Question about traditional weddings and food!!

I was just thinking about the logistics and was wondering what everyone is planning to do regarding food. Is a buffet more appropriate or sit down meal? Will there be canapes? Or nibbles after the meal? Will there be dessert? How is all "arranged"?! What time do trad weddings start anyway?

The way I'm thinking, it would start at about 2pm with the ceremony, reading the letter, presenting gifts, prayers etc and then after all that we eat and then dancing etc and then much later on some nibbles and things like plantain fritters, puff-puffs, fried prawns etc

My worry is that people might be hungry as soon as they come and would want something ASAP so should I have canapes to start and forget the nibbles later at night?

How are you ladies planning on conducting your trad weddings? I'm so confused!!!



  • Canapes would be nice and champayne cocktails as your guest arrive.

    I'm having a traditional wedding, church followed by reception. There will be a drinks reception followed by a served buffet unfortunately not allowed to bring our own feed so the venue were usingis doing the catering.

    When is your big day?
  • Hi Geministar, I just had my trad on the 1st Nov and it was scheduled to start at 2pm. In true Naija style everything was delayed. I was fairly hungry by the time we got to the refreshment agenda. But hubby and I bought lots of nuts, cheese (dad likes it) and nibbles and used it as centre pieces as well as massive table ice buckets filled with a selection of drinks.

    I suppose the reason why food is later, as I was told by my mum, is that guests begin to leave once food is served. I do not know much about your guests but most of ours left by 10pmish so there was no need for nibbles - we knew this wold be the case as we only had the venue till 11pm.

    However, most people I spoke with advised to start later and, in many ways, I agree with that format. Whatever you do though, keep smiling. I shall post some of my pics on later when I get a little more organised xxx

    [Modified by: chichiN on December 05, 2008 04:15 PM]

  • Hi Chichi, thanks so much for your advice. You're so right about how people start to slip away once the food has been eaten lol! So you're right, I'll start with canap????s and pre dinner nibbles. I love your idea of setting out platters and drinks in the middle of the tables, saves money on centrepieces too!! Woo hoo!!!

    Is there ANY way we can avoid people streaming in hours late? Its so typical of Nig people but I really want to avoid that. Especially because h2b is Australian and his family and friends are coming from Australia for the wedding so they're all going to come as a group at the same time and PROMPTLY. So I really don't want them just sort of hanging around with nothing to do wondering where everybody is! Arrrrggghh!!!!

    Also did you have dessert? And was your banquet set up as a buffet? I like the idea of a buffet because Nigerians really don't like someone else deciding how much they can eat lol, and most standard restaurant portions are always too little for them anyway. So with a buffet they can have as much of something and as little of something else as they like. What do you think?

    The caterers I'm talking to offer a beautiful pavlova with lots of layers. Here's a link to a pic of the pavlova, click the bottom right pic of a couple cutting it for a bigger pic.

    Do you think this would be appropriate as an engagement cake? Or would we have to have the standard cake with the iced suitcases, fruit, bible etc? Its sooooo boring! LOL!

    So sorry for all the questions, but I'm really at a loss at this point. I'm just DYING to see your trad pics, thanks so much for sharing!!

    [Modified by: Geministar on December 05, 2008 06:28 PM]

  • Hi Geministar, sorry for the late reply! Thanks for the lovely comment. I am trying to get hubby to put pics on a weblink!

    Ok step by step:

    You can't stop Nigerians from being late! We told my in laws to be late and in true english style they were only 15mins late and had to wait for a fair amount of time for it to kick off. His dad was not so cool about it but others was really faboulous to be honest. One thing we did slighly wrong was that we did not communicate effectively how the day was going to run, partly because we did not know really. it is new to H2B and semi new to me too as I have been in england for so long not to know enough. So if it has not started at the stated time let H2B and his family know why. most of our friends knew the score so they went to a pub or something. it is not always nice but you'd be amazed at how nice your friends can be about this.!

    In terms of dessert, I bought loads of dessert from Costco - was a bargain. So i bought carrot cake, chocolate cakes, apple tarts, flans, sponge cakes etc I did not know anyone who could make me nice desserts and I had this impression that people are more crazy about the food than the desserts. I was also running out of cash. They went down a treat - good for after party cravings!

    I bought chafing dishes and got my sister and a friend to lay it all out. Everything was laid out reall. Desserts to one side, soups, pepper soups, rice, salads, the lot in an organised manner. People could help themselves with whatever they wanted.

    Funny but I used my chocolate costco cake as the cutting cake. My friend made the mistake of slicing it before we cut it. That was funny!! I was so worried about other things that I did not make any plans for a special cake really. Your idea of pavlova is great. If you have the funds then go for the cake on the website. Get what you want and make it stretch by having it cut up so people can have some if they don't want the pavlova. You can also use the pavlova as you cutting cake.

    It can be fairly stressful, my friend was a great help in advising me. The customary stuff i was at a loss with but I left that to my parents. Babes there is only so much you can do. With a good Dj and plenty of food people will have a good time!

    [Modified by: chichiN on December 07, 2008 01:59 PM]

  • Hi CHichi, thanks for getting back to me and thanks so much for your advice! Fortunately the caterers we're using provide their own chaffing dishes, crockery, cutlery, table linen etc so we're covered in that regard. And youre right about Nigerians not really big on desserts and sweets but I still would like to include something because the engagement cake/pavlova would definitely not feed 200 people!

    I feel like we should have a separate invitation for the Nigs saying the engagement starts an hour early before it actually does lol, soo frustrating!! I have a firmer idea of what to do now, thanks to you! I'll try to put it all in writing so I don't forget everything lol. Thanks again Chichi!
  • Some of my family are like half hour late people so i was thinking of telling everyone 1.45/2pm so they're there by 2.30 and then spreading the word amongst the early people (mostly on his side) that the ceremony actually starts at 2.30.
  • Good idea princess Cee!
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