By Musa Sunusi Ahmad

Nigeria’s first ever virtual wedding has finally made its debut in the country .

The first of such fairs took place at the weekend and was organised by a seasoned wedding planner, Mrs Omolara Akande.

Mrs Akande who runs Just Weddings (JW)is also the founder of (Association of Professional Party Organizers and Event Managers of Nigeria (APPOEMN) which she founded in 2011

Speaking with Leadership at her Lekki office, Lagos recently, Omolara Akande who has over 19 years of professional experience in the industry and has often been referred to as the very first professional wedding planner in Nigeria, explained the reason behind the event

Explaining the concept, she said “let’s get back to the present situation of things. Covid-19 is changing the world as we all know it and being a professional in a world that now needs social distancing, we are looking at evolving, hence why we came with this.

‘’People have been planning their wedding and we don’t expect them to just cancel or put off their plans because of the virus, so JW events came up with a virtual wedding fair called the Virtual Wedding Fare. Don’t forget that I am the creative mind behind Wedding Fare, an annual bridal fair which takes place in Lagos, is in its 5th year, this year”

According to her “the wedding fair is really for people getting married between the year 2020/ 2021 be it a bride-to-be, a wedding/event vendor and anybody who has a passion for the wedding industry. Event vendors will be given a platform to showcase themselves, especially those who have had to go back into the background due to the pandemic; they will now have the opportunity to advertise themselves to prospective clients on a large platform.

Mrs Akande said she sees it more as a wedding market for brides to be and potential vendors who are looking for deals and bargains, from the comfort of their homes.

Recounting her childhood experience, she said that while growing up as a kid, she never see herself as a future wedding planner. She however, informed that, the fact that she was born into the family that was very social gingered up her interest

“Though I never planned to be a wedding planner, I guess the fact that I was born into a family that was very social, ignited my interest”, she explained.

“I was always the flower girl for any of my relatives back then and I believe the fact that my grandmother was a baker and grandfather was a wedding cake decorator, I saw my grandfather’s first-hand the intricacies entailed in planning and that piqued my interest even more. Oh! My dad was also a professional children’s Uncle, Wole Akinosh of “Animal Games” entertainers so I guess we can say I come from a line of planners and the interest has always been there”.

“Seems like a fun way to grow up, so I think it was only a matter of time and opportunity for you”.

Narrating further, she said “I guess so, even as a teenager whenever I go to houses of friends or extended family and they are having a party, automatically my brain starts thinking.

‘’Where to put the DJ? or how the food will be served? While everybody is having a good time, my brain and feet are working on giving them a fun experience. And been the only wedding planner at that time, nobody took me serious back then, they felt it was a hobby and some felt who need a planner when there were a thousand and one relatives around to help, but that is where God’s grace and passion played its role, because regardless of what people said, I kept at it and today it is another story.

“Nobody took me seriously back then, they felt it was a hobby and some felt who needs a planner when there were a thousand and one relatives around to help, but that’s where God’s grace and passion played its role, because regardless of what people said, I kept at it and today it’s another story”, Mrs Akande said.

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