Traditional Weddings

Jabu & Thabani’s Gorgeous Zulu Wedding

Hello, Precious ones! I hope you’re enjoying spring. If you are getting married this spring/summer be sure to pick up Bontle Bride Magazine. It’s full of wedding inspiration, tips, advice and supplier information sure to make the planning journey easier. If you’re not getting married but know someone who is; bless them with a copy. Trust me, they’ll love you for it.

For today though, I have a gorgeous Zulu wedding to share with you. After a series of chats on facebook, Jabu and Thulani formed a friendship which morphed beautifully into something more. And a few years down the line they made it official. Below Jabu shares their journey. Enjoy

The Love Story
Our sisters were best friends, so we had always known each other but never been formally introduced.
Jabu (Bride) saw Thabani (Groom) on Facebook, he was a suggested friend and realized the face looked familiar and quickly recalled that its Mpume’s younger brother. I requested friendship and the following morning he was in boxing me and extremely excited that I had sent a request and I actually knew him. From that moment till today we never stopped chatting…the rest is history.

The Lobola, Proposal And Marriage
For some reason, we always knew we would get married. From our first couple of chats, Thabani (Groom) was already hinting that he wants us to get married. We started chatting summer 2014, 2015 January we started dating, 2016 I moved to Gauteng where Thabani was based. I fell pregnant, gave birth to our son in 2017 and got married in 2018. It all happened so quickly.

When I was pregnant Thabani had to come and meet my family to pay damages, which happened in December 2016. Our parents were a bit disappointed in us given the fact we both come from staunch Christian backgrounds and sex before marriage was not acceptable. In our defence, love overpowered us. Quickly after paying damages, Thabani was determined to let my family know that he was very much in love with me and wanted to take full responsibility for me and my son. He returned with his uncles to start the lobola negotiation process. My family was very accepting and agreeable to Thabani’s family, my family stated their price and Thabani’s family paid everything at once and the only thing that was left over were the gifts that my family had requested.

The date was set for the Membeso (Giving of gifts) ceremony and both our families were very much on board with the preparations. When the day finally arrived, it had been long awaited and turned out way better than we ever anticipated. Everything was seamless and well executed and in a truly traditional style, not one person left our ceremony hungry.

We are both Zulu. When a couple gets married these are some of the ceremonies they go through as families unite:
Umcelo (Asking for the bride’s hand in marriage, normally the grooms family leaves a bit of money and will settle once they know how much the Bride’s family want).

Lobola (the grooms family would return with the balance of the money/cattle as per brides family request)

Membeso (Grooms family bring gifts to the bride’s family)
Umkehlo (Happens during umembeso or shortly after that. This is normally done when the couple already have a child/ren together. It just a way of celebrating your bride)

Inqiba Masondo (When Brides family visit the groom’s family bearing gifts as well in the form of groceries)
Umabo (The brides family slaughters a cow as they take they daughter to the groom’s house and when they get there they are received with celebrations)

Cultural Practices
Yes, we did. It was important to my family to observe and adhere to our cultural practices.

The Community
Yes, our neighbours were very helpful with the cooking and peeling on the day before the event. We further had family & neighbours pledging with food, money & a whole cow just to contribute to our day.

Favourite Moment
When Thabani, went down on one knee in the presence of our families and community, declaring his love & asking for my hand in marriage.

White Weddings Thoughts
I feel we need to challenge and change the narrative. Couples & family need to agree on what symbolizes marriage to them and do that. They should refuse to be pressured by what other people believe or have adapted to define married couples. Let’s embrace our cultures and find beauty in our own traditions. Bontle: (nodding frantically to this)

White Wedding Plans
Yes, we will, just for pictures; expecting 50 people including bridesmaids & groomsmen. No, it’s not necessary that’s why we have pushed it out to when we have money in the near future.

Saves and Splurges
Food & Frame Tent. Managed to save on invites and programmes, because we designed and printed ourselves. We also saved on catering, because my mom & her friend offered to cook.

There’s no pressure, do what satisfies you BOTH.

What are you looking forward to in married life?
Building together; whether it is building each other, our business or our family.

Décor: On Point Events (
Sound: T Nice – 073 725 7936
Aluminum Tent – Msayis Tents 083 330 3009
MUA – (@mini_m20)

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.

(4) Comments

  1. Nxobile says:

    I’m not sure if you’ll see this but I’m looking for Zulu traditional wedding attire it’s hard for me to get it during this lockdown, please send me details of someone I can buy it from. You had a beautiful wedding ☺️😘

  2. nokulunga says:

    Yes my handsome uncle and our Beautiful wife

  3. Tebogo Mphuthi says:

    very nice

  4. Zamathenjwa Nene says:


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