The wedding reception was going well, and all the guests seemed to be having a great time. Food and drinks were flowing, the hall was just the right temperature, and the lighting was perfect. There had been a minor hitch with the DJ just before the guests started arriving, but being an ever-efficient coordinator, I had it straightened out quickly. As I continued giving orders to the stewards who were going around with trays of desserts, I kept an eye on the proceedings of the reception program.
The groom was now giving a beautiful speech, in which he thanked his bride for agreeing to marry him, and he professed his undying love and devotion to her. The bride was smiling and blushing as he spoke. As I scanned the hall, I saw the guests transfixed by the groom’s words, and I overhead a few signs and whispers from the table on my left. One of the young ladies seated was wishing she would find a man that loved her so much.
After the speech, it was time for the couple to have their first dance. The maid of honor carefully helped the bride to step down from the platform, and arranged her dress, so that it wasn’t in the way. I paused from my activities and observed the couple as they smiled at each other and swayed to the music. It was so romantic, enough to melt anyone’s cynical heart. I hurried into the kitchen to supervise the staff who would soon be serving pepper soup. If anything was to go wrong with this marriage, it wouldn’t be through any fault of mine.
The florist had been late this morning. She had taken too long to get the church venue ready, and was stuck in traffic. My assistant and I had to rush to meet her where she was on, on hired motorbikes, collect the flowers, and take them to the hotel suites where the bride, groom and bridal party were getting ready. There was already a flurry of activity going on in the bride’s suite by the time we arrived. The flower girls were getting dressed, the hair stylist was working on the bride’s hair, and the make-up artist was working on one of the bridesmaids. The professional photographer was capturing some of the moments, and once in a while, there would be a knock on the door with room service delivering food or somebody else running an errand.
I gave each bridesmaid her bouquet and looked for the maid of honor. She wasn’t in the suite with the other girls, so I assumed she was in the bathroom, probably the last to have a shower. I found another bridesmaid and handed over the floral arrangements for the flower girls, then I went across the hall to find the groom’s suite.
I knocked on the door of Room 402 and waited for what seemed like an eternity. I was about to go and ask the bride if the groom had moved to a different suite, but then the door opened, and the groom peeped out, still looking a little worse for wear.
“You’re not yet dressed!” That was the first thing I said. “Hurry up or you’re going to be late to your own wedding.”
He hung his head, looking like a little child being scolded for stealing a sweet. “Sorry, I overslept,” he mumbled.
“How? Didn’t you set your alarm? Here, I brought you the boutonnieres. Where’s the best man? Is he not ready either…?”
I stepped into the room, and caught the reflection of a figure behind me in the mirror. I stopped my rant mid-way and turned around. There was the maid of honor in a tiny white towel, with a guilty look on her face.
Memoirs of a Lagos Wedding Planner is a flash-fiction series of 8 stories. Stop by next Friday for the next episode. Meanwhile, catch up on past episodes.
About the Author:
Tolulope Popoola is an award winning Author, Publisher and Writing Coach. She is the author of two collections of flash fiction stories, “Fertile Imagination” and “Looking For Something”, and a romance novel “Nothing Comes Close”. She has written extensively for many magazines and publications. Tolulope is the founder of Accomplish Press, a coaching, consulting and publishing company, that provides services to support aspiring authors. She was given a special Award of Excellence at the 2016 Nigerian Writers’ Awards, and has recently been shortlisted for Diaspora Writer of the Year for the 2017 awards.She has also earned the nickname of “Africa’s flash fiction queen” for her unique ways with writing dramatic short stories.