African Tribal Weddings

Most people marrying in Africa will include their heritage within it, including lots of different and strange traditions, and wearing beautiful wedding dresses that are bright and colourful. Generally the marriage is not between the bride and groom but is a bonding of two families, and marriage in Africa is taken very seriously indeed. Here are some traditions that you may or may not have heard of and why they are done during African wedding ceremonies.

Tying The Knot – In some African tribes it is tradition for the bride and groom to have their hands tied together with cloth and some braided glass, which is to represent their unity. It is more common now for couples to have a close friend or family member to do the tying of the knot as the vows are being spoken.

 

Jumping The Broom – This is one of the better known traditions which originates, supposedly, from the slave trade where slaves were forbidden to get married, so instead made a public declaration of love by jumping over a broom to the beat of drums. It is a symbol of them making a home for themselves, and has been a tradition for hundreds of years. These days the brooms are hand crafted and have patterns of pictures neatly carved into them, and the event happens at the very end of the ceremony. People like to take the broom home and hang it or have it framed to show others.

Liberation Ceremony – A ceremony that is the same as normal but is geared towards ancestry and relatives that have been and passed on. Couples will pour alcohol or holy water onto the ground as prayers which are supposedly to reach the spirits of their loves ones. It is to honour past family members as much as it is a union on the couples loves for one another.

 

Koala Nuts – Steady on, it’s not what you think it is. These nuts are essential to any African wedding. They are a symbol of healing and the ceremony, in Nigeria at least, is not finished until a nut is shared between the couple and their parents. Just like with the broom couples they like to keep the nut as a sort of showcase to other people, and as a reminder of their vows and their love for each another.

Bright Wedding Attire – Not followed by all but by most, African women wear brightly coloured and patterned clothing to represent what area they come from, and most have Adinkra symbols stitched into them as a show of tradition and ancestry. The symbols represent different ideas among the people, and all have their own meanings. For example, the love heart symbol represents patience and tolerance within the relationship.

 

Cowrie Shells – Much like a symbol, these indigenous shells represent fertility and prosperity and are round in shape with a teeth-like opening. They can be used in any part of the ceremony such as decoration on a dress, used as serving bowls for food or just sat on tables as centre pieces.

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Styles Of Wedding Dresses

The Mermaid or Trumpet Wedding Dress

This is a fairly common type of dress in which the bottom of the gown flares out in the shape of a trumpet. It is designed to create the illusion of the top half of your body looking curvier and is more suited to hour glass and rectangular shaped women. However this dress is not suited to women with a shorter stature at this can make you seem to lose even more height.

The A-Line or Princess Wedding Dress

A dress that is not only stunning to look at but is also the most sought after. The main components to this dress are its use of a corset style bust with a large and wide skirt which are normally made with different materials (ie. A satin corset paired with a lace skirt). This flattering dress shape balances out top heavy shapes and helps hide some tummy bulge, which means it is suited to most body shapes.

The Empire Wedding Dress

With a typically high waistline seam just underneath the bust and its long flowing skirt, you can see why this dress is not only popular with smaller chested women but also women who are pregnant. As the seam is just under the bust it makes your bust look larger and hides any slight lumps or bumps from the tummy downwards. This style tends to suit more triangular and pear shaped women.

The Sheath/Column Wedding Dress

As you may be able to tell from the name of this dress it runs vertically all the way down from top to bottom with generally no flaring. You have to be happy with your figure to pull this dress off as its body hugging shape means it is more suited to rectangular and slimmer hourglass body shapes. It can also be a great dress for more vertically challenged ladies as it can accentuate your height. With an added pair of heels this dress would look stunning on any shorter lady.

The Ball Gown Wedding Dress

Also known as the fairy-tale dress, this is yet another popular choice among today’s brides to be. It is called the ball gown dress as they are rather extravagant, with the skirt coming right out from the waist and creating a rather “Disney” feel without being too over the top. Again, most body types will suit this dress however it would possibly be just a little too much for shorter ladies.

The Vintage Wedding Dress

These dressed tend to have sleeves rather than straps, ranging from shoulder length to long sleeve. This type of style dress is a rather niche market but does seems to be making a comeback. They tend to be a little more lace based rather than silk; so if you are after something more traditional, simple and cost effective then this may be the type of dress for you.

Alternative Wedding Dresses

If you are the less traditional type of gal and would like a style that is out there and different then you may want to have a look at some alternative dresses. These can come in all shapes and colours to suit your needs and are a great way to show off individuality on your special day. The sky is the limit with this kind of dress as it can be anything you want it to be, however this can be very costly so only choose this kind of dress if you are willing to empty your whole wallet for it.

