Are you planning on getting married soon? Then you have to read this article to the end. In this post, you’ll not just learn how to plan a successful wedding in Nigeria, I’ll also be showing you all you need to have the perfect wedding ceremony, how to plan your honeymoon, a customizable wedding calendar, and more.
A successful wedding in Nigeria is usually known for big spending. An average wedding in Nigeria costs about ₦600,000 to ₦3,000,000. That is over $3,000 for just 6 hours of festivities, dancing, and eating.
Although it is mostly a once in a lifetime event, it is a very big business in Nigeria. If you are a wedding planner with frequent jobs, I’m damn sure that you always smile on your way to the bank after meeting each client.
Some people even go over the edge during weddings. Folorunsho Alakija, one of the richest women in Nigeria spent over $6 million setting up a wedding party for her son at the Blenheim Palace in the UK in June 2017.
I don’t believe that great weddings are all about big spending but the experience. Since this is my belief, I decided to share with you a step by step guide on how to plan the perfect wedding in Nigeria even if you are on a low budget.
Table of Contents
- How To Plan a Perfect Wedding In Nigeria
- Nigerian Wedding Calendar
- Wedding Colours And Aso Ebi For Nigerian Weddings
- Cost Of Weddings In Nigeria
- Popular Food in Nigerian Weddings
- Nigerian Wedding Checklist
How To Plan a Perfect Wedding In Nigeria
Like I said earlier, I don’t believe that an extravagant wedding with 1,000 guests and 250 bridesmaids makes a successful wedding. I’ll show you that there more that meet the eyes when planning your wedding ceremony in Nigeria.
Pick A Good Date
Most couples don’t know how to set a date for their wedding. Even when they do, they sit back, let time fly, and start jumping up and down as the wedding approaches.
This causes unnecessary stress, tension, and a poorly performed wedding ceremony.
After you’ve been engaged, you should start planning for your wedding even if it’s 2 years ahead. You should have your wedding date on paper, so you don’t procrastinate. Only you and your family members have the right to pick a date. But make sure you start all planning and preparations 4 – 5 months before the actual date.
Your wedding date will dictate all your actions and will prepare you. If you pick a date that is 6 months ahead, you have a lot of time to prepare for the ceremony and have a successful wedding celebration.
Invitations & guest list
Bridal train, guest list, VIP list, master of the ceremony, bridesmaid, flower boys, and girls… Be sincere, are you are going to invite a lot of people to your wedding? Well if you are, you’ll need a lot of people on the ground for crowd management.
You have to invite people from work, school, church, mosque, and relatives residing overseas, you don’t need to invite the whole school, work, church, or mosque. You only need meaningful people that would add value and make a positive impact on your wedding. One of the untold secrets of every successful wedding is inviting and assigning roles to the right people.
Plus when you create your guest list, stick to it. Write the names of guests you wish to invite on the invitation card and don’t allow the number of printed invitation cards to be greater than the names of people on your guest list.
Draw A Budget
When making a wedding budget, try to make it small and stick to it. Take notes of the important areas and spend money on the things that matter. You should highlight the unimportant areas and learn how to manage expenses in those areas.
This is another big step to having a successful wedding in Nigeria. Planning a wedding in Nigeria on a small budget is one of the best ways to have the wedding you always dreamt of.
Skip the unnecessary extra and stick to the budget. A small budget wedding is not the same as a low budget wedding or management. A small budget allows you to think of life after the wedding ceremony.
You can minimize cost by renting a wedding gown instead of buying one, wearing the same wedding gown for both your reception & church ceremony. Hire a DJ instead of a live band or guest artist. But in all, focus on giving your guests a wonderful experience, good food, and pleasant music.
Hire A Professional Planner
Planning a wedding in Nigeria is super hectic. The process is made even worse if you hire a quack planner. Believe me, your wedding will be a total disaster. The first step to having a successful wedding in Nigeria is hiring a professional planner.
