A Nigerian Bride on the Beautifully OTT World of Naija Weddings

On a recent phone call from Lagos, Nigeria, newlywed Lisa-Leigh Aladekomo assures me that her 2,000-guest traditional ceremony last year to husband Tomiwa Aladekomo was hardly the OTT affair that has come to define the bustling Nigerian wedding circuit.

“People do much, much bigger weddings in Nigeria,” the power-sector CFO says with a laugh. Five thousand guests, she explains, some with corporate sponsors, circus performers, goodie bags that include iPads—that is the making of an extravagant wedding in Naija terms. Not something as “small” as her own two ceremonies (a white wedding followed the next day), up to six outfit changes, and two event planners. A quick scroll through the hashtag #nigerianwedding on Instagram—yielding images of couples popping out of Rolls-Royces, guests posing on step and repeats, and brides adorned in a mix of traditional livery and trailing white wedding gowns—would seem to support Lisa-Leigh’s claim. “The Nigerian wedding market is crazy!” she laughs. “I think the Internet is helping fuel it—people want to see the ceremony straight away, so the things you can do are getting bigger and bigger. Everyone is trying to be different. For me, I wanted people to have fun. I wanted there to be enough food, enough space for my friends to dance, and something to make the parents feel happy and proud. It tends to take over you and you can get upset—but I had two goals and I accomplished them, and I was happy.”

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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