Of course I began asking Bintou everything I could about it. What would Binta be wearing? Where would it be held? How many layers was the cake? But, what I quickly discovered was that a traditional Gambian wedding was not your typical Cinderella fairytale complete with horse and carriage (although here, getting a horse drawn carriage of sorts could be done just by walking to the main road). A traditional African wedding didn't even come with a white dress (good thing I guess since Kleinfelds hasn't made it here yet) and whats more, this traditional African wedding wouldn't even have a groom! Binta's finace is off in the UK but the wedding would go on without him. Apparently it's pretty common here for weddings to happen while the husband-to-be is over seas.
The morning of the wedding, I woke to a house packed with people. The bride was off at the salon getting her hair done and her countless female relatives were busy preparing 15 crates of chicken for dinner. Alex and I were rather clueless as to how the day would unfold. Before I could even begin to speculate a stampede of people entered the house with megaphones, drums, songs and a film crew. They had come to take the bride to a friends house where she would spend the day.
A short ride away, Binta's friends house was in full swing. Children crowded around the courtyard and the whole house smelled like roasted meat. Binta was the center of attention, the camera crews light shining on her face as she sat and met with friends. Outside the street was blocked by rows of plastic chairs and children and women sat and listened to traditional drumming, occasionally someone would break into dance.
|The bride, Binta, and her loyal bridesmaids|
|Alex and I with Binta|