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Singer Fenan and Bonny’s melis program

The groom sends the elders (Shimagle), who then request a partnership between the parties, to start the wedding process. The elders talk about the dowry and confirm that the alleged bride and groom are not related by looking back at least seven generations to determine their lineage. Following the dowry agreement and confirmation that the prospective bride and groom are unrelated, the wedding is announced, and families start preparing for the church or mosque ceremony as well as the mels or melsi ceremony. The bride and groom gather at the groom’s home early the morning of the wedding and travel to the bride’s parents’ home to begin the wedding ceremony. The bride gets ready and waits for the groom to arrive at the home of the bride’s parents. The bride’s family and friends solemnly block the entrance to the house as the groom and his wedding party arrive. To get them to enter the house so that the groom can take the bride with him, the grooms must either serenade or bribe them. The best man also carries perfumes and sprays them all over the bride’s family’s house. Following this ritual, the groom picks up his bride, and together they enter the church or mosque to exchange wedding vows in a procession. The wedding procession travels to the park or garden after the religious ceremony, where lunch is served to the guests. After the wedding, guests are typically sent to the reception while they take pictures. Several traditional dances are performed at the reception, depending on the ethnic group the family belongs to. Ethiopian weddings typically feature live music, Ethiopian food, and a morning-long celebration. The elders are seated at the hall’s exit to conclude the wedding ceremony, and the bride and groom exit the building while still wearing their wedding garters, bowing to the elders and kissing their knees. This usually marks the end of the first day of an Ethiopian wedding.

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