Well hello there! Good day to you, my friend. Thank you for visiting my pocket of real estate on the web. I hope to provide you with yet another valuable and interesting article for your consumption today.
First, I am aware that the title of this article is probably equivalent to a cuss word in the Nigerian community. Invite only wedding?? Na wah ooo!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…”this is not possible” but what if I told you that I, meaning ME. Yes, the person writing this article had an invite only wedding and I am Nigerian. I did not have one single person at my wedding that was not invited and I’m going to give you three insider tips on how you can do the same thing.
I hope I have your attention now and you have more faith that it is possible for you too! First, let’s take a look at a couple pros and cons of having extra people just show up, unannounced, at your wedding.
You may not have enough seating, tables, food or beverages for all of your guests and there is nothing worse than running out of food at a wedding.
You may exceed the capacity of your venue without knowing it until the wedding day which means a Venue Manager has the right to shut your wedding down or request additional funds for added security needs or use of more facility space/rentals.
So now that we have a few pros and cons out of the way, let’s talk about some solutions shall we? Below are my 3 tips on how to have an invite only Nigerian Wedding.
Tip #1: Have a “Destination” Wedding
Now when I say destination wedding, I don’t necessarily mean going to an exotic island to get married. Although that is an option and sounds quite nice right about now…But, having a destination wedding can simply mean getting married in a city that is 2 to 5 hours away from your current location. For example, my husband and I live in Atlanta, GA but we got married in the beautiful city of Savannah, GA (one of my favorite cities by the way! So charming and romantic.)
Savannah, GA is about a 3 to 4 hour drive from Atlanta, GA and besides it being a gorgeous backdrop for the wedding vision I had, it was far enough away (but not too far) from Atlanta that we knew we would not get loads of people showing up whom we did not invite. And honestly, if you would travel 3 to 4 hours to get some jollof rice, pounded yam and stock fish then you deserve a meal!
So, don’t be afraid to get married in a neighboring city that you love or that would enhance your wedding vision. Honestly, I think this was one of the biggest reasons our guests list was able to stay so tight.
Tip #2: Print “Invite Only” on Your Wedding Invitations & Wedding Website
When you’re communicating the correct wording for your RSVP card and Invitation card to your stationer, ensure they include “invite only” or “by invite only” both at the bottom of your invitation card and your RSVP card. It’s a subtle yet firm reminder to guests that there is limited seating and accommodations are only being made for guests who are exclusively invited.
You could also go a step further and include actual names and reservation count on your RSVP card. This is when guest’s names and invite count are explicitly written or printed on the RSVP card and they know that only “X” amount of seats have been reserved for them (e.g. two (2)).
Going this route will add additional costs to your custom invitation suite but it looks more tailored and formal and reinforces to guests that your wedding is invite only.
Invite only can also be called out on your wedding website and, since you will have more room there, you can use that space to explain why. An easy explanation that many people do not question or argue with is the capacity of the venue. You can say something like “due to the capacity of our wedding venue, we are limited to a certain number of seats and because of this, we can only accommodate guests indicated on your RSVP card.
Tip #3: Spread the Word Via Friends, Family and Bridal Party Members
The most direct way of spreading the word to guests is through your family, close friends and bridal party members. They know who the "troublemakers" are and who to bring it up to. Also, if invited guests mention the idea of bringing additional guests, a conversation can be had directly about how that is against your wishes. You can prep your friends, family and bridal party members on why you want to keep your wedding invite only so the same message is communicated no matter who guests speak to.
And those are my 3 tips on how to have an invite only Nigerian Wedding. It is indeed possible.
I hope this article was tremendously helpful to you! If you don’t want to miss another article from me, make sure you sign up to my VIP email list here and I’ll email you new articles every Thursday!
And hey! Are you planning a Yoruba wedding? You should download my complementary “Yoruba Traditional Engagement List”. Take all the guesswork out of things and get instant access to it here.
Until next week, dream big and stay inspired.
- Bisola Esiemokhai (BE)