Over the years, the popular trend has been that lobola is paid first, then the son-in-law asks for a wedding from the bride’s parents. After approval, a date is set, and the date may range from three months to even a year from the lobola date. This has been done for planning purposes since weddings are expensive, there must be planning and coordination for the day to be a success. However, of late, there has been a new trend, whereby people now have the lobola proceedings done in the morning and the wedding in the afternoon. Yes, you must be financially strong and have a very reasonable family to accept this. One of the couples who did this is Tinotenda and Shadreck Kamhuka.
The first thing is to get approval from the parents, particularly from the bride’s side because they are the ones who grant the blessing of the wedding. This means that the lobola list should have been given the in-laws some time before the big day so that they come prepared, such that on the day of lobola, there aren’t many negotiations it’s just the proceedings going on.
The next step would be to go the Magistrate’s, to check in the system if you are both single and do not have any pending issues in terms of marriage. Tinotenda and Shadreck paid $20 RTGS then they were given the wedding banns. The wedding banns are then given to the marriage officer who will publish them in church for three consecutive weeks before the wedding.
Now one would ask what about the venue, time management, and movements from the house to the venue? Well for Tino and Shadreck, it was very easy, they had the wedding at Tinotenda’s family backyard and the décor had already been done by the bride. The lobola negotiations began at 10 am, and the wedding at 2 pm.
From this wedding, it seems to be all pretty much straight forward. Lobo-weddings work especially for those who prefer small weddings. You must have proper coordination of everything and a strong support system so that everything goes according to plan and smoothly.
When I did a mini-survey on how people felt about combining the two, the majority was for the idea. However, some had their reservations with fear of disappointments. We’ve heard several stories of men who never showed up for the lobola, so you can now imagine after having done both lobola and wedding preparations and invited people then the groom doesn’t show up, it would be a disaster.
Some were also worried about the cost factor because the main reason behind having a few months between the lobola and the wedding is for people to plan while raising money to cover the costs for the day.
Times are changing and so are trends. When having a wedding, do what you can afford and do not be forced into doing what you do not like based on circumstances. If it is a big wedding you have always dreamed of, go ahead and take your time to plan. If you are for smaller weddings, go ahead and do so. The most important thing is to get joined with your loved one in holy matrimony. My pastor always says, a wedding only needs the marriage officer, two witnesses, the bride and groom. What matters is the marriage certificate which marks the beginning of our happily ever after.