Friday, 21 December 2012


To stage a high society wedding costs a fortune. About N80 million is needed for an elaborate one-and it’s not compulsory for the principal characters in the ceremony to provide all the funds.
Friends, families and sometimes associates foot some bills.

Among the high society it’s race to out-do one another as they spare no costs in staging their children’s wedding since the wedding of General Babaginda’s daughter years back, where a lot of money went down.
At the end of the day many rich personalities have spent heavily on their children’s wedding.
The standard set by Dr. Mike Adenuga, during his daughter Bella’s wedding was consolidated by the Shagayas and the Tukurs when they came together in marriage.
And to set another standard, Dr. Doyin Abiola, after staging an elaborate engagement ceremony for her daughters here in Lagos moved her friends and well wishers to Dubai for the final lap.
It cost the wife of late Chief MKO Abiola a fortune.
We present here all the areas that the rich spend fortunes on to stage a high society wedding.
                                             WEDDING VENUE                      
Event venues at high brow areas are always the choice for high society weddings. Presently, the most expensive and the most patronized event venue for high society wedding is the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island,Lagos.
People prefer this place because of its size and facilities despite it’s rentage fee which is officially N8.5 million. Because it’s a hotel, no food and drinks are allowed, except on special arrangement with the hotel management.
Clients pay extra N4.5 million for food and drinks provided by the hotel kitchen and another refundable fee of N1 million which covers caution fee in the event of damage.
Two high profile weddings have been staged here-The Shagaya/Tukur elaborate wedding and the  Dr. Doyin Abiola daughter’s wedding which attracted the who is who.
There are also other event venues where high society weddings take place.
KFA Event along Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos.The rentage fee here is N1.5 million; Muson Centre, Onikan,Lagos is N1.3 million.
                                              BRIDAL ACCESSORIES
The rich and the famous don’t spare any cost in sourcing their wedding garbs bearing in mind that the ceremony only comes once in a lifetime.
So, intending couple prefer stepping out in beautiful clothes. That is why most of them prefer buying their bridal wears outside the shores of the country, in places like UK and USA.
Findings has it that a bridal gown abroad costs nothing less than $2,000 or more not counting the cost of airfare abroad.
Bridal accessories’ dealer, Ndidi Obioha is one of the most patronized here in Lagos.She imports her gowns and some of them cost as much as N50, 000 or more.
The better the bridal gown, the more beautiful the bride. The same things go for the wedding suit which costs at least N150, 000 apiece.
                                                WEDDING PLANNER
The wedding planner is the soul of every wedding ceremony.
They are the ones who take off all the stress on a wedding preparation. Rather than going from one place to the other, intending couple shift all that to the wedding planner, who is contracted to get all the logistics needed.
Key figures making fortunes from this trade include Zapphire Events owned by Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Elizabeth R’s Ibidun Ighodalo, Yewande Onabiyi of Sara O Events; Lara Akinoso of Just Weddings, Funmi Victor Okigbo’s wedding company.
According to our findings, the official service fees for those top event planners range from N5 million upward depending on the personality involved. This fee excluded costs to contract food and drinks, vendors and others like small chops, juice and desserts providers.
                                                 CAKES AND CONFECTIONARY              
Suppliers of cakes and other confectionaries at high society weddings pocket as much as N100, 000 for their services.
There are also N500, 000 cake, depending on what the couple wants, Imperial Cakes, Absolute Elegance, Cakes and Creams are some of the most sought after cakes providers now in Lagos.
It is generally believed that the size, colour and shape of a wedding cake boost the ego of the couple and their families.
The make-up practitioners are making a lot of money from this job of beautifying a bride on her wedding day.
Most practitioners will always say it’s like a hobby for them before they discovered a goldmine in the lucrative trade.
The high society top practitioners in the industry and one person who is very much busy now is BM Pro’s Banke Meshida Lawal. Despite her high fee, she gets jobs as far as Dubai, UAE to make-up brides.
People like Tara Fela Durotoye also get her own jobs. Little wonder many young Nigerians are taking up this kind of service.
The entertainment angle of a high society wedding include: the wedding performer,compere and disc jockey.
Popular wedding performer, Akinloye Tofowomo’s Shuga Band is making it big, supplying good music at weddings. He is the most sought after performer now. He charges as much as N800, 000 for events within Lagos and close to a million naira for engagement outside Lagos.
Sometimes if he has to travel outside the country for wedding just as he did for Dr. Doyin Abiola at her daughter’s wedding in Dubai, he charges above a million naira.
