While every wedding has its own challenges, there are a few mistakes that brides and grooms make on a consistent basis. Take these five tips and learn from fellow engaged couples’ mistakes, rather than repeating them!

  1. Overscheduling your guests
    Whether you’re getting married at home or away, you need to remember that your guests have lives too and they’re not necessarily committing 24 hours a day to you for your entire wedding weekend. Leave time for them to handle real life or to explore where you’re getting married.
  2. Asking too many people to be a part of your wedding party
    Twelve bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen may have been what you’ve always imagined, but when it comes down to dressing them, giving them thank-you gifts, and paying for bouquets and boutonnieres for that many attendants, you can easily break the bank.
  3. Forgetting to feed the wedding party on the big day
    If you’re all tied up getting hair and makeup done, somebody needs to be responsible for making sure that everybody has something to eat. If you don’t feed the bridesmaids when they’re with you all day doing beauty services, you might end up with a few drunk-and-disorderly attendants by ceremony time — not to mention grumpy.
  4. Worrying too much about the music taste of the guests (and especially your parents)
    Consider what you want to dance to at your wedding. It’s important to keep your audience in mind when you make your playlist or choose your band.
  5. Failing to do proper welcome packets for out-of-town guests
    Even when you get married at home, you cannot assume that your friends, family and colleagues who have traveled to celebrate with you know much about the area. They would really appreciate directions to the events, plus local restaurants and attractions.

Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day.



When you know, you know, right? Well, maybe. While gut instincts are all well and good (and often scarily accurate), here are 25 other things to make sure you cover before either of you gets down on one knee. Because who wants to take chances with the rest of her life?

  1. The difference between like, lust, and love. Only one is worthy of an engagement. Only one determines “together forever”.
  2. Each other’s career goals.What do you each want to accomplish in life — and how will it affect your relationship with each other? Knowing what you each want to achieve and supporting those dreams is a critical foundation for any couple.
  3. How you each feel about faith.What your belief system means to your life as a couple (and your future life as a family).
  4. Each other’s spending habits.And debt situations. And savings plans. Get it all out on the table early. And even if you have different spending and saving styles, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. It is simply an acknowledgement of a fundamental difference in money attitudes.


  1. Whether you want children — and when. It is important to be on the same page regarding your general timeline for starting a family. But you might not need to agree on how many kids just yet. Once a couple has their first kid, they will have a better idea of how many children they really want.
  2. How you plan on parenting your children. At least, in theory.
  3. Each other’sparents/siblings/immediate family. These might be your in-laws. Know what you are getting into.
  4. Your significant other’s relationships with said family. Love, hate, love-hate — it’s important to understand the dynamics at play.
  5. The past.Like it or not, it helped shape who you both are at this very moment. You don’t need to provide every exhaustive detail, but you should have a general roadmap for how you each got to the present.
  6. Any previous spouses and/or children.This should come up in No. 9, but I’m not taking any chances. Nobody likes a surprise ex.
  7. How you each respond to stress.One of the main theories for why the majority ofBachelor/Bachelorette engagements fail is because they do not face real-world, anxiety-inducing, pressure cooker situations. Stress can be the ultimate saboteur in a relationship, and studies show that even happy marriages can end up in divorce thanks to stressful life events, low commitment and negative communication. But if you know how you each handle life’s obstacles, big and small, you can tackle them successfully together. If you perceive your partner is there for you and supportive of you, it buffers and reduces the impact of chronic stress.
  8. How they take their coffee in the morning.Which section of the paper they read first. Whether they even like coffee at all. It may seem like minutiae, but love sometimes comes in the tiniest details.
  9. Each other’s worst qualities.Love involves elevating the best traits, and accepting the worst ones.
  10. Their friends!I’m a believer that meeting the friends can be even more important than meeting the family, because friends are the people that your better halfchooses to spend time around. If you haven’t met your S.O.’s inner circle, then the relationship isn’t that serious — and certainly not serious enough for an engagement.
  11. Their stance on major political issues.How does your partner feel about gay marriage? Abortion? Voters’ rights?Gun control? You don’t necessarily have to agree, but their opinions (and the arguments they use to justify them) can be very telling.
  12. How to fight and make up.You are going to disagree. It happens. And to an extent, it is healthy. Conflicts are inevitable. But conflict has its benefits if you use it productively. Use respectful language with each other and be willing to listen to your partner.
  13. Each other’s living habits.You don’t have to live together yet, but it is a good idea to at least have an idea of what it will be like when you do.It is not whether you live with your partner as much as how you live with your partner.
  14. Your sexual chemistry.Yes, this is totally making me blush because I am a 12-year-old at heart, but knowing how you connect onthat level is pretty critical to relationship — and marriage — success.
  15. How to talk to each other.No phones. No emails. No texts. Just straight-up, face-to-face, brutally honest communication. This is vital,especially considering “communication problems” were cited as the most common factor (65 percent) that leads to divorce in a recent survey.
  16. Their hobbies.Whether it’s golf, running, reading, collecting, or live-action-role-playing, you want to know the things that your love loves to do. It’s not about you loving soccer, it’s about the person that you love loving soccer.
  17. How you each feel about travel.Striking a balance between a homebody and someone with a case of wanderlust is one tricky seesaw act. Determine whether travel is a priority in your relationship before committing to marriage.
  18. Your views on household duties.Does your significant other expect a partner who will take care of all the chores? Or will it be a shared responsibility (ahem)? People are going to disagree about how to run the house, chores, who cleans the bathroom, but those are the kinds of things that people can, if they work on their communication style, work through.
  19. The difference between a wedding and a marriage.A wedding is one day. A marriage is a lifetime. If you want to throw a party, there are plenty of other things you can celebrate if you aren’t ready for matrimony.
  20. That being said, you should talk aboutyour vision for a wedding. Because eloping at City Hall and 500 people at the reception in June are two very different scenarios. Plus, planning a wedding can be extremely stressful — you and your fiancé need to be on the same team.
  21. What you want out of the future.No one has a crystal ball, and life loves to throw curveballs.But since one of the top reasons for divorce is that the couple “wanted different things, you should share your thoughts, hopes and dreams for what the future might look like — together.

