Sunday, April 22, 2012

Destination Weddings - Stephanie and Linus Idahosa

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Some pictures just make you go awww. Stephanie Okereke got married yesterday in Paris and her wedding pictures are now everywhere on the interwebs. The photos I think are really beautiful, with what is most important, a happy, smiling couple.

The guests are also looking great, Bellanaija is reporting that there were about 400 of them, which included several Nollywood actors. I was reading somewhere whether small weddings were possible in Nigeria, where guest lists usually start from 200 and run up to thousands, or if one had to have a destination wedding in order to minimize the number of guests.

But I wonder about destination weddings, don't they come with their own palava and expenses - travel, lodging, etc? I am thinking that if you keep the invitations low-key, and stay away from extended family and social groups, you might just work out a small wedding in Nigeria.

My own church wedding/reception in Nigeria had at least 500 people in attendance and that was because we had split the guest list over two days. A similar number has attended the traditional wedding the previous day. Left to me, I would have had a small wedding, but our parents are the social types and it made us happy to honor them that way, especially as they supported us a lot in the planning as we were both outside the country. All the wedding activities went without a hitch and everyone was happy.

That said, I can however see the appeal of exclusive, invites-only weddings, whether in Nigeria or at a destination outside the country - has anyone considered a Nigerian destination wedding - like Obudu, or Abuja if you both live in Lagos? With such a wedding, it is likely you know all the guests personally and you can cater with a specific number of people in mind, helping to keep expenses within your budget.

So what about you ladies and gentlemen - if married, which one did you go for, and did it meet what you wanted? If you're not married yet, which do you prefer and why?

BTW, you can see more pictures of the Stephanie Okereke wedding here.


  1. Stephanie and Linus look really happy. I wish them every success and joy in their marriage.

    Mo Cushla and I had a huge traditional ceremony in my village where the guests were mostly our parents. Then we also had a huge church wedding in the UK. The guests were a mix of ours and the parents friends as well as family.

    I can see the appeal for destination weddings but I didn't have one because I wanted as many of our friends and family as could to share in the joy of our special day.

  2. I would love to have a destination wedding, far away from Nigeria...I hope to have enough money for it oh.

  3. Blessings....
    They do look beautiful.
    Getting married is the easy part, staying married well now therein lies the challenge.

    I wish them all the best and may they learn to protect each others hearts and have each others backs always.

    peace and blessings to you my friend.
    rhapsody (join me?) (read reviews on your books) (follow me?)

  4. We had our traditional wedding in my wife's village and we still couldn't do away with the crowd,believe me. My mother-in-law had groups who had to come to honor her, my brother-in-law came with his friends, and of course my own family.
    The church wedding was in a town where my wife and I grew up,so having the crowd was unavoidable.
    The fact remains that we are Africans and we have to accept the family influence over us.
    Trying to cut down on attendees can sometimes be seen like you are deliberately trying to exclude them from sharing in your joy, I am telling you this from personal experience.
    Both traditional and church weddings went well anyways, thank God for family and friends who were on hand to help carry out delegated tasks.

  5. Soo much can be done with small numbers... I think I would follow that set up :-)

  6. The wedding gown is one of a kind, very beautiful couple.I am happy for Stephanie that she got another chance at love after her first marriage ended in a disaster.

    I wonder how they flew over 400 people to PARIS, ticket is expensive. But if you see most of the guest belong to their celebrity circle. So it's nothing to them.

    She had every girl's dream to wed in PARIS. Wow!

  7. I think the reason why people settle for destination weddings is to trim the fat. A 1,000 person wedding in Nigeria is normal - as you experienced. When you hold it at a destination that is far away plus stingy with Visas, you may be successful at trimming the fat.

    Lovely idea about Obudu but that is still in the neighborhood and a lot of people can afford the ticket, lol!

    @Destiny - Yankeenaijachick: I understand that Air France gave discounts for this wedding. Plus the couple won't be responsible for buying the tickets.

  8. as for me and mine its gonna be a destination wedding still haven't decided on where yet...he has a small family while my family alone can provided at least 200 guests and this is just family immeadiate and extended we still haven't added our parents friends especially mum's numerous women's groups and our friends. I don't want a carnival i want something intimate and simple, to keep the peace we will have a celebration of sorts back home though but the church wedding which to me is the main one is going to be a destination wedding

  9. A destination wedding is by far cheaper, cuz the guests actually pay their way, all you need to do is accommodate them for the wedding’s eve and the wedding night. The destination also doubles as your honeymoon. I’d’v been very happy with a destination wedding of 20-25 guests.
    The main bane of my fights with my dad was the no of guests. Upon how I struggled and fought I still had about 600 guests which is even small. I have been to a wedding that held on a Thursday to cut down on the no of guests and they still had about 1.500 guests. How many would they have had if they did it on a sat. it was a shonibare wedding.

