When was the last time you attended a simple wedding?

I was at a wedding ceremony yesterday. The sheer amount of estimated expense and waste incurred got me scared and I started thinking.
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It would seem to me that these days, many things have been made unduly expensive. Now we employ and pay for people who apply make-up, pay for those who will tie the bride’s headgear, pay for those who prepare food, pay for those who will wait on the guests, not to forget those who plan and organize our events. Everything is a means to skim more money off the hapless couple and their families.

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Weddings have become multi million naira ventures, ones with nearly zero returns on investment. It is no more a simple affair where one can just do something small and take his bride home. Now you must prove your worth by breaking the bank and nearly drain your savings as a struggling young man before you can start a family.

I do not know when the situation became this bad, to have a proper wedding recognized in the eyes of the law and God one certainly does not need to stress himself so much financially. What happened to simple appearances with witnesses at the registrar’s office or just get a handful of family members as witnesses in front of a religious cleric to solemnize? Why doesn’t that suffice anymore?
We are not striving to satisfy legal requirements, I don’t think we are looking towards satisfying religious requirements. Neither God nor the law asked so much from us. So who are we trying to satisfy?

The wedding day is one day, just one single definite day. All the people that will come will be there for that single day, whatever expense incurred and whatever provision is made for hospitality will not pass that day.

Whatever they eat will be digested and exised by the next day. Whatever facet of the event they admire would be out of their consciousness soon enough. The only people that will find it memorable are people that have their own events to plan and may want to incorporate some of the things that was done before.

To me it is all a massive waste of time and resources. If the couple decides to have a smaller event with just close relatives and a few friends with the minimum of fanfare there will be much less pressure on them and their families. There are plenty of young men ready, willing and able to start a family but the anxiety and pressure of planning and executing a big wedding event prevents many to ever try. Thus exposing them to life of immorality and risks.

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Courtesy: dreamstock.com

To drive home my point, I did a little research as to the cost of some wedding items. A wedding gown costs about 40, 000 naira for the relatively inexpensive type. An always on make-up artist goes for around 80, 000 bucks of our currency. Renting an event centre hall costs about a million bucks, and this is just for the hall and the parking space, some may be nice enough to provide chairs and décor, many don’t. Hiring a luxury car, an event planner, public address and musical band, the event anchors for the traditional reception parties (which the Yorubas call the Alaga Iduro and Ijoko), cost of food and drinks, souvenirs and hundreds of other things I have not even considered all cost mind boggling sums of money.

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The most ridiculous part is that these things will not last beyond that day!
I broached the idea of renting a wedding gown by a female friend and the look she gave me was one of pure venom, as if I want to commit a grave taboo. She said she will buy hers and hand it over to her daughter to use in her own wedding as a family heirloom. But she had nothing to say when I asked her where her own mother’s wedding gown is and why she could not use that instead. No daughter would want to wear her mother’s gown, these things get old and out of style fast. Yet they do not subscribe to the idea that it does not make sense to own what one would not use beyond one day. Thank God for males, at least they can still reuse their tuxedos and suits for other situations.
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Concerning make-up artistes, I think it is more a matter of prestige and packaging than actually looking or feeling good. The level of masquerading ladies are subjected to these days in the name of make-up has convinced me that hiring a make-up artiste is of phantom value. They are novelties, gimmicks, not necessary. Certainly not worth the prices they quote.

Same with halls, luxury cars and virtually everything involved with having a big wedding. It is not everyone that has to come to your wedding. It takes nothing from you if you do a parlour party with a few family and friends, the rest of acquaintances and extended family will see your wedding photos on Facebook anyway. All we come to parties to do is eat and socialize and not much else. Whether in attendance or not, the few that mean well will send gifts, most won’t. Even if all of them bring gifts, the combined worth will not match one tenth of the costs incurred to have all and sundry come and eat because you want to marry somebody.

Not to forget the stress on the guests, they will have to buy whatever type of clothing materials chosen by each family, God help you if it’s an inordinately expensive Aso Oke and damask headgear that catches their fancy. If you don’t wear the selected clothes or cap you don’t get souvenirs, and you may not be given proper attention when the guests are being served with food and drinks. The bridesmaids will also have to worry about clothing, hairdo, bags, make up and shoes as if they equally want to wed. That is when we will see some guests order for food and drinks and then go on to waste it, while some other (possibly less important) guests are grumbling because they have not been served any food. Some of the guests that were not served may even end up not wishing the couple well.
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Of course there is the matter of gifts, as a couple you receive tenfold of items you do not need, only a few will be sensible enough to hand over money filled enveloped to mildly ease costs for the happy couple. The rest will hand over all sort of things they don’t know whether it is a necessity for the couple. God help you if someone hates you enough to hand over a gift item possessed with some evil or festish stuff. That is how troubles start with many homes.

