Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 at 11:26 PM

By Fade Awolesi

whose wedding is it anywayExcept you elope to Vegas or steal down to Ikoyi registry during your lunch break, your wedding won’t happen in a vacuum. Immediately your friends and family get the news of your wedding plans, you are definitely in for a shock. Weddings involve a lot of traditions and in most cases bring out the hidden traditionalist in most of us. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly begin to receive calls from colleagues and friends you have hardly spoken to in the past year on whether your aso-ebi is ready or what song you and your fiancé are going to dance to at the reception.

Getting the wedding you would love – as opposed to the wedding your parents or in-laws think you should have – requires willpower, loads of diplomacy, and plenty of cash. First, try to believe that those who are driving you nuts are doing it out of love, not just because they have control issues. Maybe paucity of funds or family opposition had prevented your mom from getting the wedding she wanted, and now she’s determined to see your wedding done right or rather done the way she would have loved to have had hers. Maybe your dad shakes his head at your strapless wedding dress; where you see haute couture at its best, your father sees too much cleavage and is of opinion that the church will refuse to marry you in that “get-up”.

Many of the traditions of the wedding ceremony focus on the couple’s creation of a new family unit, As much as you love your family and your friends, and would want them  to be there to celebrate and support your incredibly good luck in finding “the one” they need to realize that the real center of the wedding is you, your spouse, and the person who conducts your ceremony. The three of you are the people who really matter; everyone else’s presence is a gift.

If it looks as if major obstacles will arise, figure out what aspects of the wedding are completely nonnegotiable for you and your partner. They could be big things: like having a civil rather than a religious ceremony; having a destination wedding; or holding the wedding in the city where you live now, as against the city where your families live. Or they could be little things, such as not wearing a white dress, or having your dad walk you halfway down the aisle, or having your bridesmaids wear black dresses.

Also, figure out what things are very important from your family’s perspective. Of course, some of these desires may be nonnegotiable or even difficult to fulfill. Your relatives may wish your fiancé was from a different tribe, or was a lawyer, or even Jewish – all the things that neither they nor you can do anything about .Some of their wishes may be things you would be able to live with, even though they would never have been your choices. These could be as simple as carrying a bouquet, or  opening a wedding register, even though you and your fiancé already have all the crockery and blenders you need. As any diplomat will tell you, compromise on the little things and you’ll have more leverage on the big issues.

Finally, anyone who’s ever had to work a nine to five will tell you that the person signing your checks is the one who calls the shots. Weddings often require significant cash outflows and financial support from family would really help. In the long run, though, you’ll probably enjoy a less-lavish wedding that really suits your style more than you would a stylish one that feels planned for someone else.

Photo Credit: Melissa Senate

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  • 11 Comments on “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?”

    Comments
    • sotrue December 2, 2009 at 3:17 AM

      loved your write-up.
      I’m hoping to wriggle free and have mine in barbados with 20 guests max lol.
      now how to pull that off…sigh

    • Tess December 2, 2009 at 10:31 AM

      Good one Fade, I would remember all of these when I get to prepare for mine.

    • wedding December 2, 2009 at 8:54 PM

      Willpower, compromise, willpower, compromise…
      I will try to remember these wise words in the future. :)

    • az in... December 3, 2009 at 3:34 AM

      …I’m scared :(

    • Suzanna Efiok December 4, 2009 at 4:53 PM

      This was a very insightful write up. Weddings can bring out the worst in people and test a couple’s ability to work together in the face of a variety of views that might clash with their plans and/or goals. I totally agree with “compromise on the little things and gain leverage on the big things” especially since I am a big fan of the adage, “chose your battles wisely” unless it totally goes against ones beliefs. Sha, it is very important to keep the focus on why you are getting married, what suits you esthetically leaving a little leeway for input by others and if you don’t want someone controlling your wedding then save!save!save! And budget!budget!budget! With all ten tips crossed, I will be using this write up as a guideline this time next year by God’s grace, AMEN! BN, keep up the good work.

    • silva December 5, 2009 at 1:33 PM

      me too, i want a small wedding with not more dan 30 guests, unfortunately my paternal and maternal families are quite big….and dats nt evn talkn about d groom…sigh…

    • sylvia December 22, 2009 at 4:54 PM

      hmmmmmmmm i bow for your write up,it really touched my heart,it will be something to always remember for me,when God answers my prayers(marriage).

    • Kehinde December 26, 2009 at 5:05 PM

      I really like this article because that is what I am going through right now. My parents want to control everything from the date of the wedding to the place and number of people. I will be living in a different city from them when the wedding does take place and prefer it to be in the same city that I am living at. Furthermore, my finace and I will be covering 99.9% of the wedding. I am really trying to stay calm but they are driving me crazy. I am hoping to make them happy by letting them know the introduction and engagement will be where they live and they can plan that

    • Ada January 25, 2010 at 11:41 PM

      Realize that there is a marriage after the wedding, so while u want the wedding to be all about u, compromise is key. Will u die because hubby wants his 2 little sisters to be a part of the train? Or will it hurt u if everyone wants auntie Bukky to read a scripture at the church, or uncle Ike to be chairman instead of uncle Emeka? The truth is No!
      Currently planning my wedding, and thats one thing I’ve realized. Also the 3 factors in the wedding are bride, groom and God, and not the person officiating ceremony.

      Also if hubby disagrees over something the bride’s parents want, she shouldnt go running saying “he doesnt like it”, instead she should work out a mature compromise, that appears to both parties as coming from her. The wedding planning is the 1st part of the meaning “2 shall become 1″

      That said, I’m excited, and cant wait to pull this wedding off, and no I dont expect to see it on bellanaija, not if I’m having my way!!! lol

    • Mary Aghedo August 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM

      Actually Ada, i think it will hurt and i say this because the bride is stuck with her wedding album which will be a constant reminder of how her special day was ruined by aunties, uncles, parents,… While compromise may be good in some areas, we have to realize that the wedding day is about the couple and no one else because it will definitely hurt me is my wedding colours were changed from lavender& purple to cream&brown, It will hurt if my decoration was changed from simple&classy to overly done & shrine looking, it will hurt if children were added to my train and they eventually stained my dress in the photo session and i can keep going. Just plan your wedding the way you want, compromise on the things that wont make an obvious difference and buy big apology cards with a nice bottle of wine and give it to all offended family members after u you must have had the wedding of your dreams.

    • dami September 14, 2010 at 11:57 PM

      wow thing kinda talking to me… Me and my Bf talked about wedding and all that and we both agree to wed in Nigeria but my parent says they want me to wed in the UK as i, my parent and siblings livse there …. now am a bit torn as i really wanna wed in Nigeria but i have a feeling my parent especially my mum will get her own way….