Afrocentric (African Centered)Weddings: Don’t Be Slaves to Arab and European Cultures on Your Wedding Day Honor Your African Roots

Globally many Africans,people of African descent have identity crisis. This is to a larger extent connected to the psychological impact of Arab and European invasion.This slave mentality is evident in how Africans/ black people do things,especially when celebrating important events such as weddings.

Rituals reflect a peoples’ ancient culture even though sometimes they are refined to accommodate modern times. I have attended weddings of Indians ( South Asians) , Anglo-Americans etc their wedding gowns, the ceremonies in general reflect their religions and cultures.But for many Africans their rituals honor their enslavers depending on who oppressed them.

A large segment of Africans display their inferiority complex and lack of knowledge of self on their wedding day.Nigeria is a classic example to this practice, in the North weddings are Arab Muslim centered. West, South, East are predominately European Christian and Central ( my region) a mixture of European and Arab. Indigenous / traditional weddings are often frowned upon by both Muslims and Christians and labeled backwards.The Nigerian government hasn’t done much to protect the rights of its citizens that prefer traditional weddings.

Fortunately there are resistance from some Africans who see value in their culture. They refused to be watered down versions of Europeans and Arabs. Despite centuries of oppression, they have managed to retain elements of their Africaness. These Africans are on the continent of Africa, in countries such as Brazil, United States of America, Cuba etc.Below I will provide you with pictures, videos of actual weddings and ideas for those of you planning to get married in the future without abandoning your African heritage for foreign ones. May Mwari /Kpan Luh/ Su  lead your journey.

Weddings:

1. Afrocentric/ African-American bride

Bride and friends

The Bride Kim Walker and groom Gemaron Willis exchanging vows and jumping the broom.

The bride, Kim Walker, her gown was designed by Therez Fleetwood ( “Wedding gown style: inspired by ‘The Mother Land’ ” ) Pictures taken by Photographer: Tony Barreau – AVD dap @ Therez Fleetwood for the images see the link ?p=488

Guests

2.Ndebele bride of Southern Africa

3. Zulu bride

Guests

Bride and friends celebrating

4. African-American couple Kiwana and husband honoring their African roots on their wedding day. Read their story here afrobella-bride-kiwana dap@ Afrobella

Couple lighting African/black unity candles,  red ( the blood that our ancestors shed for us ),  black ( our race ) and green ( growth, wealth).

5. Afrocentric bride and groom looking amazing

6. Bride in Morocco

7. Model, actress, Yaya Dacosta marries movie director brother comrade Joshua Bee Alafia in an African centered wedding!

Yaya Dacosta and husband sharing a kiss.

Guests

8. Didier Drogba footballer from Ivory Coast marries the mother of his three children the beautiful Lalla Diakite in African traditional wedding, they’ve been together for 12 years (Pan-African love).

Didier Drogba in gold jewelry

9. Masai bride, East Africa dap@ lemerence-maasai-bride

10.Dudu and Lonwabo, Southern Africa, traditional wedding dap@ http://weddings-exclusive.blogspot.com/2011/09/president-zumas-daughter-traditional.html

11. Alicia and Olive an Afrocentric couple pouring libations at their wedding. Read their story here couple-celebrates-african-cultural-heritage-with-a-libation-ceremony-at-their-bohemian-chic-wedding

Bride and Groom happy as they can be! Eish …

12. Bride at her traditional wedding in Congo Brazzaville

13. Bride and Groom in Ivory Coast in their traditional wedding attires

14.Ethiopian traditional wedding, Teddy Afro and Amleset

© Teddy Afro

© Teddy Afro

© Teddy Afro

© Teddy Afro

15. Rwandan bride and groom in traditional wear

16. Cameroonian bride and groom in their traditional outfit

17. Acholi Ugandan bride in traditional wedding gown.

10. Diasporan Africans, bride and groom looking fabulous!

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11. Gambian bride and groom.

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12. Couple of African descent, killing it

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13.Ugandan bride and groom 

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14. Gabon couple enjoying each other at their wedding

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15. Zulu couple of Southern Africa
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16. African American couple honoring their African Roots  and of course looking amazingly beautiful! 

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17. Couple in Kente cloth enjoying each other!

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18. Ghanaian couple kissing it up!

