Why Some Ladies Go Into Expensive Weddings That Flop?

It’s the dream of most women to get married to a man whose chemistry works well with hers. She’s dreamt of the magic of her wedding day for years. And now the day is here, would she be stepping into her worst nightmare?

“As I walked down the aisle towards the man I was about to marry,” recalled 36-year-old Rolake an IT consultant, “I could see my mother on our side of the church earmarked for the bride’s family wearing earring matching expensive aso-ebi designed for my wedding. A sea of faces smiled at me, wishing me luck and dancing as if they were as much responsible as my immediate family for this spectacular wedding.

“All I felt were huge palpitations in my heart.
I felt I could be somewhere else but this church where everyone had come to wish me joy in my marriage. The dreadful truth was that even though I was about to make my vows, I knew I didn’t love this man ahead of me at the alter in spite of the fact that moments from now, I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life.

"Yet I walked down that aisle, with the people who love me most in the pews either side of me. I knew that I no longer wanted to marry Joseph, the groom waiting for me. I just felt too embarrassed to admit I had cold feet. 

“Planning the wedding had taken over our lives to such an extent that I had lost sight of what really mattered. But to call the whole thing off would have meant losing face. It was no surprise that the marriage crashed with a depressing inevitability.”

Rolake now has a new man in her life but marriage is the furtherest thing from her mind. Instead, she agreed to move in with him and see how things pan out. Franka, a well-renowned wedding planner said; “With weddings becoming grander and more expensive each year, it seems that a growing number of brides-to-be feel compelled to go ahead with their big day, through guilt or financial obligation, even when they know for certain the union is going to end in divorce.

Tellingly, as wedding costs escalate, so do divorce statistics – it’s been discovered that the more people spend on their wedding and engagement, the more likely they are to end the marriage.

“It’s a fact that half of couples getting married accept considerable financial help from their parents to cover the cost. Little wonder a doubting bride might feel she has no choice but to suppress her worries and simply say: ‘I do’."

For Rolake, calling off the wedding would have meant throwing away the millions of Naira her and her fiance had saved towards the wedding and letting down her family who had also provided a chunk of the expenses. Her grandmother had also made a generous contribution. 

“I couldn’t have lived with the guilt of my grandmother losing her money. In the end, it seemed easier to swallow all my doubts and go ahead with it anyway. In the weeks running up to my wedding, I had endless worries about whether I should be going through with it, yet I couldn’t confide in anyone. It was embarrassing to admit I was getting cold feet for no other reason than that during the two years of planning and arranging this wedding, I had lost sight of why I was doing it, and had fallen out of love with my fiance.

Now, of course, I realise that wedding wasn’t about making a life-long commitment to someone I wanted to grow old with – it was about making real that picture-perfect day I had imagined for myself since childhood. ‘While keeping up with my friends who’d all got married before me, my ex-husband was my first serious boyfriend. We had been together since I was 19. By the time our wedding day came, I just didn’t feel able to voice my reservations, as so much time, effort and money had been invested in the day..."

By Bunmi Sofola