THIS THING CALLED…WEDDING.

I attended the early morning mass today; it’s Ascension Thursday. I was early (for an early morning mass, can you imagine?!) so I sat just outside the door and smoked a joint while I waited. LOL…ok, goofs stop here.

I sat and watched people shuffle past me to sit in different pews. There was quite a handful of people but one couple caught my attention; the man was in a suit and the lady wore a simple black dress so it wasn’t their dressing. What drew and kept my attention was the thing they had going for them. They giggled, laughed, never stopped touching – they were clearly in love. I was seated a few seats behind them so I just looked on with this silly half-smile on my face, crying and wailing “Lawwd, see ME!!!!”

When altar activity indicated that the priest would soon be out, the lady picked up a black polythene bag I hadn’t noticed before then, and stepped outside. Moments later as she passed by me enroute her seat, I did a double take. She had changed into a white wedding gown with a train and veil to boot, jewelry winked from her arm, neck and in her hair. A little murmur swept through the sparsely-occupied church and she smiled this small demure J and took her seat. I was dumbstruck and enraged – Cinderella came to church and nobody saw it fit to pre-inform me?!

We all learnt eventually that it was their wedding day, Cinderella and her prince. They wanted a really really small wedding with – the Monsignor made sure to add – “no noise”. I slept through most of the homily – blame it on the sexy-chilly morning – but I was wide awake through the wedding parts where they exchanged vows, rings and kisses.

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What is the deal on This Thing Called Wedding?

Why do people spend so much money and time planning a wedding only to suffer through the day worrying over who received a souvenir and who did not, or who ate the goat meat reserved for the Umunna? When did weddings stop being about a man and a woman, excited as toddlers at the park, committing their lives to a union of love in the presence of God and man? And become a (townspeople) + (friends)*(ex-friends + people-you-never-met-before) reunion? When did it become about having THE wedding of the year and because you never could have afforded it, spending your honeymoon cooped up with your partner eating Pringles and playing ludo?

Some days ago, I met up with friends from my university days for a mini-reunion. Because the rest of us hadn’t been at her wedding about a month back, Jane regaled us with tales of her new life with her ‘my baby’ – she kept calling him that…all dis freshly-married people can know how to make somebori jealous shaa. Anyhow, we got talking about weddings and she mentioned that all she had wanted was a traditional marriage and a wedding blessing. She had eventually agreed to a church wedding one day after her traditional marriage and it had been a small one; a small, happy and classy church wedding (see here if you can’t remember the details).

I asked Ifeanyi what kind of wedding he envisioned when he imagined his; he wants his traditional marriage and white wedding to hold within the same week witnessed by only close friends and family. He thinks it foolhardy to have “the whole wide world at my wedding on top my own pocket!”

Ekene is a friend whose personality is the exact opposite of Ifeanyi’s. Surprisingly, he wanted the same type of wedding as Ifeanyi – “small and classy with very close friends, cousins, uncles and aunts who have actually spoken to me before,” Ekene said. He went further to place a limit on the number of guests he would have at his wedding – “100 and not half a baby more.”

I asked another friend, a female. Your guess is as bewilderedly true as mine – Kaka also wants “a small and classy wedding with just family and a few close friends”.

My poll on ‘This Thing Called…Wedding’ was targeted at young men and women, 20-30 years old who were unmarried, about to be married or less than a year old in marriage. The ‘small and classy wedding with close friends and family’ party won by a landslide over the ‘big wedding with paparazzi and screaming crowds’ party.

Who then wants the big weddings? Who wants the noise, the crowd and the paparazzi? We have them every weekend, in those town halls, school auditoriums and even out in the open to accommodate as many people as are interested. If nobody starts out wanting them, how then do people end up with these weddings?

