The wedding industry in Nigeria has suffered a lot of setbacks in recent years, notably due to the lockdowns enforced because of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting a lot of weddings on hold and leaving wedding planners without jobs.
Weddings in Nigeria, one of the most lucrative and fast paced growing industries, provides jobs for workers ranging from planners and caterers to decors companies, maintenance, photography and logistics etc.
Recently, the wedding industry has suffered from the foreign exchange crisis in the country, where the dollar to naira rates have affected the economy and general costs of living. Many wedding planners face the challenge of meeting budgets and customers’ expectations to cater for their events using similar budgets from 2-3 years ago.
BlueprintAfric spoke to an event/wedding planner who walked us through how the current economic state has affected the wedding industry.
In the previous years, weddings used to be lavish with both the traditional marriage and white weddings and their respective bridal trains and Asoebi, but according to this wedding planner, clients now opt for either small white weddings and big traditional marriages or big traditional marriage and small white weddings instead of doing both.
For this event planner, gigs aren’t as forthcoming anymore with everyone trying to cut down costs because of how expensive everything is right now, people are even planning their events themselves to save costs from a third party.
In addition to the economic crunch, another challenge faced by event planners is the multiple security crises across the country. Couples have begun considering small intimate affairs with concerns over the safety of their guests.
“We’re supposed to get married in Kano and we currently live in Abuja,” Marie said to Blueprint. The wedding is set for early next year. “We can’t risk everyone coming down here and we can’t risk everyone going up there, especially with the elections coming.”
Marie and her fiancé have resolved to have a small wedding within the city limits and later throw a small wedding party when next they travel up North.
What’s an event without food? The everyday man knows how much food currently costs in the market. So caterers have a tricky situation to manage as food costs increase almost on a daily basis. If it’s N1000 today, it’s N2000 tomorrow, it’s a snooze and lose occurrence.
For example, if a wedding with 500 guests will incur a budget of over N1.5 million for food today, by tomorrow it’s over N1.6million.
Blueprint caught up with a bride in the middle of her wedding planning and after corroborating what we noted from the wedding planner and caterers, she added something about one important part of every traditional marriage aesthetic — Asoebi
So your Asoebi girls have paid their money from an earlier estimate you gave them and then you go to the market and the materials are now an additional ₦1000 per yard? How do you tell them to bring extra money when already it’s probably cleared from their budget?
It’s the same thing for bakers, the increment in raw bakery materials, logistics etc, a baker noted aesthetics is now the new trend for most clients, not size, which is definitely to cut cost. This year, Nigeria saw bakers go on strike last month over the rising costs of baking materials.
In all though, while court weddings and intimate family moments are being considered for lesser costs, weddings in Nigeria are still a huge industry that provides jobs in most sectors.
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