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

You'll like this

March 20, 2020

Coronavirus is changing a lot of things. From work to travel to worship. I was wondering if some of this change could trickle down to email culture. Especially seeing as social distancing is the new rule. Email culture can be is very passive-aggressive. With its innuendos and doublespeak galore. I was inspired by Ufuoma to […]

February 21, 2020

Nigerian nurses go through a lot and are unappreciated. They work long hours and earn anyhow wages. With that in mind, we asked them some of the things that must stop in 2020 and here’s what they said: 1) “I can’t show Nurse my bum bum.” Sorry ohhh. 2) “You’re a Nurse, that’s big money […]

Olufemi Fadahunsi

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.


Now on Zikoko

October 22, 2020

Let’s start here: On the 20th of October, 2020, armed men of the Nigerian army allegedly shot at peaceful protesters in the recent #EndSars movement. It is estimated that at least twelve people were killed in Lagos, and hundred more were injured around Nigeria. In light of this unfortunate and avoidable incident, we decided to […]

October 22, 2020

This article contains updates on occurrences related to the general national unrest outside Lagos that you might have missed. We’ll keep updating it. Seyi Makinde addressing protesters in Ibadan The Oyo State Governor took to the streets of Ibadan yesterday to address protesters and the general public and to tell them that peace would return […]

October 22, 2020

Yesterday, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu addressed the state following the massacre of innocent civilians at the Lekki toll-gate the previous night. Here’s the speech. After watching him struggle for over seven minutes to deliver his speech, we were able to pick out some of the stuff we couldn’t just stand. See: 1. The lies […]

October 22, 2020

Recently, there has been an increasing occurrence of social media accounts broadcasting and spreading fake news. In one instance, a Twitter user posted a photo of Aisha Yesufu, a prominent activist purportedly showing her relaxing in her living room with her husband while #EndSARS protesters are on the streets. The photo was actually of her […]

October 21, 2020

The Nigerian military has a well-documented history of killing unarmed civilians. Listed below are five times the Nigerian military has killed unarmed civilians. 1. Baga Massacre, 2013 On 16 April 2013, 200 civilians were killed and over 2,000 houses were destroyed, with many other people injured in the village of Baga, Borno State, Nigeria. Refugees, […]

Recommended Quizzes

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer.

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes That’ll Separate The Ajepakos […]

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

More from Money

October 19, 2020

Tell me about your oldest memory of money. Hmm, I didn’t acknowledge the existence of money till I was in secondary school. Prior to that, whatever I needed was always provided. I’m not saying that this changed in secondary school, but there was a stark difference between what my mates had and what I had. […]

October 13, 2020

“A Week In The Life” is a weekly Zikoko series that explores the working-class struggles of Nigerians. It captures the very spirit of what it means to hustle in Nigeria and puts you in the shoes of the subject for a week. The subject of today is Femi, a writer at Zikoko. He talks about […]

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 […]

September 28, 2020

Tell me about the day you knew something wasn’t right.  I woke up in the middle of the night feeling funny. I’d slept like two hours earlier, but something woke me up. I decided to check my blood pressure  – I’m hypertensive.  Wait, how old are you?  27 soon. Anyway, I checked my BP, and […]

September 24, 2020

Being a corps member has to be one of the most stressful phases in the life of a Nigerian youth. And you know what makes it all the more stressful? The money aspect. It is never enough. 1. The struggle of waiting for allowance every month. Especially when it’s already 20-something on the calendar and […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

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.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.
September 24, 2019
A group of Zikoko staff go on a road trip to every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa

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.