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19. Shona South African couple loving it up and I love their print blocking:)
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Munaluchi-Siya-Lerato-Submission-5-400x600 Guest celebrating with the bride

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21. African couple with bridesmaid friends killed it

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22. Bride and groom with their guests in Eritrea

BcZnmQpCIAAOuGF23. Beautiful African bride and groom enjoying themselves. I really like the bride’s thread braids, murder!
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24. Nubian wedding in Kenya

Kenyan bride Nubian wedding, bbc newsGuest at Kenyan Nubian wedding

 

videos

1. Traditional wedding in Uganda. The bride and groom are showered with gifts, love and community celebration.

2. African-American, African centered wedding. Many meaningful symbols in this wedding, for example friends of the bride are holding the African fertility goddess (Akuaaba).

3. Traditional Senegalese wedding in the diaspora. Amazing dance, high fashion and community celebration.

4. Ghanaian Traditional Wedding….pouring of libations to the ancestors and words from elders.

5. Caribbean African Wedding…lovely!…

Exchanging symbols of love

1. Ring with Ankh engraved an ancient black African symbol of life.

2. You could also have custom made ring in a shape of an Ankh. Here is a link for those interested in having it.ankh-jewelry-large-ankh-ring-funky-brass

or check this link: 033010

3. The Yotti/ Bali people of Middle Belt Nigeria ( my ethnic group), couple exchange plain sliver, brass, or gold bracelet. The bracelet is called Nuburi, a symbol of love, life and continuity.

you can have it made here…collections_ww_bangles_01.html

4. Cowrie Shell with Adinkra symbol in the middle ( Cowrie is used for protection and the Adinkra symbol engraved is to remind you of God’s supremacy).

Ideas for Afrocentric wedding dress

1. Designs by Kimma Wreh. The sankofa symbol is embroidered on both the bride’s and groom’s outfit. See the link for more information: prweb271864.htm

2.

3.

4.

5. Kente print, wedding dress

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6. Loose dress for the bride and fitted up and down for the groom!

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7. Brides maid, in Kente prints…Got Melanin? 

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8. Fabric blocking bride and grown lock down!

africa-style

African theme wedding cake for those of you that like sweets

1. Ankara Wedding Cake ( designer unknown)

2.

3. Adinkra symbol Cake, origin Asanti Ghana, West Africa here is a link to help you with the meanings of the symbols West African Wisdom: Adinkra Symbols & Meanings

4.

5. Asanti Adinkra symbol

6.

7. Colorful African beads cake from Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

8.

9. Safari cake by Elizabeth Solaru this is part of her collection Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

10.

11.

12.

13.

14. Kente Cloth Wedding cake

15. Pestle and Mortar cake

16. African Bride gift box cake

17. Pot over fire cake

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Ideas for Decoration

1.

2.

3..

4.

5.

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For additional information:

How to incorporate libations in your wedding ceremony

1. Example, wedding of Penelope and Hamid, here is a link:interfaithwedding.htm

2. additional idea for libation, “American Weddings: An Afrocentric Libation Ceremony” : afrocentric-libation-wedding-ceremony.aspx?MsdVisit=1

Books/link

1. Jumping the Broom, Second Edition:The African-American Wedding Planner By Harriette Cole

2.Put Soul in Your Bridal Shower: The African American Bridal Shower Book By Tonya D. Evans

3. Follow this link to “I DO GH” :https://www.facebook.com/Idoweddingz for additional African especially Ghanaian wedding ideas. They are fantastic! Enjoy.

Note: Images and videos are not my personal properties.

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60 thoughts on “Afrocentric (African Centered)Weddings: Don’t Be Slaves to Arab and European Cultures on Your Wedding Day Honor Your African Roots

  1. Once again a fabulous informative blog that never fails to make one think about how we as a people are living in the 21 century and how we view and treat our God given blessings. I so look forward to receiving your blogs as they always make me feel proud to be a child of the Afrikan Diaspora.

    • Fam, Sunseekerzvq ,

      thank you for your words of encouragement, it is folks like you that make my little efforts worthwhile. I will continue to do my best by writing on topics that are important for our development holistically. May our ancestors continue to inspire us all, Ashe!

      Respect !

  2. i’m seeing this with my own two eyes yet people are claiming that scientifically we (black women) don’t get married and we aren’t the most desired in the eyes of black men.

    Are you kidding me?

