Last month I got a chance to be a wedding guest at 3 different wedding celebrations (just 2 marriages though). Weddings are fun and beautiful affairs and it allowed me to get to know even more of Nigeria. My cousin had her traditional marriage on Saturday with the white wedding on Sunday. Then I attended a different traditional wedding on Monday. This was about 3 hours away in Imo State and we didn’t really get a chance to stay for the main thing. I learned a lot about what it takes to be a good wedding guest and I wrote about it here. But here is a break down of how that awesome weekend went:
Wedding Guest in Anambra
My cousin’s wedding (weddings? – the celebrations, anyways) was a blast, but hectic! I loved being around my family and celebrating her new chapter in life. I got to play the part of an honorary bridesmaid and ran around helping out where I could. I even got to dance in with the train. It ended up raining both days, but we never let that ruin our fun. Plus, no one leaves until the food is served! On Saturday, we got through most of the ceremony (breaking kola nut, the bride and her maids dancing in, the bride taking palm wine to her husband, etc.) before the rain showed and they had just started serving food when the rain started. Kudos to the drummers they hired though, because they played under a tent as everyone retreated to their cars. On Sunday, the rain came sooner, and we had to quickly starting dishing out the food as it poured around us. I went ahead and helped with that, especially my family’s tent. I surprisingly didn’t get too soaked. The only part that was a bummer is that because of the rain, I didn’t get to dance til I dropped like I was hoping to do. If I hadn’t danced in with the bridesmaids, I wouldn’t have danced at all!
Wedding Guest in Imo
The wedding in Imo State was that of friend’s friend. We left relatively early in the morning to get there. was supposed to start at 12. Our traveling was stressful and when we finally found this village that was DEEP in the bush (jk…it was just CRAZY far from the nearest bus stop), it was about 1:30. We sat around for a bit and finally convinced someone to show me where to change (I didn’t want to travel in my outfit). They took me to where the bride and bridesmaids were dressing. They were nowhere near ready. I changed. Ate food. And the bridesmaids still weren’t all dressed. Finally, we just took photos with the bride, rushed the bridesmaids we were friends with and then took off around 3:30 – the ceremony still hadn’t started. I could tell it was going to be a beautiful affair though. And contrary to my cousin, the bride and groom had yet to set their white wedding date.
Wedding Guest Style
It was fun trying to decide which dresses and accessories I would wear to each wedding. Often in Nigerian weddings, people will tell their guests what the color or print is for their family and friends. Both times, I couldn’t quite fit the dressing, but I got as close as I could.
For my cousin’s wedding, the color for our side of the family was pink. I had planned to get a dress made, but I ended up wearing a dress I made in Senegal on Saturday and a dress I bought from the market on Sunday. It was peach instead of pink, but still quite cute. On Sunday as well, the exact color was “pink dressing, fusia head gear.” So many of my aunties wore fusia gale and the bridesmaids wore fusia turban. I bought a large white hate and put a fusia bow on it…that’s the same thing right?
I knew the wedding colors on Monday were blue and pink, so I wore my graduation dress <this diploma> with the belt from Sunday’s dress. The peach ended up perfectly matching that of her bridesmaids’ dresses, and one of them said if I was staying longer, I could dance in with that! Next time!
Wedding Guest Hair
For my hair, I wore it natural the whole weekend. Many aunties kept asking “Won’t you make your hair? What will you do to your hair?” I think they were quite worried. But I had to do what was comfortable and cute for me. (Plus the next hair style I wanted to ‘make’ was long red Senegalese twists and I already knew it would be inconvenient and clash with my pink and red dresses). Saturday, I wore a large afro puff, and finished with the coral beads from the bridesmaids, I looked every part the Igbo princess I felt. For Sunday and Monday, I had most of my hair cornrowed into one large braid. The front bangs were made curly with twists I let rest overnight and it was tamed with about 6 bobby pins, 8 on Monday.
There you have it. A recap of the weekend I had being a power wedding guest. I think weddings are so beautiful and Nigerian weddings, in particular are the best. If you have a wedding to attend soon, be sure to check out these tips on being the perfect guest. What’s your favorite part about attending weddings. Do you even like them? Let me know in the comments below.
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