Destination Wedding: A new trend among Nigerians

Banquet arrangements, sweet music, beautiful decorations, exquisite chandeliers, air conditioners creating a cozy atmosphere in a hall encapsulated in a hotel or event center defines the normal Nigerian indoor wedding ceremony. Infact, the wedding is usually done in the Bride’s father’s house, home town or where her parents reside. However, this choice of hosting a wedding ceremony is gradually being reformed by Millenials and Gen Z couples. Fashion and lifestyle have shown that people’s tastes keep changing over time – this is the case with choosing a venue for wedding. These days, couples prefer to leave their home town to an entirely far location, one they have always wished to travel to. This is called Destination wedding.

Simi and Adekunle Gold private wedding at Sencillo Lagos
Simi and Adekunle Gold private wedding at Sencillo Lagos

Destination Weddings is defined as a wedding ceremony done in a location other than your home town or city. Weddings normally involve guests travelling to your home area. A destination wedding provides an opportunity for every guest to travel to a chosen location outside of where the bride and groom live to celebrate your wedding.

Popular Nigerians who observed Destination Weddings

Nigerian celebs have been known to follow the trend of having a destination wedding. Let’s take a look at a few who had their get-away wedding ceremonies either far away from home or in Nigeria.

Stephanie Okereke and her husband during their wedding in France

  • On April 21, 2012, Stephanie Okereke Linus and her husband, Linus Idahosa got married at L’Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay in France.
  • In 2013, Tuface & his wife had white wedding at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, a five star resort centre in Dubai. The reception was held at the exotic Royal Island Beach, Dubai.
  • In 2014, Nigerian Artist Tiwa Savage got wedded to her ex-husband in Armani hotel Burj Khalifa, Dubai.
  • JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai was the destination where Toolz and her husband, Captain Demuren had their lovely wedding ceremony on Saturday, May 28, 2016.
  • Banky Wellington and Adesua Etomi wedding in 2017, which was the talk of town, took place in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • In January 2019, Adekunle Gold and Simi tied the knot in a private wedding held in a private beach in Lagos, Nigeria.

Destination Wedding Places in Nigeria

Nigeria is a country saturated with lots of places adorned with beauty that nature brings, including historical locations.

The Jaekel House , Lagos

This is one of the reasons tourist love coming into the country to have a taste of these beautiful places. Some of these places are:

  • Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River: With rich natural vegetation and a picturesque view, this resort is a perfect place for your get-away wedding. It has hotels to accommodate as many people that you have invited for your wedding.
  • Lekki Leisure: The privately owned beach in Lagos is renowned for its view of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a lovely place for beach lovers who want a destination wedding. It also gives the perfect environment for honeymoon.
  • Jaekel House, Lagos: Situated at Ebute Metta, Lagos, Nigeria, this house was built in 1898 on a large expanse of landscaped land though it was renovated and given a facelift in 2010 with an extensive garden spicing its beauty. Some scenes of Kunle Afolayan’s Independence-era movie, October 1 and a Simi music video were shot at Jaekel House. Many millennial couples have used it for their wedding ceremonies – this makes it a god spot for destination wedding, especially for people living outside Lagos.
  • The Kajuru Castle, Kaduna: The Kajuru Castle was built between 1981 & 1989 by a German expatriate, Gerhard Huebner, who was living in Southern Kaduna at that time. The Castle offers tours and has a spa; it is ideal for a small party because the castle only offers twelve rooms. It is a perfect place for private wedding with very little audience.
  • Other places are La Campagne Tropicana Resort, Lagos, Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, Yankari National Park, Yankari, Zuma Rock Resort, Abuja, etc.

Pros of Destination Wedding

For the couples, a destination wedding is fun & romantic; it lets them build a vacation into the actual wedding. Some destination weddings involve just the couple with few family members, others include a few close friends and family, and others are full blowout affairs with multiple parties over a long wedding weekend, depending on the finance and desires of the couples.

Banky Wellington and Adesua Etomi wedding with family and friends

A destination wedding can be as cool and casual as you like. You can wear the most casual attire, and be in a comfort zone of your own.

Destination weddings are usually Cost effective, customizable and STRESS free! Habitually, couples often plan their destination weddings and honeymoon in the same location.

Cons of Destination Wedding

For guests, it’s usually more expensive than attending a local wedding, as the cost of transportation and reservation of hotels or guest house are incurred.

For the couples, the price they pay for destination wedding is not having many of their loved ones available for the wedding. In many cases, the couple come back to hold reception for their loved ones who couldn’t make it for their destination wedding.

Insecurity & society unrest is a big factor that affects destination wedding, especially if you travel to locations far away from major cities or countries experiencing political unrests. For example, in 2019, armed bandits killed a British woman and a Nigerian man, and abducted three other people in Kajuru Castle, Kaduna.

Planning your Destination Wedding

Planning a wedding can be tiring and stressful, so the best thing to do is to plan early. Have the big picture in your mind, envisaging how you want that D-day to be. Ask yourself, “Do I want a beach wedding? Should it be in the middle of a big city or a park? Etc. You should have in your mind that place you have always wanted to be or a place that fits into your budget.

Pick a date to know the best time to travel to your choice location, including the best time for good weather.

Make a guest list; you should your family members and closest friends what date will work best for them. That way, the people you care about will be able to plan ahead and make it.

Visit the location or hire a planner you trust: this will give you a chance to meet in person with vendors. It is always very advisable to hire a wedding planner except you have close friends or family who can help out

Once you know where your wedding will be, you can work on the small details like your style, colors and design.

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