Culled from with inputs from MacHenry Churchill

FEATURE: 20 Things Nigerian Weddings Have Taught Me – Adetuke Morgan


I have attended seven weddings since I moved back 12 months ago. That’s a pretty small number as there is a wedding every single weekend. Six of these were in Lagos while one of them was in Abuja. I’m going to share/highlight on the different things I learnt at each one.

The first one (August 2013) was an engagement ceremony a few weeks after I moved back. It was pretty small, the colour was orange and brown. I didn’t have any trad in those colours so I wore my mum’s iro and buba. I didn’t wear heels because I had arrived a day or 2 before and the suitcase with all my heels was still in transit (it was being shipped).

  1. You do not wear oversized clothes to a wedding. You have to highlight your selling points. In other words, you are there to sell your market so dress to impress.
  2. As a lady, if you are not a family member or Aunty or close friend or cousin that is going to be running up and down on that day, you have no reason to wear flats, your heels should be on deck. I learnt this after one of the groomsmen told me ladies have to wear heels.

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a hostess at an event? I can tell you as I was an usher at the second wedding (September 2013) I attended.

The bride was a choir member and the husband holy police (Redeemed Speak) at my church so she asked a few girls in the youth church to usher on her special day. I willingly obliged and was pretty happy when I received the aso ebi all the ushers were going to wear. She wanted uniformity so 6 of us turned ours into oleku.

  1. When working behind the scenes at a wedding, communication is key. I was the only usher who went to church for the actual ceremony. The others met up at one of the girl’s houses where they got their make up done by one of the girls who is pretty good at these things.
  2. You need to have an affordable, reliable, tailor that can interpret designs. The closer he/she is to your house the better for you. The other ushers sewed their oleku for N500 each. I used my mum’s tailor who charged N1,500.
  3. Being a bouncer can get pretty boring so they spend their time talking about/analysing the guests/bridal train/ushers. At this wedding, I was stationed at the door so the bouncer there was my gisting partner. He sure kept me entertained! First, he was yapping the bridesmaids, that they are old and not the most attractive facially. Apparently, there was only one of them he could “manage”. He said his future wife most have fine friends o! He actually scored these women over 10 and was giving them pretty rubbish marks. You would think he was handsome, but he wasn’t. It shocks me how people think they can judge other’s looks.

The third wedding (November 2013) I attended was my uncle’s traditional somewhere on the mainland. It was my first time attending a traditional ceremony from start to finish and there were a lot of things I didn’t know happened. My dad is his older cousin so we sat opposite the bride’s family.

  1. If your family member is getting married and you are on the groom’s side, make sure you have enough cash in your bag in small but reasonable denominations like N100 and N200. I was not aware that the bridal party will come round to the groom’s side expecting us to give money. At this point in my life, I was still getting pocket money as NYSC hadn’t started and I wasn’t earning much as an intern. We also had to give money to the musicians and the little cash I had got cleared, even the pounds (Remember, at this point I was an IJGB; I Just Got Back)
  2. As the groom, make sure your groomsmen have enough cash on them. At a point in time the alaga was passing the bowl round to get donations for herself, she said it wasn’t enough and the boys should do better. They heard this many times during the course of the event and I’m sure they left there with their pockets dry.

