So, you have found the one, and you want a quiet wedding in a serene environment where you can celebrate with a few real friends and family. Dear prospective groom, your ambition is understandable. But before you dream further, let me tell you a short story. Once, a friend of mine and a prospective groom had called his mother, and told her he wanted to have a simple wedding at a quiet beach.
“Beash, what beash?” His mother
had retorted sharply. “Is it beash wedding me and your father did? Do you not know that the fate of a marriage is determined by the size of the wedding party?” His mother sounded ridiculous, and he wanted to tell her. But he dared not.
In spite of my friend’s vehement argument in a favour of a peaceful, quiet wedding, his mother had insisted on getting a big hall, hiring an expensive decorator, renting loud, intimidating speakers and making lots and lots of food. And that was exactly what they did. The wedding had been conducted in a noisy, sweaty, and overcrowded atmosphere, and everyone had had a wonderful time. Everyone, but the groom.
My friend had learnt in the most brutal way, that wedding ceremony in this part of the world is a big deal. The stakes are high, the bars are raised, and the magic is real!
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, and boasts perhaps the most extravagant people on earth. Maybe it’s the craving to create golden, lasting moments, or the flimsy persuasion to outspend their neighbours, Nigerians have found, and continues to find reasons to celebrate weddings in a big way. The pressure has intensified, the fever is at an all-time high, and
when it comes to the amount of money, time and energy invested in a wedding ceremony, there are simply no limits!
From the breathtaking to the bizarre, some of these funny incidents almost always feature in a typical Nigerian wedding:
Church sermons are unusually long
Asho ebi materials are ridiculously overpriced, overrated, and expensive. (this is a thick mystery no one has been able to unravel.)
At the reception, everyone anticipates the dramatic entrance of the newly-wedded couple (For some reason, they show up really late!)
Waiters are unnecessarily biased towards people not dressed in the chosen attire (no asho ebi, no rice!), and
Yes, the food is never enough! (Nigerians love food.)
Colourful, entertaining and full of drama, a typical Nigerian wedding provides a forum for everyone to meet again, to have some fun, and to catch up. So, if you’re thinking of inviting only a few friends and family, they will bring along their neighbours and gatemen, mere acquaintances and total strangers. Be prepared. If you’re drawing up a budget for the ceremony, tear it up! There is no such thing as economizing. Whatever you end up spending is your budget. If you’re dreaming of a beach wedding, forget it. Nigerians love the noise, the loud music, the food, and of course, the alcohol. Don’t imagine what it’s like to have the quiet wedding, don’t even think about it!