Another wave making wedding performer is Eboni Band.
Wedding comperes, usually popular comedians are hire for high society wedding.
Comedian Ajibade Oyewande, who has also anchored A-list weddings in recent times revealed that he charges as high as N500, 000 for his services.
The minimum I have charged is N150, 000 depending on the personality involved
Other comedians like Ali Baba, Tee A, Basketmouth, Julius Agwu, charge more than N1 million.
The disc jockeys usually complement the services of wedding performers.
DJ Jimmy Jatt, DJ Top, DJ Humility are those top disc jockeys regular at high society weddings.
                            INTRODUCTION/ENGAGEMENT CEREMONY
These two ceremonies precede the elaborate wedding. There is no doubt a lot of money is usually spent on the engagement ceremony before the wedding jamboree.
Special letters are chosen for the engagement which at times cost a fortune. The high and mighty show their financial buoyancy with the engagement ceremony. They pay for the venue, wedding planner, performers.
                                               THE ASO EBI             
This is specially chosen clothes by both families.It’s generally a norm at high society weddings.
Mrs. Joko Oni, the CEO of Gold Rush, is known for this kind of trade. She supplies expensive aso ebi for high society wedding.
These aso ebi are distributed among friends, families and well wishers at a price.
A specially chosen lace, head gear and other stuff cost as much as N250, 000 or less. At the end of the day, all the money accrued from the sales of aso ebi after the supplier must have subtracted her charges, go to the parents of the couple who financed the venture. They in return expend some money on souvenirs which are distributed to guests who adorn the chosen aso ebi.
The decorator ensures the wedding reception venue appears beautiful and eye pleasing. Because of the high cost of materials used in decorating wedding venues, especially the gazebo, and flowers, the decorators charges exorbitantly in the range of millions.
Akin and Yemi Ariyo’s Open Hands, Yemi Adeyeye’s Flower Plus and Yele Majekodunmi’s Newton and Davids are the busiest décor practitioners in recent times.
                                                          WEDDING PROGRAMME              
The programmes at church weddings come in different colours, sizes and shapes for high society wedding.
The choice is always all colour, all gloss type with photographs of the couple neatly imprinted on the pages.
Findings has it that to produce a wedding programme locally costs over N100, 000 for 100 copies.
                                                           INVITATION CARDS
The box type invitation cards is now the most popular among the high society, and findings has it that one box which contain all the details of the wedding ceremony costs as much as N5,000.
The normal invitation cards, however, is not cheap either. To produce a 100 copies locally costs as much as N60,000.
                                                         MUSIC STARS’ SPECIAL APPEARANCE
Popular music stars, apart from making money from their record sales, their major income comes from wedding performances in the last few years.
The silver spoon kids usually request that their favourite music stars perform at their wedding fully paid for by their parents.
Top entertainers who are usually seen at weddings are 9ice,2face, P-Square,MI and Waje.Their fees depend on their popularity.
9ice for example, will not take less than N2 million for just an appearance. The same thing goes for 2face Idibia.
MI can be contracted with a N1 million appearance fee, while Waje and other female pop stars may settle for N700, 000 and below.
Recall years back American hip hop star, Joe was brought to Nigeria for one of IBB daughter’s wedding in Minna.
Security is very crucial to the success of high society weddings.
There are private security outfits like K-Square, Voltron and Event Secure who are ever present at high profile weddings in Lagos.
Their services are not cheap.
                                                              LIMOUSINE SERVICE
It is not the usual practice to hire an executive automobile to ferry the couple to the reception venue. The most commonly used vehicle now is a stretch Hummer limousine from Island Limo Services.
To hire a limousine for a day cost N300, 000 while for a Range Rover Sport, it’s N200, 000.Apart from hiring a limousine, some wealthy individuals prefer to buy an expensive vehicle for their children during their wedding.
For example, wealthy business woman, Hajia Bola Shagaya acquired a Rolls Royce Ghost for her son at his wedding in 2010.
After all the razzmatazz at a wedding ceremony, the couple fly out for their honeymoon.
Dubai, Malaysia, the UK or even America has always been the destination for this task.They spend heavily for this trip.
                                                        WEDDING IN DUBAI             
This is another usual practice currently on among the high society. Just to stand out, some high profile personalities fly out friends and families to Dubai for their wards’ wedding.
They also fly out all the vendors for the wedding, lodged in expensive hotels there and come back may be a week after.
In 2010, Dr. Doyin Abiola staged her daughter’s wedding in Dubai just after a year TFC’s boss, Mrs. Yinka Adedayo spent over N100 million on her only child’s wedding in Dubai.


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