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.