After a over a year in Nigeria, I was finally invited to a colleagues wedding. I have heard the hype about the color, the fun, the dancing, the noise, the chaos and I have to say… it totally lived up to every rumor. It was an amazing, loud, chaotic, and colorful event.
It has so far, been the highlight of my time in Nigeria. Let’s start with a few facts I mostly discovered at the time of the event.
First off, it’s not mandatory, but apparently it is very common for the bride’s family and friends to wear the same color of fabric as the bride and the same goes for the groom. They do this to identify who belongs to who. In my office, we were offered an opportunity to buy the bride’s colors as she was our colleague. So about 25 of us from the office dressed in the brides colors. Despite the fabric color, the designs were all so beautiful and completely and uniquely different from each other and made to fit our own style and body..
Raining money. This is not something that only happens in Nigeria for sure. The money dance crosses cultures. However, in Nigeria it seems that money rained down at many random points during the wedding ceremony. The DJ bid out his services, children brought forth money, the couple danced down a row of guests and ended with family members tossing money at them while they danced and money just seemed to be collected throughout the event. People usually rained down small amounts each time but it was a fun way to show your love!!
A few changes of the bride’s clothes
Pretty much anyone can wander into or out of one wedding directly into another. I know this because I accidentally did it. There were at least two weddings going on in the same area. No one blinked an eye when I walked in, walked halfway through the hall, realized I was in the wrong place and walked back out. It’s no wonder due to the constant commotion and chaos going on in every directions, dancing, drinking, eating, and talking. Walking in and out of buildings and different rooms. Changes of clothes and random musicians passing through. Then there is the paparazzi – don’t ever tell me you don’t have any photos after attending a Nigerian wedding. There are even professional photographers hanging out in the parking lot that will later sell you a photo of yourself…and yes I bought one.
Head gear and professional make up. Not only are Nigerians dressed to a T, they have their heads professional wrapped and their make up professionally applied. It can take hours just to put everyone’s make-up and headgear on. It is not taken lightly.
Food and music and chaos. All of it, ever kind of it and don’t forget the dancing. I was so honored to be invited to this event and it is one of the things that I have been able to experience in Nigeria that I will NEVER forget. I hope that I am able to attend one more wedding before I leave. It was such an exhilarating experience and made me feel very close to the people I work with.
Lastly, I survived…I was even asked what part of Nigeria I was from. More than one time. Who would have thought..
A woman who has not been twice married cannot know what a perfect marriage is. – Nigeria
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