It is the desire of every woman to someday be called Mrs. Our culture has made it in such a way that girls now believe they are worthless without marriage. I see girls go out of their way just to get a man to take them to the altar. These days, women no longer wait for a man to talk about marriage, they now take it upon themselves to ask that question; will you marry me? Our people, while accepting the religion of the white man, also accepted their way of doing things. I am a Christian who believes in a pastor’s blessing when it comes to marriage, but I also ask this question often and have always received the same answer: Does it mean our own style of marriage is no longer acceptable? Religious leaders have now made it such that a woman is made to feel inferior if there is no white wedding. If we must get the blessing of a priest, what stops us from getting it on that same traditional marriage day? Must there be two different wedding parties to make us complete? If we look at it without any form of bias, we will see that it is still the same process we go through twice. The giving of the drink, in my own tradition, by the bride to the groom, means allegiance. As the groom takes it, he accepts the bride into his home and life. Our customary courts are no longer recognised when it comes to marriage because we have left our own way for that of the white man. You may come up with the opinion that our tradition is one filled with so much negative rituals. I agree with you, but in the case of marriage, you have the right to have it the way you want. I know you want to experience it just like every other woman. You want to wear the best wedding dress and have the best hall decoration. I know you want to stand out and dance while everyone sprays you. I know you want to receive the communion and be allowed to join the women’s guild. No problem, I have been there and I can tell you it is no big deal. If I knew what I know now, it would be a very secret and quiet one. Like a friend told me, it is still the same people in attendance that will help to bring the marriage to an end. Most of the big society weddings you see on the pages of newspapers are now your model of a wedding. These days, women push men to the point that they go broke all in the name of wedding. You see a man who earns N200,000 as monthly salary going for an event center of N.5 million, just because she has to prove a point to her friends. No wonder, you go broke after your wedding and have the caterers and event planners constantly on your neck for debts you can’t pay. You have every right to make it a special one because like everyone says, it comes once in a lifetime (although it can come five times). You want every magazine to carry your pictures. You want to buy a wedding dress worth N500,000. You have the event planner encourage you to make it the best because her business must keep running. Your friends are now buying you lovely magazines of the most expensive wedding dresses and cakes. They have found out the best hairdresser for your bridal hair. Bravo, it is good, but have you asked yourself what becomes of most of those high society weddings after all the celebrations? What matters is not the party held at the Civic Centre, it is not the party held at the new Meridien, it is not the class of people at the event, it is not the wedding dress and bridal train as everything is forgotten just days after the wedding, but what matters is your happiness ever after. Okay, so much has been said on that. Let us look at those things you need to do right on your wedding day. Like I said earlier, men don’t have much problem when it comes to having it big especially on wedding parties. The bride is always the one pushing for all those extra and unnecessary expenses. Party Venue And Decoration: You have finally chosen your wedding date. I hope you did that having in mind that it must be suitable for both parents and other key people. The next thing is for you to decide on the kind of wedding you want and then the venue. Don’t go beyond your strength in your choice of a venue and learn to cut your coat according to the material available. There are still cheap and decent places. It makes no sense paying so much for a venue only to be short of food and drinks for the guests. You as the woman, should be able to make a common hall look extraordinary with the kind of decoration you put up. The decorators will always tell you that it doesn’t matter how ordinary the hall is and that with them, it becomes extraordinary. They are right only that they speak selfishly. There are decoration articles you can get at very cheap prices and with the help of your friends, put up something lovely. I attended a wedding recently and was thrilled by the decoration. It was the bride who did that. Tell me why the husband will not fall more and more in love with her. Decoration is something every woman should be good at so as to cut costs for the man. But the thing is that so many women will pretend to be cutting cost when in the actual sense they are cutting the man. The Wedding Dress: It is sad that a lot of ladies no longer value the glory that comes with the wedding dress. I don’t blame you, you