Posted by: jacobgillard | December 11, 2008

a wedding in the village

It takes a long time to learn how to do many things for the first time in a new land, as you can imagine.  So after 5 weeks in Uganda we are not totally settled in.   But we haven’t been attending to logistical matters only.  We were able to do some fun familiarization of the land and people with a taste of village life over our 3rd weekend here.

On that particular Saturday we were guests at a Paul and Zeulence’s wedding and we have the photos** to prove it!  The traditional wedding was at the bride’s house in early afternoon.  I’m sure we only caught about 5% of what was going on, but we picked up on the following:

  • the groom’s party waited about 1km from the final destination while his representatives went ahead to announce that visitors were in the vicinity
  • when it was time to make our entrance we all processed to a canopy erected especially for the occasion and took our seats for lots of greetings and introductions…dignitaries, male relatives, female relatives…
  • over an hour of coy exchanges followed, such as:
    • the bride’s representative inquired as to the nature of their visit.  the groom’s representative said that they had never been in this part of the country before but they just happened to be in the area and decided to drop in…
    • the groom’s representative casually inquiring if there were any eligible brides in the house and adding that he knew of an eligible bachelor in case there were…
    • the bride’s family denies having any eligible brides and they bring out all the other women; when pressed, they finally acknowledge having an eligible bride but when they go to fetch her she’s no where to be found…after an exhaustive search she is found!
  • discussion of bride price
  • exchanging of gifts
  • blessing by parents and elders

When it comes to the photos, I tried to capture all aspects of the event.  You may see what look to be quite a few “bored” expressions.  But bear in mind that the whole episode took 3-4 hours.  In Africa you have many opportunities to perfect the art of waiting!

Around dusk we moved to a nearby worship site for the “church wedding”.

We left the village and stayed the night in Iganga.  When we woke up Sunday morning we headed to the dedication of a new sanctuary.  The sturdiest building in the whole sub-county is now God’s house in a little village called Naigobia!  You can see photos of that in the previous snapfish link just a few posts ago.

** You’ll have to create an account and/or log-in to to see these photos.  The account is free and they don’t share or sell your address.  This may be a little hassle for some of you, but snapfish is absolutely the easiest and cheapest way for me to meet my archiving, sharing, and printing needs.  Thanks for understanding.



  1. WoW! it was quite a wedding day! i loved seeing all the people and the dresses. jake and Michelle you both looked beautiful in your formal wear. Jake, were you a part of officiating at the wedding?
    I saw many pictures of Little Line and but only one of Amelia. was she hanging out with the kids?

  2. Thanks for sharing the shots, folks! That was a treat.

  3. I officiated at the church wedding. We had to turn on the headlights of my truck and Noah’s van because it was dark out and there wasn’t electricity in the village…the church building was a simple pavilion of grass roof with open sides.

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