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.

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