The Tana Wedding

I was surprised to find out that the Malagasy weddings are quite similar to Canadian, Christian weddings....

Here's the church, along with an old, restored, and decorated car for the bride and groom (just like in Canada)

What's a wedding withouth little girls in white dressing running around and playing? the pews were a little small for me...and I ended up breaking off one of the decorations (after I caused a bit of a scene and made an 18 month old cry)

The inside of the church - could have been anywhere in rural Alberta...

Unfortuately, I didn't understand a word of the ceremony, it was all spoken in Malagasy. I pretended like I understood....

The bride and groom a few moments before they seal their vows

And outside the hall, more children playing in their best dress (just like in Canada...)

Picture time! What a handsome couple. :D

Lunch was served directly after the ceremony. Not typical for Canadian weddings, but not unheard of.
Now...I issues. I am... a bit picky. Condiments are not my friend. Even the smell of mayonnaise or creamy-type things, and 99.9% of most salad dressings...are enough to make me gag.
...And this was put in front of me add to my misery (okay...that's a bit dramatic), there were ants crawling all over it. Since moving to Madagascar...I'm guilty of brushing ants off of my toast, bread, or whatever, and continue to eat. It's just...well, if I didn't eat something that hadn't been touched by some kind of bug, I would NEVER EAT.

But the combo of the ants and the just...well...I was in a bit of a panic. I am THE ONLY WHITE GIRL here and I don't want to seem rude and not eat.

So...I ate around the white dressing, picked off the ants, moved my food around so it looks like I was eating, and then was SO incredibly relieved when another expat SO incredibly kindly offered to switch plates with me.
Crisis averted.

FOR A MOMENT....Until the main course arrived
This was....well...I don't know what this was. Some time of meat and some rice. I took...the meat-like peices and lots of rice. I wanted to be polite. I said a little prayer, hoped for the best, and just ate.

Up until now, the wedding was....pretty much just I said, a Christian wedding in Canada? Even with the food thing....I've been to plenty of weddings where my awkward pickiness has embarrased me.
Unlike a Canadian wedding, dancing started half way through dinner. No speaches, no nothing. (No complaints here....Wedding speaches can be trying at the best of times.....never mind when you don't understand the language.)

The first dance - My Endless Love, by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

Then the real dancin' started!! I joined for a bit. And out came the cameras and cell phones. Giant tall vaza (Malagasy for foreigner) dances!! I guess it was quite the photo op???

Then it was time for the bride and groom to walk around and offer champagne and drink to the prosperity of their marriage. Similar to a toast in a Canadian wedding.

Next up - cutting of the cake. The groom had to walk around the room with the top layer of the cake and give it to the most beautiful girl in the room. He slowly walks around, eyeing each and every woman and girl, and passes them. Until he reaches his bride, of course, And hands her the top layer of the cake.
Instead of the typical cake smash - members of the bride/grooms family put dabs of icing all over the bride/groom's face and they have to lick it off each other while everyone laughs and watches. A think....a western tradition that got a little lost in translation along the way. Cute anyway. Okay, cute and gross, because we were sitting there watching a co-worker lick icing off of his new wife's face. :D

Not very hard to tell these kids are pprrreetty excited about getting some cake.

I'm a bit dissapointed I didn't bring my "good" camera. I brought my crappy camera (that wouldn't be so crappy if I figured out how to use it properly) because I didn't want this huge thing to carry around but mainly, I didn't want to call more attention to myself. Um.....that was pretty stupid. Not only did I miss out on some amazing shots I could have had printed out for the bride/groom, but there is just no getting around that I'll never NOT call attention to myself here....oops.

Before we left, the four staff that had come from the project presented the bride and groom with a gift. Eddy's co-workers had collected $450,000 Ar, about $215CDN, which amounts to one to two month's wages. The bride and groom were very, very happy.

After lunch and the wedding festivities, we went to Jumbo Score. Unfortunately, my camera died...I wanted to take pictures of this beautiful's quite exciting walking up and down the isles and looking at the availability of so many products....(no Cadbury Creme eggs, unfortunately...). I think we were in the store for well over a half of an hour. When we got back in the car, my driver started laughing and said, Everywhere you go, no one can beleive their eyes what they are seeing. Such tall vazas!!

After shopping it was back to the hotel...for the spaaaaa. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was like a REAL SPA. A ninety minute hot stone massage....with real massage prices...but it was worth it.
After the spa, I couldn't really find anywhere to eat supper, so I called up room service and ordered up a banana and a bun and made myself a wonderful peanut butter and banana sandwich (I have taken to carrying peanut butter with me quite often. I never know where I'm going to be where I'm not able to eat the food, and it's come in handy more than once). Ahhhhhhh, the life of luxury.....

All in all, it was a great weekend and a great wedding. I'm lucky to have been invited...and even luckier to have survived the drive from Tamatave to Tana!! That drive is, that it needs a post of it's own....Coming soon!!!!


  1. the little kids look so cute here, makes you just want to take one home....don't get any ideas!
    love, mom

  2. Thanks for sharing. The food must have been a real challenge for the GRINGO.LOL LoveG@Gxxoo

  3. when you get married you're going to have peanut-butter and banana on breadrolls (with no ants) for dinner? What kind of wine goes with that?