Being a daughter of the soil (Cameroon) it is our tradition to honor the ancestral marriage rights. This involves paying the bride price, a token and sometimes it’s symbolic. Acquainting both families in a ceremonial occasion before embarking on any other ceremonies. As stated in the Bible “give to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is God”. With all due respect, our human existence here on Earth originated from a particular place and we are fortunate enough to call that place our ‘birthplace’. It will only be fair to recognize our birthplace before performing any other rights. I am unsure why traditional marriages are mostly common in developing countries, but I guess it is God’s way of differentiating the western views from the rest of the world.
As a child, my fairy tale was different from any other little girl. I wanted a marriage before a wedding whereas a typical bride would want a wedding before a marriage. Because of the difficulties and challenges I faced growing up, I tend not to follow the mainstream, rather I choose to listen to my little inner voice for guidance and directions. That little voice advised us to have a civil , traditional and church wedding in this particular order. We chose that route in case there were any objections or evil eye from either family. In this case, our civil ceremony and our belief and values (marriage is sacred and divorce not a question), will hold us together. Marriage should be between two adult not a clan of people trying to redo their past through someone else’s life. However, the opinion of adults can not be underestimated so, listen to wise counsel. Two weeks after meeting my husband, we had a civil ceremony in Brampton, Ontario with a few of our close friends. Several months later, we had the traditional ceremony, and almost eight years as married couples with four beautiful children our church wedding is yet to happen or not. My ideal was always to have my kids partake in our church wedding ceremony, and now that we have all four lined up, what’s keeping us?
The thought of spending ten to twenty thousand dollars on a wedding sickens me. Especially when I have lots of other things as a priority, RRSP, RESP, Vacation, rainy day funds etc. I can’t believe I am saying this, but what happened to me? Family responsibilities I guess! When kids are involved in a relationship, we no longer think of ourselves as much, rather, the well being and future of these little creatures that God has entrusted under our care until we meet with Him. Laying down our lives to accommodate the interest of others is not easy, but is rewarding. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11. What’s a girl gonna do? Do what any great parent would do, I guess. Which is putting kids priority above theirs. I want to believe my miracle is on its way to give me a shot at my fairy tale church wedding.
Overall, I have learned that, it makes sense to think of the wedding before the marriage. Reason being because marriage and family life can take a toll on us and makes us forget about the things we hold dear. Each country has its own rules and regulations that its people must adhere to. And is only advisable for us to follow the rules of a particular country in which we intend to reside. If you are from a country that requires you to do all three, go for it. If you can only afford the civil, why not? or if you can make a grand finale with a church wedding, kudos to you. Some of us are fortunate to have fairy god mothers & fathers, or wealthy and/or supportive parents to make our dreams better than a reality. Whereas the rest of us have to work ten times harder and still not able to make it happen. Regardless of the type of ceremony, it doesn’t matter if the marriage itself hits rock bottom. What we should understand is that, a wedding of any kind does not guarantee a successful marriage, but a successful marriage can lead to a wedding extravaganza.
Never be pressured into doing something you are not comfortable. Because after the show and tell is over and the lights are dim, it would be just you and your spouse to deal with the damages. Be your own voice of reason, be wise, and be smart about your choices. The choices we make today will either make or break us in the future…What would be yours?