Planning a wedding in Nigeria can be a lot of work. One of the reasons is because Nigerians love parties, as a result, there is the need to put a lot of efforts into making your big day a success.
There are scores of things to consider when making your plans and in this post, we take a look at how to plan a wedding in Nigeria effortlessly.
How To Plan A Wedding In Nigeria
Ideally, you should start planning your wedding once you are engaged to your partner even before fixing a particular wedding date.
When making your plans, one of the first things you need to do is to decide on the wedding budget. This is usually dependent on the number of guests you intend to invite. Once you have decided on this, the next step is to prioritize your wedding expenses by making a list.
The compilation of your list will give a picture of your wedding cost and enable you to find ways to work within your budget. For instance, if you have always dreamed of having a beautiful designer dress, but you are not so concerned about which music will play at your wedding, you can invest more money in the dress, but cut down on the live music aspect. However, if you are planning on having a lot of guests, it won’t be wise to reduce the cost of your catering services.
One of the challenges with most Nigerian weddings is dealing with unwanted guests or wedding crashers. You can deal with this by using an invitation card as the means of accessing the wedding venue. Another option is to employ bouncers for that day. These bouncers would provide security and prevent uninvited guests from gaining access into the wedding venue. Additionally, parents are another major cause of crowds at weddings. In this case, you should let your parents know about your wedding plans so that they can work with the number of guests you have set.
Generally, having a planning guide can be quite helpful when it comes to organizing something as huge as the wedding. And creating a wedding planner isn’t so difficult. It is also a much better option than keeping all your plans in your head. The latter option can give you unnecessary stress in the build-up to the wedding.
When creating the plan, you can arrange it in order of priority and assign deadlines to every initiative. Once a plan is completed, you can check it off.
Another thing you can have is a scrapbook which is for jotting down your ideas. For example, you can create sketches of your dress ideas, note the contacts and addresses of people who provide service to your event, write down the available wedding venues, and so on. If this book is always with you, it will help simplify the process of planning your wedding.
One of the most critical steps in planning your wedding is choosing a suitable venue. This venue is one of the most important aspects of your wedding as it is what determines the quality of your event. It is also necessary to book your venue in advance to avoid issues when your wedding date draws closer.
Some of the things you should consider include the size of the hall, the location, the ambience and the safety of the premise. You should also consider the proximity of the wedding venue to where you will be staying on the wedding day.
It is important to pay attention to the aesthetics of the venue. If you want to have an outdoor wedding reception, it is best to have such during the dry season.
Another interesting aspect of planning your wedding is finding a suitable pair of wedding rings. You can search the internet for reputable stores where pieces of jewelry are sold or you can ask for recommendations from friends on the best place to get your rings.
Hiring a photographer and/or videographer is also important. Your wedding is one of the most memorable days of your life, and it has to be captured in a way that makes it unforgettable. A good photographer or videographer can be quite expensive but as they say, what is worth doing at all should be done well.
Your wedding day should also be fun. This is why booking the MC for that day should be done meticulously. You will have to find someone that would light up the place and ensure your guests enjoy themselves during the event. Also, you should speak to the MC, and talk about how s/he can make the day exciting and funny.
Choosing the bridesmaids and the best men is also another part of the wedding planning process. Ideally, it is expected that you choose your best friends or family members. Writing the wedding vows may be part of your wedding plans although in some settings the vows would have been pre-written by your religious organization. However, in a situation where you are allowed to customize your wedding vow, you can use it as an opportunity to show your partner how much you love and treasure him/her.
Other aspects of your wedding plan include finding the right baker for your cake, buying the aso ebi and printing the invitation cards.
Sending the invitation cards is one of the final parts of the planning process although planning your wedding doesn’t necessarily end until the wedding day. Typically, once you have fixed your wedding day, you will need to design and print the invitation card to be sent out to the invited guests. You can also send out the invitation on social media or via text messages.
We have summarized the wedding planning process into 5 simple steps below:
Step #1: Set the wedding date
This is the first thing to do prior to planning your wedding. Even if you are uncertain about the exact date, you should have an idea of the month or the quarter in which the wedding will take place. This is important because it gives a timeline to work with and prevent unnecessary stress and rush especially when the date is close by.
