By Buhlebenkosi Sibanda
Traditional wedding dresses as we think of them today, mostly in Southern Africa include African attires accessorized with colourful beaded necklaces and bracelets. This tradition, like many others, is not static and unchanging, or very old. The styles and colours of wedding dresses vary according to the fashions of the time, and the culture in which the wedding is taking place.
Today’s weddings have evolved due to factors like globalization and modernization and are stacked with traditions acquired from families, social orders, and customs. Personalization is a standout amongst the clearest trends in contemporary weddings, with brides and grooms now valuing the adaptability to mould weddings that are unique to them. Couples of various ethnic, national, and religious legacies are likely to arrange weddings that blend and respect their individual beliefs and preferences. Modern brides still enjoy finding unique ways of incorporating these items into their special day.
It is difficult to hold on to traditions over time. However, because traditions define a people at a given time and place, learning about them is both interesting and necessary. On 22 December 2018 Ratidzo Makumbe and Wilfred Nyarugwe, proved the truth in this by adopting fresher takes on older customs to keep up with the modern-day development and ideas. They exercised their creative license and went on with the Indian dress theme for their wedding. After 12 years, the couple opened a new chapter of their love story whose setting began a day after her birthday in Vilanculos, Mozambique when he knelt with one knee and made her cry tears of joy, giving us a story to tell today.
When asked why the Indian dress theme she said” I wanted something unique and different from the usual African attires. I didn’t know what I was going to wear, so in discussion with hubby on what I could wear, that would be long and fit for the occasion, he suggested why not go Indian? I liked the idea very much (Indian attires are beautiful by the way) and we went with the Indian dress theme.”
And yes, it was remarkably unique as she wore a loud red and gold, classic sari made of silk that wrapped her on the body in countless ways. Bridal accessories can sparkle the whole look that’s why the bride made sure hers were fully on point. Starting with the Maang Tikka, a gold chain running down the parting of the hair and a pendant sitting on the forehead, the Bindi mark, which was purposely known as an indication that one is married, although lately it is perceived as a birthmark worn by women of all ages.
Also, she had a stunning neckpiece, armbands blending in well with the rest of the outfit, and the mehndi, the hand art form. A girl can forget to eat but she cannot forget a red lipstick and eyebrows on fleek to complete the whole look. Moreover, her girls supported her by dressing accordingly and helping her prepare for the big day. On the other hand, the groom, his team, and the rest of the family wore suits with the sari, pocket squares, symbolizing Westernisation and how cultures nowadays blend in, making it hard to hold on to traditions over time.
It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, you surely have fantasized at least once about how your wedding day would be, and most of the decisions about decoration, food, music, and location have already been made in them. Their wedding was unique classy and intimate. So to make sure everything was to be perfect, they chose their home, free of charge, and was good enough to capacitate the targeted guests. The decoration gave their guests a WOW factor. It was a creative seating pattern made sure to leave a lasting first impression as it was done to match the brides’ dress. We all know wedding guests like to be fed well, thus the bride and her team started the menu preparations, the day before, to meet up the expectations, and meals were served the buffet style.
Lastly, for future brides, Ratidzo’s advice is that “do what you want, not what others deem fit for the occasion. It’s your day, don’t be afraid to be unique, but within your means of cause.”