Having lived all my life in Lagos, I have always dreamt of getting a romantic wedding proposal in a foreign land (Paris to be precise) and even saying my vows in an exotic location. Perhaps on Zanzibar Island or in the beautiful city of Dubai.
Then as I grew older, reality hit me, I realized the cost of planning a small wedding in Nigeria is just enough to put a dent in your finances if you do not belong to the class of elites and this made me wonder if it was just wishful thinking for the middle class and low income earners to aspire to have a destination wedding.
Are you getting married soon? An unapologetic romantic like myself who is fantasizing about saying the sacred vows in an exotic location? Your dream of having a fairy tale wedding isn’t farfetched after all.
A few tips have been put together called the “planning a destination wedding checklist”:
- Create your dream destination right where you are:
Nigeria is home to an assortment of places suitable for your destination wedding, a number of these places can double as a honeymoon destination and an ideal wedding location. Check out these top 10 romantic honeymoon destinations in Nigeria;
- Obudu Mountain Resort
- La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort
- Eko Tourist Beach Resort
- The Whispering Palms Resort
- Le Meridien Ibom Golf Resort.
- La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort.
- Clear Essence California Spa and Wellness Resort
- Jhalobia Recreational Park and Garden
- Kamp Ikare
- La Manga Luxury Villas
For people who can’t afford to travel at all. Probably due to a health concern of one of the parents, you may choose to create the wedding of your dreams right where you are with the help of an event planner.
Create a destination theme that matches the country of your dreams “Dubai in Lagos” or “a Paris themed wedding”, our event planners are killing it right now with their innovative ideas. Create the destination wedding you have always wanted by exploring options like the Jhalobia Recreational Park and Garden where you can have a beautiful garden wedding or check out resorts in Lagoslike the Eko Tourist Beach Resort for a lovely Lagos Beach wedding.
A beautiful outdoor wedding at the Clear Essence California Spa and Wellness Resort in Lagos where there is a package for romantic getaways and pampering spa escape is also sure to leave you breathless.
- Consider your family & friends:
Be sensible, choose a location both families can easily access, this way you end up making things easy for your guests. You can choose a visa free country like Mauritius, which is visa free for about 90 days or Tanzania where you can get a visa upon arrival.
- Create a budget and stick to it:
It is advisable to create a budget for your big day and by all means stick to it, to avoid having “Money Tension” during and after the big day. If a Paris wedding would not work for your budget, stick to a location that is both affordable yet exotic.
Remember, creating a budget ensure you do not put a dent in your finances and allows you go easy on yourself. It also helps you make wise decisions, you can fly in your most important vendors and use local talent for the rest.
- Stick to off peak travel seasons:
Ensure you keep high travel season in mind, there is a lot more room for negotiation if it’s not peak season but you should also avoid putting yourself at risk for bad weather. Try booking just at the cusp of the low to high season, to ensure major weather threats have passed but the resort or destination isn’t operating at full capacity yet.
- Make detailed enquires:
In some countries you are required to stay there for a certain period of time before you can be legally allowed to wed there. Therefore, to avoid hitches, get your marriage paperwork figured out ahead of time or get legally hitched in your home country before setting out to have the ceremony of your dreams. This way you are certain of the legitimacy of everything and you end up saving fees for paperwork, officiants and lawyers fee.
- Get a planner:
Getting an event planner may just be one of the best decisions you’ll make for your wedding as many can’t afford the time and extra cost of visiting the destination prior to the wedding. Event planners save you a ton of money, time and stress as they make all necessary enquiries and preparation ahead of your destination wedding.
Choose a wedding planners who specialize in the place or area you are considering getting hitched as they have more insight into the best deals, hotel options and can even help score the best travel deals for your guests.
- Pick a venue that doesn’t require tenting:
Having an outdoor event can be surreal and can save you the extra cost of procuring a tent, decorating, putting in flooring and lighting it up to name just a few.
Look for a venue that doesn’t require tenting but has a covered area for backup in case of an unpleasant weather. This way, you can get a plan B at no extra cost, as the resort management will be pleasant enough to offer you the option to avoid hitches.
- Create a theme around your local element:
Make smart decisions when it comes to venue selection, take a look at the design of the space and location, the cultural elements and local foliage to ensure it fits with how you have envisioned your wedding.
Don’t try to bring in foreign elements into your chosen destination, it will look unnatural and you get to waste a substantial amount to bring in the décor.
- Honeymoon meets Destination Wedding:
Having your honeymoon in the same place or same country you had your wedding is a smart way to save cash. It is therefore advisable to choose a destination which holds the appeal of a romantic stay as well as the ideal location for saying your vows. You can spice things up after the wedding by exploring the city and switching suites.