Thanks to the timely uploads on Facebook and other media, I feel like I have attended many more weddings than those I was physically present at. Having acknowledged that the marriage is far more important than the wedding details, allow me to share five wedding trends that I now pronounce absolutely annoying.
1) The Bolero Jacket
Basically, the bolero jacket is meant to flatter one’s shape. The perfect fit of the rounded front corners should make the waist appear smaller. I’m sure whoever reintroduced this jacket to the fashion runways had good intentions. But oh no! Many brides have reinvented the purpose-driven life of the bolero. With little regard to the fit, the jacket’s primary function is now to hide ‘immodest’ strapless wedding dresses from judgmental frowns at the wedding ceremony.
Ill-fitted boleros have quickly become the No. 1 bridal wardrobe mishap and they can take you from looking like Grace Kelly to looking like Lady Gaga in a heartbeat. Some are almost A-lined and others are just downright unpleasant to behold. Please. Don’t give a lecture on what brides can or cannot afford. Iya Kasali can do a great job and even attach a Vera Wang tag for you at no extra charge. Note that all Iya Kasalis are not equal. On the other hand, there are other options beyond strapless dresses. So many other great wedding dress styles can admirably embrace your curves, hide your physical insecurities and eliminate the need for that increasingly misinterpreted jacket.
If you must wear one, at least make sure it fits perfectly, and that the color and fabric blend well with the rest of your wardrobe. Bridesmaids take note too!
2) “Cash Only Gifts”
When couples insist on not receiving wedding gifts, my first thought is that they live in a country different from where the wedding is taking place. I get that. The breaking point is when couples go the extra mile to directly request ‘cash only’ gifts.
Are they totally kidding?
So if I planned to give them a set of ‘tumblers’ valued at N600 (about $5) or thereabout, can I send them the money instead or will I become their favorite ‘weird-wedding-moment’ topic? Will they wonder if I think they are suffering? No, I do not think they are struggling. However, I do think they might send all sorts of wrong and confusing signals to their invited guests, especially those unrelated to Dangote. A number of folks will question this as “their style”, and even verbalize all forms of “let them cut their coat according to their size” comments.
Dear couples, instead of making a formal and direct request for “cash gifts only”, rephrase those words to something like, “No large gifts items please”. In other words, you are not only giving your guests a lead on what you don’t want, but also giving them the flexibility to choose from a variety of other gift options. You can only hope your invitees will read in between the lines. However, be more open with your close family members and friends. They will indisputably understand.
In addition, you can just sign up at a wedding gift registry and call it a day. Better still, create your own gift registry/list, attach it to your wedding invite and ask your invitees to check what gift item they want to give or contribute to. Also ask them to mail/email/text the details to you. This way, you won’t end up with 200 glass cup sets since your list is customized to suit your actual needs.
Although I think couples can use monetary gifts as they deem fit -whether to pay off pending bills to wedding vendors or to make a down payment on their dream vacation- making a direct request for it is just downright tacky.
3) Clueless Aso-ebi Buyers
It is so funny how often people complain about outrageous aso-ebi price points. Yet, they buy the “hespensif” fabrics plus gele, sew their glamorous styles, come to the wedding and just sit down throughout the party with half of their costly fabric tucked under the table. These are the clueless aso-ebi buyers and over fifty percent of their party time is either spent staring at other guests or posing to be gazed upon. They are the clear victims of societal expectations and trends.
Get up! Dance with the couple!
Be part of the wedding fun!
At least get some real value for your over-priced aso-ebi which I assume you purchased because you know the bride, groom or a close family member. Ok, maybe you just purchased it because you love the fabric – It’s your money jere! Weddings will be less monotonous and more intimate with fewer guests in the ‘sidon look’ category. Enough with the excessive focus on the wedding fashion parade. Couples are more pleased to see their friends and guests rocking and having fun even if they do not wear the aso-ebi. Wedding photographs documenting your positive energy and joy will be more memorable than those of you just sitting pretty in one spot while wearing the wedding uniform.
Don’t be a clueless aso-ebi buyer. You were not forced to join the wedding entourage.
4) Carrying the Bride
I’m yet to understand the logical relevance of those pictures of the groomsmen carry the bride – with or without the groom. The groom is strategically positioned to brace her bust line or underarms, while the groomsmen hold on to strange parts of her body. Why even bother with this picture pose? It has so much potential to turn into a complete disaster. If she as much as slips, the groom looses five points off his perfect score for dropping his gem and another five points off for recruiting groomsmen without sufficient six packs.
Ok…ok…with that many groomsmen, she is less likely to fall. But still, this picture really doesn’t make or break a wedding album. I’m sure your single groomsmen would rather be exchanging digits with some single sisters, instead of lifting the heaviness of a taken woman.
However, if you have always visualized this particular picture in your wedding album, I mean if you absolutely must, kindly pay close attention to the unspoken weight limit here. Be considerate.
5) Reserved Seats
A friend and I arrived over two hours late to some wedding reception and were happy we could seat at any of the empty tables we immediately spotted. At a closer glance, we noticed all those tables had ‘RESERVED’ cards on them. About eight tables! Now let me clarify some things here: (a) this was not an ‘Invitation Only’ event where the vacant seats could be explained by pre-designated sitting arrangements. (b) We were very late. In other words, the ceremony had been on for a while.
After a lady offered us seats at her table, I repeatedly glanced over at the reserved tables, waiting for the ‘important’ guests to arrive and desecrate the untouched dinner plate settings.
Iró ni o. An hour and a half later, those seats remained empty as we were leaving.
Most of these unspecified tables are reserved for people who end up sitting at other tables because they are uninformed of their reserved seats. So, unless you have specific invitees ushered to those sacred tables, this event planning/wedding tactic holds little sense.
Phew, that’s a wrap. Other eye-rolling trends include White Tuxedos, Cash Bars where guests pay for their own alcoholic beverages at the wedding; and those very environmentally-unfriendly Plastic Souvenirs that every Nigerian home has an ample supply of.
And then we have those (albeit useful) Gift Bags plastered with the couple’s picture. Some months back, I used one of such as my work lunch pouch. After work one day, the company director and I were in the elevator talking when he suddenly asked, “so what happened to them?” pointing to my lunch bag.
I happily responded, “Oh they got married!”
He blandly replied, “Interesting, but it looks more like they both passed on.”
I guess he didn’t see the ‘Conjugal Bliss’ printed at the far bottom.