Not every bride wakes up on her wedding day with a toe that matches her wedding colours pink of every shade, cream and a bit of purple. Well today is the big day that I have been anticipating my whole life, or at least the last half of it. Today is the day I get married. And all is going great aside from the broken toe.
Neema went to get her hair done early this morning. As I started to wonder around the house I looked out the door and saw something strange. At further investigation I found a gate covered in balloons, ribbons and huge sign reading “Congratulations Jenny and Bariki”. It was done by the German girls and the Finnish dentist from next door. It made me smile, what a great gift. And we have everyone coming here for 10:30 to take some pictures before the ceremony.
Having Bariki see me for the first time was everything I could have hoped for. He said I looked beautiful and he felt as though he could cry. African men DO NOT cry. So the thought of it made me happy. I have never been so hot in my life as I was today. It had to have been at least 30 above. My poor husband sat all day outside under a covering at least in a three piece suit. I only had to wear a 20 lbs dress.
After pictures in the morning Bariki had to go back to his house for a blessing from his family. This gave me a chance to breathe and cool down. Cool down meant a fan on full and me lifting my dress. Yes we have pictures. Some final preparations and touch ups and the word came that the car was here to pick me up and Bariki was waiting for me at the church. I was still totally calm till I walked through the gate and saw the wedding car all my bridesmaids and groomsmen (which play a very different role here then they do back home) and a 7 or 8 person brass band. Then my throat hit my stomach and I was nervous. I got in the car, the band started playing and the bridal party started to dance around the car. Yes dance. I felt excited, overwhelmed, nervous and a little scared. I was getting married and I had a parade to prove it. The parade included a vehicle for my family, my car, a truck for the brass band and finally a safari van with the roof up for all 12 of my bridal party. People lined the road and cheered and I was off on my 1 minute 30 second drive to the church give or take a few seconds.
At the church there was more trumpet playing, more dancing around the car, the veil went over my face so no one could see me and then it was time. We proceeded to the door of the church all together, had a bible reading then in went everyone and my dad walked me down the aisle. At the front my mom joined us and both my parents gave me away to the man of my dreams. The ceremony was long and a little boring to be honest, but when the time came my super quiet, super shy fiancé spoke out his vows really clear, really loud and in perfect English. I was so proud of him.
After the ceremony we had to rush a parade of vehicles and people again to his house where they did a blessing for us. Then it was a quick ride to the reception. The decorating at the reception was really beautiful, a whole crap load of pink but beautiful none-the-less. The reception was very different than any I had seen before. There was Champaign for us and everyone else had to walk by us and clink our glasses. Then a member of each family had to introduce all the important people that were there from each side. We then had the cake ceremony, first the 5 tier cake and then the two goats.
Even the gift giving is very different. When it is time for the gift giving at the wedding everyone brings up the gifts individually via dancing. That’s right in order to bring up a gift and shake our hands you had to dance your way to the front. Some traditional dancing took place and some all out just for fun dancing to African Music. Then it was 7:30 at night and I was exhausted. The reception started at 3 I should probably add and by 7 it is totally pitch dark.
So exhausted, over heated, and don’t forget with a broken toe we headed off to the hotel where we would spend the night. And the rest is none of your business...