Weddinconomics from Nigerian Perspective

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“There is no such thing as a good wedding; only a good marriage tells a good wedding…”

The economics of weddings is a fascinating subject that economists and social scientists have studied. At its core, a wedding is an event that involves a significant amount of spending, both by the couple getting married and by their guests. From an economic perspective, a wedding is a type of consumption event where individuals spend money on goods and services that provide them with personal satisfaction. In the case of a wedding, this includes everything from the dress and the venue to the food and the music.

One of the key drivers of wedding spending is the desire to signal one’s social status to others. In many cultures, weddings are seen as a way to demonstrate one’s wealth and social standing, and as a result, there is often a great deal of pressure to spend lavishly on the event.

However, this desire to signal social status can also lead to what we economists call “conspicuous consumption” – spending money on things intended to impress others rather than provide genuine satisfaction to the consumer. This can result in a wedding that is more about showing off than celebrating the love between two people.

Another interesting aspect of the “WEDDINCONOMICS” is the role of gift-giving. In many cultures, guests are expected to give gifts to the couple getting married, and the value of these gifts can vary widely depending on the social norms of the community.

From an economic perspective, gift-giving can be seen as a way to transfer wealth from the guests to the couple getting married. However, it can also be seen as a way to signal social status and to create social bonds between the guests and the couple.

Overall, the economics behind weddings is a complex and multifaceted subject involving various factors, from social norms and signalling to consumption and gift-giving.


In Nigeria, the economics of weddings is a particularly interesting topic, “OWAMBE” is always a goal, given our cultural and social norms around marriage and family. In Nigeria, weddings can be expensive, ranging from a few hundred thousand naira to several millions. According to a survey conducted by the Nigerian Wedding, an online wedding magazine, the average cost of a wedding in Nigeria is around 3 million naira (about $7,800) (Though sometimes not at once)

In Nigeria, we have a strong tradition of elaborate weddings, with couples and their families often spending significant amounts of money on the event. This is seen as a way to signal social status and to demonstrate the importance of the union between the two families. At the same time, there is also a growing awareness of the economic pressures that weddings can place on families, particularly those who may not have the financial means to fund an elaborate event. As a result, there is a growing trend towards simpler, more affordable weddings, particularly among younger couples.

One of the challenges facing Nigeria in this regard is the tension between tradition and modernity. While many young couples may want to have a more affordable and low-key wedding, there may be pressure from their families and communities to conform to traditional norms and expectations around wedding spending.

From an economist’s perspective, there are questions about the distributional effects of wedding spending. While some segments of society may benefit from the economic activity generated by weddings – such as vendors, caterers, and event planners – others may be excluded from these opportunities, particularly if they lack the social connections or financial resources to participate in the wedding industry.

Weddinconomics in Nigeria is a complex and multifaceted subject that reflects our cultural and social norms around marriage and family and broader economic trends and inequalities.


Religion plays a significant role in the economics of weddings in Nigeria, particularly given our diverse religious landscape. In many religious traditions, weddings are seen as important spiritual events with significant religious and cultural symbolism. As a result, there may be pressure on couples and their families to spend a significant amount of money on the event to reflect the union’s importance and significance.

For example, in the Christian tradition, weddings are often seen as sacramental events, focusing on the religious significance of the union between the couple. As a result, there may be an expectation that the wedding will be conducted in a church, with a pastor or priest officiating, and that certain religious rituals and traditions will be followed.

Similarly, in the Islamic tradition, weddings are seen as important social and religious events, with a focus on the spiritual significance of the union. This may involve the payment of a dowry and other customs and traditions that reflect the importance of the union within the community and Islamic guidelines.

From a religious perspective, there are also questions about the ethical implications of lavish wedding spending, particularly if it is seen as excessive or conspicuous consumption. Some religious leaders have spoken out against the pressure to spend large sums of money on weddings and have encouraged couples and their families to focus on the spiritual and emotional significance of the event rather than on material or financial considerations.


The economics of weddings in Nigeria has both positive and negative economic implications.

On the positive side, the wedding industry is a significant contributor to economic activity in Nigeria. The industry provides employment opportunities for various people, from caterers and event planners to musicians and photographers. Additionally, the industry generates revenue for various businesses, from dressmakers and jewellers to hotels and transportation companies. How will event planners make their means if weddings are not elaborate? lol

However, there are also negative implications associated with the weddings in Nigeria. One main concern is the pressure lavish weddings can place on families, particularly those who may not have the financial means to fund an elaborate event. This can lead to significant debt and financial stress for families, particularly if they prioritize wedding spending over other important needs such as healthcare, education, or housing.

Another concern is the potential for economic exclusion within the wedding industry. As noted earlier, some segments of society may be excluded from participating in the wedding industry due to a lack of financial resources or social connections. This can create significant inequalities and limit economic opportunities for these individuals and communities.

Overall, the economics of weddings in Nigeria reflects broader economic trends and challenges, including inequality, poverty, and economic exclusion. Addressing these challenges will require a comprehensive approach considering the economic, social, and cultural factors shaping wedding spending and the broader wedding industry. By promoting inclusive economic growth and development, Nigeria can ensure that the benefits of the wedding industry are shared more widely and that all individuals and communities can participate in and benefit from economic activity.


𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐬

v Setting a realistic budget: Before embarking on wedding planning, couples should assess their financial situation and set a budget that reflects their financial means. This can help to avoid taking on excessive debt or overspending on the wedding. No do pass yourself.

v Prioritizing spending: Couples should prioritize spending on the aspects of the wedding that are most important to them, such as the ceremony, the reception, or the entertainment. This can help to ensure that resources are directed towards the elements of the wedding that are most meaningful rather than on unnecessary or frivolous expenses.

v Considering alternative options: There are various wedding options, such as hosting a smaller, more intimate event or having a destination wedding. These options can be more affordable and offer a more personalized and meaningful experience.

𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝑷𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒚𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆𝒓𝒔:

  • Encouraging inclusive economic growth: Policymakers can work to create an environment that promotes inclusive economic growth and development, with a focus on addressing economic inequality and promoting opportunities for all individuals and communities.
  • Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises: The wedding industry is largely made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), such as caterers, event planners, and dressmakers. Policymakers can support the growth of these businesses by providing access to financing, training, and other resources.
  • Promoting financial literacy: Many families may take on excessive debt to pay for weddings due to lacking financial literacy and planning. Policymakers can work to promote financial literacy and provide resources to help families plan and sustainably save for weddings.

The author is an economist and data analyst and recognises himself as a comrade in chief of economic vawulence.

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