THE NEW MILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY

Getting married in Nigeria is a big deal and with time, it has also become a big business. It has given birth to a very lucrative industry and practitioners, which has created an entire industry that didn’t exist or were previously unprofitable, such as makeup artists, bespoke tailors, event planners, luxury toilet hire companies and the likes. In fact, anything associated with weddings in Nigeria is a big deal and a big business for anyone who plays his game well enough and cut into the pie.

According to CNN, the wedding industry is considered one of the major contributors to Nigeria’s economy. According to Euromonitor, a large portion of Nigeria’s consumption expenditure is spent on festivities such as weddings with N616.8 billion ($105 million) spent on CHAMPAGNE alone in 2017. This is not a mean fit for just saying “I do”!

Nigeria has played host severally to the largest wedding related gathering in Africa, Wed Festival trade show, where over 10000 attendees gather to showcase their wedding related goods and services.

“The wedding industry has played a huge role in makeup artistry and it’s something we should be thankful for,” says Jide of St. Ola, a celebrity makeup artist who says he charges a minimum of $1000 for bridal makeup unlike the $50 to $100 that was charged by big makeup artists in 2006.

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Picture from The Wedding party 2 movie

Fashion designers have also benefited hugely from the Nigeria’s wedding boom. Homegrown designers such as Mai Atafo and Ogugua Okonkwo of Style Temple are cashing in big time from the industry.  Depending on the choice of bespoke suit, Mai Atafo who hit the Nigerian fashion scene in 2010 charges about a 120,000 Naira upwards for the guys and for 230,000 Naira upwards for the females.

This goes ahead to show that anything is highly monetizable in Nigeria and indeed Africa given to its large population. The game of number always favour any business that keys into this. This is particularly interesting as it has dragged other astonishing business, such as mobile toilet along with it.

In the Nigeria wedding business, it is not uncommon to see a society wedding pulling 1000s of guests. A case in point is the recent wedding of Fatima Dangote that had guests from all over the world with many standings despite the capacity of the Hall.

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One of the Pioneers and millionaires of the industry, Funke Bucknor, says that wedding cost can get as high as 100 million Naira ($277,393) among the upper class of the society. For example, when the son of one of Africa’s richest woman, Folorunsho Alakija, went to the altar, about $6 million went down with it to fix the event which took place at the prestigious Blenheim Palace in the United Kingdom.

Some believe the trend for grand weddings in the country is driven by a desire to appear on aspirational online blogs and wedding magazines such as Bellanaija, Aisle Perfect, Ovation Magazine, and the likes.

But whatever be the aspiration for such huge expenses for a day’s event, it is surely making the industry boom while making a whole lot of people and their businesses very rich in the process.

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