THE TRUTH ABOUT MY CIVIL WEDDING LOOK

February 10, 2024

I’ve been promising to blog more or rather return to blogging each time someone tells me they’ve missed my updates on the blog. I’ve been procrastinating because even when I get the time, I somehow end up lazy.

As some of you already know, I got engaged in 2020, got traditionally married in 2021 and now legally married in 2022. It sounds weird saying “legally married” for court (civil) wedding because in igbo land after your bride price has been paid in full and you have gone with your new family, you are legally married “according to the laws of the land”.

For my civil wedding look, I had always wanted to wear this white Divalukky dress from the first day I set my eyes on it.

Divalukky civil wedding outfit inspiration

All that changed after she moved to the UK, the dress wasn’t available to buy online and I had to find a replacement because I didn’t want to make a similar style.

I had an alternative civil wedding look planned out in my head and even identified the perfect pair of satin fabric white shoes I wanted to wear on Asos.

Asos White heels
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Coincidentally, I stumbled on an IG ad with a very similar style of dress to my alternative civil wedding look and saved it for future use.

Planning the entire event wasn’t so easy for me (as someone who likes planning way ahead of time) especially because, at that time, we weren’t allowed to use our phones at work during the working hours except on our individual 1-hour breaks. Now, if you’ve ever planned any Nigerian event (even the smallest gathering), you’ll know how tiring and time-consuming it could be going back and forth with vendors.

The back and forth with vendors is particularly time-consuming because of  “DM to order”, “Call to order”, “Send WhatsApp message to order”, etc. For some people, you have to find out if they’re within your budget first before the real conversation can begin. I see a dress on your page, I want to see the price in the caption before deciding to send a message to confirm availability of color and sizes not the other way round.

Not being able to use my phone as I wanted prolonged most of these because while I may not respond to confirm things while actively seeing patients, I could respond at my free time rather than after 6pm (close of work) which further pushes some things to the next day and the cycle continues.

At the end of the day, my husband did most of the planning and the legwork (when he could) while I took care of mostly my outfits and few other details. I had a budget of N100k maximum for my civil wedding look(s) and I was determined to stick to it.

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN – MY CIVIL WEDDING LOOK

Dress Selection

I went back to my saved images for the dress I saw on my IG feed and was just going to buy it but a friend suggested I make a similar dress to ensure I get my perfect fit. That made sense, I have a lot of my cloths tailor-made anyways.

So, I switched up the initial style to truly reflect my personal style and discussed with my seamstress. She told me Mikado fabric (body) and printed organza (sleeves) would suit the style and she bought all fabrics needed. The dress was adjusted once after the initial sewing and it fit just as I wanted afterwards.

Total for sewing + fabrics + 2 deliveries – N19,900

Bouquet

I wanted something simple, either in white or burgundy so, i did a quick search and saw one of the types I wanted on Alma’s wedding cheapskate IG page and was going to buy it but realized she had closed that store since Covid. I reached out to a former colleague who did bouquets and showed her the photo of what I wanted and asked if she could buy and tie for me and she told me it would cost me N20,000 to make.

Simple Lily bouquet

If this was a complicated or expensive bouquet, i wouldn’t mind. I was mad, how can you charge that amount for the simplest of bouquets??? I honestly just wanted to patronize her because I knew where to buy flowers online, even if I couldn’t go to the market and I could easily tie ribbons myself. I admit, I’ve never priced bouquets before but that price doesn’t make sense to me for this simple and single flower type bouquet.

Eventually, I went online to the flower shop and bought 2 different flowers (calla lilies and burgundy garden roses) so that I could choose the best for my look and also have a backup since I hadn’t actually done a bouquet myself before.

small calla lilies bouquet
Calla lilies I bought

Due to the packaging, the burgundy roses stained some of the lilies and in my strive for perfection, I decided to clean the stains with detergent and bleach. They looked like they were coming off so I decided to give them more time by soaking them a little. By the time, I got back few minutes later, some were brownish and that was how I ruined the lilies. The stains weren’t even noticeable and were never going to show in the photos.

I looked at the burgundy roses, my only option left and saw some dust, I quickly muttered “Satan, get thee behind me”. Nothing like cleaning was going to happen again!

Total with delivery – N11,800

The Calla Lilies were N5,000 (10 pieces)

The burgundy rose bunch I used was N4,000 (7 roses), big ribbon pack – N1,800.

Cost of Final Bouquet alone (as shown in my photos with ribbon) – N5,800 out of the N11,800.

Makeup

Hmm, y’all in Lagos slaying every weekend with professional makeup are really trying! I wanted someone on the Island, preferably close to Ikoyi or Vi. I searched and reached out to a couple of MUAs including “affordable” recommendations by some Lagos-based friends. On the average, studio prices were 20-30k while home service was 35-45k. I couldn’t believe my eyes! and no, these MUAs weren’t Bibyonce and the likes, so I wasn’t looking for celebrity MUAs.

