Completing a wedding can take up to four significant events. A ‘knock door‘ comes, then follows The traditional, civil, and church ceremonies. The knock door is to visit the bride’s family to ask for permission to marry their daughter.
Cameroonian weddings are seen as a coming together of families, which leaves most of the responsibility with the heads of the two clans. Usually, the bride and groom’s parents will play a secondary role, while the recognized family heads engage in the bride-price negotiations.
There are some fun things to look out for a while attending a Cameroonian wedding. Cameroonian weddings are a family affair.
You are likely to pick the wrong woman.
After a bride price has been agreed at the traditional wedding, many women are brought in, head-covered. The groom pays a fine each time he picks the wrong woman, continuing until he finds his wife. This search can go on for a while but graduates into wild celebrations once the groom founds the right woman.
Each color on the wedding cake symbolizes some good fortune.
Before the couples both cut into their wedding cake, the baker does some introductions; she goes into great detail explaining what each color represents. Colors might signify fertility, happiness, royalty, purity, or whatever good fortune they choose. The couple will then feed each other; after that, the couple takes turns feeding each other’s family to show they’ll love and take care of them.
You never finish paying the bride price
Paying a bride price is still standard practice in Cameroon and the rest of West Africa. Today it is seen as an acknowledgment of the good work the bride’s family has done in raising a woman fit for marriage. The price is often negotiated between the two families, but the groom and his team also shower aunts and uncles with gifts to ease the process. The bride’s family has to be careful not to demand too much, as custom insists on goodwill and care between both families throughout the marriage.
Engagement is the best part of traditional weddings; it is between the bride and groom’s families and friends. There is fun in the form of bargains, the entertainment, and money-spraying, all designed to keep the place noisy. A gwedeng, or clown, is present at every traditional wedding organized by the Kom people. He leads the occasion with jokes, rites, and clever stunts to make the place less annoying.
Traditional outfits and colors
Traditional Cameroon comes with displays of outfits; some couples change as many as five times at their traditional wedding. Color what brings spice and what calls the shots. In the West of Cameroon, the atoghu, a traditional dress in the Grasslands, is the main outfit. Another staple at some ceremonies is camwood, a brown powder made from the African sandalwood tree used by the bride and her team. In some cultures, the bride is completely covered in it at her wedding.
Taking the bride home.
The bride will be escorted to the family home by her aunts and cousins after the traditional wedding. There they are welcomed by the women of her husband’s family in another round of wild celebrations; it’s celebrations after parties.