Before I discuss cheap wedding plans, that is how to plan a cheap wedding, I thought it's a good service to first discuss some reasons you may want to consider a cheap wedding even though money is not really a problem for you and the groom especially as a Nigerian bride.
Why you should see having a cheap wedding as an advantage not as a disadvantage; "I'm having a cheap wedding because we can't financially afford an expensive wedding".
All over the world brides especially are very emotional about wedding events. We bring a lot of sentiments into it. And it's no surprise because our wedding, especially for the Nigerian bride, is the only time we have to shine and show off in front of our friends. In other countries they may have other events that allow for that such as sweet 16, prom etc. But here really wedding is all we have and so usually we want to spend as much as possible to have a talk of the town wedding. After all, we can only get married once (never mind that some women marry more than once these days).
However, if you can put the emotion aside for some minutes and follow me as I share some wise man's advice with you from true life stories; you'll see that cheap wedding plans have lots of advantages to a Nigerian couple aside saving money.
I'm one of those very sentimental brides to-be too. I wasn't even of age when I started bragging about my wedding day; how big I want it. But some years back I started to reconsider, wondering how sensible it really is to have a big wedding when a very lavished wedding of a very beautiful couple went sour in only 3 months. Actually in only 3 weeks according to the bride.
This Nigerian couple were a beautiful sight to behold. The groom was so handsome with dark skin and the bride too beautiful with a chocolate skin. I didn't see the groom until the wedding day but the bride was from a close family friends. Her mother lost her husband when they were still young and she had to struggle with all 5 children alone and see them through school. Now after all those struggle there was going to be good news, her daughter was getting married! She wanted to share the joy with everyone she knew including those she didn't. She invited tom dick and harry to the wedding and she gave you no chance to give an excuse not to attend.
The guy was the son of one of their close family friends. He had relocated from Nigeria to UK and had to travel down to Nigeria two weeks or so to the wedding.
The wedding was the talk of the town. The mother borrowed a lot of money to make sure nothing was lacking. An onlooker would think the wedding was big because the guy was based in the UK and had a lot of pounds to spend. But we that were close to the family knew the real story. The guy didn't really spend much. He gave the excuse that he came back to find that the money he sent to his family for the wedding expenses had been spent. So he asked the bride's mom to cater for some of his expenses that when he goes back he'll reimburse her.
The wedding was the envy of all in attendance even the chairman couldn't help but say it out for us all. If you were married seeing them together you'll wish you could do it all over again. And we that weren't married prayed seriously at the wedding for God to send us our groom.
They were both so lovely in white. The groom wore a complete white wedding attire; white suit, white shoes and being that he had a dark skin, it looked so good on him.
There was plenty, plenty to eat. It's the only wedding I've actually attended that had no problem with food not going round. In fact after the wedding there was still a lot left. And people started letting themselves to more refreshment until someone suggested to the bride's mother to send the rest of the drinks home so they could be returned and save some money.
The mother achieved her goal. The wedding was big, lots of people attended and it was the talk of the town! If it was a fairytale movie they'll probably have thought ahead for them and written "so the prince and princess lived happily ever after".
But that was far from the truth here as 3 months later the issue between the bride and groom became public knowledge. Since I was close to the family I later learnt that the problem actually started 3 weeks after the wedding.
Now why will a bride and groom that loved themselves enough to decide to marry suddenly have problems that could not be resolved; and in only 3 weeks? You think it is black power? It likely is. But may be not.
The point is drawing too much attention to yourself in a country where many people do nothing but envy those progressing; you may just be setting yourself up for some serious problems.
Something as happy as a wedding event almost claimed the life of the bride's mum because she was left in serious debt as a result of the wedding that she had to borrow money to pay for but didn't have the money to pay back. And the gossip from people didn't help at all. When it became public knowledge that the union was in trouble many of the people who rejoiced with them and eat their food were quick to pass judgment on them. They started to call the bride's mother all sorts of names and claimed she was a greed person that took advantage of the groom's financial situation. Of course they thought the groom had a lot of money and the wedding was big because of his money; whereas few of us actually knew the truth.
It would have been a consolation to the mum if her daughter was at least happily married. But she was in debt and her daughter was back home! Her blood pressure shot up. The family had to rally round to pay off that debt.
We hear of many cases like this especially from celebrities. They spend so much to have a royal wedding only to break up sometimes in a few weeks but then keep paying for the debts the wedding left them in.
When you insist on a big wedding, you're inviting different characters to your wedding. There will be those who are honestly happy for you and there will be many who will outwardly seem to be happy but inwardly they're not and would spread gossip and sometimes even go further to ensure they hurt your marriage. So what's the point for all the big wedding drama? When all that is really important is becoming a wife to that special person you love.
I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance, A church filled with family and friends. I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for, He said one that would make me his wife.
Whether you spend N100,000 or N100,000,000 in planning the wedding is irrelevant.
It's not every day that an expensive wedding turn sour. So I'll end this article by sharing an advice with you that came from the wife and mother of a Christian family I respect so much.
I don't know why she felt I needed the advice, but this Christian woman told my dad to tell me to come see her. And I went. And for no reason I am aware of she started to tell me about the financial situation of she and her husband when they got married. That they didn't have all they had now. That they didn't even have a bed then and they had to sleep on a mat. But they endured and planned together and years later things started to improve and they live well now.
And she went on to add that when I find someone who loves me and wants to marry me I shouldn't think of having an elaborate wedding. That even though the groom to be has the money to spend instead of me spending it entertaining people who wouldn't really be satisfied no matter what I do and would eventually gossip about me, I should plan a cheap wedding and ask my groom to use the balance to get me a car if there's nothing more important I need. That way at least I'll know that I spent the money on myself.
I feel that makes great sense and I was grateful to her for the advice.
But here's what I'll add; if you have a lot to spend on your wedding, use the biggest part of it instead to have a honeymoon. Take some time out after the wedding, take yourselves away from the regular hassles, travel to your dream country or place in Nigeria, spend an unforgettable time with your newlywed husband and create memories together. Build a bond between you that the thought of it alone can rekindle things between you and your husband whenever you're experiencing your low moments. Your finance is better spent this way, as having a happy married life should be your priority not entertaining people who may or may not care about your happiness.
Finally keep in mind, a wedding is the beginning of a new life not the end. You'll likely want to start a family immediately. And to give your family the life they deserve involves money.
In the next article I discussed cheap wedding plans; that is practical ideas for organizing a really cheap wedding in Nigeria. Read Inexpensive wedding ideas.
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