Nigerian wedding parties are great — especially for the friends and neighbours that just came for the party jollof.
But have you ever wondered if some couples regret certain things from their big day, though? We asked these eight Nigerians, and here’s what they shared with us:
“Having a big wedding”
— Ola*, 25
I’ve wanted a small destination wedding for as long as I can remember, but I had no choice but to settle for a full-on Yoruba owambe-style wedding because of my husband and our families.
The whole wedding felt like a chore, and it’s still painful that no one listened to me, and I never got the excitement most people get before/during their wedding. It felt more like I was just there because I had to be the bride.
“Not sleeping the night before”
— Ife*, 26
It wasn’t like I didn’t want to sleep — I just couldn’t because I was too excited. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was extremely tired. I couldn’t enjoy the reception because I just wanted to find somewhere to sleep. And it didn’t help that everyone expected us to spend more time on the dance floor.
“The invitation cards”
— Kenny, 34
I still berate myself for printing invitation cards since most people just got the information from our wedding website. We printed about 200 cards and still had about 100 cards after the wedding. Such waste in this Buhari government.
“I worried about everything”
— Chioma*, 24
I must have been a bridezilla because I was everywhere in the days leading up to the wedding, trying to make sure that everything was perfect. On my wedding day, I kept fussing about different things: the bridesmaid’s dress that needed to be fixed, the makeup artist that came in late, the traffic on the way to the church, etc.
Looking back, I wish I’d just let things sort themselves out and just enjoyed my day. Worse, the pictures bear witness to how stressed I let myself be. Brides-to-be, take note, abeg.
“Not booking backup photographers”
— Demi*, 30
The painful part is that my wife and I promised each other that we wouldn’t be the couple complaining about wedding picture disappointments because we’d get like two backups. LMAO.
Expenses really took a toll on our budget during wedding preparations, and we constantly postponed reaching out to backup photographers until we eventually forgot. We had just one photographer at our wedding, and the pictures weren’t great. The photographer even took forever to share them.
— Edna*, 29
I let a family friend handle the hall decorations because I was trying to “encourage” growing businesses — big mistake. My heart dropped into my stomach when I stepped into the hall the evening before my wedding to check out what was happening.
The designs were tacky, and they definitely weren’t what I asked for. I had to let my maid of honour tactfully remove some items and arrange for another decorator to assist because if I had said anything, I would’ve beaten somebody up.
“Having a traditional wedding”
— Chi*, 27
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for honouring traditions. But my traditional wedding (which took place in my hometown in the East) felt like a waste of money. I wish I had been more vocal in pleading with my family to reduce the items on the bridal list.
My husband had to spend so much money pleasing relatives I didn’t even know and buying stuff I didn’t even see — all for a one-day event. He didn’t complain to me, but I think he just didn’t want to come across as weak. I still wish I’d done something.
“Getting married in my mum’s church”
— Olanna*, 33
My mum attends MFM while I attend one of these modern pentecostal churches. As much as I tried, my parents kicked hard against getting married at my church. In their words, “What would our church people think?” They even threatened to be absent from the wedding if I didn’t concede to them.
Of course, I wanted my parents there, so I had to give in. I couldn’t wear the dress I wanted, and make-up was out of it. This thing about weddings being the “bride’s day” might be true everywhere else, but definitely not in Nigeria.
*Some names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.