Nigerian Weddings in Dubai, an Interview with Save The Date
Save The Date (STD), a boutique event management company in Dubai, creates extraordinary weddings and events for clients throughout the UAE and abroad. The company is dedicated to building unforgettable experiences and long lasting memories for every client and event with strong focus on details. The events created by STD are highly customized and reflect the personality and essence of each client. Olga describes the style of STD as timeless and classy with a touch of fine art; she loves to get her inspiration from architecture, traveling, nature, history and art.
Olga is the creative force behind Save The Date which is known for its personalized approach, perfectionism and attention to details. She lives, breath and talks weddings all the time and is very proud that clients of Save The Date are so multicultural and diverse. She has planned and executed many Nigerian weddings in Dubai and has become a prominent name in Nigeria among couples seeking destination wedding planners.
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We asked Olga about her experience planning Nigerian weddings in Dubai, here is what she shared with us about these beautiful weddings she designed and managed in Dubai:
- Why do you think Dubai is a preferred wedding destination among Nigerians?
Several reasons explain their choice: Dubai is a trend, plus its centrally located on the route from Africa or Europe. The quality of wedding services is high, and Dubai is glamorous and safe. But the main reason of course is - getting married abroad will save the couple from wedding crashers, and from unwanted spend on 1000+ wedding guests.
Photographer: Dia Light
- How different are Nigerian weddings from other weddings held in Dubai?
Speaking about the so called “white wedding” - they are not very different. There are few traditions that Nigerian weddings have that make them different from any other wedding, otherwise good food, fun and past midnight party is the key for African couples and their guests. They are a very happy crowd.
There is another ceremony that they do prior to the ‘white wedding” - the traditional wedding, this one is a very special event that is full of rituals and traditions which vary from one tribe to another. Traditional weddings normally happen back home in Nigeria, and almost never abroad.
Photographer: We Just Got Back
- What are the main common elements among Nigerian weddings?
Christian Nigerian weddings are usually very involved with the religious aspect. The couples normally have long and well prepared ceremony, very often conducted by the priest, who is a special guest from Nigeria. Gospel music is also a must, as well as, opening prayer.
Another common element is an impressive bridal trail, on average, 5 bridesmaids and groomsmen. And there is a special place for a bridal party entrance at any wedding which can never be understated. Africans are very warm, joyful and know how to party, they won't miss the opportunity to dance.
- Which hotels in Dubai do Nigerian couples tend to prefer? Do they normally go for an indoor or an outdoor wedding?
Depending on the couple and theme of the wedding. Ballroom weddings are more common, as there is no music restriction and the party can continue until late.
In terms of hotel, there are no specific hotel in Dubai that any Nigerian couple will consider for their wedding. We usually help them to select the right venue, and this selection is based on several factors to insure that it is the best fit for a particular event.
Read: Top 20 Wedding Venues in Dubai
Photographer: We Just Got Back
- What is the average size of Nigerian weddings you've organized in Dubai?
Usually it’s 100+ wedding guests. We had an experience when we planned smaller weddings, as well as, weddings with more than 120 guests.
- How difficult is it to organize a wedding from a distance? Can you take us through the process as far as your communication with the bride & groom is concerned?
We don’t find it difficult anymore, as we planned quite a few weddings for couples who are based abroad – in Africa, Europe or even USA.
We understand how important it is for a client to stay in touch with us 24/7, most of them have never been to Dubai and there is a lot of trust involved to plan a destination wedding. We communicate a lot via WhatsApp, phone calls and emails, so it almost feels like we live in the same city. The bride can send us a message anytime and be sure that she will get an immediate response. We also exchange ideas and images online. Most of the time, we create a group chat, which also includes the groom. Due to this continuous communication, brides don’t feel any distance or lack of response. When we finally meet in person in Dubai, it always feels like we are old friends. And we always find somebody whom we know in common in Africa, which makes it even more special. The world is too small..
Photographer: Purple Tree
- Can you kindly shed some light on 2 or 3 Nigerian weddings you organised in Dubai?
Every wedding is very special to me. I want to mention my bride Grace, she was one of the first Nigerian brides who we worked with, and recently she and her husband were spending Christmas in Dubai, so she texted me, saying that they will be coming over with their little son, who is 'Save The Date' baby, so it was amazing to meet little angel Jeremy and reminisce about how lovely the wedding day of these two beautiful souls (his parents) was.
Last year we had a beautiful wedding for another couple. This wedding was featured in Wedluxe. The couple was so gorgeous, even the dress designer based in NY reposted photos of her several times.
Usually Nigerian brides prefer to have very lavish and classic style weddings. The inspiration that they usually share with us is predominantly of extravagant ballroom weddings with tall centerpieces, and traditional wedding colors –white and gold. That’s why we were so excited about the latest wedding of Charity and Macfoy, who wanted to have a natural and rustic touch at their wedding. Their wedding was very non-traditional Nigerian wedding in terms of décor, which indicates that natural and botanical outdoor weddings will soon become popular in Africa too.
Photographer: Purple Tree