If you just got engaged, congratulations! And if you’re ready to start planning your wedding but unsure of where and how to start, let me help you – like, literally hold your hand through the process. Scroll down for the step by step process of planning a wedding in Nigeria (14 steps only).
List of Tasks to Do During Nigerian Wedding Planning (14 STEPS)
Weddings in Nigeria are like no other. Therefore, planning a wedding in Nigeria is a tad different from how to plan nuptials in Western countries. On this side of the World, it’s ‘the more, the merrier’, multiple weddings (trad, court registry wedding and the white wedding) and a slew of things that make planning a Nigerian wedding uniquely different from any other.
First, what do you need to plan for a wedding? You’ll need 5 things: (i) the fiance, obviously, (ii) money to cover wedding shopping and vendors’ fees (iii) planning logistics (iv) a checklist to keep you organized (v) people to help you (because no one plans it alone), time to do the running around or a hired wedding planner to do the running around for you. The usual next question is ‘how do I plan a Nigerian wedding?’. I’ll show you. Now, let’s get right into the detailed wedding planning list of activities, step by step.
1. Get a Wedding Planning Notebook: Get a fresh notebook for writing down your wedding plans – the date, budget, guest count, wedding colour scheme, aso-ebi colour combos and more. You need a clean notebook to quickly refer to anything regarding your proposed wedding. Call this little notebook your ‘wedding planning notebook’ or ‘wedding planning journal’.
2. Set the Date: Allow at least 3 months to plan it.. Consider the season – rainy, sunny, December weddings/ holiday season
- RELATED: How to Plan a Nigerian Wedding in 3 Months or Less
- How to Plan a Traditional and White Wedding Same Day
- 12-Month Nigerian Wedding Planning Checklist
- Nigerian Traditional Wedding Checklist
3. Set the Total Cost or Wedding or Budget: How much are you looking to spend on the wedding. Guess, think. Refer to your bank account to know how much you have, and fix a wedding budget that is not above your bank balance. Keeping in mind that you’re not expected to blow everything on a one-day wedding event. Also, make an item-by-item list of wedding expenses (things and services you would spend money on). After that, research how much each item costs in the market, and write the prices next to each item on the list. As you do this, keep checking the total amount to make sure it is not above the overall wedding budget.
- See Different Sample Wedding Budget and Expenses (from Other People’s Weddings)
- Pre-Wedding-Planning Quiz for Engaged Couples (to help you flesh out event details, and look and feel of the wedding)
- How to Save Money on Your Nigerian Wedding
4. Start Saving for the Wedding Cost: Once the wedding date is set, you should start saving for the wedding. I always recommend opening a dedicated account for this purpose.
- Depending on how long to the wedding date and how big you want the wedding to be, put aside between 20% and 30% of your monthly salary for the next 6 months to one year. The further away the wedding date is. Save more if your planned wedding date is earlier than 9 to 12 months.
- ALSO, depending on your taste for the type of venue and vendors to use, and how big you want the wedding, you’ll need to save more than 30% every month.
- Some couples agree for both partners to save up. In some cases, the groom-to-be is financially stable and doesn’t need the bride to contribute towards major wedding expenses.
5. Decide Number of Guests to Invite: This guest count should guide you on the size of the venue to look for, and the quantity of food and drinks required. Caterers charge by per plate of food, and so will ask you for the number of guests to know how much to charge you for catering.
- READ MORE: How to Reduce Your Guest List to Fit Your Wedding Budget
- Hire a wedding planner if you won’t have time to do the legwork.
6. Tell the Parents, and find out if the date will work for them. If not, choose another date that works for you and them.
7. Find a Church/ worship house VENUE and find out whether they can wed you on your chosen date. If not, find a suitable date for the church and you.
8. Start Attending Marriage Counselling: Register for and start marriage counseling sessions with your church/ worship house.
9. Book a Reception Venue that is not far from the church/ worship house/ court registry (observe whether you will have to bring in hired chairs and tables; observe what the existing venue colours and setting and layout are, as that should be put into consideration when you choose decor colour combo;
10. Look for Suitable Wedding Vendors (caterer, photographer, cake baker, DJ/ live band, venue decorator, couple’s outfit stores, etc.).
11. Choose Your Wedding Party (i..e. bridesmaids and groomsmen).
- Bridesmaids’Roles and Responsibility (Checklist)
- Chief Bridesmaid and Bridesmaid Dress Style Trends
- Wedding Suits for Grooms and Groomsmen
12. Choose Wedding Colour Combination and start shopping for the bride and groom’s wedding attire and accessories, and sew the ones you want to cut and sew.
13. Print and Send out Wedding Invitation Cards any time between 6 weeks and two months to the wedding, to allow enough time for guests to prepare (make out time and buy and sew wedding guest aso-ebi).
14. Day of the Wedding: Dress up, look pretty and have fun,
- How to Deal With Wedding Anxiety and Stress
- Many Ways to Cut Down Wedding Costs in Nigeria
- Common Wedding Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
FAQs on Planning a Wedding in Nigeria
How long does it take to plan a Nigerian wedding? Most Nigerians take between six and twelve months; a few percentages of engaged couples choosing to get married within 3 months of planning the wedding. This pattern is also consistent with couples whose real weddings we featured.
What should your budget be when planning a wedding? You should budget about 40% on food and drinks. Find the rest of the breakdown percentages in our Nigerian wedding budget calculator.
How do you plan a small wedding? When planning a small wedding, keep the details or checklist of to-do very minimal. Also, you’ll want to track your spendings to ensure you keep to your budget. For the rest of the tips, read our post on that topic.
How do you organize a simple wedding? To plan a simple wedding, simplify the guest list, the menu and food options; simplify your wedding attire; simplify the decor. Start by making sure to invite very few guests (50 or fewer guests is simple; more than that is not). You also want to do as much as possible yourself – well, I mean in-house by having your friends and family help (e.g. cook food, bake the cake, make chin-chin, samosa, puff-puff etc). Don’t stress about buying your wedding gown – it can be rented/ hired and his wedding suit made cut-and-sew. For the rest of the tips, read our low-key wedding planning guide for Nigerian couples.
Action Items: How to Plan a Nigerian Wedding
Planning a Nigerian wedding, or any wedding at all, is all about the details, the logistics, and being organized. The process is stressful, more so if it’s a big wedding or the timing is short. Some brides get wedding anxiety and stress at the mere thought of where to start planning from.
The step by step planning process I gave you above will keep you organized so that you’ll never be clueless as to what’s next to do. For the logistics, you obviously, you need people to help you execute the things you need to do. Don’t be shy to ask others for help – thankfully, in Nigeria, there are loads of aunties, siblings, and cousins ready to help plan a wedding. Ask away!
If you are too busy to make out time and can afford a professional wedding planner, by all means do so. If you’re not sure, definitely take our test to find out whether a wedding planner will be right for you. If you choose to plan it yourself, be sure to print out the above Nigerian wedding planning list of tasks to do.
That’s all the steps involved with planning a wedding in Nigeria. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please help me share it on your social media so that others who need it can find it. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know when we have any new post.
Did I forget anything? Is so, tell me about it. Or just comment below to let me know your thoughts on the process of planning a Nigerian wedding.