Wedding Ceremony

Church hymn at wedding ceremony

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An arranged marriage is a lot more common in the past than in present days, especially in urban areas.

After couples settle for marriage, there are cultural customs that a bridegroom should go through. The first thing will be to select at least three men preferably elderly persons. Those men will be sent to the bride's parent's house early in the morning on a weekend.  Those messengers or delegates ask permission from her father (parents) to let their daughter marry the person who has sent the gentlemen. They would be happy to hear an affirmative response on the same day, if not they will take an appointment to come back and ask for an answer.

If the bride’s parents become willing to marry their daughter to the gentleman who has proposed the marriage, then the bride and the bridegroom along with their respective family start with wedding planning.

Bridegroom, Gondar

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Choice of dress for the bride and the bridegroom can be traditional or western style based on the type of marriage. If the couples decide to take on oath at a church, which is called 'teklil' at Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the couples will wear traditional clothes and a kind of decorated coat called 'kaba' and a special hat. However, it is also becoming customary to see bride and bridegroom wearing western clothes at the wedding ceremony.

Invited guests arrive at the venue for the wedding; mostly a decorated auditorium or hall. Then, food and drink will be served in different selection from traditional to international cuisines.

In rural areas and among some couples who might want to keep their wedding traditional, the bride and the bridegroom sit on a hoarse on their way from the bride's parent's residence to the venue where invited guests are waiting for.

Bride, Gondar

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However, in big cities especially in Addis Ababa, luxury limousine are hired for the couples and decorated to take part in the wedding along with other automobiles. The automobiles in the wedding move in group blowing their horn for cheer and also flashing sign lights.

Invited guest have a free choice of dress. Most often elderly women prefer to wear traditional 'habesha cloth'. However, these days there is a choice of well designed traditional clothes, which are wore at weddings by youngsters as well.

After the wedding ceremony is concluded, the groom will take his bride to his place and the party will continue at his house.

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