Is It Really a Wedding, If it’s Not Abroad?

Why Nigerians are Obsessed with Destination Weddings


From your favorite celebrities, to that girl from Psych 101 whose name you didn’t even know until you saw her pre-wedding pictures on your group chat (we’ve all been there), everyone seems to be jetting off to some exotic location for their nuptials these days.

Destination weddings have slowly become a major part of Nigerian wedding culture with anyone who is anyone, pulling all the strings they can to ensure that their wedding gown doesn’t touch Naija soil. Then they’re the friends and family who are willing to risk it all, money and safety, just so they can grace said event and post hashtags that end with geo locations, for example #JoJoMauritius2018.

We’ve been brought up not to joke with weddings in Nigeria, you could spend all your savings on creating the event of the year and loose weight two months later because you’ve been “dieting”, but who cares? After all, your wedding was memorable.
Once upon a time the wedding both traditional and white, belonged to your parents, you were just a well-dressed Guest of Honor. But generation hashtag has changed that, giving only the traditional wedding to the folks and booking the next available flight to any country with picturesque skies.

There are a ton of reasons why we just can’t seem to get enough of obodoyinbo weddings, I mean you can ask everyone from Banky and Adesua (Nigeria’s official IT couple) who made guests fly out to South Africa or the wedding party 2 producers who felt the only way to top the first wedding, was to take the next one to Dubai.

If you think living in this country is an extreme sport, try getting married in it. You can take full charge of your wedding with minimal aunties telling you what should wear, and also reduce cost; because that your mum’s friend from women’s guild can’t just pull up with 5 other middle aged women, and demand for extra of everything, or even use the timeless “we don’t have food on this table o! Aren’t we human beings too?”

Most destination weddings are also coordinated by professional wedding planners so you have someone to take out all your anger on and probably curse at in Yoruba (because he doesn’t understand). This takes a lot of pressure of you and extended family in seeing to the success of the day because it has been outsourced. It also serves as a creative and fun way to bond with your selected guests as you can plan activities ahead of the wedding that makes it more than just a wedding, but a great family vacation.

Your wedding will probably be one of the most important memories you’ll have, so wouldn’t it be great if it is as stunning as the romance novels? I don’t know about you, but that’s a yes for me. This is another place where the destination wedding comes in, especially if it’s done in a stunning place like Greece or Italy. You end up having beautiful clear skies and everywhere seems picture ready, with limitless options for natural backdrops, you won’t even have to wait for your photographer before you get great shots. For those of us interested in unconventional weddings this is the perfect plan for you. From beachside weddings to ceremonies held while the bride walks on water (see Crazy Rich Asians), you can flex your creative muscles and plan something that truly reflects who you are.

Now to the one part Nigerians love, the bragging rights! Destination weddings are for this generation, what going to the UK to have babies was for our parents. Nigerians are obsessed with one upping each other and what better way to flex your muscle, than throwing a huge party in another man’s land? So if that’s your thing, please go ahead.

For those planning, hope this helps and for those dreaming, well with prayer and determination mountains can be moved I guess. But remember it’s not all about the ceremony, because it won’t be funny when you get married in Dubai and come back to Lagos looking for rent money.


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