My name is Joke and I am a serial bridesmaid.
Half of my wardrobe is filled with bridesmaid dresses, customized bridesmaid robes from wedding mornings, tulle skirts and other costume from bridal showers. Yes, I love weddings and all the hullabaloo that come with them, but it is beginning to look like all these weddings will be my ruin.
The foundation of the problem is that I have too many friends. Other than myself, I don’t know anyone who is still close to their primary school class mates. Let’s not even talk about secondary school colleagues or my university peers. Not to talk of the friends I met randomly and the friends of other friends who later became my friends.
The implication of all these friendships is that there is hardly any weekend when I don’t have a wedding to attend, sometimes more than one. I am not proud of this, but I am a bridesmaid at least twice a month, every month. Apart from the fact that my weekends are never mine, my wedding involvement is having a fatal effect on my finances.
Ordinarily, I should be quite comfortable. My job pays relatively well, I do not pay rent and my parents still send me a stipend every now and then. You would imagine that I must have a nest egg growing somewhere, investment or at least savings with which I can fund my dreams. Unfortunately, I don’t. If anything were to happen to my job right now, I would be stranded. And it’s all because of all these weddings I am entangled with.
Bode, a friend I made at a wedding where he was himself a groomsman, has appointed himself my deliverer, he is committed to healing me of my wedding fever. The other day, we calculated the financial implication of being a bridesmaid and it was alarming. Way before the wedding, there will typically be a bridal shower where we (bride’s friends) all contribute money to buy the bride cake, desserts, a gift and a new dress (because the shower is often an expected surprise). Of course, there will be a shower theme and if it’s something unusual like an ‘Hawaiian sunset’, I’ll have to buy myself new clothes for the shower. As the wedding approaches, we’ll pay for the bridesmaid dress, shoes and jewelry (that’s how I came to have six pairs of pink shoes). There is also the wedding morning robe and sometimes aso ebi for the trad. All that does not cover transportation to the venue, God help you if it’s a destination wedding. Wow, how will I ever be able to take charge of my finances when I am so committed to financing other people’s weddings.
Bode says I need to master the art of saying no when I am so graciously asked- would you be my bridesmaid? But it seems too hard. He even made me download this app, PayDay Investor, an investment app that makes it easy to put money aside consistently and helps me invest in a mutual fund. Bode said the mutual fund has good returns and I’ll be surprised at how quickly my money will grow. I don’t know o, I am still yet to recover from telling Tito I cannot be her bridesmaid. Last Saturday, I attended Bianca’s wedding in a dress I already had. I would not have been able to make it if Bode had not gone with me. Now I am preparing to tell Teju I cannot travel to Cape Town just to watch her say ‘I do’. I wonder how she will take it.
But I am also loving the feeling of responsibility and assurance that comes with investing. That PayDay Investor app has automated the whole investing thing for me. All I had to do was authorize it to invest on the 28th of the month and it automatically transfers money from my salary account to my PayDay account on that day. That way, I don’t even have excess money to expend on weddings anymore.
It’s just been a little over a month, but I am loving this new feeling. Perhaps it’s time to start investing towards my own wedding. Wait, hold that thought… that’s Bode calling my phone.