How to Plan a Low-Key Wedding in Nigeria: 8 Ideas that Work

Planning a classy, low-key wedding on a tight budget is a difficult task even for experienced wedding planners.  The fact is that you can make the most of a wedding, irrespective of how much budget it is planned with. The secret lies in setting your priorities, using things that you already have, as well as asking for help from people around you and being creative. In this article, you will discover 8 easy to follow steps to planning a classy, low-key wedding in Nigeria. Read on.

happy bride in a-line wedding gown
Photo credit: Wedding Photography by Dotun

8 Low Key Wedding Ideas for Small Weddings that Look Like a Million Bucks

Low key weddings are becoming popular in Nigeria, with celebrities taking the lead. Last year, Tiwa Savage and her fiance (TeeBillz) hinted that their ‘wedding will be as low key as possible‘ and would be strictly by invitation. Follow the steps below to plan your own low-key wedding flawlessly:

#1. Make a Wedding Shopping List

To further help you avoid the usual impulsive overspending and stick to your budget, start off by making a list of things to buy, rent or hire for the wedding.

#2. Make a Wedding To-Do List and Timeline

Your Make a checklist of tasks to do before the wedding date, to guide you on what to do and when to do them. Timelines for activities in your wedding checklist should be scheduled before your wedding date, starting from after your engagement.

#3. Ask For Help

No matter how small a wedding will be, it would still involve lots of details and logistics, and you can’t do everything alone. You’ll need lots of help to organize your wedding. You can either pay for hired helps or get it for free by asking friends and family.

If you have extra cash or don’t have either time or close friends and family available to help you with implementing the wedding plans, hire a professional wedding planner to help you achieve and implement a tight plan – wedding planners usually have cheaper packages when they are hired to coordinate just the week of your wedding (that’s if you can’t afford the full package, ask them to help you coordinate the wedding week or day).

But, if you don’t have a wedding planner budget, start early and put together your own wedding planning team – ask friends to gift you helping hands instead of wedding gifts. Ask for help from your bridesmaids, groomsmen, resourceful family and friends. Good friends and family are always there and waiting to help, and would save you a lot of money if you use them.

Other areas you can get help, during wedding planning, on include: 

  • The wedding catering – ask your mom, her friends, your aunts, your village women’s meeting. Instead of paying wedding vendors for the reception catering, ask talented friends and family members to gift you their time and service for your wedding. Ask them to help you cook the wedding food, make the small chops, wedding cake, chin-chin and so on.
  • The wedding cake and snacks – ask your friends and close family members
  • Venue decoration – ask your church members or friends
  • Recommendation to good vendors, as well as putting in a word for them to give you discounts

NOTE: If your wedding reception venue would be in a hotel, know that most hotels require you to purchase all your food and drinks from them. So, be sure to ask them for the quotes on how much the catering would cost for the number of guests you expect.

  • For even more tips and ideas on how to have a low-key wedding that doesn’t cost arms and legs, read this post and this one.

RELATED: A Guide to a Bridesmaid’s Duties and Responsibilities to the Bride

#4. Keep Your Attendants (Bridesmaids and Groomsmen) Few

Since you’re talking of a small wedding with a few guests, it’s appropriate to have a few bridesmaids and groomsmen. Cut down the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen – may be, just have a best-man and chief bridesmaid, and maybe one flower girl. Note that it’s the norm for bridesmaids and groomsmen to buy their own outfits, although the couple get to choose the colours and styles/designs. However, be attentive to their comfort – it may be best to let them choose the dress styles in the colour you want. And don’t asks them to buy a really expensive outfit just because you’re the bride.

#5. Keep the Meal Style Simple

When deciding whether to serve a buffet or sit-down meal, consider the size of your wedding venue. If the venue is small, don’t do buffet, as there may not be enough space to set the buffet stations. Be sure to have multiple serving stations if you want to serve buffet-style meals, so that you don’t have your guests queuing for food for too long – and getting annoyed.

If you want to serve sit-down meals, be sure to have adequate number of servers, so that the item #7 (menu time) does not go on forever. If you don’t have plenty friends and family to serve food to guests, instead of paying servers, you may be able to save a little money by having a buffet instead of a sit down, as buffet style meals use less servers and so will cost less.

