White weddings have become the epitome of love; something which used to be the playground of the affluent has become a necessity for even the poor.
It’s no more a luxury—every woman and perhaps man wants to have a white wedding and this is simply because, the societal conditioning has worked so well.
Growing up, weddings used to be every girl’s dream and like most dreams, not every girl really lived to see it in manifestation at her backyard. And that was normal; no one died or killed herself over not having her fairy tale wedding dream come to pass.
In fact, even as a child, we knew we wouldn’t necessary get that—it remained a wild wish which we sometimes discussed. But today, the conversation is always about weddings: from salons to the road side waakye joint, where two or three young women have gathered, the wedding aroma is in their midst.
It’s just not only the conversational pressure which is causing the havoc, several wedding planning companies have emerged, beautiful and expensive wedding venues have cropped out with attractive advertisements—and more importantly, the church has become the biggest endorser of exorbitant weddings, encouraging those who can and cannot afford to take this path.
There’s no month that my church will not host a full or quasi-white wedding.
Here, if the words of those who mount the podium each Sunday are not enough to coerce anyone, the happenings are loudly enough to define your path—and make you think that, weddings are the only way forward. Therefore, settling for anything less than the white man’s way of marriage is an insane compromise on your human dignity.
The wedding advertisements are all over and various churches have special prayer days for those seeking for marriage—with pastors promising each and everyone that their white wedding is just hanging in the air above their heads, soon, it will land.
If up to this stage you are so thick not to have realized what I’m driving at; then let me make it simpler for your f**king retarded mind. I am saying, society and its institutions have succeeded in coding white weddings into our DNAs—aggressively and subtly pressuring us all to walk towards this path.
It’s been cunningly done in such a way that most women today believe it’s an entitlement, not a gift which solely rests on affordability and grace.
One of my male friends with whom I graduated from the University of Ghana less than 5 years ago got married about four months ago in Accra—at a pink and blue themed wedding which cost Mr and Mrs’ entire savings account plus a loan of 12000 GHS.
It was a beautiful wedding; simple but elegant—quiet but amazing.
The woman that I am loved it but considering my financial strength and being in the known as to that of my friend, I kept wondering how the young graduates were affording such a profligate marriage ritual on the day of the wedding.
Of course my honest concern about this did not stop me from eating and drinking as much—and even took home two takeaway plastic bowls for dinner and then the other to be eaten the next morning.
In return, I had wrapped a mug that my sister brought from Spain that she didn’t really like as my wedding gift. That’s all I gave out; after all, they had their money and wanted to blow it on a white wedding, I was just expected to grace the occasion in my tall heels and help them spend their money.
My friend is in his late 20s—let me mention it, he is 29 and the wife is 27. They are all graduates, still in their first employment. They have no investments and have not even asked about the price of a land or any property. They are part of the pack of hustlers who fight over trotro each morning to get to work—-yet, they managed to stage such a ‘classic’ wedding which was officiated by 3 pastors from their various churches.
I am certain they went through weeks of counselling and I am also sure, none of the counselors bordered to examine their financial strength, their readiness to host this grand ceremony financially—or where they were getting the funds from.
If they actually evaluated this and gave the go ahead for these two young adults to start a life in debt, so they can fulfill a childhood fairy tale which somewhat has been entrenched into our adult minds by society, then thee counselors must have a huge stone in their heads called conscience.
According to my friend, it’s been one quarrel after another since they got married—and since his wife moved to live with him, in the boys quarters of the not completed building of his parents. The newly married couple moved in to live with the parents of the man and were given food on weekdays when they had to work by these parents. Surely, they contributed financially to groceries and bills…
This may sound weird and a little uncomfortable for you if you have your thinking faculty still in place but this is totally not strange or a case in isolation. It’s even worse than this for some newly wedded couples—a lot of them move in to squeeze themselves in a small chamber and hall at remote sessions of Accra.
Interestingly, two days after weddings, the church and every family member forget about you—it’s time to face reality. The party is over at your end, the church moves on to the next available victim and the family starts pressuring the next in line to also get married, using Akosua Bruwaa or Ato Kwamena’s recent white wedding as a persuasive precedent.
My friend says, the regular bedroom quarrels soon graduated into bitter fights and there were days the two did not say a word to each other. Families came in quite early to help scrutinize issues and fix the problems, but like stubborn grass, the problems kept re-germinating themselves at different spots of the compound.
The fundamental cause of it all is that, the couple have been struggling to pay for the loan they took as their current far from work residence is costing them a lot in transport to work—and also, giving out regularly to both sets of in-laws is a bank breaker.
Their sex life is totally ruined; if they are not even talking, how do they have sex? Apparently, whoever is lucky to shower early sleeps on the bed—the other sleeps in the sofa and that’s been the case for weeks.
Though my friend is yet to break the pitiful news to his parents, from what he told me, he is done—he can’t keep up else he would be knocked down by a speeding car. He’s stressed, partially depressed and fully unsatisfied with his marriage. He has regretted this journey which was coated with a lot of gold by almost everyone they trusted, including the church.
Several posters are all over Accra, calling those who are single to come for the key to their marriage—neglecting the crucial factor, which is, the sustainability of marriage and the financial horsepower needed to keep a marriage in place.
Instead of society teaching young adults that white weddings remain a luxury, belonging to those who have the exponential means, they present this fantasy in abstract as though it’s for each and everyone on the spectrum of financial potency.
Somewhere in Germany, another classmate of mine got married last year to a handsome Italian man and from what she told me, their marriage which is equally legal cost them less than 500 Euros—and their marriage followed a great achievement, that’s they’ve bought their first property together.
Back in Ghana; the status of a woman is defined by marriage and even that, those who get to have a white wedding occupy the upper-echelon. It’s no more a subtle conversation, the church is bold on this and the family is pretty loud on this too.
If a young man has to borrow or clear all his savings account to marry you; then that’s a recipe for disaster—it’s unhealthy, unnecessary and grossly stupid. Unfortunately, this is abundantly happening, an indication that many of us are possessed by the white wedding demon that has taken hostage of our reasoning faculties.
I am deeply sad my friend’s marriage hasn’t worked—I would have at least been happy if his debacle was going to serve as a catalyst of change, but I know it wouldn’t. Society and its many institutions have failed many people in this quarters and as such, many more will fall for the ostensible relief and high status white weddings grant.
Perhaps, it’s for the good that some of us are struggling to even have a stable boyfriend—because, financially, we can’t even afford a decent 3 square meals, let alone contribute to a white wedding.
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