When it comes to wedding receptions in Nigeria, there are often a lot of activities and events that take place. From the cutting of the cake to the first dance, there are many special moments that happen during a reception. To help ensure that everything goes smoothly, it is often helpful to have a program or schedule of events. This can help keep everyone on track and allow for a more enjoyable experience for all.
How Does A Wedding Reception Program Start?
The wedding reception program starts with the entrance of the bride and groom. This is often one of the most anticipated moments of the entire event. The bride and groom will usually be announced by someone such as the best man or maid of honor. They will then make their way down the aisle or to the dance floor where they will be met by their guests.
After the bride and groom have been announced, they will usually take their places at the head table. This is typically located in the front of the room so that they can easily be seen by all of their guests. The bridal party will also be seated at this table. Once everyone is in their seats, the emcee or DJ will begin introducing the various events that will take place during the reception.
What Happens During A Wedding Reception?
A wedding reception is a party that is held after the completion of a marriage ceremony. It is often hosted by the newlyweds’ parents or other relatives, but it can also be held by the couple. A reception usually includes food and drink, music, dancing, and speeches from family and friends. It is often considered one of the most important parts of a wedding because it is a time for the couple to celebrate their new marriage with their loved ones.
What Is The Difference Between A Wedding And A Reception?
A wedding is a ceremony in which two people are legally and officially married. While a wedding reception is a party that is held after the completion of a marriage ceremony. It is often hosted by the newlyweds’ parents or other relatives, but it can also be held by the couple. A reception usually includes food and drink, music, dancing, and speeches from family and friends. It is often considered one of the most important parts of a wedding because it is a time for the couple to celebrate their new marriage with their loved ones.
What Is The Bride Program?
One of the first events that will likely take place is the bride program. This is when the bride will usually say a few words to thank her guests for attending and to share her thoughts on the special day. She may also take this opportunity to introduce her bridal party or to thank them for their support. The groom may also say a few words during this time.
After the bride program, there are typically a variety of other activities that will take place. These can include things such as the cutting of the cake, the first dance, and even a bouquet toss. Each of these events can be announced by the emcee so that everyone knows what is happening and when.
The Order of A Wedding Reception Program In Nigeria?
Having a program or schedule of events can be very helpful for keeping everything organized during a wedding reception. The order of the program for a wedding reception in Nigeria can vary depending on the specific traditions and customs of the couple. However, there are some common elements that are often included.
Below is an example of a typical order of program for a Nigerian wedding reception:
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1) Arrival Of Guests And Reception Of The Newlyweds:
In the first step of a Nigerian wedding reception, the guests arrive at the venue and are greeted by the newlyweds. This is typically the first time that the couple has the opportunity to see and interact with all of their guests in one place, and it is a time for them to thank their guests for attending and celebrating with them.
It is also a time for the guests to congratulate the couple and offer their best wishes for their future together. This step is typically quite informal, with the guests and newlyweds greeting each other and chatting for a few minutes before the formal reception activities begin.
2) Introduction Of The Bridal Party And Wedding Party:
During the introduction of the bridal party and wedding party, the emcee or DJ will typically call out the names of the members of the bridal party (such as the maid of honor and bridesmaids) and the wedding party (such as the best man and groomsmen) and they will enter the reception venue and take their places. This is usually accompanied by music and can be a fun and energetic part of the reception.
The purpose of this event is to introduce the members of the bridal and wedding parties to the guests and to give them a chance to be recognized and celebrated. It is also a way for the couple to honor their close friends and family members who have played a special role in their lives and in their wedding.
The order in which the members of the bridal and wedding parties are introduced may vary, but it is common for the newlyweds to be introduced last.
3) The Entrance And Introduction Of The Couple:
The entrance and introduction of the bride and groom are typically one of the first events in a Nigerian wedding reception program. This is a special moment when the newlyweds make their grand entrance into the reception venue and are formally introduced to the guests before making their way to the aisle.
The entrance usually involves some form of announcement or fanfare, such as music or a special announcement by the emcee. The couple may enter the venue together, or the groom may enter first and then wait for the bride at the front of the room.
After the couple has entered the venue, they are usually introduced to the guests by the emcee or another member of the wedding party. This may involve the couple being announced by name, or the emcee may provide a brief overview of the couple’s relationship and their journey to the wedding day.
