#4. Stick to Your Budget
When it’s time to start shopping and hiring vendors, stick to your budget – cut out any unnecessary unplanned expense item.
To keep your budget small, skip the unnecessary extras. For example: make a simple wedding cake with one or two tiers instead of a very tall cake. You may want to forget about wedding souvenirs, cut out having a music band – instead hire a professional DJ – it’s cheaper. You may also want to have a photographer, but no videographer. Forget about having wedding reception dress changes – wear your wedding gown for both the church ceremony and reception. Simply focus on giving your guests a good venue, great food and pleasant music.
#5. Keep the Guest List Small
Isn’t it obvious that a small wedding would keep the number of guests small – and expenses lower? After all, why do they call it “small” wedding? So, working backwards from your set budget, you can easily determine how many guests you can afford to feed.
It’s okay to keep the guest list to immediate family only, especially if you (bride and groom) have a large extended family. When planning a small Nigerian wedding, it can be hard to decide who and who to invite/ not invite. In a previous post, I highlighted the simple rules to follow when trimming a guest list. Be aware that you can’t successfully keep away all uninvited guests, but you can try – don’t be alarmed if some show up.
#6. Strategize on How to Limit Unwanted Guests
In Nigeria, weddings are traditionally an invite-everyone affairs. Even if your invitation card reads “strictly-by-invite”, you’re bound to have uninvited guests. And, if you have more wedding guests than planned, you risk having the food get finished – and even some of your important guests may not get food (while the uninvited may have been served first). So, you need to figure out a way to keep unwanted guests away.
- Some options to limit the number of uninvited guests include: hiring some mean-looking bouncers, locating your wedding venue far away from your/ your parents’ home – that means, a day before the wedding, you (bride and groom) have to move in to hotel rooms close to the wedding venue, to ensure that you and your bridesmaids and groomsmen are not late to the wedding.
- Other ways to limit uninvited guests include fixing the wedding date on a week day or not-on-a-public-holiday, having a destination wedding in beautiful Dubai (in another Nigerian state or abroad).
#7. Book a Low-Cost Wedding Venue
Once you’ve made your budget and know the maximum number of guests you want to invite, start searching for a suitable venue that is within your budget and not too big or too small for the guests you’re expecting. If you’re on a budget, low-cost wedding venue options include: to rent a cheap but nice outdoor garden, or a community hall or any other cheap venue. If you have a big backyard, you may even consider having your wedding reception at your backyard – or ask a family friend or relative for permission to use their spacious backyard. To keep the wedding venue decoration cost low, find a hall that requires minimal decoration or a beautiful outdoor venue with beautiful, natural scenery.
#8. Be Honest with Friends
With small weddings, you can’t possibly invite all your friends and office colleagues. You bet, the uninvited among them will feel hurt and bitter, but it’s best to be honest when asked about it – let your friends know that you are keeping the wedding very small and limiting the invitation to close family.
MORE SMALL WEDDING IDEAS:
- For more practical tips and ideas on how to save money when planning a small Nigerian wedding, read this and this too.
- 5 Small-Wedding Ideas to Help You Organize Your Dream Wedding
- 10 Unique Ideas to Get a Big-Girls Wedding on a Small Budget
- How to Plan a Low-Key Wedding in Nigeria
Finally, A Dream Wedding Is Possible If You Keep It Small
So, there you have it for our top 8 tips for planning a small wedding in Nigeria. Make sure to read part 2 here and also read part 3.
On a general note, with a small wedding guest list, you should be able to have your dream wedding, celebrity style. The less money you spend renting a bigger venue and feeding lots of people, the more extras you’ll have to splurge on the things that matter most to you. For instance, you can choose to spend the savings to buy that designer wedding dress, rent that gorgeous venue, hire that amazing wedding band.
There you have it on how to plan a small, intimate Nigerian wedding and still wow your guests. Did I forget any small wedding planning ideas, add it in the comment below.