Apart from our rich culture and absurd political stories, one of the many things Nigeria is known for is its wedding parties.
When it comes to celebrating the union of a man and woman, trust Nigerians not to hold back on providing the best food and drinks, renting a spacious hall, and indirectly telling a friend to say to another friend about the event.
While Nigerian weddings are mostly seen as an opportunity to celebrate with the couple and get free food, the truth is that they are financially demanding. It is in the sense that planning a wedding is not cheap.
There are many stories of couples who, after spending millions of naira on throwing elaborate weddings, secretly use the first few years of their marriages to pay back loans borrowed to foot their wedding expenses.
With the economic setbacks being experienced in the country, you need to secure your financial future. So, in case you are hoping to one day stand at an altar wearing a suit or bridal gown, here is an insight on how to plan a wedding with a budget of N500,000 or even less.
No matter how big or small, it’s impossible for a wedding to be held without a venue. Most couples mistake allocating a considerable part of the wedding budget for getting a hall or a luxurious garden space.
If you want to cut venue costs, use a venue that costs little to nothing. For example, if you are a Christian, you could use a church or its environs. And if this is not possible, you could opt for an open field, your family house or your partner’s, or somewhere with a spacious compound.
All you have to do is rent canopies and adequately discuss with the decorator how to make the venue look more attractive.
Food and drinks
No couple wants to see their guests leave without eating or drinking to their satisfaction. However, since you are on a budget, there is a limit to how much your guests can be satisfied.
One of the ways to cut back costs on food and drinks is not hiring a caterer and having family and friends do the cooking. Another way would be sticking to serving only one meal. For example, you could offer guests the option of eating only jollof rice and meat with a bottle of coke.
This comprises the Master of Ceremony (MC), Disc Jockey (DJ), and technical materials like the microphones, generator, and speakers.
It’s cost-saving to ask an outspoken friend to be the MC and hire an affordable DJ who charges a maximum amount of N20,000 or put together a playlist of exciting songs.
The secret to how well your budget can be adequate depends on the number of guests invited to the wedding.
A budget of N500,000 cannot cover over a hundred guests, so you must limit your guest list to at least 50 people. To achieve this, you must strictly enforce an invite-only rule for guests at the entrance.
Security and transportation
It would be best to hire ushers from affordable agencies to avoid disorderliness at the venue.
However, if the cost of ushers isn’t in sync with the budget, you could politely ask one or two of your friends to help guide guests to their tables and collect gifts from them.
The same thing also applies to the transportation of guests and items.
Though your wedding is on a budget, it’s important not to make it appear cheap. This is why you need to invest a significant amount of the 500K in hiring a good decorator who can help elevate the look and feel of the entire venue.
While there is a need to pay close attention to the type of outfit worn for your wedding, try not to go overboard with it because it was ditching the idea of buying a designer’s suit or gown. You could opt for a simple white dress or suit from a thrift store, properly accessorise, and voila, you are good to go.
With a hypothetical guest list of 100 people, PREMIUM TIMES asked Lagos-based event planner, Awe Paul, founder of Awe Events, to give us a breakdown of a less than N500,000 wedding budget.