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A Traditional Zulu Wedding

Zulu Traditional weddingAs you know this blog is dedicated to embracing and celebrating a variety of exquisite weddings. Today’s featured wedding is a beautiful Zulu wedding. I’ve been longing to bring you an exquisite Zulu wedding for some time now and I’m happy to finally deliver.

I felt such a special connection to this wedding. It has reminded me of just how beautiful South Africa is; so diverse, so rich in culture, so full of minerals and so much more.

Zulu WeddingZulu WeddingThe Zulu wedding of Anton& Zola took place at Spier Wine Estate. They had a white wedding immediately followed by their traditional Zulu wedding. Although Anton is from Trinidad and Tobago; I love how he embraced his wife’s culture and just got stuck in and went with the flow. He played his role so well, it’s hard to believe he’s not Zulu man.

Zulu WeddingZulu WeddingZulu Wedding Explained

In the Zulu tradition a couple is not completely married until a special ceremony called Umabo is completed. Because Umabo ceremony can cost quite a lot of money some couples prefer to have a church wedding or civil ceremony and then have Umabo celebration a year or so later. Although they will be married in the eyes of the law, their wedding will not be regonised traditionally.

The whole point of Umabo is to welcome and introduce the bride into her new family. Both families will each slaughter a cow to symbolize the celebration.The Zulu people say if Umabo is not done, the ancestors do not recognise Makoti(the bride).

Umabo always takes place at the groom’s home. The Bride will be accompanied by her family. She is to bring gifts (normally after a date is set for Umabo a shopping list is completed by the groom’ family and given to the Bride and her family to buy all the items listed on it).

Zulu WeddingZulu WeddingZulu WeddingWhen the bride arrives at her in-laws, her father in law is to welcome her. Her father should also say a few words giving his approval for his daughter to be married into that family. She is to sit down on a matt (with her bridesmaids by her side) and not talk to anyone as a sign of respect. At this point she and her husband will be given pearls of weded wisdom by elders not just for marriage but for life as well. Sometimes elders will also tell off give advice to all those who are yet to get married.

After that, the gifts will be presented to the groom’ family and the bride will then perform a dance of celebration. She will also have to practice making a bed in front of the whole family to demonstrate that she’s capable of her wifely duties. She’s also expected to live with her in-laws for some time. How long depends on the grooms family. Luckily most brides work nowadays so they don’t have to stay with their in-laws for long.

Zulu WeddingZulu WeddingZulu WeddingThis is my explanation of  traditional Zulu wedding. If you feel I have left anything out I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment.

A big thank you to Charnell Timms Photography for sharing her work on Pure Wedding Blog.

The Creatives

Behind The Lens: Charnell Timms Photography

Venue:  Spier Wine Estate


About Author

Hi! I'm Ika. Thank you for visiting Bontle Bride, a gorgeous space where I share exquisite weddings with a flava of culture.

(6) Comments

  1. Judy says:

    wow this is beautiful

  2. […] there we indulged in a Zulu extravaganza. A gorgeous makoti in yellow traditional Zulu attire. Shuu!!! I honestly thought this wedding was […]

  3. […] Don’t worry if you’re not Sotho your turn will come. If you’re Zulu, this wedding here is amazing. Xhosa brides this one here was most […]

  4. […] is introduced to her in-laws and ancestors. I’ve already written about Umabo in great detail here. Just in case you needed a bit more information about traditional Zulu […]

  5. Wow – this is so amazing!

    1. Ika says:

      Thanks for taking time to comment Sara, highly appreciated.

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