I stumbled on an interesting blog post on Kacheetee.com where the writer wrote about wedding and bridesmaid expectations ruining friendships. This inspired me to write a post about bridal party brouhaha in Nigerian weddings.
In this part of the sphere, wedding ceremonies are huge deals, to such an extent that more attention is paid to the ceremony than the marriage itself. Before a Nigerian wedding takes place, you will most likely find a bride, her mum and mother-in-law at loggerheads as each one of them feels they have a right to decide how the wedding should turn out. None of them would want her input stumped for another’s. It’s usually such an arduous process.
Whenever I tell people I’ve never pictured what my wedding day would look like, they look at me with weird eyes. Blame it on the Nollywood movies I’ve seen. But I have refused to subject my brain, heart and mind to planning my white and traditional weddings in my head, for my mothers to come fight me on the details. When we get to that bridge, we’ll cross it. Actually, I have crossed it. Whatever the Mamas decide, that’s want we’re gonna do. I have no intention of growing grey hairs at a young age, biko.😂
All I know is that I’ve since figured out exactly how my court wedding would be. From the outfits to the venue, my guest list, the food, down to the nitty-gritty. I’ve had the blue print for about a decade now. Yeske! Hubby can take care of our honeymoon. At the of the day, everyone is happy. Yippee yaaaay!
Now, if you think it all ends with the parents and your partner, you are in for a big surprise. I’ll tell you this for free; your siblings, cousins and friends may come up with their sense of entitlement as to why their suggestions matter in the decision-making process of your wedding day. Especially if you are one who is easily swayed by other people’s opinions. See ehn, just get ready for chaos before, on and after the wedding.
That’s right, darling!
If care is not taken, you will find yourself with 24 bridesmaids instead of the six you originally planned 😂
You won’t be the first anyway; Sandra Ikeji allegedly had over 200 bridesmaids at her wedding. When I saw the pictures, I felt bad for her. They looked like esunsun (winged termites) to me. I kept wondering if she was trying to break the Guinness World Record or she didn’t just know how to say no to many persons hence the crowd. I know nobody asked me but… eish!
When my oldest friend was getting married three years ago, she called to inform me that she had picked a wedding date. Yaay! 💃 I was overjoyed because, well, I’ve been in the relationship with her right from the toasting days, literally.
She went on to say, nervously, that I couldn’t be her Maid of Honour (MoH)😱
“Why?” I asked. She then told me that after thinking about it, her siblings, her mum and she thought that I would be more useful and needed running affairs on the D-day than just fanning the bride. And that was because I was actively involved in the smooth running of her introduction ceremony.
Honestly, that massaged my ego. 😉 I recall walking my slender body to the mirror hanging on my orange wall. I stood in front of it with my chin and shoulders raised in a cocky manner, and with a smirk on my face, I winked and said proudly to my reflection, “Emi mama m’eto fun rara e!” 😁(Please ask any Yoruba person for translation)
It felt good.
Yes, I had taken no nonsense at her introduction ceremony. It’s such a time when my childlike nature gives way for the bossy first-born me to spring into full manifestation. I didn’t let anybody stress my girl. I made sure she had her meal before the mummies and aunties came in to rush her. Neither was anyone allowed an opinion on what the make-up artist was doing on her pretty face. No unnecessary visits and greetings from the adugbo mummies and self-acclaimed godmothers, and definitely no great-grand-distance-cousin coming to ask unnecessary questions. Nah nah, not on my watch!
If you’ve ever been behind the scenes of a Nigerian wedding, especially Yoruba weddings, you can attest to how stressed a bride can be because she doesn’t have someone firm to curb people’s excesses. Every Tom, Dick and Jane thinks they have something to say especially to the makeup artist and how she should do her job. You hear things like, “Is that powder not too much like this?” “Please o, I don’t want my daughter looking like a masquerade.” Another would chip in with, “Nawa, una never do finish since morning?” Trust me, I don’t allow such. Mi o raye jati jati oshi (I don’t have time for BS).
So, yeah, I felt proud of myself and I wasn’t a bit bothered about not being her chosen Maid of Honour.
