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10 Lessons From My First Wedding As An Events Planner.











The wedding held yesterday, on the 18th of March 2017 in Lagos. 


1. Confirm vendors, reconfirm and then confirm again. This goes without saying, right? Well you'd be surprised. I called the MC two weeks to the wedding. Then I called again a few days to the wedding and this guy, who'd been paid 60% of his money, said he had no idea where the wedding was holding. I called the DJ at 9am that morning and he was still in bed. I called the baker for the 3rd time since planning started, a day to the wedding, to ask what time the cake would get to the venue. It was then she started asking me some very strange questions and I wonder if we'd have even had a cake if I hadn't called. 

2. Be proactive. Think of everything that could go wrong and squash it before it happens. The tiniest blip could cause a great catastrophe. The baker forgot to add a knife to cut the cake. The DJ, unknown to him, didn't have the song for the couple's first dance. The small chops people had thought small chops was to come as desert not starter... I found these out that morning while trying to identify everything that could go wrong. From the day planning starts for an event, be proactive in identifying problems. 

3. Patience is key. People will test your patience. Pull you in different directions. Everybody is going to want something from you. Vendors, guests and family of the couple may test your patience. The event is in your hands, you cannot afford to allow your patience wear thin otherwise things would unravel and your event begins to fall apart. 

4. When choosing vendors don't depend on Instagram photos. Instagram pictures are ochestrated to look perfect and pretty. People would even post great reviews given to them by clients on their Instagram, some of these great reviews are fake! It's best to pick vendors who have been tested and trusted by people you know. 

5. Let your ushers understand that their job is beyond looking pretty. Ushers have become a "thing" in contemporary Nigerian weddings. So if you're going to have them at yours, training is important. They are also a good instrument for managing guests. So (after adequate training) delegate some of the work as relates to guests to them. They'd take some of the load off you. 

6. Vendors... That one word could cause jitters. These humans can make or break your event. Choose them carefully. Handle them carefully. The ones that are good, keep them. You're going to need them for future events. It's best to have a team of vendors that you are can trust. 

7. Everybody is going to depend on you for everything. From the decorators to the caterers, the MC to the security. From the couples' family to the couple's work friends. You've got to be accessible, approachable, collected and yes, patient. Also be prepared to handle people from different backgrounds, with different personalities and different demands. Be prepared to be a problem solver. 

8. You spend weeks or months in advance planning, but even during the event your job doesn't stop. It doesn't stop until post-event. Your job doesn't end until it's all over. 

9. Brides, most of them, are naturally temperamental. First, if anything isn't going quite right during the wedding, handle it while making sure that they do not get a whiff of it. Generally, manage them with patience and understanding. 

10. Breathe. After thorough planning, after you've planned every detail meticulously, crossed the Ts and dotted the Is, some things may still go wrong. Breathe and accept this. You're in the moment, so breathe and enjoy it as much as you can, and then learn from it. 




***
My next event is a conference coming up in April. Want me to plan or coordinate your event, call (234) 08034927210


So guys lets talk about your experience at weddings. What about Nigerian weddings don't you like? Is it the way the food servers never get to some people while focusing on others? Is it how small chops is just never ever enough? Is it some rather awkward and overly sensuous couples' first dance? Is it the female guests dressing as if na dem dey marry? LOL. You tell me. 




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Comments

  1. You may never get to use tried and tested vendors if your clients can't afford them or like their work.
    I believe as a planner,you should have some knowledge about the work of the core vendors. Like decor. That way, you can ensure they deliver a good job. Know what's trending and basics like drapery.

    This is a good job , though, I think the purple and yellow drapery style in the marquee is outdated.

    I think most guests don't know wedding etiquette. They dress to "kill". I wonder the pressure on Nigerian brides, the thoughts that goes into their looks to ensure no one outshines them at their wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You may never get to use tried and tested vendors if your clients can't afford them or like their work.
    I believe as a planner,you should have some knowledge about the work of the core vendors. Like decor. That way, you can ensure they deliver a good job. Know what's trending and basics like drapery.

    This is a good job , though, I think the purple and yellow drapery style in the marquee is outdated.

    I think most guests don't know wedding etiquette. They dress to "kill". I wonder the pressure on Nigerian brides, the thoughts that goes into their looks to ensure no one outshines them at their wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great job Thelma! I think the most annoying part of Nigerian weddings is that of food. How food never goes round and the servers focusing on a particular group of people. I hate that I would tap the server severally to remember I've not been served.
    www.stylelately.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1) I hate MCs that try to be funny when they aint funny. They need to understand that you can be an MC without being a comedian. Its not by force to crack joke! The mood might not be right. People might be hungry. The hall could be noisy because people are looking for food. Just do your MC thing and get out.
    2) I hate couples that disappear immediately after the band stops playing. We the young people are chilling waiting for DJ to come on so we can party with you. Only for the couple to just disappear. Ah ah! Some couples even head straight to the airport from the hall. Isnt it because of them we came for reception???
    3) The key to not having people rush for food is to start serving food ON TIME. Why dont caterers understand this? Serve the food you have and get out. Its not up to you to start rationing food. Keep for the couple and parents. Thats all. Serve the rest! Geez!

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for no.1
      It's not by force to be funny. weddings,launchings, conferences etc please, do not embarrass yourself.Just moderate the damn thing, how hard can that be?
      An event can be lively without the audience necessarily being in stitches 'cos of laughter

      Delete
  5. Congrats you made it - you spoke it and it came to pass. Totally proud of you Thelma. If I was having a birthday party for the girls I would totally hire you. Keep up the good work and more grease to your elbow.

    www.pynk360.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice job, i will just go with the things i didn't like about my wedding, the baker made a horrible cake and disappeared with almost half of it, i had two MC's and they were practically fighting for comedy skits, even after all the bags of rice we cooked food was not enough, almost one thrid of guest stood outside cos the hall was packed now the hall is a 500 capacity hall and we invited 300, where they all came from i didn't know, i can remember my heart skipping after the church when i was dancing into the hall for reception, half of my bridal train disappeared during reception, i guess they went to hook up *whew*, let me stop here.
    After all this my take home was dont fret yourself over the wedding no matter how much you spend and what you do it just cant be 100% what you wanted.
    just relax and have fun, marry the man/woman you love and go home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you can say that again. On my wedding day, my hubby was saying to me that we need to have another wedding again.

      Where do I start , despite all the planning . From D.J's equipment exploding to rain to uninvited guests . infact the hall was a market place .

      Delete
    2. Ah Clare, you just reminded of my traditional wedding, Chai rain just ruined everything we finally had the wedding in the sitting room, no dancing,no fine pictures just me and my almost ruined makeup. sha everyone ate cos aparently lots of peeps did not turn up cos of the rain, see people packing food to their house.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for making me laugh, though it wouldn't have been funny at that moment.

      Thelma, you did very good.I'm glad you finally got an opportunity to put those skills to work. I wish you better and bigger events.

      Delete
  7. You did quite a job for a first timer Nne.
    What I hate most times, is how the food never gets to everyone and at times this act is intentional.
    For crying out loud, people came out to rejoice with you. FEED ALL OF THEM EQUALLY.

    ReplyDelete

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