By Priscilla Adeboye
I, Agbeke Adefunke daughter of Omolayo and Ayodele Adeboye take you *****, to be my lawfully wedded husband. On this special day, in the presence of our loving God and these amazing people, I affirm to you my sacred promise to stay by your side and be your G, in sickness and in health, in joy, in sorrow, through the best times and the worst. I will be to you a rock-solid support system, your numero uno cheerleader, your accomplice, your prayer warrior, your queen, your true counterpart and best friend. I promise to love you without inhibition, without reservation. My love for Mercedes Benz and my dogs has nothing on you. I will encourage you to achieve your goals, grow with you in mind and in spirit, always be open and honest with you, be submissive to you and cherish you and all we share for as long as we both shall live, so help me God…
You know you are a helpless romantic when you ‘roll out’ a wedding vow off hand, like I just did.
I am a big-fat fan of love.
Somebody said ‘love is to the heart what oxygen is to the body’, and I agree. Love is probably the best antidepressant in this world. Love: so warm, so soothing, so rich, oh so whole.
Haha… I do realise this mushy part of me isn’t one a lot of people are familiar with. And in as much as I wouldn’t kid you and say I am not the tough, Mercedes-loving bully you think I am; I’ll like to break it to you that: ‘yeah, you saw the half of me…’(in Rihanna’s voice)
Anyhoo, back to the wedding talk:
I love weddings. I think a wedding is the celebration of something so pure, so beautiful, so human, yet so divine. It is the knitting of two individual souls into one forever. It is the unofficial-official approval to ‘do the do’ (y’all know wha’m say’n…). So, I take weddings very seriously. I almost always have to grab the Kleenex when the couple starts to say their vows… it’s so beautiful.
However these days, I have seen weddings become an organized mess. The ‘Instagram/BN wedding’ craze has become extremely crazy. I see a lot of people go all out to ‘impress’ others with their wedding and to out-do some other person’s wedding. Why oh why?
Wedding planning/servicing is definitely one of the fastest growing industries in Nigeria as we speak and trust me, they are cashing in big time. A lot of international wedding planners have started to take on Nigerian weddings as they also have discovered that Nigerians do not know how to do anything ‘low-key’.
I was speaking to a photographer friend recently and when he told me the amount he charges for pre-wedding photo-shoots only, I almost choked. You know, it has become increasingly trendy to travel to Paris, Greece, Italy, Dubai, for pre-wedding shoots.
My contact in one of these ‘wedding sites’ told me they charge about N4 million to cover weddings in certain places. 4,000,000 cold-blooded Nigerian Naira just for your wedding to appear on a blog!!! I cannot authoritatively tell you that I can’t spend that kind of money on my (our) honeymoon as God provides but I can tell you categorically that I will not pay any blog/site any money at all just to cover my wedding.
On one of my shows when I was still a radio on-air-personality, we were having this wedding conversation on-air and I said I will invite just 50 people to my wedding. When I got home that day, my Mum met me at the door and said “Oyinbo woman, is it your father’s family that won’t be at your wedding? Because my own family alone is more than 50”. My Dad responded and said “Noooo, it has to be her mother’s people that won’t be there”…LOL.
Anyway, it’s been 3 long years since that time and I think we finally have reached an agreement. Somewhere along the line, we were able to establish that it is MY wedding, after all (even though the ‘love of my life’ is still playing hide and seek with me right now *sigh). My mother even said I can have a ‘destination wedding’ only that the ‘destination’ has to be within Nigeria (that woman ehn…).
Every girl deserves her dream wedding, every guy too. My point however is, it should be on your own terms not because you want to please/impress someone else. Your wedding should be all about you and the love of your life. You’re allowed to be selfish that one day. After all, you are celebrating your love. Don’t go all out to impress others and then miss out on your own wedding. It’s just once in your lifetime, damn it!
There seems to be a lot of ‘noise’ trailing weddings these days that seem to drown the real essence of the ceremony. Funnily, I have been taught that people will never ever be satisfied, no matter what you do. In fact, I have stopped attending wedding receptions in Nigeria because I am just tired of the ‘chaos’ (I use the word chaos lightly): I mean people shouting for food and lobbying for souvenirs when they didn’t even bring any gift… hell! When they don’t even know the name of the couple.
Wait a minute, why do brides always play Luther Vandross’ ‘Dance With My Father’ during the father-daughter dance? Do they understand that song? Well, I shall face my front now…
With this ring, I thee wed as a symbol and emblem of my eternal love and devotion to you for as long as we both shall live…
When you say these sacred words, I would really love that all that is on your mind in that moment is how blessed you are and how much in love with this person you are; not if the papparrazzi are getting the right shots for Instagram or if Beyonce has landed in time for the wedding reception.
My name is Priscilla Adeboye and this is ‘weddings’ as I see it.
Unity and faith, peace and progress.