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“This Isn’t Africa”: Woman Under Fire For Her ‘Inappropriate’ Wedding Outfit
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“This Isn’t Africa”: Woman Under Fire For Her ‘Inappropriate’ Wedding Outfit

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Weddings may be all about the happy couple who’s tying the knot, but they should still be a good time for everyone involved, including all of the guests. Attending a wedding in a foreign country can be particularly exciting, as it’s nice to see different traditions and how other cultures choose to celebrate love.

But after one African woman recently went to a German wedding, she learned that there might be more cultural differences between herself and her colleagues than she ever realized. Below, you’ll find the whole story of the drama that ensued following the wedding, as well as some of the replies readers shared on Reddit.

After getting an invite to her first German wedding, this woman was excited to attend

Image credits:  Jopwell (not the actual photo)

But she had no idea that something as simple as her outfit choice would soon cause drama in her work life

Image credits: kente.styles (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: Alex Green (not the actual photo)

Image credits:  Ok-History7114

Image credits: Jeremy Wong (not the actual photo)

It’s expected for foreigners to be unfamiliar with the local wedding customs in any country

If you’ve spent your entire life living in one place, it can be easy to not realize just how many cultural differences you’ll experience if you ever choose to move abroad. Something as simple as what’s considered “breakfast food” might be vastly different in another nation, even one close by your own, and the way special occasions, like holidays and weddings, are celebrated can seem incredibly foreign.

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When it comes to wedding traditions in Germany, The Knot explains that brides today often opt for white gowns, and grooms tend to wear formal suits or tuxedos in a dark color. As far as what guests should wear, the blog 40% German notes that the atmosphere at these occasions is often slightly more relaxed than at weddings in the UK, for example. 

Guests will often dress up, but their attire doesn’t need to be incredibly fancy. In fact, sometimes attendees will show up in casual clothes following the ceremony just to congratulate the bride and groom. Of course, every wedding is different, and there is a range in appropriate formality. But it’s likely that in this case on Reddit, there was a simple misunderstanding due to cultural differences.

Image credits: S and S Love Story (not the actual photo)

Guests at African weddings tend to go all out with their attire

As far as how brides, grooms and guests dress at African weddings, there can also be a large variety, as there are many countries in Africa, and brides and grooms can always choose a dress code that suits their culture and preferences. But as Live & Wed notes on their site, fabulous traditional clothing is always appropriate.

“Africans usually go all in when it comes to weddings, so if you go with traditional western attire, make sure you’re not underdressed!” the blog noted. While specific styles vary by region in Africa, bold, bright prints and fabulous dresses seem to be pretty safe options.  

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If you want to fit in at an African wedding, you might want to up your jewelry game as well. “Some examples of traditional African adornments include beaded jewelry, gold jewelry, cowrie shell jewelry, and kola nuts,” Live & Wed explains. “African customs use jewelry more uniquely than their Western counterparts, which use conventional jewelry like necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings.”

Image credits: Alex Green (not the actual photo)

A misunderstanding between cultures is not an excuse to be racist

When it comes to what not to wear to an African wedding, black and white are off limits for the most part. And casual or extremely short or low-cut attire should be avoided as well. It’s very likely that a German person living in Africa could make the same mistake as the woman in this story, if they weren’t familiar with the customs and traditional wedding attire.

While it’s understandable for locals to hope that foreigners assimilate and adapt to their culture, within reason, using a misunderstanding like this as an opportunity to make racist remarks is unacceptable. Unfortunately, racism is present in many parts of the world, and Germany is no exception. One 2021 survey found that 90% of people living in Germany believe there is racism there, and nearly a quarter have been victims of it themselves. 

Sadly, this situation might not have solely been about wedding attire; there might have been prejudices at play as well. We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing similar wedding drama, look no further than right here

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Many readers assured the woman that she had done nothing wrong

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Some even shared similar experiences they’ve had at weddings in other countries

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silver5trike avatar
Silver5trike
Community Member
6 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm Indian and in my culture there's no such thing as "outshining the bride." You could turn up in bridal clothing and STILL not be as beautifully dressed or as extravagant as the bride. Also I also struggle with dress codes and usually make it a point to check in with the host to see if my dress is alright. This woman did nothing wrong and the MOB should just calm down a bit...

majandess avatar
majandess
Community Member
6 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My bridesmaids were from India and Japan, and I specifically asked them to wear whatever traditional clothing from their country they preferred. They went all out and looked amazing! And never once did it ever cross my mind that they might shine brighter than I did. I was just happy they were there to shine with me.

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silver5trike avatar
Silver5trike
Community Member
6 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm Indian and in my culture there's no such thing as "outshining the bride." You could turn up in bridal clothing and STILL not be as beautifully dressed or as extravagant as the bride. Also I also struggle with dress codes and usually make it a point to check in with the host to see if my dress is alright. This woman did nothing wrong and the MOB should just calm down a bit...

majandess avatar
majandess
Community Member
6 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My bridesmaids were from India and Japan, and I specifically asked them to wear whatever traditional clothing from their country they preferred. They went all out and looked amazing! And never once did it ever cross my mind that they might shine brighter than I did. I was just happy they were there to shine with me.

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