Planning a Classy Nigerian Wedding? Avoid these Top 7 Mistakes

Do you want to avoid common mistakes that happen in Nigerian weddings? Every bride (and groom) dreams of a perfect wedding but only few have it because mistakes happened. In this post, you will discover and learn from the  common pitfalls that newlyweds wished they knew beforehand What you’ll learn from this article can save you from stress, money and shame, as you plan own wedding. In this post you will discover the top 7 common wedding mistakes that spoil even the most carefully planned weddings; also learn what to do to avoid each one. Read on

image of an igbo man with wife during their igbo traditional wedding

Part of having a tight white wedding plan and a traditional marriage checklist is to know every possible emergency that can likely happen, and then take measures to avoid them. Not knowing any, is the beginning of a wedding day disasters.  I have attended many Nigerian wedding events, and have seen tons of tardiness, even in some supposedly ‘big people’s weddings’ (in naija-speak). The couples end up hating to remember their own wedding day; and the guests too. I’m sure you have witnessed a couple of such weddings. But after reading this post, you will be well equipped to having a disaster-free wedding.

One of the reasons for planning a wedding, before the wedding day, is to prevent every possible unpleasant surprises and vendor disappointments that may (and usually) happen before and during weddings. I want you to have a no-ugly-surprises wedding and so this article takes a look at what normally goes wrong in Naija weddings and what you can do to make yours classy. Below is the list of 7 things to avoid and how.

Here’s Top 7 Things to Consider When Planning a Naija Style Wedding in Nigeria and Top 7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

1. Uninvited Guests: There will be up to 30% uninvited guests and you can’t do anything about it (because your invited friends and family will ask one or more family or friend to accompany them).

WHAT TO DO: Budget for the gate-crashers, if you’ll have an open-invite wedding OR (2) have an invite-only wedding.

2. Long Guest List: Your parents and parents-in-law will hand you a very long guest list. Add that to your own list – bride’s guests and groom’s friends. Plus your village meeting – they all want to come in a long bus, to your wedding.

WHAT TO DO:  Know your food budget and use it to determine the number of guests that you money can truly afford to feed; then work out how to divide the maximum guest size among you (bride, groom) and your parents (both sides). Better to have a small wedding that’s classy than a big wedding with guests scrambling for food and leaving unhappy.

3. Unsolicited Vendors: Your Uncle, Aunty and cousins will highly recommend or pitch themselves or their friends to be hired as vendors. RISKY, because if they fail to deliver you can’t repeat your wedding and you can’t do anything about it.

4. Jack-of-all-Trade Vendors: The cake woman will tell you that she’s an expert in all things chop-chop (food, small chops, swallows, cakes and continental dishes).

WHAT TO DO: Except if she’ll do them for free, say No because you are likely to get disappointed buy her ‘we will give you discount’ story because any other vendor will give you a discount if you ask. Don’t even If you’ll be billed for each service, hiring separate wedding service providers for each service is one of the best ways to ensure there’s no ugly surprises at your wedding.

5. Food Time is Chaos: Item 7 (menu time) can usually be rowdy and take too much time.

WHAT TO DO:  (1) get a big-enough hall so there’s free flow during food time (2) get enough food servers to avoid chaos during ‘item 7’ (i.e. menu time) hire more than 1 caterer to ensure that even if caterer number 1 fails small or big, you’re not disgraced (3) If you have a small reception hall/ venue, avoid buffet style meal; and if your hall is big, ensure that there’s multiple serving stations.

6. You may Run Out of Food: The drinks, food or meat will not go round and your friends and colleagues will think you’re stingy and only invited them to get their gifts.

WHAT TO DO:  Budget for 30% more people than you invited – it’s a culture thing here for people to attend weddings with uninvited friends & family – you probably did it many times (escorted your friend or parents to where you were not invited), so either man-up or do a strictly-by-invitation wedding and prepare for the backlash.

7. The Reception may Start Late: If your venue is far apart from your reception venue, most of your guests will turn up late – because there’ll always be traffic jam challenges or long time to get a bus/ taxi (especially in the big cities). Even you (bride and groom may arrive late and the wedding may be delayed for up to one hour or more, with the excuse of Nigerian time.

WHAT TO DO: Find a reception hall near your church/ religious wedding venue so that you’ll reach the reception on time, no matter what happens. Also, find a hotel near your wedding venue and couple to check into a hotel suite a day before their wedding – and leave to the wedding venue.

So, there you have it for the 7 things that could make a wedding go wrong in Nigeria. If you plan ahead and bare them in mind, you will avoid all of the above common wedding day disasters and have a glam naija wedding. I believe that’s why you’re reading this.

Did I miss anything? If so, add them in the comments below.

Be sure to read part 2 of this series here for the main things to consider when planning a successful wedding in Nigeria, and if you enjoyed reading I’ll appreciate for you to facebook or tweet this post to your friends.

About Stella Anokam

Stella is the founder and Editor of this blog (NaijaGlamWedding). Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Submit your photos to be featured - it's FREE, because we love everything weddings, bridal showers, engagement shoots.




    • Congrats on the upcoming wedding, Racheal. Stay tuned to our blog posts as we plan to write an article series on ‘best colour combos for Nigerian weddings’.
      Thanks for coming around, and be sure to make use of our free wedding planning tools here – they’ll help you save time and make planning your wedding easier.

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