Understanding the Tribal Wedding

Most modern weddings look nothing like they did just half a century ago. Weddings are getting smaller, less costly, and more secular. However, there is still one type of wedding that looks exactly as it did centuries ago: tribal weddings. 


A common misconception among those who haven’t been to many tribal weddings is that they are the same as our urban weddings, only smaller in scope. But that couldn’t be further from reality. Though wedding customs vary by culture, there are several facts about tribal weddings that make them different from ours.


It isn’t necessary for all members of your family or tribe to attend your wedding, for example. In fact, most tribal ceremonies are only attended by relatives on your mother’s side of your family. That means you don’t have to invite everyone on both sides. 


If you choose to have an intimate ceremony with only close friends and family (with no nieces or nephews), you can do so without feeling excluded from your community afterward. Many cultures also impose strict rules regarding entrance into their communal spaces, especially ritual areas, to outsiders.

Does It Still Happen Today?

A tribal wedding still exists today, although it may have morphed into something different from what it once was. A tribal was a ceremony with a specific set of traditions and activities that the bride, groom, and guests as well respected. Nowadays, there aren’t so many differences between a tribal wedding and a modern wedding. That is because most people accept changes that today’s society considers normal.


In modern society, people often speak of their wedding day as one of, if not the most important days of their lives. They also use words such as special and memorable to describe it. For someone who has experienced both types of ceremonies (tribal and modern), there are very noticeable differences that make one more memorable than the other. 

Most importantly, these variations seem to highlight how far we’ve come in certain aspects of our culture while falling short when it comes to others. Many facts about tribal weddings are considered taboo today, so only the most acceptable traditions were kept.


That begs an important question: why don’t we see those same changes reflected when it comes to our weddings? And can we adopt some of the things that make tribal weddings so extraordinary despite our fast-paced world?

How Important Is It for Tribal People?

In tribal communities, wedding ceremonies are thought to be highly important for a number of reasons. For one thing, when families get together for weddings and other celebrations, it gives them an opportunity to connect with each other and reflect on how they are doing as individuals and as a whole. It is also an opportunity for them to reflect on their own happiness as they continue on with their lives, surrounded by close family members who care about them deeply. 


Weddings also act as ways for parents to pass down traditions from generation to generation. After all, weddings give people hope for the future. Most guests see them as turning points in life that lead to greater things and deeper connections than what you could ever experience before. 


When someone experiences a traditional wedding ceremony firsthand, it certainly will make an impact that lasts for years or even decades afterward! The significance of such rituals cannot be underestimated. Culture and customs are vital for everyone everywhere, no matter where you live or what culture you belong to! 

Distinct Characteristics of a Tribal Wedding

A modern wedding looks nothing like it used to. In fact, people don’t even wear dresses to them anymore! Nowadays, weddings are more formalized and less romantic. 


But tribal peoples have been taking care of their ceremonies for hundreds of years. Because tribal culture isn’t exactly mainstream nowadays. These traditions are unlike anything else we are used to. Many of us don’t even know what defines a tribal wedding. We hear some facts about tribal weddings from older generations who have experienced them and a handful of people that still stick to the traditional tribal wedding.


The cultural differences between a modern wedding and a tribal wedding may be what attracts so many people to them. Colorful attire, fewer guests, usually only close family members (at times, it is just parents and grandparents) — the list of pros goes on. 

These different rituals reflect an element of tradition that many people crave when they walk down an aisle but want their ceremony to be different than everyone else’s. Another aspect that makes a tribal wedding more unique than most traditional ones is entertainment and music during each phase of it. 


That being said, no two tribes have exactly similar weddings. Every tribe has its own customs that they adhere to while celebrating a wedding and passing on their traditions to future generations.

Modern Day Significance

In tribal days, people led simpler lives. Not easier, but simpler. They didn’t have wedding planners or caterers, and there weren’t dresses to try on or venues to choose from. 


A lot has changed since tribes first started holding weddings. Women don’t typically travel by horseback anymore, and having three-day celebrations is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Nowadays, brides typically wear white gowns but will also likely accessorize them with things like veils, shoes decorated with rhinestones, and flowers pinned into their hair. 

The times have certainly changed, but one thing that hasn’t is how people feel about their wedding day. Whether you’re in your cowboy boots and hat or your petticoat and high-heels, there’s just something about being surrounded by your loved ones as you vow to spend your life with the person you love. 


Knowing what we know now about how weddings used to be held and how things are done today, it’s no wonder couples want to preserve that memory for years to come through photos! Modern tribes will often document those special moments through photography services, and since these days everyone has cameras on their phones, chances are they’ll snap some photos too!

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