Brit couple’s dream £15k wedding in Nigeria in jeopardy after country put on red list

Londoners Urenna Okonkwo and Emmanuel are due to get married in Nigeria on December 29 but after inviting 600 people they still don’t know if the wedding will go ahead

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A couple face Covid chaos with their wedding just weeks away after spending £15,000 on the big day.

Urenna Okonkwo is set to marry her fiancé Emmanuel in Nigeria on December 29 but their plans could be left in tatters, MyLondon reports.

But the country has now been placed on the UK’s red list – meaning whoever leaves England to celebrate with them faces a £2,285-per person hotel quarantine bill.

The couple from Blackheath, south east London, were hoping to be joined by friends and family and say they now can’t sleep due to the worry.

They made plans earlier this year and have already shelled out on their big day after inviting around 600 people.

Urenna and fiancé Emmanuel say they can’t sleep due to the worry it has caused them


Urenna Okonkwo)

After picking December for the traditional wedding because their family would already be flying back home to spend Christmas with their loved ones, they thought it was the ideal time.

But Urenna said: “We booked hotel rooms for guests, money we can’t get back if this doesn’t go ahead, it’s a nightmare.

“The past few days have been very stressful, finding out alternative solutions, I’ve barely slept since Saturday evening, I don’t want to dwell too much on the problems, right now we are thinking of solutions.

“I have a very big family so quarantine would be an extra £20,000!”

It’s now a waiting game with the red list reviewed every three weeks, meaning they won’t know more until December 20.

The popular couple are due to have 600 people attending their wedding


Urenna Okonkwo)

Alongside this, the couple will also be spending £25,000 on their English wedding next summer.

They say they have been left with no choice but to look for alternative plans.

“We don’t know how rules will change so we are looking at going somewhere else after Nigeria, rather than coming directly back to UK,” the bride-to-be added.

“We are exploring different options, because no one can pay that £2,000 unless you’re a millionaire, then you add up Covid tests – my whole family wont be able to do that.

“Also some of my immediate family work in healthcare so they cannot take time off work to quarantine or go somewhere else, they have uni and January exams, they cant even have the extra ten days – they wouldn’t be able to go there at all if it stays on red list.

“The night before the wedding is a smaller ceremony called Marriage Rites, people from the home town meet with the family of the groom and they do bride pricing and dowry.

“The next day we have the proper ceremony in Igbo tradition, the bride comes out with bridesmaids and they dance into the venue, or location of wedding, she then goes to her parents and they give her wine and she dances around and finds her groom.

“She then gives the cup to the groom ad he drinks out of it, both of them are then blessed by the bride’s parents.

“It’s a terrible thing the Government has done, especially as its Christmas and loads of Nigerians are travelling, one of my friends lives in Nigeria, he was meant to come to get his wedding outfit in the UK, but doesn’t know what he will do now.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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