Whoever said black folk don’t get married clearly hasn’t met my friends. My friends and I are witnessing a second wave of marriages and it is a beautiful thing, in my opinion. The first wave of marriages happened in our twenties, specifically when our friends were around 26-27 years old. Unfortunately, a majority of those marriages have since ended in divorce.
I can admit to being extremely jealous during the first wave of marriages. I was still feeling the sting of a heartbreak I endured right before my 26th birthday. As I was a bridesmaid in two weddings, I had to suck up my feelings of relationship inadequacy, put my big girl panties on and be happy for my girlfriends. Let me tell you, that was no easy task. I couldn’t reasonably process how my life felt like it was falling apart while other’s seemed to be flourishing.
I had recently graduated from B School, had no job prospects, the man I thought I was going to marry broke up with me, and I just had no idea what to do with my life. Watching these young friends of mine go off and get married seemed so unfair if you ask me.
Fast forward many years later, and it’s almost like I am a completely different person. The thought of having to attend six weddings within six months had me freaking ecstatic! Not only do I love Love, I absolutely STAN for Black love and I am always the first person to cry at a wedding!
Between the two of us, my fiancé and I were invited to five weddings this past summer (ours being the sixth). This display of Black people committing their lives to each other was the most beautiful vision of the continued edification of the African-American community.
However, as the days passed, and the weddings rolled in, my fiancé and I started getting nervous! Though deep in the trenches of planning, we were sort of oblivious to how close we were to our wedding date. I mean, we had so many other friends getting married before us, the attention was not on us during our engagement. I think we secretly enjoyed not having the spotlight.
All of this changed after we attended a wedding this past June. Literally, as the bride and groom walked down the aisle in the recessional, they BOTH turned to us while they were passing and mouthed, “You guys are next!!” I know they offered those words in excitement for me and my fiancé, but it scared the sh*t out of us. All of a sudden, we had the floor as “next up.”
Later that night, after the wedding, and as my fiancé and I laid in bed replaying everything about our friends’ beautiful day, we had a heart to heart. We both admitted to being afraid.
Marriage is a big deal and neither of us were familiar with what it takes for it to be successful. We both were raised in single parent households. We both had absent fathers. Neither of us were privy to marital interactions between a husband and a wife. We had no idea what we were in for.
The good news is, our open dialogue and vulnerability set us on the right path to admitting what we were afraid of. It showed that though the “realness” of our impending nuptials were front and center, ready for immediate acknowledgement, our willingness to be emotionally naked about what we were most afraid of for marriage was our first teaching moment to building and maintaining a healthy marriage.
That lesson was open and honest communication.
I am very appreciative of my fiancé’s desire to communicate with me. He, in fact, is the stronger one when it comes to talking and sharing feelings. I am certain, as the years go by, we will continue to grow in this area; but for now, it is very comforting to know, recognize and understand that I can talk to him about anything. More importantly, we are both grateful that the invitation to witness the nuptials of so many of our friends solidified our road to open and honest communication.
About the Author: She holds multiple degrees, is a natural born socialite, a business owner, an extreme exerciser of faith and a realist. After 3 years of dating and a year of being engaged, she is ready to tell the truth about what to expect when you are transitioning from being a single woman with no worries to a future wife. For the sake of these articles, let’s just call her Nina. After all, that was here “Club Name” for over 15 years….so yeah, introducing Nina.
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