Traditional Wedding

African wedding. Umembeso . Venda takes Zulu


Traditional Wedding ceremonies in South Africa are not only deeply rooted in the countries respect for family and culture but are also a celebration of tribal identity with lots of food, entertainment and beautiful African wedding Attire and decor. 

What is a Traditional African Wedding ceremony ?

Marriage is something that is highly valued in the African culture. When a woman gets married the entire community rejoices with her with a pre planned Traditional Wedding Ceremony.

The are various cultures and tribes in Africa so Traditional Wedding customs vary by the greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, and social classes.

A traditional African wedding ceremony is an event where a union of marriage between two people is celebrated following relative traditional customs.

When the union is between 2 cultures, the 2 families will sit down and discuss and agree how the process will be carried out.

Most  traditional Afican wedding ceremonies are public proclamation of the union of marriage will usually involve an exchange or presentation of a gifts. Special Traditional Wedding Dresses are often worn, and most if not all African Traditional wedding cultures, the ceremony is always followed music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony.


Who pays for what in a traditional African wedding ceremony, ?

The division of costs varies between couples. The cost of a traditional wedding event depends on many factors and this can be adjusted according to your budget however, gifts to the grooms family will be paid for by the brides family and vise versa. The groom may also offer to pay for the brides dress and make-up, as well as the decor and logistics like transport etc..the bride may assist whenever she can. This is subject to discussion between the couple and their families.

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Who sets the date for the Traditional Wedding Ceremony?

Traditional wedding events are normally conducted during weekends when most of your invited guests would be able to attend, but before you set out to consider a suitable day for your Traditional Wedding Ceremony,  you may need to consider the following factors : 

Your Schedule

Depending on your career, children's school schedule, planned vacations, and other scheduling considerations, you'll likely have dates that are just out. Block those out before you start considering dates.


Unless your traditional wedding ceremony is conducted at your home of your partners home, the availability of your traditional wedding venue will determine your traditional wedding date. 

Schedule of your guests

Quite obviously the most important people at your wedding are you and your spouse-to-be, but you’ll want to ensure you pick a date on which all or most of your VIPs are available. If one of your cousins is getting married on the other side of the country, try to consider a date which will not clash with your to avoid competing for guests and the inconveniences related to that kind of scenario.


It is not usually advisable to marry near or on a holiday like Christmas where your friends and family may have travelled. Families are often very busy around Christmas and food and venue prices skyrocket. Some venues are also fully booked at this tome of the year and it may be very difficult to find bookings for your Traditional Wedding Ceremony. Tying the knot around holidays like workers day in South Africa can be a good deal for marrying couples. If you are on a tight budget, you can often get a better price for a venue on a Sunday.

With all this in mind, both families can meet to discuss and agree on a suitable Traditional Wedding Date.


What to wear to a traditional African Wedding

Bride and Groom

If you are the bride or groom, you need to plan your outfits well in advance. Most African wedding dresses are custom made so after agreeing on your outfits, you need to find a good and reliable tailor. There is a common risk of not having your outfits ready by the day of your traditional wedding. A common rule of the thumb when it comes to your Traditional Wedding Attire is to make sure your outfits are finalised and ready a month before your date.

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If you are attending a traditional African wedding event, do your best to find out if they have a theme. Africans commonly like to represent their own culture so if you are Xhosa and you are invited to a Ndebele Wedding, you do not necessarily have to find a Ndebele outfit, it is quite appropriate to wear your own cultural theme, as long as it is African inspired, it will usually blend in with the theme. 

As a quest, you need to be a bit cautious with your outfit not need to necessarily outshine the bride, look elegant but to your best to tone down your outfit.

Mother of the Bride African Dresses



Mother of the bride African Dresses

Almost similar to the bride, the mother of the bride will be in the spotlight and will need to stand out. Find an elegant Mother of the Bride African Outfit Outfit that will blend well with your culture, style and personality. You may consider an elegant and glamorous head gear for a doek, this depends on how you want to put your outfit together. Plan and prepare your outfit as well as your partners well before the day of the Traditional Wedding Ceremony