The entrance and introduction of the couple is a celebratory and meaningful moment in a Nigerian wedding reception, and it sets the tone for the rest of the celebration. It is a time for the couple to be recognized and celebrated by their loved ones, and for guests to get their first glimpse of the newlyweds as a married couple.
4) The First Dance:
This is typically a slow song that has special meaning to the couple.
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The first dance by the newlyweds is a traditional event that takes place during the wedding reception. It is often one of the most anticipated moments of the entire reception where the bride and groom will take to the dance floor and share their first dance as husband and wife. It is usually a slow, romantic dance between the newly married couple, and it is often the first time they dance together as husband and wife.
The first dance is usually choreographed and rehearsed in advance, and it is usually accompanied by music that has a special meaning to the couple. The first dance is typically a highlight of the wedding reception and is often watched by all of the guests. It is a symbol of the couple’s love and commitment to each other, and it is a special moment that is often captured by photographers and videographers.
5) Parent Dances With The Newlyweds:
The parent dance, also known as the mother-son dance or father-daughter dance, is a traditional wedding reception event in which the newlyweds dance with their parents. This is typically a special moment for the couple and their families, as it signifies the continuation of family bonds and the joining of two families through marriage.
In a Nigerian wedding reception, the parent dance may be incorporated into the overall program of events. It typically follows the first dance by the newlyweds and is usually preceded by speeches by the father of the bride, the groom, and other special guests.
The parent dance can be a poignant and emotional moment, and couples often choose special songs to mark this occasion. It is not uncommon for the couple to dance with both their mothers and fathers or with one parent at a time. The parent dance is usually followed by an open dance floor for all guests.
6) Speeches From Family, Friends & Guests:
This is usually the time when people will give speeches to congratulate the new couple. These speeches are often given by the parents of the couple, the best man, the maid of honor, or other special people.
In a Nigerian wedding reception, the speeches by the father of the bride, the groom, and other special guests typically take place after the first dance by the newlyweds.
The father of the bride’s speech is usually the first one given, and it is an opportunity for him to welcome the guests, express his love and pride for his daughter, and offer words of wisdom and congratulations to the newlyweds.
The groom’s speech is typically next, and it is a chance for him to thank his bride, her family, and the guests for their love and support. He may also share a few words about his love for his spouse and his plans for the future.
Other special guests, such as the best man, maid of honor, or close family members, may also give speeches to offer their congratulations and well wishes to the newlyweds. These speeches are typically shorter than the ones given by the father of the bride and the groom.
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The purpose of these speeches is to add a personal and heartfelt touch to the wedding reception and to give the newlyweds and their families an opportunity to express their gratitude and appreciation to one another.
7) The Cutting Of The Cake:
Cutting the wedding cake is a traditional event that is usually delayed till the wedding reception. It is a symbol of the couple’s commitment to each other and the beginning of their new life together.
During this event, the newlyweds cut the first slice of their wedding cake together, often using a special cake knife or sword. The cake is then served to the guests, either by the couple or by the catering staff. In some cultures, it is customary for the couple to feed each other a piece of the cake as a symbol of their love and devotion.
The wedding cake is usually a multi-tiered cake that has been decorated to match the theme and colors of the wedding. It is often displayed on a special table or stand and may be accompanied by other sweet treats such as cupcakes or cookies. Cutting the cake is usually a photo-worthy event and is often captured by the wedding photographer.
8) Traditional Nigerian Wedding Rites:
it is common for traditional cultural performances to be a part of the celebration. These may include pouring of libation, exchange of traditional wedding attire, presentation of gifts to the couple, dancing and singing performances by the couple, their families, and/or professional performers. These performances can showcase various cultural traditions and serve as a way to entertain and involve the guests in the celebration.
For example, there may be traditional Nigerian dance styles such as the “Sakara” or “Afrobeats” that are performed, or traditional Nigerian songs that are sung. These cultural performances can be an important part of the wedding reception and serve to celebrate and honor the couple’s cultural heritage.
9) Food & Drinks (AKA Menu! Menu!!):
What’s a Nigerian wedding reception without food and drinks?
At a Nigerian couple’s reception, there will always be food and drinks are typically served to the guests. This can take the form of a sit-down dinner with a set menu, or it can be a more casual affair with a variety of food stations or a buffet.
It is common for the wedding reception to include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The type of drinks served will depend on the preferences of the couple and the budget for the reception. It is also common for the couple to offer a signature cocktail or drink for the reception.
