A wedding is
a joyous occasion which brings families together one of the most expensive parties you will ever throw.
Planning a wedding in Nigeria is no small feat, whether it’s a big or small celebration. Whether you are co-ordinating a wedding, assisting someone with wedding planning, or getting married yourself – this article is tailored specifically for you. In large cities like Lagos, you have to consider the traffic, venue proximity, accommodation for out-of-town guests, reliable vendors, etc. There will be high and low moments throughout the planning process, so you have to go above and beyond to ensure that your plans are adequately taken care of. I’ve actually seen a bride cry over non-delivery of wedding programs!
Wedding plans can be quite hectic on the couple, hence it does make sense to enlist the services of an event planner or available family members. In the case of an event planner, this could be quite expensive as some of them demand 10% of your total budget or a flat fee of N100, 000 – N200, 000. Fine, if you can afford it – but this large sum can go towards your honeymoon, while you stick to the basics and do the hard work yourself.
For a first time planner, ensure that you follow through on these necessary steps I’ve listed below:
Step one: Have a timeline for planning, let’s say 3-6 months before the wedding, last-minute planning causes chaos and mayhem, and is a big no-no!
Step two: Compile a vendors and wedding planning checklist. You can use my list below as a guide.
Step three: Chase chase chase our orders and ensure they are delivered on time.
Step four: Have a reasonable guest list; you don’t want the whole town showing up. Our estimated budget is for a 150 people.
Moving on, I looked into what planning a Lagos wedding would entail, and here’s a “pro-forma estimation” of a medium-scale, “not-dangote” wedding for approximately 150 guests.
This is the first wedding carried out according to the traditional customs and tribe of the bride. It can be done anytime before the church wedding. Depending on your wallet, it can be a small gathering of both families, in the bride’s living room with the dowry and other necessities provided. A total of N200, 000 is estimated for attire, beads, schnapps, kola nuts, box of wrappers, food items, catering, etc.
Total = N200, 000
There are so many diverse choices on sale right now, from platinum-silver-gold, be sure to invest in good wedding bands that won’t corrode. Plain gold wedding bands from Benkolgold go for around N60, 000 each.
Total = N120, 000
The next most important item on the list is the bridal gown, groom’s suit and shoes for the couple. It is not necessary to buy a new wedding dress; there are lots of top-notch bridal stores with lovely wedding dresses for hire for about N25, 000. A new bridal gown can be purchased for the sum of N50, 000 and above; most brides usually save on that for a custom-made reception dress worth N15, 000. Classic bridal shoes can be gotten for N12, 000.
For the groom, a wedding 3 piece suit can be custom-made for N30, 000, a very familiar hack is to tailor the vest to fit the bride’s reception dress, a fancy formal shoes goes for N15, 000.
Total = N97, 000 (N52, 000 + 45, 000)
Hair, Accessories & makeup
This includes bridal hair styling, manicure, bouquet, jewelry, and make-up. Hair and makeup is usually done by the same vendor, and some offer an all inclusive package of including the bride’s mother and maids. The groom’s hair cut, lapel pin, cuff links, wristwatch, pocket square is also included here as well.
Total = N40, 300
It is always easier to ask friends for assistance on this, you can spend a small amount on car wash and fuel; this will only cost you N10, 000. Otherwise, you can rent two cars for both parties from Avis for $230.
Total = N10, 000
Ensure you choose a venue with close proximity to the church and residence; you do not want your guests getting stuck in traffic. Also, get an event centre with good acoustics, projector, and a standby generator. For an outdoor wedding, hire a marquee, March – October weddings are usually plagued with heavy downpours.
Total = N200, 000
All wedding stationary such as wedding cards, programs, menu, pens, etc, should cost about N15, 000 (the more you print, the cheaper it gets). Other electronic forms of invites like bulk sms and save-the-date E-invites will cost you N10, 000.
Total = N25, 000
Catering and Drinks
This includes the option of a buffet or waiter-served, depending on what you want, but caterers usually charge per plate. For a guest list of 150 people, at the rate of N1000/plate, this sum up to N150, 000. You can have appetizers and small chops for a total of N15, 000. Your drinks for the event could range from wine, juice, alcohol, water, cocktails and malt drinks, a total summation of that is N73, 000.
Total = N238, 000
A classic 3-tier wedding cake inclusive of 150 pieces of cup cakes at the rate of N100, in total is N65, 000
These small tokens of appreciation to your guests will cost you about N50, 000, for items such as gift bags with imprinted mugs, towels, note pads, etc.
If you’re looking to get a fairy tale inspired wedding decor, be ready to spend a total of N150, 000.
This total cost comprises of an MC, DJ or Live band depending on your pick.
Total = N60, 000
This covers videography, photography, water-proof photo album, pre-wedding photo shoots, etc.
Total = N150, 000
This is 15% percent of the total budget which is set aside for extra expenses such as family attire, security, venue staff (N10, 000/usher) or emergencies
Total = N185, 300
Grand Total = N1, 590, 600
Obviously, there are lots of ways to cut costs by getting friends and family involved. It isn’t all about the money – the important think is to have a memorable day that you can both look back at with fond memories.
If you need any help, suggestions or you just want to share experiences while planning, just hit the comment section!