Research ideas for how different elements of your wedding will look and feel. A good idea is to research magazines and websites for pictures of other people’s weddings and save pictures of ideas you like and feel you’ll want to replicate at your own wedding. It will make it easy for you and your wedding planner or assistants to see pictures of what to work towards. Instead of using so many long talks to explain what you want, why not say it with pictures?
- How will your reception venue look like (Decor Colour & Ambiance): Do you have any theme in mind (optional)? Decide on the venue decoration colour scheme. Decide on how the venue will be decorated?
- Venue Seating Arrangement: What kind of chairs and tables will you use? How will the chairs and tables be decorated? What venue seating arrangement/style would it be? Think about how all the chairs and tables will be arranged in your wedding hall – browse the internet for pictures of decoration and seating arrangements to form pictures of other people’s weddings.
- Define the wedding menu. What types of food do you want to be served to your guests? Only Nigerian food? Both Nigerian and Continental food? Will there be small chops? What options will be served as the main dish?
- Define your Outfit Style: Here, you also want to define what you and your wedding party members will wear. Think about what the couple will wear for the traditional attire and white wedding fashion details – outfit styles, the colours and more. Again, look at pictures from other Nigerian weddings and make a note of the style you want to recreate for yourself, your bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as aso-ebi fabric choice and colour combos.
- You can also find loads of wedding styling ideas from our Instagram page and our Pinterest wedding lookbook boards.
4. Research Vendors: Start researching and looking for suitable wedding venues and vendors. Ask people you know for names and contact details of good wedding vendors they know. Check Instagram for a list of wedding vendors tagged and listed on photos of recent Nigerian weddings shared (these days, most newlyweds and their photographers or other vendors make a habit of listing and tagging the vendors used for that wedding). *Also, you can follow our guide on where and how to find good wedding vendors in Nigeria, that will not disappoint you.
Once you find the ones you vibe with, make a list of your final vendors so that you can reserve/ book them at the appropriate them.
5. Set a Wedding Budget: How much do you have? Set an overall maximum amount of money you can afford to spend (budget). Obviously, you don’t want to spend your entire bank account on a one-day-activity (wedding) and start your marriage broke – that is why you must define a spending-ceiling you want to plan the wedding with.
- SEE: How to Budget for a Nigerian Wedding (step by step)
- ALSO: Examples of Nigerian Wedding Budgets (from other people’s weddings)
6. Confirm Interests for Financial Support (Optional): Not everyone wants/ needs to do this. At this time, you want to ask wealthy closest people around you if and how they are willing to support you in funding part of your wedding. Be sure to have saved up on your own and ready to go ahead with the money you already have, if no one steps up to aid you financially.
- If your parents and/ or Uncles/ Aunts are financially strong, this is the time to nicely ask if they are looking to support you in any way? If they are, find out exactly what they are willing to give and when – so that you can budget for the other stuff.
- Some Nigerian parents support their children during weddings by gifting them with some money to add to what they have OR by choosing to fund specific parts of their wedding. That is where the parents are financially stable, and some couples fund their weddings themselves without parents’ financial support.
- Set a date for when to move on if you don’t receive any or all of promised funds – because you can’t wait forever.
- Some couples do this part wrongly, by not saving any money and going all out to beg for the entire money to plan their wedding. Don’t do that.
7. Register and Start Attending a Marriage Counselling Class: Now is the time to inquire for details of the duration and also apply to start a marriage counseling class at your place of worship.
8. Set a Guest Count: Here, we advise against just fixing a number of guests to invite. People that plan their weddings plan their guest count, not guessing or fixing any random number that feels good. Many Nigerian couples already know the number of people they want to invite before they know their wedding budget. That’s wrong – the right way for is to budget first, then the guest count that matches that budget. Where money is not an issue, is when you can set the guest count first because you have banked more than enough money to cater to ANY NUMBER OF GUESTS.
So, put a number to how many guests you want to host. Set the maximum number of guests you want to invite and share the number equally between the couple, bride’s and groom’s families. I always advise couples to first make a guest list first before sending out invitation cards, and right after they set their wedding budget. The purpose of making a guest count in advance is to find out the sweet spot for how many guests your budget can cater for. When you make a guest list first, you will be able to match it to your wedding budget, to see if your budget can feed the number of people you have in mind or not (based on the per-plate cost of food from your wedding caterer). That way, you can play around reducing or increasing the planned guest count until you have the number of plates of food (and drinks) you can afford.
- How to Make a Wedding Guest List (to know the maximum number of people you should invite on the budget you’re planning with).
9. Choose Your Planning Squad/ Assistants: No successful wedding is planned alone – you need people to assist you. Hire one or ask a few family members and friends.
Hire a wedding planner if you’re too busy to do the running around or if the wedding planning is causing you stress. But if you can’t afford to hire a pro wedding planner, form your own in-house planning squad and delegate part of your wedding checklist to them. Write a list of to-dos that you want others to help you with, and communicate it to them. These days, you can track progress among yourself via video chats.
- Not sure if you need or don’t need a professional wedding planner? Take our 5-point test to find out whether you need a wedding planner or whether you have everything it takes to plan your white wedding successfully
- If you’re planning the wedding yourself with in-house help, follow our steps on how to coordinate your wedding and how to transition plans to someone else for the wedding day coordination.