Generally, it is never too early to start planning your wedding. Once you are in a committed relationship, you can start making plans for your wedding day.
Step #2: Keep your parents informed
The wedding day is one of the most exciting days for any Nigerian parents. So it is expected that your parents will be looking forward to the day you announce your wedding plans to them. However, when telling your parents about your wedding plans, it is also important to let them know how you’d love your wedding to be.
If you are looking at a small wedding, you should keep your folks informed so that they will know how to manage their crowd. An average Nigerian parent would want to invite everyone possible to their son/daughter’s wedding so you have to let them know what you and your partner have in mind.
On the other hand, if you want an elaborate wedding, you may not have to worry about the number of wedding guests that will be invited.
Step #3: Set your number of guests
It is either you want a lot of people at your wedding or you want to keep the number of guests small. If you’re working with a small number, it’s okay to keep the guest list to immediate family only, especially if you have a large extended family. When planning a small Nigerian wedding, it can be hard to decide who and who to invite. You can speak to your parents and insist they work with the number of guests you and your spouse have set.
Interestingly, in Nigeria, weddings are traditionally an invite-everyone affairs. Even if your invitation card reads “strictly-by-invite”, you’re bound to have uninvited guests. And, if you have more wedding guests than planned, you risk having the food get finished with some of your important guests may not get food (while the uninvited may have been served first). So, you need to figure out a way to keep unwanted guests away.
Some of the options to limit the number of uninvited guests include hiring some mean-looking bouncers or locating your wedding venue far away from your home or your parents’ home. In this case, you will have to move-in to hotel rooms close to the wedding venue, to ensure that you and your bridesmaids and groomsmen are not late for the wedding. Other ways to limit uninvited guests include fixing the wedding date on a weekday or not-on-a-public-holiday or having a destination wedding in another Nigerian state or abroad.
Step #4: Book your wedding venue
Once you’ve made your budget and know the maximum number of guests you want to invite, start searching for a suitable venue that is within your budget and will be suitable for the guests you’re expecting.
If you’re on a budget, low-cost wedding venue options include: to rent a cheap but nice outdoor garden, or a community hall or any other cheap venue. In some cases, if your home has ample reception, you may even consider having your wedding reception at home.
However, you should note that you will need to have a good ambience at your wedding reception if you want the pictures to look great. The aesthetics of your wedding venue is quite important. Also, it should be comfortable for you and your guests. Before you pay for the venue, you should ensure that the cooling system is functioning properly because it could be a turn-off for your guests if the venue is uncomfortable on that day.
Step #5: Work within budget
It is always good to start with a small budget when making your wedding plans. This will help you prioritize your expenses by spending the most money on the things that matter most to you and spend the least money on other not-so-important areas. This is the best way to execute the wedding you’ve always dreamed of even on a small budget. For example: if your top priority is having a designer gown and you’re least concerned about bringing a music band, then you may want to spend more on the designer wedding dress and then hire a DJ instead of a band. Or if your top priority is having a world-class wedding photographer cover your big day, and you’d rather use your father’s backyard as the wedding venue, then, by all means, do so. It’s all about spending more on your top priority and keeping other areas low key. Remember, it’s not appropriate to cut corners when it comes to catering for your guests.
And when it’s time to start shopping and hiring vendors, stick to your budget by cutting out any unnecessary unplanned expense item. You can keep your budget small by skipping the unnecessary extras. For example: make a simple wedding cake with one or two layers instead of a very tall cake. You may want to forget about wedding souvenirs. As mentioned earlier, you can also cut out having a music band instead hire a professional DJ.
However, these actions won’t necessarily apply if you have a much larger budget
There are always constraints when planning a wedding. For instance, it is often impossible to invite everyone you know to your wedding especially if you are planning a small wedding. So you will need to be honest with some of your friends or colleagues and let them know that you are keeping the wedding very small and limiting the invitation to close family.
So that’s it. Planning your wedding isn’t rocket science you just need to have a plan and follow through with it. More importantly, your wedding day should be a time of fun so you need to ensure that you are not stressed especially on the days leading to it. The goal is to have your dream wedding irrespective of your budget which is why you should pay attention to the things that matter and spend more on those.