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Nigerians And What We Wouldn't Do To Have a "Society" Wedding.

Last week I had this conversation with someone who admitted to me how broke he was after his wedding. He said he could barely afford to fuel his car, which he almost had to sell by the way, because he had emptied his entire savings, plus incurred debts from friends and associates left, right and centre just so that he could have a "nice" wedding. 

Then on the news this morning was the man who was caught by NDLEA smuggling one kg of substance suspected to be methamphetamine. Remorseful, he said he has always been a hardworking man but the pressure to perform his marriage ceremony by December led him to commit that crime.

Sometime this year there was a society wedding which had its colorful pictures splattered all over social media, especially websites known to showcase society weddings. It was a HUGE deal, you'd see the pictures and the first thing you'd say is "father I tap into their blessings, I tap into their wealth". The already attractive couple looked extremely lavish and divine, thanks to the upscale wedding vendors, clothiers and makeup artists. The venue was also one of those reserved for the elite. What these websites and most other people do not know is that till date (months later) there are still several debts yet to be paid. In fact one of the family members has skipped town because of the debts that were incurred just to have that wedding. 

But this isn't news. The struggle to have a society wedding is real! Why do you think this is? A few playfully say "BN see what you're making them do", but this whole wedding beyond one's means started before the advent of Bella Naija Weddings. In truth, this concept isn't limited to society weddings alone, it also includes having considerably decent or rather, memorable weddings.

I can't help but wonder why there's so much pressure to have a wedding one can barely afford. What's so wrong with having a small intimate wedding if that's what's affordable at the time? Why can't a couple simply do the traditional rites, go to the Registry, have a Minister bless the union and then have an intimate get-together for family and close friends? I sometimes tell myself that when it's time for me to wed I may understand better, maybe there are facets to this thing that I don't see/know yet...

Why do some Nigerians go above and beyond to have the "perfect wedding" even when they can barely afford to? I asked a few people and these are answers that came up tops. 

a) Keeping up with the Joneses. (Living beyond your means in order to belong to social strata above yours). 
b) Some wives throw tantrums and demand lavish weddings at all costs
c) Its only once in a lifetime so...
d) Caving in to societal pressure to marry BIG
e) The somewhat recent upsurge of (online) media outlets dedicated to showcasing society weddings

f) What say you? Do you agree with any of the above, or are there certain other factors that cause some Nigerians to lie, steal, starve, beg and bleed all in a bid to have a certain kind of wedding?

Let's talk. 


  1. Sadly this is only in Nigeria. Abroad they'd have one small garden party and everybody goes home. In Nigeria we must do and undo.

    1. I was thinking the same while reading..these weddings are mostly done in Nigeria. Nigerians in diaspora mostly have intimate not over the top weddings..I do hope I get to have an intimate wedding...spend your money in building a home, savings and a kiss ass honeymoon...
      Also, if both parties are super rich, well then splurge away. but if you are a regular john and jane know the rest..
      it's high time we stopped trying to impress outsiders, and being pressured by family. if i want court wedding only and extended family want a carnival then they better go have a party without the groom and I.. i no fit shout..

  2. For Nigerians it's usually A. Especially lagosians. What does it profit a man to use his life savings to marry and soak garri after?

  3. OWANBE, OoRAASO OoJESEMO.Aje iresi tan Gbese de. lobatan!!!!

  4. LOL. This is freaking hilarious!!!
    In Nigeria sha the pressure is "realest".

    But if only people will marry reasonable mates. I.e men/women who ain't materialistic nor will succumb under family or societal pressure! Then newly weds won't be neck deep in debt.

    As for me, DFH, I no care how many family members u get, na only 50 people tops go attend our wedding! Thank U.

  5. T u've summed it all up. Those are d major reasons Y pple do off, keeping up with d Joneses, d once in a life time thingy et all. Women 4rm wealthy background would rather d wedding doesn't hold, than hv a small intimate wedding dt's easily affordable thereby putting pressure on d hubby. Pple sha want 2 belong..

  6. We had our wedding reception at this place and it was perfect! These guys were really easy to work with and they really allow you to be creative and customize your day.