During dinner and drinks, guests will typically have the opportunity to socialize and enjoy the food and beverages. This is also a good time for the newlyweds to circulate and visit with their guests.
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10) Garter Removal:
This is often considered to be a naughty but fun tradition where the groom will remove the garter from the bride’s leg and then often throw it into the crowd of single male guests. Any single lady or bachelor who catches it is said to be the next one to get married.
The garter toss is typically a lighthearted and playful event that takes place after the formalities of the reception have been completed.
To begin the garter removal, the groom will typically bend down to one knee and remove the garter from the bride’s leg. The bride may also participate by helping the groom remove the garter or by lifting her dress to reveal the garter. The groom will then toss the garter to a group of single male guests, who will try to catch it.
The garter toss is said to be a symbol of good luck, and it is believed that the man who catches the garter will be the next to marry. The garter removal and toss are optional events and may not be included in every Nigerian wedding reception program. They are typically added for a touch of fun and to add a bit of playfulness to the reception.
11) The Bouquet Toss:
Although this is a foreign white wedding tradition, it has since been imported and is now practiced traditionally here in Nigeria. The bouquet has become a traditional wedding reception activity in which the bride tosses her bouquet to a group of single females. The person who catches the bouquet is said to be the next one to marry. These activities are often light-hearted, and fun and are intended to add a touch of levity and playfulness to the reception. It is worth noting that the bouquet toss is not a requirement at every wedding, and some couples choose to omit them or to include alternative activities in their place.
12) Other Activities & Games:
In addition to the traditional events included in a Nigerian wedding reception program, there are a number of other activities and games that can be incorporated to add fun and excitement to the celebration. Here are a few examples:
- Traditional Nigerian cultural performances: In addition to the first dance and speeches, it is common for Nigerian weddings to feature cultural performances such as dancing, singing, and drumming. These can be performed by the couple, their families, or professional entertainers.
- Games and activities: There are many games and activities that can be included in a Nigerian wedding reception to add an element of fun and entertainment. Examples include traditional games like Ayo (a board game similar to checkers), card games, and party games like musical chairs or limbo.
- Photo booth: A photo booth is a fun and interactive activity that allows guests to take memorable photos with the newlyweds and each other. The photo booth can be set up with props and backdrops, and guests can take home prints or digital copies of their photos.
- Karaoke: Karaoke is a popular activity at Nigerian weddings and can be a fun way for guests to get up on stage and sing their favorite songs. The couple can also perform a duet or dedicate a song to each other.
- Live music or DJ: Live music or a DJ can provide entertainment for the dance floor and keep guests on their feet all night long. The couple can choose their favorite genres of music or a mix of different styles to appeal to a wide range of guests.
These are just a few examples of the activities and games that can be included in a Nigerian wedding reception program. The options are endless and can be customized to fit the couple’s preferences and interests.
13) Open Dance Floor For All:
After all of the traditional events have taken place, the open dance floor is a time to let loose when all of the guests are invited to dance and have some fun! It usually occurs after dinner and any special events or performances have finished. The newlyweds may also join in the dancing, or they may choose to sit and observe.
The DJ or band will start playing music and everyone will hit the dance floor. This is typically the most energetic part of the reception and it is a great time to let loose and have fun! Guests can dance to a variety of different types of music, ranging from traditional wedding dance tunes to more modern, upbeat tracks.
The open dance floor is a great opportunity for everyone to let loose and have a good time. It is a celebration of the newlyweds and their love, and it is a way for all of the guests to come together and have fun.
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14) Farewell and Departure of the Newlyweds:
Towards the end of the reception, the bride and groom will say goodbye to their guests as they prepare to leave for their honeymoon. This is typically a very emotional moment for both the newlyweds and their families because it signifies the end of the reception and the departure of the couple from the venue. This is typically the final event in the wedding reception program, and it marks the end of the celebration.
The departure of the newlyweds is often a memorable and emotional moment, as it symbolizes the start of their new life together as a married couple. It is customary for the couple to make a grand exit, such as by walking down a receiving line of guests or by being carried out in a vehicle. The couple may also throw confetti or rice as they leave, or have a send-off with sparklers or streamers.
The departure of the newlyweds is usually accompanied by music and well wishes from guests and is a fitting way to conclude the wedding reception.
As you can see, many different events often occur during a Nigerian wedding reception. Having a program or schedule of events can help to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that everyone knows what is happening. Including all of these events in your program can help to make your reception more enjoyable