We’ve established that bridesmaiding is an expensive venture for Nigerian ladies, as they shell out as high as ₦800k to be a part of the intending bride’s bridal train. But what does it look like for their counterparts, the groomsmen?

Considering that men don’t have to spend extra money on glamming up their faces or sewing expensive owambe styles, one might assume that their expenses should be significantly lesser and budget friendly. But to confirm, we asked six groomsmen about the costs of being a groomsman and their stories are proof that “weddings” are expensive for everyone involved.

Taiwo, 30

Highest spend: ₦280k

The most recent wedding I was a groomsman at was in April.  A friend of over 10 years was getting married. He was also my groomsman when I got married, it was only right that I returned the goodwill. The wedding was outside Lagos, so we had to sort out accommodation. We got a shared apartment for ₦150k per night, and it was shared among five occupants. I paid ₦60k for me and my wife. Apart from my outfit material , my wife also had to wear the theme cloth of the day, so that was about ₦90k on materials and another ₦50k on tailoring. Another ₦50k went into getting new shoes for me and my wife, and I contributed ₦30k for the couple’s gift.

For me, I always ask myself some questions before I commit to the financial burden of being a groomsman.

“How close are we? Can the person do the same for me?” Once I have my answers, I make a decision. I’ve politely turned down several requests in the past.

Deji*, 30

Highest spend: ₦1.25 million.

I spent this  much because I wasn’t just part of the groomsmen, I was the best man. The groom had come through for me in so many ways too —he’s my guy, but also like a mentor and older brother.

The wedding was in Benin, so I spent ₦80k on flights — this was in 2022. We wore two traditional outfits and one suit, and I paid ₦125k for all three. ₦40k went into accommodation, and another ₦150k for spraying the couple at the party. As groomsmen, we also had to chip in ₦250k for gifts for the couple. The bulk of my spend — ₦600k — was a personal cash gift to the couple.

To be honest, my finances took a hit,  but I wouldn’t have had it any other way;he’d have done the same or more for me.. Right now, a friend’s impact on my life and my current earning power will determine how far I’m willing to go for them.

Feranmi*, 31

Highest spend: ₦125k

As a groomsman, I had to pay ₦50k each for suits. The groomsmen were also required to wear white agbada for the traditional ceremony. I didn’t have one, so ₦22k went into that. The wedding was in Ibadan, and I had to make a trip down from Lagos. Thankfully train tickets were quite cheap at the time,so I only spent about ₦4k on transportation.

When I got to Ibadan, I realised that the groom didn’t make plans for accommodation so ₦30k went into paying for a -2day hotel stay.

As a groomsman, you also want to spray the groom on the dance floor. I think I withdrew about ₦20k for that. The whole expense came down to over ₦125k which was a huge sum to me in 2022. I literally spent a third of my house rent on groomsman duties. But the groom was my guy guy, so I didn’t bat an eye going all out like that.

Although my finances have significantly picked up these days, you have to be a very close friend before I agree to be one of your groomsmen. Otherwise, I’ll just send in a cash gift of ₦15-₦20k, which is a fraction of whatever I’d have spent as a groomsman.

Hammed*, 25

Highest spend: ₦200k

The wedding was outside of Lagos  and I travelled by road to Osun. I spent about ₦200k on sewing the different clothes to be worn. This was a significant amount for me at the time as I had barely started working and didn’t have a huge savings.

When I got to Osun, I barely had money left to spend on anything. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about accommodation. We all slept in a large hotel room, courtesy of the groom.

I wouldn’t say the costs had a huge effect on my finances as I was able to make any money spent back, . However, I didn’t envisage that I’d have to be part of so many activities before and during the ceremony. I anticipated a fun experience, but it was hard work all through. I don’t regret it. And while I can’t even confirm the groom would do the same for me, I’m sure he is a valuable friend in several other ways.

Ayo, 30

Highest spend: ₦230k

I was a groomsman and best man for the wedding. The groom and myself are good friends. I escorted him to buy his ring, and even planned his engagement, so at that point it was settled I was going to be the best man. The whole time I wasn’t thinking about the financial implication of things. I just wanted to make sure my friend had the best day he could.

Majority of the expense went into our clothes. I spent ₦70k on a three-piece tux, and another ₦30k went into a new pair of shoes. We also had to wear white for the traditional ceremony, but thankfully I had one and didn’t have to incur extra cost. The wedding was in Akure, so travel expenses by road came to about ₦30k. There was also ₦100k that went into spraying money.

I still approach groomsmen requests with graciousness. I look at the relationship I have with the groom;I don’t take it for granted that someone finds me worthy to play a special role in their day. If it’s beyond my budget, I politely decline and offer a modest cash gift to support the groom.

Jaiye*, 28

Highest spend: ₦180k

A friend got married last year and he needed me to be a part of his “agbada men”. I’m not sure if agbada men and groomsmen are the same thing, but we didn’t have to pay for suits. It was just one outfit for the wedding and that seemed fair enough. The material was ₦50k and it came with a custom-made beaded velvet cap for ₦15k. I spent another ₦15k on sewing and ₦20k on shoes. The agbada men also planned a surprise bachelor’s eve for the groom so we had to contribute ₦30k each to make that happen.

The wedding was in Badagry, so I made plans with a neighbour who offers private cab services. ₦50k went into the transport expense because the man had to wait to take me back. The whole expense came to around ₦180k and I wasn’t proud of my financial decision because the guy wasn’t even a close friend like that.

Now, once I get an inkling that your groomsmen ask is nearing a ₦50k budget, I politely decline and send a monetary gift. Maybe ₦10-20k.

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