Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The 293rd good thing about Lagos: A modest church wedding

Weddings are usually big affairs in Nigeria.  There are often two or more ceremonies (traditional, church, civil) and often they have hundreds of guests and run up into large expenses.   A couple of years ago we attended a very nice wedding of one of Brent's co-workers, and I'm sure the expenses were huge.  This cultural expectation for a large and expensive wedding often serves as a disincentive for young people to get married and often Nigerians will wait till they are older to get married so they can afford a big celebration.  In my church, the LDS church (sometimes called Mormons), marriage and families have a high importance.  Church leaders here in Nigeria often try to stress when speaking to and counseling young adults that this cultural expectation to incur great expenses for wedding celebrations imposes great difficulties and stress on families.  They encourage young adults to date, build relationships and to find a partner to marry, and to join in marriage without incurring great debt that will cause difficulties for them and their families.  It was great to participate in such a wedding with a young couple in our congregation.

Joycelyn and Michel were married in a simple ceremony in our church building.  We helped with very modest decorations and refreshments.  Joycelyn provided a cake and we celebrated their union together. 

 Here are some of my photos from after the ceremony.
 Lots of church members were there to join in the celebration.

 Like many young Nigerians, Joycelyn and Michel struggle to maintain good employment and it's difficult for them to make ends meet.  But now they are facing their struggles together and they seem to be doing it very joyfully.  And I think that's a very good thing!

1 comment:

Melissa F said...

I am so happy! I just only saw the picture in my "reading list" so it wasn't close enough for me to recognize who it was until I started reading. If you get a chance tell Joycelyn that I am so happy for her and congratulations!! We worked in YW together almost the entire time I was there.