The Short Wedding Dress

Nearer the summer time this style of dress can be a really good choice. Not only that but they are less hassle to wear and are more comfortable than other types of dress. A popular look for this dress is to have it strapless and with a slightly flowy skirt and looks rather charming. It is more suited to slimmer brides who are more of an hourglass or a pear shape who don’t mind showing off their legs.

The ‘Traveller’ Wedding Dress

I would only suggest getting a dress like this if you are yourself a traveller, either that or you have no card limit and like things to be big bright and bold. These dresses are certainly a sight to behold and are a step up from the previously mentioned Ball Gown. You normally have to pay to get these sort of dress handmade and to exact specifications rather than in any wedding shop as they usually have to spend days sticking all kinds of fake (and even real) jewels on them. Famously the model Jordan (otherwise known as Katie Price) got married in one of these style dresses to the singer Peter Andre.

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Ugliest Wedding Dresses

On your perfect day you want everything to go according to plan. Maybe you ordered a dress online and are getting it just before the wedding or you are being given one by a family member as it has been passed down for generations. The last thing you want however is for it to be the most hideous, awful and down right disgusting thing you have ever seen in your entire life. Well some poor women have to wear these crimes against nature (although in some cases these nutters wear them willingly and actually talk quite highly of them) so here is a select few to get you gasping and curling your toes.

To be fair if I had a rack like that I’d want to be showing it off, maybe not quite like this mind..

Less a dress, more a statement.

I suppose it’s not too bad… if you are a 5 year old obsessed with Disney that is.

As much as I know these aren’t being worn for a wedding, they’re still being worn in this photo which means it is still a crime.

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Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings

Kate Middleton and Prince William

Obviously with them being royalty you would expect a wedding like this to be fairly expensive, well try over £22 million. That’s right! The tax payers money went towards police protection throughout the entire event which was in its millions. The most expensive part of the wedding? The dress? No. The venue? No. Flowers. You heard me correctly, over £500,000 on flowers alone! Most people could argue that these 2 fine royals don’t count as celebrities, but seems as they are known worldwide and are in every magazine you see I think we can definitely count them in.

Liza Minnelli and David Gest

Possibly one of the most famous weddings in celebrity history. Costing a whopping $4.2 million this wedding was one of the most expensive non royal weddings in history. Over 1000 star studded people were invited to the event (including the likes of Michael Jackson, Anthony Hopkins and Diana Ross), but it was all in vain as the couple separated only a year later. It was even rumored that Gest managed to get around $60 million out of their divorce, $55.8 more than the wedding itself!

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Remember these two? I think we can all remember how tedious their marriage was. Also costing $4.2 million their wedding was the most expensive British celebrity wedding. They rented out a castle to be their wedding venue of choice and they even treated their guests to a luxurious yacht ride after the initial ceremony. All manner of A listers attended the former Beatles singer’s special day, but their marriage came to an abrupt and rather venomous end in 2008, starting a lengthy court case over money. Who said romance was dead?

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3 Best Wedding Movies

Bridesmaids

This film is not your average romantic comedy with lots of soppiness (well it is, but only a little), but it is mostly made up of some seriously side splitting comedy. The best character by far being Megan who is a slightly larger lady with a sizeable libido, spending the entire film stealing and and flirting with slim younger men. If you haven’t seen it yet then I urge you to go do so as this is one of the funniest wedding films you will ever see. It may even remind you of a wedding you’ve been to yourself!

I Give It A Year

Yet another romantic comedy with a twist, you start with a marriage and end in divorce (don’t worry there is still a happy ending!). It’s set in good old Blighty, London to be exact, and a couple get married after only knowing each other for a few months. It is clear they are both very different people and throughout the film they slowly fall in love with other people. Sounds depressing but the comedy is so good it makes light of it all and the film ends on a high note when they both get the people they wanted. It is a fantastic film with an all star cast, what more could you want?

The Wedding Planner

In comparison to the other two films, this one is a little mushier. Jennifer Lopez (Mary) is a busy wedding planner who finds herself caught in the road, but wanting to save her expensive shoes she almost gets run over. Thankfully she is saved by the gorgeous Matthew McConaughey (Steve) who is a children’s doctor. They spend a wonderful evening together, but the next day when she turns up to plan a new wedding she is shocked to find that the person getting married is Steve! They spend the rest of the film winding each other up but eventually (as all love films do) they get together. Aww.

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