Weddings are soooo soooo stressful, I don’t know why anyone would want to plan a wedding again. SO, I have decided to do a wedding review and look at the things that went well and those that didn’t.
So my husband and I got engaged in December 2015 and because we were both not from the capital Lusaka, we started looking at venues while we were there. Part of the problem for us was finding a nice venue that could fit my large family. Looking back though, we should have just picked a venue even if it was a 50 people place. Family always understands in the end. Some of the places people were suggesting were too far out of the price point that we didn’t even bother looking at them. Being outside Zambia, we had to factor in flights and all so we were trying to keep the budget in check.
We had wanted to do the decor the night before but that decision died and you will understand why later, however, I purchased most of our decor stuff before hand on facebook pages and also from ikea and my husband organised wooden slices in Zambia. We did our invites with the help of le familia (God bless you all.)
I wish we had done the song lists and finished the seating plan long before travelling and again it would have been easier if I had let my dad do it like he had offered. Be prepared though for resistance if you are a Zambian planning on using a seating plan. We Zambians hate seating plans. Here’s why they are good, though–you know your guests or the majority of them better than anyone else who has a stake in the invitation process and only you know how central to the proceedings certain people need to be.
Because our seating plan got thrown out, I could see, one particular guest seating at a table with the oldies and not really seeming to enjoy the day. There were also some guests who have been such a huge blessing and have practically helped raise me seating so far back and not in the spot we would have loved.
I wish I had gone home more than 3 weeks before the wedding. There were so many things to do and it all just got too stressful and things like my songlist were being done the night before. Church service also needed to be sorted and that was a process on it’s own. If you are planning a wedding in an African church, understand that it will require a lot to get you to the alter … But the bulk of it is for your good anyway.
Organising things from so far away is hard and even harder if you want to save money so advice would be start early and find someone you can depend on. I had plenty of people I could depend on but was struggling to convey my needs. It was a very stressful time and I found myself sooo anxious all the time, which wasn’t a norm for me and was not communicating very well. If I had said from the beginning to my mummy B, I need help with abc, things would have gone so much smoother. All in all, the family was on the ball, having meetings and my brother running around with my husband … So I guess I wish I had just communicated better.
I also learnt that there are always people’s opinions on how things should run. Decide what exactly you want before taking it to the “people”. Zambian weddings are not just for the bride and groom but belong to the family. If you don’t have a plan, it will be made for you.
The greatest thing was seeing people’s capacity for support. Seeing my father’s sisters, ba mayo senge, there to walk with me, seeing people I don’t remember ever seeing, seeing those I would have never expected, walk with me, some giving in unexpected ways. If my wedding taught me anything, it’s the strength of my circle,the strength of my clan, the dedication of parents and the ability and strength of God to tear walls down, build and restore as well as provide. Ultimately of all the things He provided was a starter pack. I found in my husband, an adventure and safety in a man I can trust and I hope that that rings true for Him too.