In Nigeria, the role of wedding planning is usually done by the mother of the bride. But if you want things to try out better than you expected, hire a professional wedding planner. Your wedding planner saves you a lot of time, stress, and money. You can find a good planner on Planit.ng
If you don’t feel like hiring a planner, you can create a wedding workbook where you can highlight your wedding checklist, budget, high-table guest, entertainment, food, and rentals. Try to make it look as professional as can be.
Organized Wedding Party
After moving from the court to the church or mosque, your guests need genuine entertainment, especially those who traveled a long distance. Make sure you give them a super entertaining event that they will surely remember.
When setting up a wedding party, make sure that you pick a spacious location, if you invited a lot of people, make sure to select a venue with a lot of parking space. You should also make sure that the decor and lighting are lit. This will make your guests feel at ease on arrival.
Make sure you hire a professional DJ that will change the mood with lively tunes, An MC that will cheer them up and assure them that they are in the right place, and a caterer that will listen to your guest first before complaining.
If you run this kind of wedding, you will be the talk of the town no matter your budget. Make sense right?
Nigerian Wedding Calendar
I’ve said much but you still don’t understand a thing. Do you still want the perfect wedding? I’ve broken down the entire wedding process into a 1-year calendar that should be your adviser after your partner has accepted your proposal.
Ok, let’s say you’re engaged and you want a classic wedding, follow my wedding calendar step by step, and I’m assuring you that you’ll be having a successful wedding on the D-day.
Here’s a step by step guide on wedding planning in Nigeria. Here’s a one-year wedding calendar, that would help host the perfect wedding:
12 – 9 Months To the Wedding
First of all, congratulation, you are engaged. There is still a lot to do before you can take it public. In this stage, you create your wedding checklist, guest list, calendar, and budget. Pick a date at least 8 months away for your wedding, both traditional and white wedding.
This is the stage that you ought to begin your search for a wedding planner, reception venue, Aso Ebi colors, wedding dresses, and suits. You should start booking or making a gown at this stage because it takes time to prepare a wedding gown.
For the groom, if you have a jealous ex, settle here now! Nigerian women have 3 Mami water spirits that give them the power to scatter any wedding. I repeat, if you dated any lady with bad character, visit her with your wife to be and get things over with her for good.
9- 6 Months To the Wedding
This is when you start taking engagement pictures, romantic ones are the cutest. By now, your wedding souvenirs, invitations, and thank-you cards must be ready. You should also start making plans for your bachelorette party and bridal shower.
You should also finalize your guest list to make sure that everything is in place. Book your chef, caterer, DJ, MC, photographer, and videographer. Pay them if possible, just to avoid unnecessary excuses.
Most of all, sew your Aso Ebi. Have you ever given a Nigerian tailor your cloth? You know how the story goes. You will hear “Madam na tomorrow” until the night before the wedding.
3 months to the wedding
Start planning for the honeymoon and making reservations for flights and hotels if you are planning to spend quality and romantic time overseas, this is the time you make a budget. This is also the stage where the couple goes shopping.
Write your vows and make them as romantic as possible, so your partner knows it was you. You should also start your wedding and dinner rehearsal and vehicle arrivals. The bride should also start looking for makeup artists and hairdressers.
Find a shopping mall near you and buy stuff like wristwatches, purse, rings, shoes, bouquet, jewelry & accessories, and most of all the wedding outfit for the couple, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. It is important that you shop around this time so that a slight change in weight or height won’t make you panic. It will still fit perfectly.
30 days to the wedding
By now you should have done your traditional marriage and one part is clear. Make a reservation in a good hotel for the wedding night. Alert your DJ, photographer, venue manager, caterer of your big day, so they can get their game face on.
Go over everything again and again. Ensure that everything is in place. Go to the spa and get good skin therapy and facial treatment, so you look and shine like the sun on that day. Prepare for your honeymoon and relax.
The day before the wedding
The bride, run to your hairdresser and gets your hair in the perfect shape. Relax, pamper yourself. Tomorrow is a big day. Groom, call your guys and allow them to sleep over so they can help dress you up.
Also, take the wedding vehicles to the car wash and tell your designer to you know, design the vehicle with an about to wed and newlywed plate number.