Fast forward to about a year later, one of my closest friends was also tying the knot. This was a really special one because, walahi, it was as much my wedding as it was hers. You needed to have heard me screaming when I heard T proposed. I was just jumping and shouting like I won lottery… LOL
Anyway, in my head, I was certain I had earned the Chief Bridesmaid spot. Not after all the fasting and praying and visions I saw. I was in the relationship with my Sugar. Coincidentally, our other friend was also getting married on the same date. There was no question as to whose wedding I would be attending. Long story short, I didn’t make the MoH, however I was cast to be on the bridal train/party, with reasons.
I would be lying if I said I felt no pang of disappointment but then, she had her reasons, one of which I’ll be sharing. So here is the gist. (You already know I like gist)
I am way smaller and shorter than my Sugar. Let’s say petite, before she seizes the opportunity to yab me again😒. Which means, no matter how high the heels they put on me or the layers of cloth I wear, I would have been invisible behind her –no cap. Just picture going for a wedding and you can only see the bride walking down the aisle with the tail of her gown obviously lifted but you can’t find who the lifter is… heheheeee. That would have been us.
Sadly, I couldn’t make it to any of the two weddings mentioned (details for my memoir).
But let’s flip the script for a second, yeah. What if both of my girlfriends who I hold dearly to my heart had cut me off their bridal party without as much as an explanation, how would I have felt?
Truthfully, I would have been hurt. My Sugar and I have always talked about how we must be on each other’s bridal train even if one of us were pregnant. We talked about it all the time, so yes, again, I would have taken it personally if she had cut me off the train.
But would that make me stop being friends with her? Absolutely not!
My pettiness no reach that side.
However, I’ve heard stories of people who stopped talking to their friends, neighbours or cousins because they did not put them on the bridal party. By the way, I’m sorry I keep using bridal party and bridal train, I love how they both sound, which means, I can’t stick to one. Feels like a betrayal to the other 😂}
I think people need to understand that, you think someone is your “bestie” does not necessarily mean you are their bestie. And really, that doesn’t change the fact that they are actually your best friend. For example, Babs could be the only friend Alex has. Meanwhile, even though Babs considers himself a good friend of Alex’s, his own best friend is Chris. Which means, Babs is Alex’s bestie while Chris is Babs’ bestie. Does that make sense?
Now Babs is set to get married and without missing a heartbeat, he chooses Chris as his best man. Alex hears about it and he gets really mad at Babs for picking someone else over him.
Does Alex have the right to be angry? Maybe
Is Babs wrong for choosing Chris as his Best Man? Of course, not
Should Babs make both Alex and Chris his Best Men? Only if he wants to. It shouldn’t be because he’s trying to make Alex feel better.
Yo people, y’all need to understand that so long you are not the bride or groom you are not expected to be calling the shots.
If your friend chooses to have a small wedding, it is his/her wedding, let them be.
If you get an invite to be on the bridal party, hurray!
If you did not get an invite and you feel hurt, express your feelings to them. Their response would give you a better understanding of why they made the decision not to include you.
Just as mentioned on Kacheetee, you may not have been invited for reasons such as; your friend knows you are not financially buoyant to participate in her dream wedding, she is not comfortable with your weight or stature, she is avoiding a fight, his bride does not like you or your skin colour doesn’t fit into their picture-perfect wedding.
I know some of these reasons sound absurd and it wouldn’t be right for me to tell you how to react but then, you MUST remember that it’s their day and they get to decide whatever and whosoever the frig they want to be a part of it or not.
Yo dearest, if you do not make the cut to your friend/sibling/colleague/cousin’s wedding or bridal party as you expected, I really think you should ask them to find out why. Express your feelings to them and depending on what their reason(s) is, make your peace with their decision OR re-evaluate your relationship with them and move on.
By the way, do you know parents fight because someone didn’t use their child as a flower girl or page boy? I can’t even deal, please. Like what?!
But really though,
1.. Have you ever been cut off a wedding or bridal party?
2. How did it make you feel?
3. What reason did the person give?
4. What would you do if you got cut off a wedding for some feeble reason such as your social status or stature?
5. Will it affect your relationship with the person?
6. If you are married, did you have to cut someone off from your wedding or bridal party? If yes, why?
Wedding Photos courtesy @LoveLikeDees Featured image from lesmarchesdelodie.com