Dear Praise,

I have been trying to get married for the past 2 years now and have become frustrated because of the wedding budget. My inlaws and family are insisting on an elaborate wedding which I am not sure I can fund and that has made us postpone the wedding plans twice.

I have spoken to my pastor about this and he is of the opinion that we need to honour our parents and wait till they have given us the go ahead. I have been saving but the more I save the more it seems event centers increase their price.

Please I wam growing frustrated and have gotten to a level right now that I am considering walking out and moving on with my life. Infact I am thinking of using the money I saved to relocate from this country and everyone so that I can start my life.

Olaniyi,  Agege, Lagos.

Hello Niyi,

I must confess that I could feel your pain from everything you have stated here and it is one of the problems that has bedeviled the African continent. We major on the minor and we minor on the major and that is why our continent has remained undeveloped because of our quest to hold unto the past even when times, events and players have changed.

I must let you know that marriage is between a man and a woman not between boys and girls and what makes both is their ability to take decisions that empower them and stand by that decision.

Come to think of it is embarrassing to think that the most important thing in a wedding ceremony doesn’t cost money and has nothing to do with all the bogus amount we seek to spend. Imagine if you have paid for the most expensive event center and hired the best caterer in the country to cook the best meal and you get to the wedding and your wife was asked if she would like to take you as her wedded husband and she declined? What would happen to the budget?

The most important thing in a wedding is Yes! I do and that can be said even inside a car and in a small office. What we call wedding reception is our quest to feed a people who have food in their homes and set 2 people who are just starting their life back.

If you can fund it please go ahead but if you can’t why should your life be suspended because of a day of madness that may mess up your entire savings. Wedding ceremony is not an investment neither is it an asset, all those expenses are sheer liabilities and it is high time Africans knew that there is more to marriage than wedding and allow young people start their life without unnecessary pressure.

In the next two years nobody would remember how grand your wedding was; what would matter is what you have made out of your marriage and for me that is most important.

Here are some tips that can help;

  • Have a crisis meeting with your woman and paint a picture of the future you have for her and what is delaying that future. Let her see the vision clearly and sell it so well.
  • Agree with her on the maximum you would be willing to spend on a wedding ceremony and place a cap on that budget.
  • Anyone that wants anything extra including drinks or expensive venue should be able to fund it afterall your parents were supposed to give you out in marriage thereby being the ones to fund it.
  • Allow her set up a meeting with her family while you set up a meeting with your family to communicate your decisions.
  • Don’t fight them please. Communicate all the way and let them know you love and respect them.
  • If reason doesn’t prevail and you have gotten people to talk to them without any shift on their part then the two of you may have to decide what is best for you which are just 3 options;
  1. Go your separate ways so that you can please your parents while you can marry someone who doesn’t come with that burden of wedding;
  2. Wait and keep saving till you have saved enough to do a grand wedding
  3. Head to court and marry without them because the law doesn’t have any place for parental consent. We only ask for consent as a mark of honour.

I have seen people whose towed the 3rd part whose marriages worked and have become so wealthy and successful that the families eventually came begging but I have also seen those that didn’t go well so there is no hard and fast rule.

But I can tell you that in my 15years of practice I have organized wedding ceremony for young people in your position on a less than 100k budget. Reception doesn’t have to follow immediately. It can be done a year later thereby cutting off 80% of the budget.

Reception also has got nothing to do with a venue because you can package takeaway snack and meals in a nylon and hand out to guests immediately service ends enroute their homes.

Finally weddings can also be fixed for a Monday morning thereby cutting off 80% of the people that would have made you spend unnecessary budget

Please never forget that the most important thing in a wedding doesn’t cost money and once you get the buy in of your woman and you are resolute you can be sure every mountain before you would be made plain buy may I appeal that you tow the path of wisdom which is full of peace and pleasantness. The blessing of the Lord should make you rich (not deplete your savings) and not add sorrow.



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