Sunday 11 April 2021
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It doesn’t come cheap

Weddings are fast becoming the new definition of tried and tested love. Although not everyone gets it, it is an incredibly special day and so much planning goes into the making of dreams for the day.

The groom and bride select their bridal party, normally consisting of friends, family members that have played a big role in the couple’s lives, and that one rich friend that has the nice car, to be part of their A-Team. The bride and groom will be just a little busy on their wedding day, which is why it is imperative to have the right selection of people.

If you are in the twenty to thirty-something age range, odds are that you have friends and family who are getting married. If you are close with any of them, there is a good chance you will be asked to be in the bridal team soon, especially when you fall in one or all of the three categories.

It is common in black communities that one becomes worth inviting to the table to discuss big things like weddings once they land their first job. So if you are also this person, expect to get the wedding tag.

It is almost impossible to say no to that question, but if you have never been through it before, it is important to know what saying ‘yes’ means – especially if you are experiencing financial turbulence.

Then some of you with your many friends also experience an overwelming level of popularity were you will often  receive requests to be a bridegroom or a bridesmaid. Excited?

What about the enormous bill that comes with the good looks and being the secondary centre of attraction. It is an open secret that in many cases, the A-Team is involved in footing the wedding bill through some ‘kind’ contribution. The first bill is that of the attire, a price normally determined by the couple.

Pay for the Looks
The frequently aske bridesmaids will tell you all that what you give is not always worth what you get in return. “The couple can ask you for N$3000 for the wedding attire and at the end of the day you only get clothing worth N$1000. This means that the couple will score an additional N$2000. Do the math when you guys are let’s say 20 (10 guys and 10 ladies),” said Immanuel Shipanga.

The ladies go through the same route, if not worse since their clothing is normally cheaper. But on top of the dress, the price is not all inclusive. There is still hair, make-up, nails and clutch bags.

“You are told to buy you own shoes. You are lucky if you already have the colour that the couple wants. Otherwise you need to dig deep again to get the high heel or cream-coloured shoe. Pray the shops have your size.”

Ever attended a wedding and realized that there are two or three A-Team members that do not seem to have received the footwear memo? But all is well because you want to do it for your friend, so going out of your way to get yourself a young loan will not be a bad idea.Or maybe it is?

The Party, Gifts and Travel expenses, all on you
The groomsmen tend to be a little more involved in paying for the bachelor party while the bridesmaids handle the kitchen tea. The Best Man (top job) tends to get as stuck with a bill just like the Maid of Honour (another spot that comes with responsibilities).

The groom needs their bachelor’s party – another bill, but it’s optional depending on the grooms style. The party comes with the groom’s favourite drink and obviously the open secret – strippers. The Maid of honour of course will carry the same headache on the other side and these days there is both a kitchen tea (household gifts) and a bridal party(sexy underwear).

The total additional costs for Best Man/Maid of Honour top up with the help of the other members of the team that have committed to make the day smooth. But that is not all as you still need to fuel your car to drive from your home to the wedding venue. Consider your prayers answered if the wedding will be in your town.

“It is another headache you have to think about before saying ‘yes’ to the request. Imagine living in Luderitz and the wedding is in Katima Mulilo. Now you have to fuel up your car to and from, and for the few days during the wedding. On top of this, you now have to book for accommodation – another bill that needs to be settled,” said Shipanga.

Again, hard to assign a number, but both could be significant if you do not live in the near vicinity of the bride or groom. There is the cost associated with travel and maybe even time off work to attend all the parties, rehearsal dinner, and finally the wedding. Of course, everything is more complex in the north with two receptions.

Announce only when you are ready
As much as it is the biggest day of your life, couples need to firstly make sure that their financial cover for their wedding is sorted before announcing their big day and putting their chosen ones through hell at the expense of being the good friend.

Shipanga feels some couples use the bride/grooms money as part of the general wedding budget, which is wrong. He asks that the bride and groom put themselves in the shoes of those they want to be part of their big day. “As much as it is component of loyalty that you are supposed to show your friend by accepting the request, the financial strains that come with the responsibility are overwhelming.”

While it is one of the best experiences to be part of your friends’ big day, it comes with a financial burden. Often not kind to one’s financial status, but after all, it’s for the love and support of a loved one.

  • Foot the Bill
  • A lot of gifts
  • Clothing fees
  • Buy your own shoes
  • Hair and nail-do (the guys are lucky sometimes)
  • Makeup
  • Transport to and from wedding venue (if out of town)
  • Accommodation

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