"I've been married to the same person three times", I said.
That was the only thing I could come up with when at work, we were asked to state quirky facts about ourselves. Of course my Caucasian colleagues had a lot of 'quirky' things to say. These mostly involved some extreme sporting stunts and thrilling hobbies.
Then, there was the one girl who said she had never eaten chicken wings. Just because she found them 'funny' to eat. Thankfully, that day she was made to eat at least three pieces of chicken wings.
In relation to my so-called quirky fact above, I was simply referring to our civil wedding, traditional wedding and white wedding ceremonies. I hoped that this would sound quirky enough to non-Nigerians.
Civil weddings are necessary because they are recognised under the law. In Nigeria, although some places of worship have the power to conduct marriages recognised under the law, the growing amount of religious centres (especially churches) may mean that some do not have this license. To be safe, many couples opt for a civil wedding first, the traditional, cultural/ ethnic ceremony next and finally the white/religious ceremony.
Anyway, my civil ceremony was so hilarious to me and in the spirit of throwbacks (exactly two years ago yesterday), I thought I'll share some of the highlights.
#1: Singing is not my strength at all. Like, at all. Yet, the registry officials made me lead the Praise and Worship session. Let's not even question why we had that in a civil ceremony. Nigerians are religious. Period.
I think after the first two songs I raised, she realised that I was probably going to make people sleep, so she moved on.
#2: Too much Public Display of Affection (PDA). "Hug your wife". "Kiss your wife" "Why are you Shy" "Is that how to Kiss?" "Carry your wife" "Spin her around".
Ah Ah. Please just give us our certificate and let us go.
#3: Everything is a money-making opportunity, so of course this event was not an exception. The officials passed a basket round so guests could give their offerings to thank the Lord for a successful event. Nigerians are religious.
#4: 'Free' Marriage Tips in the form of a book 'Marriage without Tears' which we were made to compulsorily pay some cash for, to 'appreciate' the writer. Two years on, and I have not opened the book. Maybe I should…
I didn't really fancy a pre-wedding shoot.
We already had too many normal photos and our plan for the white wedding was to have this shown on a projector showing our six year growth since the'gari-soaking'* days.
However, since we got dressed up kinda for the civil ceremony, I thought it would be a good idea to take some posed pictures as well before the event.
Is it just me, or when the photographer asks you to say something sweet in your spouse's ear is the minute you have absolutely nothing to say? Like, *blank stare at the spouse*.
We didn't co-ordinate our outfits, it just worked out. Yesterday as well, we co-incidentally both wore yellow. Maybe that's something to start? Co-ordinate outfits on our civil ceremony anniversary.
I think I now love the idea of photo shoots: Post wedding shoots, Christmas shoots, Birthday shoots, Maternity shoot, Wedding Anniversary shoot. Basically, any-reason-to-wear-a-fancy-outfit shoot. Because it appears in this part of the world we are often stuck with jumpers and boots.
I also secretly think this is the reason why there are so many Nigerian fashion bloggers in the UK. We need an opportunity to wear pretty clothes. Lol. I've digressed. But let's see how my future photo shoots play out and if my posing will get any better.
In the mean time, let's talk about quirky facts, civil wedding ceremonies and pre-wedding shoots! Any experience?
What would you say is the one quirky fact about yourself?
What do you think of pre-wedding shoots? Yay or Nay?
One thing is certain for sure: the bar just keeps being raised in relation to weddings in Nigeria.
Remember to cut your coat according to your cloth and the marriage is definitely more important than the 3 (or more) wedding ceremonies!
Don't attempt to keep up with the Joneses'!
*gari-soaking: used to refer to our student life days.
pS: We had to use 'makeshift' wedding bands for the civil ceremony, because of-course I still hadn't found my perfect ring. If you missed it, you can read about my real wedding ring here.