The Wedding Party is a 2016 Nigerian romantic comedy drama film, directed by Kemi Adetiba that premiered on 8 September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada and on 26 November 2016 at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. The film was released worldwide on 16 December 2016, and became the highest grossing Nigerian film; a record which was broken in 2017 by its sequel The Wedding Party 2.
The Wedding Party follows the shenanigans that go on during the planning of a high class wedding in Nigeria. Dunni, a 24 year old art gallery owner and only daughter of her parents, Engineer Bamidele and Mrs Tinuade Coker, is about to marry the love of her life, IT entrepreneur Dozie, the handsome son of Chief Felix and Lady Obianuju Onwuka.
The couple took a vow of chastity and are looking forward to a ground -breaking first night together as a married couple. Between matchmaking attempts on the bridal train, a wedding planner on a mission to succeed, the unruly behaviour of some ‘village’ guests much to Tinuade’s horror, Dunni’s uncertainty about her new husband’s faithfulness during the time of their courtship, amidst colourful aso-ebi, eclectic music, small chops, and souvenir drama, we begin to wonder whether Dunni and Dozie will get through their wedding reception unscathed.
- Adesua Etomi as Dunni Coker (The Bride)
- Banky Wellington as Dozie Onwuka (The Groom)
- Richard Mofe Damijo as Chief Felix Onwuka (Father of the Groom)
- Sola Sobowale as Mrs. Tinuade Coker (Mother of the Bride)
- Iretiola Doyle as Lady Obianuju Onwuka (Mother of the Groom)
- Alibaba Akporobome as Engineer Bamidele Coker (Father of the Bride)
- Zainab Balogun as Wonu (The Wedding Planner)
- Enyinna Nwigwe as Nonso Onwuka (The Groom’s Brother)
- Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama as Yemisi Disu (Maid of Honour)
- Beverly Naya as Rosie (Groom’s Ex-girlfriend)
- Daniella Down as Deardre Winston (Bridesmaid)
- Afeez Oyetoro as Ayanmale
- Ikechukwu Onunaku as Sola (Best Man)
- AY Makun as MC
- Emmanuel Edunjobi as Woli (The priest)
- Kunle Idowu as Harrison
The film is produced by ELFIKE Film Collective. Directed by Kemi Adetiba. The ELFIKE Film Collective is a partnership of four major production houses in Nigeria: EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Inkblot Productions and Koga Studios, respectively.
The movie premiered in Toronto on 8 September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
In August 2017, the film was made available on Netflix.
The Wedding Party has received favourable reviews from critics. According to Chidumga Izuzu of Pulse Nigeria, “It is distinctly a comedy movie that sets out to entertain. It doesn’t try to be an action, thriller, crime, adventure film, a documentary or all at once. It doesn’t set out to be deep and have you feeling ‘intense’. It understands its chosen genre and it sticks to it”.
Cinema Axis’ Courtney Small stated, “The Wedding Party may not offer many surprises from a narrative standpoint, but there is no denying that the film is a pure crowd-pleaser. Generating many well-earned belly laughs, it is impossible to leave the film without a huge smile on one’s face.”
Isabella Akinseye praised and as well criticized the movie. She praised the movie for its entertainment, costume, star wattage, Sola Sobowale and collaboration while she criticised the script, pacing and casting.
Wilfred Okiche of ynaija has this to say about Kemi Adetiba and her role as director; “Apart from some red flags, like the overbearing wedding speech by the father of the groom for instance, the haves and haves not sub plot involving Sambassa Nzeribe, and the entire existence of Hafiz Oyetoro’s gate crashing character, Adetiba keeps things moving briskly”.
Temitope Adeiye of thenet.ng stated that The Wedding Party was the best movie he saw in 2016.