Abigail and Uzoma’s Wedding: A budget-friendly wedding
Client: Abigail and Uzoma
Role: Full Wedding Planning package
Date: 24th December, 2022
Location: Lagos State
Number of Guests:
Wedding Reception- 150
The groom contacted me about two and a half months before their wedding. He said that someone had recommended our wedding planning services to him. During our conversation, he told me about his budget for the wedding. Although I initially thought it was a small budget, I decided to accept the challenge and took on the job. Without negotiating, a reservation deposit was paid the next day.
Our Wedding Planning Role
Full wedding planning: This means that the planner takes care of all aspects of the wedding, from start to finish. This includes finding and communicating with vendors, handling payments, and coordinating all details on the day of the event. With this package, the couple can simply attend their own wedding as guests and enjoy the day without any stress or worries.
We sourced for all the vendors, except for the makeup, hairstylist and the security vendor
The Wedding Planning Process
The client had full confidence in our capabilities, which greatly assisted us in delivering a successful event.
Due to the fact that it was a December wedding and vendors typically charge more for their services during this time of year, we had to start planning the event immediately, as we only had about two months to get everything organized.
As soon as the wedding budget was created and sent to the couple, they promptly made full payment, allowing us to promptly pay the vendors without any delays.
The event was a 2-in-1, meaning that both the wedding ceremony and reception would take place on the same day and also at the same venue.
THE WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS
1. The major highlight of the event was that the event went very smoothly, we encountered little to no major challenge.
2. The number of guests was not significantly more than the expected number, which made crowd control and coordination easier.
3. The decorator completed the work on schedule, considering the circumstances that arose.
4. Another major highlight was the excellent delivery from the carefully selected wedding vendors on the event day.
Due to the limited budget we had to work with, we took a risk by hiring some vendors that we had not worked with before. Fortunately, all of these vendors performed exceptionally well.
This is very important because the success of any event largely depends on the vendors delivering their various tasks effectively.
This highlights the fact that sometimes, it is not about the cost, but about the integrity and professionalism of the vendor.
5. We added creative personal touches to the event to make it more beautiful and unique
THE CHALLENGES WE FACED
1. The first challenge was at the hotel, the hotel had some policies about the number of occupants that they allowed per room. This was clearly communicated with the couple.
We made separate room reservations for the bride, her bridesmaids, and her makeup artist and hairstylist to stay the night before the wedding.
The Maid of Honour called to let us know that there was an additional makeup artist who would be doing the makeup for the bridesmaids and also staying over at the hotel. We were not previously aware of this.
We politely told them that the room reservation was for the main makeup artist for the day.
They eventually sorted themselves out.
Note: It is important to inform your planner about any known surprises that may crop up on the D-day but thankfully, they were able to salvage the situation.
2. On the day of the event, the makeup artist told us that his balance had not been paid and he would not begin the bride’s makeup until he received full payment.
We did not handle payment for the makeup artist because the bride had told us that she was taking care of it, as she was the one who hired him. Moreover, we had paid all the vendors we hired in full.
The payment was sorted but this took a little while and ate into the event timeline.
Wedding TIP: Dear couples, it is advisable to have your wedding planner handle vendor payments and contract signing to ensure that all necessary payments are made and contracts are properly executed. This will help avoid any potential issues or oversights.
3. During one of our visits to the wedding venue, we witnessed the bouncers hired by the groom harassing guests for money at another event. We alerted their company head and requested that this not occur at our event, but we received no response to our messages or calls, even after we were sure that he had read our messages.
We had a disagreement with him about the issue when we saw him again at the venue a few days before our event. He believed that we had no right to tell him what to do or not do at his events.
CHALLENGES WE FACED AT THE WEDDING VENUE
4. The hall had another event scheduled for the day before ours, which ended at around 10:30pm. As a result, the decorator was not able to start setting up for our event until around midnight. The hall booked this other event at the last minute, just a few hours before our decor was scheduled to begin.
5. The hall was scheduled to open at 10am for the joining and all was set for 10am, but the groom’s mother, who is a parent of the couple, was very late due to terrible traffic on that day. We waited for almost 3 hours, but eventually had to continue the event without her. The traffic was so bad that it caused a delay in her arrival.
Wedding TIP: When planning a wedding in December, it is important to advise key participants to leave extra early due to the potential for heavy traffic. December traffic can be unpredictable and may cause delays, so it is important to plan accordingly.
Related: How To Plan The Perfect December Wedding In Nigeria
6. The drinks vendor and small chops vendor experienced some delays and arrived late to the event. Fortunately, the event was already delayed due to the late arrival of the groom’s mother, so they arrived just in time.
Related: Why Nigerian Weddings Don’t Start On Time
Money saving TIPS we adopted for #UAmine22
Like I had mentioned earlier, we were working with a tight budget, but we were able to save several thousands of naira for the wedding by taking certain actions.
Here are some of the ways by which we were able to save some money for our couple:
1. We reached out to as many vendors for each item. We had to compare prices. Eventhough some of the vendors didn’t respond to us anymore after hearing the budget we were offering for their services, but we still ended up getting really good vendors.
Wedding TIP: When sourcing for vendors, it is important to know what to look out for. The elements that are important, it helps in deciding whether the vendor you are considering is a good fit for your client. Sometimes, it is not about the number of jobs they have done, but the right elements being incoporated.
2. We found vendors who were located near the venue in order to save on logistics costs. They were able to offer lowincorporated also throw in a few additional services because they were located close to the venue.
3. For the small chops, we decided to have takeaway packs instead of them coming to set up and prepare the chops at the venue. That way, we were able to shelve logistics, service fee and VAT costs.
4. For the catering, we decided to go with one piece of protein instead of 2 pieces of protein and we were able to save N500 off each from each plate of food.
Related: Catering At A Nigerian Wedding: All You Need To Know
5. We focused on the necessary items and left the unnecessary ones. We left out the after-party shenanigans, grills, desserts and the likes…
Related: After Party Means Extra Expenses
6. Instead of a proper wedding programme for the joining, they decided to print the details of the programme on A4 paper. It served the same purpose.
Related: Red flags to look out for when hiring a Nigerian wedding vendor
7. We opted for a two tier wedding cake instead of the 3 tier that my bride had selected. We explained to her as to how this could help us save some money and she accepted the offer.
8. As usual, we added lots of creative and beautiful personal touches to make the event more elegant.
Every wedding we plan is a unique experience, and we always learn something new from each event. Even if we have planned many weddings in the past, there are always new challenges and lessons to be learned.
Here are some of the lessons that we hope our future clients will take away from our experience with this wedding:
1. If you trust your planner and are planning a wedding in Nigeria, it is advisable to allow them to handle payments with your vendors, even if you have specific vendors that you want to use. This can help with communication and ensure that all necessary payments are made.
2. It is crucial to communicate all details related to your wedding with your planner, to avoid any potential problems on the day of the event. Omitting any information could have negative consequences for the success of your wedding.
3. There may be unexpected incidents that occur during the planning process or on the day of the event that are beyond your control, such as the parents of the couple not arriving on time. It is important to try not to let these things stress you out and have faith that everything will work out in the end.
4. It is possible to have a memorable wedding without spending a lot of money. There are vendors who are willing to work within your budget and still deliver great results. It is helpful to be open to working with vendors other than your first choice, especially if your budget is limited. In this case, all of the vendors exceeded expectations.
Related: 28 Realistic Tips On How To Cut Down Costs On Your Nigerian Wedding<br>
I hope you have been able to learn a thing or two.
Enjoy some pictures from #UAmine22 wedding gallery…
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