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Crashing a wedding is not as easy as it sounds, let alone a Ghanaian wedding. First, you have to make sure you have the correct dress attire, the right crashing partner that can speak the common language, and an empty stomach ready to grub.
I’m usually one of those people that go to weddings just for the food — don’t judge me lol. You might think I’m weird for that but I’m going to keep it all the way 💯.
Before I go in-depth about my love for food at weddings, let me just get the bare minimums out of the way. Weddings are a great time for witnessing expressions of love, happiness, joy and its an even better time when guests get to enjoy a lively atmosphere and — yes, you guessed it — delicious food.
In case you missed the gist of what this post is really about, I will be presenting four ways to successfully crash a Ghanaian wedding. I just want to preface that I’m not a mental or educational expert at this sort of thing but physically, I do have some experience.
Differences Between Ghanaian & American Weddings
Fortunately for me, I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of attending weddings both in the United States and in Ghana. I’ve even noticed that there are some distinct differences when it comes to weddings in the States vs. weddings in Ghana.
In the states, guests come to weddings dressed in formal clothes and at Ghanaian weddings, guests dress for the gawwwdddds (or at least to the ones I’ve been to). People come dressed up in African and formal clothes.
At the reception, American weddings have first dances or dances with moms and dads but in Ghana, I don’t remember seeing a first dance at the weddings I attended. However, there are group dances where the bride and groom may decide to dance with their bridal party.
Also, guests at American weddings are sometimes restricted to eating a specific meal that the bride and groom have chosen for them (unless it is a buffet type of reception), but in Ghana, the reception are (mostly) always done in a buffet style with very long lines.
Traditional Ghanaian Weddings
Another thing I noticed is that Ghanaian weddings are always so much longer than American weddings. If people are not running on “foreign people time”, then its like a really long, never-ending church service.
First comes the traditional marriage where both the bride and groom dress up in their elaborate, traditional African attire and the groom who is accompanied by his side of the family formally asks for the bride’s hand in marriage in the midst of family and friends. This is where the terms of the bride price is met and gifts are exchanged. Depending on what tribe you come from, the customary marriage/bride price may vary from tribe to tribe.
After the traditional wedding, follows an official church wedding (ordinance) — this part is similar to an American wedding ceremony, and then the wedding reception is last – which is the best part.
How Much Does a Traditional Ghanaian Wedding Cost?
While some weddings can be very expensive in America, the average cost of Ghanian weddings overall averages around 5000 to 6000 cedis (which is about $13000 American dollars.)
On Quora, there are also some Ghanaian people that actually live in Ghana giving their fascinating thoughts about the average costs of Ghanian weddings. Usually, the bride and her family pay for the wedding and the reception, while the groom and his family pay for the rehearsal dinner.
Definitely Do This (or Not..)
The first step to crashing a Ghanaian wedding is to go with someone you know that is your type of crazy, preferably someone that’s not afraid to have a good time, can mingle with everyone and knows the common language like the back of their hand.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt if you have a relative or friend that knows the bride and groom. The two times my sister and I went to a Ghanaian wedding, we had no idea who was getting married. Luckily, our uncle knew who these peeps were so we were good.
Wedding Couple & Guests
If you don’t have a cool uncle like ours, then you better pump yourself up and bring out your “customer service” personality and socialize like you’ve never done before. Soon enough, you’ll find a friend that will probably be glad to show you around to their friends. At least that’s how I would imagine going about it.
Don’t Be a Tourist
Basically, don’t look like a stranger or the “weird” man out. To mingle, you have to look and interact like you were always there lol. If you start asking weird questions or pointing silly things out — yes — somebody is going to ask you what’s up and or more specifically, what the heck are you doing here and how did you get invited? Try to avoid those questions as much as possible.
It would also help if you dressed the part too. If you have any African clothes or formal clothes hanging around, put that ish on!
Honestly, I didn’t really bring a lot of formal clothes to Ghana because a lot of my clothes would not fit in my suitcase. Luckily I did bring this white African dress my mom had made for me a while ago.
My Cousin & I
The second wedding my uncle took us to, me, my sister and cousin came in looking like we just left the beach – which we did but who cared lol. Honestly, we had no idea that we were going to a wedding that day and just ended up there. Fun time.
At this wedding, there was so much beauty, culture, and life. The food was great, the music was bumping, and the people were beautiful and living their best life. I felt so out of place because we were so underdressed for the event.
I wish someone — *cough*: uncle lol — would have at least given us a heads up or told us the day before or even that morning where we were going later that day so we could have prepared for it. But whatever, it was still a great time.
Eat That Good, Good
When it comes to food, don’t be shy to try everything. Usually, the food at weddings come in a buffet style of cuisine. This style gives everyone a chance to try all of the awesome dishes being served.
However, please beware of the spices in the food as they can be a little bit more than one can handle. For more info about Ghanaian spices, check out my other blog post that talks about that. I also talk about how the spices affected my sister and I after eating certain foods.
At both weddings, they served Jollof rice, meat pies and several foods that you can use your hands to eat such as Banku, Fufu, and Kenkey (my favorite). I usually go for a warm kenkey with a nice tomatoe gravy sauce and tons of savory, fried fish. Your welcome.
After you finish the meal, there are also tons of refreshing beverages to wash the food down with. Some that come to mind are creme sodas in glass bottles, alcohol, and fresh, fruit smoothies. Lastly, let’s not forget about the delicious cakes as well.
Although the foods are pretty different, the order of menu courses are pretty much the same as in American weddings. First, you start with the appetizers, then work your way to the entrees, then its desserts, and then drinks in between everything else.
Last But Definitely Not Least..
Before you head out, be sure to take some dope *bleep* pictures and videos to create lasting memories. If I shared all of the pictures and videos I took from both weddings, we would be here forever. So for now, I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorites in this post.
I’ve always been curious about how traditional weddings are conducted in other countries and how they differ from American or Ghanaian weddings.
Pin for Later!
Have you guys attended a traditional wedding in any part of the world?
If so, what was it like and did you enjoy your experience?
Let me know down in the comments below.