- A budget wedding hardly comes to mind when you dream of your wedding day
- However, as they say, with love, all things are possible.
- If you are facing financial challenges and still want to get married to your lover then this article is for you.
- Money should not be a barrier to tying the knot with your loved one.
- As such, this article will show you how to organize your wedding with as little as N100,000.
What Nigerians do/Wedding funds drive
These days, people ‘tax’ everyone they know when they want to get married. Your financial contribution to the preparations becomes a MUST. I was minding my business ‘jeje-ly’, when I received a call from an ex neighbor who called to tell me that he was getting married. I was really happy at the news and congratulated him.
Get this; he was calling to get my contribution not to invite me to his wedding. I was miffed! I wasn’t there when you met your girlfriend (a lady like me), neither was I present when you got down on your knee and proposed to your wife-to-be in a highbrow restaurant. So why should I be a financier for your impending nuptials? I’m sure many people have their stories concerning the compulsory donation.
I once attended a wedding reception five years ago in Benin City, Edo State and witnessed a funny, somewhat interesting spectacle during the ceremony. As the couple sat on the beautifully decorated chair facing the guests in the spacious hall, I observed tears running down the groom’s eyes. I thought it was tears of joy, but later found out that the reverse was the case. He was crying when he saw the huge number of people trooping into the hall.
He told me that the number of people he had invited was based on his budget but was surprised when more than 200 people were already inside the hall at the time. Fraught with a lot of unexplained emotions, the groom broke down and cried. Tears flowed freely from his eyes as he wondered how to get additional refreshments for the uninvited guests.
The average Nigerian man who is eligible for marriage, usually gives financial constraints as the first reason for delaying his dreams of getting settled. Truly, it cannot be denied that this is the number one barrier to most partners walking down the aisle, because once the barrier is broken, all other minor items usually fall in place.
I had to ask someone who had weathered the storm and gotten married within his means and he (Clement) had this to say:
”When I was planning to get married in 2005, things were so difficult and I had less than N50,000 in my savings account. My wife, out of concern asked me a few months to our wedding whether it won’t be wise for us to postpone the event based on the unavailability of funds. I categorically told her ‘No!’, because I was determined to see it through. Funds came from unusual sources and the wedding was conducted successfully. I celebrated my 12th year anniversary last Sunday and the marriage is blessed with three lovely kids.”
Planning a Nigerian wedding with N100,000
The truth is that one can achieve whatever one sets his/her heart to achieve as long as the determination is there. The question I asked myself yesterday while pondering on this subject was, “Is it really possible to organize a wedding on a tight budget of N100, 000?” The answer is a definite YES and I am going to explain how it can be done soon enough.
The biting economic situation in the country notwithstanding, Nigerians still create enough room for themselves when it comes to the issue of exchanging marital vows. One may ask: “How do they do it?” It is not difficult to achieve as long as one draws a decent budget based on the funds available. There is clearly no need to be extravagant when the resources are not really available.
The major items that consume most marriage budget are foods, drinks, clothing, reception venue, photography/video and music and Invitation cards The good news is that it is possible to cut down costs on these items and achieve the target of using N100, 000 to organize your dream wedding. The only condition is to stick religiously to the budget and avoid last-minute adjustments no matter the pressure.
Steps to planning a N100,000 wedding
The first step in ensuring that you stay within the chosen budget is limiting the number of guests you intend to invite for the wedding reception. For the purpose of this budget, we shall stick to inviting 100 guests including families, colleagues and friends. The higher the number of guests invited, the higher the expenses that will be incurred. Entry into the reception venue should be strictly by invitation. This will curb the number of uninvited guests to the program.
Food – Cook by yourself
Talking about food, rice is the favorite item used in entertaining guests in most weddings. Whether fried rice, jollof rice, white rice or coconut rice, people still enjoy eating it in most wedding programs. To start with, ensure that you go for just half a bag of rice for the event and this will cost about N9,000. This should be able to go round the 100 invited guests. All that is needed is for those serving, to measure the quantity of rice served.
Another important ingredient in most wedding programs is the meat. We shall be going for 2 cartons of frozen chicken which can be gotten at the rate of N12,000 each amounting to a total of N24,000. The chicken should be cut into about 120 pieces so it can go round each of the 100 invited guests. The reason for the additional 20 pieces is to allow for shortfalls when frying and serving.
Groundnut oil – is needed for frying and also for preparing the rice. We shall be going for 4 litres of groundnut oil for the purpose of the budget. This will cost about N2,200 in the open market and it should be enough for all the frying and also for the rice. Ensure judicious use of it to avoid wastage.
A big can of tinned tomatoes costs about N1000, while fresh pepper and tomatoes worth N2,000 including ingredients (to spice the rice and meat) worth N2,000 should be enough to settle the food area. One thing to be taken note of is strict monitoring of those doing the cooking, because it is common to see women sneaking food items, especially fried meat home after cooking. That is a sad reality of the times we are in and proper monitoring will close those loopholes and ensure that the items are enough for the food to be prepared.
