Do Invite Only Nigerian Weddings Work?

November 18, 2015

You cannot deny that Nigerian culture is built around community. We have a culture so close knit that you address anybody old enough to be your Grandmother, as Grandma. Don’t forget that they will expect so be treated as such!

We love to celebrate whether it is a burial or a new birth. In fact let’s be honest, most will look for an opportunity to throw a big party. Nigerians are to date the only people I know, who will throw a birthday party for hundreds of people with a tiered cake and dress to kill. All while the crawling celebrant has to be sent off to bed at 8. Whilst being so young he/she hasn’t the faintest idea, what is going on! Half of our parties are for children who cannot tell you all the months of the year yet. Talk less of picking between yellow or blue charger plates. By the way, why do we give out trays, salt and wooden spoons as gifts at children’s parties? I was not aware your 5 year old could pound Cassava!?

kazvaremadeit nigerian traditional wedding invite

Hands down the cutest wedding invitations I have seen in a while! By KazvareMadeit

Weddings are the ultimate and most revered occasion by far. This is a chance for a bride and groom and their family to display to the world exactly ‘what they are made off’. But times are changing. Traditionally, at our weddings there is no guest list because sending out invitations is a pretty formality. You cooked and prepared for the world to arrive at your big day. More so, you may have even wanted the world to be at your wedding. So there are more mouths to carry the news of how elaborate it was. How the Jellof rice was mouth watering and there were decent sized portions. You may want people to talk for an eternity about 5 different brands of Supermalt did not run out. Then about Guipure lace imported from a land far, far away.

Let’s pause and think about this differently. What happens when Babatunde and Biola don’t want every Auntie, Uncle, second Cousin or market seller down the road and his three fresh and loud friends at their wedding? What if a couple is the quiet kind who can count their friends on their two hands? What if they just don’t want the wahala of looking down from the high table and putting on their glasses in an effort to find people they recognize? What if they want a beautiful elegant venue that is vulnerable to being messed up by the careless add on guests? What does one do then?

Are invite only weddings an option for Nigerian brides and grooms? We know that for us it is not just about the couple getting married. In many of the weddings I have consulted or advised on the first obstacle in this are parents. They too have their own ideas (we pray for few) about how the day should go. Another problem is status. It is very important for you to be honest about who you are before you decide to throw a wedding for 100 people and only order 105 plates (lest 5 break). If you can walk down the road in-between hairstyles with uncombed and dandruff speckled hair. Not fearing because you will never see someone you know? Please acknowledge you have more options. If you are constantly dobale’ing on your way to the market, please note that you know too many people to pull off a small wedding. Pushing it to a weekday may cut down on the people you know who turn up. However, if they are the same people who praise you in public and push notes into your hand at every birthday, you make cause more offence than manners in neglecting to tell them when you marry the sweet girl across the street! Similarly if you are a Pastor’s daughter, a politician’s son or businessman’s heir your circle is immediately widened. Just marry in secret! Telling Pastor of course…

Shouldn’t the big day be about the couple getting married? Of course, but let’s look at what marriage means! Marriage is the beautifully ordained colliding of two worlds and a wedding is the day you celebrate those world’s becoming one. You may think you are exclusive but it would be naive to say that you are the product of yourself alone. Darling, you were not born with that exclusive Hermes Birkin. You as a couple are the creation of everyone who has imparted love, care and sometimes discipline over your entire lifetime. Even that annoying auntie…

Let’s not forget the many Bride and Groom’s who put themselves in a difficult position. Who told you to be hash tagging wedding invitation, hash tagging the date and hash tagging confirmed wedding venues? Then have the audacity to deny the girl that liked your 50+ wedding teasers an invite. How can you be so cruel! Would you invite someone to sniff a meal they cannot partake in? If you want the option of an invite only wedding make it a private affair from beginning to D-Day. Don’t tell everybody the how, when and specifics. Invite only weddings need exclusivity to make them work without offending the hearts of others. You cannot have your cake and eat it!

I hear so many stories of wonderful wedding days but every now and then I hear about one that left a terrible aftertaste. You tend to be married for longer than you were single. You both must take care with how you treat people as you start on new adventures together. Before inviting the world or even trying to escape it, you must count the cost. This doesn’t mean inviting every Nigerian you know at the expense of your closest friends who are not a part of our community. I have close friends of a different culture who are closest to me than the majority of my relatives. You could not pay me to put another person in their place in my bridal party.

Sense simply means this. Invite family and friends who mean the most to you first. Then look at widening the gates for people who love you and would be honoured to have an invite. Discuss it with your parents on both sides. If you can get them to understand you have your first defenders! I have also found that more people appreciate a person than a person may even know of! We have to think to ourselves what will be best for my marriage? Will your choices hinder your future supporters? We all know every wedding guest doesn’t have the best intentions for the couple. Will having your wedding away from prying eyes avert evil eyes or intentions? Let’s stop just thinking about we like for our weddings. Let’s think about what’s best for the marriage. After all, you want people to be at your anniversary celebration….no?

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