The Wedding Of The Daughter Of The Ambassador To The United Kingdom
Client: Raheemah and Rahman
Role: Partial Wedding Planning
Date: Sunday, 12th September, 2021
Location: OOPL, Abeokuta, Ogun State
Number of Guests:
Traditional ceremony- 300
Wedding Reception- 800
The bride had reached out to us before the pandemic in 2019. During the course of the wedding planning, the pandemic happened and we had had to postpone the wedding to the following year.
Our Wedding Planning Role
Partial Wedding Planning; This means that we handle the remaining aspects of the wedding that is yet to be attended to by the couple.
While the couple had sorted out some of the vendors they wanted and needed for their wedding, we on the other hand, sourced for the remaining vendors.
We suggested a few vendors in addition to the ones they already had, drew up a floorplan, created an event timeline and created a wedding reception programme breakdown for all the vendors and coordinated all activities on the wedding day.
The Event Planning Process
The event was a out-of-town event for us (Abeokuta) We are located in Lagos state. We had to travel down to Abeokuta a number of times to insoect the venue and ask the necessary questions, meet with the parents and also with some of the vendors.
It was also a 3-in-1 day event, which meant that the Nikkah, traditional ceremony and wedding reception took place on the same day Sunday, 12th of September at OOPL auditorium and marquee respectively.
Related: Picking The Perfect Venue for Your Nigerian Wedding: 33 questions to ask
THE WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS
1. The major highlight of the event was that the event went very smoothly, despite the few challenges that we had encountered.
2. Another highlight was that the father of the bride, who also doubles as the Ambassador to the UK was very happy with our services.
He had promised to fight us (lol), if we didn’t live up to the hype about the La’ Heiress Weddings brand.
As he is one who doesn’t believe in the services of an event planner, but we were glad that we were able to change that notion, as he also gave us a big monetary gift to show his appreciation.
3. Another major highlight was the cooperation from most vendors on the day.
This is very significant, as the success of any event lies majorly in the vendors delivering their various part well.
More so, some of the vendors were sourced for by the couple and we had not worked with them before. Plus the vendors were also based in Abeokuta.
Many times, Nigerian vendor’s who are sourced for by the couple tend to give planners the most headache.
Note: Please note that different vendors in different states have different work ethics which may be totally different from what your planner is used to. This is among the reasons why planners charge an inconvenience fee for out of state events
So the vendors adhering to the set up and delivery timeline, as well as the quality of services delivered was a big deal and they slayed all aspects.
Related: Basic Nigerian Wedding Planning Packages (pros and cons)
1. The hotel reservation that was made by the client for the vendors wasn’t enough for the number of vendors that were to sleep over.
Thankfully, the planning team had been on ground since about 3 days before the event, so we were able to book for additional rooms when we relaized that the vendors will be needing more rooms.
2. Another challenge was that despite the number of hotel rooms booked for the vendors, the hotel was nothing to write home about.
As we got several calls and texts from almost every vendor who had to stay at the hotel complaining about the state of things.
Two of the vendors weren’t able to stay in the hotel as they worried that their lives and expensive equipment weren’t safe in a place like. They were being careful especially since they have had some nasty experiences in the past.
They also informed us that client would be responsible for the extra cost of lodging in a different hotel.
Some of the complaints were:
– No towels in the bathroom: when they asked, they were told towels had gone for laundry and were not dry.
– No ACs or fans.
– Dirty bedsheets and duvets
– Flies infested bathrooms
Note: As much as vendors would not request for 5-star type of hotels, we normally appreciate a comfortable and decent hotel to stay in.
For vendors working out-of-state, it is advisable to add their accommodation fees to their quotation before sending to the client. Vendors should sort out their accommodation themselves.
We had quite a difficult planning process with the decorator, the major reason being that it was the client who had brought him on board.
Even though, we had worked with this particular vendor a number of times, he still felt the need to communicate directly with the client just because the client had reached out to him first…
We were at loggerheads on a lot of things because he claimed that the amount he charged was based off of the brief he got from the client and not the one that was sent from us.
This “brief” according to him didn’t include the tradtional backdrop for the engagement ceremony, using a truss for the ceiling installation, rug for the photo area, draping the room where some VIPs would eat in etc…
This resulted in him charging a lot extra for other details the decoration was ordinarily meant to include, if we had contacted the decorator ourselves.
Note: It is advisable to allow your planner handle all details or information to your vendors. Planners understand the right questions to ask and this can save you a lot of money, time and energy. You would also get the most for your budget.
Dear brides, please once you hand over your vendors to the planner, ensure that it remains that way. As vendors communicating with you after the handing over, can cause miscommunication issues and vital information can be lost or not passed across.
