You know that in Nigeria, they say ‘nothing is guaranteed’, and with weddings or parties, we see where power goes off in the middle of the event, some vendors don’t show up, what you paid for is different from what you get. In this post I’ll reveal to you the 7 things that could go wrong at a Nigerian wedding and what you can do to prevent them at your own.
First, let’s imagine a certain wedding in Nigeria – the caterer arrived very late after food was supposed to be served, music was interrupted several times (due to power outage), venue was very hot and half of the guests went outside for air, food and drinks ran out… Those are common disappointment stories from wedding celebrants in Nigeria. I call them ugly wedding surprises.
Maybe you’re saying ‘it’s not my portion’, but wedding day disappointments also happen to people that said that and to people that planned and prayed very hard for the best wedding or party. The fact is that in Nigeria those types of disappointments happen frequently.
No one expects them but they happen. The good news is that you can avoid these and other types of unforeseen known-to-happen disappointments. In this post, I’ll tell give you 7 risk management tips for weddings and events that you can implement to avoid disappointments and ugly surprises at your wedding party. Read on!
7 Things to Do When Planning a ‘No-Surprises Wedding’ in Nigeria
1. Avoid Hiring No-Show Vendors
Unprofessional Nigerian wedding vendors are known to spring up surprises at wedding receptions, and not showing up is the biggest of such. The good news is that there are ways to avoid this (tips below). There are many Nigerian wedding horror stories where a vendor either arrived very late or did not show up at all, and was ignoring every phone call.
One bride told me of how her reception venue decorator sent an apprentice/ trainee to do the job she had long been fully paid for. Wouldn’t you be surprised and broken if that happened to you? None of these brides expected that to happen, but it did and you can learn from their reception planning mistakes.
WHAT TO DO:
- When choosing vendors to entrust the provision of services at your wedding reception, only hire tried and tested vendors. Don’t just hire the first one you find, instead talk to a couple of vendors, visit their work locations and see pictures from their past wedding jobs, and ask to talk to some of their past clients to get a feel of how well they delivered.
- When inquiring about the quality of any vendor’s product or service, ask around about their on-the-day-of-wedding behaviors and work ethics. Even if a wedding vendor is very good quality-wise, it’s no guarantee of their customer service. Hiring good vendors in the same town, near your reception venue is a good idea to ensure they will arrive early. Stay tuned to this blog for our series on ‘how to hire good wedding vendors and questions to ask before’.
- For a detailed guide on where to find vendors and how to choose a good one, as well as what to look out for, read our Nigerian wedding vendors selection guide.
2. Avoid Renting a Stuffy Reception Hall
Many Nigerian weddings would have been perfect, except that their reception hall turned out stuffy in the middle of their celebration. This too can be avoided (tips below).
Wouldn’t you be shocked if you arrived at your wedding reception and many of your guests are fanning themselves with your program of events, because some fans or air-conditioners are not working? Maybe some guests are leaving the reception hall to get some air outside because there are not enough fans for the number of people in the venue.
That sounds horrible but happens at many Nigerian weddings, sometimes because the couple did not do a physical inspection of the venue and test of the adequacy and functionality of the facilities on the ground.
WHAT TO DO:
- Before putting down money on your wedding venue, ensure to do a physical venue inspection. No matter how new or how beautiful the venue is, do that.
- Be sure to see and test all their on-site facilities. Ask to be taken around and test different facilities and utilities to determine if they function well.
- Ask them how many people the venue can seat at its maximum capacity. Can the venue realistically accommodate the number of guests you’ll invite and still have space for the dance-floor and free movement?
- How many toilets are available for guests to use? Are the numbers enough? Do all the toilets flush?
- Are all the fans and air-conditioners working and cooling? Avenue may be airy or cool, but stuffy and not airy enough when there are many people. So, look around to confirm the adequacy of ACs and fans.
- Where will the DeeJay (DJ) setup? Are there working electrical wall sockets to use?
- Do a lighting and sound/ mic check;
- Repeat the site check again, 2 to 4 weeks before your big day because you can’t guarantee it will still work;
3. Check That The Venue Has Backup Power (Generator) that Works
What an ugly surprise it always is when NEPA strikes in the middle of a fun wedding, and thirty minutes later the wedding is still without light and sound. We have been to weddings where everywhere was cool and the music is playing and people are dancing, and suddenly there’s power (electricity) failure. Next, everyone is feeling hot and fanning themselves, and there are distractions and some noise. This is not a classy situation at all, but you can avoid it (tips below).
WHAT TO DO:
- During the wedding venue inspection tour, be sure to ask about the availability of generators. Ask to see it. Does it work? Do your due diligence – confirm from their staff and others who have previously used that wedding venue.
- Confirm whether they turn on the generator, in the event, there’s a power outage? Also, confirm that the power generator supplies the hall or outdoor space you are looking to rent for the wedding.
- Ask them how long does the generator take to power the venue after an outage? An automatic changeover is preferred, where the power outage is not that noticeable.