Last week I had this conversation with someone who admitted to me how broke he was after his wedding. He said he could barely afford to fuel his car, which he almost had to sell by the way, because he had emptied his entire savings, plus incurred debts from friends and associates left, right and centre just so that he could have a "nice" wedding.
Then on the news this morning was the man who was caught by NDLEA smuggling one kg of substance suspected to be methamphetamine. Remorseful, he said he has always been a hardworking man but the pressure to perform his marriage ceremony by December led him to commit that crime.
Sometime this year there was a society wedding which had its colorful pictures splattered all over social media, especially websites known to showcase society weddings. It was a HUGE deal, you'd see the pictures and the first thing you'd say is "father I tap into their blessings, I tap into their wealth". The already attractive couple looked extremely lavish and divine, thanks to the upscale wedding vendors, clothiers and makeup artists. The venue was also one of those reserved for the elite. What these websites and most other people do not know is that till date (months later) there are still several debts yet to be paid. In fact one of the family members has skipped town because of the debts that were incurred just to have that wedding.
But this isn't news. The struggle to have a society wedding is real! Why do you think this is? A few playfully say "BN see what you're making them do", but this whole wedding beyond one's means started before the advent of Bella Naija Weddings. In truth, this concept isn't limited to society weddings alone, it also includes having considerably decent or rather, memorable weddings.
I can't help but wonder why there's so much pressure to have a wedding one can barely afford. What's so wrong with having a small intimate wedding if that's what's affordable at the time? Why can't a couple simply do the traditional rites, go to the Registry, have a Minister bless the union and then have an intimate get-together for family and close friends? I sometimes tell myself that when it's time for me to wed I may understand better, maybe there are facets to this thing that I don't see/know yet...
Why do some Nigerians go above and beyond to have the "perfect wedding" even when they can barely afford to? I asked a few people and these are answers that came up tops.
a) Keeping up with the Joneses. (Living beyond your means in order to belong to social strata above yours).
b) Some wives throw tantrums and demand lavish weddings at all costs
c) Its only once in a lifetime so...
d) Caving in to societal pressure to marry BIG
e) The somewhat recent upsurge of (online) media outlets dedicated to showcasing society weddings
f) What say you? Do you agree with any of the above, or are there certain other factors that cause some Nigerians to lie, steal, starve, beg and bleed all in a bid to have a certain kind of wedding?