Getting Married in the UK

I attended 2 weddings last week. One, was my sister in law’s registry ceremony and the other was an English/Asian wedding last week. I can assure you that there was no ‘mo gbo, mo branch’ in the latter, I was actually invited as the groom was chairman’s work colleague.
One of the pro’s of getting hitched UK style is the fact that if you choose so, only people with invitations can attend your wedding. However, it has been known to happen for people to crash weddings even here or anywhere abroad for that matter. And Nigerians aren’t the only defaulters. My friend who got married in Poland got more than she bargained for when one of her guests from the middle East turned up with 5 extra guests! That might not sound like a lot to us but if you’ve hired a venue to sit a 100 guests, that’s 10 tables usually banquet style, if even one person extra turns up, you will struggle for space. Its a basic principle, if you tell oyinbo you need a venue to sit a hundred, they expect only a hundred people to turn up. Na go dem understand, dem no know come. Unless of course, you had the forethought to hire a bigger venue to accommodate any crashers because Nigerians will always be Nigerians:D. Even yours truly has crashed a wedding here that I wasn’t invited to. Technically, I WAS invited, verbally by the grooms aunt, who is a friend of my aunt’s….. long thing shey…lol. I had just arrived in the UK then and wanted to experience how a Naija wedding in the UK was like, I was curious, thats my excuse.
So it was my sister in law’s registry wedding last week and this was my first registry wedding here in the UK actually. If you aren’t like proper family or really close to the couple, there’s no point attempting to attend the registry bit here usually because they’re only like this big with a capacity ranging from 10- maybe 50 at the most if it’s in a proper registry office. So I usually just attend the wedding receptions unless the ceremony is in a church. There are also registered venues like listed buildings and heritage sites which have the license to perform marriage ceremonies and they are usually bigger and nicer.

Chairman and I couldn’t help but compare and contrast our registry wedding at Ikoyi registry and his sister’s. The venue was nicer, obviously, there was uninterrupted power supply ( yeah, NEPA actually ‘took’ light while we were waiting for our turn and some of the couples had to rely on their photographer’s lighting equipment to sign their marriage registers…I kid you not!).
Anyways, there were about 11 of us present and one registrar and another woman. It was such an intimate experience, you could see the interplay of emotions between the bride and groom, you could hear every word and feel the meaning and it’s significance as the couple recited their vows. It was truly a beauty to behold and the simplicity of it all just made it so meaningful.
There was ample time for talking to the couple afterwards and exchanging pleasantries, by now, Naija style, more people had turned up. We took our time taking photos and it was all just great fun. I was glad when the bride gushed about how happy and fulfilled she was (we already had the ‘carnival’ style typical one in Nigeria a couple of months ago, needless to say she wasn’t too thrilled about that event).
If you would like some information about getting married here in the UK, here is a website has detailed information

http://www.weddingguideuk.com/articles/legal/englandwales.asp

Better still, you could go on the UK border agency website first to ensure you satisfy all the immigration requirements and if you have specific issues

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/while-in-uk/marriageandcivilpartnership/

The second wedding I attended last week was an English one, although the bride was Asian. Yet again, I learnt to appreciate the beauty of keeping things simple! I think there were about 150 guests or so and the fusion of the two cultures was evident throughout the wedding. From the Bollywood inspired decor to the disco themed stage. Oh, I almost forgot the invitations! I always thought that we Nigerians spent quite a lot on invitations but this IV was in a different league. It was a delicate scroll, really small, about the size of…….ah, a pen and as long as a small notebook. White mesh and silver print. It came embedded in a White square shaped box with a transparent front. Hmm, o ga ju. Might take a picture and upload it if I can find the purse I used that day as I am always throwing things around, not good, I know.
There was a lot of dancing sha, I now know why people are always keen to attend English weddings, especially married people. It’s an excuse to boogie like you were in the club. The lights were dimmed, there was a proper dance floor with lights and the dancing started at around 8 and was still going strong at 11 when we left. I had a lovely time though, gave me an opportunity to reminisce about dem clubbing days and it was really nice to see chairman busting some moves and letting loose, as you know, Naija no dey carry last;).
The highlight of the evening for me came when I heard D’Banj’s Oliver playing, that song is EVERYWHERE and I felt really proud of one of our own for being able to appeal to such a wide audience. Come see Indians who had absolutely no idea what he was saying seriously dancing to the song.
The only let down sha was my inability to move equally to the Indian songs. You would have thought all those years spent watching Sunita, Disco dancer and the likes would have helped.

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