At most wedding ceremonies I’ve attended in Lagos I was a mere spectator; marveling at such things as the reprimand of poorly clad bridesmaids by the priest, the sometimes risqué shenanigans of the MC or the conversion of the dance area to a bureau de change for showering the newly weds with. But back in London I got my first taste of participation when I was asked by my good friend (and university classmate) to be his Best Man.
Wedding 1: Role – Best Man (Novice)
- I substituted the groom’s shadow for the duration of the wedding ceremony
- I was entrusted with wedding bands which I had no choice of forgetting…or else
- I served as an eye-witness and co-signatory on the marriage certificate
- I had to give a (memorable) toast at the reception without shooting myself in the foot
Wedding 2: Role – Best Man (Fairly experienced)
- I was approached by a colleague at work whom I knew fairly little about
- My selection was based on: looks, availability, and capacity to afford a new suit
- I was armed with handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat off the groom’s face
- I had to pick all the cash thrown at the dancing newly weds for about an hour or so
- I had to give a best man speech…about a guy whom I knew fairly little about
Wedding 3: Role – MC and Groom’s man (Experienced)
- I was the impromptu MC at my younger sister’s traditional wedding ceremony
- I helped usher different veiled women who came to deceive the groom but failed
- Some months later I was a groom’s man at the follow-up white wedding
- I bought yet another custom suit
- As for the entertainment, let’s just say Michael Jackson would have been proud!
Wedding 4: Role – Best Man (Veteran)
- I had to purchase a plane ticket, charter a taxi which drove me over 6 hours to Oz
- I bought yet another custom suit and a pair of shoes.
- Resumed cash collection duties and exchanging small denominations for the large
- I gave the proverbial toast…to an audience unwilling to raise their glasses *hmm…*
And now for the grand finale – who got a refusal at the fifth wedding; the bride or the groom?
The answer is BOTH. It was I who categorically refused to be their best man just so I don’t I become the butt of some MC’s joke (e.g. ‘Wait a minute, weren’t you the best man at the last wedding I performed at?’). I thought to myself, ‘The next wedding I get actively involved in will be my own so help me God.’
Four years down the line this became my reality! My Crazy Nigerian wedding – that’s a post for another day 🙂
Image credits: Partycity.com