Sanni & me in Nigerian wedding attire

Traditional Nigerian weddings are a sensational opportunity to immerse deep into culture. Done traditionally, the asking and giving away of bride to groom and responsibilities of each family is really special to watch.

Recently, my African King was a groomsman. To see how respectful he was of the full process made me long for our own experience.

You see, my King & I didn’t have a traditional wedding. In fact, we barely had a wedding.

We married a month after his arrival to Australia. We stood in my aunt’s front yard as she, as a celebrant, married us. Young, poor and very much in love we didn’t have a plan, we didn’t have a ceremony, we didn’t have wedding attire, a reception party, heck, we didn’t even have rings!

We didn’t tell a soul we were getting married either.

Our witnesses were my mother and my best friend from high school who didn’t know the BBQ she was coming to was to be our wedding. We were in love and wanted nothing, especially not a visa, to ever stand between us.

Little did I know…

After now attending many Nigerian weddings I understand the sacrifice my King made for me, especially by not telling his family. I had no idea what he’d given up and I had no idea the risk he was taking.

I didn’t know that if his mother rejected me or if I couldn’t give him children we would be forced to divorce.

[Random tangent: he actually told me this little fact minutes before I was due to meet her! Imagine my horror!!!]

I didn’t know anything about the culture I was marrying into. I loved the man his culture made him and have since fallen in love with the country of his culture, Nigeria.

While I normally use this platform to share emotional intelligence tools and research, moving forward I want to use this site to share more of myself, especially the intersection of cultural intelligence, emotional intelligence and how each are experienced differently in Australia and Nigeria. I welcome on this journey of learning more.