Wedding planning

Engaged, now what?

The question ‘will you marry me?’ is one of the few questions most ladies wish to hear in their lifetime. The question, however, comes in so many ways. Sometimes it comes with the man going on one knee with a ring in his hand, some put the ring as a surprise in desserts, with a card or bouquet. There are some though who won’t be bothered, not that they don’t love you enough but it’s just not in them, their proposal comes as “I now want to see your aunt, ‘Tete’, so we can begin the marriage procedures.” However it comes, what’s important is that there is an indication that he wants to marry.

Obviously because of excitement, once engaged, you want to tell the whole world that finally, I am engaged. You sincerely hope that when the proposal comes the nails are properly manicured so you can post on every social media platform. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s your day, you deserve to be happy and share your happiness with the world! However, there’s more to life than posting pictures on social media. The real work begins.

Now in the Zimbabwean tradition, long back, the couple would go to the lady’s aunt, ‘Tete’, and they would exchange their clothes as a promise that they would marry each other. This tradition is no longer as popular as it was back then as sometimes the couple gets engaged first and goes to the Tete to ask for guidance on the marriage procedure. The Tete then informs the girl’s father that someone wants to come to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage. The father consults with his brothers and they give the future in-laws a date.

Lobola cake

Thereafter, the girls’ mother writes a list of the groceries that they would require from the son-in-law. On the set date, the in-laws are expected to come, and they negotiate the lobola. Traditions however differ, for some, the future in-laws get the list of the bride price beforehand, so they come prepared to negotiate, but for some, they get the bride price on the day of the lobola. If the couple would want to wed, the son in law asks for a wedding from the parents of the bride.

Sometimes if the money brought by the in-laws does not satisfy the girls’ parents, they may give a go-ahead to the wedding but give a condition that the in-laws bring a little bit more money to cover the remainder of the bride price before the wedding day. Once the parents give you the go-ahead to have the wedding, it is now time to start planning the wedding.

The first step would be to choose the venue as this would determine everything else from the date to availability of service providers. After choosing the venue, one can now choose the service providers, from the decor, catering to the MC, and the apparel to be worn by the bridal team. For those who might find it stressful to do all the planning, they might opt to hire a wedding planner.

The most popular norm, however, is to set up a wedding committee that has a few close relatives and friends who’ll manage the wedding planning up to the wedding day. Wedding planning can be fun if properly done and it can also be stressful if there is no support system in place.

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