As promised, this is the first of 2 posts on weddings I’ve attended in Nigeria recently…
So, myself and a few friends were in Abuja, Nigeria as bridesmaids to another friend that was getting married. Aside from the hard work (collecting money in uber high heels, constantly ‘flanking’ the bride, sweating from our scalps right through to our diva-ish tresses all the while trying to look hot) it was very interesting.
NB: Some of the terminology in the above paragraph was new to me as well, e.g. flanking – I was sure this was Nigerian slang for support until I heard it said by one of the TV commentators on the day of the royal wedding that one large monument was being flanked by 2 others. LIGHT BULB moment!
Back to the wedding; I’ll talk you through the 2 day extravaganza in pictures.
DAY 1 – We flew into Nnamdi Azikwe airport, just about showered and beautified and were off to the bride’s house to get her ready for the traditional engagement.
These pictures showcase the richness and beauty of the yoruba culture. I am in love with peaches and corals, so I absolutely adored her outfit.
When I say extravaganza, I really mean it – the venue holds 2000 people. This is not out of the ordinary in Nigeria where the 500 people weddings we have in England are considered small.
In between having fun and working, I slid my wedding planner/designer hat on and took note of the fact that draping is all the rage in Nigeria. I showed a fellow planner/designer some pictures of centrepieces and decor I had taken when visiting UK vendors and she was blown away.
The bride with me and the ladies in outfits made out of ankara material
And that was day 1, many mosquito bites and broken (or at least severely strained) bones in feet later.
DAY 2 – An abnormally early rise considering we pretty much flew into the engagement – 5am. I made sure to take pictures as evidence of my suffering
But I think we scrubbed up well. This was a DIY job – a collaborative effort between my bendy rollers, MAC and Bobbi Brown make up and my friend turned make up artist.
At this point we were melting in the limo. Note to anyone that will be in the bridal party of a Nigerian (or any subsaharan African country) wedding, make up does NOT last. It either melts or simply disappears off your face. So touch ups in the limo were a necessity. Oh and invariably, curls disappear and your hairstyle becomes an up do.
Unfortunately no pictures were taken inside the reception because we were too busy having fun but in words; it was fun, funny, big, delicious, embarrassing, hard work, musical, romantic, tear jerky (?), colourful and so worth it.
I’ll leave you to think about what could possibly have happened in there 😉
Photographs taken by:
One final impression – by Atunbi Photography