Some people Wed in church and go back home to a traditional wedding. What’s the need of wedding traditionally and also performing the White wedding?
These two are traditional weddings.
But before I go on, I’d like to define the word wedding.
Wedding is a marriage ceremony/ritual. Wedding is officially celebrating the beginning of a marriage.
What is a white wedding?
According to Wikipedia, “A white wedding is a traditional formal or semi-formal wedding originating in Britain. The term originates from the white color of the wedding dress, which first became popular with Victorian era elites after Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress at her wedding.” I’ll be happy to inform you that the white gown became a trend in 1840.
Before the coming of the white man and his colonialist mentality, if a man loves a woman all he had to do was do the necessary marriage rites as provided by custom and hold a feast before the people as witnesses to the marriage.
In the igbo community, the bride takes a cup of wine and goes in search of her husband-to-be in the crowd. Whoever she gives the cup of wine to automatically becomes her husband. He’ll dance back with her to the presence of her father who will in turn pour blessings on the couple and the people will seal it by saying ‘amin’, then they are pronounced husband and wife under the sun, before God and man. This is today what we call traditional marriage.
The Europeans when it comes to getting married, have their own customs and traditions one of which is the white wedding. The bride dresses in a white gown which in some cultures means purity of the soul. The couple stand before a high priest and say their vows, to take each other for better for worse to love and to cherish till death do them path. They wear each other rings and the priest pronounces them husband and wife before the congregation. The bride in a white wedding gown is presented with a veil upon her face. Ever wondered why? I’ll tell you.
According to Wikipedia “Veils covering the hair and face became a symbolic reference to the virginity of the bride thereafter. A bride may wear the face veil through the ceremony. Then either her father lifts the veil, presenting the bride to her groom, or the groom lifts the veil to symbolically consummate the marriage.”
The marriage vows exchanged in church today didn’t start from the Bible according to an article by BBC titled ‘Marriage and weddings’ (2009-06-23) ” Marriage vows, in the form “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”, have been recited at UK church weddings since 1552.”
It is obvious that all we hold dear and reverend above our traditional marriage is actually another man’s tradition.
Now that you are informed, the question is this, why would a couple after getting married on friday before the village, before mom and Dad who have the right to okay your marriage; go ahead to get married again on Saturday. Thereby nullifying the marriage sealed by their parents and the community.
Some people say its church wedding, that it’s the Christian way of getting married. Well, the truth is this: Christianity is following in Christ’s footsteps and obviously there’s no where in the Bible where a couple was wedded in church or had a white wedding. Remember where Jesus Christ performed his first miracle? Yes! It was at a wedding where he turned water to WINE. It was a traditional wedding not a church wedding.
There’s nothing like a Christian wedding or church wedding. As a matter of fact, marriage was just a civil institution till 3rd March 1547; around the 12th century when the Roman Catholic Church formally defined marriage as a sacrament, sanctioned by God. And we know that Christianity today in Nigeria and Africa has its roots from the Roman Catholic Church. So in essence, what we Africans call church marriage today is the European man’s traditional way of marriage instilled into us by him upon their arrival here as a way to wash away our traditions and customs.
Be advised that the early Europeans were not Christians especially the Britons. They had their own diety before they were inducted into Christianity by the Romans. That tradition entailed getting married before the high priest who bounds the hands of the groom and bride with a piece of cloth to show that they’ve been bound for life. Now when Christianity came into their lands, they replaced the high priest with a Roman Catholic priest and the piece of cloth became rings as the years rolled by.
These days most of these white Christians who brought the Christianity to us don’t even Wed in church again. They just rent a space and call a priest to officiate the marriage before some friends. Most marry behind their houses, on green lawns with white chairs.
I am not condemning the white wedding mind you, I’m just asking why we attach so much importance to another man’s tradition over ours. Why after getting married, we still go before a congregation again to say vows and wear rings when the most important tradition of showing the entire village your husband and taking direct blessings from your parents and elders has already taken place. Getting married again and saying vows again makes the traditional marriage a joke and vice versa.
I think we can still carry out the traditional wedding rites without need of the white man’s traditional wedding. And if need be, invite the priest or pastor of our church to come witness it. We need to find a way to balance the equation of marriage rites both the ones done in church and the traditional wedding.