My big, fat Nigerian wedding:” CNN features Nigeria’s wedding craze
If you have been reading my blog religiously,you should know by now that i am Nigerian and a proud one at that.CNN recently featured the Nigerian wedding boom on Inside Africa.Let me tell you a bit about Nigerian Weddings.
Nigerian weddings takes 3 different phases, First is the introduction, – A man finds a lady he loves, traditions demands that he makes consultations, then goes ahead to see the father and her family,and very close relatives are invited to hear what the man has to say, then a date is fixed for the traditional wedding – This is the formal introduction.
The Nigeria traditional wedding is carried out at the house of the girl’s father, as the name implies – it is traditional wedding, and traditional rights are carried out, it involves lots of protocols.
After the Traditional wedding comes the church wedding, this is performed always in the church, it is the loudest of Nigerian weddings as the entire world is invited and the man is dressed on suit while the lady is on her wedding gown. Most Christians can only give their daughter fully to a man after the church wedding, as it is termed – ‘the wedding before God.’ The church wedding sees the priest or pastor involved, joining the two in holy matrimony
Then the signing of register, followed by the celebration, the party, the foods and drinks ( commonly called item 7 in Nigeria).
This is an Excerpt from the feature done by CNN. (All the pictures are from different Nigerian weddings)
UK-based makeup artist Lola Ibekwe caters specifically to Nigerian weddings and has been hired by brides who fly her, all expenses paid, to Nigeria for their weddings.
She said to CNN, “Nigerian brides really know what they want and demand the very best. Some of them have been influenced by the big weddings of Hollywood stars and don’t mind spending big to achieve the perfect look on their big day. Most of the brides I work with reserve a big part of their budget for makeup because the pictures will last a lifetime.”
Bridal wear and couture designer Yemi Osunkoya wedding gowns highly sought-after by Nigerian brides. He attends about 15 of his clients’ weddings in Nigeria each year, and his London-based label, Kosibah, is at the heart of that country’s booming wedding industry. Last month, it was one of 129 businesses exhibiting at Lagos’ Wed Expo Exhibition, which drew 10,000 attendees over two days.
Weddings in Nigeria are colorful, creative and extravagant productions, with guest lists of up to 2,000 people considered standard.
“In England, if you had 400 people at a wedding, that would be considered a huge number,” Bridal wear and couture designer Yemi Osunkoya said.
“In Nigeria, if you had 400 guests, people would say ‘Oh, dear,’ ” he continues. “The more (people) you have there, the more friends it seems you have.”
The publisher of Wed magazine, a Magazine with a wedding-focus that launched in Nigeria last year, Eso said the typical Nigerian wedding has evolved in recent years into a high-concept “production.”
“I would say weddings are one of the fastest growing industries in Nigeria right now,” said the event’s organizer, Akin Eso. “A lot of people term it that they’re ‘going into events’ — but the money is really in the wedding industry.”
“There’s always been this joy around weddings, but now there’s also this whole creativity: It’s more like a production, and nobody knows where it’s going to stop,” he said. “People just imagine it and make it happen.”
Themes such as a “snow wedding” would involve decorating the entire hall to match the concept, he said.
“Ten years back, you would normally do all the arrangements for the wedding yourself or with your friend,” he said. “Now, for every aspect of the wedding there’s a vendor that can help you.”
The trend has been driven by the many young Nigerians living overseas, who had introduced ambitious ideas for wedding themes, along with the concept of the wedding planner: a professional event organizer who could realize the happy couple’s vision for their big day, typically at their parents’ expense.
Osunkoya said families typically put much effort and expense into the event, as a wedding was an important status symbol — although “not in a negative way.”
“Most times in Nigeria, the parents take care of the wedding ,” he said. “It s a thing of joy to have your children married, so most of the time, the parents want to go all out. That’s where you see total creativity.”
Another distinctive feature of the Nigerian wedding was the wearing of “aso-ebi.” The phrase, which translates from the Yoruba language as “clothes of the family,” refers to the garments of matching fabric worn by the bride’s family and friends at the ceremony.
The couple would wear traditional dress, with the bride usually wearing a traditional fabric gifted to her by her new parents-in-law, sometimes sewn into a modern Afrocentric design.Although, in recent years, it is not uncommon to see the entire party wearing the aso-ebi.