Drinks – go hand in hand with food in every marriage program. Since we are on a very tight budget, we shall be sticking to soft drinks alone. Of course people will complain, but it’s your occasion and you do what you have to do based on your budget, not what pleases people. The fact remains that if you bring in a truck load of assorted drinks, people will still complain about not getting enough to drink, so stick to soft drinks.
We shall be going for five crates of assorted soft drinks like Coke, Fanta and Sprite at the rate of N1350 per crate. This will give us a total of N6,750. You cannot do without water, so we shall go for 5 bags of sachet water at a total cost of N500. There should be 6 bottles of water at a cost of N600 for those at the high table.
The wedding attires
This can be tricky, considering how much attention women give to wedding gowns. But this is a wedding on a very tight budget so we have to be realistic. There is no need to make a new wedding gown for the bride. Just go for a rented gown which can be gotten for between N10,000 and N20,000 depending who you are renting from.
We will advise using that of a relative or close friend as wedding gowns are often worn once. If you have the looks, then you can even borrow from a fashion designer looking for good photo-ops to sell their wedding gowns.
The bride’s shoe and makeup are other important things to spend money on. A budget of N5,000 to N7,000 should make this work.
Left for us, the groom will have to look at his wardrobe and get his best jacket. If they are not good enough, then you can also borrow from a close friend or relative. Ties, shoes and other accessories are things you already own, so no need to fuss.
Jewelry – Wedding rings are probably the biggest challenge for newly weds. But since this is a tight budget, we will assume this as a symbolic gesture. For this purpose, we can go for cheap rings. Look, no one needs to know except you and your bride. When you have money, you can always change your rings and life goes on.
The Wedding cake
Wedding cake is a common feature in most wedding receptions and a moderate one which can be baked and decorated at the cost of N10,000, will be decent enough for the occasion.
To cut costs further, it is needful to hold the wedding reception within the church premises to avoid paying huge fees for rented halls. Most churches allow couples to use their church premises as long as they keep it clean after use. All that will be needed is renting canopies and chairs at the cost of about N5,000. If your church doesn’t have premises or hall then you can use that of a friend.
Thoughts about printing invitation cards should be discarded. You should opt for using bulk SMS. This won’t cost more than N500 at most. You can also design a single invitation card and send via email to invited guests at a moderate cost of say N500. This will no doubt help to ensure you stay within your stipulated budget.
The not so mandatory
Most Nigerian weddings require that you share souvenirs in exchange for gift items. For you, this is not mandatory as you are on a tight budget. Presenting souvenirs to guests is optional, depending on the purse of the couple involved.
Another item you can skip paying for us hiring a Hiring of a DJ and getting a photographer/ video man to cover the occasion. Being a small family sized get together wedding, all you need to do is get a friend to lend you a sound system loud enough to get people to dance as well as operate a mic. Most people will fall over themselves to be the DJ of the day for free.
Getting a photographer to cover the event is not also mandatory. These days, mobile phones do an amazing job at keeping memories. Besides, most people take pictures as a hobby and what you need to do is to find someone who will gladly do this for you for free. This will likely be a family friend, who won’t demand cash from you, as they already know that you are on a tight budget.
Here is a breakdown of the above mentioned costs:
Yes, We can!
Planning a wedding can be stressful and costly if strict budgeting is not adhered to. It will be nice to see both families of the couple come together to rejoice with their loved ones, but even better if the couple do not go out of their way to incur unnecessary expenses all in the name of pleasing friends and families that would grace their wedding ceremony. The above budget is just a guide that is practically implementable. All that is needed is the boldness to go ahead to do it.
Have a blissful wedding!
5C’s of creditworthiness: What lenders, Investors look for in a business plan
Business owners need to be aware of the criteria lenders and investors use when evaluating the creditworthiness of entrepreneurs seeking financing.
Banks usually are not a new venture’s sole source of capital because a bank’s return is limited by the interest rate it negotiates, but its risk could be the entire amount of the loan if the new business fails. Once a business is operational and has an established financial track record, banks become a regular source of financing.
For this reason, the small business owner needs to be aware of the criteria lenders and investors use when evaluating the creditworthiness of entrepreneurs seeking financing.
Will the business that an entrepreneur actually creates look exactly like the company described in the business plan? Of course, not.
The real value in preparing a business plan is not so much in the finished document itself but in the process it goes through – a process in which the entrepreneur learns how to compete successfully in the marketplace. In addition, a solid plan is essential to raising the capital needed to start a business; lenders and investors demand it.
Lenders and investors refer to these criteria as the five C’s of credit.
1. Capital: A small business must have a stable income base before any lender is willing to grant a loan. Otherwise, the lender would not be making, in effect, a capital investment in the business. Most banks refuse to make loans that are capital investment because the potential for return on the investment is limited strictly on the interest on the loan, and the potential loss would probably exceed the reward. In addition, the most common reasons that banks give for rejecting small business loan applications are undercapitalization or too much debt. Banks expect a small company to have an equity base investment by the owner(s) that will help support the venture during times of financial strain, which are common during the start-up and growth phases of a business. Lenders and investors see capital as a risk-sharing strategy with entrepreneurs.