The fourth time I attended a wedding was as a musician. The Bride was a Masters student whilst I was in undergrad, we attended the same youth fellowship and I used to play the sax at our conventions/conferences. The bride wanted me to play the sax at a point during the ceremony and I was nervous. The day before the ceremony I was just like can rapture come so I don’t have to do this. It didn’t come so I had to man up and play. I had practised with my friend who has been playing for 11 years so we were pretty tight. The whole thing went smoothly and the band which we met that day, backed us up nicely.

  1. If you are performing or speaking at a ceremony, make sure you practise beforehand. Record yourself and watch it critically so you can change anything that needs work/needs to be changed.

The fifth one was a wedding of an older friend at church. Her mum suggested I get the aso ebi and so it was my first time tying gele. Remember the last church wedding I attended, I was an usher, this time round I was a guest. The bride is an event planner so everything was well organised. The colours were really beautiful too, I love yellow. There was a slight issue with the air conditioning so things got a bit hot and guests were advised to sit down and not talk too much as the movement will generate heat.

  1. Make sure you have a hand fan and pocket tissues. They are very essential!
  2. If you are a friend of the bride but you don’t know any of her friends, target someone that you know can dance so you don’t walk in with a boring person when you lead the way for a bride to follow.

So I flew from Lagos to Abuja for my sixth wedding. It was my friends sisters wedding and it was my second time in Abuja. Yes, that’s right I actually flew to Abuja for a wedding. And below are the 10 other things i learnt from attending Nigerian weddings:

  1. When attending a wedding in an unfamiliar city, there would be a lot of unfamiliar faces, not many aunties to greet or people you know. So make sure you have friends other than those in the bridal party that you can sit and gist with.
  2. If you’re a natural haired sister like myself, it wouldn’t be bad to invest in a wig for that glamorous look. I’ve got a baby face so look pretty young, long flowy locks would have made me look slightly older. Plus, the convenience with wigs is you can take it off and rock your fro the next day.
  3. Alternatively you could invest in beautiful eye catching accessories or be creative with your hair. It crowns your face and is very important in making or breaking your final look.

The seventh wedding I attended actually inspired this post. It was my family friend’s wedding and it was a pretty big deal. She’s a very special girl, I had to hold back tears at some point, it got pretty emotional at times.

  1. When attending a society wedding where a lot of people are expected e.g. 1,000 find an alternative route as there is bound to be traffic. My Aunty was stuck in traffic on one street for an hour. It took us about 20 minutes to get there as we used the alternative route even though her house is way closer to the venue.
  2. Sometimes it’s best to just get the Aso-Ebi. My parents got but didn’t remember to get for me. I didn’t remember to get for myself so just found something to wear on the day. I haven’t reached that age where it’s wedding season in my life and I have to dole out money every weekend so I have no complaints to make about the cost of aso-ebi. Certain souvenirs/party favours were only given to those wearing the aso-ebi, it was like their reward for buying it.
  3. Invest in nice strappy open toed sandals. I don’t really have any because I think my legs are fat and I don’t think they will look good in them. But these shoes are versatile and more practical than close toe pointed pumps/stilettos.
  4. On my table there were a number of aunties who had definitely done their make up professionally. I’ve only had this done once and that was for my mums 50th birthday. As a young lady, it is cost effective to attend a make up and gele tying class so you can perfect those skills. You are bound to go for many parties and weddings in your life time so just learn how to present yourself nicely instead of forking out 5-10k anytime you have an event to go to.
  5. If you attend a wedding as a single/with your parents, people will undoubtedly make statements concerning your to-be nuptials. E.g. “Your time is coming”, “I can’t wait to dance at your own, better shine your eyes.” Just smile and keep quiet or nod your head. In my head I’m thinking, I don’t even know what I want to do with my life, I’m still a corper, haven’t done my masters so I don’t know where all these people are rushing to.

I’m adding two for Jara so there’ll be a nice, even, rounded number of lessons.

  1. Make sure you eat before you go for a wedding, anything can happen, food can finish or you can get stuck in traffic, you just never know and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Take a picture of yourself before you leave your house so you know what you look like and so you can change anything you don’t like about your appearance.

I’ve only been for a few weddings and I am not an #AsoEbiBella.

This list is by no means exhaustive and I am sure there are many things you’ve learned from attending weddings so please share them in the comment box below so we can all be wiser.