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    Weddings in Tanzania: Unique ways to get married

    10 minutes read
    Tanzania -Weddings In Tanzania Unique Ways To Get Married
    Weddings In Tanzania Unique Ways To Get Married

    Getting married only occurs once in a lifetime. So, it has to be unique, magical, and worth remembering—just like the weddings in Tanzania.

    Nonetheless, choosing the wedding location can be difficult as there are many beautiful places to choose.

    However, if you and your spouse-to-be are both adventurous, Tanzania is one of the most perfect places in East Africa and the world to get married!
    This country is full of life, vigour, and unique factors that make a wedding distinct and memorable.

    So, here are some of the unique ways to get married in Tanzania:

    Tanzania - tortilis tents under acacia trees - weddings in tanzania: unique ways to get married

    you’re looking for a unique and budget-friendly way to get married.

    Tanzania is a popular choice for getting married, mainly due to its beauty. But that’s just the start. The country’s rich wedding traditions make it unique, alongside its scenic charm.

    The marriage ceremony in Tanzania emphasises the involvement of the bride’s family, creating a deep sense of community and celebration – another factor that makes this East African country a top-notch choice for weddings. From the majestic mountains to the stunning beaches, Tanzania has no shortage of places to explore.

    Beautiful Wedding Locations in Tanzania

    Tanzania - mountain wedding - weddings in tanzania: unique ways to get married

    Having your wedding in the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best options for unique outdoor wedding destinations. Since Tanzania is opening up from the COVID-19 lockdowns, weddings at popular and special places, such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Craters, and other places, are possible. Since these locations are massive, you can host as many wedding guests as you desire at the ceremony.

    Imagine walking down the aisle next to the rolling green savannah of Tanzania. The sky is stunningly blue, and the gentle air breezes around you. You’ll then hear whisper reverberations of lions roaring in the distance, along with the songs of birds. 

    Furthermore, there’s a high chance of giant elephants, giraffes, and stripy zebras in your distant backdrop, perfect for wedding photos. National parks in Tanzania can genuinely provide the most beautiful wedding locations.

    Easy Travel can make things happen for you if you want this type of wedding! We can arrange various accommodations for you, such as:

    • Luxury lodges for a prestigious wedding celebration
    • Boutique safari camps
    • Private safari house with a luxurious honeymoon suite

    We’ll ensure that you, your partner, and the people with you can relax, unwind, and experience the best Tanzanian wedding! With your approval, We will put together the itinerary so that you’ll have ample time to relax and prepare for your BIG day.

    We can arrange a romantic, candlelit dinner in the bush under the starry skies, which a spa treatment can follow! You can also go for cocktails over the sunset, overlooking the magnificent, seemingly endless savannah.

    After the wedding day, you and your life partner can also waive over the winds on a balloon trip. English breakfast will then follow this in the bush.

    Moreover, you’ll also get to spend time in a Maasai village and dance with the local tribe. For your honeymoon, you can visit eastern Tanzanians and enjoy the powdery white sands of Zanzibar and the stunning turquoise water of the Indian Ocean.

    Some of the Safari wedding locations are:

    So, make your African wedding possible with the assistance of Easy Travel today! Our Safari wedding planner understands how to make the perfect bush nuptial and ensures that every tiny detail is taken care of.

    We can plan everything to your preference, so you don’t have to worry, as everything will be up to your liking!

    Weddings in Tanzania: Getting married on top of the mountain

    Tanzania - getting married on the beach 1 - weddings in tanzania: unique ways to get married

    Another unique way to get married in Tanzania is on the mountain! You can do this on the enchanting Mount Meru or the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro for breathtaking scenery.

    You can climb up the Kili and exchange your vows at Uhuru Peak. This wedding type will surely give you and your partner-to-be a surreal, unique, and distinct experience!

    Easy Travel can arrange everything for you, from transportation, food, accommodation, and other necessary things to help make the weddings on top of the mountain possible. We’ll also ensure that every tiny detail is taken care of to ensure you have the most unique and unforgettable marriage experience on top of the mountain.

    Weddings in Tanzania: Getting married on the beach

    Tanzania’s coast is known for its powdery white sandy beaches. Furthermore, the azure view of the Indian Ocean, the lush baobab’s lush backdrop, tropical fruit in hand, and the paradisiacal birds will contribute significantly to the wedding ambience.

    You can pick the wedding venue at any unique and lovely location on the islands of Zanzibar, Mafia, Pemba, and even Dar es Salaam. Hotels, resorts, and lodges can cater weddings on their beachfront.

