Remembering how my wedding went is pretty difficult, especially considering the fact that there was so much going on that day. To be fair, I never fancied myself as one of those wedding-crazy, “love is in the air” type of people. I’ve always enjoyed getting things done and just being over with them. However, my perception of how things were changed dramatically when I saw a few of my friends getting married to their soul mates. They went through so much stress, yes but the result was always a wonderful and enjoyable event. I decided then that I’d do my best to ensure that my wedding won’t be a bore (plus, you know Nigeria. Everyone wants to dwarf what the others have done).
When I finally got engaged, I was definitely ecstatic. I loved my fiancé (now my husband, anyway) and I know how much he also wanted the wedding to be special. The only difference was that I still wasn’t there for all the stress and hustle of running around and planning a wedding.
So what did I do?
I got a friend of mine to help me with all the running around. I wasn’t there for the whole wedding planner jab, partly because I never saw the reason why I’d pay hundreds of thousands to someone to do stuff I can do myself.
Then the planning began.
The first thing we did was draft a guest list. I had included names of friends, family members, acquaintances, and a few others that I wanted to invite, and we set out to make invitation cards for them. The wedding guest list also influenced the choice of our venue, and that was the beginning of our undoing.
Everything else regarding the wedding went on like clockwork (I have to give props to my friend-turned- wedding planner. She was relentless, and she took the whole responsibility of planning the wedding to herself). However, on the day of our engagement ceremony (we deliberately chose a week to the wedding so as not to put too much stress on any and everyone), I realized that we chose a venue too small. Our engagement and wedding venues were different, but they could sit almost the same number of people. We chose different venues because we thought that nobody really goes for engagements anyways. To our surprise (I’m honestly still trying to figure out whether the surprise was pleasant or not), we had a turnout that nobody could even dream of.
Then it hit me; if we get this number for just the engagement, imagine how many people will turn up for the wedding!
With less than a week to go, we had to go venue hunting. We got a new and bigger venue in a different art of town and after paying hundreds of thousands more to secure it (we actually had to bid with about two other couples who were looking to get the same venue), we began sending notices to people to inform them of the change in venue. Imagine calling old people, pastors and officiating ministers, vendors, etc. to tell them that you had a venue change just four days to the wedding. Put simply, it was a logistical nightmare.
Know the funny thing? We still had more than we bargained for. The only saving grace for the wedding was the fact that regardless of the population issue, it was lots of fun. Never doubt the affinity that Nigerians have for parties.