#6. Limit (Food) Menu Options

Remember when deciding on what food to have at your wedding that you consider the prices.  Keep the menu options small and limit the variety of food served – only serve the essential party food that most Nigerians love. Instead of serving a six course meal, consider only three. When hiring a caterer, confirm what and what will be served for that price they’re quoting. Also, confirm if the caterer will be giving you servers for a sit-down meal or behind the buffet stations.

Know that the more options you want for your wedding catering, the more the caterers will charge you per plate of food. And if you want to keep your wedding catering budget down, stay away from offering your guests a wide variety – after all, those sort of lavish meals usually get wasted. Simply serve the usual popular Nigerian party foods that everyone likes.

#7. Get Serious with the Wedding Planning

A small wedding does not mean that it’s planning will be easier; besides, it’s easier for guests to notice flaws when a wedding has few guests. No matter how small a wedding will be, it would still involve lots of details and logistics. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the details.

Don’t go about guessing what needs to be done each day you wake up – that’s the beginning of stress. Instead, start off by making a list of everything and every task that needs to be completed before your wedding day. And start this process as early as possible, so that you’ll avoid last minute stress, while taking advantage of sales discounts you find.

#8. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Once you start wedding planning early, have it at the back of your mind that you’re going to have the most beautiful wedding, because you’re doing everything you can. Also assume that something small may go wrong (not as planned) at the last minute, but have the mindset that it wouldn’t reduce the beauty of your wedding. Besides, one of your bridesmaids/ groomsmen/ family member would take care of it. So, there’s nothing for you to worry or stress about – isn’t that why you’re spending time and effort to plan the wedding in advance?

Guess what? Something usually went wrong in the most amazing weddings we see on TV but no one notices. Likewise, no one will notice if any small issue happens in the midst of the elegance of your wedding day – keep telling yourself that they’ll only see the beautiful things, while you’ll be busy enjoying yourself that day.

5 Small-Money Ideas to Implement and Your Wedding Will Look ‘Big’

Planning a Low-Key Wedding: Final Thoughts

Low-key weddings can be elegant if you take measures to keep your options simple and small – you would save cost and still impress your guests. Hope you found our 8 tips to organize a low-key wedding in Nigeria helpful? This post is just the part 2 of our series on small wedding ideas, you can read the part 1 here.

That’s it for our tips on how to plan a low key wedding in Nigeria. Now, it’s your turn to talk to us: share your own low key wedding ideas with us in the comments below, or tell us which of the 8 tips above you like best?

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About Stella Anokam

Stella is the founder and Editor of this blog (NaijaGlamWedding). Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Submit your photos to be featured - it's FREE, because we love everything weddings, bridal showers, engagement shoots.


  1. Pls advice me on low key wedding cos things are difficult and money is involved pls half a million do a wedding both traditional and white wedding

    • Hello Alex. Thanks for stopping by to read our wedding planning tips.
      Yes, N500k can be enough for a traditional and white wedding in Nigeria – IF you keep your guest count low and also start with a budget. >>Set a small guest count and before starting to spend a kobo, make a wedding expense list that matches the budget you have.

      You asked for low key wedding planning advice, and that’s what I outlined in the above article, and the other articles that I put links to. >>Please, take time to read them, as they are the advice I will give you.

      Hope that helps.

  2. This is wonderful, I must confess. With this, I can go a long way in my preparations. Thank you and God bless you.

  3. wow ideas

  4. great ideas tnks

  5. I believe it will definitely assist me across the mile.. Bunch of thanks!

    • I’m glad to hear that, Dunamis. We have plenty other helpful articles with step by step tips on how to save money during wedding planning.
      Thanks for visiting Naija Glam Wedding blog.

  6. This is great.. I hope she(my bride) gets to this page with same understanding… thanks

    • Hi Nedu. Thanks for reading our low-key Nigerian wedding tips. I understand how you feel – most men also feel same way, they wish their significant other’s wedding idea would ‘magically’ be same as theirs. BUT the truth is that she can only get to your point of view IF you TALK IT WITH HER, OR if you just email or facebook this post link to her. OR just tell her that you accidentally found this nice wedding planning tips blog and think she’ll love it – and include a link to this post. It should work and make her smile.

  7. Isaac Ekwot says

    This is quite encouraging… It makes me feel a step ahead. Gracias!

  8. dis is woooooooooooow, keep up d gud work ,God bless u guys

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