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My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise - Family - Nairaland

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My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 12:44am On Dec 19, 2018
Wisdom tips have contended that the wise learns from experience (so he doesn’t repeat same mistakes again); but there’s been the school of thought amongst the wise which holds that while the wiser learns from experience, it shouldn’t rather be his but that/those of others. Simply put, ‘the wise learns from experience, but the wiser learns from the experiences of others’. I agree with this latter school of thought.

This is why our senses should be alert (I mean out senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and feeling) to grasping happenings around us and using such accordingly to bettering our lots.

Maybe I haven’t been wise; maybe I have been plainly unlucky; maybe God hasn’t been on my side, but I had an avoidable experience I will like to share with you. There had been some others before mine, I failed to learn from them, don’t make the same mistake.

I got married on the 13th of October, 2010. I had met Brenda, my wife, seven years earlier, sometime in 2003. It didn’t take long for me to realise this was the woman I will like to spend the rest of my life with and I communicated this intention to her in 2004. Having been romantically inclined friends for about a year, she already expected a proposal and when it came her response was obviously positive.

But that was just the beginning of the story. I had heard of the tales of many intending couples making the wrong financial decisions, especially pertaining to the magnitude of their wedding celebrations, but didn’t bother myself about these. I had heard of those who were heavily indebted and had to hide from their creditors for many months after their weddings, but decided those tales didn’t concern me. I had heard of those who emptied their savings just to make that day massively flamboyant, but didn’t consider this either as I planned towards mine.

Though a part-time teacher in a big secondary school, I had very good taste and believed whatever was worth doing at all was worth doing well. It shouldn’t be a wonder that I had the most expensive phone amongst my colleagues or that I owned a suit which cost enough to buy three of what my colleagues usually wore.

It was no different with my wedding. I had to make it the talk of the town, a classical high society wedding. But our collective earnings didn’t even pinch the surface of what I had in mind. My wife, then an OND certificate holder, worked as a Personal Assistant in a rookie law firm. Over half of her monthly earnings was expended on transportation costs. And it wasn’t much anyway. I told her we will have to save towards our big day as what we had on ground could barely enable any planning not to talk of the execution of plans. She was graciously on the same page as I and we commenced ‘operation save as much as possible’. This meant we would have to deprive ourselves of a lot; that I would have to forsake lots of my former proclivities just to raise the required money for my idea of a good wedding.

But we shot it off.

“This is not how to go about this,” Jimmy, my best friend told me one Saturday.
We were on same pay and colleagues and he couldn’t understand why I will claim inability that evening to pay to view a clash between our favourite football club-sides. He was an Arsenal Football Club supporter while I was a fan of Chelsea FC, and we had always gone to view matches together especially when it was one against the other.

“I don’t have the money,” I had told him when he reminded me of this age-long tradition.

“One hundred naira?” He had asked with an incredulous visage, “Na Arsenal versus Chelsea oh!”

“One hundred naira big now oh, you know I’m saving towards my wedding.”

I had gone on to explain the big plans I had for my wedding day, how I had agreed with my intended to save every kobo we could muster to actualize our plans, or rather, my plans.

“This is not how to go about this.”

“How do I go about it? By begging or getting an overdraft?”

“None of the above,” he had replied, smiling. “The simple formula is to cut your coat according to your cloth. It is not your size because your size may far exceed the available fabric and style you desire, but when it is according to your fabric, you may have to make extensive modifications to the initially intended style just to ensure your fabric is sufficient.

“Bravo,” I said with comical applause when he was done.

“I knew where you were going, but just had to allow you finish before responding. The coat, cloth and size issue doesn’t apply here. I had no choice when I was born and will have no choice after I die; my marriage is the only landmark event in one’s life that he’s fully conscious of and has a part to play in its proceedings. Allow me do mine the best way I can.”

“That best way shouldn’t give you pain; it should be within your means and ability. The wedding is just a day, what matters even more is the marriage which actually commences immediately the wedding is over.”

“Point of correction, sir: the wedding isn’t just a day, but should take, at most, a couple of hours. Those few hours, very memorable hours should be spent in such a way that they leave an impression for a lifetime. You remember Ambode’s wedding?”

“What about it?”

