If you’re presently planning a Nigerian wedding and want a firsthand idea on what to expect, mistakes to avoid and how to deal with people, this post is for you. What better way to learn useful wedding planning lessons than to see behind the scenes of planning a typical Nigerian wedding. Get to see all the crazy elements in action before the big day, which is usually flashy. Also, because you need to de-stress while planning your wedding, this post will make you laugh as you learn. Swipe/ scroll down for more.
Season 5 of Ndani TVs Skinny Girl in Transit (SGIT) was a favourite, and it played out a lot of what goes on behind the scenes of typical Nigerian families when planning a wedding of a family member. There’s a lot of real wedding planning lessons from this movie (season 4) – the drama that goes on behind the scenes on both sides of the families (of the bride and of the groom) when planning a wedding.
This post rewinds the wedding planning scenes in season 5 of Skinny Girl in Transit, with the hope that you’ll pick up some lessons to help you better plan your own wedding. In previous posts, we’ve written many helpful wedding planning articles on some of the areas that were acted out in the movie. I’ll link to relevant posts to help you relate. In the meantime, swipe/ scroll down to watch short, funny movie clips illustrating important wedding planning lessons. Enjoy but most importantly, look out for the wedding planning tips inside!
Groom Visits Bride’s Father to Make His ‘Intentions’ Known
Groom visits his fiance’s father and makes known his intentions to marry the daughter, and he gets grilled in turn.
Everything Has to be OTT (Over The Top) or How Would Everyone Know it’s a Wedding
Mama wants a flashy, expensive venue decoration, maybe a royal one. Bride’s mother (Mama Tiwa and Daddy Tiwa) argue about wedding decoration budget cost.
Mama Takeover: Booking Vendors without Consulting Bride
In the clip above has already picked the bride’s traditional wedding colour combination (blinding bright orange and red) on the bride. Immediately after Tiwa got engaged, her mother was more excited than the bride, and quickly swung into action. Mama Tiwa has already chosen the wedding guest dress code (aso-ebi colour combination) on behalf of the bride. She has also commissioned the fabric supplier, without consulting the bride. To her, a mother always knew and still knows what is best. She quickly started the planning (without asking what the bride wants). Can you relate? Isn’t that what goes on in many Nigerian homes when a family member is planning to get married?
Every Nigerian Mother is a Wedding Planner and Has Their Tried and Tested Vendor List
Mama knows what is best. In the clip above, the bride’s mother has single-handedly taken over vendor selection and only after booking an MC/ comedian did she tell the bride.
In the clip above, the bride’s mother has already chosen the music band and gift bags for the wedding souvenirs, without consulting the bride.
In the above clip, the bride’s mother is seen booking a wedding photographer. It’s an old-school photographer who covered her friend’s daughter’s wedding many years ago. She is unaware that photography technology has since advanced and become better. Check out how she argues with the bride (that the old-school photographer used to be the best in town, and still is).
- RELATED: Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer
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- Photographer Disappointment Horror Stories from Real Brides
Mama’s Choice of Caterer and Meal Options or Nothing (PLUS No Wedding Planner Needed)
Bride’s mother and the groom’s mother (bride’s, groom’s) argue about which caterer to hire. Each woman has a preferred caterer and food options. As usual, Mama Tiwa is not ready to compromise on her choice of vendor and meal options.
Go Big or Forget it
For the bride’s mom, there’s no option except a big, fat wedding. Mama Tiwa’s idea of the ‘it wedding’ is everything has to be big and impressive. Not long after the bride’s engagement, her mother (Mama Tiwa) and her friends have ideas on how the wedding should look and feel – and they are planning to show off in a big style at Tiwa’s wedding. She hasn’t even asked how the bride wants it.
Mama Wants a Village-Size Crowd (The More, The Merrier)
In this video clip, Mama Tiwa (bride’s mom) and Mama Mide (bride’s mother-in-law) argue about guest list numbers. Mama Tiwa already has over 1k guests anticipated, refuses to trim down the number. Her slogan is ‘the more, the merrier’. She has no care how that will affect the overall wedding budget – all she wants is an impressive attendance (village-size crowd as guests. Again, the bride’s mom is planning away, her way. She wants everyone she knows to be at her daughter’s wedding – without restriction. Her guest list is bigger than that of the bride and groom combined. Yes, it’s her time to shine. She is making all this plan without asking the bride – because she thinks ‘mama knows best, and that’s the way we had been doing it before you (bride) was born.
