HAVING a wedding in your home country is always fun and exciting. Planning is easier, you are well known and all the childhood friends will be in attendance to see you say goodbye to being single.
They say no place is like home. No matter how bad things might be at home your heart will always be there.
One might go for greener pastures to work in another country but their heart, character, mind will always be that of their country of origin.
I have heard about this statement so many times, that when you go to a foreign land the least person to create friendship with is your fellow Zambian.
In the wedding industry we have a different story to tell because the best friend you can have is your fellow Zambian.
Planning a wedding in a foreign land is not easy because you cannot do it alone or incorporate the foreigners who do not understand the culture values which play a vital role in the Zambian wedding etiquette. Some Zambian brides and grooms decide to come back home and have their nuptials.
Many friends will be in attendance, although if you do not coordinated the planning back home well then your vision might be misunderstood.
The whole wedding might not be as you would have planned to have it, but if you use a wedding planner or people you can trust, the wedding can be memorable.
If you decide to have your nuptials in South Africa or United Kingdom the Zambian community is there to help you put up a kitchen party and wedding celebration which will not only be memorable but will bring the Zambian culture right where you are. If people don’t forget where they came from it is good for the country and the future generation will know about their country of origin.
I spoke to some wedding planners and brides who have had their wedding away from home and I believe this is worth sharing with you.
You might be a bride in a foreign land. This is not a wedding for multicultural or mixed blessings but both parties are Zambians.
There are so many ways of going to South Africa just like there are so many ways of killing a rat. Others prefer by road while others love to fly the right way not the fliers by night that is wrong mode of transport as it is illegal both in heaven and on earth.
Now we are in South Africa enjoying the wedding of our beloved brothers and sisters.
A committee is put in place to oversee all the planning process. It comprises of twenty members mainly.
Their role is to find a venue which will leave a lasting impression and they pay deposit to secure the date of the function.
The preferred venues are wedding halls reason being that they are good for sound purposes, being in a foreign land you don’t want to have a function outdoor.
The local inhabitants might not like the noise and being a group of foreign nations at a function you just have to keep it low.
Making noise quietly and enjoying every moment in it. Indoor functions are good for parking slot as the space will be enough for everyone and for security reasons.
The guest list is 150 Zambians, but sometimes two to three foreigners might be invited, those from work places or even in the neighbourhood.
The money the committee contribute goes towards the venue, food, drinks, décor and music. The food menu is optional one might prefer a three course meal but Zambian dishes are available within reach.
You might wonder how the Zambian dishes are prepared in South Africa, this is a strictly Zambian function.
The committee, chef, decorator, matron and DJ are strictly Zambians who are making their nation proud.
For such dishes to be available and served it means that we are proud of our home made dishes, they are unique and our grandmothers took time to teach our mothers who later passed on to us how to prepare these unique dishes.
Chikanda, mabisi, munkoyo and nshima how we can’t do without them they so important to us just like the days of our lives.
The three course meal is mainly served when the venue hired is a hotel. They have their rules and regulations when it comes to food and a standard they follow.
Above they can’t really prepare our dishes the way we do it, traditionally made not modernisation touch added.
The dates of the kitchen parties and wedding are put in such a way that people have money, got paid.
So the date of functions is just after the month end.It gives the invited guests enough time to plan what they will buy.
The weddings back home take placeduring the pick month, festive seasons and at the beginning of the year when people are paying bills.
Give them a breathing space because school fees verses wedding or kitchen party gift of course the first priority will be school fees.
Be wise and select a date which is not full of bills, the beginning of the year is always tricky.
The bride prepares a gift list and on the invitation card the name of the shop where she will take the gift list is indicated.
When organising kitchen parties, a committee is put in place to organise also, the Zambian drummers are there in South Africa to give the invited guests that beat which will make them rise from their seats.
The invited guests asks beforehand who the matron is. The matrons (aka ba matroni) are crowd pullers, some guests will attend only because they love how the matron performs her role and others just to please her that they attended the function.
There is one thing which has become common among Zambians, they don’t stick to time, poor time management.
They have taken this attitude to South Africa. Instead of starting at 14:00 hours which is indicated on the card, they start at 17:00 or even 19:00 hours. Weddings and kitchen parties which have beer are highly attended. They love buzz.
The Zambian community in the UK have their own Zambian drummers, matrons and MC. The committee also makes the contribution to be used at the functions.
During the kitchen party the bridal party dances as the groom makes his grand entrance to bring a bunch of roses and fruit basket.
This style has become so popular with the Zambian kitchen party. So who took this to the diaspora or who brought this from the diaspora to here.
Invitation cards are given but the Zambians are excited to attend a home inspired wedding and kitchen party.
The invitation are given but the function ends up being an open invitation to accommodate the Zambian community.
All we can say is this invitation is slowly turning into word of mouth. As soon as they hear that their fellow Zambian is getting married they attended. The program is just the same as it is here.
The Zambian community is huge everywhere and so even if you decide not to bring your wedding here home, the Zambians where you are will make your wedding memorable.
Each town has Zambian matrons available to make your nuptials memorable. You can hire them or use the matrons and drummers who are based here in Zambian, many brides do this also.
It is not a must that you should use the committee based there, matrons, drummers, mc can be called from Zambia to take up these roles.
Such happening are what bring people together and strengthen family and inhabitants relations.
I am only a phone call and email away from you.
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