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Plan Your Special Day with Clipkulture Wedding Guide and Checklist

This wedding guide is for you if:

  • you want to keep in touch with culture whether you are in Africa or the diaspora.
  • you are not afraid to embrace new ideas and cultures
  • you just want to spice up wedding ceremonies OR
  • you just need a wedding guide!

1.Get Started

Planning your wedding shouldn’t be an overwhelming task that makes you lose your peace. With the right wedding planning checklist, book or tips you can come up with a fantastic wedding ceremony that wouldn’t jeopardize the married life you’re getting into.

After all it’s all about the “happily ever after”, isn’t it?

So it’s important you carefully plan your “gateway to marriage”…this is of course what we refer to as the wedding.

2. Check One: Your Dates!

In Africa, we usually will have at least two major wedding ceremonies;

  •  The Traditional Wedding/Engagement
  •  The White Wedding

So get your your dates fixed.

3. Pre-wedding Photoshoot

For me this is just about getting a picture to use for your wedding souvenirs and wedding stationary, so if

you both already have a good picture together, then use that! But if you want to flex on social media and

you can afford it, go ahead!

4. Your Traditional Wedding Budget

As Africans we all know setting a traditional wedding budget is nothing like drawing up a budget for a White Wedding.

And why is that so?

2 Major reasons:

1. Families are involved. In Africa marriage is about families and the Traditional Wedding Ceremony is a fantastic opportunity for both the Bride and Groom’s families to represent…

So you can hardly draw up a guest list in that regard…

2. The bride price and other gifts to be given are hardly fixed. It varies from family to family.

Having said this we will still work on getting a budget that will accommodate all the

possibilities and probabilities.

5. Quick Recap

Depending on where you are from you may have at least two of these ceremonies to deal with:


Door Knocking

Traditional Engagement


Kitchen Party

Chilanga Mulilo






6. The Traditional Wedding Ceremony

Whatever part of Africa you come from, you are going to deal with at least 3 Traditional meetings, one of which is the Traditional Wedding proper.

First Visit / Door Knocking

This is the wake up call to both families that something is brewing and everyone needs to start

getting prepared.

The groom will have to plan to visit the family of the bride to state his intentions, seek their consent and get instructions on how to go about taking his bride.

• He will definitely be given a list.

• At this point, entertainment is on the bride’s family and it’s no big deal as most times it’s only about 3 people that come;

• The groom with a friend and male family member, usually.

• It’s however not nice to come empty handed.

• A bottle of drink will do.


• 3-6 Months before Wedding

Bridal List/Lobola/Roora

The list is usually given any time from the day of the door knocking to about two weeks after.

This is because most families don’t have a list and need to consult with the elders and larger family.

In addition, some families like to carry out investigations about the family they are about to hand their daughter over to. (Yes, people still do this and it’s even easier now with the internet ?)

If you have already been given a list, enter the items here and research their costs, so you can have a

figure to work with.


Usually 2 Weeks after the Door Knocking

If you haven’t been given a list yet, then you can work with an assumption…

The Introduction

(If you don’t do anything like this or have a ceremony to replace this just move on to the Traditional Wedding

Ceremony checklist)


The introduction ceremony is strictly for for the families of the bride and groom… they actually introduce themselves and get to know each other.

It’s not a long ceremony but it’s important.

It’s usually between 2 – 4 hours…

So look at it like a family hangout.

In some tribes, this is where the bridal list is given to the family of the groom.

But usually, this is a family hangout because both families have accepted each other, so together, they look forward to the big day.


2 Weeks to 1Month to Traditional Wedding.

Some tribes blend this with the Traditional Wedding Ceremony…if you can suggest that and it’s accepted, great!

7. Introduction Budget Guide

1. Venue

usually bride’s father’s house

2. Rentals

Depending on the size of the families and the bride’s family home you may need to rent a tent/canopy and additional chairs and tables.

Choose the most important family members to be there:

20/20 should be fine…that is 20 on the bride’s side and 20

On the Groom’s side.

Sample list:











Aunty X (favorite Aunt)

Uncle Y (favorite Uncle)

Aunt A (Parent’s closest sibling)

Uncle B (Parents Closest sibling)

Best Friend

5 extra slots still available

How many chairs do you already have?……..

How many do you still need?…….

Is the living room large enough to take this number of chairs?…..

Be creative you shouldn’t have to rent this stuff except you just want to.

3. Catering

usually done by women in bride’s family. But if you want a caterer, fine.

4. Photo and Videography

Important! This is a good opportunity to test the photographer/videographer ahead of your big day.

Depending on your budget you can try two different people/businesses

5. Entertainment

There should be a lot of mingling so people may even hardly notice music in the background. But you own home

theatre can produce the music needed.

6. Bridal List

Some items may be required for the groom to bring for the introduction ceremony. They are usually, but not restricted to:

  • Carton of Soft drinks (Soda)
  • Carton of Beer
  • Bottle of Wine
  • Garden Eggs
  • Kolanuts
  • Tubers of Yam

7. Outfits

In instances where the introduction ceremony is blended with the Traditional Wedding/Engagement ceremony, this would be the first outfit.

It shouldn’t be a matching Outfit as you both have not yet been joined traditionally.

8. Budget Guide for your Traditional Wedding Ceremony


• If the bride’s family house has a large outside space/surrounding or garden, you may be good to go. Usually this is just fine, but if you want more space or a larger ceremony then you may have to rent a venue.