WEDDING GUEST LIST PLANNING TIPS:
No Guest List Wanted
Bride’s mom argues with the wedding planner over reasons to make a guest list for effective planning. She refuses to provide the names of her guests. Earlier, Mama Tiwa protested against hiring a wedding planner because she is capable and experienced, having helped family and friends plan weddings for a long time. Does that sound familiar?
We Must Dress ‘to Kill’ (Impress)
Bride’s mother (Mama Tiwa) and the groom’s mother (Mama Mide) argue about the colour code of the parents’ wedding attire (aso-oke). Mama Tiwa (bride’s mom) wants it extravagant but the groom’s mother wants a subtle colour and toned-down beading/ decorations. Bride’s mom is not ready to compromise her wants – she wants to be recognized from far, with her flashy dressing, as the bride’s mother. Isn’t that what happens on every angle in Nigeria? The bride dressed ‘to kill’; wedding guests sew killer, never-before-seen aso-ebi outfit styles that they’ll never wear again, and so on. Comment below if you relate?
At Last! The Marriage Introduction and Traditional Wedding Ceremony
After all the wedding planning drama usually comes a beautiful and colourful Nigerian traditional wedding. Above the ‘ alaga‘ is officiating the Yoruba wedding in a way that adds fun and humour.
- SEE: Yoruba Traditional Wedding Programme of Events Planning Tips
- Yoruba Engagement List and Bride Price
- Wedding Planning Tools for DIY Brides
- How to Plan a Traditional and White Wedding Same Day
- How to Plan a Wedding in 6 Months or Less
Nigerian Wedding Planning Trends: Then vs Now
A wedding is about the glam and glitz but before all of that, when planning the event, a lot of drama and disagreements take place behind the scene in the lives of those involved. The movie clips above play out the realities of planning a Nigerian wedding – the good, the bad and the ugly. The movie is also very funny, lots of comedy inside – thanks to Ngozi Nwosu (who played mama Tiwa).
Unlike some countries abroad, planning a wedding in Nigeria does not revolve only on what the bride and groom want, traditionally, it is also about how the parents want it – sometimes their guest list is bigger than that of the bride and groom combined, and most don’t see a value in hiring a wedding planner. We’re happy that little by little, today’s couple are having some of that changed – with some struggle. In the olden days, parents funded weddings of their children and also had a lot of control over the direction of the wedding. A lot of that is changing and in some families, it is still a struggle for the parents to relinquish a teeny bit of control.
To a non-Nigerian who’s planning to marry a Nigerian woman, it may appear like Nigerian families are considerate of their children’s choices when they go out there and make wedding plans without asking the celebrant. However, that is far from the truth. Our society is one where our parents take the responsibility to do things for us – pay for our school fees from nursery to university and still want to continue helping. Their way of planning the wedding without asking is all for love, in the children’s best interest. That was how their parents did for them, and they loved it. They find it hard to understand how children want it different today. It’s all for love.
On their thinking that weddings should be open to all to attend is also how they knew it. Weddings used to be a communal celebration, and in their own time, anyone could afford to feed a village, or the economy was good. Today, people are looking at keeping their wedding costs within an affordable guest count when they tell the parents to cut down their guest list.
- Costly Wedding Reception Planning Mistakes AND How to Avoid Them
- How to Guarantee Your Wedding Will Go Perfectly
- Tips for Wedding Planning on a Small Budget
That’s it on behind the scenes of planning a Nigerian wedding (illustrated in funny wedding planning movie clips). I hope you picked some tips and learned what to expect and mistakes to avoid. I also hope you enjoyed watching and reading. Finally, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Which part(s) of this real-life wedding planning movie clips can you relate with or have seen during your own wedding planning journey or someone else’s. Comment down below and let’s get the discussion popping.