How To Plan A Nigerian Wedding In 3 Months (90 Days)
…..See How Much Wedding Planners Charge In Nigeria
Imagine planning a birthday bash. You know the stress you will go through, the cake, foods, drinks, music etc. Now imagine planning a wedding and then doing so in ninety (90) days. Tough right? The truth however is that it is absolutely possible and doable provided you put your mind to it (plus a little assistance here and there of course).
Planning a wedding in Nigeria is a different ball game altogether. There are several factors you need to consider. For instance, the location of the wedding.
In a place like Lagos which is usually bedeviled with heavy traffic, you have to keep that in mind that your guests may have some delays and worse, your vendors. So while planning, you must bear in mind that the venue of the wedding should not be too far away from the venue of the reception.
Down to the main game of planning the wedding proper. If you have just ninety (90) days to plan the wedding and get everything done, do not panic.
Doing so will make you forget a lot of vital arrangements. So while you seek for assistance from family members and trusted friends and even colleagues, here is our guide to planning a beautiful classy wedding in just ninety days:
How to Plan A Nigerian Wedding in Three Months
Address the Basics
For us, we believe the basics are the wedding budget, guest list and style. Let us look at the wedding budget.
The Wedding Budget
This is probably the most important aspect of the wedding because it is what determines everything else. It is the budget that tells you how many guests you will be inviting, the vendors you will be needing, the dresses, suit etc. Everything actually boils down to it. So before you begin planning, ask yourself how much you have in mind for the wedding and work with it.
If you have budgeted one million naira for the wedding, this tells you that you will not be having too many guests (maximum 150) unless you are ready to have guests who may go hungry at the end of the day. So the moment you have your budget set aside, you can then move to the next basic: Guest List.
As earlier mentioned, both are tied to each other. Your budget will determine if you will have hundred guests or a thousand guests. It is better to invite fewer guests and have them satisfied than to invite your entire clan and leave them disgruntled at the end of the day. So bearing in mind the budget, you can draw up the number of people you want on the list and stick to it.
Send out out invites only to people you know will be on the big day (alternatively you can point out that attendance is strictly by invitation). This way, you can cut out people tagging along with friends and family members to the wedding.
Lastly, the style. Would you want an open field kind of wedding and reception, what food and drinks are you serving? Are you having a buffet or will you have caterers who will serve guests? It is still the budget that will determine all this.
Now that you have clearly identified the three essentials, let us look at the next very important aspect:
Book A Wedding Reception Venue
This is like the next very important thing to do. Surf online for very good reception venues. You can book the entire ground floor of a hotel or a nice restaurant, or you can even use an open field. Which ever you prefer, be sure to have it booked for you before the day of your wedding.
Be sure to go take a look at it to ensure it meets your standard and requirements before paying an advance fee or signing an agreement. We have had cases where people make an agreement only to find out few days to the wedding that another customer had already taken it or that the venue (especially schools) cannot be used as a reception. Once you have your reception venue checked the next thing is to:
Send Out Wedding Invitations
This is the next phase. Why? So that you can have time to properly check all the people you are inviting to avoid last minute rush and then forgetting some friends or family members (such offences are usually difficult to forgive).
Now that the venue for the reception is down, sit down with your fiance (or fiancée) to cross check the friends, family members and colleagues you are inviting. Double check both lists and be sure you did not exceed your budget.
Once you have gotten this right, begin to send out invites. Some people now send out invitations by e-mail but we still advise doing it the old-fashioned way of printing cards and sending them out. If you are not up for custom made cards, there are several shops in Nigeria where you can pick very beautiful cards within your budget to use for your day.
Once the cards are ready, begin to send them out. Some friends or family members can help you in the distribution. Just be sure it gets to everyone on your list by making a follow up phone call.
Shop For Wedding Dress
we do not need to emphasis this for what is a bride without her wedding dress? This should be the next thing on your list. There are so many bridal shops to go to. Depending on your budget, you can have your dress custom made for you or you could rent a dress. Renting a dress usually goes from 25,000 to 100,000 Naira depending of course on what you want.
Bottom line is, visit the bridal shop to get what you are looking for before they become higher in demand and then more expensive (especially if you are getting married in the festive season). Another reason why you need to get your dress down and ready is because you may not get what you want in the first three shops you visit. Therefore starting out early enough means you have more time to settle down and select exactly what you want rather than settling for anything during the last minute rush.
Remember the fittings and additional accessories that all go with the dress such as the veil, bridal jewelries, bouquet, shoes, tiana etc. All these should be gotten along with the wedding dress.
