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Bolupe Adebiyi: 10 Rights of a Nigerian Wedding Guest

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Oh how I miss it – the wedding season!

The songs are different, the atmosphere is almost romantic – as romantic as Lagos, Nigeria can get anyway. It is there in the more varied inflections in hovering conversations everywhere (the out-of-towners are back in town and ‘pho-ne’ is back in play! If you ever lived anywhere out of Nigeria for more than a year, time to refresh your memory on how you used to ‘try’ to speak) … Am I alone in feeling like I live in the Hamptons at this time of year? Where do all these people come from? They look Nigerian but sound (a good number god awfully so, but some generally up to it) mostly American and British!

The lines are blurred between Christmas and the wedding season and this was especially felt by me when a bride insisted she wanted the band to play ‘Oh Holy Night’ for her bridal walk at her wedding ceremony… the look on my face must have been one of unbelievable incredulity because she laughed, hit me and said ‘…or maybe not…!’ *Deep breath*

Anyway, where were we?

Quick question: You do know that when you are invited to a Nigerian wedding (and it does not matter how – could be on Facebook, by text message, at a bridal shower you tagged along for, by invitation card (you get to sit in the VIP area .. lucky you!) by ‘famzing’, overhearing a conversation, newspaper publication etc. – that you have rights…right? Well the answer might just be that you most apparently do.

So listen up and keep the list where you can easily find it!

1. You have to be acknowledged at the event! Yes, you can waltz up to the MC or send an ‘orderly’ with your name, title, village, home town, LGA  (if you don’t know what LGA means, you are not Nigerian and should NOT be reading this) and ask for special recognition to be given to you – it generally goes like this ‘Hon Chief Dr Barr Yusuf Ikechukwu Danjuma Offfr. OPO. Ffrc… I never understood what those meant.

2. You are entitled to any choice seating of your personal choosing – even the nice lounge ‘presumably’ set up for the bridal party – ‘presumably’ because the event planner/designer must be joking if they really did not intend for you to sit right there.. arrant nonsense.

3. The father of the bride has to remember you: You go and greet him: Ah! Daddyyyyyyyy! This, naturally is said with you making all the appropriate side to side head movements, with a huge, nice smile, halfway kneeling on the floor, halfway hugging him. And the poor man, on his daughter’s special day, not wanting to offend anyone opens up his arms to receive you with a smiling but slightly quizzical expression on his face which you quickly quell by rapidly whispering the connection while you hug him ‘Daddy, I was Ese’s boyfriend’s cousin in undergrad and we all came for your 60th – do you remember me???’ Hug ends and he nods reassuringly…and BAM! you are set for the day. The event assistants (who you make sure are watching at the time of your almost feral approach) are now re-assured there’s a firm familial connection there and you feel more confident to proceed to the next ‘right-full’ stage.
It’s an art!

4. Any hostess, waiter, security, venue staff etc. is your personal valet and they can: retrieve your shoes from your car (if the planner isn’t gracious enough to make dancing shoes available) go and scout for your driver if he’s not picking up his phone, buy you gum from the pop up store down the road, not to forget to buy [large] plastic bags to keep all your souvenirs in – the ones that rightfully belong to you, the ones you hustled for plus the ones that you discreetly moved to your side of the table when you thought no one was watching and the ones your neighbour forgot. The wedding rocked for you!

4. You have to be in all the pictures- family, friends, work colleagues, church, society etc. And just to make sure, you commandeer the official photographer to take a personal one of you with the bridal party in the background.

6. It is dancing time.. ‘Singing ‘to the right, to the left..to the right to the left to the right…ahhhhhh! Hands on your head..oooosheyyy!’ But wait oh! I don’t like this song oh- it’s not my personal favourite…ehn! Ehn! Where is that event planner? Eh! Madam event planner..!!! Please tell the DJ to change that song.. Yes! He should change it.. ‘I’ want that ‘Aiiiiyeeee…Aiiyeee..she no wan Ferrari…she no wan designer….’ you tell the planner while making all the appropriate jerks and stops to the song!

7. Where is ‘the’ champagne? What Champagne sir? Is this not a party? How can ‘they’ spend this much money on a party and you are asking me ‘what champagne sir??’ Come-on don’t be rude!

8. It’s party time. ‘Sssssss’ you call an event assistant with a loud hissing sound and when you have their attention, crook your finger authoritatively in a ‘come hither’ gesture and when they are close enough, hand them a piece of paper with your name on it ‘I’m about to go and spray the couple- give this name to the band..ehn ehn one more thing .. the last name there is pronounced …. the ‘g’ is silent ..if he makes a mistake, I will just come back to my seat.. that’s the end! *bewildered look*

9. You have the right to know how much was spent on the wedding – ‘Wow! Oh wow! Is this Nigeria? *Looks around the design of the event space…ehn ehn please oh, this wedding is ‘too much!’ How much would this cost..? In fact, I want something finer than this – you know the groom’s father and I are in the same club and I want to ‘show’ them! Sir, that’s confidential info – we could get your event specifics to be able to come up with a figure’ Come on don’t give me that nonsense! Give me an estimate – Do you know who I am? It’s in your best interest to speak quickly!! Sir I could give you a range if that’s okay? Okay..let’s hear it.. It’s between – & – … Whyyyyyyyy? Ahn! Ahn! Am I going to carry the hall to my house???? Haba!!

