Manza couldn’t believe her eyes! Here she was, surrounded by a group of friends she had grown to love, and Nana, the love of her life, kneeling down before her.
”Will you marry me?” he repeated.
Still in shock, Manza exclaimed “Yes!”, praying this dream will never end.
”I love you”, Nana whispered, giving the biggest hug ever.
This was really happening!
My name is Manza. I’m not sure if you remember me, but I’m the reserved writer in a Girl’s Rant. Remember the great news I was itching to share the last time I wrote? In planning for my big day, there were a few things that struck me, and I just want to bless you with some of the lessons I learnt along the way. It’s my perspective on marriage, through a millennial’s eyes🙈
Social media only tells you half of the story:
Let’s be honest, most of the time social media makes everything look super glamorous! I’ve lost count of the number of amazing marriage proposal videos I’ve seen, and the fairytale weddings that follow. Hardly are we told about what goes on behind the scenes during the period between the proposal and planning of the special day. Thankfully I had one or two married friends who reminded me that preparation for marriage isn’t all ‘fun and games’. There will be tough times too; which takes me to my next lesson…
Unity is a powerful thing…and requires effort.
Planning a marriage ceremony especially in a Ghanaian setting involves a lot of moving parts, such as managing family expectations, assigning roles, insisting on what you want, whilst still making sure you and your partner continue to do the little things you used to do to keep the love burning. It’s a true test of you and your partner’s decision to stay united no matter what. What many people may not tell us is that sometimes couples get so busy with planning that by the time they’re actually getting married, they’ve virtually grown worlds apart and almost forgotten why they fell in love in the first place. It takes constant reminders and “time-outs” with each other to go back to the drawing board and keep the bigger picture in mind.
Sometimes, differences may even arise from what you want and what parents may want etc., and there may be some crazy fights or arguments, but at the end of the day, unity and forgiveness is what really matters.
The ‘D-Day’ is not an end in itself, but just the beginning.
Without knowing it, most of us these days put so much effort into the ‘special day’, viewing the day as an end-goal instead of the start of a whole new journey. What happens after the guests say bye and head home? What happens when it’s just the two of you? Wedding days are truly special, once in a lifetime and worth celebrating, but one thing we need to always keep in mind is that if planning requires 100% effort, the marriage itself requires 200% effort!
Especially in a time of competition where some people are concerned with whose wedding/hashtag trended the most, we need to make that extra effort to “cut our coat according to our size!” It really is better to have an affordable/simple wedding and then a real big honeymoon, or a good house to live in or a savings account, than migraines and sleepless nights after the special day passes.
This can never be overemphasized! Planning and marriage takes a lot of human effort, but also requires a lot of prayer. Nothing is too small to talk to God about, right from who to surround ourselves with, the weather, the atmosphere, vendors to choose and the marriage itself; everything should be by prayer! During the planning process, one of my friends said something that has stuck with me throughout: “Look at how we’re praying into this like it’s a revival! There’s no way God is going to let us down especially as we have involved Him from Day 1.”
Not only is God a prayer answering God Who cares about every little detail of our lives, He also wants to be 100% involved, even in the smallest stuff.
On our special day I was so nervous about the rain because it had started drizzling during the ceremony. I kept wondering what would happen to the guests and decor if it rained. But I realized I needn’t have worried…in a matter of minutes, the sun came out beautifully. It turns out God sent that drizzle to cool the weather a bit so guests won’t feel too hot. Trust me when I say God will cover every angle for you.
P.S. The prayers should be even more intense when the marriage itself begins, because all kinds of battles will arise from all kinds of angles.🔥
Don’t look down on ‘small people’.
Often, the seemingly ‘small and unknown’ people are actually very great people in the making. I remember during the initial planning stages, people kept asking me which vendors we were using…whenever I told them who they were, they said “Why not use the more popular vendors?”, especially for my dress, makeup and decor. My mentality was, and still is, that these ‘big vendors’ got there because people believed in them. And I’m glad to say the vendors I trusted over-delivered! Through the calls, back and forth, sweat and tears, I not only gained trusted vendors but lifetime friends with whom I’ve shared some character-building experiences.
Don’t worry, I’m almost done 😉
Surround yourself with the right people
One thing that really helped us during the planning process was the positive energy around us through people encouraging us, praying with us and doing little things to make us feel extra special during the planning process. Also learning to discern which counsel to pay attention to and which one to discard is really important. No negative energy needed, especially on your big day, so choose wisely, be it bridesmaids, groomsmen etc.
P.S. Not everyone will support you; sometimes there may even be people you went all out to help in their time who may not go to the same extent when it’s your turn. That shouldn’t disappoint you or make you bitter, because that’s the harsh reality of life. Sometimes the greatest help comes from unexpected places. 😊
After all is said and done, it’s going to be just the two of you…
Not social media, not the guests, not any third-party; just the great triangle…God, your partner and you. I’m no marriage expert and still have a long way to go, but one piece of advice that has always stayed with me is this: “Learn to support your partner…and when the tough times come, keep it between you, your partner and God. Even if you’ll seek advice, be careful who you seek it from. Whilst some people genuinely care, others are just waiting to say I told you so!”
Marriage is way more than a fancy wedding…it’s an agreement between two people to stick together no matter what…an institution set by God to serve as a practical reminder of His love for us. In a time where many people have taken this institution for granted, we really do need to be careful where we adopt our habits and information from, and most importantly keep God at the center.
I pray that after reading this, you yourself will have a testimony, and that when people say “Hmmm marriage isn’t easy”, you’ll say “But it’s worth it and far more beautiful than I ever imagined.”
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The journey begins…
Mrs. Manza D.