My research fingered society as the major culprit. My sources will remain anonymous for those of you looking for who to carry wedding-akpo for, but according to them, society in this context means those people you know or have met who will get offended because they didn’t receive invitations to your wedding, THEN show up anyway. They are those people who you sent invitations just so you don’t hurt their feelings, only for them to show up with an entourage. They are also those ones who because they want to do something nice for you – either for genuine or selfish reasons – reproduce your wedding invitation cards and disperse them unto the biblical fertile soil.

We all want our weddings to be about us – that special day where you smile, laugh and dance the best and most you ever have, and then get to treasure the memory forever with the one you love. By virtue of its nature, big weddings rarely ever deliver that yet many a couple find themselves having one.

So if you want a small wedding and you already feel the choice slipping through your fingers with calls and mails from old colleagues and acquaintances who just assume they are invited and “can’t wait to see you at the wedding”, here’s a tip from my wedding-savvy source: HAVE IT SOMEWHERE FAR FAR FAR AWAY. Have your traditional marriage at home – one, it’s tradition; two, ‘they’ always elect to attend the white wedding. If you can afford it, stage it abroad. If you can’t afford it or if like me, it doesn’t sit right with you to wed outside Nigeria, hit google.ng. Search out little places far away from the region where you have spent most of your life. That way, only family and friends who care enough to go through the trouble of travel will be at your wedding. Also, you save some money to have yourselves some good ol’ delicious honeymoon.

Maybe I’m being overly sentimental or hurried in my judgment, but I daresay everybody likes a small, happy wedding. Yours doesn’t have to be without family like the couple whose story I shared at the start of this piece, and you definitely can choose to wear your gown to church rather than bring it in a bag. But if it’s small and classy and filled with joy and laughter, everybody likes it. You best.

That said; I will add that there is nothing wrong with having a big, loud and classy wedding, so far as it is the wedding you and your partner want. That is really all that matters – your choice. Your happiness.

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So what do you think of ‘This Thing Called Wedding’? Have you had any relevant experiences or do you know any secrets or tips for having the dream wedding – big or small? Don’t be shellfish, SHARE IT!

Mention me @ojukwu_martin on twirra

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36 thoughts on “THIS THING CALLED…WEDDING.

  1. Eating Pringles and playing ludo could be fun jor.
    Not everyone likes a small wedding. Most think they do but secretly they want to show ‘the world’ that ‘they follow’. Also, the pictures you get to look through for the next 50 years sounds cool. The gifts you get too. Celebration is always better with friends and family around, so if you have hundreds of cousins and friends whom you actually wanna spend your day with then Big wedding it is.
    Thing is most people hurriedly say they want small weddings but they secretly crave big ones. So I think such folks should plan their big weddings in such a way it runs so smoothly that they’d still enjoy every bit. It’s once in a lifetime, so don’t mess it up!
    For the record, I want a small wedding.

    • This your opinion be so controversial it hid out in my spam. smh. I hear your views on people’s inner yearnings to ‘follow’ and I agree. Which is why it all falls back to the wedding YOU WANT.
      Lol. see you, Jedi…you finish giving them morale finish and comman be wanting small wedding..hehehehe. this ‘big and flashy wedding’ club be one empty hall mehnnn

    • PLUS Pringles and ludo sure can be fun…if you’re not indulging so you don’t think of the mega-debts-mailman posted at your front door wearing a post-wedding hearse 🙂

  2. I guess my thoughts have been shared already. lol. bt, really, I dont tink it is wise having d world at ur wedding and while they rejoice with their filled bellies to where ever they crawled out from, u sing tearfully to ur bed feeling morose. if d money is there, no wahala. If nt, society wld be there to lift u wen u fall. So, dont go out of ur way to satisfy them at ur expense. And for dat tin called ego, let it be tamed cos it will flee wen d ripple effect begins. Nice piece once again bro. Keep it up.

