In all of its glory, Nigerian weddings can rival any one in any other part of the world. It can be glitzy, resplendent, full of sparks and absolutely unforgettable. And we love, love it.
Over the years, however, the worrying thing we’ve always had to grapple with is the rate at which people are willing to go all out and plumb the lowest depths in order to play at the peak of this wedding game.
typical Aso-oke for traditional weddings
We’ve seen and heard and read stories of people taking out prohibitive loans, spending their life earnings, placing absurd demands on people, and doing all sorts of embarrassing things just to have a wedding that would be the talk of town.
So much has been said of that here and at this point, frankly, you’d have to be so far removed from society to not know or to not have heard of this slimy, disgusting underbelly that the Nigerian wedding culture possesses.
Thankfully though, it looks like we are finally reaching a bend in the road, a culture shift which would turn things on its head when it comes to weddings, and it looks like we have this generation – millennials and 90’s babies – to thank for it.
Being a member of this cult myself, having been part of numerous conversations on the issue, and having seen numerous opinions on social media on what weddings around here look like, it seems apparent that unaffordable weddings are not what people are looking forward to.
Simi and Adekunle Gold to tie the knot today, January 9 2019
Adekunle Gold and Simi’s super low-key wedding is a case in point, as is this particular one that I stumbled on social media over this past weekend.
A certain couple, Blessing Ijeoma and Adewale Olalekan had had a wedding that had no reception recently and boy, that was so new, so refreshing to see and so… different.
For reasons best known to them, the couple had chosen to buck the Nigerian wedding trend by scrapping one of the most well-known aspects of it and if that is not revolutionary, I don’t know what is.
In a wedding landscape that is just getting used to the idea of having guests gain entrance solely by invitation, in a society where having 100 or less guests is just slowly becoming the in-thing, in a place where people are just starting to accept that a wedding can be held outside the church premises and still be regarded as holy matrimony, refusing to have a reception is a whole new level of non-conformism – and it’s the sort of thing we’re here for!
A no-reception wedding. Hook it in my veins!
Personally, I find all forms of wedding personalization very brilliant and acceptable and to be lauded rather than scorned or scoffed at. Why? A wedding is the union of two people and just as in the marriage that comes after, it is to be left for them to do as they please.
Two people want to do a beach wedding and they can afford it through reasonable means, let them do it! A garden wedding is what they want? Let them go for it and support them or shut the hell up about it. Someone wants to do only the traditional wedding and leave out all others, that’s just fine. What if they want to maintain the status quo by doing all the wedding things we are already so used to? That’s just as fantastic! It is the lack of options that irks, not so much the idea that we are only seeing only that one, tired wedding format every time and everywhere.
Something everyone complains about is how they want these things but can’t have them because their parents do not. Many of these Nigerian parents are from a time when things were much different and their idea of a befitting wedding might not align with yours. Doing your wedding in a certain way just to honour them is not a bad idea.
Naija parents have a different idea of what a wedding should look like [Credit – Ebony Life/Wedding Party Movie]
Ebony Life/Wedding Party Movie
But this does not look like a problem that many kids of the next generation would have to deal with. With people of this generation as parents, you can be certain that a lot more kids would have understanding and support from folks rather than an attempt to get them to change their mind on the issue as many parents do these days.
And in that regard, we have to give further credit to the section of 90’s babies and millennials who have accepted and imbibed the idea of having a wedding that suits them and not anyone else.
Even if many can’t have their dream wedding because of restrictive family members and in an attempt to have an inclusive ceremony, we can take heart in the idea that 90’s babies are laying the foundation for a better wedding culture; one that’s devoid of pressure to please and promotes a couple’s happiness over and above parent’s image.