I just love Nigerian weddings. Even if you’re crushing on the groom and beefing the bride, you definitely don’t want to miss the over-seasoned jollof rice and fried meat, +/- coleslaw. Yum! You want to collect as many souvenirs as you can; afterall, you bought the aso-ebi! It’s also an opportunity to meet family and friends especially, those whose jobs don’t permit much socialising.
But I’m worried… Some weddings are more of a carnival than just a party. Some last for days, rather than a few hours. A lecture or sermon is squeezed somewhere in the programme, but who listens? The parents are busy ordering and organising. The friends are busy chatting and laughing. The guests are wondering when the food will be served. The couples are admiring each other and fantasising about that “night”…
So much money is spent on weddings nowadays, but little is saved for running the new home. So much fun is seen at the event, but little is left for the marriage itself. So much paparazzi is displayed at the party but little is reserved for the couple to go home with. If we focus more on preparing for the marriage, rather than the wedding ceremony alone, we won’t have the high rate of marital discord that we have today.
A lot of couples take pre-marital counselling with a pinch of salt, or skip it altogether. Long courtship cannot do the trick either. Boyfriend-girlfriend relationship is a far cry from husband-wife relationship. What is the role of parents? Is it just about paying/collecting a high bride price, spraying money on the dance floor and showing off to the world that “a fé e n’íșu l’ókà ni!”
Well, I’m not saying that people should stop doing big weddings. But we shouldn’t forget the bigger picture. Getting married is not as difficult as staying married. A colourful wedding is not as important as a happy married life. The most blessed marriage is the one with the least expenses (Al-Hadith).