Everyone hopes to have a wedding ceremony at some point in their life and most have dreams of what and how it would be, where it would and the excitement of it all. No one ever dreams of the amount of stress that comes with planning the wedding, though, especially in cases where the couple has to work with a tight budget.
In Nigeria, especially its capital city Abuja today, the wedding trend involves a lavish pre-wedding photo-shoot and an equally picture-worthy event…but what do you do when you want to follow this trend but have limited funds without coming off as cheap?Jumia Travel, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking portal, reveals how anyone in Abuja can plan a frugal but not cheap wedding in Abuja.
Avoid guest list bloat, strictly by invitation
Yes, you have always dreamed of a big wedding with everyone you know on your guest list, but you may need to cut down on the number of guests if you want to achieve your new dream of having a classy wedding. Do not feel obligated to invite anyone, a large number of guests implies extensive costs and again a less intimate. To save as much as you can, try inviting fewer people and ensure they know they can only gain entrance with an invitation card or pass which you will send to them. Arrange to have bouncers or ushers at the entrance to expedite this.
Hold the ceremony at home, or outdoors.
The general idea is to have the wedding in large halls or event centers, but truth be told, these venues usually come at a steep price. Rather than rent any of the expensive building or function halls in Abuja for your ceremony and reception, consider using your home or that of your parents or a family friend’s, depending on how much space it has. A properly decorated reception outdoors creates a picturesque, memorable ceremony while eliminating the cost of renting a venue. You may want to put the weather into consideration and ensure you have a backup plan if it is a rainy season.
Seek help for catering
You already are not having a large event so catering is not going to be an elaborate affair. Rather than hire a catering company that will charge you very greatly, rally family members around, including extended ones to help with the catering. You can hire all the dishes and cutlery you need. Even better, if you are a Christian and getting married in your own church, ask the women for help. Most churches have a women’s committee that will be very happy to assist with that aspect for a small donation or even free, as long as you are a committed member.
Be flexible when choosing the wedding gown
Although you already have your heart set on the picture-perfect gown sold in the UK or Dubai, you may want to go for something cheaper but equally fabulous from a local bridal shop, or something on sales in one of the online shops that deliver to Nigeria. Again, you may decide to hire rather than buying the dress as that would be a cheaper option, only that you won’t get to keep it. If you are the traditional type, you may also just go traditional and go with your mother or mother-in-law’s wedding dress depending on its state, also keeping in mind that fixable tears or major stains, but typically, most loose beading or threading issues can be taken care of during the alterations process.
Plan a simple honeymoon
The honeymoon is a huge part of any wedding but ensure you plan to keep it simple rather than ostentatious. While a lavish exotic honeymoon might seem like a romantic and fun way to unwind after hectic weeks of planning for your wedding, it’s far cheaper to stay closer to home. You may decide to go for a week in a fabulous resort like La Campagne Tropicana Resort in Lagos, just 2 hours away by air, or go somewhere with more adventure like Jos where you could spend a week or two seeing all of the local sights you’ve never had time to see before.
By Nkem Ndem