My Wedding Story Part 1: The Traditional Events

I’m African yeah. I need to tell you my wedding story from the beginning because an African wedding doesn’t typically start with the “white wedding” as we call it here in SA. It starts with the engagement and the traditional proceedings. In some countries they call it a dowry, in SA it’s lobola. In Tanzania, we call it mahari. It’s in plain terms a “bride price”, paid in the form of money, or gifts or livestock (depending on where you’re from) by the groom and his family to the bride and/or the bride’s family. It’s then followed by the relevant religious ceremony – Christian or Muslim. My family is Muslim so we had the very intimate ceremony in my parent’s home in Dar es Salaam. Here are some pics from the festivities:

My Hair

It was the only event of my wedding story in which I was required to cover my hair. So there isn’t much of a story here with the hair decision – more of the hair cover up. I tied my own hair into a mid pony tail and wrapped it first with my pink headscarf. I then had the gold veil pinned onto the scarf on the sides. I knew that I’d wear white for my other event so I wanted to wear something bright and colourful – my favourite colour pink 🙂

Many Tanzanian brides would also have a kitchen party where the women in her life would send her off with gifts for her new marital home. I was due to have one however out of respect for my grandmother’s passing a few weeks before, my kitchen party was cancelled. I did have a send off in the form of a more modern bridal shower in SA… coming to you in My Wedding Story Part 2.

Special shout out to one of my best friends Nanzia Mbaga. You’ll see her in every one of my wedding stories. There were quite a few events in two different countries and she was there for every single one of them. Mad love x




  1. Ayesha Makuyi
    April 25, 2019 / 4:24 pm

    Hi Aisha,

    I must say love your wedding story I started looking into your blog after watching your latest video on YOUtube, which was amazing. I am currently in the process! but the thing is we both black and different religions.
    Just looking for advice on your take on marrying someone of a different religion while growing up as a black African Muslim.


    • Aisha O'Reilly
      April 30, 2019 / 10:00 am

      Hi Ayesha, thanks so much for the love. It’s quite a complicated issue and really depends on both of your families. We both grew up quite liberal so it wasn’t a shock that we wanted to be together. I think the most important thing is that you and your future husband are on the same page and are aware of any expectations you have in your daily life – are you expecting him to worship the same way you do or vice versa, how will you raise children, what religious celebrations will you celebrate etc. If you can compromise and agree to be on the same page, it lessens the pressure. Hope that helps!

  2. Anonymous
    February 14, 2015 / 10:18 am

    Hi Aisha, I love your blog and hair story, your wedding, everything! In this post your say your family are Muslim, are you also Muslim?

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:47 am

      Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoy my stuff!

  3. February 12, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    You do indeed make a beautiful bride. May your home be eternally blessed.

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:46 am

      So sweet, thank you!

  4. Titi
    February 5, 2015 / 1:08 pm

    Aisha you made a beautiful bride!!!!! Just radiating happiness. Blessings to your union!

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:46 am

      Thank you so much 🙂

  5. January 28, 2015 / 4:26 am

    I'm loving this series. you look amazing as per usual. Can't wait to see the rest of the pics. Can you tell us more about your love story, or a link to it if it's in the blog somewhere.

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:46 am

      Thanks so much! You actually inspired me to share the love story, so thanks for requesting it 🙂

  6. Anonymous
    January 27, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Hi, my name is Laureta, and I love your blog. I'm from Angola, and like many African countries, it is the same thing here. But we call "Alambamento" which is the traditional weeding or "Pedido" , yes we speak portuguese too. Your outfit its gorgeous, and I love the pink!!!!!!!

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:45 am

      Thank you for sharing that Laureta!

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:45 am

      Thanks Berry!

  7. January 26, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Congrats!!! awesome story i juss cant wait for part 2

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:45 am

      Thank you, I hope you enjoyed part 2!

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:44 am

      Thanks Maame

  8. January 26, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    oh wow…so colourful…i love it!!!!!

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:44 am

      Thanks Nelly 🙂

  9. January 26, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    Congratulations! You looked gorgeous. I love reading wedding stories. Looking forward to part 2!

    • March 8, 2015 / 5:44 am

      Thanks for reading!

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