I have always thought to myself that when it came to my “big day”, it would be a small but eventful session that would leave worthwhile memories for myself, herself, and those that I care enough about to invite. I have always opposed the unnecessary big projects where unknown relatives and haters are invited to something lavish to drown in my apparent happiness.
But, the social nature of Ugandans is quite the force against such economically progressive ideas. In this Pearl, a wedding is not just the affair of two individuals joined together “forever” in love. It is a community event. The dreaded event, by some, is a chance for family, especially the ones on the older side, to invite friends of relatives…of relatives who you have never met to see progress in a family that has nothing to do with them.
However, such extravagance comes at a price. A massive event requires a massive budget. Now, due to the existence of cultural events taken care of by the families of the brides, like the Kuhinjira, the groom is always expected to foot the bill for the big day. This finale needs to outshine the former by miles.
And therein lies the problem. Big flashy weddings require patience, especially if the couple are individuals with a decent economic status and below. Patience gives the stakeholders time to come up with the finances for an event to impress the bitter exes. However, a lot of times, our “one and onlys” are not understanding enough. Especially, when the big question on one knee is delayed. With the fear of losing your missing rib, many men have opted to dive into it and figure out things as they go on.
You have heard the stories. Service providers shutting down mid-wedding parties and jerking the groom by his pants in an effort to get him to pay his dues. The guests scrape up a few bucks from their wallets to contribute and save an embarrassing situation. If imprinting a wedding memory in someone’s head is what you were going for, you’d get the gold medal for the wrong reasons.
Compromise is the answer. You would think that 2 people who were choosing to spend the rest of their lives together would have figured each other out. Know your partner’s financial status before straining the hell out of them with expectations that would be meaningless in a few years. It is not a crime to approach this from a social point of view but do not forget the economic aspect of it all. The party should also be based on what you have got in the bank. The bride can also contribute to the wedding. Just saying.
Be patient. If forever is your thing, then I don’t think the “when” of the wedding is a problem. Toby Jones, a great English actor once shocked the world on BBC’s Graham Norton’s show when he declared that he had been with his wife for 25 years before they got married in 2015. 25 years ago, he was not as popular as he is today. So, I implore you to be patient, make the money (you could save. You don’t have to be wealthy) and throw one hell of a bash.
What I would like to do is go small but make it count. I think a few individuals you love the most, family and friends, are all you need for the big day. These actually care, will follow up on your marriage, and help where they can. It is meaningful and cost-friendly. Even the service and food are better because it is easier to prepare for a few.
I am determined to fight for a compromise with my person when the planning for that day ever comes. But until then, I will enjoy the drama of others.