You've just gotten engaged and want to plan wedding?
First I'll say congratulations! The dream of getting married, of walking down the aisle in a beautiful white dress to the man you love is finally a reality. Your time has come and it's your turn to shine. I celebrate with you.
How did he propose? How did you feel? Maybe you'll want to share that with us and flaunt your engagement ring. We'll be glad to hear all about it. Submit a marriage proposal story and start a wedding diary
Now let's get to the wedding planning...
Your wedding is the most important event in your life that you'll plan. No doubt you want it to be something you and your guests will remember with joy. Since you got the ring, the wedding must have been all you thought about, with excitement and then with legitimate concerns. There's so much planning to do. So many things to figure out. How much does it cost to plan a wedding in Nigeria these days? Do you plan your wedding yourself or do you hire a help? How small or big should you go? Do you and your fiancé have enough to afford the wedding expenses? How can you plan a classy wedding without emptying your bank accounts? Where do you buy quality cheap wedding items to save big on your wedding cost? How many guests should you invite? Where do you even start from?!
My first advice? Take a deep breath. Relax. Whatever you do don't panic!
Don't go flaunting your ring and sharing the good news, don't even change your Facebook profile status to "engaged" until you inform your family members (parents and siblings) about it. In Nigeria, after asking you to marry him the groom is supposed to go "door knocking". That is to formally ask your parents for your hand in marriage.
The easiest way to do this is to change your Facebook status to "engaged" and add a short comment about your new status. Don't share too much yet because nothing is certain about the wedding yet. But do say something that will stop people from asking "when's the wedding?" If I was in your place my Facebook comment would be something like:
Yesterday my most cherished dream became a reality when the love of my life, Justus, went on one knee to ask me to be his wife. And with all my heart I said Yes! The time is right my dear friends and it's my pleasure to announce that I'm now engaged and will be getting married soon. I'll update you as events unfold as regards when the wedding will be.
If you'll rather keep it short then use something like:
He asked... I said... YES! Wedding date update coming soon...
Include a photo where you're flashing your ring. Make sure to get manicure before taking that photo. And if you've started a wedding diary you can include a link for them to entertain themselves with the details of the proposal.
There are a few important decisions you and your fiancé need to make in other to get into the wedding planning proper. And they are:
Your wedding dream: You both need to ask and listen to each other about what you see when you picture your wedding. Most especially what size you both want. Would you rather have a small cozy wedding or a for all wedding party? Your dream may be different. You may want something small while he wants something big. Contrary to popular believe not all women want a big wedding! If your vision differs, then you'll have to find a ground for compromise, meet at the middle. For example if one of you want something big and the other something small, then you probably should suggest having an average wedding, something not big but not really small, say 100-150 guests. When you decide on a number create a rough guest list just to see if the number is realistic or you'll need to increase it. When creating this list you'll have to consider your parents, maybe even ask them how many people they'll want to invite. Then how many people you and your fiancé will like to invite. Whatever number you arrive at, plus an extra 50% or at least 25% will give you a rough guest list to start making plans with. The extra you add is to make room for friends of your family members and friends of friends who will likely be invited by them, and then those who will attend anyway without invitation from anyone.
What season you'll like to have your wedding: I've said in a previous article that climate seasons doesn't have much significance for a Nigerian wedding. But if you're not a Nigerian or you're in a country that has the four seasons calendar (spring, summer, autumn/fall and winter) then you should read the article on seasons and weddings. The season or date you choose to get married can dictate the style of your wedding, what is available to you and how much you spend on your wedding. Once you choose your wedding date it shapes your timeline and with a timeline your wedding becomes more real to you and you're likely to start making specific arrangements.
For more help, see the article on picking the perfect wedding date.
The types of marriage ceremonies you want to have: In the article on types of marriages I discussed the different marriage ceremonies available in Nigeria, which are legal and needed to have a valid marriage and which are not.
How much you can afford to plan wedding: How much you can realistically afford to plan your wedding will likely change everything. I mean your guest list size, the season/wedding date you choose, how many wedding party you'll have, your wedding theme etc. You may want a big wedding, you may want to hire a wedding planner, a wedding decor, a caterer etc, but if you can't afford it then you can't. And if that happens, you'll have to find a way to still have your dream wedding within your budget.
To start on wedding budgeting, you both need to sit down and ask yourselves how much you have in your savings that you can spare. There's hardly a wedding these days where the bride-to-be doesn't support the wedding expenses. So how much do you have? Most especially how much does he have? Will anyone be supporting you both? He and you need to sit down with your families and ask your parents and siblings who can afford to help how much they are willing to support you with. And how long do you have before the wedding to save more?
If you only have one or two people supporting the wedding and they're not giving much and you both don't have much then you may have to wait a few more months or even one year if you both feel it's necessary to save up to have the wedding you want.
But first set a budget. How much can you not exceed to spend after realizing you're getting zero to small support from your families. It's important that you both be in sync about what you can afford to spend and work together to stay within your budget. Your goal should be to have a fabulous wedding while keeping cost as low as possible.
Start a savings account, or you both can decide to use your own account to save money for the wedding. Decide on a percentage of his and your monthly paycheck that will be saved for your wedding expenses.
Then to stay within your budget, set priorities. What matters to you most in your wedding? Perhaps your wedding dress? The wedding food? And the wedding ring? Decide on what your priorities are and how much you'll be spending on those areas. Then share the remaining amount across the other areas of the wedding planning. In a Nigerian wedding to impress your guests simply feed them well!
For more help see the following articles:
Your wedding style: What theme do you want? What colors? What dress styles? Cake etc. Spend some time gathering inspiration. Look at wedding magazines, Pinterest boards and real wedding pictures and gradually start to create your own style. Organize everything you've gathered. Use a big note book or a binder and your phone (iphone app, a datebook, calendar etc) to store up all your ideas, including photos. Save up photos of styles you want. It's easier to get vendors to understand exactly what you want when you have a picture of it to show. Create a timeline for major wedding related tasks.
For more help see the following articles:
Hire a wedding planner or do it yourself: There's a lot of planning to be done. Can you honestly handle it yourself? Plus a wedding planner is likely to be more creative than you. He or she can offer ideas you'll never have thought of and help you get discounts from wedding vendors. And it will take off a huge stress off you. Though a wedding planner doesn't come cheap but often they are worth the money. See what wedding planners do and tips on hiring one.
Wedding attires: What wedding attires will you be using? Are you getting it made or buying already made? The secret to saving significantly on your wedding cost is to start your wedding chopping early. You can now order imported quality wedding items from us at cheap prices. You don't have to pay for shipping. Click to read more about ordering cheap wedding items from us.
Where to have a honeymoon: My advice to all brides-to-be is that the best expense you can make for your wedding is one that involves growing your bond with your husband and creating memories because that will help your marriage now and in the future. And your marriage is much more important than your wedding. So don't forget to make budget for your honeymoon! If you don't know where to start, read the article on honeymoon ideas.
If you need help, ideas and or advice during your planning at anytime, I'm here to support you. Just send in your wedding questions.
If you start planning early, budget well, make allowance for unforseen occurences, create a timeline and stay organized, then you're sure of having a hitch free wedding. However, every bride has at least one thing they wish they did differently for their wedding and you'll likely have too but as long as it's nothing very important to the wedding itself then you'll be fine. So don't worry too much. See the article on wedding mistakes for some planning mistakes to avoid. And also read my pre-wedding advice for some handy wedding planning tips.
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Nigerian Weddings › Plan Wedding