I always dreamt of having the perfect wedding….like many other girls I suppose. But if you got married back home in Nigeria, then you’ll understand this post ( depending on your circumstances ofcourse). If you are planning to get married back home and you live abroad, make you siddon come hear tory.
I meant to write a post comparing Naija weddings to English weddings o, but now, the thoughts coming to my head sound more like a barrage of moans about how my wedding was nothing like I had planned. Ok, allow me just a quick moan….please bear with me lol.
So the first thing I did when planning my wedding was to buy a bridal magazine, two actually lol. As in, I dey laugh right now at my naiveté! I also started watching a programme called ‘four weddings’ on Sky, I went on Bella Naija for the first time after years of being persuaded by my friends to check it out and I was on that site every week until my wedding, I found a website called Sugar Weddings and was always there too. This was all in the name of looking for inspiration and to sort of familiarise myself with what the scene was like back home since I missed all my friends weddings because I was over here.
As you can probably deduce by now, My wedding plans were gradually shaping up to be an oyinbo style one with proper posh trimmings….hehe. The fact that I live abroad and was not in Nigeria to meet my vendors face to face and discuss all the finer details didn’t deter me either, I literally opened a bank account with Lebara during that period because I was forever on the phone to Naija. If they didn’t have something I wanted, I offered to bring it with me when I was coming. To cut long tory short, it didn’t take a long time after I arrived home to realise that my dream wedding wasn’t going to happen. In fact, by Thursday night, I had given up, locked myself in my room and cried like a baby( shame ba)?
My conclusion is that most Nigerian weddings are for the parents really. In fairness, I did get my way with a few things sha. The cake was all me, the decor for the most part and my invitations. I love my parents and because I would never dream of offending them or upsetting them, I just had to let go, as much as it hurt at the time. Besides. I managed to convince myself that ‘it’s only ONE day’ so it wasn’t worth jeopardising my relationship with my parents for( yeah right).
If you think I’m the only one who’s had issues with Naija weddings, you’re soo wrong. I’ve had friends who’ve had the same experience, so much so that some of them have opted to have their weddings over here to escape all the bruhaha and in some cases, even save money if you’re really savvy. I’ve also concluded that there really was no point torturing and teasing myself by attempting to imitate some of the weddings on Bella Naija, I mean, even if and that’s a big fat IF, I had the money to pull it off which I don’t, I doubt that it would have worked because, My parents come from a very humble background, no where near as glam as any of those families man. What would have happened is that we would have had this lovely and posh setting with all these Kwara people from my village( a really really small town in Kwara state) and some who live in Lagos looking slightly confused and out of place and speaking our world famous ‘ilu oke’ accent trying to make sense of what was going on…lol.
So here are my tips for surviving planning a wedding in Nigeria:
– Plan a trip to Naija a few months before the wedding if this is possible. I didn’t do this while planning mine and I missed a great opportunity to check out the venue and source out vendors to discuss my specifications face to face. This way there won’t be any nasty surprises when you do decide to turn up two weeks to the D- day;).
– Have a trustworthy person back home who’ll take ownership of the event. This could be your mum or sister or very good reliable friend. Emphasis on the word reliable!
I haven’t got a close relationship with my mum and this impacted greatly on my planning. If your mum is a soji mum, you’re in luck. You chose the vendors and let her or your person sort out details such as price and stuff for you while you check regularly to make sure what you want done is being followed. This bit is really difficult as you don’t want to be seen as inconveniencing people so you need to balance your needs with that of the person.
– please do a lot of research before booking any vendor. Ask around a lot from friends and families who’ve recently gotten married and compare prices. I fell short on this as I was searching on google for decorators and stuff. I actually found my decorator online as well as my caterer. I was quite happy with their services but I later realised I could have gotten the same if not better quality at cheaper rates after attending subsequent weddings. Please save those pounds for your honeymoon;)
– Under no circumstances should you let someone else hire your MC for you! The MC at my wedding was hired as a gift which we appreciated but he was absolutely awful. An unprofessional MC is the worst thing ever cos garbage is all you’re gonna get and you’ll have your guests looking at each other or worse at you like….what the….
– Let your mum handle the catering the way she sees fit…. I know it’s scary but it will be more scary if you attempt it yourself. The way food is served at events in Naija is unique…lol. Only at a Naija party will you see people hustling for food and hassling the waiters for food…as in.. I tire.
– Be prepared for anything to go wrong and for anything to happen. Don’t let your expectations be too high, that way, you won’t be too disapointed. Just relax, if you see stuff going wrong, turn a blind eye and think of that gorgeous honeymoon you’ve got planned.