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Inside Nigeria's million dollar wedding industry

As the year draws to a close, wedding season in Nigeria begins.Getting married in Africa's most populous count...

Posted: Dec 17, 2017 2:03 PM
Updated: Dec 17, 2017 2:03 PM

As the year draws to a close, wedding season in Nigeria begins.

Getting married in Africa's most populous country is big business and said to be worth millions of dollars, according to market research group, TNS Global.

The Nigerian wedding industry is growing fast and worth millions of dollars

Guest lists can go up to 1000 guests

Nigerian wedding can cost up to $9,460-$13,515 with guest lists matching the super-sized budgets.
Some weddings in the country cater for an average of 1000 guests.

"You can have five million Naira ($13,869.65) at one end of the spectrum, 20 million Naira ($55,478.60) in the middle and it can even get as high as 100 million Naira ($277,393)," prominent wedding planner Funke Bucknor tells CNN.

When the son of one of Africa's richest women, Folorunsho Alakija, got married in June, he had a lavish $6 million wedding at the prestigious Blenheim Palace in the United Kingdom.

UK media reported that the ceremony featured one million roses by celebrity florist Jeff Leatham, a 12ft-tall cake and a performance by American artist Robin Thicke in the $43,000 venue.

"Nigerian weddings are constantly evolving and each is peculiar," says events planner Leslie of 3a Event Solutions.

"Oftentimes the average number of guests expected differ from the actual number that turns up because Nigerian weddings are typically a communal affair and gatecrashing is presumed normal."

Fastest growing industry?

The wedding industry is considered one of the major contributors to Nigeria's economy.

It is credited for creating entire industries that didn't exist or were previously unprofitable, such as makeup artists and luxury toilet hire companies.

Nigeria recently played host to the largest wedding related gathering in Africa, Wed Festival attracting around 10,000 attendees.

"The wedding industry has played a huge role in makeup artistry and it's something we should be thankful for," says Jide of St. Ola, a celebrity makeup artist who says he charges a minimum of $1000 for bridal makeup.

Fashion designers have also benefited hugely from Nigeria's wedding boom. In previous years, wealthy brides would travel abroad to buy their wedding gowns but they are now turning to homegrown designers such as Mai Atafo and Ogugua Okonkwo of Style Temple.

It has also become fashionable for Nigerian couples to create hashtags around their weddings. Social media savvy couples want their weddings to trend on the various platforms such as Instagram and that means creative images, which can cost up to $1500 to $5000, according to wedding photographer Bayo Lawson.

Big budget brides

Some believe the trend for grand weddings in the country is driven by a desire to appear on aspirational online blogs and wedding magazines such as Bellanaija and Aisle Perfect where society weddings are featured regularly.

"Aisle Perfect caters to tasteful, glamorous weddings so I can see how it has fueled some of the desire," says editor-in-chief, Kunbi Odubogun.

"I think it's more of a mutually- fed relationship of demand and supply."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
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Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
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Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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