“After years of fervent prayer, waiting and then some more waiting, the Lord finally brought this Presbyterian Pastor out of obscurity and into my life,” Tafadzwa recalls of meeting her now-husband Mark.
After a beautiful proposal atop Bear Mountain in New York, the couple jumped right into wedding planning. They were engaged in August and were married in December! It was a quick, four-month turnaround, but their winter wedding was a beautiful blend of traditions and design elements from both the bride and groom’s culture and countries. Tafadzwa shares, “I thought it would be a nice nod to my Zimbabwean culture to use some ethnic fabric for my flower girl dresses, the groom’s cummerbund, bow tie, and pocket square, and also the groomsmen and paige boys’ bow ties and pocket squares. We used a motif print of the same fabric for the programs and table place settings. We also, put together a bridal dance which we call “grand march” that the guests thoroughly enjoyed. A grand march is very Zimbabwean and something was done at every wedding.”
See all of the gorgeous details from this chic, multicultural wedding below.
- Couple: Tafadzwa and Mark
- Wedding date: December 29, 2019
- Wedding location: Mezzanine, New York, NY
Marriages and weddings in Zimbabwe feature a combination of traditional and western culture. It begins with the groom-to-be and his family approaching the bride-to-be’s family with a proposal for marriage. This involves the payment of Roora (Bride Price) that includes cash, cattle, food items, and clothing for the father and mothers-in-law. At this occasion, the groom-to-be asks for permission to wed, which is granted if the family is satisfied with the process. Thereafter, the western culture takes over and a typical wedding is held. The African culture is, however, still evident in modern weddings where an African theme is presented in the dress, music, and dance.
- Wedding flowers: The main flower was the African Protea with roses and peonies.
- Favorite item on the menu: Pignoli Crusted Halibut braised in a pancetta broth and seasonal vegetables.
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Imported African print bow ties and pocket squares for the groomsmen and Swarovski crystal dusty blue earrings for the bridesmaids.
- First dance song: The first dance song was a mashup of a Shona song (Runonzi Rudo by Pah Chihera, feat. Prince K. Musarurwa) and an American Classic Rock Song (Rock and Roll Again by Blackberry Smoke).
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal.
After years of fervent prayer, waiting and then some more waiting, the Lord finally brought this Presbyterian Pastor out of obscurity and into my life. Then on one balmy August afternoon, the pastor decided to take my sister who lives in South Africa, and I for an excursion to climb Bear Mountain in New York. After a toilsome hike, at the top of the mountain, hot and sweaty, he asked my sister to take a picture of us, then got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked me to marry him.
I got engaged on August 30th and immediately started planning my wedding which was on December 29th. The prep time was short. It was stressful and exciting in equal measure but I would not have had it any other way. It’s hard to believe that all this came together in Just four months. My sister was a major part in making our beautiful wedding possible.
How did you know they were “the one”?
I knew he was the one because I felt safe with him. The relationship was really easy and I was comfortable being fully myself around him. What clinched the deal was the fact that he loved my hair in its natural state. He liked my “twisties” as he calls them. He knew I was the one because, “the more he got to know me, the more he knew he could not live without me.”
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
Yes! I thought it would be a nice nod to my culture to use some ethnic fabric for my flower girl dresses, the groom’s cummerbund, bow tie, and pocket square, and also the groomsmen and paige boys bow ties and pocket squares. We used a motif print of the same fabric for the programs and table place settings. We also, put together a bridal dance which we call “grand march” that the guests thoroughly enjoyed. A grand march is very Zimbabwean and something done at every wedding.
Describe your wedding Style.
New York Chic with some eclectic accents.
Describe your wedding dress and your favorite wedding accessory.
My wedding dress was a strapless mermaid dress in mikado with form-flattering seams and floor-length buttons on the back. My favorite accessory was my fur cape which was a “something borrowed” from my dear friend Kimberly.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
It’s really hard to pick because there were many. The moment my sister put my veil on with so much care and attention was so special and emotional. Walking down the aisle with my older brother to a Shona song called Huyai by Tembelami was a gripping moment. The song basically says, Lord come and walk with me. Then after being pronounced as Mr. and Mrs. Wellman, I danced down the aisle to P Square No one like U. It was impromptu so you can imagine my husband’s surprise. I have a hunch he totally loved it though. Then immediately after that, our Zimbabwean family encircled us dancing and ululating as they sang a traditional Shona song welcoming the bride. Shona is my mother tongue and it’s from Zimbabwe. At the end of that electrifying moment, we were surrounded by jubilant family and friends celebrating us. And last but not least, having the “father and daughter dance” with the guy who has held my hand for as long as I can remember; my twin brother and best friend. We danced to “Fairweather Friend” by Johnny Gill.
Advice for brides:
After you have done all the hard work of preparing for the wedding, take a deep breath, and let go. The day goes by so fast! Use that short time to enjoy your day. Dance excitedly, laugh hysterically, smile through happy tears, and lock into all the love and adoration from your family and friends! Importantly, exude gratitude!
- Photography: Light N Eye @lightneye
- Bride’s Dress: Pronovias
- Bridal Salon: Jahee Bridal
- Bride’s Headpiece and/or Veil: The veil was handmade with antique lace and imported from the Middle East. The headpiece was by Dareth Colburn Designs.
- Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Song of Love Lulus Dress
- Groom’s Attire: J. Crew
- Cakes/desserts: Sugartown Bakery
- Catering: Battello & Jeanene Pelham
- Ceremony Venue: The Mezzanine NYC
- Reception Venue: Battello
- Event Decor/design: Moira Munyati (Bride’s Sister)
- Entertainment: Djamp/Mooremusic
- Event Planner: Dicky Powell
- Floral: Dicky Powell
- Hair: Monique’s Techniques
- Makeup: Souhimakeup
- Videography: Munyaradzi Munyati