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Ask FVO!: My Friend Wants to Plan My Wedding

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BellaNaija is pleased to announce a new column for our special readers – Ask FVO! Funmi Victor-Okigbo (FVO)  is an expert in Event planning & management, and is now a  BellaNaija contributor.

Need help planning a family dinner, birthday party, seminar, wedding, board meeting, concert or just curious about how the professionals do some of their amazing tricks? If you have a burning question, just Ask FVO and get a focused, clear, no-nonsense answer!

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Hi FVO,
I am getting married soon and my very good friend just started her own event management business. As you can imagine she has little or no experience. I’d like to engage a more experienced tried and tested wedding planner for my wedding. How do I tell her without breaking her heart?
Fadeke.

Hello Fadeke,
Congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming wedding! You’re not alone in this dilemma; lots of ladies are in this same position as we speak. It’s a very sensitive issue and must be handled with care. Even if your friend were an expert, mixing business and friendship is usually a tough one and can try even the best of friends.

Before you start making emotional decisions please remember this is YOUR big day and with weddings/events there is no dress rehearsal, you have only one shot! Do you really want to trust your wedding to a rookie friend or not?

Having said that, your relationship with your friend has to be properly managed. Remember to be firm but kind. Prepare yourself for any emotional blackmail or pleading. Stand your ground.

First of all have a sit down with your friend and you may choose to do the following:

Be direct with her and tell her you value your friendship too much and you don’t want to risk what you have… just in case you don’t agree during the planning process. Tell her it might get so bad that by the time you walk down the aisle you may not even be speaking to each other (it’s very likely this happens)

Tell her you are proud of her and the fact that she is taking a big step starting her own business, but she must understand that you are not the only one getting married and your husband’s family may not be as forgiving, if things don’t go well, so you’d like to protect her from the backlash just in case.

Tell her she will play an important role in decision making anyways, and having the planner report to her is a better role than being told what to do!

Tell her this is an opportunity to learn from the best in the industry and by working closely with the planner, she may be able to learn a few trade secrets

Throughout the wedding make sure you tell anyone who cares to listen how important she is and how incredibly supportive she has been throughout the planning, everyone loves to be appreciated.

If you feel this won’t work give her some other roles that might making wedding planning difficult. Tell her you’d like her to handle something more specific and planning the wedding might be distracting.

Get her to do the first reading in church, make her one of your bridesmaids, if she sings well get her to do a special song….ANYTHING just keep her away from planning your wedding!
Good luck Fadeke!

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Send your questions for FVO to askFVO(at)nosurprisesevents.com stating your name and where you are writing from. The editor reserves the right to edit submissions for content brevity and clarity. We regret that we cannot provide individual answers to questions sent in and cannot state at which exact date answers would be published.

We look forward to reading your emails and tweets with questions.

Funmi Victor-Okigbo (FVO) is the Chief Executive and Lead Production Designer of No Surprises Events. Her corporate client base spans industries as diverse as technology, entertainment, banking, government and consumer goods across sub-Saharan Africa. No Surprises Events practices an in-house methodology termed “Event Architecture” which they hold delivers world class events in a predictable on-time and on-budget fashion. Developed over the years, “Event Architecture” has become the company’s trademark as well as a FVO’s personal approach to creating and managing events for corporate and individual clients. The approach has since been incorporated into FVO’s other venture, The Wedding Company. Visit www.nosurprisesevents.com

17 Comments

  1. Jade

    January 14, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    So if she can’t give her own good friend a chance how dies she expect the big step she’s proud of her friend for taking to ever take off? Every rookie including you FVO with your condescending advice was given chance by someone, u didn’t start events planning in your mother’s womb. We all have our first chances n they were given to us by someone, why can’t she be that someone for her friend? Mschewww

    • soso

      January 14, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      You sound like the friend. Biko chill its not that serious!!! In my opinion the friend can be involved in the planning of the trad wedding or something on a smaller scale not the white wedding (just incase!!). A good friend would understand that the day is about the bride not about her selfish ambitions

    • PurpleicousBabe

      January 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I agree.
      My thoughts were her friend is keen and I love ‘keen’.
      I will approach the subject with friendless and directness and give her a small task to do or get her involved in a small part of the planning e.g. sourcing something etc that way it is a win-win situation. Never turn anyone that shows enthusiasm or passion unless you have used them before and weren’t happy and even then people change right?.

