Hello strangers!!!! Wow it has been a long time. Last time I wrote a blog post was in February. I am sure many of you know that I have been struggling with my health. That’s why I decided to take a break from blogging and just focus on my recovery and planning my wedding. Thank you for all your prayers and beautiful messages. I am truly blessed to have amazing followers. I see and read each and everyone of your messages. From the bottom of my heart I just want to say thank you.
Now let’s fast forward to July 1st, 2018. Wow I am still on cloud nine. I keep on replaying that day over and over again in my head. I am sure you know by now that July 1st was my African Bridal Shower. If you don’t know, I am from Zambia, Africa. My family migrated to America when I was nine years old. I have now spent most of my life in America versus my home country. However, growing up my Mother made sure that I never lost my Identity. For that I am forever grateful. It has made me to be very proud of where I come from. I am truly a proud Zambian woman.
Growing up I always knew that when I found the love of my life I would have a traditional Zambian Kitchen Party. In Zambia we call a bridal shower “Kitchen Party.” A Kitchen Party is an event that the mother of the bride puts together with her girlfriends. It’s a way the mother of brides friends help send their friends daughter off to her new life. The event is ONLY WOMEN. The groom only plays a small part in the event and leaves after.
A Zambian Kitchen Party isn’t your typical American bridal shower. Don’t worry I will explain everything from beginning to end. To be honest I was hesitant about having a kitchen party. My mom is very well known to be the life of the party at these events and I am absolutely the opposite. Actually I have only attended 1 or two Zambian Kitchen parties and never paid much attention to it. My mom usually takes my sister with her. Actually many people don’t know that my mom is my mom until recently. This might probably shock many of you but I am a home body person and only have a small tighten circle of friends. So having this bridal shower definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I am so glad that my aunt Charity talked me into having a traditional bridal shower.
Judy (Mom) made me a create a WhatsApp group for her and her girlfriends to communicate with each other about my kitchen party. This was the best way of communication since everyone lives out of state or country and on different time zones. This group is called a committee. All the ladies in committee contributed to my bridal shower and made sure everything was covered and taken care off. I had very little control of this event. But I had a few things that I requested from Judy. One of them was to make sure all the ladies in the committee use the same Chitenge (Fabric) and wears the same head piece. Two I was in charge of choosing the decor, food, venue, DJ and my bridal party outfits.
Thank God I have talented designer friends all over the world. Even though I was having a Zambian Kitchen Party, I wanted to represent the whole continent of Africa. I am not your typical bride. Always add my own twist to things. My outfit, mom and bridesmaids outfits were custom made in Nigeria by Felix Asuquo. Mikeys outfit was also custom made in Nigeria by my friend and designer Emmanuel Okoro. I picked out the colors, fabric and designs. Everyone just sent their measurements and Emmanuel and Felix worked their magic. I can’t forget to mention that everyone’s outfit fit like glove. Nobody needed any alterations. However, my sister, mother in law and ladies in the committees outfits were custom made by Uganda designers Diana, Jacinta and Latif. Absolutely amazing and talented African designers. My decor were done by Titi from Eritrea, delicious African food was provided by Candice from South Africa and jamming music by dj mixtycal from Nigeria. In addition I can’t forget to mention my talented American friends. My amazing friend and photographer Stephen Klise and videographer Becca Neblock. Definitely check them out.
My friend Hannah and her husband Anton graciously offered to host my African bridal shower on their 5 acre property. It was the perfect venue. I wanted everything to feel African as possible. I didn’t want anything glam. Basically I was bringing Africa to my friends. Owner Titi from Blue Touch Decor definitely brought my vision to life.
Every Zambian bride has a matron of honor. This is a elder woman that’s married and overseas everything on your bridal shower and wedding day. My aunt Elizabeth was the perfect woman for this row and she did an amazing job. Also a Zambian Bride usually has one or two elder women that seats next to her during the Kitchen party. My aunt Marjory and aunt Ketty filled these important rows. These beautiful women had my kitchen party lit. Just ask my girlfriends.
Let the party begin. All my family and friends were seated in the tent waiting for me and my bridesmaids to arrive. In Zambian tradition the bride and her girlfriends must be covered. That’s why you see me and my bridesmaids covered in the yellow fabric which we call it Chitenge. Judy (mom) and Mikey’s mom lead in front, followed by my aunt Elizabeth, aunt Marjorie and aunt Ketty. We walked for a few steps with Zambian music playing in the background. Towards the end we had to crawl on our knees and put our bodies sides to side. This is a way of showing respect. My girlfriends got out of the Chitenge and sat down. I remained covered and sat in the chair in front of my guests, patiently waiting for Mikey to come and unveil me.
Like I said before the groom only has a small part during the kitchen party. Mikey looked absolutely handsome in his African outfit and his friends were also wearing African shirts. So when coming to unveil the bride the groom must come bearing gifts and money. My poor Mikey who has two left feet’s danced for my guest with the help of his friends and his sister in law aka hype girl Rabbecca. I couldn’t see anything since I was covered but the sound of the noise that was coming from my guest I guess it was lit. It took a few minutes to unveil me because my poor Mikey was not informed about his part to bring money, they forgot his money to put in the basket. They wouldn’t let him unveil me without putting any money in the basket.
Michael finally unveiled me. The look on his face when he first saw me was absolutely priceless. My Mikey was super red, smiling from ear to ear. He just kept on saying wow wow wow wow. This was the first time Mikey has ever seen me dressed in any African outfit from head to toe. At this moment my whole world stopped. I couldn’t see anybody but Mikey and I. So many emotions were going through my head and body. When I looked at him I felt at Home and at Peace. Every road I took in my life to get to this moment was absolutely worth it. I don’t remember how many times I kissed him. I am not the one to show much PDA in public especially in a group setting like this one. But I didn’t see anyone but him and I.
He sat down next to me for a few minutes. Than it was my turn to give him my gift. To show respect to him I had to get on my knees and give him the gift. I bought him these shoes he has been eyeing for some time from Neiman Marcus. Unfortunately our guests didn’t get to see his gift. After the gift exchanging I had to escort him and his friends from the event, so that the ladies can enjoy the rest of the evening.
Wow wow wow my family and friends didn’t come to play. Since I couldn’t leave where I was sitting. My sister made sure my cup was always full with alcohol and I had little things to snack on. After everyone had dinner it was time for gifts, dancing and words of advice.
So the Zambian tradition before giving the bride her gift the DJ or the ladies playing the drums plays a song and you dance for the bride, tell her the gift you bought her and how to use it in her new home. Let me tell you these ladies know how to send you off. They make sure you have almost everything you need in your home. From kitchen, bathroom, dinning room, living room, bedroom, office and even wall way. Basically anything you can think of they got you covered. Can’t forget money and many beautiful books about being any amazing God fearing wife. Currently I am reading one. You shouldn’t have any reason to go back to your moms house and steal anything from her for your new home.
Many of you asked about the “Thing” the ladies were wearing when they were dancing for me. It’s called Chitenge. The ladies tie it around their waists or below their butt. It basically helps them shake what their mamas gave them. Man these ladies got moves. They really showed out for your girl. My family in love and friends can’t stop talking about my bridal shower. I don’t think they knew how their lives were going to change.
From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my mother Judy I just want to say thank you thank you thank you! This wouldn’t have been successful without all your help and prayers. I will forever remember July 1st, 2018. Looking forward to celebrating our wedding with all of you next month. Until than see you on the next blog post.