JUMPING THE BROOM
I'm at that age where every Saturday means a wedding or a baby shower. It's a time of closing youthful chapters and opening marital ones which of course results in a celebration for all. However, I have noticed some disturbing tendencies.
The first is that marriage is becoming a trend. I don't know if I'm just a little old fashioned but marriage is a BIG deal! The 'till death do us part' kind of big deal! It's not something you just go into because everyone else is doing it and it certainly isn't something you do just to please those nagging aunties that keep asking you "So when are you getting married?"
I know most of you are reading this and thinking "Well, duh!" but trust me, I have noticed the pressures of this era get to the strongest of couples. The truth is, some people are just not ready to get married and they were happy with that fact until everyone around them started jumping the broom, causing them to feel like there was maybe something wrong with them. Add that to auntie Bola's constant nagging and voila!, you have an engagement announcement from an unsure couple.
The second thing I've noticed is the amount of settling that's occurring. Now you guys know how I feel about settling, as I clearly stated in my previous post Mr. Right, I don't play that! I am hearing a lot of "Well I'm twenty-xxx so I can't be picky, any guy I meet and is ready for marriage is a keeper." Now correct me if I'm wrong but this doesn't sound like a good reason to vow to spend your life with someone.
And last but probably the most common, wedding day dreams with no plans for a marriage. As girls we grow up watching Cinderella, Aurora and Belle in their big gowns swaying to music in a huge ballroom with Prince Charming (or Beast as the case may be lol) and we begin at a very early age to decide how our big day is going to look. With age this dream begins to become more elaborate and expensive (girls requesting Cartier engagement rings with no knowledge of diamonds *side eye*) yet in most cases, no thought is given to the day after the wedding and every subsequent day after that.
According to The Guardian, in early 2013 the average wedding in the UK costs around £20K (This certainly didn't include Indian or African weddings! Lol!). The average couple doesn't have £20K in cash to spend on a single day so they tend to require money from both families and a loan from the bank. You'd think with such a huge financial investment on a single day one would make sure they were sure of the partner they had chosen and that they were ready to make a lifetime commitment that is marriage. Unfortunately the answer is no.
Many couples pay the £20K and have to move in with their parents because they can't afford an apartment. Others spend way above the £20K and then spend most of their married life paying off that one day that was their wedding. I even know of a couple that decided in their 10th year of marriage to get a divorce and had to decide in court who would end up with the remaining wedding loan!
Too many couples (unfortunately it's mainly the female counterpart) have great ideas for their wedding day and none on how to sustain a healthy and happy marriage. Starting a marriage in debts up to your ears surely can't be a good idea. The auntie Preeti or uncle Desmond that pressured you into getting married will come to your wedding, eat your jollof rice/akee and saltfish/chicken curry, leave you a £10 Marks & Spencer voucher and go home. If you end up in divorce they will be the first people to say "I could tell from the wedding day something wasn't right about him/her!"
Marriage is a beautiful thing and I want to celebrate all those who have found that person they want to share the rest of their lives with and have made the vow of commitment to love and to hold. To those not ready or who haven't found 'the one' yet, take your time, there's no rush. Getting married is not a race or an item on a to-do list, just enjoy life and make the commitment when and if you're ready, with the right person for you. Live, love, laugh x
First Published: Nov 11, 2013