The continent of Africa is home to a wide diversity of religions and cultures and therefore one can find a great variation in wedding traditions. However, a remarkable and unifying feature of wedding in Africa is that people of Africa give utmost regard to the institution of marriage. Besides, in most of African societies, wedding is seen as the coming together of families or even the mixture of two tribes into one family unit. Bright festive colors, song, dance and music is a vital element of many African-wedding ceremonies. Common to all wedding ceremonies is the concept of transitioning between childhood and adulthood.
There exist more than 1,000 cultural units in Africa and each tribe has its own set of wedding traditions some as old as hundred or thousands of years. Additionally, many Africans have Islamic and Christian influences and that plays a big role in the wedding ceremonies. In some tribal societies wedding traditions are extremely elaborate lasting many days. On the other hand in some tribes, huge ceremonies are held during which many couples are united at the same time.
Though different tribal communities in Africa follow their own set of wedding customs and traditions, there are some traditions that are more common than others are. Given here is a short description of some of the more popular wedding traditions as seen in the African Tribal Weddings.
In present times, influence of western society is clearly visible in the way weddings in African are conducted. Some rich families in Africa even go to the extent of holding two wedding ceremonies - one in traditional African style and the other in modern western style. Court marriage and love marriages too have become order of the day. This change in wedding traditions is attributed to the fact that Africa is becoming overpopulated and western countries seem to have an increased influence on the African people.