    • @Fam Phoebeprunelle,

      real talk, thanks for the thoughtful remark,

      I don’t believe the hype. I listened to and read a number of articles on this topic…

      I read a piece a while back written by researcher at Howard University who provided us with statistics that black folks are getting married despite many challenges in our community and the American society as a whole.

      here is a video that I thought might be helpful ….interviews of black wo/men on the issue:

    • @ Sarah,

      thanks for stopping by and I am excited that this piece inspired you. People of African descent, black people worldwide are Africans ( some of the weddings I featured above are African Americans etc) and for non-blacks they too have much to learn from Africans….the world could be a better place if we open ourselves by learning from each other and this is one example! I hope you have the best African wedding!

      One !

    • Hey sis Elisa,

      its been a minute, I am thrilled that you guys enjoyed this piece and got ideas for your big day. Thank you for your encouragement, it means a lot to a sista! I will do my best to keep it awesome:) true talk.

      bless up!!!

    • Comrade Fifi,

      What a pleasure having you drop by, thank you for the cheer. As you know our community for the most part needs serious deconstructing and I am doing my part….real talk.

      Asanti Sana,

      Respect

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    • Greetings Barbara,

      it was my pleasure to share all of these images, articles and ideas in general! I hope you/we all fine them inspiring and empowering, there is nothing much more sad to me than to see blacks/ Africans globally abandoning their traditions in the name of “civilization” and “globalization”. Thankful there are those of us who are keeping the traditions going- may the stronger forces continue to guilde us all. Ase!

      Asante Sana ( thank you) for stopping by!

      Respect.

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  5. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful; it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

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  7. I would love to know who made wedding dress #5 ! It is very beautiful and I am interested in maybe ordering it from whom ever designed it. Is there any info on the designer?

  8. Hello,
    I studied at Howard University and the majority of my classmates were from Africa. I had the amazing opportunity to celebrate my ancestral traditions (that were not afforded to me being born and raised in America) with my classmates. I am so grateful that they freely shared their African traditions and culture with me. They helped me to realize what had been stolen from me so long ago. So, I absolutely love your website. Each wedding has brought tears to my eyes and I can’t wait to incorporate some of my original African tradition into my American wedding.
    KISSES

    • Sister Elonda,

      awwww thank you for the generous words. I am happy to hear that your HBCU experience at Howard was positive and partly impacted by your interaction with continental Africans. I am always happy to hear such peaceful and loving relationships between African Americans and continental Africans.

      Just so you know you are African in America and your/our heritage are with you. Granted slavery has done damage at thesame time we have retained so much of our Africanism. Some of the couple I featured are African Americans, so yes, you too can do it. I wish you a wonderful African centered wedding in America.

      lots of hugs from my side,

      Respect!

    • Cuz Princessladybriggs,

      Thank you for stopping by and enjoying yourself. Yes, our culture is inspiring, it was my pleasure putting this together so that we all can draw from the best of our African cultures and continue elevating it.

      bless up!

  9. Beautiful . But wrong information about Nigerians . Every nigerian who gets married has a traditional wedding . Each couple ends up having two ceremonies . They first get married traditionally and then the second marriage is done according to their religion. We have not lost our sense of tradition when it comes to weddings . It is still very much intact

    • Cuz Suwa, thank you for stopping by and for appreciating my work.
      What is “wrong information” in what I wrote about Nigerians? I pointed out that many Nigerians have colonial mentally, about many things and I noted wedding ritual is one of them. Many Nigerians have two weddings, traditional and the so called “religious”. The idea is that traditional wedding does not hold until they have the religious, which in essence what they are saying is that, the spirituality of their ancestors that is embedded in traditional wedding is inferior.

      one

    • please tell her cos the whole story about nigeria was not so true.. i am from aniocha delta state and its a must i do my traditional weather if not i wont be allowed to do a white wedding if i wanted to…i attend winners chapel and the requirements for a white wedding is to provide your customary marriage certificate or any evidence of your traditional wedding

      • Dear aniocha girl,

        I encourage you to read my article again and comments on this issue. Most Nigerians that are Christian or Muslim, their wedding is centered on their new religious identity.As a colonized people with identity crisis, they/we have two weddings because we considered one inferior. Traditional weddings are often see as “engagements” or “introduction” and the white wedding ( church) for Christians is seen as the real deal. It is unfortunate that, in a country where many are poor, folks waste their little resource only to have two weddings when they could simply have a traditional ceremony that reflects their ethnic identity.

