Today, I spent a few hours in West Africa’s biggest open air market buying fabric for my wedding dress with my (future) sister-in-law and her distantly related “aunt”.
If you’ve never lived here, you probably don’t understand the dichotomy between the fact that Beninese tend towards being the best dressed people in the world, and the bizarre tackiness that shows up and festivals and parties. How is it that people that look so bloody good every day, manage to throw on the sparkles and lace and spectacle for weddings, funerals, and interior decorations? Actually, I DO live here, and I still don’t understand.
That said, my wedding dress will not be as tacky as I’d feared, nor will it be as plain as the in-laws were clearly afraid of. I won on the design, they won on the polyester/taffeta blend and sequined lace. Life in Benin is all about compromises.
OK, I should admit, *I* am responsible for the polyester. In my defense, it was an up-sell from the non-polyester blend and actually looks much nicer, even if it feels a little plasticky.
Anyway, the fabric has been left at the tailor, and in about four weeks, I’ll have a handcrafted wedding dress! Pictures, oh, after the wedding, probably.