  3. its funny bcos I always envisioned my wedding to be small with just 50 people, my immediate family, my hubby’s immediate family and a few close friends… close to the day I told my maid of honor to come alone, and I had 2 friends. so pretty much I invited 3 people(maid of honor and 2 friends) on the wedding day there were over 600 people (thank God! there was food, but d crowd destroyed the whole cozy plan I had in mind) I didn’t know most of the peeps @ MY own wedding! when it was time for dance, my husbands “aunt” came in with her entourage and they danced us off the dance floor (I come dey wonder na her wedding abi na our own?) for peeps like me that want my kind of imagined wedding, send out the wedding Iv 2 days b4 d wedding (to avoid people reprinting and remaking) make it strictly by invitation. I envy my brother till date, he had the wedding of his dream.

    • Lol. Forgive me for laughing but like you said, it is funny. I jus dey imagine as the woman go carry her asoebi-ati-gele entourage dance una commot…cha e! For your tips, I totally agree with making it strictly by invitation. Have a strong man at the gate far far from where you are who will not let ANYbody in without an IV. But for sending the cards out two days before, e fit no work for Naija here. Village people will have ur head 🙂 Thanks for your cents, Ruthy…appreciate

      • lool Chi, dont laugh @me too much.. we did court wedding after the whole rombo rombo, it was just my husband, myself and the two mothers.. Jeremiah, there was no invitation card, so a lot of people forgot the date, some didnt take him serious bcos how can there be wedding without address? he made phone calls to the people necessary, and sent text messages of the address to the people he wanted there. I dont know anything else he did, but im sure there was no invitation card. (which we all know that a bunch of Nigerians would find that insulting)

      • Lol.Kai! Tuale for your brother oh…they would indeed find it insulting. It’s a luxury one can afford if you live outside the country I guess…but right here? The Umunna will have ya haayyyd!

  4. If Amaka Njoku had her way…she wunt have a whyt wedding…just a trad to mk my parents hapi nd a court wedding nd a lil afterparty say around 8pm..!

    • I must say I am surprised at how many ladies share your view because I used to think it was the ladies who pushed for the elaborate weddings. This is a revelation oh, thank God. Your idea of an ideal wedding sounds great to me…:) Thank you, dear

      • Sure, I’m ready. But can we do the Court first so you can move in already? The negotiations for traditional will speed up automatically once your people find out 😉

      • U knw I said d exact sametin to someone yesterday..if my “ppl” begin to worry we will go to d court get married den wen dey r readi dey come nd collect bride price…moving in together,being togethr isn’t dat wat the hoopla is al abt??

      • Err…I will not answer that question in case my mother or worse, my future iyawo will one day read this post. But you sef, how many people are you planning court marriage with? What is my position na the queue? diarisgodoh! 😦

      • Silly.. We were hving a convo abt weddings just as we r having naw..dnt worry I didn’t ask if he was readi..!

  5. **lwkmd for here….dabs teary eye with hankie**

    Chisom walahi you are case!!!

    **my ribs ache**

    Marriage was never meant to be a splay of unnecessary flamboyance- the most important thing is consent of both parties and their families.

    **that is why I don swear say I no go ever try am marry an Imo/Mbaise gal**

    **dodging many stones**

  6. **still dodging stones**

    a close family friend of ours took that risk…onto say love is blind.

    omo come and see absurd wedding list!!!

    the one wen funny me pass for this list na wen dem ask our ‘Mr Romeo’ to buy a big box of george wrapper for the girls long dead mother.

    nwanne the man still never pay up his debts completely since early last year.

    nna e be like say you na onyi Imo
    Lmao…

    for your ‘informate’…nwanne abum ezibo hot cake o•°°oh

    But my own love is not completely blind…na just ‘appolo’ e get
    **rotf**

  7. Someone had a really small wedding such as that you described? Someone in Nigeria? Wow! I never knew such small occasions existed for nuptials. Loud. Brassy. Crowded. Noisy. Those were the exact words that a whiteman I was attending to one day used to describe Nigerian weddings in a conversation with his friend. lol. I didn’t know whether to chuckle with concurrence or feel outraged by a perceived insult.
    Someone like me though, me that don’t like noise and too much pomp, this wedding issue will be a serious war when it comes to mine.

