A few years ago and a month after arriving the states, I shabbily chronicled my experience at a bridal shower. That was my first experience towards planning a wedding, and I remember voicing to myself “Grace, you have come of age.”
Planning a wedding is no small feat. There are a lot of details put in place to make the big day memorable. But First, to become part of a bridal train you need to have a somewhat close relationship with the bride, then a formal invitation is sent out, requesting you to be part of the bridal party. Accepting means you are buying into some form of responsibility, towards fulfilling the bride’s big day. The tasks may include paying for the outfit, hair, makeup, and an Asoebi (a designated outfit which the bridal team wears to separate them from the guest). Read about some awful bridesmaids tale.
Weddings are a big deal in Africa and more so for Nigerians. For my experience this weekend, I was responsible for organizing the bridal party, choosing a convenient color of outfit for the bridesmaids and tending to the bride’s needs on her big day. I enjoyed every part of the process because the groom is family, which made the requirements less cumbersome. There is a lot of intense energy and time dedication when people plan weddings and without high tolerance, patience or a soft spot for the couple, it is easy to lose your cool.
In my last bridal post linked in today’s blog, I had mentioned my ability to stay on the sidelines when it comes to wedding planning, and I don’t think that would change soon.
THE BIG DAY
However, my experience planning and participating in this wedding went well. There were five lovely bridesmaids all together and about seven groomsmen. Everyone had to be up quite early (7:45 am) to prepare and our pre-ordered breakfast was brought to our rooms. We had a bridal shoot got our makeup done and went down with the bride to have the first-look of the couple, before we headed to church and the reception.
The exciting thing about being part of a bridal train is the special attention which the bridal party (the groom’s men and the bridesmaids) gets on the big day. Special provisions are made on that day for sundry details like sitting arrangements, bridal party entrance and food. The guest at the event have their eyes on you, you get to usher in the bride, and you are of a good photo. Also, a good hotel is provided for you and other bridesmaids to rest up the night before the wedding- breakfast is provided on the day of the wedding, and you mingle with the dapper groomsmen (some of who are single).
The event doesn’t end after everyone has gone home and wished the couple a wonderful life ahead. There is the after-party where the bridesmaids get to know other single people, dance, eat and have a good time.
My hair came through for me, and I was excited that people loved it. Although at the beginning of the week, I was unsure of what hair to use after Amazon misplaced my order in transit. Although, I had to spend outside my budget, seeing my final look made all my earlier angst disappear. The color of the dress blended into the burgundy theme of fall, it was a perfect fit for the season.
My adjacent experiences with Nigerian weddings have all happened in the United States, which is ironic, knowing I spent over two decades in Nigeria. My faintest memory was being a flower girl and how times have changed.
I am interested in knowing how the preparations happen in Nigeria and would love to hear your experiences. Unfortunately, I could not take other photos like I did when I shared my Nigerian-American wedding experience.
After posting a few pictures from the event on my social media page, see here and here, I was amped by people’s reaction. Sometimes, its the feeling that your effort towards looking good was not in vain.