The whole thing just really seems ridiculous. I can’t wrap my head around this waste! Life does not have to be this complicated, really. Weddings have turned into Loch Ness monsters of resource wastage and show off. It’s messed up. Money that someone can use to make savings, invest and make something good of their lives are all spent on vanities.

I think we nered to go back to a mindset where it is still acceptable to have a small celebration, it is not all about the glitter of weddings. Staying married is far more important. What is the essence of spending so much on wedding ceremonies when the money could have been used to something much less superficial and much more beneficial? The approximate amount of money needed for these stuff can land a nice new car or even a decent piece of landed property for the couple.

Say yes to small weddings! God help our new and intending couples. I think we need a mentality overhaul.

Do you think all these stuff are necessary for a person to get married? Your opinions please. Cheers

When was the last time you attended a simple wedding?

7 comments for “When was the last time you attended a simple wedding?

  1. Eye_bee_kay
    May 31, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Wonderful article.

    I think it all depends on the force of chAracter.

    Don’t let anybody, or emotions, railroad you into what you know is just superficial.

    I agree totally that MONEY you can not TRULY afford should not be expended on things that don’t bring direct ROI

    There is the wedding, then the marriage afterwards.

  2. May 31, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    “God help you if someone hates you enough to hand over a gift item possessed with some evil or festish stuff. That is how trouble start with homes.’
    😀 😀

    The above quote may be funny but I bet you that anyone going through marriage these days don’t laugh afterwards except its the billionaire father or mother financing it. Its time we re-orientate ourselves and be sensible. The young ones especially the females should use their heads and the parents and relatives should exchew wickedness and madness in the name of tradition and showoffs. The very people we are trying hard and killing ourselves to please are the ones that will laugh at us if we go begging for support after an elaborate wedding.

  3. kechukwu
    May 31, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I actually asked this question in church today during the Sunday school and most young guys and girls in the church laughed .
    I was annoyed that they laughed ,how could they? Why shoukd they? This is a serious topic ?
    The elders in church also said things I was not happy about ,they said it depends on your pocket ,that was infuriating ,just because you have the money doesn’t mean you should spend stupidly and selfishly on a ONE DAY package .
    It is just ONE fucking day!!!
    Well,anyways I pray that whoever I will marry will understand and ask for a simple marriage

  4. P'dre
    May 31, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I think the ladies need this more. An average Nigerian guy with shift towards a simple marriage. However, an average nigerian lady sees the marriage as a day of ‘joyful competition’: where her wedding must be ‘bader'(more classy) than that of her peers, hence the husband to be is pushed into doing so many things

  5. PaGidi
    June 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

    It’s a wedding ceremony. Ceremony to unify a couple; not one to drain the couple. But, I don’t know what has become of our society these days.

    There’s a luxurious desire by the ladies to have the most glamorous wedding tell their girls what they’ve got while the pressure is on the guys to show case their financial strength else, loose their image before the in-laws.

    #PaGidi

  6. WillyWest
    June 2, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Awesome, This article has definitely spoken the mind of countless people out there. Especially the men folks who often carry the burden of these expenses. Society and what it has become is partly to blame as everyone seems to be in a mad rush to out do and out spend the other, laying emphasis on the vanities of one day while forgetting that there is a life to be lived after the wedding day.

    Nice one Saiddigge

  7. neri
    July 7, 2015 at 4:51 am

    I am happy men are beginning to speak up. Marriage shouldn’t be such an inconvenience to a new couple and wouldn’t be so if couple is sincere to each other and have a common goal and understanding that marriage is for nothing but companionship. But where the groom has nothing ( in character,trust, fidelity, integrity, love, selflessness etc) to offer a lady but money, most ladies seem to have no other choice than to take very well that which you only have to give knowing that after the wedding you got nothing else to offer them, in some instances- not even friendship or care! A real man should have a greater purpose for marriage other than to compete with or impress families and friends and be willing to communicate verbally and otherwise this purpose to his spouse-to-be. When men begin to bring more (character,communication, understanding, love, fidelity,integrity, sincerity, build trust etc.) to the table women would learn not to settle for less (money)

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