Settling on a wedding theme that combines the tastes of the soon to be newly-weds while maintaining an air of clean elegance can be a nerving experience. What with magazines throwing our way phrases like “contemporary”, “rustic” and “vintage” themed affairs. It can get a little overwhelming. Not forgetting that everything has to fall into place within a not-so flexible set budget.
“There’s no place like home,” applies to weddings just as much as it does in any other setting. Africa is a continent famed not just for its landscape beauty but also for its diverse styles and unique designs. It screams of boldness and creativity and comes second to none in all matters festivities. Instead of racking your brains for western-inspired wedding ideas, why not look closer for a theme that will leave guests talking for months on end. Here is how:
Colour, Colour and more Colours
Nothing conjures up images of Africa faster than a vibrant mixture of colours. Don’t be afraid to mix and match warm and cold hues. Traditional wedding attires, inclusive of head gears are often a blend of different texture and colour co-ordinations.
Same goes for table settings, flower arrangements, centre pieces and the general décor. Don’t go overboard however. Just make sure that the shades flow seamlessly, lest you get heads spinning. And not in a good way.
Cue the Music
Wedding entertainment is serious business, especially in an African setting. Instead of the usual ballads most guests are used to sitting through, why not loosen things up via a selection of popular local and vernacular beats?
Nothing will get people on their feet faster than the sound of lyrics backed by African string and percussion instruments. If you can spare a few coins, hire an artist to entertain the guests throughout the reception. If you can spare more, throw in a whole band.
The merry-making can start right outside the bride’s doorstep. What’s more interesting watching guests jiggle and ululate as the bridal party makes its way to the church or garden, followed closely by kayamba and adeudeu maestros?
Dress to impress
If you want a full-on African-themed wedding, forget about the same old wedding gown. This is the perfect chance to play around with different design concepts. The door is open to experimenting with many prints, patterns and textures.
Think lesos, kanzus and vitenges. They can be tailored to perfection while incorporating hem and necklines preferred by the bridal and groom parties. Look to different cultures and the great African outdoors for inspiration and turn your wedding into a fashion show as well.
Keep the food and drinks flowing
Now we’re not talking about shrimps, salmon, pasta and some other fancy appetizers and mains. How about dishes sourced directly from within. Githeri, Mokimo, Nile perch, Ugali, traditional veges etc. This can be combined with other conventional meals. If this doesn’t suit you, perhaps the African theme can be maintained through use of traditional serving pots and calabashes. Also, isn’t a stand consisting of three or four hut-shaped cakes more eye catching than a three-tiered plain one?
Whether done on a grand scale or subtly, make your day a magical African affair to remember.