10. When are you serving the small chops? We have eaten the food – it is only small chops that is remaining!!

Every season is wedding season around here… *straightens the iro on the aso-ebi for this Saturday’s wedding. Madam tailor, this blouse is not tight enough oh …ah! And the back please let it be lowwww like that Tiwa Savage’s dress… you know the one? ‘We’ will kill them at this wedding!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Atholpady

Bolupe Adebiyi is a tough, quirky 80s Nigerian girl. She coasted and rumbled through five high schools and (thankfully) one University where she discovered her love for event planning and 10+ years in the industry and a thriving company later, she is excited to share her many experiences with work, travel, love, culture, fashion and more! I am on Facebook and Instagram as both ‘junedawnevents’ and ‘Bolupe Adebiyi’. My website address is www.junedawnevents.com

40 Comments

  1. geeksweet

    February 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    side note of sarcasm

  2. Ada ukeje

    February 22, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Nice on girl.

  3. chi-e-z

    February 22, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    This is one overbearing wedding guest you’ll think it was the bride… bridezilla in the making 😀

  4. tolu

    February 22, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Love this!

  5. ACE

    February 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Lol… what a write up! Funny tho…

  6. Chioma Nwoke

    February 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    That’s my friend right there. One of d best wedding planners in Naij.

  7. BlueEyed

    February 22, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I miss those real Nigerian weddings…..whenever I’m around I must exercise my wedding guest rights biko…Lool spot on! @ bolu adebiyi

  8. T

    February 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Hahahaha. Love it. Our ppl are hella rude

  9. chifire

    February 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Hilarious.

  10. Kitty

    February 22, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    LMAO!!!!! You hit the nail on the head right there! Omg! Laughing and crying in Klignon… Very nice and hilarious. Thanks for this.

  11. Nala

    February 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Lol! You nailed it!

  12. Sisi Pepper

    February 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    GO BOLU GO BOLU…..loveet!

  13. Dr.N

    February 22, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    True story. At a wedding where guests had to present a gift to receive a souvenir, someone put d programme booklet in a envelop n presented it like it was cash. And d souvenir was a plastic bucket or something. I mean……how low is that?

    • Slimgirl

      February 23, 2015 at 8:38 am

      LOL

    • miss Pynk

      February 23, 2015 at 8:52 am

      I have seen a few instances where the guests line up with their gifts and the couple then hands over the souvenir. One case it was umbrellas, another case buckets, another was hand towels.

      pynk360.com

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      February 23, 2015 at 9:59 am

      …and another case it was plates which was handed out by the bride from under her seat.

    • Glowing Sapphire

      February 23, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Loooool

    • Berry Dakara

      February 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  14. Wole Aguda

    February 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    This piece is a welcome distraction from the overly heated frays that political talk offers. I was actually laughing through this very concise and we’ll written article with much delight. Nice job. Practical and very representing of us, our ilk and the Nigerianity of our socialisation. Well done. Very interesting read.

  15. Nikki

    February 22, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Nice one SB, i think everyone has exercised at least one of the rights at some point. You descriptions are dead on …….

    • adelegirl

      February 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I have never o. No wonder I always jonze at weddings I attend 🙁 Shame no go gree me to exercise any of the rights aforelisted.

      But if I was going to demand for rights, as a legitimately invited guest o, I would ask for the following, which I really do think are legitimate wedding guest rights:

      – the right to small chops – the best part of weddings as far as I am concerned 🙂 Oh and the right to desserts too, if you are serving them as is the rage now (sweettooth anonymous loading)
      – the right to a decent plate of food with better meat, chicken, fish or whatever else is being offered. I didn’t leave my house, dolled up in wedding finery, probably paid for and wearing exorbitant wedding aso-ebi for someone to be serving me a scrawny looking plate with a miserable looking piece of beef or dry fried chicken or fish, as if I came to beg for food at the wedding
      – the right to drinks at least, one choice alcoholic drink or cocktail- haba, how can I come to your wedding and be thirsty when drinks are flowing freely all around
      – the right to correct wedding souvenir
      – the right to not hustle for seat at your wedding. Pls very annoying to be looking for seats at a wedding

    • xhi xhi

      February 24, 2015 at 6:06 am

      I second you on small chops, desserts and alcohol. Why else did go for the wedding

  16. Udees

    February 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Nice one Bola. True Talk. Guests can know how to exercise their rights no be small.

  17. tcee

    February 22, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Aunty Bolu please can you drop your mail address. Would love to talk to you about something. thanks

  18. Fifi

    February 23, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Write up wasnt my cup of tea

    • Olaa

      February 23, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Really ?? Are u a saddist ?? Pele !!

    • Fifi

      February 23, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Im i not entitled to an opinion? Please stay in your lane. God bless

    • Fifi

      February 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

      *Am I

  19. marthadiva01

    February 23, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Nice one, thumbs up

    IG:Marthadiva01

  20. Somiii

    February 23, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Well written Mrs A

  21. kenny

    February 23, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Lovely, funny, muah

  22. victor modo

    February 23, 2015 at 7:00 am

    scary guest. as a photographer i think i will look to avaid you

  23. Ladydee

    February 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Nice one babes, I’d be sure to remember these cardinal rules next time I’m dressed up and just driving around on a Saturday looking for a wedding to gate crash.

  24. