There are many ways to avoid having a church wedding, even in a country as religious as Nigeria. Alternative wedding ceremonies are not very popular, but more couples are choosing not to identify with the Christian faith, or any other religion for that matter.
This guide is for couples who want to have a wedding ceremony outside the church. If this is your desire, then you should check out these three alternatives:
1. Civil ceremony
This is obviously the first alternative to consider. A simple registry wedding will make you two a legal couple so it’s good enough. You can have a reception or a party afterwards to celebrate.
2. Customary marriage ceremony
You can choose to just have a traditional wedding, after obtaining a special licence from a Customary Court. This kind of marriage is accepted under Nigerian law. The only catch is that polygamy is legal under the customary law, and so not grounds for divorce.
3. Non-traditional wedding
You can compromise with a non-traditional ceremony outside the church. It could be a beach wedding, or an outdoor wedding of any kind, or simply at an alternative location. This way, if you still want a religious aspect to your ceremony, a licensed cleric can join you two at a venue of your choosing.
If you’re lucky, and you have a Justice in the family, you can have a non-traditional wedding and they can legally marry you and sign your certificate. It’s a stretch, but it is possible.
These alternative wedding ceremonies may not work for you, but this guide to a perfect small Nigerian wedding might do the trick.