Chimamanda Adichie Explains Why She Created Her Own Wedding Rituals

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In a recent post on Facebook, Chimamanda Adichie shared never-before-seen photos of her wedding.

Sharing these photos was an unprecedented act of openness, which she acknowledged in the note accompanying the photos: “the need for privacy is now superceded by my desire to publicly honour the rare and wonderful woman I called my mother.”

She shared details of her wedding, noting that she not only walked down the aisle with both parents but also chose her mother for the bride’s “first dance” (instead of the father as is customary). She ends the note with a criticism of blind adherence to conventions.

“Convention,” she wrote, “is something made up by somebody and then repeated by others. If convention feels wrong for you, if your skin bristles and your spirit stalls at the thought of doing something “the way it is done,” then stop and act.”

The full post was: “Our wedding, many years ago, was small and lovely, just as we wanted it. I asked family and friends not to post any photos publicly. I wanted privacy. But my need for privacy is now superceded by my desire to publicly honour the rare and wonderful woman I called my mother. And I hope this perhaps inspires any young women (and men) out there who are questioning any kind of convention.

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“Before the wedding, I decided that both my parents would walk me down the aisle. And I decided that my first dance would be with my mother. My father, who I often teasingly called DOS for “Defender of Spouse,” was very supportive. He wasn’t much of a dancer – I inherited his unrhythmic genes – but my mother was. And my mother’s joy on that day was a gorgeous glowing thing.

“Convention is something made up by somebody and then repeated by others. If convention feels wrong for you, if your skin bristles and your spirit stalls at the thought of doing something “the way it is done,” then stop and act.

“We can make changes. We can try and craft small slices of the life we want.

“We can unmake convention to make things more just, more complete, more beautiful.

“Not everyone will be happy with you, because it is human nature to try and conserve things as they are, but your spirit will feel full, and there is nothing more meaningful than knowing you have been true to yourself.”

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