A newly-wed couple enjoys a light moment.A newly-wed couple enjoys a light moment.
By NAIROBI WIFE

A few months ago, I would have converted any girl that wanted the big African (or whatever) wedding to reconsider and just go the AG’s office quietly.

But I am a changed woman now. Go ahead and have the humongous wedding that everyone that is anyone in yours and your family’s lives will attend, eat, dance and be merry. You know what? You get married only once so enjoy it!

There will be many firsts in your life with your spouse to be; the first kiss, the first fight, the first child, the first time you pay school fees… you get the gist, but there will only be one wedding.

Even if you come from different parts of the country (or world) and have a wedding in every place you call home, after that, there will be no do over or second time round. You will be stuck with the memories and unfortunately for some, the regrets.

There will never be another opportunity for your families to come together with such fervour. When you get kids they will be there, but not quite as together.

Mine and my fiance’s aunties, uncles, grandparents’ sisters and cousins’ cousins are all there and excited about the event. Many of them are usually not active in our lives, but they have a chance to leave a mark in our hearts. Do not deny your family a chance to get together like this.

The temptation for a small and worry-free wedding may be great, but you will never really know who stands with you until you take the leap of faith and make a grand celebration of it.

THE DRAMA

You may not be aware of it now, but not all your ‘friends’ are happy for you, nor are they rooting for you. When you go big, that is when the scales will fall off your eyes and you will see the light for the first time.

You will miss out on your community’s contribution to the day. This is not only financial but also physical, emotional and psychological. A child belongs to the community and you will only discover this in its truest essence when you get married.

Who will sing at the gate if not the women of the community? Who will ferry your 1001 relatives to the venue other than neighbours whose sole contribution will be transport? Who else other than the boda boda guys that give you a ride home from the stage when you are late; will give you a motorcade that will turn President Kenyatta green with envy?

The community’s contribution is way more than money can buy, it adds colour to your day.

You will miss out on the drama. Can you imagine coordinating, on the lower side, 500 guests? No? Visualize a whole school of unruly children without a teacher around. That is a wedding that makes good comedy.

A simple, small, quiet wedding will be very organized, but where will the dramatic stories of the day come from? Where else will your niece and his cousin have a love connection and possibly a wedding themselves in the future? It’s not all about you, you know!

You will miss out on the fights and the making up that come with wedding planning. When it’s small and within your budget, there will hardly be a bone of contention, but when you have to choose between feeding your guests and having a limo ride, then you will really live!

CENTER OF ATTRACTION

A wedding is the first big project that you will do together and it sometimes determines how well you will get along after the event. Some people’s colours come out so clearly that the couple realizes that a marriage would be a terrible mistake. Some come out of the ordeal much stronger and happier.

You will miss out on being the centre of attention for an entire day. Unless you are a political aspirant who commands the attention of voters, you will never be that popular ever again, except at your burial.

Everybody will be keen to hear what you say, what you do and how you do it, if you know what I mean (wink, wink).

An entire crowd of women will sing and plead and bribe their way into your family home to pick you up. People will actually rise for you as your make your way down the aisle, walking on a trail of rose petals.

Where else other than in fairy tales does this happen? Don’t let the opportunity slip, you will thank me later.

So, even though expenses may be driving you up the wall, and the planning has made you a chronic insomniac, it’s still worth having a huge, fantastic wedding.

Share the day with loved ones, and celebrate your new life. After all, it happens only once!