My friend got married this past weekend. And it was a beautiful ceremony. The weather was perfect for the outdoor wedding and ceremony. The bride was beautiful. The food was…. wedding food. I somehow managed to get a dress that cost me less than a dollar (UGX3000). It was amazing!
I’m not a fan of weddings. Ugandan weddings to be particularly. They can be unnecessarily extravagant. Simple is not in Ugandans’ vocabulary when it comes to weddings. It has to be big and bright and have over 250 guests. And everyone has to be there. I have been called weird for wanting to elope. When I modified to a backyard wedding, I was still weird. I love people but, you know, in moderation.
I saw a documentary once about Ugandan weddings. The couple featured in the documentary spoke about how they were in debt because of the wedding. And it was sad to see this newly wed couple already struggling to put food on the table. Money, as we all know, is something that can lead to broken trust, broken respect, and broken relationships. Like Pompi sang in Refuge:
You can’t have love for your dinner…What’s love if it can’t keep you warm in the winter.Pompi – Refuge
I’ve seen people break their banks – and their backs – to have a big wedding. A ceremony that’s going to last a few hours in the day, but is going to have lasting effects. And it saddens me. The lead up to the ceremony is a money void that keeps asking for more. The couple may take out a loan, dip into their savings. There are wedding meetings where the family and friends are required to help fund this union. Still, it may not always be enough. And all this is before this couple is meant to start their life together.
I’m not part of a Stingy Humans Association. I contribute when I can, for people I know and care about. But it gets strange when you get calls from people you haven’t heard from in years, or from acquaintances, asking you to contribute to their wedding. You almost want to scream, “I DON’T KNOW YOU LIKE THAT!” But you’re a nice human, so you politely congratulate them and ask for a pledge card. You’ll then receive a few calls every few days reminding you of the pledge card. And text messages telling you about the wedding meetings. And should you go to the wedding meetings, you’ll be fined for coming late, fined for touching a gift, collect money for the chairman’s bag. It’s…. a lot.
So, back to my friend who got married. She was a beautiful bride. I loved her wedding. It was simple. It was elegant. It was everything I hope my wedding will be. And she looked amazing. And when the time came for the bride to toss the bouquet, I, Mable Barbara Amuron, caught it. *Cue the sound of gasps and hand claps.*
For the longest time, the wedding tradition of tossing the bouquet has intrigued me. Its a thing that brides started doing because rowdy wedding guests used to try and grab a piece of the bouquet or even tear pieces of the wedding dress so they can get good luck for marriage too. It would get violent and intrusive too as guests would follow the couple to the bedroom to get a piece of the dress or the bouquet. The brides started tossing the bouquet to the wedding guests as a way to distract them while they slipped away. Medieval England was wild man.
The first time I experienced it was in 2014. All the single ladies were called to the floor and it was a battle. It felt like they were fighting for some trophy that would grant them magical powers or something. I ran away from the bouquet that time. I didn’t have it in me to fight for it.
That became a thing I would do for all the weddings I’d attend. Run away. Far away. People assumed I was scared of marriage, which I am. I mean, marriage is no joke. It’s a lifetime commitment to this one human and that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I was also scared of catching the beautiful bouquet and then having every wedding guest stare at me with serial killer eyes and say, “you’re next,” in an ominous voice. With that, you can almost hear the tension building music.
This weekend was no different. I tried to run away from the bouquet, and it followed me. I was haunted by the bouquet. It wanted me. So I ended up catching it. And then I got the, “you’re next,” complete with the ominous music.
I’m kind of happy I did catch the bouquet. I am not a flower kind of girl but I am a scientist who loves to experiment. Keeping these flowers alive is going to haunt my every waking moment. So, that should be fun. But more than that, I don’t think I mind being next. I’m not as afraid as I was in 2014. Now all the future husband has to do is to get the right GPS coordinates and find his way to me. I’ve long postulated that this future husband is out there in the woods, lost, but is too proud to ask for directions. He’ll eventually get it, right?