5 Nigerian Couples Talked To Us About Getting Married During The Pandemic

August 26, 2020

COVID-19 threw a well-aimed spanner in everyone’s plans this year. Nobody escaped unscathed. Some of Miss Rona’s victims were people who wanted to tie the nuptial knot and spend the rest of their lives together. Instead, they found themselves donning Sanwoolu face masks.

However, some brave couples decided to go ahead with their weddings. I wanted to know what it took to get married during the pandemic, so I reached out to a few people who said their vows despite the coronavirus.

Mojola, 26

We initially planned to get married on April 18 and it was supposed to be massive. We had paid everyone; the vendors, the venue, everything. When we tried to get refunds, all the vendors refused, saying we should let them know when we’re ready to do the wedding.

Our parents were meant to sponsor most of the wedding. Nevertheless, my husband and I had spent more than 3 million already before the government announced the lockdown.

We later decided to get married in a private registry ceremony. We still plan on having the ceremony later in the year, when everything has cleared up. Our families and friends are still on our necks to have a proper wedding ceremony, so that’s what we’re going to do. Besides, all our money cannot just go down the drain like that. So we’ll wait.

Zipporah, 25 

“My husband didn’t even get time off work. We got married during his break. Even during the wedding, he was replying to work emails.”

We originally planned to get married in April and we had planned a huge ceremony. We already paid for everything; the hall, the caterer, the band. Everybody was ready for the wedding, flights had been booked from all over Nigeria, clothes had been sewn, everything was set.

Then, the Federal Government announced the lockdown.

We tried to get refunds from the vendors but you know you can’t get all your money back from Nigerian vendors. The venue and decoration guys still haven’t refunded any of the money till date.

After waiting for a while, we decided to go ahead with the wedding in a much smaller way.We finally married on the 4th of June in a small ceremony. Because the state government hadn’t allowed places of worship to open fully yet, the pastor placed a 20-person limit on the ceremony. We didn’t even use microphones, just to avoid attention; police had been arresting whole weddings at the time.

My husband didn’t even get time off work. We got married during his break. Even during the wedding, he was replying to work emails.

Right after, we had a small reception for guests. The number of guests suddenly ballooned because tons of people in the area got wind of the wedding. Many of them were without work due to the pandemic so they came for the food. 

This really increased the cost of the wedding. Added to the fact that the pandemic drove up the price of everything, it ended up being more expensive than a regular wedding.

Muyiwa, 32

I proposed sometime in November 2019 and planned our wedding for April 4. Two days to our wedding, the Lagos State Government imposed the lockdown.

Of course, everything had been paid for, people had come into town and everyone was set. We waited to see how long the lockdown would last for. When there was no end in sight, we opted for a very lowkey wedding on May 27, which we had at my wife’s father’s house.

There were only 20 people in attendance. Everyone was wearing a facemask, even in the wedding photos. Interestingly, we never planned to hold a reception for our original wedding. We were just going to go to church. So we didn’t pay any money to vendors or anything, lucky for us. 

My wife is from Delta and you know how expensive Delta weddings are. We spent about 2.5m for the traditional wedding, and most of that was on feeding. The traditional wedding list from the bride’s family also took a bulk of the money. For the revised wedding, we spent less than 300k. We didn’t even have to spend on food. The smaller wedding was ideal for me because I personally don’t like being around crowds. God just worked it out for us and it was perfect. 

Imade, 27

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Imade-1024x1024.jpg

We set a date in April to allow ample time for his family, who lived in the US, to come down and prepare. Then COVID happened. We had no idea what to do. We didn’t know if or when we were going to do the wedding.

Eventually, we decided to just get married anyway in July, when the lockdown was finally eased. His parents still couldn’t make it down because of the international travel ban. They were represented by his sister and uncle.

We had our traditional wedding on the 1st of August. Every single person was wearing a mask. Even when we were dancing, people were coming to spray us one by one, not like you usually find at weddings, just so they could maintain social distancing.

We couldn’t get much of the money back. Most of the vendors all insisted on taking a service charge out of the refund, mostly about 30%. And even at that, they are all saying they don’t have the money.

There was no reception at our white wedding on the 8th of August. We just received church blessing and a small reception for friends who travelled and that was it. We had about 150 people in attendance in all.

