“This is too simple!
“You need something with some embellishment (a.k.a. bling)”…..
It is not befitting”…. Look this wedding is not only about you.
To my shock, horror and sadness those where the words I heard when my mother and father saw what I considered and still do, to be the loveliest Invitation cards in the world. These cards hand been designed and custom made by me and my fiancé for our wedding. Frustrated does not cut it…
My husband( or fiancé as at that time), is a fantastic computer person, graphics design, picture….. urrghhhh (I don’t have a title for him he is EVERYTHING). He is one of those amazingly gifted people who are great at many things it’s just who he is; he is AMAZING!!!
Anyways back to the matter at hand, I was horrified to discover that the beautiful card I and my fiance had designed did not go down well with my parents. “Mommy it’s simple and classy” I argued “besides it’s what we want” I said. She turned looked me in the eye an repeated; “This wedding is not about just you.”
Good gracious! I was lost for words. Are you kidding me? I thought. This was the second time she had repeated that statement in the last 2 minutes; I could not believe it… In anger I left the house and went for a drink I certainly needed it. Whilst out I kept thinking to myself “this has got to be a joke” because at that point we hadn’t even entered planning proper those were just sample IVs i had wanted them to comment on. I was saddened greatly i tell ya. Anyways those where the beginnings of what was to come, it was a foretaste of the night mare called “wedding Planning” something I am very in the know of now “the night mare of planning my Nigerian wedding.” I specify just my wedding because despite the fact that I know many people that have stories similar to mine, there are many others with quite lovely experiences. Alas’ that was not my case.
Life has introduced me to one of the stages my Mom once told me about. When I was 16 years old, were having a random conversation and one of the things I remember from that conversation was; she mentioned the fact that there was a time in her life when all they (she and her friends) did was attend each other’s weddings . time passed and then they started attending each other’s baby naming ceremonies and baby dedications, it further became their children’s birthday parties, then they started talking about the kids taking common entrance into secondary school, then Junior WAEC, Senior WAEC, JAMB, Matriculation…bla bla bla etc. you get the point. Anyways i figured now that they have gotten to the erra of attending our (us the kids) weddings… and looking forward to grand kids and so forth.. Isn’t it lovely how life moves so fast?
This picture is every Nigerian Parents dream for their daughter lol!
Lets get back to me. So, right now I am currently surrounded by brides-to-be, newlyweds, newly engaged, people in “serious relationships etc. I guess I can say it’s our season and our own cycle has begun. (Sadly there’s those of us who want to get married but do not even know when the next boyfriend/girlfriend is going to show up. (emphasis on WANT). I do not have the answers it’s not about being a good or bad person I think that’s just the way life goes).
However I must confess the marriage/wedding season is a beautiful, happy one. It’s like a burst of euphoria around me its just delightful. every where I turn there’s a proposal, a new fiancé, shiny diamond rings, cakes and bouquets of flowers, ice-cream, smooches, chocolates, dinner dates, kisses, tears, happiness …”u name it”…..ultimately all these point in one direction a wedding. Unfortunately or(fortunately depending on your experience) weddings are a product of the nightmare called “wedding planning”.
In my environment, official wedding planning usually begins with the Introductions (the official meeting of the two families), this gives room for picking a date, invitation cards, who to invite, counselling sessions in a church/mosque depending on your religion(this is paramount as we are a super religious people), court appointments, choosing wedding colours, venues, nails, hair makeup under wear, and finally THE WEDDING DRESS.
At this point you must have figured out I am talking from a womans perspective. Now we all are aware a wedding is incomplete without the HUSBANDS (&their quirks) so usually a lot of conversations in this period somehow leads in the direction of MEN!!! (Oh Gosh! rolls eye)
What amuses me is how many brides to be bring up conversations about ex-boyfriends (this usually elicits a lot of weird emotion.) It’s not unusual for a girl to have a few exes but usually there is that one ex that triggers either tears or very emotional statements like “thank God I left him” or “his loss” or “that bastard” depending on the emotion at the time. Then there is that rare girl who admits that there is “one that got away”. the one that actally amuses me is the girls who start to second guess their reasons for dating people they broke up with years ago; hilarious!
During the wedding planning, certain topics are a constant; Money(dangerous topic), In-laws(I could write a whole encyclopedia on that), Sex(I am going to leave that topic for now) Children….etc. this brings me to what bothers me about wedding planning Naija style.
I will only talk about weddings in Naija ‘cos that is what I have experienced and that is what I know. For those who may not know, as Nigerians we sometimes call our country Naija…..
Being a newlywed, I consider myself fresh off the boat (the relationship-engagement-wedding planning boat) so Yes!!! I have experienced the trauma of planning a Nigerian wedding. What I discovered in planning my wedding was the fact that it exposed me to sides of my family I do not want to remember and also sides of my then fiancé that I was surprised, shocked and sometimes horrified to find but at other times, it made me smile and hug him and look up to the sky whispering under my breath (THANK-YOU JESUS FOR THIS MAN). That being said I do not EVER want to plan my Wedding again. I will plan others in my lifetime God willing my daughters, my nieces, cousins, friends, my grand-kids, their kids and grand-kids etc. the list goes on. The things I discovered planning my wedding reinforced in me the need to know myself and the one I have chosen to love. This leads me to my actual topic wedding planning and it’s negative trends.
A sad trend I have noticed with wedding planning around me is, how many friendships and relationships are destroyed as a result of a wedding (it’s so funny what weddings can cause) from managing the parents on both sides, to managing even friendships. Patience and people management is a gift u may need to go on a lord of the rings quest to acquire in this “wedding planning” journey… I shall talk about these trends in my next blog