“You remember that the food was finished before it got to us? What kind of a wedding was that?”

“Ambode spent a lot of money; it was the servers who diverted most of the food.”

Can you say same about Jide’s wedding? The wedding reception had barely started when they claimed to have run out of drinks; whereas we all know only five crates were provided in all.”

Jimmy had laughed before responding. “A good example you made there! Have you forgotten that he moved into a two bedrooms flat a week after the wedding, and has left us to secure a better job now?”

“That criminal!”

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Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 12:46am On Dec 19, 2018
a wedding I couldn’t afford. After a long, needless sermon, he gave me the sum of sixty thousand naira.

“This is my support towards your wedding as a friend,” he said as he handed the cash to me. “I won’t lend you a dime, though I could take you to those who will.”

I thanked him for his gift and accepted his offer to lead me to money lenders. I still needed about five hundred thousand naira.

He did.

The first man asked what I had to tender as collateral. My late father’s land in the village would have been worth much more in the city, but this wasn’t a moveable item and its value down there didn’t amount to much. The lender considered the house useless. With mud bricks and a rusty zinc roof, he reckoned he would be spending more to pull it down in the nearest future. In some parts, there was already some detachment between the plaster and the bricks; this was obvious from the hollow sound it made when knocked on with the knuckles. It was a no deal.

Determined not to give up, I approached a second lender. This one thought the house to be of some value. He thought that my village would soon have some economic prospect because of the polytechnic being constructed there by the state government. A year or two, he reckoned, and the polytechnic would take off; and the area would be swarmed upon by land developers and estate managers alike. A deal was likely if I accepted his terms. I worked things out, with the principal and interest; I should be able to repay everything in three years. That was even if income levels remained at current rates. With little or no consideration for the plight of my aged mother who still occupied the building or my siblings who resided there when they visited the village, I quickly signed the dotted lines.

Armed with the money, plans were swift. Jimmy, my obvious bestman and Anita, his fiancée who had over time become Brenda’s closest friend, were very supportive. But Jimmy never tired to remind me of the silliness of embarking on a marriage neck deep in debts.

“Calm down, guy,” I would usually reply. “Before it was about raising the money, now it’s about spending it?”

“That’s because it won’t be a bad idea to have a healthy balance after the completion of the wedding ceremony.”

I wasn’t going to listen. “I didn’t go such lengths to acquire the money because I wanted to save it. The money is meant for the wedding and it will be used for that very purpose.”

Jimmy didn’t have much more to say. It would have been useless anyways.

A date was set for the wedding. My church organized a crash marriage counselling course. After a few, lengthy classes, we were certified ready for marriage. Plans for the marriage proper were underway already. Assorted drinks – soft, alcoholic and exotic were paid for; two different caterers were commissioned to provide food for the day. One was to provide local dishes and the other, inter-continental dishes. I decided against securing the services of an events planner, instead doing the running around myself. For the reception venue, I chose the Methodist Boys High School ground, though many relatively cheaper options abound. The school was situated in a highbrow area and was well secured with a quite high fence. I didn’t like the ordinary canopies, they were too common, I preferred the capacity tents with panel covers. I booked five of these. Jimmy thought it was a waste, on this my fiancée agreed with him, but I preferred it that way. It was better there were vacant spaces than to have my wedding guests having no roof above their heads. I didn’t know too many people, really, but did it matter? The sitting arrangement was roundtable banquet settings with medium sized chairs arranged, ten each, around a table. I also paid for industrial fans to ensure the wedding guests were cool throughout the duration of the reception ceremony. The designers were also amongst the best, the draping pattern I chose was the exquisite type, one, I thought, will blow away the breath of all who were in attendance. I paid for mascots and special balloon-combo decorations. The atmosphere had to be surreal. I wanted my wedding to be the talk of the town for long afterwards and I got my wish…in another way, though.

The D-day finally arrived. Just the way I had wanted it to be, my bride was simply angelic in her flowing wedding gown that had cost about one hundred and fifty grand. My suit was much cheaper at fifty grand, but of a quite good quality. Our shoes sparkled as we marched down the aisle; I could imagine the envy in the hearts of most of the wedding guests. This was just a tip of the iceberg, I thought, they will get blown away at the reception. Another thing of joy was that most of the VIPs I had managed to invite had made it. These ones would rain down the cash at the reception…so I thought.