• If you choose to pay for a venue, you may also consider the option of getting a venue that relieves you the option of renting chairs, tables and a tent.

• A good venue should also relieve you of separate Sound and Lightning costs and even Catering (if possible).


You will most likely need to rent the following:

• Tent/Canopy

• Chairs

• Tables

• Sound & Lighting

• Entertainment (DJ or Live band)

• If you have a local church you attend, they should be able to sort out the live band issue for free or at an affordable rate.


Look around you for any friend or family member that has these skills and is ready to take up the challenge.

OR Go for professional decor services if it fits in your budget.


• Get a professional caterer, that’s my take on this one. There’s a caterer for every budget so don’t go for cut-throat deals.

• Make sure you sample the Caterer’s food and plan the menu with them.

• Also give an accurate head-count

• Better to over estimate.

• No matter how beautiful a wedding is, if the food isn’t good or enough that’s an ‘F’

• Drinks and Water

• Sorting out out your drinks by dealing with a wholesaler or the factory is always a cost effective option.

• Also, note that serving alcoholic drinks/beverages will shoot your budget up, so you don’t have to.


You can decide to combine information for the Traditional Wedding and White Wedding on the same card.

Traditional Wedding Cake

It’s the norm these days to have a traditional wedding cake, just stick with your budget.

Souvenirs/Gifts for guests

• Friends, Colleagues and Family members usually like to take on this responsibility. So if they are thinking of how to help you;

• they can order and pay for souvenirs; for example…order a hundred hand fans, brand them with your photos and their signature “Courtesy Bride’s Friends” or “Courtesy Groom’s Colleagues” or “Courtesy Bride’s Neighbours”

Bride’s List

You should be ready with the list of items you were asked to bring….

9. White Wedding Tips & Budget Guide

  • Send out Wedding Invitations at least 1 Month before your wedding.
  • Choose your wedding colour; this usually reflects in your decor, stationery, sometimes your outfit and any other item of your choice.
  • Decor for your Church (if necessary)
  • Wedding Ride
  • Reception Venue:
    • Book your Venue immediately at least 2 Months before.
    • Convenience (Restroom) for Guests should be considered when selecting a venue.
    • Parking for Guests should also be considered when choosing a venue.
  • Indoor or Outdoor Venue?
    • Consider the weather and any other preferences you may have.
    • Indoor Wedding venue ideas
      • Hotels
      • Restaurants
      • School Halls
      • Event Centers
      • Church Halls
    •  Outdoor Ideas
      •  Gardens/Parks
      •  Beaches
      •  School Playgrounds
  • Wedding Stationery
  •  Invitations
  •  Programs
  •  Menus
  • Thank you cards (optional)
  •  Signages for Guest Sitting area, directions, to venue, Gents and Ladies, Buffet section and more
  •  Entertainment: DJ or Live Band ?
    • Don’t forget your Wedding hashtag used for wedding website and on your social media accounts.

10. Wedding Outfits Checklist

Rent or Buy?


• Wedding Gown

• Bride’s Hair

• Bride’s Makeup

• Bride’s Tiara?

• Bride’s Jewelry

• Bride’s Gloves?

• Bride’s Shoes

• Bride’s bouquet


• Groom’s Suit

• Groom’s Shoes

• Groom’s Socks

• Groom’s cufflinks

• Groom’s Cravat/Tie and Pocket square

• Groom’s Wristwatch?

• Groom’s Hair


• Bridesmaids Dresses

• Groomsmen Suits

11. Your Wedding Ride

Look around for anyone connected to anyone who has an executive or luxury ride….it doesn’t have to be a limo.

Just ensure the car’s interior, exterior and engine is in good condition.

  • The bride usually comes in “Dad’s car”….the car should be decorated.
  • The groom usually comes in his own car which he would eventually use to take away his bride.
  • Wedding Ride Stationery:
    • “About to wed” license plate card (4); two for bride’s car and two for Groom’s car)
    • “Just Wedded” license plate card (2) for Groom’s car (to be changed after wedding on the way to the Reception)

12. Wedding Reminders

• Set a wedding date

• Set a wedding budget

• Compile your guest list so if you omit anyone’s name, then it’s deliberate?

• Sort out Legal requirements for the wedding

• Start Looking for a venue

• Get Your Venue

• Print your invitations

• Start Looking for a Caterer

• Start Looking for a photographer/videographer

• Most of the popular ones always have a tight itinerary so the earlier the better. You also need time to look hard as the good ones are not always popular ?

• Choose your Best man

• Choose your Maid of Honor/Chief Bridesmaid

• Decide how long your train should be (Bridesmaids and Groomsmen)

• 5 pairs isn’t a bad number

• Choose your Bridesmaids

• Choose your Groomsmen

• Your Wedding Dress Designer

• Your Wedding Suit

• Your Wedding Cake Designer

• Start looking for your wedding ride

• Book your DJ or Live Band

13. Your Honeymoon

I always feel your planning your honeymoon destination should be on a separate budget…If anyone wants to do anything for you, they can do a “honeymoon fund” for you….Let that also be a good back up for your happily ever after married life.

14. Get Your Wedding Page on Clipkulture

• Thinking of how you can set up a website for your wedding?

• Just contact us and we’ll help you set up a wedding page from the period of your wedding preparations to your D-Day.

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