The traditional wedding ceremony of popular singer, Tiwa Savage and her manager/hubby, Tunji ‘Tee-Billz’ Balogun may have gulped nothing less than N30m, by NET’s calculation. On Saturday, November 23, 2013, the Ark Vicinity, Lekki, Lagos venue of the wedding was like a carnival of some sort as family, friends and colleagues of the couple showed up to celebrate their union.
Weeks ago, When Tee-Billz mentioned in an interview that he was planning for a small wedding, he either did not envisage the wide publicity and high budget that was to follow or he was just being deniably modest with the plans because as it turned out, apart from being the talk of the town in the last one week, the wedding now records as one of the most star-studded weddings in recent times.
Starting with the invitation cards, looking at the design and artwork, one would know that a lot of money must have been put into the design and duplication. For Tiwa’s personality and status in the society, there’s no doubt that the couple would have been looking at over a thousand guests. The Fuchsia and gold coloured invitation card came with small access cards for entry into the venue, all packed in a beautifully designed paper bag. 500 pieces of the package costing an average of N5000 each amounts to N2.5million. Courier company, Compton Green Express delivered the bag to the guests, and that’s a service that the couple would have had to pay for too.
Except for a few glitches, it was a well-organized wedding by the bespoke wedding design and planning outfit, The Wedding Company. This was the same company that handled musician Darey Art Alade’s wedding to wife Deola as well as Basketmouth’s wedding to Elsie. A former client of the company tells NET that the company’s fee is related to the details and how classy the clients wants it.
For Tiwa/Tee-Billz, putting down a staggering figure of N6million to achieve a memorable day wasn’t a problem at all.
Although the official wedding colours were fuchsia and gold, most of the hall was beautifully lit with white and orange. Uche Majekodunmi’s Newton and David were hired to do the decorations of the hall. The award winning event design and décor company were paid N2m for tuning up the ambience of the hall.
The venue of the wedding, Ark Vicinity in Lekki, Lagos is fast becoming one of the most patronized event centres in Lagos. This was the same venue where Peter Okoye of Psquare wedded his wife Lola Omotayo just the previous week. With its proximity to a 5-Star hotel, Vantage Hotel and the exquisite Lekki Beach, insiders claim a day’s rent of the venue could go for up to N3.5million depending on the negotiation.
It may amaze you to know that the beautiful white and creamy Tiwa/Tee-Billz wedding cake costs well over N2m. Outrageous, right? Welcome to the world of celebrity cake makers.
There was more than enough to eat and drink. The main company responsible for providing the varieties of delicacies was Morenike Okupe’s Malas Foods Catering Services and then there were other small companies that provided the cannapes, ice creams and barbecues. All sorts of drinks were available, from soft drinks, to beer, spirits, wines, to champagnes; all totaling up to N5m with food inclusive.
Unlike other traditions, the ceremonial gifts in the Yoruba tradition is usually not so expensive. The family brought a lot of food stuff which included tubers of yam, plantain, garri, etc. Boxes of clothing items were also presented amongst others; all of these totaling up to N800, 000 including the bride price which was not disclosed.
When King Sunny Ade and his band come to play, you know there’s no dull moment. As the main entertainer for the occasion, the Juju musician serenaded the guests as well as the couple. Let’s not forget comedian/MC who held down the occasion for up to eight hours.
Although sources suggest the services of KSA and Seyi Law may have been complimentary or greatly discounted, on a normal day their charges could amount to about N5million and N1million respectively.
Through the course of the entire wedding, the couple had a change of clothes three different times. Not only did they change clothes, shoes and accessories were also changed. Parents, family and close friends were also catered for as they almost all dressed uniformly in the gold-coloured lace aso-ebi. The clothing items on the couple, parents and family, may well cost between a million to 1.5million, accessories inclusive.
Private security company, ‘Bold Events’ were in charge at the venue. While some were at the doors and gates fully dressed with military-type gears and gadgets, a few were however dressed in black suits and dark shades, protecting the couple from undesired guests and photographers alike. The cost of security from the company could be up to N500k.
The marriage procession
The ceremony began with the traditional wedding rite as both families were ushered into the smaller hall of the venue at a few minutes past 11am. Both families sat opposite each other with that of the groom sitting to the left and the bride to the right.
After the introduction of both families by the wedding engager who is known as ‘Alaga’ in Yoruba, the groom’s family handed a letter to the bride’s family officially asking for their daughter’s hand in marriage which the bride’s family accepted.
Soon after, the groom was ushered into the hall accompanied his friends, which included Don Jazzy, Banky W and Darey Art Alade. Tunji entered the hall dressed in a white traditional attire (‘agbada’ laced on buba and sokoto) with white cap to match. He and his group of friends prostrated before the bride’s family as a show of respect.