Bride, wake up early. Get your make up on and your hair with a lot of glitter and sparkle, so that you will shine. Take a snack or water before you go out, just enough to satisfy you. Don’t take too much so you have a running stomach or too little that you feel hungry at the altar.
Once that’s over dance all the style you can dance at the reception and fly to heaven for your honeymoon. I know I missed somethings but once you personalize this calendar, a perfect wedding is assured.
Wedding Colours And Aso Ebi For Nigerian Weddings
If you are having a problem choosing Aso-Ebi and other ceremonial colors for your wedding, I uploaded a color gradient image that can help you pick the perfect Aso Ebi color for your wedding. Just pick a color for your Aso Ebi or pick one from the left and one from the right, if you want different colors for up and down.
Cost Of Weddings In Nigeria
There are over 100 factors that can determine the cost of a wedding in Nigeria. Some of them include the location of the ceremony, the number of guests, food & drinks, decor, souvenirs, and other paid services.
If you need my help estimating the cost of weddings in Nigeria, we’ve done all the research for you. So, here is the average cost of a standard wedding, hosting 200 guests in Nigeria.
- In Lagos state, the average cost of weddings is between ₦1,800,000 – ₦2,500,000.
- In Abuja, the average cost of weddings is between ₦1,200,000 – ₦3,000,000
- In Rivers State, the average cost of weddings is between ₦1,600,000 – ₦2,200,000
- In Oyo State, the average cost of weddings is between ₦1,200,000 – ₦2,000,000
- In Anambra State, the average cost of weddings is between ₦1,700,000 – ₦2,800,000
- In Edo State, the average cost of weddings is between ₦1,600,000 – ₦2,100,000
- In Kwara State, the average cost of weddings is between ₦1,800,000 – ₦2,500,000
Popular Food in Nigerian Weddings
To be sincere, anything goes to Nigerian weddings especially weddings that come with buffet service. You can see dishes like rice, beans, Puff Puff, Egusi, Moi Moi, African Salad, Sauce, Stew, and other tasty delicacies on the table.
But in all weddings, there are some food and meals that stand out. These foods are a necessity and are present in most Nigerian weddings. These are some of the most popular foods in Nigerian weddings are listed below.
Jollof rice is the king of celebration in Nigeria. No wedding is complete without the guest having that great tasting Jollof rice in their stomach. The thing will na make sense if it has small carrots, liver, Kanda, or green beans are inside.
Fried rice and Jollof rice no be the same thing. Fried rice n the senior brother of Jollof rice when we talk of sweetness. Although fried rice can easily replace Jollof rice in any wedding, most guests prefer to have the two side by side.
Pounded Yam, Fufu, or Semo
Yes, you also need to have swallow if you want to properly welcome elderly guests at your wedding. Most elderly guests and men at the high table don’t like eating rice at weddings, they prefer real men’s food.
Most weddings should also prepare starch or swallow like Eba, wheat, Semo, pounded yam or fufu for guests that want the main thing.
You should also have a soup that will go well with the swallow. Some of the best soups for weddings are bitter leaf [Ofe Onugbo is #1 in the Igbo land], Egusi, Ewedu, Vegetable, Nsala, or Okra. If you serve any guest any of these great tasting meals, they will love you for life,
Some guests are never satisfied with rice, chicken, and salad. They like it top-notch with Moi Moi on top, so that the balanced diet will be complete. Every good wedding should serve any or all of this food.
Nigerian Wedding Checklist
It’s not easy to plan a successful wedding in Nigeria. The stress, expectation, and expenses are too much. If you are about to wed, here are some key features you should take note of to have a successful wedding.
- Set your budget
- Selecting the location
- Printing and sending invitation cards
- Shopping for wedding dress, suits, and Aso Ebi
- Shopping for rings, sovereigns & merchandise
- Pick honeymoon location
- Hiring photographers, videographers, DJ, Makeup artists, chauffeurs, and caterers
- Buy souvenirs
- Plan the wedding party