The eventual decor design for the reception turned out beautiful, the only problem was that it was no where close to the details in the decor moodboard that was sent to the decorator.
Also, despite charging an extra fee for a separate traditional backdrop design, the design was completely different from the one the client had wanted; both in design and colour.
It was a typical case of what I ordered vs what I got.
Related: Red flags to look out for when hiring a Nigerian wedding vendor
3. Another challenge was getting informed last minute (about an hour) before the reception started, that there was another MC to anchor the event. This meant that there would be two MC’s (hosts) for the day.
Considering that the new MC didn’t have the details of the event (the reception flow) it was a quite stressful giving him a rundown of event activities at last minute
Thankfully, we had an extra copy of wedding reception programne flow, plus the main MC/Host, Decmaine was very instrumental in saving the day and didn’t mind assisting and working with another host.
Note: It is important to inform your planner about any known surprises that may crop up on the D-day but thankfully, we were able salvage the situation.
4. Crowd control.
As preempted, we had way more guests in attendance than we actually planned for.
Fortunately for us, the hall had more space to accommodate the extra number of guests that showed up.
Although we had concluded that guests will gain access to the venue by the discretion of the bouncers.
Because of the position of the bride’s father, we had a lot of dignitaries, governors, past presidents and some VIP guests that showed up with 15 or more entourage and this left us with a full hall even before the engagement ceremony started.
The hostesses had to help fix in additional chairs from the hall, to accommodate the extra guests.
This also left us with renting more canopies before the event started, chairs and tables for some drivers who were to sit outside.
Thankfully, we had made preparation for more than enough food to go round for an additional 500 or more guests, so we had more than enough food for the extra guests that showed up.
Moreover, guests were leaving as soon as they ate, so this helped in seats being freed quickly.
Note: This is why vendors need to be up and doing when delivering their services And also why miscellaneous fees should not be overlooked and left out from any wedding budget, as we had to rent more canopies and chairs for some area guests which the father of the bride said we should attend to and treat everyone that comes as part of the party.
As equally preempted and discussed with the client, the Nikkah had started right on time as stated on the invitation cards but ended quite late and this affected the start time of the traditional and reception ceremonies.
And since provision of accommodation wasn’t made till the next day for some of the main out-of-state vendors, we had suggested to the bride that it would be best these vendors leave the venue early enough, so as to ensure their safety back to their various destinations.
These vendors couldn’t leave at 5pm because that was about the time the reception started. Some of them had to lodge in hotels as it was too late to travel when the event eventually ended.
Wedding Lessons To Be Learned
No matter how many weddings we plan or have planned, each event is always a different experience and there are always lessons to be learned.
Some of the lessons we want our future clients to take away from our experience with this wedding are:
1. Allow your planner handle every communication with your vendors,even if you have some preferred vendors you want to use for your wedding, allow your planner help with communicating with the said vendors.
Vendors know when brides are not knowledgeable about what they are making enquiries about and some of these vendors take advantage of this.
It is when a planner comes on board or they know that a planner is on board, these vendors will then start looking for ways to add to the initial quotation they sent.
Unpleasant Wedding-Day Surpises
2. Please and Please, always inform your planner about any surprises that may crop up during the event. It can be very destabilising when stuff not planned for shows up.
We already have our fair share of things to handle, it is quite unfair to seeing up last minute surprises on your planner. Besides, it could totally ruin your day, if not properly managed.
3. For bride’s who love to handle accommodation reservation themselves, please for out-of-state vendors doesn’t have to be 5-star but please make sure that it is decent enough for you to sleep in, before making reservations for others.
4. Please try to stay true to your number of guests, as this can totally affect a whole lot of things on your wedding day. And sometimes, a planner may not be able to fix it.
Always prepare for extra guests in terms of the hall space, food and drinks. And by extra guests, I mean between 100 and 500 guests, depending on a lot of factors.
The importance of miscellaneous money/fees
5. I cannot overemphasised the importance of having a fee set aside for miscellaneous expenses that may come up.
I have had many clients who don’t see the need for miscellaneous fees and I find myself explaining and explaining and some of them will still find a way to avoid paying the miscellaneous fees.
The implication of not having emergency miscellaneous money, is that when some issues that involve money arises on the wedding day, your planner won’t be able to do anything because the miscellaneous fees wasn’t paid.
I hope you have been able to learn a thing or two.
Enjoy some pictures from the wedding gallery…
Despite all the challenges we face at events, there is always one goal… and that’s to ensure a successful event. That’s what we live for at La’ Heiress Weddings.
#TheRRunion was an absolute success and we love our couple. Thank you once again for choosing La’ Heiress Hospitality Services to be a part of your big day.
We wish you a lifetime of happiness, love, peace and all things good.
Check out another wedding we planned: Celebrity Wedding: Seilat and Lekan