MY friend Donald Maviva got married to his sweetheart, Lisa, the other day. I would not have mentioned it if it were not for the fact that I came out of retirement to be Master of Ceremony at their wedding.
Don (as he is affectionately known) and I come a long way. We do not have to share our ‘X Files’ here save to say we got each other’s back.
Don’s wedding was picture perfect. I usually say a wedding is a reflection of the people who are getting hitched. It had an innocence coupled with an atmosphere where everyone was there to have a good time. It was an embodiment of the couple getting married.
So with that out of the way, I will share the opposite of the above as a free service for those still planning their nuptials. We all know that any wedding can easily become a disaster in waiting. The trick is managing it away from it being the subject of bar room talk and fireside tales for a long time to come.
This ‘other’ wedding was one that everyone had anticipated. The doting bride was resplendent in her post-modern gown, cream chiffon number that stopped short of her knees. She looked stunning, nothing short of virginal. It belied her age and the fact that she had four declared children in tow.
The groom was not to be outdone in the fashion stakes. The hired tuxedo hung on him as if he was an animate coat-hanger. A perfect fit.
The white starched shirt contrasted well with his dark complexion which gave away his East African origins. He was tall and the tribal marks on his face enhanced his features.
The ceremony was a small affair even though a large contingent of the groom’s relatives were there. A wedding under any circumstances was not anything they could miss. Perhaps it was more of vindicating themselves that their man had taken the right decision or worse.
The marriage officer cleared his throat loudly to indicate that the ceremony was about to begin. Everyone took their positions in the small room. Outside, the rest of the world went about its business in the picturesque town.
The weather having been kind, people were making the most of it, oblivious of the nuptials that were being exchanged inside. Within 30 minutes, it was over and congratulations were in order. Hugs all around as the happy couple waded among the guests on their way to the banquet hall next door.
As if on cue, the disk jockey started playing a psychedelic version of Here Comes the Bride. They call the music Dub Step, mesmerising chants interwoven into a staccato drumbeat and a numbing bass line.
To everyone’s surprise, the bride hitched up her trailing garments and started dancing to the beat. The groom, not to be outdone, did likewise. Shocked relatives were not sure whether to follow suit or to hide. The daring ones threw all caution to the wind. Sure not be labelled old fashioned, we assume.
The hall was elaborately decorated in heavenly white, a theme that seemed to enhance the deception that this was the bride’s first venture into marriage. Yet, of course, everyone knew better.
The high table was dominated by a massive bouquet with a combination of white and red roses, a fitting testament to what was to unfold. This was not going to be your ordinary wedding in more ways than one. The bride was determined to ensure that she had a hell of a time. She pranced as if she was possessed throughout, the poor husband in tow. The result of several sips from a hidden bottle of that commercial moonshine they call whisky.
The groom’s mortified conservative relatives had their worst fears confirmed. It was alright until the last moment when as the bride was on one of her countless forays onto the dance floor, the groom’s relatives decided to help themselves with the bouquet.
As they lugged it towards the door, the bride stopped them in their tracks.
“And where do you think you are taking my flowers?” she asked politely, but with ringing sarcasm.
Their looks betrayed a similar question thrown in her direction.
“I planned to put that bouquet on my late auntie’s grave. She would have loved to be here today!” she continued.
Their response sounded just as incredulous. In their culture, they were supposed to receive the flowers, dry them and then display them at their home for posterity. The bride went ballistic.
To her, this sounded all like voodoo stuff and she was having none of that. The relatives turned to their only begotten son who seemed to sympathise with their cause, adding fuel to the fire. The bride was now inconsolable.
“I am calling this off!” she screamed. “Not until your uncouth relatives recover their manners will I go with you to the honeymoon suite!” she shouted as she took off the ring and tossed it across the room full of gapping mouths.
Luckily, another aunt caught the ring and tried to have her put it back on, but she was already storming out of the hall.
“If you want it, auntie, you can keep it! Where are my car keys?” she screamed.
“I said, where are my keys? If I don’t have my keys in five minutes I will strip!”
There was enough drama already, so someone threw her the keys to her car and she marched off noisily clicking her high heels. A large delegation was quickly assembled to follow her and try to make her see reason. By the time they got to her place, she had already barricaded herself inside. For a full hour, the groom tried to persuade her to open the door until her head popped out of the window.
“Go and sort out your crazy relatives first before you come serenading me with your sweet nonsense!” she bellowed.
The groom tried all that was in his arsenal of apologies, but all was in vain. As the delegation trooped back to their home and the groom to a desolate honeymoon suite, what must have been in everyone’s minds was just how long this marriage would last.
The answer came from the dishevelled head hanging out of the window spewing obscenities at the retreating solemn and shocked crowd.