I was working nonstop over Christmas, so I had some time off after new year and now I’m back to share some wedding research and adventures from Nigeria!
You may have seen on my social media that I was celebrating a friend’s wedding in Lagos, Nigeria, last week. And what a wedding it was! It was a week-long celebration hosted by the couple and their families, which included some form of party nearly every day we were there. From the bridal shower, to beach party bonding, to the traditional Nigerian wedding, then there was the groom’s surprise birthday party, then came the white wedding followed by the crazy afterparty! It was a true celebration of life and love.
It all kicked off with ‘Laide’s Glamourous Bridal Shower’, which I had to make a dash for as soon as I stepped off the plane in Lagos. Bridal showers are a custom that can be traced back to the late 1800s, and have traditionally been a gift-giving tea party in honour of the bride – to ‘shower’ the bride with gifts and love to prepare her for her big day and married life thereafter. Instead of or as well as a hen party, they are usually a more civilised and classy affair, with a more intimate group of close friends and family, and typically take the form or a tea party, lunch, or dinner.
Bridal showers are not common in Scottish wedding traditions (they are more popular is the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) so I absolutely loved being part of it all and picked up some great ideas and tips for future bridal shower goals.
Invites are important to set the tone of the day. The bridesmaids used Paperless Post for Laide’s shower invites. Paperless Post offers thousands of free online card designs, and is interactive so each guest can leave an RSVP, update, or message. This was especially handy as most guests were coming from far and wide, and was great to update all the guests on any time or location changes closer to the event.
• Publish any notes on suggested gifts (see ‘Games’ section below)
• Publish any notes on food or drink (for allergies etc)
• Note from the beginning if there will be any costs involved
• Personalise the invite with pictures of the Bride/Couple
• Set a dress code (usually the bride wears white and everyone else wears black – our dress code was ‘short black cocktail dresses’)
The bridesmaids hired Just Showers By Etal Events to host the evening, which included all décor, tables, chairs, food, party planning and photography from Weezy Scott Photography. And wasn’t it stunning? I particularly loved the personalised backdrop, and the Bailey’s and Pink Moscato candyfloss pots were such a cute touch too.
• Keep décor classy – themes are for hen parties
• Be mindful of costs for guests, as they will already be bringing a gift
• Use double sided tape to stick balloons to the ceiling rather than spending money on helium (that’s how these balloons were achieved!)
• Ask someone else to host for you so you can have fun, whether it be a friend or hired help
• (I also do bridal showers!)
Laide’s cake was by Sweet Indulgence by Ola. A custom cake always makes an event seem that little bit more special, and is a great focal point for the evening. It means you can make a bit of an event of cutting it and handing it out. A cake topper turns it from a focal point into a show stopper.
• Don’t go all out with more than one tier – you don’t want to overshadow the wedding cake
• Find out what the wedding cake will be like in advance, so you don’t inadvertently choose something similar
• Add a cake topper – even if it’s just a small piece of memorabilia from the bride’s childhood
I had a fairly chilled evening of food and drinks getting to know the other girls at the shower, but a couple of games were thrown in for fun. Each guest was asked to bring a pair of knickers with them on the evening, and for the first game the bride had to pick the knickers out of a bag and guess who each pair was from! A few shots were also thrown in for every answer Laide got wrong, and a shot was imposed on the guest if she guessed it right! For another game, upon arrival each guest was asked to write down a truth or dare for the bride… but come 10pm this was reversed on the guest! This was hilarious and was great bonding for everyone at the shower! I’m so glad I arrived late as I didn’t get the chance to write one down!
• Try to involve everyone
• Don’t get the bride too drunk, embarrass or stress her
• Try to add elements from the groom – a secret answers quiz is always fun (which we also did)
• Try to host in a close friend’s house so you have no time limitations and a relaxed atmosphere for games (which is how this one worked too)
The icing on the cake was a cute favour for each guest, supplied by Perk Bag Co gift consultation service. These were personalised for the shower with Laide’s name and the date, and contained (quite humorously) a shower cap, some lollipops, and a nail polish (‘mani-thanks’ and ‘to a lifetime of getting nailed’!) for each guest. Love!
• A favour is a polite way to thank guests for coming to ‘shower’ the bride with gifts
• However, it doesn’t have to be expensive and can simply be some of the cake to take away
• Homemade favours are also great
• A little personalised tag, even handwritten, makes all the difference
Bridal showers are such a great way to kick off wedding celebrations, and I can’t wait for my next one! They’re also great for brides who are not the partying type and are not fussed about having a hen do, as well as brides who don’t drink or more mature brides who would like something a little more low key than a hen party.
With many thanks to all the beautiful bridesmaids for organising such a wonderful and successful evening, and to the gorgeous bride (now wife!) for letting me share some of her celebrations!
All photos kindly c/o Weezy Scott Photography who captured all the glamour of the evening beautifully.
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