But my village people struck just after the wedding. The order of photographs was read out and the shots were soon underway. We were still at the middle of the photo shoot when the first bang of thunder sounded. It was way too loud, especially for such a sunny afternoon in the month of October. Some guests thought it portended bad omen and immediately raised their voices in a chorus of prayers, binding and rebuking every evil plan of the enemy. I enjoyed a laugh on their account. Much ado about nothing. The photo shoot was over in no time and we were driven to the hotel we had booked for a brief honeymoon, to eat and freshen up. And for the bride to change into a dinner gown too. The gown, wine coloured, had cost forty-five grand. Brenda had thought it was too expensive, but I had seen those that cost over two thousand dollars. I was only cutting my coat according to my cloth. She had changed into this and was doing a touch-up on her makeup when another thunderclap rent the air. This was even louder and more intense. The hotel windows creaked in response.

“Please, let’s make it snappy,” I announced, “our wedding guests must be waiting for us by now.”

That was the case, for that moment my phone was brought to me. It was from the Master of Ceremonies, telling me that the awaiting guests were getting impatient. I thanked him and hurried up the makeup artist. And we set out.

We were close to the reception venue when a storm suddenly broke out. I couldn’t understand it: One moment, there was sunshine, the next, a storm? I directed the driver to continue. He had no choice, despite the fact that most other cars were pulling over due to the reduced visibility; I had paid handsomely for the Lexus SUV and an accompanying driver. Some minutes later, we arrived the gates of the Methodist Boys High School. While we drove in, I noticed that other vehicles were driving out. Those were my guests! The ones to rain the cash! I had to do all I could not to jump off the car before the driver had stopped it. Most of the tents had been blown into unsightly heaps around the field. The chairs were toppled over, the tables too, and balloons were floating all around.

No, this couldn’t be my wedding reception! I approached the tent that housed the buffet. Two of its six pillars still stood, these two still held a portion of the tarpaulin, while the rest of it had been blown into a heap of metal steel rods and canvas. Pulling through this, I discovered that some of the food was still intact in plastic warmers, but a greater part was now drenched with water – wraps of semovita, amala and pound-yam, coconut rice, jollof rice and fried rice. I almost wept when I saw the drawers containing the soups, the water had so filled them up that their content, save for the beef and venison, had been rendered virtually useless. I didn’t know when my legs gave way and I crumpled into a heap on the floor. How would I explain this? Who would listen to me? That was almost a million naira wasted, with a staggering proportion being debts. I can’t say for how long I was in that position, but it was when I felt a warm sensation on my neck and a pair of arms around my neck that I realised my unseemly position. On my wedding day!

The tears flowed freely down her face. I was at the point of joining in too. The driver watched as I consoled my wife, shivering a bit under the torrential downpour. Just as we lumbered back to the car, Jimmy, who had driven behind us as we left the hotel, drove into the reception ground.

“I thought you had pulled over too,” he tried to explain, parking beside us and getting off the car. That was surely a powerful rain…”

When he beheld our sullen countenances, the import of the moment suddenly dawned on him.

“Oh no!” Jimmy held his head as if in pain.

His fiancée was beside my wife in a flash. She placed a hand on Brenda’s shoulder, but said nothing. The wind continued in spurts, the downpour continued unabated for the next forty minutes, we were hardly affected by it – the grief in our hearts ensured this. My mum later arrived with Brenda’s parents; a couple of siblings too. They had all sought safety when the storm broke out. Even these new arrivals hardly had anything to say.

“Let’s go to the hotel,” Jimmy finally said. No one objected. Like zombies, we all moved our drenched bodies into our cars.

This is the third year after, and we still haven’t fully recovered from that shock. The debt has been repaid, but we would have been much better off had we not incurred it in the first place. Jimmy didn’t talk about it for a whole year, but his eyes spoke louder – I warned you, they seemed to always say. I have learnt the hard way; please, don’t do same. I leave you with a proverb from my part of the world: He loses appetite to partake of it; the one on whose head a coconut shell is cracked.

Ohibenemma
Dec 2015.

