Everybody knows that Nigerian weddings are an experience. Aside from smoky jollof rice and the bride’s dress, one thing that keeps the wedding going is the bridesmaids — running from one corner to the other, making sure everyone is happy. In this article, three Nigerian women talk about being bridesmaids. 

Labake, 30

My cousin asked me to be her maid of honour because she had two best friends and couldn’t pick one. Her best friends hated the idea, and by extension, developed an aversion for me. 

It was my duty to find dresses for the bridesmaids. I found some nice ones online from China and everyone liked them when I sent pictures, but when they arrived, it was a different story. Mine needed a little adjustment to fit right but the other bridesmaids complained that theirs were either too short or too big. The best friends were irritated — they sent messages and voice notes expressing displeasure. They said they had to get different dresses. I offered the company’s number and even asked them to try tailors but they said they wanted their money back. Of course, that wasn’t possible, so they continued shouting. Curses were flying around. Our mothers had to get involved to try to calm them down. The bride kicked them off the bridal train at the end of the day. 

They attended the wedding as guests and were giving me side eyes. My cousin has a kid now and she and her friends are still in touch but the friendship is not what it used to be. 

Ibukun, 25 

I was my sister’s chief bridesmaid. I didn’t even know what my job was. I cried through the entire wedding because my best friend was getting married. Her friend had to swing into action when everyone realised I was useless.  She made sure my sister ate and helped her change outfits. I tried to give a speech but tears didn’t let me. I know I’m not doing bridesmaids work again sha. 

Princess, 24 

Last year, one of my closest friends told me I couldn’t be part of her bridal train because I am too short. I accepted it in good faith, but a few weeks to the wedding day, after some of her bridesmaids had cancelled,  she asked if I could be her chief bridesmaid. 

On the day of the wedding, she asked me to step back because one of her taller friends was available. I was so hurt. I gave her my gift and went home. We stopped being friends after that. 

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