Shop For Wedding Suit
This goes without saying for the groom as well. His suit, tuxedo, shoes, cuff-links, glasses (optional) and everything else should be ready. The good thing with the groom’s outfit is that he needs not look too hard for it (unlike the bride).
Shop For Wedding Rings
After you have gotten the dress and suit ready, the next thing to do is to shop for your wedding rings. There are several types available from platinum to silver to gold to diamonds. Everything depends on your budget. So get them fitted and ready. The next very very important to check on your list is to:
Book Your Wedding Vendors
By vendors we mean all the people you are going to hire to help you perfect the wedding plan. This include: the photographer, DJ, videographer, caterers (this should include your cake baker as well), make-up artist, hair stylist, chauffeurs (if you will be hiring people to drive you to the venue) etc.
You do not want to hear that your favourite caterer or the photographer you were looking to hire has already been booked. Therefore do this immediately to ensure that they are all ready. Remember it is impossible to have a successful wedding without them.
So get their numbers, contacts, everything you need and pay the advance fee this way, you already have them roped in and they already have you in their agenda. Most people have been disappointed on the day by their vendor(s) either not showing up (because of no commitments) or showing up far behind schedule.
Ensure to get all of these down. Also, be sure to see the services they provide to be sure it is satisfactory before making commitments especially if you do not know them before and meeting them was based on a friend’s recommendation.
Make The Arrangements For A Wedding Officiator
Obviously you will need a clergy to officiate and legalize your wedding. Depending on what church you attend, you can make this arrangements as quickly as possible and get him ready in less than three weeks. The advice is to do this as soon as you have all your vendors ready to ensure that they are not already fully booked. In some churches, the officiating priest, or pastor (as the case may be) can officiate three to five weddings in a day.
However, if you want yours to be exclusive, then you need to go ahead of time and of course pay the necessary fee that is demanded. Go through the wedding programme with the priest just in case there are some additions or subtractions to be made then print the programme and send the required number of copies to him and other clergy that will be assisting him. A lot of people usually do this in the last minute rush and tend to miss out some vital points.
Ensure that your church is close to the reception venue so that it does not become an issue for your guests (especially with traffic prevalent in most cities).
Begin the plans for your Honeymoon
You might think this is a bit forward but ask yourself this question: is it after the wedding that you will begin to plan for the honeymoon? The answer is no.
Therefore just as you are planning for your wedding, include the honeymoon plans as well. Depending on where you want to spend it, you can begin booking flight tickets, hotel rooms and such like. If you are doing it within the country, ensure your hotel rooms are booked already plus the flight tickets.
This will help you get over and done with all the stress that comes with planning a wedding. If all these are down, it will help you because you already know you are most likely leaving the very next day after your wedding.
Confirm last minute details with all your vendors
It goes without saying that you cannot leave anything to chance. Just because you have made an advance payment does not mean you should relax and wait for the day. As the wedding say draws nearer, call all the vendors you have booked an appointment with and go through all the plans to ensure everything is as discussed. Also, if you have need to make any changes, be sure to inform them early enough so that the change(s) can be effected.
You can even ask to see your sample cake, the hair you will be making, the songs that will be played etc. Go over this as many times as possible to ensure a hitch-free operation.
Buy souvenirs for your guests
This will be the appropriate time to begin shopping for gifts for your invited guests. Before now, you will have already decided what to get for them so begin packaging them and getting it set.
It could be everything branded: mugs, umbrellas, note pads, plates etc. Some people go separate the gifts they give the guests. A particular section gets a particular set of gift. This is totally up to your discretion as long as you ensure that all your guests get something to take home.
Shop and Pack for your Honeymoon
You can even do this as you are shopping for the souvenirs. Get everything you will be needing for your honeymoon and begin to pack ahead. This is to ensure you do not forget basics such as toothpaste, toothbrush, toiletries, special lingeries, phone chargers, etc. Shop at once and dedicate a full day to packing. Once done, do not open the bag again until the day you pick it up to travel.
Get Married Already
And finally the day is here. Yes! You are ready to say I do and you can see that everything is as it should be. All the vendors are there, the music is as you like it, the caterers are all lined up with all the foods you requested for, your fiancé is looking dapper in his tux and you are looking resplendent like a beauty queen.
All these you were able to achieve in about 90 days. So you see, it is not impossible, all it needs it a lot of commitment, hard work and of course, a few help here and there and you are good to go.
We hope this list has been of help for those of you planning to get married soon.
NaijaGists.com wishes you success in your upcoming wedding and marriage.
If you are planning to get married soon or need help, don’t forget to drop a comment below.
We will be glad to answer all your inquiries and give you expert advice.
Also if you are based outside Nigeria, feel free to ask your questions and we will get you help.
For more relationship articles, visit our Romance Column.