As a Nigerian, many things we do is EXTRA! and planning a wedding can be one of it. Some people say planning a wedding in Nigeria is difficult, well…..that would be true without adequate knowledge on how to plan. Well….you are in luck because in this post, I’m going to show you step by step on how to plan a wedding in Nigeria. Grab your popcorn and let’s roll.
If you are a lady, the proposal might have felt magical, surreal, here you are planning to get married to your best friend, the absolute love of your life, nothing can be better but there’s a challenge, how do we actually plan this wedding ceremony. That’s why you are reading this post. Let’s dive into it.
I have broken it down into steps so that it’s easier to read and implement.
1. Decide on the wedding date:
Surely you can’t plan a wedding forever, so picking a wedding date helps you out things in perspective. You know the amount of time you have to plan your wedding. Many people recommend a planning period of 12 months which is ideal but you can plan a wedding in 2 months with the steps I will highlight in this post.
2. Decide your wedding budget
This is a very important step because it helps put things in perspective also (you probably feel like I use the word ‘perspective’ a lot). As a wedding planner, many of my couples don’t have an actual budget but what I have found out is that they have an upper and lower limit of the amount of money they want to spend on their wedding. That is your budget. Put in mind that this budget sometimes is in relation to the type of Wedding you want to have, your wedding sponsor and the amount of funds you have set aside. (I don’t advise my couple to borrow money to plan a wedding ceremony so as not to put financial strain on the wedding).
3. Decide the type of wedding you want
When planning a wedding in Nigeria, it is important you have a vision of the type of wedding you want. This is a very important step because you know our parents can hijack this wedding from you and you don’t want to feel like a guest at your own wedding.
Decide whether you want a traditional wedding, church wedding and reception on the same day or different days. Will the wedding be outdoors or indoors? How do you want your guests to feel at your wedding, these are what you need to consider.
4. Inform Your Parents
Remember this is also your parents wedding. They have been dreaming of this day when you get married. They have their expectations. Having attended several weddings, they have ideas on what they want, the number of people they must invite and so on.
It is therefore important that you carry them along. Discuss your plans with them, get feedback, agree on the number of guests they are allowed to invite (this step is important-er).
5. Allocate A Budget To Line Items
I know you already have an idea of the amount you want to spend on your wedding but that’s not all there is to budgeting. Take a notepad and write out all the items you would need to pay for. On that list, you should have the top 5 items that would make or break the experience for you and your guests. Your top 5 items should be things that are compulsory and would make you happy. After you’ve written out the line items, begin to allocate an amount to each item. Do this before you pay for any venue.
6. Book Your Vendors
Now it is time to start identifying and booking your vendors. It is important to start with the critical ones. What do I mean by that? Book the vendors that are foundational. An example would be the venue, the photographer, band e.t.c. These are vendors that cannot afford to have more than one event in a day. Be sure to have a contract with them.
7. Start Planning Coordination For The D-Day
You can have an excellent planning period but it all comes down to the D-Day. The day of your wedding is very crucial. Start by identifying all the elements you need to put together to make sure it is successful. What time will the decorator set up? What time will the caterer arrive? What time will the band arrive, when will they play? Highlight all these on a notepad and have an event timeline flow.