Last weekend was the traditional wedding ceremony of Monalisa Chinda and Victor Tonye Coker.. It was a beautiful ceremony in Rivers State (Port-Harcourt)…Filled with culture and truly fascinating tradition..The journey started with the bride heading to her ancestral home at Elelenwo… Captured below is a brief video of the beautiful scenery as we journeyed through the streets of Port-harcourt to Elelenwo:
The scene at Elelenwo was beyond beautiful..Mona’s Aunties and relatives were beside themselves with joy and good vibes!! They were all so welcoming and filled with excitement over Mona’s impending union… They all fawned over her.. “their Queen had come home“..
Peep this amazing scene! See photos and video below:
…and what a beautiful cultural jig!!
Her ancestral home was fast filling up with well-wishers and visitors from the neighbourhood.. It was time for Monalisa to change into her first outfit..
Her very kind aunties explained the significance of the first outfit to me.. In the olden days, a new bride wore the outfit pictured above daily for 2 weeks prior to her wedding.. and walked round the village square in it.. It signifies her farewell from maidenhood.. Monalisa wore hers to welcome all the guests trooping into her home.. She also had little maidens in tow in miniature outfits like hers! See photos below:
All the fanfare, felicitations and well wishes went on for quite a while..right until it was time for the bride to head to the location of the traditional ceremony.
The traditional attire had strict requirements for the bride to be very colourfully garbed and a wrapper to be tied over her blouse.. (We had gone for a peplum styled blouse). Monalisa’s late dad was a King.. Strict adherence to culture and manner of dress was required! and how beautiful it came out eventually! Very colourful and true to the Ikwere tradition in every sense…Mona’s happiness set a really nice glow..
What fun!!! What joy!! The crowd… The people.. The amazing smell of food in the air..The drums…
It felt like the entire town had come to witness the happy occasion.. in no time..it was time for the second outfit change..
At this stage, the bride was required to find her groom in the crowd.. The usual tradition was for him to be hidden where it wouldn’t be easy for her to find him..and off she went..in search of her beau.. and she found him!!
Jubilations.. prayers from the elders and the festivities began in earnest!
Who is the better dancer?? My vote goes to the dashing groom…
We caught the kiss!!
and they lived very happily ever after!
Congratulations, Mr and Mrs Coker!!!