    So, whether you’re searching for a small, intimate wedding ceremony at a remote location with you two or want the presence of all your family and friends, Easy Travel can make that happen. We will be the ones to make the necessary engagements and choose the ideal stayover, activities, and cuisines with your approval. 

    Your guests will surely enjoy and love every moment of your unique Tanzanian wedding.

    Legal requirements for safari weddings in Tanzania

    Weddings in tanzania

    You’ll have to submit all the legal requirements for a legal Tanzanian marriage. However, if you choose a reliable local operator like Easy Travel, you won’t have to worry about the legalities and paperwork, as we will do everything for you!

    While we can arrange wedding events, it’s best to avoid the dates from December 24th to January 4th and other public holidays like Easter, Christmas, and the New Year. This is because government officials take time off these days, so getting an official to officiate your marital request can be difficult.

    Moreover, these times fall under the dry season, so Tanzania has maximal safari guests. We’ll only require you to make particular documents available at least six weeks before your travel date for your wedding in Tanzania. While you can send them in via email, you must ensure that the originals are in hand for inspection as you arrive in Tanzania.

    • Complete name and address.
    • Occupation and the religion, faith, belief you follow.
    • Notarized copy of your valid passports.
    • Notarized copy of your birth certificates.
    • A copy of original certified proof of decree absolute (Relevant divorce documents if one or both of the partners have been divorced)
    • No impediment certificate acquired from your country of origin.

    The no impediment certificate should be duly notarised and certified in English. Divorced individuals should present the necessary divorce certification.

    However, if you’ve been widowed, a relevant death certificate should be presented instead. Furthermore, two passport-sized photographs of the bride and groom are needed.

    Based on Tanzanian law, Easy Travel will inform the Tanzanian government of your intentions to get married in the country, and we’ll do this with the Office of the District Commissioner. We will also be the ones to visit the local office of the Registrar of Marriages and submit the required completed forms, along with other mandatory documents and fees.

    Apart from the necessary legal formalities, we’ll also handle the transportation of the Registrar to and from the safari venue of your Tanzanian nuptial rites.

    You can pick from the locations to build a lifetime of unforgettable memories, like an intimate ceremony on a lake with the vibrant pink flamingos as the backdrop or near a deep riverbank with hippos grunting in the water. You can also get married in a thrilling hot air balloon ride while gracefully floating over the Serengeti’s golden grassland or have a sunset wedding over the savannah.

    Do I need special marriage licenses?

    Tanzania - do i need special marriage licenses - weddings in tanzania: unique ways to get married

    No. You only need to provide the aforementioned documentation, similar to Western countries.

    Plan your Tanzanian wedding today!

    Since getting married happens only once, it must be unique, magical, and unforgettable. So, if you’re planning a wedding apart from the typical nuptials, having it in Tanzania is a perfect choice!

    You can have your wedding at various safari destinations, such as the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, or on the powdery white beaches of Zanzibar, Pemba, and more. To have such a unique experience, you can contact Easy Travel for more details.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What is the typical dress code for a Tanzanian wedding?

    Traditional Tanzanian weddings often see the bride in brightly coloured ‘kitenge’ or ‘khanga,’ vibrant African fabrics. The groom may wear a matching shirt to the bride’s dress or a Western-style suit. Guests are usually encouraged to wear African prints or formal attire; dress code details are often provided on the invitation.

    2. Are there specific customs that are followed in Tanzanian weddings?

    Tanzanian weddings are rich in customs, varying widely among different ethnic groups. A common practice is the dowry payment, known as ‘Mahari,’ which is negotiated between the groom’s and bride’s families. Ceremonies often include traditional music, dance, and sometimes a ‘kitchen party’ where the bride receives gifts for her new home.

    3. What types of food are served at Tanzanian weddings?

    Food at Tanzanian weddings typically features local cuisine, such as pilau (spiced rice), nyama choma (grilled meat), and ugali (maise porridge). Side dishes may include chapati (flatbread), vegetable stews, and tropical fruits. Meals are central to the celebration and are shared with all guests.

    4. How long do Tanzanian weddings typically last?

    Weddings in Tanzania can last anywhere from one day to a whole week, depending on the region and the customs followed. The main ceremony and reception are usually held on one day, but there may be other events before and after, such as the dowry negotiations and family introductions. It’s common for the celebrations to continue with dancing and socialising long into the night.

    5. What is the legal process for getting married in Tanzania?

    To legally marry in Tanzania, couples must register their intent with the local authorities and fulfil a waiting period. A government official then conducts civil ceremonies. Religious and customary ceremonies may also occur, but these need to be complemented by the legal civil marriage to be officially recognised.