Finally the bride, dressed in silver coloured Aso-Oke with a headgear of same colour to match was ushered into the hall. She was accompanied by her friends, which included Karen Igho and singer Essence.
After a few more rites, the couple were joined together, prayed for and blessed by both families.
Journalists and pressmen barred from the main hall
Security officials from Bold Events company and soldiers stationed at the venue refused to allow journalists with video and photo cameras into the premises despite showing up with their invitation and access cards. The security explained to be acting under instruction since exclusive coverage rights had been sold to a prominent media house.
General Pype arrives with child covered up
Dance hall artiste General Pipe came with his wife and few months old baby. The ‘Champion’ singer wrapped the baby in ‘Michael Jackson blanket style’ in a bid to stop the press from taking shots of the baby.
Reign of exotic cars
The parking lot was almost like the venue of a car show as the invited guests came in different brands of classy and exotic cars. The Mavin crew led by Don Jazzy came in a Bentley, Escalade and a Carrera S sport car. Dayo ‘D1’ Adeneye came in his Bentley with a customized number and Florence Ita-Giwa was driven to the venue in wine coloured Bentley. There were also eye-popping cars like Ferrari, Range Sports, G Wagons and lots of other expensive automobiles.
Tiwa’s dad wasn’t happy with the course of wedding
Tiwa Savage’s father appeared not to be happy with the course of the wedding. Our correspondent caught him complaining to a member of his family how the groom’s family seems to have hijacked the whole ceremony. His anger was further expressed as he went round asking some of the guests from the grooms side to move from their tables and to look for seats elsewhere.
Femi Otedola’s daughter took the turntables
UK based Celebrity DJ, Producer and songwriter DJ Cuppy (Florence Otedola), daughter of Billionaire Femi Otedola was also on deck to spin on the turn tables. After enjoying mixes by DJ Xclusive, the female DJ was invited to the turntables to do her thing.
Apart from King Sunny Ade who was the main entertainer for the event, a few of the artistes who were also present were given a few minutes to do their thing. Being called up on stage, the artistes all mounted the stage and performed in a single row, one after the other. First up were Dr SID and Don Jazzy, and then Banky W, Iyanya, Lynxxx, Davido, Chuddy K and finally Seyi Shay.
Tiwa and T-Billz’s love story
Tiwa and T-Billz certainly share lot of history together. The two met in the US and established a working relationship where T-Billz functioned as Tiwa’s manager. Together they established their label, 323 Entertainment and began the journey back home to make a name in the Nigerian music industry.
In what started as a rumour and several denials, their relationship suddenly took a dramatic twist when T-Billz formally proposed on Tiwa’s 34th birthday on February 5, 2013.
NET investigations reveal that the white wedding ceremony which is expected to hold in early 2014 in The Maldives an island off the coast of the Indian Ocean.
Don Jazzy, Banky W, Dr SID and fiancée Simi Osomo, Iyanya, Tekno, Waje, Davido, Sasha P, DJ Jimmy JATT, DJ Xclusive, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Toke Makinwa, Kaylah Oniwo, Fade Ogunro, Psquare wives Lola Omotayo, Anita Isama, Ali Baba, Julius Agwu, Seyi Law, Agbani Darego, Rita Dominic, Funke Akindele, Jane Michele, Kaylah Oniwo, Niyola, Michelle Dede, Lamii Philips, Kaffy, Zaina, Elohor Aisien, Nicole Chikwe, Yvonne Nwosu, Tee-Y Mix, Ayo Animashaun, Eva Alordiah, Toyin Lawani, Tola Odunsi, Toolz, Ali Baba, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Segun Demuren, Omawumi, Emma Nyra, Linda Ikeji, Toju Foyeh, Jumai Shaba, Juliet Ibrahim, Mai Atafo, Olamide, Olisa Adibau, Freeze, Bridget Awosika, Eku Edewor, Chris the Razor, Susan Peters, Saeon, Femi Otedola, Otedola’s daughter DJ Cuppy, Lynxxx, Uti Nwachukwu, Iceberg Slim, Dammy Krane, General Pype, Seyi Shay, Karen Igho, Essence, Dayo D1 Adeneye, Kenny Ogungbe, Florence Ita-Giwa, Ayo Badmus, Teeto Cemos, Denrele Edun, Kola Oyeyemi, Eniola Badmus, Princess, ID Cabasa.
Psquare, D’banj, Wizkid, Wande Coal, Naeto C, Timaya, M.I, Ice Prince, Flavour and Sinzu.
|Table of cost by NET calculation||Amount (N)|
|The bride price and Ceremonial gift||800k|
|Wedding invitation cards + delivery||3m|
|Food and refreshment||5m|
|King Sunny Ade’s performance fee||5m|