    • NK

      January 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      So Jade how is this a condescending response exactly? The response says that she could get the event planner report to her ..doesn’t that give the friend a chance to contribute her ideas and get a foot into planning. Na wa o!

  2. SOLO ACT

    January 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    allow her to plan your bachelorette party.

  3. Nicholas Ogbe

    January 14, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    i like this idea…God is your strenght

  4. bunmisimple

    January 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Yes, allow her to plan the wedding.
    bunmisimplesblog.com

  5. creamy

    January 14, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    no no no no! i can not believe you are giving her that advice. we all start from somewhere…how about giving her a chance? Madam Fadeke try her, i do understand its difficult to try a learner but you know her capabilities, so the decision lies with you.

    • A Nigerian Lady

      January 15, 2015 at 1:07 am

      I believe what she’s trying to explain is the fact that their friendship is at stake if anything goes wrong! This is not her childs birthday party, or her companys end of year party, its her wedding day for crying out loud! Her friend is inexperienced and even with experienced wedding planners, there is bound to be conflicts and disagreements in the process of planning the wedding, However, that can be handled much easier as opposed to the planner being her rookie friend. Moreover, if its her friends first time planning a wedding, there would be lots of trial and error, lets be sincere. Would you really want to risk your friendship and the turn out of your wedding day in the name of ‘giving your friend a chance?’ lool a chance? this is not something that can be changed, she can’t have another wedding day.
      Ah! I can’t stress the the cons of mixing business with friendship, I’ve had my fair share, honestly wouldn’t advise any two friends to partake in it. AVOID IT! Believe me, there would be countless times where you would find it hard countering her opinions on what should/should not be used etc. It would be difficult. Just explain to her, FVO has given beyond valid reasons. It may be hard but its advisable.

  6. Oluwaseun

    January 14, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Beautiful advise. You wedding is your special day. It happens with that special person only ones. No friendship should be too good to ruin that day.

  7. HAWTTALKWITHTOSAN

    January 15, 2015 at 12:07 am

    It may hurt but go with your gut on this. It is your day so your choice.

  8. Funmi Victor-Okigbo

    January 15, 2015 at 7:54 am

    @Jade nothing condescending about my advice at all, note that even Fadeke had expressed some concerns about her friend’s experience. You’re right we all started as rookies however starting small is usually a good idea. Weddings sometimes range from 200 to 2,500 guests or more! The risk is a bit high if you ask me for someone with “little or no experience” (quoting Fadeke)

    . @SOLO ACT planning the bachelorette party is a good idea!

  9. oj

    January 15, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Risky. See the three possible scenarios.

    Give friend the job and things go wrong: TROUBLE (Friend: she overacted o jare. is she the first to give someone a chance? *hisses* (end of friendship) )
    Don’t give friend the job: BIG TROUBLE (Friend: Now I know she was never a friend. she knows I need a break. *tells all who cares to listen* (end of friendship))
    Give friend d job and all/most go well: BEST FRIENDS EVER (Friend: she took a chance on me. I’m forever grateful to her.)

  10. Eny

    January 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Very mature response. Well done FVO! Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion.

  11. raphael

    January 15, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    This is only an advice, FVO didn’t say that this is the only option she has. The girl still has an option. FVO is only human and would do her best to give the best advice she can think of. It doesn’t make it the ultimate. She didn’t shove the idea down her throat. it’s just an advice

  12. teju

    January 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    This piece of advice is ok. however when the friend becomes a master of her craft, the bride should not call on her years later. the bride should not ask for “friend’s discount” when the friend becomes a name to behold in her field. It really is simple.

    • The Other Nigerian Lady

      January 16, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Lool! A discount on what exactly? She’s already married na!

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