are like that because the man has seen it all. You were live-in lovers before the wedding proper, which did not speak well of you. Why should you stoop so low as to acting wife when you are not yet one? What then is so special about the wedding day? Women are asked to cover their face on the wedding day as they go to meet the groom because of their level of purity and decency. These days, I keep wondering if we are covering for purity or for shame. Designers have also not helped us as they daily bring out those devilish designs they call wedding dress. I am happy that in the Catholic and Anglican churches, they have maintained that standard of decency during church weddings. Some Pentecostal churches now ask to see the wedding dress before that day to ensure it is proper for the church. They do all these things to cut down on the high moral decadence that has engulfed our society. The church used to be a respected place but these days, you see brides and their bridal train having almost all their breasts out of their clothes, while some even have their back totally bare down to the bottom. I don’t know why some pastors are keeping quiet over this. If they can change and stop the wedding of anyone who appears in that manner, our ladies will change, although some go to the church well covered only to appear half naked after. Remember to avoid any shoe that will make you uncomfortable on your day. Make sure you are familiar with any kind of heel you decide to go for. Don’t forget there will be a lot of dancing and walking around to do. The glory that comes with wedding is long forgotten. It used to be a glorious thing when the bride goes to meet the groom. It also used to be a day filled with tears of joy both from the bride and her family, but these days, the bride does all the preparation, even before the man is ready to take her. Oh, my fellow women, we have lost our pride. Hair And Make-Up: Don’t believe in that lie that you need a celebrity hair stylist for your bridal hair, it is all about good publicity. There are so many who can give you what you want at a very reasonable price. Do yourself good by going on a very good diet plan months before your wedding, it will help your skin glow. I have seen people using creams and paying so much just to have their skin glow on the wedding day. It is something you have to start early. Treat your skin with a very good diet and moisturizer months before your day. If you are looking for a way to spend that money, it is better to spend it reasonably on your body. Lest I forget, endeavour to go for clothes and accessories that suit your body shape, colour and hairstyle. I see so many people wear necklaces on a wedding dress that doesn’t require one. If you are not too good with fashion, seek professional advice. Make sure your make-up is properly done. So many people who call themselves make-up artists are nothing but shrewd business people. There are people who don’t even have that title but they do it well. Learn to cut cost, make good use of your friends on your special day, after all, what are friends for? Forgetting Medical Tests? Before fixing that wedding date, did you create time to visit a medical laboratory for the series of tests needed or are you waiting until it is late for you to start disturbing your pastor and visiting all the prayer houses in town? Why would you put your unborn child through pain just because you are too desperate for marriage? Please, go to the laboratory and get your results on genotype and rhesus compatibility. I am happy some churches require those things before the wedding is approved. A Quiet One? If your man cannot afford the kind of wedding you desire, relax. I have a friend who recently took his wife to the registry and from there, took the few friends and well wishers present to a fast food restaurant for lunch and the following Sunday, they were called out by the pastor for blessing. You don’t need to go out of your way to prove a point. A lot of young men are ready for marriage, but the problem is with the ladies. How many ladies are ready to start life with the guy? Every girl wants to move to a mansion and drive the best of cars without asking to know how the money was made and what comes of it afterwards. I always tell single ladies to remember the future. What matters is the favour of God in your life. If you cannot afford the society wedding you have always dreamt of, don’t worry, there are still so many things to be celebrated, wedding anniversary, birthdays, etc. If two of you are one indeed, doors will open and you will have the kind of party that will go beyond your imagination. Honeymoon: You must not travel out of the country for your honeymoon. I don’t know what people see in America and the UK, Africa is a very beautiful continent, in fact the most beautiful. Even in Nigeria, there are so many vacation destinations. I was telling a friend sometimes last week, that I want to discover the beauty of Africa. There are so many lovely countries in Africa like The Gambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Cape Verde, Angola, Cameroun and Ghana, in fact, they are uncountable
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