For our original wedding, we had spent about 10 million. For our scaled wedding, we ended up spending about 2.7 million, in all.

Dami, 24

“I’m the firstborn and he’s also his parent’s firstborn, so that wedding has to happen. Besides, we’ve already spent about 25 million. And I just want to dance on my wedding day, abeg.”

We set our wedding for April 12 in Lagos and it was going to be huge. Unfortunately, our flight to Nigeria was canceled in March.

We were supposed to have over 1300 guests in attendance. People had booked their flights to Nigeria from London. We haven’t even attempted to get refunds because we decided to wait till December or next year to have the wedding ceremony. 

We already had a court wedding here in London. We had a few people as witnesses and that was it. 

I’m the firstborn and he’s also his parent’s firstborn, so that wedding has to happen. Besides, we’ve already spent about N25 million. And I just want to dance on my wedding day, abeg. 

You might be interested in “I Was Fired From Work While Sick”: Stories From Nigeria About Surviving Coronavirus

Olufemi Fadahunsi

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

January 13, 2020

A large majority of young adults do not enjoy what they do for a living. For many people, it is just a means to an end because the alternative can be way worse. In light of this, we decided to give tips for financial liberation from a job that doesn’t give you joy. 1) Count […]

October 8, 2020

If you’re one of those people who like to hide their money from family and friends, then this list is for you: 1) Deflect comments and compliments. Some examples: “Don’t whine me.” “It’s not like that.” 2) Always say “we thank God.” Person: How are things? You: We thank God. Person: How will you buy […]

April 29, 2021

If there is anything Nigerians understand, it is the sometimes weird, other times horrifying experiences that come with working in Nigeria. From delayed payments to extreme workloads. Lack of boundaries, poor remuneration, toxic and overly competitive workplace culture amongst other problems. These are the stories we often hear. But, surely, there have to be good […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

May 6, 2021

Purity culture is usually a combination of religious and cultural beliefs that promote abstinence from sexual activities till marriage. These six Nigerian women share with us how they overcame purity culture. Yinka, 23 A lot of the guilt and shame I felt around sex and decency came from following Christianity. I was taught that I […]

8 struggles people with small hands can relate to
May 6, 2021

Having small hands has its perks on some good days, like if your fork, spoon and knives decide to hide behind a cupboard you don’t stress because you can reach it, your entire hand can also get to the bottom of any snack you’re eating, but it’s not always good times. Here are 8 struggles […]

May 6, 2021

Have you ever listened to a heartbreak song and wondered what exactly the person who wrote it has gone or is going through? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. Not only have we wondered about this but we have also listened to some classic songs and are beyond convinced that Nigerian […]

Recommended Quizzes

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Timed Quizzes For […]

More from Money

May 4, 2021

Clothing is a basic need. But according to an American financial planner, you should spend 5% of your monthly income on clothing. I wasn’t sure how this works in Nigeria, so I decided to talk to a couple of people on how they shop for clothes and how much they spend. Tosin, Developer Advocate, 18 […]

April 29, 2021

If there is anything Nigerians understand, it is the sometimes weird, other times horrifying experiences that come with working in Nigeria. From delayed payments to extreme workloads. Lack of boundaries, poor remuneration, toxic and overly competitive workplace culture amongst other problems. These are the stories we often hear. But, surely, there have to be good […]

April 29, 2021

More Nigerians are getting into retail investment these days, thanks to the rise of investment platforms. I imagine trying to make money is a lot of fun. But the struggles? Those ones are there too. 1. The first thing you worry about is the naira to dollar exchange rate I’m actually poor. Should I be […]

April 27, 2021

We’re all in a relationship with the naira already. But let’s imagine these notes as living, breathing humans capable of falling in love and being romantic partners. How will that work out? Hmm, let’s see. 1. ₦1000 ₦1000 is that partner that is convinced that they’re the hottest thing in the dating pool and you’re […]

April 26, 2021

The 29-year-old guy in this story placed his first bet over a decade ago as a university student. At first, it was for the thrill. It quickly became a coping mechanism. Then an addiction. He thought he was in control but his debt profile and troubled relationships proved something else: He was not.  What’s your […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X