Hey folks! It’s still a good time to give my season greetings, and I hope everyone is having a great Christmas celebration. Some of us are having a quiet one, and just looking forward to the New Year. But besides Christmas, December is also known to be a peak month for weddings.
The big day as it is popularly called, comes with all things GRAND; the food, the drinks, the clothes, and the location too. Everything usually has to complement THE BIG DAY tag.
Well, that’s the case for most Nigerian weddings. Rarely would you find a wedding around here that was done on a small budget, especially in the major cities. Extravagant weddings are the order.
As there’s the traditional wedding popularly called the “trad”, there’s the white wedding too. And the reception following the white wedding. And of course, the occasion varies across religion, tribes and culture. At the end of the day, the road leading to a “happy ever after” comes with a lot of spendings and huge amounts.
Give and take, there will be three or more outfits, each accompanied by a different pair of pretty shoes and jewelries. Three or more, because some brides may choose to wear two or three different outfits for the trad, then wear a wedding gown and a reception gown. And let’s not forget the infamous asoebi, a Yoruba word directly translated to mean, the relative’s clothes.
That’s already lots of money alone spent on clothing and other accessories. Ooh, a professional makeup artist would be hired, professional photographer, chef, planner, the list actually goes on and on. The key word is GRAND.
So when the big day finally arrives, the silent wows and whispers about the bride’s look (it’s always about the bride) says a lot about all the efforts; which is still fine, cos as the saying goes you only get one big day even if there are subsequent marriages.
But, after all the fanfare, what happens to the expensive grande outfits? What do you do with them?
Let’s start with the men
I imagine that for the male folks this is a bizarre question. Because a pair of suits, shoes (not even necessarily new), cufflinks, stockings, a tie, a pocket square or flower, and a nice hair cut is all it takes to look grand. And a traditional attire for the trad.
And that’s not even all, they can literally wear everything the following weekend and nobody would notice. Even the new bride might not. And the following weekend, and weekend after that. They could wear them to another wedding, a church service, a dinner, to work, a hundred times more and totally get away with it.
The female folks on the other hand..
We are not so lucky. Some might be. We all could fall into this lucky category, but not quite.
Let’s see, personally I have reused my wedding earrings and wristwatches – the white one a couple of times when I had to wear an all white outfit or accessorize an outfit with white. I’ve reused my wedding shoes more than once. And so has everyone else, I’d like to imagine.
Additionally, I turned my wedding bouquet into a wreath, to make up the letter O in my home decoration, (an idea I found on Pinterest).
So what happened to the rest of the accessories? Like the wedding gown, hair clips, veil, handfans (both trad and white). Ummmm, what else…. A TIARA, because a wedding is an automatic validation of princesshood. Oh yes it is, especially for the lot of us who didn’t get to play princess as little girls.
The traditional wedding attire, that’s something I personally regret. Such bright pink fabric that never seems to fit into any mood or occasion since the first time I wore it. Oh my world. And boy, it was EXPENSIVE.
A lot of brides-to-be could care less about budget and the life after the big day. But I think people need to start paying more attention to these things, brides especially.
I’ve seen cases where the pressure a lady puts on her man for wedding finances tore them apart; where families have brawled because of financial differences due to the heavy budgets. And so many other scenarios caused by the high standards of expectations influenced by societal and personal pressures to fit in or stand out as the case may be.
I was discussing this with a friend and she asked what the solution is. There’s none and that’s all. We certainly cannot begin a movement for the liberation of women from exorbitant outrageous expensive wedding spendings.
The best one can do is advice a bride-to-be one is familiar with and who actually wants to be advised too. Because a typical Nigerian person will tell you off (no put sand sand for my gari kind of thing). Probably because you’ve had your own big day and all of a sudden you’re advising against big weddings and whatnot.
Well, after all is said and done, here are some things to remember…
Weddings are beautiful, but sooner or later no one would remember what your wedding gown looked like. Well unless they have a picture…
It is important to always remember that pleasing others is not a true way to find happiness and fulfilment.
And here are a few tips on how to manage the accessories:
Just simply resell them. Especially if you could use the extra cash.
Give them away, gift them to an acquaintance or to a charity organisation.
The accessories can be used for costume and wardrobe purposes at plays and musicals.
You have the option to decorate your home and office spaces with your bouquets and handfans.
And the idea to start a bridal rental is one to consider. In which case you might want to gather all the wedding gowns from fellow wasteful brides like yourself. No you’re not wasteful, I’m just making dry jokes.
If you can, you could undo them and make a small dress out of them, for yourself or your little princesses much later. Too expensive to tamper with? Well, I’m out of ideas
What did I miss? What did you do with your big day accessories? What are you planning to do with them? Please feel free to share..
Happy holidays from me to you!!