We seem to have been conditioned here in Nigeria, that every wedding has to be large, big, extravagant and lavish. However, where there is the argument for big weddings, there is a type of wedding ceremony/ reception that the modern Nigerian bride might want to consider- the small, intimate wedding.
First of all, it is not easy getting away with having a small wedding. Both the bride and the groom have to be in complete agreement, and even then, they have to convince their families that this is the best way to go. I usually find that mothers can be a bit difficult when it comes to having to limit the number of friends they want to invite (it is all about the aso-ebi!).
If you start by setting an example from this moment on, then you will find it easy putting your feet down when that time comes. If you are already engaged, then speak with your parents or guardians first as individual, then as a couple and I’m sure they are likely to turn around.
Why should you have a small wedding? The first practical reason is that it is inexpensive, please note that this does not mean cheap. You can have a small wedding where the budget for everything from the food, decor, venue, drinks E.t.c will be the total budget for food for another wedding. This does not mean your guests will not be taken care of; but it is just simple mathematics- the fewer people to cater for, the lower your budget. Of course, once you cut down the budget in terms of venue, food and drinks, then you can actually still have the wedding of your dream in terms of the extras.
Extras could be having a guest artistes to come and perform for example, or releasing doves during the ceremony E.t.c.
Another argument in favour of a small wedding is that it is generally easier to plan and execute. If you happen to be the type of bride who likes things happening a certain way, at a certain time, in a certain progression, then throwing a small wedding will be great for you. If you want a short ceremony, the small wedding works even better.
For me, the biggest point in favour of a small intimate wedding is exactly that- it is intimate. It will be your closest friends and family; you can see everyone who came, everyone enjoys the music and can pay attention to the Master of Ceremony/Compare, everyone shares in your special day and they come away feeling the love that just been expressed.
You do not have to elope to acheive your small wedding and the following thoughts and tips might just be the needed ammo you need to pull it off:
- Even if you have a big wedding, you will still not be able to invite everyone. This means some people will still say, “You did not invite me to your wedding oh”. So throw a small ceremony and have a great excuse!
- You can still satisfy your parents by compromising. You can have a big engagement and then a small commitment ceremony. That way, your parents can invite all their friends for the traditional/ engagement ceremony, and you can invite all your friends for the Wedding reception.
- If you want to share your vows in a quiet, intimate setting, but still like a party, then please do what my sister has resolved. Inspired by a wedding we went for recently, she said her actual wedding (Church and Reception) would be just for a 100 people or so; then she would have a Wedding Party in the evening for everyone. Our parents will be outside the venue with their (Owambe party), while her friends will be inside the venue dancing to their favorite musician. In her own funny, convoluted way, it actually might work.
In the end, whether you call your friends, family, colleague, neighbor, gateman etc or only a few close friends, the most important thing for every bride is to remember- the wedding day is not as important than the marriage itself.
Contributed by Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Zapphaire Events