BY: George Essien
It is the goal of any couple to put together a wedding, and a decent one at that. Isn’t it?
How much does a typical Nigerian wedding cost? Let say between N1 Million and N2.5 Million. Right? Some go for higher. If you are unfortunate to have greedy parents in laws, ‘your own don finish’. I know a young man who had a list of that ran into N4 Million. That didn’t cover the Traditional marriage and white wedding. The man in question bolted…lol.
Young people interested in marriage go through a lot. I know of one who finished marrying and then had to hide for months because his creditors were looking for him. I wonder what kind of honey moon he had? Another husband suddenly turned very lean just after his wedding…when i asked him what was wrong he just said, “Men, the wedding o.”
With poverty everywhere, and parents in laws refusing to compromise on their very long lists, a tactic must be developed so that every single young man in Nigeria who wants to marry can.
Is it possible to put together an affordable wedding in Nigeria? Of course , it is. Here are some ideas.
1. MARRY A WISE WOMAN. Marry a woman who knows that wedding is for just a day and that marriage is for a life time. Marry a woman who knows that no matter how glamorous your wedding turns out, someone else will do a better one. Marry a woman who has the guts to look into her parent’s eyes and say, “I want to get married !” and mean it. Be choosy about the kind of wife you marry. Don’t marry a liability.
2. GO TO THE RIGHT HOME TO PICK YOUR WIFE.Be careful what home you go to pick a wife. Some parent in laws are not just worth it, especially the demanding ones. If their daughter cannot talk to them and things are sorted out, you have an issue.
3. DISCUSS YOUR BUDGET WITH YOUR WIFE.Tell your wife about your budget.
4. ASK FOR HELP. Don’t be afraid to ask your committee of friends for help. It is pride to think you can do it all.
5. STICK TO YOUR BUDGET.
6. DO A JOINT WEDDING. Joint weddings are cheaper. These days pastors join several couples on the same day, isn’t that so? How about doing a joint reception with a couple that may agree. It would be fun and lovely. You will cut on hall and decorations. You will also cut on food. You two can both have one MC. Everything still remains the same. Wedding trains will be different. Both couples will each have their lovely chairs on the platform. Their cakes will be different too. The space for their parents would be different. The camera men would be different…but there will be one central camera man. The wedding program would be the same. Fun, right? Yeah! Some Catholic churches are already encouraging these to help couples cut down on cost. I was in one that had 3 weddings at the same time. Well organized. It was fun..It was different!
7. RECEIVE GIFTS…DON’T GIVE GIFTS. Where did we get that culture that the couple must give gifts to guest? Rubbish! You are to collect and not give. Go to a typical Nigerian wedding and see the rush for gifts!
8. DO A WEEK DAY WEDDING. Imagine doing a wedding on a Wednesday by 4pm? Yeah. Only those who love you will be there.
9. USE YOUR CHURCH PREMISES FOR RECEPTION. I think that is a brilliant idea.
10. DO A TRADO AND REGISTRY AND THEN WHITE LATER. Not a bad idea too. The most important thing in marriage is your parental consent and the recognition of your marriage by he Federal Republic of Nigeria. Church celebration can come later. But please don’t forget to involve your pastor in your Trado and Court.
11. ALWAYS SAVE FOR AFTER THE WEDDING. Don’t borrow and make sure you have something to feed your wife.
12. USE AN OPEN SPACE WITH CANOPIES, RATHER THAN HALLS. obviously that is cheaper.
13. FEED A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE. Look, the truth is that not everyone eats in a wedding. The people who truly love you, may not have time to eat. So focus on a few guest and don’t worry about people who complain that they did not eat in your wedding.