeni' hilarious...wish i was there. u see, am also from a culture where the bride has to be calm and collected...and that bit of high fiving and talking to people on ur way to the isle is a no no...u can do that later, let the people enjoy ur beauty as u walk by without any interruptions.

Pink M said...

How about go to the AG chambers and spare all of us the torture? :D (wedding hater in the house)

Where I come from, the bride is supposed to smile endlessly, and cling to the groom like a lifeline. She lets go for a sec and everyone is like ' hold her hold her'.

Maua said...

My wedding will be special, I'll not talk to nobody except my beau, and maybe my maid of honour. I'll probably cry as I sign my life out to someone else. It'll definitely be a sacred day to remember, so pls, don't high 5 me, not even on blogsphere.

I'll not drink or eat anything till reception time, then I'll eat all I can, and after dance the night away.

Beau, you better hurry.

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Shiko-Msa said...

Neema, Pink I'm also from one such culture. And there are some very fussy women who can be quite a headache for the bride. She wants to get on with her big day and they're just there asking for goats and water tanks ati before the gal can leave the house.

I've heard some old wives tale that if the bride licks some salt before the ceremony then there'll be no urge to relieve herself at least for quite some time. I've heard the same about long distance travelers - i've no idea whether it works. But that does not mean downing 3 mugs of tea in the morning and still waiting for the salt to work!

Pink I so hear you on the wedding haters. I attend only when absolutely necessary and even then I get fashionably late, like at the reception when it's time to hug the bride and present a present. there's this one I was so fashionably late but when I got to the bride she told me she had seen me in church. Ok that was impossible because i missed the whole service and only made it to the reception but i nodded all the same. Yeah yeah I was so there.

But for Maua I cant miss and I cant be late. Even if I'll attend in spirit only hollering from blogoshphere. When the beau comes.

Leet thanks! I could do with an Award any time.

SupremeGREAM said...

I have nothing for weddings. I have this guy a very close friend of mine. He keeps talking about them and attending which at times I feel like telling him to his face not to tell me about them. I guess I'll do a post on weddings and how I feel a wedding should be.

The hi fiving bride may not be into her man that much. what was important was not the solemnization of her marriage but people talking how good her wedding was.

That nyamazeni part was the best. Now thats someone who really wanted to get married.

Shiko-Msa said...

Greamze I'm looking forward to that post. Your take on weddings.

31337 said...

si the mamaa is getting married to the dude, this of her own volition i see not how she spends the day in the company of her friends instead of her and her husband being the focus of the event. dude should be most wary of her, he could be the token person that was chosen to make her a wife. full stop.

savvy said...

A husband who on his wedding day sneaks to do his port? That's one guy I'd avoid..

I dont know if the salt thing works, why not just drink anything at all? But then, she might just faint...

Have attended very few weddings myself..