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Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Abjay97(m): 1:10am On Dec 19, 2018
Nice story.. Thank God, you were able to pay the debts.. Never spend above your means to please people

3 Likes

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Jayslicky: 1:24am On Dec 19, 2018
Nigerians and oversabi.

2 Likes

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Nobody: 6:58am On Dec 19, 2018
I dey come.
Make I rush my GRANNY to School
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by elderken(m): 8:37pm On Dec 19, 2018
Good points
If you must spend above your means, make sure you create a new business/ new stream of income.
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by faithfull18(f): 10:00pm On Dec 19, 2018
Nice story.

1 Like

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Goddys(m): 3:21pm On Dec 20, 2018
I have said it countless times. I will only have 15 persons present on my wedding. 15 tables with food and drinks. If you come uninvited, you stand or go back. I owe nobody anything cuz I'm getting married. If the bride doesn't like it, she may look elsewhere or bring 60% of money to be incurred on expenses.

2 Likes

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 11:21pm On Dec 20, 2018
Abjay97:
Nice story.. Thank God, you were able to pay the debts.. Never spend above your means to please people
Yea, NEVER do that, cos they will never be pleased at the end of the day.
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 11:22pm On Dec 20, 2018
Jayslicky:
Nigerians and oversabi.
Overdo, you mean?
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 11:23pm On Dec 20, 2018
elderken:
Good points
If you must spend above your means, make sure you create a new business/ new stream of income.
You should never spend ABOVE YOUR MEANS anyway...
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 11:24pm On Dec 20, 2018
Goddys:
I have said it countless times. I will only have 15 persons present on my wedding. 15 tables with food and drinks. If you come uninvited, you stand or go back. I owe nobody anything cuz I'm getting married. If the bride doesn't like it, she may look elsewhere or bring 60% of money to be incurred on expenses.
This your decision strong o! Only 15??.
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by observer88: 9:49pm On Jul 27, 2020
This is so eye opening. Thanks for sharing. I have witnessed a very similar experience. The couple dined on yam and red oil until the guy received his next salary.
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 10:10pm On Jul 27, 2020
observer88:
This is so eye opening. Thanks for sharing. I have witnessed a very similar experience. The couple dined on yam and red oil until the guy received his next salary.

Lol. You just revived a thread after 2 years
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by observer88: 9:04am On Jul 28, 2020
You're welcome
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Welcomme: 9:33am On Jul 28, 2020
Lalasticlala, this is a good experience... Let others learn.
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by observer88: 9:48am On Jul 28, 2020
Welcomme:
Lalasticlala, this is a good experience... Let others learn.
I can't agree more. TRULY... He loses appetite to partake of it; the one on whose head a coconut shell is cracked. Lalasticlala, where art thou?
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by momokiddies: 10:19am On Jul 28, 2020
this is a fiction right? the most important lesson learnt here is always get a covered hall for your event. what were the food vendors watching that they allowed the food to get socked ? of a school no classroom? even if you hadn't borrowed the story didn't add up
I have a better way you could have ended your story

3 Likes

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 4:55pm On Jul 28, 2020
momokiddies:
this is a fiction right? the most important lesson learnt here is always get a covered hall for your event. what were the food vendors watching that they allowed the food to get socked ? of a school no classroom? even if you hadn't borrowed the story didn't add up
I have a better way you could have ended your story

Fiction? If only it was. At least, the crux of the story isn't. It wasn't my experience though I might have written it in the first person narrative, but it is very true, though with minimal fictional adapting.

Sometimes, we see everything through the eyes of the average Lagosian. Many out there don't even reckon with halls when it comes to hosting parties (wedding receptions, burial receptions and even birthdays), they think it is limiting. Such prefer the freedom they think an open space offers. Ask most non-lagosians. And the cost can be quite prohibitive for most Lagosians too...


Food vendors? There were no special food vendors contracted for this, at least not beyond a supervisory role. This was more of a family thing. You provide the money to buy the food items, the cows, chickens, venison, etc; and the women of the (bride and groom's) families get and prepare the meals. Of course, a huge chunk of it goes to their kitchens, but that doesn't mean they will fight a raging storm for your sake while all others are fleeing for shelter.

No classrooms? Must the classroom doors be left open? Or did the reception hold while classes were on?

