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Nigerians now opt for low key wedding

By Maria Famakinwa

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Many Nigerian families clamour for glamorous ceremonies during weddings. These ceremonies are planned as an announcement to the world that the single status of the bride and the groom has changed and it is also to show off the financial muscles of each family. However, in recent times, more people seem to be embracing the low profile wedding option for a variety of reasons.

One of such who opted for a low key wedding was Ayomide, who got married last year December in a church with only 12 people in attendance. Though, she would have preferred an elaborate wedding like her friends but the economic situation denied her the type of wedding she so desired. “My dream is to have a church wedding with many guests in attendance but the economic situation did not allow it. Even my husband wanted a low-key wedding, I convinced him that celebrating one’s wedding in a bigger way was the best and he agreed but when we planned and came up with the amount we would spend to print the wedding invitation cards, feed the guests, pay for hall and the rest, the reality dawned on us that we can’t have our dream wedding.

“Some family members who knew about the plan and the money involved were the first to advise us to go for low-key wedding. We went to the pastor and made him realize the situation. The pastor also advised us to stay within our limit instead of incurring debts in a bid to have elaborate wedding. My wedding date was not changed but my wedding plan was changed. We didn’t print invitation cards, no camera man except a photographer  was invited. We did our wedding in the church as planned but it was a vestry wedding done early in the morning with just 12 family members and the pastorate.

“What surprised me was that within 30 minutes, we were done and everyone who attended went home with already packaged food, drinks and gifts.To me, it was an easy way to bade spinsterhood bye as I already did a parlour engagement a day before the wedding. Another thing I cannot forget was that those who wanted to contribute money for me and my husband to have elaborate wedding before we opted for low key wedding gave us the money after the wedding and it was much which really helped us a lot. With my experience, I can say that there is sense in opting for a low-key wedding because instead of incurring debts, we are counting our gains,” she revealed.

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Also, an accountant, Mr Akeem Aladesami, who blamed his low-profile wedding ceremony on the bad economy, said he and his wife chose a weekday because they knew many of their families members and friends, especially those in far distance would go to work and would not be able to attend.

He said, “We didn’t wish to have a low-key wedding ceremony because all my life, I had always wanted to have an elaborate wedding. I am of the school of thought that wedding is the only event out of the three main events in life that you have control over. The other two are naming and burial ceremonies. For instance, I couldn’t decide what I wanted at my naming ceremony. I also cannot dictate what will happen when I die. I thought I would be able to do what I wanted at my wedding, but it was unfortunate.

“We had been planning to have a big party about eight months ago when we chose our wedding date. Though I got a job at an accounting firm just six months ago, some family members had promised to support me financially. I was hopeful, but suddenly the economy crumbled. They too had their own financial obligations and they started complaining. They even begged me to postpone the wedding, but I said no. I decided to go ahead with the little money I had.

“I had to quickly re-draw my budget and remove what was not necessary. I didn’t use men in suit. My wife too did not use bridal train. We also did not hire any caterer. Some women volunteered to cook the little food we shared on the day. We also did not hire any musical band to play at the reception, which was done in the church hall. My only consolation was that we were not owing anybody.”

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On how the wedding was done, Aladesami said that they didn’t print wedding cards, or invite families from their villages to reduce guests. “People that attended my wedding were not up to 60 but if you watch my wedding video, the camera man did it as if guests in attendance were more than 60. We served only jollof rice and fish with three bags of sachet water and a crate of soft drinks and our guest were happy because everyone ate. Some of them even commended us for having low key wedding that cares for everyone. My wife who was not happy with the type of wedding we had became very happy at the end when she heard the way we were commended for our type of wedding coupled with the gifts that we received. Today, we have God to thank for not only blessing my marriage with children but for the fact that  some friends are now using our type of wedding as way to go.”

Another newly wed, Mrs Tinuola Fayoke, who got married early this year revealed that if she had agreed to postpone her wedding as she was advised with the belief that things would get better, she would not have been married by now. She said: “Some family members advised that we should wait for things to improve before getting married so that they could assist financially but we refused that we would do it the way it comes. Today, things are even worse than then.

“What we did was to plan on what we had, cut down on some expenses. Instead of doing it on weekend for two days, we changed it to a working day which was on Tuesday. We first went to the registry, when we were done with the registry, we had our traditional wedding in my father-in-law’s compound and served those in attendance who were not up to 50. We didn’t invite any band either but we played wedding music that made the place lively. Many who attended the wedding commended us for being wise regarding the type of wedding we had. There are certain items that are often used in wedding ceremonies that are not really important such as hiring a DJ, having a long line of groom’s men and bridesmaids using different attires, among others. Cutting these excesses will help you achieve a low-key wedding ceremony that is yet glamorous.” 

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The woman who noted that some people are still single because they wanted someone who would do elaborate wedding for them added that having an elaborate wedding is not a determinant of  a successful marriage and advised would-be couples to put the present economic situation into consideration before planning their weddings.

She said: “You can have a low-key wedding ceremony yet glamorous instead of running helter-skelter after the wedding to pay debts when you should be enjoying your honey moon. We should remember that the wedding ceremony is just for a day while the marriage will last till you live. I am enjoying my marriage today because we are not paying debts. I got married without printing wedding cards, no aso-ebi, no bridal train, no camera man, no DJ and with just few guests in my father’s compound. Yet, the wedding was memorable. So, do not waste resources meant to sustain your marriage on a day’s event. Aspiring couples need to be realistic in choosing the type of wedding to have since the real marriage is after the wedding solemnization and it is not advisable to start a new home with debts all in the name of talk-of the-town wedding,” she advised.

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