New Business Venture In Nigeria: Forget Wedding Planners – Now There Are Proposal Planners

BY ADESANYA ADEOLU||

I will be honest, this title is not originally mine, but i came across part of it on the internet yesterday and I decided to use it for this piece.

Who says you cannot turn a business idea out of anything. I have always heard of wedding planners, professional makeup artist, wedding photographers, flora stylist, wedding catering service, and so many others; but today I heard a new one, I never knew there was such a business venture as a wedding proposal planner!

I guess as a guy I can fully relate with this business venture. In the past few weeks, a close friend of mine and I have been thinking of how to propose, without our partners suspecting it, while hoping to make it also memorable. I’ll say one has been successful, one more to go. I must confess, I did not think planning it will be this time and thought consuming, but it truly has been. And so here I’m surprised that this is a business, and also not so surprised after all the stress I have gone through in the past few weeks just to come up with a proposal plan.

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But now for a fee, proposal planners promise to help plot a scenario for the key moment and assist in its execution. Opening up a new business avenue and it is popular knowledge that the success of a product or service is partly in its ability to serve a need.

My search on the internet shows a reoccurring name; Sarah Pease, she is the owner of Brilliant Event Planning in New York, which was initially focused solely on weddings and parties until 2008, when a friend proposed with an engagement ring at the bottom of a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. She then became a proposal planner as well, adding it as an add-on service to her events business.

Pease typically charges $500 for devising a plan; having her handle the whole operation can run $12,000, she said, plus any fees to those providing the transportation and site. And according to her, some of her clients have budgeted as much as $50,000 towards designing and implementing the perfect proposal. 

There is also Heart Bandits which is run by Michele Velazquez, she was inspired to start the business out of experience, her boyfriend’s somewhat uninspired proposal in April 2010, made her think, something better can be done, and he is now also her partner in the business. They charge $99 for an idea and $500 and up for executing it. 

While it is common knowledge that brides tend to exercise control over weddings, the marriage proposal is “the one thing the guy has control over,” said Michael A. Bloomberg to the New York Times, who in 2005 established An Exclusive Engagement in Fort Worth. But these are also unchartered territories for us guys, and the creativity of a planner will be well worth it.

But what happens if the girl says “no”, I wonder if any of the planners has ever experienced this. In any case, Just ask Uche Eze of BellaNaija, or Banke Meshida of BM|PRO, or Akin Eso of WED Magazine, or MyGiftRegistry Nigeria, or Atunbi photography, and you will know that the wedding industry in Nigeria is a billion naira industry, even all over the world; you just have to position yourself.

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Adeolu Adesanya: I share the opinion of an enterprising mind. I’m Christian. I believe ideas and innovation change the world. I’m a research consultant with P&D Allianz providing market research, competitive intelligence, and management consulting to various start-ups and medium & small businesses in emerging markets.

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