2. Capacity: A synonym for capital is cash flow. Lenders and investors must be convinced of the firm’s ability to meet its regular financial obligation and to repay loans, and that takes cash. More small businesses fail from lack of cash than from lack of profit. It is possible for a company to be showing a profit and still have no cash – that is, to be bankrupt. Lenders expect small businesses to pass the test of liquidity, especially for short term loans. Potential lenders and investors examine closely a small company’s cash flow position to decide whether it has the capacity necessary to survive until it can sustain itself.
3. Collateral: Collateral includes any asset an entrepreneur pledges to a lender as security for repayment of a loan. If the company defaults on a loan, the lender has the right to sell the collateral and use the proceeds to satisfy the loan. Typically, banks make much unsecured loans (those not backed up by collateral) to business start-ups. Bankers view the entrepreneurs’ willingness to pledge collateral (personal or business assets) as an indication of their dedication to making the venture a success. A sound business plan can improve a banker’s attitude towards venture.
4. Character: Before extending a loan or making an investment in a small business, lenders and investors must be satisfied with an entrepreneur’s character. The evaluation of character frequently is based on intangible factors such as honesty, integrity, competence, polish, determination, intelligence, and ability. Although the qualities judged are abstract, this evaluation plays a critical role in the decision to put money into a business or not.
5. Conditions: The conditions surrounding a funding request also affects an entrepreneur’s chances of receiving financing. Lenders and investors consider factors relating to a business’ operation such as potential growth in the market, competition, location, strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. Another important condition influencing the banks is the shape of the overall economy, including interest rate levels, inflation rate, and demand for money. Although these factors are beyond an entrepreneur’s control, they still are an important component in a banker’s decision.
The higher a smaller business scores on the five C’s, the greater its chances of receiving a loan.
Written by Chukwuma Aguwa
Don’t be fooled by COVID-related scams
Always consult the institution in charge of health-related matters to confirm any fishy information you come across.
The nature of and the manifestation of the Covid-19 disease is such that there’s only a little time available to remedy the situation before it gets chronic. Although the infection begins by exhibiting mild symptoms, if you do nothing in a short time, it could lead to death in a matter of days.
This whole picture has caused many to become desperate about Covid-related issues, launching into panic mode at the sight of any information. As a result, such people are not far away from falling for fraudsters.
With the different kinds of news flying around, you mustn’t be fooled by Covid-related scams.
The Coronavirus threatens the health of millions of people around the world daily, also killing thousands along the way. To curb the spread and remedy the situation, bodies like the CDC, WHO, and every country’s local health organisation like the NCDC, frequently circulate information around communities. However, it has also led to fraudsters taking advantage to provide fake news, and even asking for donations.
Each day, there seems to be a new account or NGO asking for donations into the health sector, and though some are legit, many are just fraudsters posing to take advantage of innocent citizens. So far, numerous complaints about scams have been recorded, especially with people who are looking to support the health cause in any way they can.
Channels used for COVID-related scams
There are three major ways scammers take advantage of the haziness of the situation to dupe people. To start with, they appeal to the emotions of humans, who see the high death toll and suffering. As a result of what is happening, people have been willing to donate funds for medical supplies, isolation centres, and financial compensation for medical workers.
Scammers take advantage of this by posing as charity organisations and solicit for funds. Most times, as soon as their target is met, they clear their footprint without leaving a trace behind.
Another way they scam people is by manufacturing and selling fake or low-quality health products. Everyone wants to get their hands on a cure, or something that can at least protect them from the virus, and scammers are meeting their needs by providing just that.
The World Health Organization currently approves only one vaccine, and any other thing outside it is outrightly fake or just a supplement that will help your body. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is clinically tested and approved to work. Be sure to not throw your money in the wind by purchasing some of these fake drugs around.
Lastly, scammers create systems to extract a patient’s personal information, thereby having access to the person’s true identity. It could be in the simple form of opening a registration portal where you supply all your details.
Therefore, only give information to approved bodies and not any random online site that appears legit. These fraudulent individuals can do a lot of damage to your identity. Stay vigilant, only communicate with approved bodies, and always ask questions if you are not sure or suspect foul play.
The place of electronics in COVID-related scams
These fraudsters usually reach out to you through the digital sphere. Hence, watch out for cold calls, text messages, or emails requesting donations to certain bodies. The best way to confirm the legitimacy of such a message is to visit the organisation’s official website in a different browser. Never follow the link in the mail or text directly, as it can be easily embedded with spyware. Therefore, a single click could see them extract all your personal information, including bank details.
Also, please stay away from those who claim to have a cure, and accompany it with testimonies of people who have used it. They are low graders desperate for your money. Vet them by searching online and see what people are saying. In all, always look out for suspicious messages, and opt out if you are sceptical.
In a nutshell, you should not believe any cure, vaccine or supplement that the World Health Organization does not approve of.
The government or legit health institutions do not cold call citizens to request donations or coerce them into making one. If you receive a call out of the blues, chances are it’s a scam, which is why they mostly try to hurry you to donate before you realise it. Always consult the institution in charge of health-related matters to confirm any fishy information you come across.
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