From my previous post, you already know my best friend got married and I’m thankful I got to share her special day as her Maid of Honour. She looked so breath-taking, I didn’t know my girl could look that divine. Anyway, it’s the first wedding I’ve been really involved in so it was enlightening for both of us and I’ve put together a few things I learnt.
- You don’t have to be perfect to be married: At the registry, there was a row. A couple had refused to pay the welfare fee of N11,000. There was yelling and insults were flying. The officer yelled “Get out of my office!”. The bride, in what had to be at least a size 28UK dress yelled back “I will not!”. Long story short, as someone losing the Battle of the Bulge and hating herself for it, I realised that size, character and all that “wife-material” doesn’t really matter to someone who wants to be with you. If he intends to marry you, he just simply will, flaws and all.
- Being Maid of Honour is a Job: It sounds cute and everything, but in reality, it has little glamour associated with it. You are Personal Assistant to the bride so most of the time, I found myself running, sweating, looking for things and calling up people, all while taking calls and relaying instructions between the world and the bride, and of course calming her down.
- Brides will make up the funniest colours for their theme, midnight blue, baby pink to Ankara orange. My friend had so many colours, I ended up with 3 dresses and eventually wore just one. Expensive but oh, so exhausting.
- Our society has a habit of putting women against each other: See, anytime I expressed my happiness and excitement for her there was always someone there to compare our personal lives and tell me to “tap into her blessing” or ask me “So, when is your own?”. It felt like I was supposed to be in some kind of competition or at the very least want to be married because she was getting married.
“No, all I am trying to do is support and be happy for my girl. I’m not trying to “tap” her blessing, God has my own and no, I’m not trying to be married just because she is, everyone’s path in life is different”
- Our Nigerian traditional marriage rites and requirements need to be reviewed. You see when you are as old as I am, the last thing you need is a long list of traditional marriage requirements to frustrate or embarrass the man who finally found you. I would just like the Igbo people reading this to please take note. Next, I really don’t like that the oldest man in the house has to be the one to give the bride away even when you have no real relationship with said elder. My dad should give me away, no one else. Where he is unavailable, I will settle.
- I am mushy: I don’t consider myself an empathetic person, but perhaps I am. I was pleasantly surprised when I shed a few tears during her traditional wedding. I have a number of unpopular opinions about marriage but watching both of them smiling and repeating their vows was the most beautiful thing. Right there was one of the happiest moments of my life.
- Not all Nigerian mothers-in-law are mean: The negative image of the average Nigerian mother-in-law has been over-emphasised by Nollywood and they are not alone. Globally, his mother is almost every girl’s concern. You are expected to make the best impression, win her over and prove you are deserving of her son’s affection. However, to my surprise her mother-in-law is so cool. She’s smart, friendly, educated, playful, easy-going and loving. The first time, I called her “mommy” out of respect, but after a little chitchat and handing me her scarf to manage as a fan, I fell in love and have called her mommy ever since.
- Call me Matchmaker: I’ve got a good sense of who people are, at work and among friends. Let’s just say this wedding makes me matchmaker extraordinarie.
- A little alcohol goes a long way: Now, I know it’s a little late in life to be discovering this but alcohol makes the music louder, the guys funnier and your feet faster. Hell, it makes everything about a party better. Jack Daniel was the man of the night, and in some Coca-Cola, my girl and I realised we wanted to stand up and dance! The magic was, we knew how to dance!
- Love is never late: Past 30, we are constantly reminded that we are late to the altar. But I realised that time is really just a construct we use to structure our lives. A relationship that gives you happiness and peace of mind is worth waiting 30, 40, or even 50 years for.
Summarily, weddings are hectic but with the right people, some effort and of course, a decent amount of money, every bride can have her dream come true. This wedding party was mine almost as much as hers. The DJ kept our feet moving as we yelled and struggled to hear each other on the dance floor. I had such a great time that at dawn, I woke with the feeling of his hand still in mine, salsa dancing and spinning me round and round and round…
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