By Peaches Anderson, with Pictures by Ganel Leconte
A family offering their best and presenting a member of their own for marriage has much to say. Ezinne and Derick’s Traditional wedding day was nothing short of a fairy tale of two tribes offering their best. Everything in view and peripheral made all attendees feel like they were special guests who had been handpicked to attend a royal wedding.
White Ostridge feathers stretched wide and swayed high with the cool breeze that entered the room ever so softly as they sat on tall gold vases with beautiful candelabras. Fire and water came together on the tablespace to set the mood as we ate a traditional dinner filled with robust flavors and spices.
As the maestro of the night commands our attention, we dab the corners of our mouths with crisp, bright red table napkins and shift our gaze to the back of the room. The maestro announces the bride’s family to come down the prepared aisle.
Beautiful upbeat cultural music filled our ears as the young and elders’ voices rang high and proud. Joy could be seen in their eyes and smiles as they danced together down the aisle. It was the Ezinne family tribe, one of joy and happiness. The rich fabrics were in unity but adorned each family member uniquely. Every guest stood up and danced in place, but our best thoughts and feelings were with the family as they made their way to their seats up front.
They made their way to King and Queen Thrones, but it was not time to sit. Our excitement went from 100 to 150 as the groom’s family was announced, we turned to the back entrance, and there stood Derick parents with his family behind them in a most powerful way. Derick’s tribe wore rich fabrics from Cameroon, Regalia hats, and beautiful women’s jewelry.
We danced at the table as Derick’s family made it known that they were in the building and headed to the front of the room to sit across from Ezinne’s family tribe. Now we may be seated. I think everyone took a sip of cool water from their water glass or something special that they retrieved from the open bar.
We had a few moments to converse with our paired table guests about what we individually enjoyed about what we had just witnessed, but nothing could prepare us for the bride to come down the aisle. She was clothed in a beautiful traditional Nigerian fabric fit for a queen. She went down the hall to her favorite cultural song to sit at her father’s feet. Like a humble daughter waiting to receive wisdom from her father, Ezinne connected her eyes to her father as he reminded her with microphone in hand who she was and what she should expect going forward. Ezinne’s father gave her some wine and asked her to seek out the man she intended to marry and bring him to receive his blessing. Up from the floor, Ezinne rose gracefully with the assistance of her bridesmaids, and she traveled from table to table to find her love. At last, Ezinne saw Derick, and we all rejoiced. She took him to her father and family, where they knelt again.
The father wholeheartedly shared with Derrick his expectations, well wishes, and, most notably, his blessing. To bring the bride to his family, everybody Steps away, Derick’s family rejoices, and his father’s voice quiets everyone.
Derrick’s father speaks to Ezinne welcoming her to his tribe and family and ensuring she will have the love and support of everyone in their family. I am unsure if it was Derick’s father’s voice and words of welcome and security or the sight of his mother’s smile that caused a soft tear to roll down Ezinne’s cheek in happiness.
The two families then joined each other. Everyone in the room witnessed the imagery of the words where two are gathered; there is now one family. That was an intangible gift we all took with us on this night. The remainder of the night was spent dancing, laughing, and singing on the dance floor. We even got to see some interpretive dancing with drums. I felt so much love and rich culture throughout the entire Wedding night.
There is much to say about tradition, and there is much to say about family, but something unique, enchanting, and rare to whiteness both come together in a tale of two families, Two tribes, and one beautiful purpose. I send my best thoughts and well wishes to Derek and Ezinne. You are proof that fairy tales do come true in 2022.
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