Nokubongwa Zazini and Bathandwa Mathyolo. Picture: Twitter

It has become a norm for many of our people to incorporate the white wedding to their special day right? Not for Nokubongwa Zazini, 32, and Bathandwa Mathyolo, 35.

This week, we were invited to a special wedding down in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, where the couple, who met at work in 2013, showcased the importance of embracing our cultures.

Bathandwa works for a company that picks up linen, while Nokubonga works at the hospital.

Bathandwa had come by the hospital to pick up linen that day and it turned out that Nokubonga was responsible for sorting out the linen.

Nokubonga and her colleagues were still busy sorting the linen so she asked Bathandwa that they give them a bit more time.

It was from that day onwards that Bathandwa would start to fondly refer to his love as "le juba laka" (my dove). 

"He told me he loved me, I was shocked and didn't want to hear it.  But after awhile I realised that I actually loved him too," said the blushing makoti (bride). 

In 2016, Bathandwa asked her out on a date where he intended on proposing to her. 

And after they fell pregnant, they quickened the processes of paying ilobola, so everything was made official. 

Explaining why their wedding was strictly traditional, Bathandwa said "I wanted it to be memorable, seeing that I'm Xhosa. It is like a revival for us," he added. 

The theme was black and white, which were the colours chosen by the groom, with a splash of yellow and red, which were chosen by the  bride.

The wedding was graced by over 500 people, with Bathandwa saying, "In our culture, once they see smoke outside, it's an official invitation to all."

On their wedding day, the village women came out in numbers to prepare for this special day. 

Bathandwa wore his traditional attire, with traditional beads around the neck and on the head. Nokubonga was also dressed in full her Xhosa attire in black and white. 

"I feel great in my outfit and I know my husband will love (it)," she said. 

And the husband did indeed love it. 

The interesting thing was seeing their bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed in TshiVenda traditional cloths. "I just love the colours," said Nokubonga in between giggles. 

With a traditional song, the groom's family walked all the way to where the makoti was getting ready, singing "we are here to collect our bride". 

Together they went to take their pictures first before heading back home where she would be introduced to the groom's family. 

Before entering the Mathyolo family grounds, Nokubonga's family had to present two bottles of expensive alcohol as a way of asking for permission to enter. When allowed in, ululating and singing was done as a way of celebration. 

The couple then headed into the reception hall, dancing their prepared wedding 'step'. 

Only then was the couple joint in holy matrimony by the reverend. 

"It seems like that was the moment that everybody was waiting for... so I thought I should show them this is how I do it, and I will forever do it like this," said Bathandwa, while looking up to demonstrate that him being shorter than the wife is nothing he is ashamed of. 

Their cake design, as they had requested, was a cross between traditional and modern. It was decorated in their wedding colours, with red flowers.

An awkward moment came when there were numerous dogs roaming the reception area. 

"In the Xhosa culture, we say where there are bones, there are dogs. It's natural. You can't chase them away," said Bathandwa. 

"It is something unique, that is what makes us so rural," he added.

Later that day, Mrs. Mathyolo came back dressed in a shawl and traditional skirt. That was also a time for her to be told about marriage and what being a bride is like. 

"I've changed now, I'm no longer the same Nokubonga. I am a wife now," she said with a big smile.

Soon thereafter, the gift exchange happened, they continued with the celebrations. After the day filled with various elements, the clue said, when asked if this was their perfect wedding.

"Yes this was our perfect, perfect, blessed wedding." 

AmandaMaliba