Modern Wedding vs Traditional Wedding

 In Wedding Trends

Choosing to spend the rest of your life with your significant other is an exciting time for any couple.  As thrilling as this new adventure may be, we cannot run from the challenges that come with the actual wedding planning, after the big proposal.

From deciding on a budget,  to working on a guest list, to sourcing the best wedding vendors for your big day – there’s no denying that this is often an overwhelming experience.

And if you’re a couple in South Africa; that does not even make half your list of worries. The majority of African couples, in whatever tribe, are also faced with the challenge of having to choose between a white wedding, traditional wedding, or just maybe- both!

South Africa is well known for its ethnic and cultural diversity. The nation has long been celebrated for its beautiful mix of different cultural identities, ethnic bonds and languages and as such, it offers a wide array of different types and styles of wedding ceremonies.

Faith [1]Ogbodo provides the following description for white weddings, “a western form of celebrating the coming together of both man and woman in union it is the western traditional method of celebrating marriage. Aside the celebration that take place during the wedding, there is no other celebration attached that marks legality.”

A traditional wedding differs from culture to culture, let’s have a look at the what each tribe offers:

As with most tribes in South Africa, every union begins with lobola negotiations between the two families.  According to [2]Traditions Customs, a wedding in the Xhosa community has many rituals, one of the most crucial ones being “utsiki” – where the groom’s family prepares goat meat for their new bride, to welcome her and introduce her to the ancestors.

During the ceremony and before the “utsiki” ritual, the makoti will be dressed by her sisters in law and given a new name. She is also expected to provide gifts for all her in laws, from old to young.

In the [3]Zulu culture, the bride usually changes at least three times on her wedding day, the essence of this is to show her in-laws how beautiful she is in different colours.The ceremony can take place in many forms but one of the highlights is when the representatives from the bride’s family and the groom’s family compete with each other through dancing and singing.

According to [4]Wedding Info, Sepedi, Sesotho or Sotho Weddings are also started with lobola discussions between the two families and could include the usual cattle, money or any other items. The bride gets dressed on her wedding day in a Dintepa (a dress made from cow hide), made from cow’s hide and the groom will wear a suit. She has to collect water and wood at the river, for the ceremony after which she joins everyone else at the home of either the bride / groom. While the bride walks towards the house, her grandmother ‘clears her way’ by sweeping the floor. After the ceremony and congratulations a cow / sheep will get slaughtered and divided to both families.

Regardless of whether you have chosen a traditional or a modern wedding, Stones Conference and Wedding Centre will ensure that your day is extra special!  Book your wedding, send an email to





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