Is Your Wedding About You or Your Parents?

Unwana Umosen

Tayo always dreamed about a destination wedding. She wanted her wedding outdoors as well, so she started praying against bad weather while she was in university. It seemed hilarious to her friends but she knew what she wanted. That was how bad Tayo thought about her wedding. She was the firstborn of her family and was expected to get married first.

 Finally, while she was getting a master’s degree in Abuja, she got engaged. Excited to get married, she was also the first getting married in her family. It was time to live the dream she always imagined.

It was time to plan the wedding. Her parents talked her out of traveling for the wedding. For the traditional marriage, her mother was so excited, she said they had to go to their hometown. Tayo was avoiding most of her extended family members and she hated the idea. She hated it more because of the budget. She disliked the fact that her parents were willing to spend so much money to impress people she wasn’t even familiar with. She was disappointed they didn't use that money to have the wedding in another country.

Her parents imposed that it was part of the tradition and she had to do it their way. Through various family meetings, she had to agree.

She contracted a wedding planner for her white wedding, who was her friend from school. Tayo let her know everything she wanted in detail. She and her husband agreed they wanted a simple black-tie event, strictly by invitation, and with a maximum of 200 people. She planned a quick ceremony and a lovely after-party.

She told her parents what she was going to do and they forbade it. Tayo was frustrated trying to wrestle with her parents. They were funding the wedding, and therefore, she realized the wedding was theirs and not hers.

The reception hall was filled with friends of her mother and family members she had never spoken to. The live band was top-notch to them and the hall was emitting Yoruba culture. It was everything she didn’t want. She had no control over it and she had to force herself to enjoy the wedding.

She had a successful after-party when the old people -including her parents- had gone home. She warned her younger siblings to take their minds off making decisions for their own weddings, because many Nigerian parents take control of your wedding, as long as they are paying for it.

Can a long-distance relationship work?

Unwana Umosen

After a long year of searching, you finally find someone you love. But during your relationship, your partner gets an opportunity, to study or work in another country or city. What do you do?

It is going to be frustrating, dealing with the reality that your partner would be away for a long while. You go around seeking advice from different people on what to do and they all have different things to say. “Long-distance is another word for self-deceit”, “You will still cheat at the end of the day”, “How can you date someone you won’t see for such a long time?”.

People won’t stop saying negative things concerning your situation. However, long-distance relationships take consistency and self-control, and not everyone can go through it. They can only be successful when two parties are willing to make it work. Many couples have a mutual understanding and break up because of the circumstance. They are blunt and sincere with themselves and decide to call it off. Meanwhile, some other couples make it through, no matter how long the wait is.

If you are still hanging on the edge, trying to make a decision, there are valid points you need to take note of. This will help you think it through. Relationships take about two months to realize if they want to call it off or keep pushing.

· Communication is key 

It is important that you speak to your partner every day. No matter how busy you are, even the time difference doesn’t change a thing. Always leave a message if he/she is unavailable. Let them know your every move; what you’re doing and what you’re up to. It brings a sense of belonging and peace. It reduces the chances of trust issues and overthinking.

· Trust 

A relationship without trust is on a highway to many problems. Relationships are built on trust. One of the major fears of being in a long-distance relationship is losing your partner to someone else. Discouraging thoughts may settle in your mind, concerning new friends and new people your partner gets used to. It is always best to discuss whatever bothers you.

· Embrace the use of technology 

We don’t have to wait months for that raven to come over at your porch with a handwritten note from your lover. It’s the modern age, where online calls, video calls, and social media exist. If your partner is a thousand miles away, you can always reach the person just by internet connection. Technology has made it easier for communication t be fun and easy. Make use of it and it will go a long way helping you and your relationship.

· Be distinct 

In whatever way you can, do something new to spice up your relationship. Always keep it in mind that it’s the little things that matter. Surprise your partner when it is least expected, either with a visit or a gift. Video call them while you’re at a party, if possible, on a roller coaster. Make memories last even when your miles away.

· Have a goal 

The wait is always easier when you are planning a future together. If that is the main aim of your relationship, then you will have something to look forward to. If you and your partner are on the same page, the distance wouldn’t seem so long anymore.

Long-distance relationships seem to be difficult, but with two consistent people, it will be a success.

The Hectic Life of a Wedding Planner

Unwana Umosen

Wedding planners bring a dream wedding to life, just like a director. A wedding planner is needed for the success of any wedding because neither the bride nor groom would handle all the plans for their wedding. Nobody wants to look their best at a wedding party, going to make sure all is in order. Therefore, the wedding planner does all the work.

Being a wedding planner is tough, and it isn’t something you’ve not heard before. If you are looking to become a wedding planner, these are five things you need to know.

1. Beware of clashing families
We all hear stories of the mothers of the bride and groom hate each other for some unknown reason. In most Nigerian homes, conflicts are centered around wealth, religion or tribes. At this point, it is an obvious competition between the two homes and in all this, the wedding planner at the center. It can be pathetic to watch, but it definitely happens.

2. Some clients will want to eat their cake and have it

Simply put, clients will want a large wedding with a tight budget. They request for the glamorous decorations, catering services with all kinds of food and a large hall. They want to have the kind of weddings they see on the internet but forget it takes a lot of money to achieve. The wedding planner is then required to find the cheaper vendors that offer great quality, and negotiate. which is quite difficult. These are clients who have a tight budget but are looking for the best vendors.

3. Inconsistent vendors
Be it decorators or catering services, they are all likely to disappoint. They make futile promises and show their previous jobs to woo you. On the wedding day, it’s always a different story. as a wedding planner, you will have to deal with this because the blame will be on you. Clients will start to question your work and it can be heartbreaking. At that point, you will have to deal with the transferred aggression from your clients and it could get worse.

4. Playing the psychologist role
In many cases, the bride is always the victim of fear. Your bride will think she has herself together, till the morning of the wedding. She gets nervous and starts to ask you questions you may not even have answers to. This is your part and your job, and if you don’t have an answer to her questions, you will have to find one. You’ll need to have the right words to say to make sure she is calm and prepared for the ceremony.

5. Professionalism
Your business must be kept professional, even if the bride is your best friend. Once those boundaries aren’t set, a lot could go wrong. From the budget to deadlines and the list goes on. Professionalism helps you avoid familiarity and facilitates an excellent job at the end of the day.