By Vera Chidi-Maha
Oh, weddings, weddings, weddings. I dare say I love weddings. No.
Saying I love weddings would be an understatement. I simply adore weddings. When I get wedding invitations, I just melt. You know, the thought of two very different people from very different backgrounds coming together to become one body is one union I have a lot of respect for.
On wedding days, I have made some observations. However, I have noticed over time that during the couple dance, the bride in most cases appears to be happier. She dances more and smiles more. She is oftentimes more relaxed than the groom. I really wonder why it is like that in most cases. Does it mean that women are happier that they are getting married than the men?
An example will suffice here. When Mr. and Mrs. Adefemi put off all existing and prospective suitors the moment she set her eyes on Adefemi. According to them, it was love at first sight. Their story was not like the regular. ‘Boy meets girl’ kind of love, it was more like ‘boy was made to meet girl’.
They met through a mutual friend who ‘match-made’ them. When a blind date was arranged for them at a restaurant, the chemistry between them was so thick; they were love struck and they simply could not get enough of each other’s company. Believe it or not for the eight months they dated, they saw and called each other every day for about eight months. So, it came as little or no surprise to their families and friends when they announced their wedding date. People were, of course, happy for them. It seemed the right thing to do considering how inseparable they had been for the months they dated. The only slight hitch they had was during the preparation for the traditional engagement ceremony. The bride price was so exorbitant that the prospective hubby almost had a change of heart.
According to him, the bride price was enough to buy him a choice property at Aja, a choice area of Lagos State. But hey, guess what, love conquered all, including the bride price. He managed to cough up the needed amount for the bride to become his wife. Initially, he had thought that since they had done a very loud traditional marriage by all standards, he felt that the wedding proper had to be low keyed. But his in-laws would have none of that. They had to maintain the same tempo or even a higher tempo to prove to their family members and neighbours that their son-in-law was a big catch. This did not go down well with him as he was fast running out of 40s. As the wedding plans progressed, the bills kept mounting, but again love conquered all. The bills were all eventually taken care of. And the wedding went as planned.
Since love is supposed to conquer all, then why was the groom not too enthusiastic on the dance floor when it was time to dance for joy? I am just curious.
The reverse was the case when Ethel, a top executive in an IT firm, took Tunde, a graphic artist as husband.
Yours truly was also fortunate to be invited to their wedding. When it got to my favourite part of the couple dance, I noticed Tunde, the groom, seemed more enthusiastic than Ethel, the bride. Tunde danced his heart out. In fact, he not only danced ‘legwalk’ and ‘shaku shaku’, but not minding the expensive suit and shoes he had on, he also danced ‘alanta’. Ethel, on the other hand, barely managed to move her body. She seemed lost in thought. I later found out from a close friend of Ethel that the bride had sponsored the whole wedding! From her bride price , the wedding hall and sponsoring Tunde’s parents and other family members to the venue of the wedding, and even down to Tunde’s wedding suit and his best man’s. She bought them all. You want to know why? I am so glad you asked. Ethel, by the standards of our society, has hitherto being labelled the proverbial ‘big girl’. She is a successful IT top executive like I earlier said and trust the men in our society, I mean the ones who are easily intimidated by successful and independent women, and they did not have the courage to make passes at her due to Ethel’s financial status. As a result she is in her early 40s but had no man to call her own.
According to her friend, the only man that had the courage to come her way were the married ones who wanted nothing but a fling with her. Not Ethel. She wanted more. She wanted a man that would be a hundred per cent hers.
As the years went by and she became more and more successful in her career, desperation to finding her own man set in. The eligible ones did not have the courage to make love overtures to her; they were not men enough for her. They were afraid that her successes could make her a controlling female and trust our men, they couldn’t handle it. Tunde, financially, was not too okay but he had balls, sorry, I mean he had guts. Yes, he had guts enough to walk up to Ethel with a bouquet of roses and asked her out on a date.
Ethel was too dazed and overwhelmed by his courage that she did not even hesitate to accept his offer. Tunde naturally chose the venue of their first date and guess what. He paid for everything and even mange to give her a thousand or two to fuel her car. To say that Ethel fell in love with Tunde would be putting it mildly. She was hooked. Anyway sha, one date led to another and then phone calls followed suit, sms and then the wedding.
In all fairness to Tunde, he never wanted to exploit Ethel in anyway by insisting on an expensive wedding. The entire thing was planned and executed by Ethel. They were both madly in love with each other and that was all that mattered. Or what do you think? Ethel as a big girl also had her image to protect. Perhaps, the reason why she was a little deep in thought when it was time to dance was the fact that the wedding preparations were taking its toll on her? Well, maybe, maybe not. But I wish both of them a blissful marriage.
Weddings are very special and divine. It should not be jumped into nor rushed. Weddings should take place based on the platform of love. It is the key. It does not matter who spends on what.
The reason is because the bride might sponsor the wedding today, who knows what the groom might sponsor tomorrow?
As for the couple dance, my belief is that wedding should ideally happen once in a lifetime, so when it is time to hit the dance floor, forget everything else and simply dance like never before.