Don’t impose your wedding extravagances on other people

I am going to wear a dress worth Rwf100,000. Me whose most expensive piece of clothing is worth Rwf10,000. Me, who has maintained the same size for the last four years so that I can only replace my clothes due to wear and tear.

Okay maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but the point is that I don’t shop for clothes very often because I can’t afford the luxury.


I am not wearing the dress to meet the Queen of England or to accept a lifetime achievement award for keeping my head above the water in this madness called adulthood.


I am going to spend on a dress that I can’t afford even though it might be unsuited for my body shape, for a maximum of twelve hours.


All because my slay queen of a cousin is getting married and I being the same age as she, have been given the ‘honour’ of being her bridesmaid.

While the question of where I will get the money for the dress still hangs in balance, I also have to think about the bridal shower.

My cousin’s fellow slay queens have decided that it must be held in an exclusive hotel suite where we wear matching night gowns and eat foods whose names I can hardly pronounce. I also have to make a contribution towards the Gusaba budget.

And I am not allowed to complain. If I do, I will be the jealous unmarried cousin who wanted to ruin her day. So I will have to look for that money. I will have to withdraw from the money I have sweated for, scrapped and saved.

I will have to reduce my meal intake, which on the bright side, might give me a better chance of looking good in the body-hugging dress.

But the thing about skipping meals is that two days ago, I went to bed hungry and at 2a.m. my stomach shook me awake demanding for food. I tried to repeat to myself: “Mind over matter!” but that didn’t work so there I was at 2:30 a.m. rummaging through the kitchen for things to eat under the cover of darkness. The indignity!

To be clear, I don’t begrudge anyone their expensive wedding taste. They can use paper notes as decorations for all I care. What really bothers me is the way that innocent by-standers who are not stakeholders of the marriage are coerced into shouldering the extravagances.

They send you endless messages asking you to attend preparatory meetings. You get there and make a modest contribution which is within your means and the MC decides to make you the target of his joke. “You? The whole of you with your blue high heeled shoes and lipstick you’ve contributed Rwf. 20,000? Oya sha add.” Everyone laughs at you.

What everyone can’t seem to fathom is that you have reached the age where your friends start getting married within days or weeks of each other. So now you have to start avoiding people and losing friends because the alternative is drowning in debt.


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