Wedding Vanuatu Style

Pacific Bliss
Colin Price
Tue 5 Nov 2013 06:15
This is a taster – there are more words to come soon.  Just wanted to share the photos
David’s and Melrose’s wedding was long foretold on our stay in the Banks and for a long time we didn’t know if we were invited or not, and even, if we actually wanted to go.  It meant extending our time up North and possible barging in where we weren’t welcome.  Finally, and at the eleventh hour, we were invited by Chief Kerely to join so that Zinnia could be a bridesmaid.  She was overjoyed having missed out on be a girly bridesmaid a few times in the UK because of our trip.  We were certainly going to be the only foreign guests and we asked not to be made a fuss of.  As it was we ended up being a part of the ceremony and acting as official photographers.
Day 1 – Kustom Wedding
What a privilege to be asked to a traditional wedding in Vanuatu.  As Colin had been made a ‘brother’ by Bascal Levi, a grade 4 chief from Mota Lava, a few weeks before we were able to attend as family guests and as we discovered, pretty much everyone there was now by association a brother, uncle, aunt or uncle it was very complicated to know quite how e fitted in.  At the end of the day we were no longer allowed to call Melrose by her name but from now on have to call he our ‘balega’ which means ‘daughter-in-law’ we think.
Day 2 – Church Wedding
The second day of the wedding started in the church, had a feast in the middle, and ended with Kustom dancing on the green
Kustom Dancing
The boys danced their hearts out in the midday sun.  Interestingly they did not have on their ‘tourist uniforms’ but only the leaves, branches and colours needed to symbolize the animals and stories they are telling – though we were told that the stories are secret, so we cant tell you them which is a shame.
IMG_8996 which had to be paid for by money stuck to a palm frond and presented to the dancers.