    6. Is polygamy recognised in Tanzanian weddings?

    Polygamy is legal and practised in some parts of Tanzania, primarily among Muslim communities. Men may marry multiple women, provided they can support them equally. Polygamous weddings follow the same traditional and civil procedures as monogamous marriages but with additional considerations for the other wives.

    7. Can foreigners get married in Tanzania?

    Yes, foreigners can get married in Tanzania, but they must meet all legal requirements, including residency stipulations and providing relevant documents like passports and birth certificates. It’s advisable to contact the local registration office or embassy for specific information and possible need for translations or legalisations of documents.

    8. What's expected in terms of gifts at a Tanzanian wedding?

    At Tanzanian weddings, guests usually bring gifts in the form of money, household items, or livestock. Gifts are often presented ceremonially, emphasising support for the newlyweds’ new beginning. Gift registries are becoming more common in urban areas, guiding wedding attendees.

    9. How are wedding invitations typically distributed in Tanzania?

    Wedding invitations in Tanzania may be distributed in person, common in rural areas and among close-knit communities. Printed or digital invitations are becoming increasingly popular in urban regions and among the middle and upper classes. Word of mouth is also common, especially when large communities are involved.

    10. Are there any Tanzanian wedding traditions regarding the bride's and groom's entrance?

    In Tanzanian wedding customs, the grandiose entrances of the bride and groom hold a spot in the day’s spotlight. The bride’s arrival is typically marked by an entourage of women garbed in traditional attire, their steps keeping time with the rhythm of local tunes.

    The groom’s entry, buoyed by a procession of kith and kin, sets a lively tone for the occasion. These theatrical arrivals ignite the festivities and symbolise the start of a new shared journey for the betrothed couple.

    11. Do Tanzanian weddings typically include a religious ceremony?

    A Tanzanian wedding often incorporates religious customs according to the couple’s faith, grounding the celebration in spiritual significance. In Christian ceremonies, couples typically exchange vows in a church, with blessings and sermons led by the clergy.

    On the other hand, Muslim weddings feature the ‘Nikah’ — a solemn contractual agreement conducted in the presence of an Imam. However, regardless of religious dictations, Tanzanian weddings often pay homage to traditional beliefs and practices, threading a cultural continuity into the fabric of the celebration.

    12. What are 'Send-Off Parties' in Tanzanian weddings?

    The Send-Off Party is a distinctive Tanzanian pre-wedding custom, honouring the bride’s journey into matrimony in a more ceremonious manner than a typical bridal shower. Guests of close female relatives and friends gather to share advice and blessings and sometimes indulge in dancing with the bride dressed in a Western-style gown.

    Heartfelt speeches from the bride’s elders impart marital wisdom, while light-hearted moments cement the vital connections among the women present. This significant event highlights the bride’s support network, emphasising their ongoing roles as she embarks on her new chapter as a wife.

    13. Is dancing an essential part of Tanzanian weddings?

    Mhiko represents a pivotal moment in Tanzanian wedding traditions, as the groom publicly declares his resolve to assume marital duties in front of respected elder figures. This promise solidifies his resolve to ensure the happiness and prosperity of his bride and the family they will build together. 

    Though Mhiko’s content will adapt to social norms and reflect the cultures of specific ethnic groups, the central themes of support, loyalty, and reverence tie together each variation. This public avowal fosters trust and community support, reinforcing the importance of marriage as a lasting, enduring partnership.

    14. What is the significance of 'mhiko' in Tanzanian wedding culture?

    The ‘mhiko’ serves as a clear commitment, revealing the groom’s preparedness to accept all responsibilities that marriage entails, often articulated in front of senior family members. It is a formal assurance to the bride’s family, underlining his dedication towards his future wife’s welfare and the well-being of their prospective family. 

    The substance of ‘mhiko’ can touch on various aspects, such as expectations of support, fidelity, and respect, tailoring it appropriately to align with the values of the specific ethnic tribe. Despite the unique permutations, the underpinning essence of ‘mhiko’ remains consistent across tribes—it is a solemn pledge of lifelong commitment.

    15. How is the wedding cake incorporated into Tanzanian weddings?

    The wedding cake tradition can be traced back to Western culture but has found its place in Tanzanian matrimonial ceremonies as a centrepiece of the reception. Typically, the newlywed couple makes the first cut, symbolising unity, joint venture, and shared future. 

    Tanzanian wedding cakes are often massive, multi-tiered structures decorated intricately to match the wedding theme or the couple’s tastes. Serving the cake to guests is more than a dessert course; it represents the couple’s commitment to mutual generosity and sharing life’s bounty with their loved ones.

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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