As you know, my sister's wedding was a massive event that me and my family were preparing for for months. I mentioned I felt the harsh feeling of end of year burn out last year so as part of my break, I went home and celebrated my dear sister Zainab getting married. In our tradition, the actual wedding itself is preceeded by a bunch of events that include the bridal shower and a kitchen party.
I wasn't sure how I was going to wear my hair but I knew that because it was going to be a hectic time, it'd be best to 'put Fro away' so I could just up and go when I needed to. Boy am I glad I made that decision because that was the story of my life the last two weeks of December. Then there was the question of whether I'd do my hair here in Jozi, in Dar es Salaam or in Nairobi where my sister's last event - the wedding itself - was happening! Well, two nights before I flew out, I met up with my friend Darla who'd also done her hair to go home with and it looked gorgeous! Enter a crazy thought: maybe I could do the same thing tomorrow morning and it's over and done with. And that's what I did. A lovely girl came over to my house the early mornings of the day before I left Joburg. I had prepped my hair before she came and she was done in about 3.5 hours. I LOVE this braid and weave combo. I've done it several times before and I think it's becoming my protective style of choice. It's quick, convenient and gives you the look of braids without having to numb your bum for it. And what was awesome about the girl who did it? She was rocking some fierce natural hair - black, thick and beautiful! Will definitely be using her again. So this is it, I'd already shared photos but here it is again to refresh your memory:
So after it was done, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. A sigh that continued throughout the preparations and celebrations because the time I thought I might have had to do my hair whilst there? Didn't exist! The only thing I needed to worry about was how to style it for each event. Thankfully my nifty hands rose to the occasion.
The Bridal Shower
So that's my dear sister Zainab, looking all cute for her bridal shower. It was the beginning of the events. We had an all white theme and my sister being the bride wore a gorgeous goldish lace dress. We began the day with some pampering with a mobile spa and had dinner, drinks and shower games in the evening at my other sister's house. Twas the perfect girly get together.
|Baby fro: My niece Nia and I admiring our freshly painted nails|
|Me and my sisters: Zainab and Subira|
|All the sisters: Rukia, Zainab, Aisha and Subira|
I've mentioned it before but for the newbies: all of my sisters are now natural haired women. Some of us decided to wear our hair out, whilst other ie. myself and the bride decided to braid. I think her cornrows looked gorgeous!
The Kitchen Party
This is where all the mamas and aunties celebrate the bride and the mother of the bride. We pick a kitenge or khanga (East African fabric) and make outfits out of it. We dance, give household gifts and eat. For this, I styled my hair in a bit of a tucked in updo. I gathered the front parts and rolled them backwards, using pins and a big clip to hold in place.
|Sister Rukia and I|
|Scoffing a massive piece of cake!|
|With my mama, sisters and niece|
Then we headed over to Nairobi for the wedding itself! Now, before I even left Joburg my sister had asked me to help her with ideas on how to style her hair for the wedding. She also told us that she wasn't going to hire a make up artist and that us bridesmaids are going to have to make a plan. Well, come wedding day, she was still insisting on me hooking her up with day 10 of my 30 Updos challenge. Something that could have worked with her own hair but braids?! I knew it wouldn't work but she insisted until she saw it for herself. In the flourish of getting ready in time she gave me carte blanche to do whatever. In came my nifty hands again to save the day. I got this braided bun tip from Tendayi of African Hair Blog and it worked like a charm! I gathered her hair and tied it up. Then with the loose braids I braided about 5 - 6 braids that I wrapped around each other to create the bun. I finished it off with the jewelled headband she had and voila.
This was me, doing her hair and her make up pretty much by myself! While the other bridesmaids got ready and pretty, here I was nervous as hell trying to make my sister look pretty. Nerve wracking doesn't even begin to explain it! When the wedding planner called for us to leave the room to walk down the aisle, I was still bare faced and wearing this jumpsuit. So I had to get ready in ten minutes. Literally.
In came my nifty hands again! It's almost like I grew three extra hands cos I was putting my make up, getting into my dress and styling my hair all simultaneously. Zaina had requested we wear our hair in an updo. I had no idea what I was doing but I had an idea of how I wanted to look. And it came out just how I wanted. Thank God.
And the finished products:
|The bridesmaids before...|
|The bridesmaids after...|
You could see the hairstyle here much better:
|With my dear niece, Nia|
|Mr. & Mrs.|
She had insisted on subtle make up. Considering I don't have any qualifications in beauty, I think I did a good job!
Another wedding filled with laughter, warmth and most of all, love.