Lagos, Nigeria, is renowned for a lot of things – her buzz, her vibrant social life, and her cosmopolitan nature. And being home to about twenty-four million people, it is not surprising that parties are frequent in Lagos. Lagos parties are typically very bubbly and can be a source of competition between neighbors, families, and friends.
Memoirs Of a Lagos Wedding Planner, by Tolulope Popoola chronicle the experiences of a typical wedding planner in Lagos. The name suggests they are actual events and not fiction, but then, truth they say is stranger than fiction.
There are ten episodes in the book and most of the accounts are absolutely hilarious. The episodes capture the frenzy and glitz of Lagos weddings and give us a glimpse of the “behind the scene” or “pre-wedding” drama.
The planner has the advantage of very close interactions with the bride, groom and their families during the planning process. The planner is, therefore, able to see signs of impending disaster sometimes. However, because the planner is not infallible, she does get the shock of short-lived marriages after obvious chemistry and bonding between some couples during the wedding. I like that admission because it is close to what happens in real life. Sometimes marriages break up soon after they were enacted and outsiders wonder what really went wrong.
Several issues or subthemes are explored in these episodes – betrayal, infidelity, and domestic violence. These serious subthemes are discussed in a witty and humorous manner. The episodes are different, the characters are real and relatable.
I enjoyed the unexpected twists, the bizarre and the norm. The family intrigues held a lot of suspense. I think my favorite episode was the one in which the wedding planner had to hurriedly go and hire fresh bridesmaids for the bride to ensure the event went on. For a while, I thought the wedding was going to be canceled.
There is a lot of business sense to be learned from these memoirs. The one that struck me the most was the issue of collecting a reasonable deposit upfront as payment for services. One can never go wrong with that, even if things go very wrong at the event. The planner’s excellent problem-solving skill is most highlighted in Episode 9. Wedding planners in Lagos need to be proactive, versatile and able to deal with the unplanned and unexpected.
Tolulope Popoola does a great job of writing these memoirs. They are entertaining and the kind of book one would like to unwind with after a long day at work. I would very much like to read a sequel to this book.
It is important for couples to prepare more for the marriage itself than the wedding ceremony and reception. I recommend this book to anyone who needs to unwind and relax at weekends or who needs a short fun book to read at the beach or on a holiday.
There were no distracting typos so I believe the book was professionally edited.
Mrs. C.A. Mbadugha’s debut short story collection Beyond the Trial, won the 2017 Samuel Ajayi Crowther Award for best Christian Fiction. She tries to balance family and work commitments with book and manuscript proofreading, editing and reviews. She is presently trying to rouse her muse to write a sequel to Beyond the Trial. The stories in Beyond The Trial are published on Okadabooks as the stand-alone novellas: Erased Reproach, Rude Awakening,Shadows from the Past.