Weddings: Smiles and Sobs

It's wedding season! Hubs and I have gone to a couple this summer and have had to miss a couple as well. Plus, our wedding was in the summer and many of our friends had their weddings in the summer. Because of the many weddings, I've been thinking a lot about the differences between US wedding and PNG weddings, well i should say Yemli village weddings. Let me tell you, there are NUMEROUS differences!
First off, in Yemli, the woman rarely has a say in who she wants to marry. They don't really do arranged marriages in the sense of choosing who you're going to marry when you are three, but they do arranged marriages in the sense that the father tells his daughter who she is going to marry based on what he thinks is best for her or his family. Here's an example. Let's say Family A has been fighting with Family B for ages. The fights are over Family A's garden that Family B's pig keeps digging up. NOT a happy family, let me tell you. So Family A fights with Family B, Family B sends Family A food and other compensation to try and sooth over bad feelings, but family B's pig keeps messing around Family A's garden. So Family B works hard to set up a fence around Family A's garden and around Family B's pig house where the naughty pig lives. Unfortunately, Family B's pig gets out of the pig house fence and into the garden fence and once again messes with Family A's garden. What to do now?! 
Family B with their pig - well, not really, but you get the idea.
Well, one option would be to have Daughter A marry Son B, arranged by Fathers A and B so that family fights can finally once and for all be over. If Son B marries Daughter A, then families A and B become one family of C. Therefore, no more fighting, no more problems, BLISS! Well.. it doesn't always work that way, but that's kind of the idea.
Sometimes, a guy actually will attempt to buy a wife he finds hard working. In that case, he would go to the daughter's dad and tell him he wants to take his daughter as his wife, and then the dad and potential future son in law would discuss the bride price. Here's how it goes.
Hopeful Boy: I want to have your daughter as my wife.
Skeptical Dad: Ok. She's worth A LOT so be ready to give your life up for her.
Hopeful Boy: Well, I don't want to give my life up, but I can pay a large bride price.
Skeptical Dad: She is worth a lot. For you to be able to buy my daughter as your wife, you need to give me two bilums (or bags) of kaukau (Yemli staple), two chickens, one pig, and a bilum of sako (another Yemli staple).
Hopeful Boy: My, she is worth a lot. Ok, well right now I have only one chicken, but I will give you three bilums of kaukau if I can give you only one chicken.
Skeptical Dad: Ok, good enough. I will tell my daughter that she will be married.

Later on...
Skeptical Dad: Daughter, I had a talk with Hopeful Boy. He has paid your bride price and you will marry him.
Submissive Daughter: Ok, Dad.

Sounds great huh? Well, that's just getting started. So, finally, the big day comes. The bride starts off the day by asking three of her close friends to help her get dressed up in her best bush made dress and dots on her flower made makeup...
Um.. no, REWIND!
So, here's what really happens. The day of the wedding approaches. Everyone in Hopeful Boys family is getting a great feast ready. They cook up pigs, chickens, kaukau and sako. If they have it, they will cook up rice and tinfish as well (tin fish is basically the cheap version of canned tuna fish.) Many of Submissive Daughters family will be helping to prepare the meal as well. They do this at the location of the ceremony, usually the house where the new couple will be staying, which happens to be the husbands family's house already.
Here is a group of men carrying large pans up to the "groom's" house
Meanwhile, the groom and all his family walks down the mountain (or maybe up depending on where Submissive Daughter lives) and gets Submissive Daughter and all her family that is not already at the ceremony site getting the meal ready.
Once they pick up Submissive Daughter and her family, everyone turns back around and heads back to Hopeful Son's house where the ceremony will take place.The WHOLE WALK BACK TO Hopeful Son's house, Submissive Daughter has a towel over her head and is wailing LOUDLY. Her eyes are red and swollen, her voice is disappearing because of her wails, and her head is lowered. Why is she wailing? She's leaving her family to join another. Her family is no longer her family because she's joining another family.

Once everyone gets to Hopeful Son's house, the could sits on a log in the middle of the ground. They sit there facing away from each other, heads down, and Submissive Daughter continues to cry. Then the pastor or village elder gets up, preaches about marriage and how marriage is for life and they are making a commitment to each other and to God, and then that's that. They are married. Then, everyone files by the newly married couple (who are still sitting heads down on the log and Submissive Daughter is still crying and hiccuping) and shakes their hands. The married couple doesn't smile or look anyone in the eye. Strange huh?
Here is an example of what a village elder might wear when he is marrying a couple. In this picture, he is actually getting ready to share a message at church. You can see a couple guitar players behind him.

Then, the happy couple splits up and the bride stops her crying because now she has a family again! And she goes into the house and helps to serve up the food for everyone. Once everyone has been served, the church elder prays and then everyone eats. Huzzah! Marriage! After that, everyone goes home and I have no idea what happens after that. :)

But, usually, this is what happens shortly after.....