    • I tell you oh. The first pic nah, of a couple with a priest. Live and direct, no joke!!! Maybe it wont even be that much of a problem, because from the feedback I been getting most of our ladies do not care much for the ‘Loud.Brassy.Crowded.Noisy’ either. So if you and your partner agree on a small beautiful ceremony, forward joor!

  8. I thank God o 4 dis platform. Ladies are now goin 4 d kinda wedding Amaka talked about(trad, court, and a small after party). I mean wat’s d essence? Dis crowd wld come and cause trouble, complain, criticize and won’t even be beneficial in anyway. If possible, I will hv bouncers at my weddin o. Funny enuf, d whites dat introduced white weddings 2 us don’t do elaborate weddings na. Ppl who bear gifts in mind 4 inviting batallion hardly get anyfin sef. Mtchewww. Rather than waste ur resources on elaborate weddings, save them 4 an elaborate marriage lifestyle. Invite immediate family members, honour only those extended family members who hv significantly affected ur life, tell close fwends who wld do everything dey can 2 make ur day(I must say here: ladies, we don’t need a bridal train 4 heaven’s sake, a maid of honour will do jux 5n) wiv dis u cut down some unnecessary expenses . Rather than print an IV card, send bulk SMS, those who care will show up eventually or identify wiv u in some way if dey can’t make it 4 unavoidable reasons. Get a moderate venue, very far 4m home. U musnt serve all kinda meal at ur weddin, make it simple and tasty. Save urself d stress of plannin 4 a perfect weddin, let ur aim b 2wards a sweet married life. U must bear in mind dat u wld hurt so many ppl 2 have a simple low key weddin of ur choice, buh don’t worry, u can always smile ur way out if ever u get 2 meet wiv those ppl.

    • Lol at bouncers! Jessica, these tips over make sense. I like best the fact that ‘u can always smile ur way out” afterwards. I mean, why mortgage the immediate marital bliss of your new home when small ‘E mabinu, ma’ or a lil ‘Aunty, biko gbaghara’ can settle it?!!! Thank you joor.

  9. Ilozumba Boogzie Chukwuebuka posted this comment on my FB extension of this post:
    “You left out some major parties when it comes to wedding crashing.your dad probably has business associates he is likely to invite.he may also belong to a social club, whose members would also be invited.If your dad has 100 associates, then your mum will likely have 250.I remember attending a wedding where the bride mum’s friends had their own asoebi. Trust me, if your day has just direct friends-colleagues,it would still be a moderate crowd. Another major group for those of us from the east are the UMUADAs. I don’t think distance will make you not to settle them.”

    Cha e!

  10. I agree most couples prefer a small intimate wedding. However I’ve come to realise that weddings are more about the couple’s parents than the couple. It’s like their chance to show off.

  11. My wedding invite was bulk sms by my hus even to his own siblings. I asked him if he wldnt rather call them, n he said whoever wants to come n needs detail, wld call him bak. I remembered him giving d mother specific instructions not to bring crowd to his wedding. D reception was in front of my dad’s aus wit just 2 small canopies. Dats all. And today, afta 8yrs, we’re still 2geda, enjoying d good things life can offer. I advice pple goin into marriage to think more abt d MARRIAGE than d wedding ceremonies.

  12. Wedding is a beautiful thing of joy, especially two partners who understands each other. For its that one memorable day in their life, and they will try to make it memorable and unique. The big question is how “UNIQUE” do u wants it. Do u want a world class wedding or a simple white wedding of less than 100 guest. My uniqueness is the simple white wedding of less than 100 guest if possible, something you can control, less stressful n peaceful. Another thing is do not try to impress people to do a wedding u can’t financially afford. People borrowed money to do wedding after which they fall into the problem of paying back, feeding self na problem. Though some people will agree for a world class wedding, I agree with you brother for a simple unique wedding. The most important thing in a wedding is “ RESPECT, VALUE and UNDERSTANDING” for our life partners. I wish us a happy marriage life as we prepare to enter into it one day.

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