Any recently wedded couple in Nigeria will tell you how hard it is to plan a tight budget wedding in Nigeria. The African philosophy of community life and communalism, a principle which emphasizes community-identity as the only identity, make it more difficult even to attempt it at all. In Africa terms, the couple-to-be weren’t given birth to nor trained by their parent only but by a joint effort of many other parents in the community. These other parents and community members have certainly contributed to the training of the to-be-couple through advice or instruction while they were growing up. So, they see the wedding as ‘our wedding’ and offence could occur when the attendance of such a wedding is strictly by invitation.
To have your tight budget wedding while accommodating all stakeholders and friends, consider these tips.
# Have a one-day wedding
Traditional marriage/wedding is mandatory for all Nigerian couple, and it is sometimes the most recognized in African societies. This is because it ensures the preservation and transmission of African culture. In Nigeria, especially with the Christian folks that may want to do church wedding, there is a tendency of having a two-day event. This cost much more in terms of food and venue bills. Instead of doing this, you should consider having the two events in one day.
You can begin with the traditional marriage and then follow up with the church wedding. Ensure that traditional marriage starts as early as 7:00 or 7: 30 am. By 11 am, you should be ready to go to church for the church wedding. The same venue used for the traditional wedding should be used for the reception. Light refreshment can also be served during the traditional marriage since the same guests would still eat the main meal during the reception.
# Be wise with your choice of catering services and menu
Wedding Catering is the part that stresses most Nigerian brides out because there are a lot of details to consider. Every couple wants to satisfy their guests and prevent the saying “thank God I ate before going for that wedding”. Catering can also be very expensive. It takes the bulk of the money if wisdom isn’t applied. Rather than stress yourself out, you can use inexpensive local caterers (the Olopo) rather than a professional caterer that would charge you so much for her service.
The Olopo are quite cheap and experienced in cooking. They are most likely to cook the food in your house; so, you get to buy your foodstuff yourself or delegate a trusted family member to do that. This will save you some money. Another important thing is not to fall into the temptation of cooking all the dishes in the standard Nigerian wedding menu.
You do not need to have Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, Fried Plantain (Dodo), Assorted Meats in Stews, Chicken in Stew, Stewed Fried Fish, Cole Slaw, Moin Moin, Ofada Rice & Ayamashe Stew, Pounded Yam, Amala, Efo-riro, Banga Soup, etc. all on your menu. Be wise. Choose about two different dishes and leave others to those who have all the money.
Choosing your catering and event days wisely will save you a whole lot for your wedding. A one-day event, where you lump everything together saves you cost. Using the inexpensive local cooks also keep you from spending a ton on professional catering services. Be wise!