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How to plan a wedding in Nigeria: Your 10 Step Guide


1. Aso-ebi

….i.e. the material that all your friends, family, haters, hangers on, domestic staff and bitter exes will wear to your wedding is absolutely crucial. It has be lux but not gaudy, stylish but flattering on every body type, and interesting without offending the older generation. The point of aso-ebi is to get a good buzz going about your wedding, so you have to make sure you really nail it. Stay away from boring standards like velvet, ankara or sequins. Instead, branch into something that everyone is familiar with but no one has ever thought to use (or ever will again) by spray painting reams of old newspaper. Once done, fold your couture creations together and place in cute raffia bags. Sell to all your friends as aso-ebi and you will be sure to read all about it on BBM status updates and Instagram hashtags for days to come.

2. Catering

Everyone knows that a wedding without good food is no wedding at all. Forget the vows; Nigerians go to weddings for small chops and jollof rice. Why not make sure you’re not just feeding your guests with food, but pumping them full of essential nutrients and good bacteria at the same time? Why not line up two dozen cows and a good number of delicately carved wooden stools, and then have your guests sit and milk the cows to their hearts content? In no time at all, you’ll be the proud bride or groom watching your guests enjoy a delicious meal of warm, unpasteurized, calcium. If you’d like to add a bit of variety, bring in a man-made pond full of catfish. Hand out fishing rods and let your guests delight themselves by catching some brain-crucial Omega3.  Give your guests fish pepper soup and they’ll eat for a day, but teach them how to fish and they’ll thank you for ever!

3.  Music

We all love to dance but DJs are so last year. You don’t want your guests listening to an unexciting rotation of the same 30 or so club bangers do you? Besides, you can’t risk being the unlucky couple whose special moments were ruined by a distracted DJ playing  Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You for a first dance or Dance With My Father for a Father/Daughter dance (both of which were written about dead parents.) How can you make your wedding music stand out from the crowd? Well. Remember that the average Nigerian spends at least 30-40 mins dancing in lengthy church services every week. Why not combine our love of God, music and dancing and get your local church choir to provide the wedding music? TOP TIP: Ensure the choir doesn’t practice and disdains singing in tune, that way you can get extra fun points by teaching your guests to play ‘Guess The Song!’, a thrilling game of mystery and suspense that’s suitable for all ages.

4. Invitations and Venue

Nigerians are a friendly lot so there is really no need to formally invite people as everyone you’ve ever made eye contact will turn up anyway. Instead, hold your wedding in a large open space, like the National Stadium, or on the Third Mainland Bridge so everyone can get in and no one feels left out.

5.  Decor

Do you want to be yet another bride with crystal centerpieces and gold charger plates? Of course not. Be unique. Dare to dream. Capitalise on Nigeria’s natural assets. How? Easy, silly! Decorate your fab wedding with fresh air, sunshine and mosquitoes. To add some extra sparkle, catch all the mosquitoes in the local area beforehand, douse them in glitter, and then release into the air just as your guests arrive.

6. Souvenirs

We’ve all seen the scrum for party favours a.k.a. souvenirs. Let’s face it; no one likes to leave a wedding empty handed. But who really needs another branded pen, pillow or plastic tray? Give your guests things they really need, like monogrammed bottles of deodorant and hand sanitizer or a specially embossed copy of the Economic and Financial Crimes Act. They’ll be blown away!

7.  Wedding Planners/Co-Ordinators

Wedding planners are essential but unfortunately overpriced in today’s Nigeria. Save some cash and get someone already on your payroll to oversee your wedding prep. We suggest using your driver. After all, he will already have impressed you with his keen attention to detail, fast reflexes, and ingenuity in the face of obstacles. He will bring a unique perspective to the entire affair, dazzling your guests with his fresh ideas and ability to handle unexpected bumps in the wedding road.

8. The Bouquet

Brides, use a stalk of ripe plantains as your bouquet, that way when you throw it, your female guests will actually have the chance to catch something useful.

9. The MC

Ask your local preacher to be the MC. If you’re lucky, he’ll turn your wedding into a night vigil, thereby ensuring none of your unmarried guests leave without being freed from the debilitating and evil curse of singledom. Share your blessings.

10. Ushers

Use a charming set of bejewelled billy goats as ushers. Oh how your guests will crow with delight at being shown to their seats by these adorable creatures! Simply ensure they’re well fed before the festivities begin to prevent any unfortunate episodes with the waist length weaves some of your guests may choose to wear.

Follow these 10 steps and I guarantee you’ll be gracing the pages of Bella Naija Weddings in no time.

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