The speed at which every aspect of the lives of Nigerians is changing is overwhelming.
It makes one think every cherished practice, tradition and lifestyle will go to extinction very soon. Wedding parties are not exempted from this change.
Economy&Lifestyle discovered that the glamour, style and fun in weddings have continued to depreciate, as most couples try to cut cost by every means and, at the same time, have a beautiful wedding party. One of such fun is the presentation of gift items such as kitchen utensils, refrigerators, baby care items, among other things, to newly wedded couples.
However, most couples now request for cash and cheque, as only gift items accepted at wedding parties. Such requests are written boldly on the wedding invitation cards and strictly adhered to.
According to Mrs. Fehinti Oluwa Aderopo, who had her wedding last weekend, the reason for such action was to avoid wasteful spendings on gift items that the couples already have.
She explained that these gift items just get useless to couples after the wedding which when converted to cash can serve useful purposes.
“I had my wedding last weekend in Lagos. My husband and I decided we wanted cash and cheque as our wedding gift to save our guests the stress of buying things that are not useful for us.
“We did that politely in our invitation card. This is the trend now.
“As you know most of these gifts range from plastics, mugs, plates, among others.
“Getting an average wedding guest who could afford a refrigerator or kitchen appliances is very difficult.
“So we planned on using the cash and cheque gift to get important home appliances and other wants.
“Even some families now include important needs of their daughters in bride prices instead of those things that you can get at the snap of your fingers.
“People are cutting costs now to survive this economic situation and the unwanted needs are dropped. That is what we did.”
Mrs. Jane Enodiana, a business woman, narrated her experience in such a wedding:”I attended a wedding last week with members of my club. We thought it was the usual wedding ceremony where gift items were accepted. We bought a very big cooler which we wrapped.
“On our way to the wedding, I decided to go through the wedding invite and discovered that the couples requested cash and cheque gifts only.
“We had to take the cooler back home. It was a very funny experience.
“But I think such is the best decision than piling up gift items that you will end up giving out because it is not useful.”
Mr. Rotimi Salami, a trader, confirmed having attended such weddings. He said:”That is the trend nowadays at wedding parties. This lifestyle of requesting cheques and cash as wedding gift was practiced by the whites. But I was amazed by its adoption by Nigerians who seem to be enjoying the presentation of gifts at weddings.
“In short, the amount of gift items presented is used to judge if the couples were lucky and the number of important guests present at the wedding.
“But the economic situation has killed all that glamour in wedding parties. What you see is the couples entrance dance and food that is if there is even a reception.”
Seeing a woman dressed in a beautiful dress, wearing perfect make-up , a headgear with shoes and purse to match, you can never tell what kind of party she is heading to. But when a gift item buried in beautiful shiny wrapper is found in her possession, you know she is heading to a wedding party.
The only cash option has killed that lifestyle.
However, Mr. Adeji Oluwaseyi a clergyman identified other reasons why couples now request cash as gifts in weddings apart from saving guests the trouble of buying items that are not useful.
“Apart from using the money to get needed items, some couples requests for cash and cheque gifts to escape diabolic acts people perpetrate using gift items as covers.
“Such acts can lead to barrenness, early divorce in marriages, and sickness among other ills. “However, accepting cash can avert the possibility of such acts manifesting in the lives of the newly married couple.”
“Those who accept gift items leave it in their church for months for prayers to be conducted on it. Some lock them in a room without touching or using them. To avoid such waste in these difficult times, couples are now requesting cash as wedding gift which is not a must for the guests.”
The economic situation has had its effect on wedding preparations and parties. Many now don’t have receptions, some just hold a parlour wedding, and some don’t use wedding gowns, and some just visit the court and pay the bride price. Many request cash for the bride’s dowry instead of the dowry items. Some even don’t do aso-ebi, maids of honour or even prepare assorted meals for guests. All these alternatives are just to cut costs. These were the glamour, style and fun found in a typical wedding party in Nigeria.
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