What’s it like in a man’s head months, weeks, days and hours before his wedding? Is he calm? Is he losing his shit?In this article, four Nigerian men share with us how they felt before their weddings, and somehow their emotions are similar.
The thought of a wedding has always scared me ever since I knew about the dramas of Nigerian weddings. I always wished I could skip the ceremony part and just go straight to being married. On my first attempt at getting married, I got cold feet, so we took a break and tried again 2 years after. This time we gave ourselves just over 4 weeks to prepare. As a perfectionist, I went into overdrive. I went from being nonchalant to taking control and driving the planning and processing. My wife would just say what she wanted and I would do the execution. It’s always been said that if you need something done, just involve me, and that was the energy I carried throughout the wedding planning period.
I’d always planned to get really high on any day I was getting married so that I could drown fear or any emotions, but on my wedding day, I was high on just adrenaline. I went through the day completely zoned out; no emotions, no fear, just my urge to cross the line and finally be married. A lot went wrong, but it didn’t bother me. The cake was ruined, the speakers blew up, the make-up was delayed. In my mind, I just knew I was getting married. The wedding process and event gave me an even stronger belief in God.
For me, I was initially excited about the prospects of getting married to someone I love and cherish, and to add to it, we were celibate, so I was super excited to have sex. A lot of that excitement died when one day, about five months into the wedding, I was reading my bible and saw that husbands are supposed to love their wives to the point of dying for them. Omo, I got so scared I told my wife I wasn’t going to be able to marry her again because the weight of what that responsibility sounded like was overwhelming, and I didn’t want to mess it up. As the months approached, I started to calm down and do a lot more reading about what it meant to be a good husband, and some of the excitement came back, but omo, the excitement was outweighed by caution. I became extremely cautious about the things I said and did around her because I now understood that absolutely everything I did had to come from a place of love, and because I was just learning that, I was trying not to mess things up.
There was family drama before my wedding to my wife because my wife’s family wanted us to have the wedding in the king’s palace at their village which is on an island that’s only accessible by water, and my family didn’t want that because to them, going over water meant passing the presence of mami water. This drama dragged on for months until my family eventually agreed. By the time they did, we had only 55 days to prepare for the wedding.
I didn’t have any cold feet before the wedding, but at some point, the financial stress got to me. For the most part, I felt excited. On the wedding day, I was tired. My wife had to tell me not to ruin our beautiful day because at some point, I wasn’t smiling anymore. I just wanted it to be done. I just wanted to go home.
The only thing I was sure about in the weeks leading up to my wedding was that the woman I wanted to marry was the right person for me. For every other thing, I had doubts. I doubted my ability to be a husband, a father, a provider, a good partner, everything. I’d been dating my wife for years before we got married, so I was confident that the wedding phase was going to be easy, but it was far from that. First off, my dad’s younger brother who my family was close to died two weeks before the wedding, and that just made things more complicated. We decided to proceed with the wedding anyways because we already made plans, but it was already a difficult time. My best man was my late uncle’s son and he couldn’t do any best man duties because he was mourning his father. I had to get an emergency best man. I also handled all the financial aspects of the wedding because my family was in a bad place financially. All the financial and emotional stress in the weeks leading up to the wedding shook me. I found myself asking if I was doing the right thing, or if I should cancel all the plans and just keep dating.