Counsellors to couples: Avoid expensive weddings

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Wedding rings worn during marriage

By Justina Auta

Some Nigerian marriage counsellors have advised couples about to tie the nuptial knots, to avoid extravagance during weddings.

Instead, they counselled, couples should focus on building financial stability for themselves in marriage.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday during separate interviews, some counsellors harped on the dangers of trying to impress friends when the means to do so was not available.

Mrs Patience David, a marriage counsellor, decried the trend in which some couples relied on others to finance their elaborate weddings, rather than “cutting their coats according to their sizes.”

“ It is so sad that some couples prefer to task people to buy or contribute for their weddings, instead of celebrating it within the limit of their financial capability. It is not right to ask others to shoulder your responsibilities, even if they are your family members,’’ she said.

David attributed the increasing rates of divorce and separation to inability of couples to meet their financial obligations after marriage, stressing the need to be realistic in spending resources from the onset.

Similarly, Mr Elijah Dauda, advised couples to plan their weddings according to their available finances, and not to rely on others for assistance in whatever form.

“ I know it is difficult to host a wedding during this period without help from people, but the trend in which some people decide to have elaborate weddings, aggressively soliciting for assistance from people, is unrealistic,” he observed.

He therefore urged couples to refrain from such practice and instead, plan their ceremonies according to their resources.

Also, Mr Hezekiah Dauda, a retired civil servant and father of five, advised couples to spend less on engagement, marriage and naming ceremonies.

“ The fact is that your wedding can never be the worst or the best in the society; all you need to do is to concentrate on building a stable home with little or no challenges.

“ When you spend all your money or borrow to host an elaborate ceremony, it ends there. But when you build a home, it will remain there for a long time,’’ he admonished.

Malam Idris Musa, an Islamic clergy, advised engaged couples to be focused on building their homes by, as much as possible, ensuring financial independence from family members.

“ When you rely or depend on people for financial assistance in your home, especially family members or in-laws, it is likely to be the beginning of your problems at home. This trend is so common with the youth nowadays; they prefer to rely on others, rather than working hard to provide for their homes,’’ he said.

Mr Josiah Dangana, a banker who is a bachelor, also decried the trend of relying on others for contributions to finance weddings, attributing the practice to ‘sheer laziness’.

“ The trend for some couples now is to involve a lot of people as organisers for their weddings, to enable the sharing of responsibilities.

“ Some even go to the extent of sharing with friends and family members, the responsibilities of buying all the necessary things needed for the bridal box; this is embarrassing because these same people would spread the news around,’’ he said.

He stressed the need for couples to ensure that they were emotionally and financially ready before getting married.

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