Weddings staged by wealthy parents in Nigeria easily scale the N150 million mark, with several lavish ceremonies thrown in to the delight of the couple and their platoon of friends, family and guests.
From introduction, engagement, registry, church or mosque to reception and evening party, not counting bridal shower and bachelors’ eve, millions disappear effortlessly.
But with the Halima Babangida and Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi nuptials, N300 million was easily scaled as nine major ceremonies were staged in four days.
At different venues, all the full compliment of sumptuous entertainment were deployed with a platoon of event planners, decorators, comperes, entertainers, food and drinks’ vendors, photographers and cameramen, makeup artists and more.
And halls outside the Hill Top Mansion were used, and tents hired and erected at some of the venues at huge cost.
We have not computed the cost of logistics, accommodation and transportation.
How about the bride and groom’s ensembles? Wedding rings and jewelry?
This wedding of Babangida’s last daughter was a record breaker from all angles.
Let’s look at 15 subhead that gulped millions of Naira:
1 Wedding office and event planner
There was an office coordinated by the family with the major event planner.
Letters announcing the wedding, guest list and more left from this office. And planning would have taken over 6 months.
2 Invitation cards and tags
With 9 cards to design, print and distribute across the nation and beyond, where do we start?
And tags, with security markings, were done for the events for those working behind the scene, hundreds of them.
3 Pre-wedding photo shoot
A photographer was contracted for pre-wedding shoot.
4 Brochure for different programmes
Some of the events have programmes and printed memorabilia.
5 The garbs of the couple
Dozens of attires and accessories with complimentary jewelry were bought by bride and groom as evident from the pictures from the ceremonies across Minna and Gombe.
And we have not included their close family members. There are Aisha, Mohammed and Aminu Babangida. And we have the patriarch, General IBB.
There are the Gombe set too.
6 Jewelry to be exchanged
We saw some exquisite rings decorating the fingers of Halima.
7 Long list of vendors
All of 9 ceremonies had a battalion of vendors attending to every whim without a whimper.
The guests were spoiled to satiation.
There were four major venues – hall in Minna, grounds of El-Amin International Schools with erected marquee, Hill Top Mansion mosque and grounds with marquee, and the tent in Gombe home of Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi.
Don’t forget that marquees cost an arm and a leg.
From poets, violinists to singers and DJs, entertainment was given priority.
You can include comedians and comperes who charge millions, minus logistics.
10 Photography and video coverage
The families engaged many photographers and cameramen to prance the 9 ceremonies in Minna and Gombe.
11 Accommodation in Minna and Gombe
For several days, hundreds of guests and vendors were accommodated in Minna and Gombe for the ceremonies uniting Halima Babangida and Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi.
12 Make up artist
Manza Beauty (based in Abuja) handled the make up of the bride for the ceremonies.
And we are not counting the other artists engaged by family and friends on standby.
13 Private jets, buses and cars
We cannot put a figure to the cost of the jets ferrying family and friends and vendors into the two cities.
There were vehicles for intra-city commuting.
Gift items and mementos were handed to guests.
That’s a subject we should skip when we are talking about the well-heeled.
In all, N300 million is a modest estimate of this spectacular nuptials with many ceremonies studded with stars of politics, business and many professions.