I experienced my second African wedding this weekend, as always, from behind the sound desk. I have mentioned before that we enjoy a diverse international membership at Westover, including a large contingent of Africans from several countries.
I wrote about the 1st wedding here. It was an interesting experience. Since this was my second, I was better prepared for what to expect. Like, for instance -
Don't expect any information about what will happen during the ceremony. That's because there is no plan. That means there will not be a rehearsal, as there is nothing to rehearse. The happy couple will (finally) arrive at the church, and they will get married. Oh, and some other people might be a part of the wedding. Or, they might not.
Expect to operate on African time. That means that for a 2 o'clock wedding, a few people - mostly white Americans - will show up by 2; a handful of folks will be there about 2:30. The majority will be there by 3 - but not necessarily the wedding party. They didn't show up until 3:15. Some folks came wandering in after the ceremony was over.
Expect surprises. A week ago the event coordinator at church said, "Some girls will sing. They said they can come at noon for a sound check." I was not surprised that they weren't there at noon, but I was surprised to find a guy setting up a keyboard. He also had a bass guitar with him. And he
confirmed that there would be some singers - maybe 2, maybe 6. I'm good with that. I can handle keyboards, guitars and singers.
Surprisingly, the girls did show up in about half-an-hour - and there were 6 of them. Then a keybooard player and a bassist showed up and we had a real rehearsal. Surprise! Then the keyboardist asked to have his laptop plugged into the sound system; he had some backing tracks and other music he intended to play during the service. This was a surprise and I had to scramble to do that with the setup I was using.
Expect a lot of singing and dancing. Dancing down the aisle, dancing by the singers. Dancing by all when the minister invited everybody up on the stage - to dance! And most especially, dancing back up the aisle. Sorry that it's so hard to load a video in a blog. I have some fun footage.
And, like every other one of the hundreds of weddings I have worked, expect the bride and groom to go home married when all is said and done. Congratulations Patrick and Augustine.
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