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Some things in life are relative. In fact, every description is relative. It depends on the perspective of the one doing the judging. Your beautiful car may not necessarily be beautiful to another. When you say you have given your best shot at something, to another person, it may be their worst. The richest man in one village may be the poorest elsewhere.
As we grow up, the reality of life’s relativity hits us even harder. You attend a good senior high school in your estimation but, to others, it may not be good enough. You graduate from university with a ‘cool’ class but it never gets you a ‘cool’ job because it may never be ‘cool’ enough for your potential employers. You find a good man or woman you may someday want to settle with but your family hits you with a disappointing “No” because, to them, such potential spouses are not good enough!
After jumping almost all of life’s hurdles, one gets to the point of planning their wedding. Thing is, when growing up, people have all sorts of wild imaginations about their dream wedding. Even before they start dating, they have already imagined how many bridesmaids and groomsmen will flank them. They imagine how their cakes will be in storeys and how their rings will be flown into the church by drones. And then… reality slaps them from their dream. They remember their salary is only a pittance. They remember how little they have been able to save over the years. And then… they settle for a simple wedding.
Lately, a lot of young couples are settling on simple weddings but the big question is, “When a people say they want a simple wedding, how simple is their simple? When you and your would-be spouse settle for a simple wedding, what is your definition of simple? Who defines a simple wedding— the couple or society?”
Many times, when a couple settles on having a simple wedding, they both assume they are on the same page. Interestingly, they are oftentimes not. They may just have as many headaches as couples who settled for an extravagant wedding because simple means so many things to different people. Simple is subjective and this subjectiveness may be an unending tug of war between a couple if care is not taken. Simple may mean extravagant and extravagant, simple.
As long as people have been brought up with different cultures and from different backgrounds, it goes without saying that our different perceptions will come to play before and after a wedding. In someone’s home, a gift worth a thousand cedis means nothing. In another’s home, that gift is something they may never imagine ever having all through their existence. What we have been exposed to defines what is simple and what is not.
When people have had different experiences in life, it shapes their views. The foundation of people’s perception hinges on their exposure. This is why it may be wrong to assume a simple wedding means the same thing to a couple, unless they are coming from a similar background.
Simpleness is relative. Someone’s simple is another’s extravagant. One’s simple may look a little more dramatic to another. And… this is why a would-be couple should first of all define what simple typically means to each of them.
Someone’s simple may mean spending “only GH¢50,000” on their wedding while this may sound absurd in the ears of the other. A bride-to-be’s simple wedding may mean a total invitee of “only a thousand” while her groom was assuming a simple wedding meant a crowd of ten. Another’s simple may mean buying a ring not less than GH¢1,000 when one was thinking the ring for a simple wedding should cost nothing more than GH¢50— realistically.
Assuming others are thinking what we are thinking is a recipe for disaster. Our definition of a simple wedding may actually be an insult to another who supposedly wanted a simple wedding, too. Your choice of a GHS500 worth of gown may be insulting to them because they thought settling for a simple wedding meant a choice of a “GH¢2,000 only” worth of gown. What people call “only” may actually be another’s fortune. So, how simple is your simple!?
A would-be couple would need to clearly communicate what simple means to each other. In the absence of exactly what simple means to each party, a wedding party may end in tears. Everyone has been raised to define modesty in their own terms. Before you conclude your simpleness is exactly what another considers simple too, be certain.
A simple wedding simply is something within your means— the means of both (emphasis on both) couple. It means not breaking your account to walk down the aisle. Simple simply means not satisfying the masses at your peril. It means saving enough to start a ‘happily-ever-after’ life instead of spending what you don’t have in expectation of gifts you will never have. Simply speaking, a simple wedding is something you can conveniently afford.
A couple may spend GH¢10,000 out of their GH¢11,000 savings on their simple wedding. Another may spend GH¢10,000 out of their GH¢100,000. Both events looked like simple weddings but they were not. A simple wedding is about how much you have left— not how much you spent.
If your simple wedding means feting an entire generation, so be it. If your kind of a simple wedding means having a wedding budget of GH¢100,000, all praise to God. If, to a couple, a simple wedding means importing every accessory, allow them. The million dollar question is, “How much would you have left after the one day event!?”
Are you yet to walk down the aisle? Do you want to have a simple wedding? How simple is your simple!?
By Kobina Ansah
The writer is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. His new play is “Emergency Wedding”.