Am I the only one who thinks it’s crazy that you have to PAY to get married? Just me? Okay. So Deji and I decided that with Corona doing all its wild things, we were going to actually get married in 2020. November 2nd (because that was my dad’s birthday) but plot twist and first fact: Marriage registry days are only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, at least in Abuja so November 3rd was close enough. Now, let’s talk about the experience!
Hello my beautiful people, I hope you’re all well! Welcome [back] to my blog! I’m glad you stopped by! If you’re reading this post, you are one of the following people:
Whatever category you fall into, welcome aboard! My husband and I (giggles because I’m immature) decided that we wanted to get legally married this year instead of waiting to get close to the other wedding dates because we wanted to celebrate something this year! 2020 has been a heck of a year, why not end it with some joy? Also, YOLO right? And so began our journey. Before we get into the confusing details on getting married in a Nigerian registry, I’d like to list out the things you will need to register
So you start off filling out a standard form that asks for your information, parent’s information and partner’s information. It’s pretty standard and borderline anticlimactic. The form you will be given will be determined by your status (regular marriage, if you’re already traditionally married, if you’re a single parent, etc) but like I said, It’s pretty boring and slightly basic, especially from me thinking I would have to write some kind of exam to prove my worthiness to marry, you know?
Next, you make payment according to the days you have till your chosen date. The options are 21 days before (which is cheaper) and 7 days before (which is expedited). The dates at the Abuja registry are limited to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This means hypothetically speaking, these are the only days you can get married. I say this because if you’re like me and you’ve fitted on your ideal date, this may be a hitch for you
Once payment is made in CASH ( No bank transfers, no card payment. Analyze that in your free time), you will be told that you will receive an email. Now, get THIS. First, you will receive an email from the Federal registry* stating that your application was unsuccessful. You are asked to disregard it *gasp* and then ANOTHER email is sent to say that contrary to the last one, your application IS successful (they also stipulate that you have paid a total of N15,000 even though from the range I gave you, we both know that is not true, is it?)
You are asked to come in a day to the ceremony to ‘Take an Oath’ which basically translates to filling in some more forms with information about your witnesses (you get one each and technically they are the only ones you are allowed to come with on the day. Shrugs in Nigerian disobedience) and sign on the dotted lines. Don’t forget to bring money for any photocopies you may need. Oath taken, go about your day!
On the Day of, you are expected to be at the registry for 9am unless you are getting married in a private wedding (cost of that is also dependent on the mood of those who work there)
You are required to come on the day with either your wedding bands or your holy book of choice. Either can be used to swear the marriage oath, not both. After the oaths, you and your witnesses sign your certificate and it is put into a protective canister (I’m guessing this is where that extra money goes), you have to take a kissing picture in front of the flag and everyone there for documentation purposes.
And just like that, you are LEGALLY married! congrats?
** You are not allowed to take pictures or record in the registry. If you want pictures taken, you will have to hire one of the registry photographers
** Ceremony can take anywhere between 1.5 hours to 3 depending on the amount of couples getting married
Now that the legalities are out of the way, if you would like to see some more pictures from my registry wedding (well pictures we took after), Click HERE
I hope this was as information and also as entertaining as I would have liked it to be, I still feel like it deserves a story time but time will tell!
If there is one thing I’ve learnt from the ‘System’, it is not to let it change you or turn you cynical. As twisted and convoluted as it can be, we must stand firm in our personal principles and also choose the right time to fight the system. (Maybe not before you’ve shared collected the certificate, okay? Okay.) but we must acknowledge the situation but never normalize it