    Anyways if one can put their feet down like Sirius and freeksho, who had about 70 guests here in Lagos. But it depends on the family. I am the only daughter of my parents, so fo course the emotional blackmail of you are denying us the only opportunity we have to……came up.

    My day was perfect but the money we (plus support from family) spent on it, would have bought us 2 SUVs

  10. Destination weddings are expensive,

    For a couple just about to start life,it is better you risk the wedding crashers than consider a destination wedding.In my humble opinion though.

    The couple look very cute,nice.

  11. destination weddings are quite expensive. if you have the pocket for it, why not... if not.. well cut your coat according to your size.

    as for cutting down guests.. i dont think it is possible to do that in nigeria without people that were not invited cursing you.. lol okay i am just being extreme there but you get my point... even with a guest list of 750 there will still be people that would be offended they were not invited etc etc.. all na politics!

  12. i should add that the wedding looks very tasteful... very.. hmmmm

  13. Well, the thing about a destination wedding is that trying to run away from spending more on trying to attain to your guests actually exposes one to more expenses. If the purpose is based on counting cost, I do not think it is cost effective, but if the aim is to regulate the number of people you want to see at your wedding, then it is perfect. I mean no one will go through all that stress to attend except if they are really your close peeps, in that way you reduce the number of "wedding crashers" and "where the party at today" kinda people. Another good score would be for someone that wants some class, you can be sure that the ones that would be able to make it, will only be those that can afford it.

    I'd like a small wedding myself just because I'd like to celebrate it with close peeps but you know how Nig parents are, maybe I can only wish for that LOl

    P.s I really loved Stephanie's look, simplicity at it's best!
    God bless their union

  14. It's just sad the amount of pressure that's put on people because of our cultural set up. If you don't invite people, some people are offended. And even people you hardly speak to, expect to be invited! Then count extended family - Hence the 1000 guests. Personally I prefer small weddings - 100 0r less. but in nigeria, that's practically impossible to achieve. I think people should just split the wedding into two and have some attend the trad while others attend church/reception. There are ways round it. Destination weddings are a cop out and Nigerians should learn to appreciate their own.

    When someone has a destination wedding - It's like saying: come to my wedding only if you can afford it! Now that sucks - but that's Naija for you. Too much focus on money and status. People don't think about what messages they are putting out..But it sure reflects their own values of other people and themselves.

  15. Planning a small wedding for later this year; we both detest big weddings (thank God our families approve too). Its actually a very difficult feat to organize a small wedding in Nigeria but its possible. My elder sis's wedding was very small about 50 guests and we all had maximum fun. Mine will be about 100 guests, just family members and very close friends. Already preparing my apology speech for uninvited guests.

    The idea of a destination wedding sounds very appealing but expensive a for us now.

    Big congrats to Stephanie and Linus, wish the beautiful couple the very best

  16. I've always wanted a small wedding. I don't talk to a lot of people and I don't like crowds, and I've always thought weddings should be intimate, with only people who truly care about you. But the fact is I'm Nigerian and people would be offended if you don't invite them. So the plan, whenever it does happen, is a big traditional ceremony to make the parents and extended family happy, then a tiny church wedding and maybe brunch for immediate family and very very close friends.

    Stephanie's wedding looked awesome, though.

  17. Well I have worked at ALL kinds of weddings, very small to over 600 they all have there plus and minus except for the very large which I do not understand - it should be with people you know well, that is kinda the whole point!

    I have always wanted to work in Nigeria and am thinking of spending some time there and you are correct I have seen many weddings cost less than a local wedding for many local vendors are so expensive and it depends on where people are coming from, if most have to travel anyway why not travel somewhere nice!

  18. i am all for small intimate weddings and wouldn't mind a destination wedding. If the people getting offended by not being invited to my wedding paid my school fees, fed me, clothed me, sheltered me and were basically a part of my upbringing then shame on me otherwise i could not care less...

  19. I also think a destination wedding will be quite expensive, infact at the end of the day, if it is destination wedding outside the country, it may be equivalent to having a big wedding in Nigeria.

    I am getting married in the last quarter and we are planning for 500 guests, thats what we can afford.

    If 500 extra guests show up, they are on their own.

    I think couples getting married should just work with their budget, if the parents wants more guests then they should be ready to cater for them.

  20. I dont think Destination weddings are necessarily cheap - they are just perfect for having the kinda wedding you want. Yeah sometimes its a status thing but i hope if i take that road my friends will understand.


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