How well you planned your big day will play out at your wedding reception, right there in front of your guests. For a wedding reception in Nigeria to be without woes, there are a few things you need to know to avoid. Every bride dreams of a perfect wedding, but after the wedding day, some reveal a couple of things they wished they had done differently. In this post, I am going to reveal those common wedding regrets to you, so that you don’t make the same mistakes.
You will learn about the 8 costly mistakes that Nigerian couples make while planning their wedding reception. Surprisingly, these patterns of disasters frequently happen at weddings in Nigeria. Some are the fault and negligence of the couple and others are not. I’ll also tell you what to do to avoid each type of wedding reception planning mistake so that you can have the wedding party you’ll be forever proud of. What you’ll learn from this article can save you stress, money and shame. Now, scroll down and let’s get right into it.
The practical tips and advice in the post will help you 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 8 common wedding reception mistakes and how to avoid them (plus videos to illustrate the points).
8 Top Wedding Reception Planning Mistakes Nigerian Brides Make & How to Avoid Them (PLUS Videos)
The wedding reception party is where almost all the money and planning goes. In Nigeria, tt’s also where all your vendors, apart from the photographer(s), stage. Therefore, the wedding reception is the place to know whether a couple really planned their wedding. How well the event was planned plays out in the look and goings-on at the wedding reception. You can plan a better wedding reception party if you know the pitfalls that others had made, and how to avoid making the same mistakes. So, here are the 8 top and common mistakes we see at wedding reception parties in Nigeria, plus our tips for avoiding them at your own reception.
#1. Underestimating or Not Budgeting for Uninvited Guests that Usually Show Up
If your wedding location will be in Nigeria, don’t underestimate the number of guests that show up. It’s one thing to pre-plan with a specific guest count, but what if some guests bring other people along? What if there are random strangers who just strolled in? And, at Nigerian weddings, there are always random strangers and guests bringing extras – if the couple did not plan what to do.
Underestimating the number of guests that will crash into a wedding is a common mistake brides make when planning their reception. It’s a long-time acceptable thing for guests to invite extra people to weddings they are invited to, without asking the bride or groom. This was because everyone used to know everyone, and money was not an issue then. These days, not everyone planning a wedding is rich, and not having a limit to the number of guests to host, your reception party will look like it’s unplanned.
One bride told me this about her wedding day: The venue’s maximum capacity is 200 but 500 showed up. The caterer prepared jollof rice and chicken for 200 people, but the food is finished and your friends who flew in from Lagos have not been served. The problem: most invited guests came with extra people and you didn’t imagine it.
Most Nigerian weddings record up to 30% uninvited guests, usually because your invited friends and family asked one or more family or friends to accompany them. Some married guests show up with their husbands/ wives and children (an average of two) – one invitation card, four guests.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD:
- Make a list of the guests you want to invite. Don’t forget to get your parents’ guest count and list. The guest number you should plan the wedding with is your list + your fiance’s list + your parents’ list;
- To ensure you have a quality wedding reception, either plan/ budget in advance for the uninvites and gate-crashers (if you’ll have an open-invite wedding) OR have an invite-only wedding and hire bouncers/ security to keep off uninvited guests OR;
- Locate your wedding at a hotel venue outside a populated neighbourhood in your city OR;
- To avoid offending your neighbours of village people, locate your wedding at a slightly far hotel venue and arrange for a bus or two to transport the important guests (that way, you can cut down on familiar but not invited persons strolling in).
Here’s why the number of guests at Nigerian weddings exceeds what the couples planned for:
- Expect that each of your married guests with kids will arrive with an average of 2 kids and that puts that one invitation to about five persons. Plan in advance for these extras by adding 20% to 30% to the number of guests you actually invited. You should make that provision because most Nigerian wedding guests will show up with their friends or family. So, if you will not have bouncers restricting people without invitation cards, or if most of your guests have kids, budget for “the uninvites”.
- Also, there will be gate-crashers, people you never even gave invitation cards to. I recommend that you expect that an extra 10% more people will come from totally, random strangers. That’s what happens at most Nigerian weddings without security at the reception gate.
Keep this advice of over-budgeting in mind, when you make your guest list and plan your catering and venue space budget. In Nigeria, unless you have a strict by-invitation-only rule, know that one invitation card is likely to bring an average of 2 extra guests. That way, if you want to invite 100 people, you may send out 30 to 35 invitation cards OR put security at your reception entrance.
- ALSO: Download our free wedding planning templates, and use them to make your own budgets and guest list. You can also take a look at the Nigerian wedding budget examples we showed, from other people’s weddings.