Eventually, I found one in VI (perfect since I was staying in VI that day) for 12k (studio – with a MUA working for her) and 20k (studio – if I wanted the MUA herself). I went with the 12k option after asking to see her works.

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Hair

Used my old hair reviewed here but paid N4,000 for styling. I have revamped the hair over the years and while it’s now tired, it still serves me whenever I need it. Till I find an exact replacement (color, style, length)

Fascinator

my civil wedding look

I had seen a Lagos-based page whose works I liked a long time ago and saved them for future use. She seems to specialize in civil wedding looks. I contacted them and finalized but forgot to mention that I wanted off-white not pure white until they were delivered to my Lagos address. When I arrived, tried it on, it was perfect but not the same shade of white as my dress.

I thought of buying another dress but my husband asked someone else to make that exact style I wanted, the person tried with the style but made a cream-colored version instead. I had given a piece of my fabric but she didn’t see the exact shade and bought the “closest color” without notifying us.

After we picked it up, we realized that the pure white was the better of the 2, so I ended up using it like that as I had no time to find another, it was only 1 day left and I was yet to find shoes to wear. You couldn’t tell from the photos right? Also, it was supposed be a side style (tilted to one side) but in my rush, I placed it at the center and left it that way throughout.

Main fascinator – 15k

Cream fascinator (not pictured) – 7k

HOW I ENDED UP WITH BLACK SANDALS FOR MY CIVIL WEDDING LOOK

Remember I had planned on wearing this Asos pair of white satin shoes. Somehow, the person supposed to help me bring it to Nigeria left earlier than the delivery date and with limited time left, I couldn’t risk paying for it to be delivered to Nigeria. Prior to Covid19, you could pay for express delivery and get it in days, nowadays, I’ve heard people complain of express getting to 2 weeks. I had to start looking for alternatives everywhere whenever I could in the time left!

Who would have known that it would be difficult to find a white or an off-white covered pair of shoes. It seemed as though the minute I needed to find an alternative including burgundy (the shade of my roses), all size 41 shoes sold out. I had limited time and couldn’t find anything I liked. The D-day was Saturday at Ikoyi federal marriage registry…I spent my Thursday afternoon/evening searching in Festac (where i was at that time) then spent Friday afternoon/evening searching in Ikeja.

Few hours left to the wedding and I still didn’t have anything to wear on my feet. I considered leaving early in the morning on Saturday to search on the island before going for my makeup but ended up being short on time. With only 1 hour left to the time for the civil wedding at the registry, I pulled out my black sandals (which I packed last minute by the way) and told myself, “it’s just a color, stop stressing over it, it might not look as bad as you are expecting.”

I considered cutting out my feet in all photos if they were that bad but after I saw the photos I said, no way! I’m leaving them like that. Couldn’t believe a single fashion piece had been stressing me out.

Truth is, at the end of the day, I had so much fun that I couldn’t believe I was stressing over a pair of shoes and an N89k pair (the only shoes that fit during my search) that I didn’t buy.

So, I saw these shoes at Dune London store at the Ikeja mall. They had only size 40 shoes left but this particular pair fit even though I wear 41. They were N89,000! Almost my entire budget, lol.

Dune London Embellished Ankle Strap Wedding Shoes

I’m still obsessed with these pair I also saw in size 40 which costs N118,000. The pair can be worn repeatedly with different outfits compared to the one pictured above.

As I didn’t buy shoes, I decided to create a black look still within budget as an alternative to the white look if the black shoes looked too bad. It didn’t waste, I got to wear it for our dinner reception at the hotel.

Black set from Grey velvet Store – N27k

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Black two piece skirt set
Black two piece skirt set

The hotel gave us a small cake gift after the dinner, how nice of them.

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Civil wedding dinner at Lagos continental hotel
Civil wedding dinner at Lagos continental hotel

I totally enjoyed my stay at Lagos Continental Hotel even though we barely slept or explored the hotel because of our planned activities, everything was on point and I tried to take as many photos as I could.

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Onyinye of Modavracha Civil wedding
We were literally rushing to the registry here…”just take the pictures sharp sharp with your phone”
civil wedding look ikoyi registry

My husband also totally agrees with me that we need to go back sometime and enjoy the hotel stay proper, it’s such a nice place worth the money you pay. I was particularly impressed with how well-behaved all the staff I came across were, even the ones I met at 4am.

After the dinner reception, we went clubbing (after-party) at Bayrock in lekki with a few friends and coincidentally Ini Edo was celebrating her birthday there as well. I wore my old animal print dress and mules because everyone insisted my black set wasn’t a club look 🤷🏽‍♀️.

 

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