        Since a few Nigerians commented on your concern, when I get a chance I will write a piece explaining traditional vs white wedding.

        have a good one,

        Yoknyam

  10. This is very beautiful! I’m from Dominican Republic and I’ve always dreamed of marrying an African prince from Cameroon or Congo. God’s plan had me falling in love with someone special from Eastern Europe and we are now engaged and planning our wedding. How does one even begin to honor one’s African ancestry along with incorporating some Belarussian traditions? Any ideas will be greatly welcomed. Thanks a bunch.

  11. Hello Cuz Anna,

    njika ( thank you in Bali language of Cameroon and Nigeria) for appreciating my work. I am sorry to hear that you did not get your Cameroonian or Congolese prince, but I am glad that you found someone that hopefully you could share your African heritage with. I think the best way to incorporate Belarussian and “African” traditions is to start by asking yourselves what exactly is it that we both value. E.g colors? dressing style? symbols? African traditional religious rituals? music etc…

    Maybe you could use fabrics from both cultures to custom made your wedding dress and the groom’s suit etc. Feel free to use any of the pictures I posted for ideas. And have yourself a lovely wedding and a wonderful respectful marriage.

  12. This is wonderful, i just want to correct you for saying Nigerians have adopted the foreign tradition over ours, that’s not true, although muslims here get married in the islamic way and christians too get married in the church but we all have traditional weddings where we dress in our ‘iro and buba’ (yoruba tribe) and other tribes wear their traditional attires too, in fact that is done first before the white wedding or Nikkah and it’s compulsory. you can check our “wedding digest Nigeria” or “African Wedding Magazine” om facebook to confirm. We Nigerians value or traditional wedding, i am a Nigerian not living in Nigeria, i look forward to my traditional wedding more than the church wedding, it’s beautiful and colorful.
    Sorry for my story, lol….i love this blog. subbing right away.
    Cheers

    • Greetings Sister Hannah,

      thank you for stopping by and for appreciating my work.
      Another Nigerian also protested my reflections, here is my reply,
      ” I pointed out that many Nigerians have colonial mentally, about many things and I noted wedding ritual is one of them. Many Nigerians have two weddings, traditional and the so called “religious”. The idea is that traditional wedding does not hold until they have the religious, which in essence what they are saying is that, the spirituality of their ancestors that is embedded in traditional wedding is inferior.”

      LOL, it is okay! I am thrilled to read that you enjoyed this article. Have a lovely day.

      One!

      • that is not true… your traditional wedding comes first before the white wedding… no church is suppose to join you if they do not see the evidence that your both parents have consented…. you surely have to provide them with your traditinal marriage details no matter how small the ceremony was

  13. this page is amazing i’m in love with it please continue to post more african and Caribbean wedding and traditions.

    • Yem yo fam Kevin,

      I am happy to read that you enjoyed this entry! I will continue to keep it interesting and well researched, serving our community with positive empowering work. Wishing you success in all of your doings.

      One!

  14. pls accept and correct ur notion abt nigerians, u cant have any oda wedding except the traditional one takes place first. regards

    • greetings,

      I would suggest that you read the article again. Other Nigerians protested my argument, here is my reply,
      ” I pointed out that many Nigerians have colonial mentally, about many things and I noted wedding ritual is one of them. Many Nigerians have two weddings, traditional and the so called “religious”. The idea is that traditional wedding does not hold until they have the religious, which in essence what they are saying is that, the spirituality of their ancestors that is embedded in traditional wedding is inferior.”

      thank you for stopping by:)

  15. Wow! Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I think I want to get married. My home is decorated in African prints, lovely painting depicting Africans. I love your site! Keep up the good work and I will be sharing it with my family and friends. Now I’m going to search for my King/Groom!

    • Greetings Sister Talibah,

      I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this piece! Thank you for the words of encouragement. Wishing you a pleasant day and bless up as you “search” for your King!! It is a beautiful thing:)

      with love

  16. How am I just discovering this? I’m one of the brides featured in your article. I’m glad to see my and husband’s wedding inspiring others. Thanks for highlighting us. All the pictures you have featured are simply wonderful. I hope people see they can add as much as their heritage to their special day as they can. It can be small, intimate touches.

    • Dear sister Kiwana,

      thank you so much for sharing your Afrocentric wedding with the world. You and your husband looked fantastically beautiful. I hope you are enjoying marriage despite its ups and downs.
      Njinka (thank you)

  17. Wow, these are great awakening and inspiring photos…my first choice of wedding attire and cake if a wedding came knocking by! Niwega!

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