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Nigerian Weddings: How to Prepare and Host a Nigerian Wedding

Updated on April 3, 2015


Beautiful Nigerian women in wedding outfits
Beautiful Nigerian women in wedding outfits | Source

Weddings in Nigeria

Weddings in Nigeria are more than the union between husband and wife but an important gathering of solemn vows, fun, and festivities. The weddings are so important to the social fabric of society that guest and well-wishers calendar mark the date of the union.

The invited guests and family spend hard-earned cash on gifts, beautiful outfits, jewelry, and shoes so they look their best on the special occasion. Therefore, the bride and grooms family need to sort out many aspects of the wedding before the due date.

Proper planning is crucial to the success of any Nigerian wedding because everything should work seamlessly and with precision. On the special day the bride and grooms family are engaged in the occasion so others organize the guests seating arrangement, entertainment and food.

Groom and friends

The groom and his friends partying
The groom and his friends partying | Source

Checklist on hosting a wedding

Making a checklist is important and crucial when organizing a Nigerian wedding. The following checklist can help reduce the stress and workload when organizing your wedding ceremony.

Number of guests

The number of guests you invite to your wedding is the first and most important step when working on a checklist. The number of guests predetermines everything from the amount of food to make, seating arrangements, size of the hall and location.

The more guests you invite the higher the overhead cost and the more planning is involved. If you send out invitations to one hundred guests then you should prepare for two hundred and fifty.

A single guest is more likely to arrive with a friend, wife, or child, which is normal. However, modern weddings have become less open with strict rules on attendance, restrictions, and security guards.

The guards stand at the entrance allowing only those with invitations access to the venue. We advise restrain when using the strictly by invitation technique so as not to offend important acquaintances.

The advantage of restricting access to the venue is that you can successfully estimate the number of guests at the ceremony.

Venue and Decoration

The venue and decoration at a Nigerian wedding
The venue and decoration at a Nigerian wedding | Source


The venue should be tastefully decorated and easily accessible.
The venue should be tastefully decorated and easily accessible.


Knowing the number of guests you expect makes it relatively easy to find a suitable venue. The seating capacity of the venue should be able to accommodate almost twice the number of guests expected.

Event centers abound in Nigeria and they come with only basic amenities like chairs, split units, fans, air conditioners, toilets, and generating set. The organizers provide every other aspect of the wedding like the décoration, seating arrangements, drinks, and food vendor.

The cost of renting an event center depends on the location, size, amenities, and parking space. The more prestigious the location the more expensive the event centers.

Some event centers cost between a few thousands naira upwards to a few millions of naira. For example, an event center at Lekki could cost between N500, 000 to N2million naira.

Types of food served at Nigerian weddings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lots of delicaciesSmall chops has become part of Nigerian wedding menuJolof rice is part of Nigerian wedding menu
Lots of delicacies
Lots of delicacies
Small chops has become part of Nigerian wedding menu
Small chops has become part of Nigerian wedding menu
Jolof rice is part of Nigerian wedding menu
Jolof rice is part of Nigerian wedding menu
Delicious meals
Delicious meals

Drinks and cocktails

Drinks and cocktails
Drinks and cocktails | Source

The caterers

Apart from the number of guests and venue, the food can make or break a wedding ceremony. After the wedding proper, the party begins with lots of drinks and sumptuous meals.

It is very important to get a good caterer if the party is going to be a success. Caterers come through satisfied customers, recommendations or through personal contact.

A good way of knowing a good caterer is during such wedding parties you attend. They usually leave their calling cards on the table of such occasions.

If in doubt let, the caterers prepare small samples of dishes that they would serve to guests. The types of dishes served on such occasions are usually a mix of continental and local flavor.

Jolof rice (red rice) and fried rice served with moi-moi (ground steamed beans) beef or chicken is a constant at such weddings. Other delicacies are pounded yam with vegetable soup, Amala and Egusi soup, and Semolina dishes.

Before the meals, small chops like buns, small pies, and Swiss rolls are served to the guests. Along with the small chops, they can serve little pieces of fried meat, fried chicken, Samosa even groundnuts.

After the small chops, sumptuous meals and drinks you can introduce ice cream, exotic fruit drinks like Chapman and even barbequed fish (Please don’t forget to invite yours truly).

Sometimes the small chop caterers are different from those that make the meals, they can advise you on the type of chops available.

Types of meals served at weddings

1 Jolof rice(red rice) with beef/chicken

2 Fried rice with beef/chicken

3 Moi-moi

4 Amala and vegetable soup with beef

5 Pounded yam and vegetable soup with beef

6 Semolina and Egusi soup

Small chops

1 Samosa

2 Groundnuts

3 Little chunks of fried meat and chicken

4 Swiss rolls

5 Fish rolls

6 Chin chin

The drinks

It is your prerogative to determine if alcoholic drinks are served alongside non-alcoholic beverages. Common drinks at such weddings a fruit juice, wines, bottled water, soft drinks, and beer. You can arrange with the drinks vendor and determine the number of fruit juice per each table.

The bottled water and soft drinks should be accounted for every guest despite there preferences. The drink vendors come with the drinks serve the guest and are responsible for collecting the bottles after the event.


The choice of entertainment depends on your budget and interest. The music can be live by hiring a live band or played through a DJ. Some well-healed weddings even use both live bands and DJs, this is unnecessary.

Other entertainment could include cultural dances, musical renditions and should have a master of ceremony. When planning your wedding your budget is very important because you have so many expenses to consider like wedding gowns, jewelry, and change of cloths.

So cut down on expenses and have a wonderful day.

How to plan a Nigerian wedding

© 2015 femi


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    Post Comment
    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Nigeria

      Chitrangada Sharan, I have not been to an Indian wedding but my friend in Mombai has told me a lot about the amazing festivities.

      Thanks my friend.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice article about Nigerian weddings!

      I came to know a lot about the beautiful celebrations. There are many similarities with Indian weddings, as far as the food is concerned.

      It’s important to plan the wedding celebrations—you are right!

      Thanks for sharing this interesting information!


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