Yesterday, Nigerian Twitter was abuzz with the story that broke on Linda Ikeji’s blog – the email that supposedly emanated from Simi Osomo (Dr. Sid’s fiancee). According to the blog post, Miss Osomo had retracted her wedding invites to her friends because they didn’t show up for the bachelorette party in Las Vegas.
It led to a series of opinions back and forth on who was to blame for the fiasco – why did her friends not tell her they weren’t coming? Why did she think retracting her invite was the right course of action? How close were these friends in the first place? Why did she choose to have her bachelorette party in Vegas?
So, I decided I was going to write about destination events.
For many reasons a lot of people choose to have their big parties and celebrations out of their locus – their main base. For some, it’s a place where they’ve always dreamed about; for others, it’s a place where their family and friends are, predominantly. Some people choose to have their parties where they have easier access to facilities. Some people want their photos to have certain landmarks in the background, so they move their celebrations to that place. Now, while all this is well and good, the host has to determine what is important and how important the presence of guests are. For instance, I always joke about the fact that I’m going to get married in Ogbomosho – with the size of our compound I won’t need to rent a hall. Food is cheap and fresh in Ogbomosho – so you’re guaranteed super green Ewedu, soft and yummy Amala, thick and sticky Pounded Yam. The advantages are endless. However, the problem will arise when I try to convince my friends to ply that really nasty road between Fiditi and Odo Oba. Then there’s the consideration of who bears the cost of lodging at The Nest or Royal Crown Hotel. If I ‘book’ the rooms, do I ‘pay’ for the two nights for all 45 rooms? It gets tricky from there, but there’s nothing that can’t be worked out with adequate planning. If Nigerians have a habit of RSVP(ing), it’d work. So you have an accurate number of guests and you’d be able to work out the logistics.
In the case of Miss Osomo’s bachelorette party, it was reported that the friends didn’t say they weren’t coming. Thus, she incurred the costs of the booking and she wasn’t very pleased about that (according to the email that was published). While we can only make conjectures as to what transpired between a group of friends, one wonders if saying not saying you’re not coming is the same as saying you’re coming. It might come across as semantics, but if a person doesn’t actually say they’re coming then the default position should be that they’re not coming.
Yesterday, a lot of speculations were made as to why the friends didn’t show up to Vegas – financial constraints (tickets, feeding & lodging), as well as visa constraints. Another school of thought was of the opinion that if these constraints existed, the hostess should have been informed. Others argued that they might have told her but you know how we Nigerians like to operate in faith “By God’s grace, that money I’m chasing would have come”. Maybe the money didn’t come. Maybe it came and the friend decided to plough the money back into the business. Again, communication (RSVP) would go a long way to smoothen all ruffled feathers.
Also, the old age issue of living beyond one’s means reared its head. If you’re unable to come for my party in Ogbomosho because you’ve done a Cost-Benefit analysis of coming, would you still come because you don’t want me to think less of you?
What are your thoughts on these issues? Do you think that in planning a destination event, your priorities should be about what you want or about what works for the people you’re inviting? Do you believe in sending back an RSVP? Are you of the school of thought that not saying you’re not attending means you’re attending? How difficult is it for you to say ‘No’ to things that actually COST you money you don’t have? – like birthday parties, weddings, aso-ebi, bridal train attires. Finally, would you stop being friends with someone who doesn’t come for your big celebration? Can your friendships stand the test of your destination party?
Photo Credit: madamenoire.com
Atoke – Writer | Lover | Noisemaker. Twitter – @atoke_