in my culture we dont necessarily wait for the man to ask you to marry him. during the course of the relationship you discover whether yo mate is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. as a couple you begin to discuss marriage and when your man feels he is ready to marry,you will begin your planning for the traditonal marriage.
wth my FI we realised we wanted to b together frm the on set. we started our marriage arrangements by introductions. he introduced me to his family and i introduced him to mine. these introductions began this yr. so far we have byn to see my grandparents, my parents, my aunt & uncle(mom's brother and wife). from his side we met his aunt(his dad's sister). oh we also went to see my aunt(dad's sister).
wat happens is the most important introduction is my FI's to my aunt(dad's sister) since she will be the one with a big role. she will introduce him to my parents and b4 the the bride price is paid she will introduce accompany me to see his parents and to their house. this visit was done originally so that if the bride is not pleased by the way of living at her fiance's hse she cld refuse to marry him(ofcourse that's not the case with us).its formality so we have to do it. so right now thats the next stage in our arrangments, im going to meet my future inlaws nxt month. i admit im a bit nervous.i will be accompanied by two of my aunts.
two weeks later my fiance will come pay the bride price... at this stage the whole family gathers for this event. for others this is the only wedding they will have but for us we are going to have a white wedding as well. the brides aunts and uncles from both the mother's and father's side will be present. i come from a big family so im sure we will have a full house....this event takes place at the bride's home. the groom will come wth his father, uncles and a representaive who will be communicating wth the father and uncles. the father and uncles will choose one of their own to be thier representative who will b speaking on behalf of them.
the groom will pay a bride price asked for by the father and uncles. this will be, money & cattle. money for the bride, money and grocery for the mother and on cow. the groom will be given a list by the mother and father of the items of clothing they require it is usually, a designer suit and hat for the mother. a suit and hat for the father.the groom may pay all the bride rice at once depending on how much he has and wat he is charged.BUT every thing that the mother asks for HAS to be paid. since she is very important and an important part of the raising of the bride
the MOTHER will share a small part of the money wth her sisters. some of it she will use to buy herself inner garments...lol .....coz they say she lost a lot of bras and panties, they got bigger and worn out when she was pregnant so she will be replacing that.
the FATHER will aslo give a small part of his money to his brother's and sons who would have been present. the bride's parents will then decide how to spend the restof their daughter's bride price.
the Bride will share her money wth her sisters who wld have been present. the rest of the money she will use to buy her self a suitcase, a pair of sheets and for some shona cultures ,kitchen stuff.the suitcase is the one she will pack her clothes and personal staff whn she goes to her husbands. traditionaly the bride bought the sheets because she ddnt know where she would sleep and the condition of the place when she went to her husband's house.its an old tradition but its done for the novelty of it.lol.
after the paying of the bride price and the negotiations the groom and some of his uncles who would have been outside while the negetiator pays will then enter the house and there will be a celebration....lots of food,drinks and the party begins
after this whole process,the groom can take his bride because traditionally you will be husband and wife. this traditional marriage is just a way for the groom to apprecitate the brides parents and a way of joining two families into one.
for my FI and i we will start staying together after our white wedding
we finally decided on a venue. its a farm house 20km from the city center. its a beautiful garden with lots of parking.they provide decor,tables and chairs, the maquee and lining . everything is provided for except a caterer. we had to outsource for that.