Traditioooon – take two!

The church ceremony marks the grand finale of the wedding activities in the yoruba culture. The actual wedding is very much like any wedding in the western world, except minus the rehearsal dinner the night before. There’s a lot of eating and drinking around this period, anyway, so a rehearsal dinner is totally unnecessary. Because of the constant presence of family, guests and well-wishers at the bride’s parents’ home, food is continuously being prepared and served. How do we foot the bill for all these expenses? Great question, glad you asked! 🙂

The phenomenon of the extended family is a given in the Nigerian context. In my family, on both sides, the extended family is a close-knit unit. As a result, anything that concerns one family member concerns the rest. When we celebrate, we celebrate together, when we mourn, we mourn together…you catch my drift. Those who can, chip in to defray the cost of a wedding or any event. Even close friends participate in this sharing of the load (all this is done with no solicitation on the part of the families). Everyone shares in the joy of the bride and groom’s immediate families.

Funmi’s wedding was no different. There was so much love and joy, it was practically palpable! We sang, we danced, and we were all decked out in our finery. The only thing (person) missing was my mother, and we certainly missed her, knowing it was a day she’d looked forward to for a long time. However, we were consoled by the thought that, knowing her, she would have worked it out such that she was watching from her spot in heaven!

After the wedding ceremony was the reception. Can you say “food galore”? After that there was one more thing. The day was ended by a symbolic event where the groom came to my Dad’s house with his siblings and their wives and they came to “formally escort” Funmi to her husband’s house. After the reception, the bride goes back to her Dad’s house for the last time, to say goodbye. The matriarch of the family, my Dad and each one of us siblings (Funmi is the baby, and she has 3 older siblings, of which I’m one) said a prayer over the new couple. Then we loaded up their car with food, Funmi’s personal belongings (a token fraction – the girl has some STUFF!) and everything she’ll need to make a good wife 🙂 and waved as they rode off (OK, they drove) into the horizon (OK, into the traffic). As they left, my Dad made a comment that warmed my heart: “Now my children are complete!”

…And they lived happily ever after…   ~ THE END ~


Bride and father-of-the-bride, my proud Papa


Bride, groom & bridal party


Dad, praying blessings on the bride and groom


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ash
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 20:20:01

    yes yes, all this family financial sharing in the celebration is a fabulous thing…if only us backward western folks would do such things…ha ha. i’m glad it was a special event and beautiful…

    sigh…makes me look forward to my own little hopes and plans…mmm


  2. solathompson
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 23:21:36

    It certainly has its merits, Ash. And as for those hopes and plans, I’m sure they’re coming along just fine 😉


  3. ash
    Feb 22, 2009 @ 06:36:12

    hey, as long as you two show up, i’m sure it’ll be quite the parte (accent on the e)


  4. Wendy Adeleye (nee Shobanke)
    Feb 25, 2009 @ 13:12:53

    Okay Sola, I must confess I’ve been reading your blog ever since I stumbled on your church website in the past week and it has been mind blowing to see how time does fly. Felt my eyes well up with tears sometimes reading through it all and relating to our rich african culture, family ties and bonds. Birth pangs of mother-hood, raising the children and finding your niche through these holy grail.

    Congrats on Funmi’s wedding….she does really look so beautiful. Kudos to you for the blog, still feel I’m not as techy-savvy to blog so I’m encouraged by your boldness.

    Its so nice to connect again.


  5. Wendy Adeleye (nee Shobanke)
    Feb 25, 2009 @ 13:14:39

    Ooops! See what I mean, forgot to click the box below on follow-up comments


  6. solathompson
    Feb 25, 2009 @ 13:35:14

    Ash, you know it!
    Wendy, Woooow!!! Nice to hear from you. What a pleasant blast from the past. Saw your Mum at the wedding too. Going back to the church where I grew up brought back some memories, and then seeing some of the faces I grew up with…good times! As for blogging, it looks harder than it actually is. Stay in touch, Lady 😉


  7. Joseph
    Feb 26, 2009 @ 12:06:27

    Funmi looked absolutely beautiful and radiant that day. Too bad I wasn’t there to ‘heckle’ and harrass my “fave sister-in-law” 😦


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