Last weekend our nanny was getting married with our gardener; a big day for the household!
We were invited to the church, and sort of forced to be sitting in the first row. Not that easy, since we were with Paul and Anna, but ok. Paul felt asleep after few minutes (even with all the loud music around) and we kept Anna busy easting cookies. I was thinking it was embarrassing that Anna was eating in the church until I saw a lady sitting behind us who was just breast-feeding her baby. So, I guessed that a two-year old toddler eating cookies should be ok as well. The ceremony was full of music, so although all of it was said in Kinyarwandan, it was not boring at all!
After the church ceremony we went to our garden to take few pictures with the closest part of the family. To be honest, it was a very nice experience, and we were very happy to be included in the celebration!
Few advices for foreigners being invited to a wedding in Rwanda.
- Wear appropriate clothes. For men this means a suit with a tie, and for ladies a long dress. It is very likely you might be considered a guest of honor, and be a bit on the spot, so be sure you wear neat clothes.
- Being on-time or not? I am not sure about this point. In our invitation it was said that the ceremony in the church started at 14. We arrived there 5 minutes late. The bride & groom were waiting outside, and when we rushed inside, we found the church almost empty. The ceremony started few minutes later, and people just came in during the ceremony and also afterwards.
- Presents? Ask in advance about which present could be appropriate, depending on your relationship with the people getting married. If you plan to give money, consider giving it in advanced, so that they can use it to pay for the wedding. This way you also make sure it does not get lost, since you may not have the right moment to give it. During the reception, people close to the couple, gave their present and they also made a speech. So, be ready to hold a speech as well!