Editor’s Note: This year has been very unprecedented. The wedding industry has evolved and is still evolving. Today, we are happy to feature the talented Ifeoma Okoye of STMMagical Creations‘ article that shares7 Steps to Having the Wedding of Your Dreams in this Season. We featured the beautiful styled shoot she put together in Enugu here.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Globally, in 2018, the event industry was a $1,100 billion dollars industry, by 2026 it is expected to reach $2,330 billion dollars. The events industry in Nigeria contributes conservatively over N100 billion Naira to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and has over N1 trillion Naira in its turnover. All over the world, the events industry is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing sub-sector within the hospitality value chain. It has grown from rigid and obscure to quality and expressive in nature and have taken the shape of flamboyant weddings, concerts, brand corporate events and other social events.
Weddings have by far taken the center stage in the events industry to become the largest in the event world. The wedding industry has become an unprecedented gold mine and is thriving on the mindset that epitomizes marriage as a celebration of love and one of the highest points in people’s lives. The industry has contributed to the spontaneous growth of many businesses in the events value chain from event planners to makeup artists and lots more. In Africa, the story is not different, as the culture promotes ostentatious weddings and Nigeria is not left out. Nigeria alone is estimated to celebrate some of the most flamboyant and lavish weddings in the world, with an expected number of guests ranging from 500-2,000 and in some cases more.
2020 has however not been a good year for the event industry; weddings amongst other events have been hit hard with the recent pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19). With lockdowns, restrictions on social gatherings and travel ban to prevent the spread of the virus, the once $1,100 billion dollars industry has hit a rocket low for wedding vendors and couples who have spent months on end planning. Some couples have suffered huge financial loss and emotional vacuum, filled with a wind of uncertainty, some have had to postpone whilst some have sadly cancelled.
Amidst all these uncertainties wedding planners who are the key drivers in the industry are trying to make the best of the widespread lockdowns whilst eagerly anticipating the resumption of normal social activities with a cure and or vaccine. Making the best out of it includes adjusting to the realities of the new normal which is social distancing, strict hygiene policies and all the other World Health Organization and Federal Government guidelines and on COVID-19 preventive measures.
This article was put together for couples who choose to go ahead with their big day and for wedding planners, to guide them into the new dawn for now until things get back to normal. We put together a beautiful photoshoot to buttress some of the points to bring you seven ideas for weddings of the new dawn.
A lot of people have always admired intimate weddings from afar and often times it’s their deep desire to have one, but alas our African culture and parents would not have it Lol! Well, here’s your chance now. With travel bans and social gatherings not exceeding 20 persons and this is inclusive of any vendor who has to be physically present, the first thing is to cut down your guest list to only close family. Close family is always the safe route to go, that way you don’t have any friends feeling left out. With fewer people, you can ensure social distancing and better caution all round. You can have a beautiful intimate outdoor long banquet-style table set up with lush floral table runners. Candles, lights and flowers always give an intimate romantic ambiance; you also can never go wrong with a garden or rustic theme.
Home is always the Best
Thinking venue? Your home or the home of any family member is the best option. A home is a more controlled environment. You also have less to worry about with respect to hygiene and permissions. You can choose indoor by converting the living room or outdoor depending on the theme you’re going for. You can also use more than one part of the house especially if there are different stages in the ceremony. Example traditional wedding and white wedding or the vow ceremony area and reception area for a white wedding only.
You need to go digital as much as you can. From the invitation to the food menu to the wedding program if possible. You will also need to utilize digital tools to stream your wedding for family and friends who couldn’t make it. For aesthetics purposes, you can have only one or two prints to tie up the table setting.
Prioritize Your Vendors and Budget
This is not a time to fret about so many things, focus on the most important things to you. Look at your budget and decide on the projects that are most important to you both. The goal is to switch quality for quantity. You both just want to look your best and have beautiful memories of the day at this point. It is also important to note that only vendors who cannot deliver without being physically present should be allowed to attend. A one-man team if possible is better. If this is not possible, then at most two each. Projects that focus on preventive measures should also be top on the budget and this brings us to the next point.
Without a doubt, a lot has changed and it can no longer be business as usual for now. This means that you can no longer have an event without ensuring your guests and vendors are washing and sanitizing their hands constantly. Automatic dispensers are the way to go. Wearing a face mask should be stressed beforehand. However, it also needs to be provided on-site and made handy just in case there are guests and vendors who didn’t come with their own. Temperature check is also very important as well as ensuring vendors observe strict hygiene and sanitary conditions.
Food and Drinks on the Go
You would all agree that the most likely way to pass the virus at gatherings besides touch is in the course of service – food service, drinks and lots more. You can cut this down by allowing the guests to choose their menu beforehand when they RSVP. Their menu choice is eventually packaged in personalized food boxes or baskets complete with chops and their choice of drinks. They can reheat, wash and sanitize when they get home. Who says the popular “Take Away Pack” as we know it has to be boring. Remember the goal is now to switch quality for quantity. We introduced the “Food Box” and “Food Basket”. The food basket would work more for traditional weddings. These are cool ways to be safe and still make your guests feel special.
Keep it Short
It’s best to keep the ceremony and any reception that follows as short and as straight to the point as possible for now. Incorporate short heartfelt speeches as well.