Our First Tanzanian Wedding

Earlier this month, we were asked to be honored guests at the wedding of the son of our very good friend, Seni. We have known Seni and his family since our arrival in Africa in 1997; our families have been friends and we have spent time in each other’s homes and shared many meals together.
It was a joy and a privilege to be a part of Alex and Aminatha’s wedding; our STL vehicle was decorated for the occasion. We were asked to be the transport for Alexx and his bride for the entire day. It was the longest wedding we have ever been involved in including our own!
We went to a designated location at 9:00 on Sunday morning to have our car decorated. By 11:00 we were at the church; the wedding service took place after the third service around noon.
We ate a late lunch at the groom’s home with 60-70 other people and slipped the bride and groom away to rest for awhile. Next came the picture taking which lasted until about 6:00pm.
There was a huge reception at the New Mwanza Hotel immediately after the pictures that lasted until about 10:30. We witnessed many Tanzanian customs as well as a number of tribal customs. There was much gift giving and speeches by both sides of the family and the bride and groom gave out gifts as well.
The day ended at about midnight when we arrived home after whisking the tired bride and groom away to a secret location known only to the groom’s parents.
Even though it was a long day; we enjoyed it immensely and learned new things about the people in Tanzania and their customs.
By the way, one of the customs that is very different from ours in America; the groom’s family pays for everything.

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