Everything about my culture is about dancing.
Say hello Trish and George who met on a night out with friends and instantly clicked after discovering they were both of Zambian-British heritage. 8 years later they got engaged (after several attempts).
Marriage is HUGELY valued in Zambian culture and communities come together to give couples wisdom.
As such, Trish and George decided to celebrate their union, by having two weddings; the first a traditional wedding called a Kitchen Party to honour both their Zambian heritage.
Today Trish talks us about their love story, their engagement and talks us through their Kitchen Party, (also know as a Zambian Bridal Shower) and explains its rich meanings, captured beautifully by Claire Macintyre Photography
Stayed tuned on Nu Bride to see how they celebrated their western wedding soon!
Read on to out more about Trish and George’s love story.
How you met?
Trish’s version: We met on a night out with friends
When I first met George he told me two things… 1. He was Zambian and 2. that he worked as a Postman (the postman thing wasn’t true and a couple of months later I found out that he was a professional footballer and at that time he was playing for a football team called Aldershot Town).
Anyway didn’t believe either…
Just as I was about to leave he started speaking Bemba (Zambian language – at that time I didn’t know those were the only few words that he knew lol). Anyway, it worked as it caught my attention. The Zambian bit intrigued me but his occupation puzzled me.
A couple of hours past & something about this cocky London guy drew me in.
Georges version: It was a night out in London I’ll never forget for sure!
When I first met Tricia I was at my peak! (Nu Bride: LOL!) I felt like what Zambians would call ‘Pompous’. But her sweet northern charm got me on one knee and out of the game, waving goodbye to my past and looking forward to our amazing life together as husband and wife.
George – Where do I start with this! Nu Bride: The beginning!
It was really strange because I’m sure those who have gone through this before me, know that it’s a very nerve-wracking experience, no matter how long you’ve been with someone.
First of all was the challenge of finding her ring size without making my intentions obvious. Tricia claims she’s a light sleeper but while she was asleep I managed to attach a flexi-plastic grip strapping to her ring finger which I then had to pull off without her waking up…. success I had the ring size and the ring was bought.
Next thing was finding the most special location to be fitting of this beautiful occasion in our lives. I first tried to propose on New Year’s Eve with all our family at home. I spent over £500 on bottles of champagne for the amazing occasion, but unfortunately, Tricia didn’t make the countdown (p.s she drank too many glasses of champagne and went to bed for a NAP at 11:30pm but never woke up till the next morning! Nu Bride – LOL! )
Attempt number two, I booked tickets to travel to Paris on the euro star to do the cheesy thing and propose under the Eiffel Tower, however because of heavy snowfall another attempt failed. I began to think am I ever going to propose. Third and final attempt I thought this is taking far too long, so rather than complicate it I decided to take her to the very first restaurant that we ever went to on a chilled out Sunday, just like when we first met. We sat in the same seats we sat in on that day 8 years ago. It was amazing and I wished I had just thought of this at attempt number 1.
The moral of the story for me, you don’t have to be extravagant to make beautiful moments and memories
The Kitchen Party
A Kitchen Party was an opportunity to give thanks and is a sign of respect for our parents.
A Kitchen Party, is very similar to traditional African wedding. The name originates from guests being asked to bring gifts to furnish the bride’s kitchen (or cash), to teach her, offer advice, wisdom and prepare her for her new role in marriage.
The kitchen party is traditionally hosted by the mother of the bride and a small committee of women, but because Trish lost her mother at the tender age of 8, her beloved Aunty Trudy organised her kitchen party, with the help of other relatives to ensure everyone came together and did this for Trish in the absence of her mother. Very, very touching.
For my Kitchen Party I wore a traditional dress designed by talented friend Yinka Alli –
Trish goes on: The kitchen party is primarily hosted and planned by the mother of the bride, aunties of the bride and a small committee of women.
Both the bride and groom have to be given lessons on how to be a good wife and a good husband before they get married. The bride is taught by women and the man is taught by men.
At the kitchen party, the bride is usually led in by an aunt and the ‘Nachimbusa,’ this is the person that the bride spends most of her time with before the wedding, learning everything she needs to know about being a good wife. From cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc. The bride-to-be is covered up in a chitenge a long Ankara fabric) and remains covered while seated with her head down and both hands on her lap.
Each relative on the groom’s side takes turns going under the chitenge, lighting a candle and giving the bride money. After every relative has had his/her turn, the groom’s family unveils the bride by removing the chitenge so everyone can see her.
The Kitchen party is an event that is strictly for women and the groom along with the best man, groomsman, and close friends attend the kitchen party towards the end of the event. This is when the groom has to try & find his wife-to-be and when he finds her, he uncovers her and marries her.
The kitchen party was so important to us and are a beautiful part of our love story.
You can see more about some of the poignant meanings behind a traditional Zambian Kitchen Party documented brilliantly here from Trish!
Make up: Celebrity Make up artist Vee Chanda
Traditional wedding dress designed by Yinka Alli –