  7. T, I wonder oooo. If na one room I fit afford for wedding na Wetin I go do b dat oooo. Cut ur ankara according to ur body size#

  8. For those who have the means financially,GOOD!.For those who don't,It's misplaced priorities and foolishness if you ask me.Will Smith once said "We spend money we don't have to buy what we don't need,hoping to impress people we do not like /who don't give a hoot about us"(my own twist).I was born and raised in Ogun state and I have seen and heard of people going way out of their means to have an elaborate party.Some idiots even forecast the amount of cash gift they'll likely get.The higher the forecast, the more they tend to go overboard with the hope of a return on investment. ...Now back to weddings:In today's world,pressure from parents sometimes feeds into the whole wedding preparation and expenses.For instance,If the bride or groom happens to be the first born and/or have parents who never had a party of their own,the overkill effect sets in.....The moral of the issue is,people should focus more on the "Marriage" and the joy that comes with it,not the "Wedding glamour".........BTW: Good job Thelma,more olive oil to your elbow!

    1. the pressure from parents... my elder sis wants a small wedding. a gathering of at most 100 people.. she wants it to be a small gathering of few friends and family. My parents said she should just forget about it. Being the first child and all. Fortunately/unfortunately, they are pastors... so they know soo many people and they are like how many people will they begin to explain to that their daughter insisted on a small wedding. so she should just forget it.
      I'm hoping they get their "big wedding" dream from her o... so I can do my own thing! hehe...

  9. Its such a big deal in Nigeria o "Ojukokoro tinz and i must belong" . I will just have a good and classy (affordable) wedding SO HELP ME GOD. (boo sef no like plenty wahala)

  10. lol people just wana keep up with the Joneses...and for what now? I know i'll be running off to some small island in Zanzibar for my wedding...I don't need all that help me God.

  11. I don't even believe in buying wedding dresses omo na only once I go wear am na

  12. Really big deal and can be so annoying...keeping up with the Joness. Anyways, 150 guests (both families, friends and colleagues) would be in attendance and strictly by invitation. I can't stand hunger just so to please anyone, mbok.

  13. If people can go as far as having 'aso ebi' to celebrate a young man wey just finish CAPENTRY APPRENTICESHIP...*is dere such a word?...lolzzz... and yes I actually witnessed this...serios cooking that spilled over to the next compound and even the streets! Music...Video Coverage...the works! Body just dey pepper wey dem for use set d boy up dem dey throw way am......naija dey try for dis kind thing. Our society supports it and so it will for wetin my power reach I go do! PERIOD!...#JoyDaNuGirl

  14. Lmao. This topic is touchy.
    Society weddings happen based on peoples position in society. When you have to pay for it is when the problem starts. I am getting married on saturday well traditional, i asked for a lowkey ceremony, my father refused! Now that bill i dont want to see neither will i touch it. Its over n10m easily and i dont consider it a society wedding, its not at oriental with dbanj or psquare performing. They are catering for 800 guests. So far i have turned a profit from the event, i sold aso ebi to my friends- profit was n3k per aso ebj 40 places, 70 caps or so n1k - profit was n500 on each. I used it to buy my 3 outfits.
    I hear one of the biggest juice makers in nigeria is supplying all the juice to be drank at the event. Water for the guests was also donated etc. A lot of big weddings are community effort, my father in laws friends and my dads friends have been giving us envelopes, we have done ok so far.
    our white is on a wednesday in zanzibar. Total bill was n1.5m thats what my husband and i spoke on being able to afford. We paid that bill after we sorted out our house bills for the entire 2015. And we cut out the decorator for zanzibar who wanted to charge $2000 for fresh flowers, i did it for $300 for 10 tables, videographer $1000 my brother is just going to let his camera roll etc.
    Problem is that people let others dictate their pace in life, no one but you understands your predicament.
    We have made no plans for the money to be sprayed to us or gifted to us. 2 days to the trad, we are already at about n500k.i speculate the range we will end up with, somewhere around n2m is my estimate, my brothers say its low since they ended up with about n4m each on theirs, we will see sha, but the money hasnt been planned for.

    We dont want our wedding on any sites etc. We are simple people who just want to get married, while i do have the vera wang dress, i didnt run out to buy loubs. At worst pix will be in instagram.

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