You have a better way to have ended the story? Why not tell me; I am always open to ideas.
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Biglittlelois(f): 6:22pm On Jul 28, 2020
Any couple that wants an expensive wedding, and is willing to look for any mean necessary to achieve that, shouldn't be anyone's business, live and let live pls.

And the reason this wedding story flopped is certainly not because of the money spent, it is because of the storm, whether a classy or less classy wedding, there will be a stormy rain.

1 Like

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by observer88: 8:51pm On Jul 28, 2020
momokiddies:
this is a fiction right? the most important lesson learnt here is always get a covered hall for your event. what were the food vendors watching that they allowed the food to get socked ? of a school no classroom? even if you hadn't borrowed the story didn't add up
I have a better way you could have ended your story
Getting a covered hall for your events is your most important lesson learnt here? Funny lesson that is.
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by observer88: 8:57pm On Jul 28, 2020
Biglittlelois:
Any couple that wants an expensive wedding, and is willing to look for any mean necessary to achieve that, shouldn't be anyone's business, live and let live pls.

And the reason this wedding story flopped is certainly not because of the money spent, it is because of the storm, whether a classy or less classy wedding, there will be a stormy rain.

I don't think the OP is against expensive weddings, he is simply against incurring expenses beyond the means of the couple in question. What is expensive for one may be cheap for another.

4 Likes

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 12:42pm On Jul 29, 2020
Any couple that wants an expensive wedding, and is willing to look for any mean necessary to achieve that, shouldn't be anyone's business, live and let live pls.
Of course! To every man his own. But planning within one's means is great wisdom.

And the reason this wedding story flopped is certainly not because of the money spent, it is because of the storm, whether a classy or less classy wedding, there will be a stormy rain.
Yea, you have a point, but would the disappointment have been so great had the expenses been within their means? No debts?
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by momokiddies: 4:07pm On Jul 29, 2020
observer88:
Getting a covered hall for your events is your most important lesson learnt here? Funny lesson that is.


that is my own lesson. pick yours and move on. I have known from my teenage years that borrowing especially for frivolities isn't wise. are you just learning that ?
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by momokiddies: 4:10pm On Jul 29, 2020
Ohibenemma:
Of course! To every man his own. But planning within one's means is great wisdom.

Yea, you have a point, but would the disappointment have been so great had the expenses been within their means? No debts?


debt or no debt. it was not the couple's fault that the wedding flopped. it was circumstance beyond their wings. the disappointment probably would have been the same. after all even if the wedding was a success they still would have paid so they paid anyway
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by observer88: 8:25am On Jul 30, 2020
momokiddies:



that is my own lesson. pick yours and move on. I have known from my teenage years that borrowing especially for frivolities isn't wise. are you just learning that ?
Like the OP said, to every man his own. Cheers.

1 Like

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 12:05pm On Aug 01, 2020
observer88:
Like the OP said, to every man his own. Cheers.
Simple!
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Nobody: 4:52pm On Aug 01, 2020
Too long, didn't read. Summary pleasecry

1 Like

Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by mariahAngel(f): 4:59pm On Aug 01, 2020
Palema007:
Too long, didn't read. Summary pleasecry

Let's take a selfie cool

*Shouting* Heys! Who here is kind enough to summarize? We'd be grateful angry
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Nobody: 5:04pm On Aug 01, 2020
mariahAngel:


Let's take a selfie cool

*Shouting* Heys! Who here is kind enough to summarize? We'd be grateful angry
Let me fix makeup on... I'm coming. grin

*Joins in shouting* Hey! Summary please!
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by Ohibenemma(m): 7:01am On Aug 04, 2020
mariahAngel:


Let's take a selfie cool

*Shouting* Heys! Who here is kind enough to summarize? We'd be grateful angry

Palema007:
Let me fix makeup on... I'm coming. grin

*Joins in shouting* Hey! Summary please!


Palema007:
Too long, didn't read. Summary pleasecry

In summary, don't plan your wedding to impress your guests; plan instead to make your marriage as impressive as can be. Can you clap for me now?
Re: My Marriage: Lessons For The Wise by observer88: 8:03am On Aug 04, 2020
Palema007:
Too long, didn't read. Summary pleasecry
Now you have it - the summary above.

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