Photograph by Glenna Gordon

Nigeria's Booming Wedding Industry

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    An opulent wedding for nearly a thousand guests at the banquet hall of a private housing estate in Lagos. Some $17 million was spent on parties in Lagos over a five-month period this year, at least one-fifth of them weddings, according to TNS Global.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon
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    Weddings in Nigeria are big business. Nearly 8,000 visitors flocked in October to a wedding trade fair in Abuja that featured 105 wedding vendors from around Nigeria.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    A booth showcasing wedding cakes at the Abuja fair in October.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    A photographer's booth at the wedding trade show in Abuja. In 2012, consumer expenditures in Nigeria totaled $160.9 billion, a figure expected to surpass $300 billion in the next five years, reports Euromonitor. A large portion of it is spent on weddings and other festivities.

     

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Stella Obiora runs Stellar Cake & Events, a one-stop shop for brides and wedding planning. "Brides want so much attention," she says, "so you have to be patient."

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Makeup artists preparing for the wedding show in Abuja.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Wedding dresses being readied for display at the trade show.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    A wedding cake with bride and groom made of sugar.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    At a booth featuring bachelorette party goods, women pose in bunny ears and hats. Company founder Hauwa Alfa says she drew inspiration from hen parties she attended at university in the U.K.

     

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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     Groom Shadrach Uchenna, a wedding and paparazzi photographer, and bride Ekpo Peace Emem receiving guests at the front of a banquet hall during their wedding in Lagos.

     

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon
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    Bespoke suits are a popular trend at Nigerian weddings.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    An interior design company's booth at the wedding trade show in Abuja caters to couples' homemaking needs.

    Photograph by Glenna Gordon for Bloomberg Businessweek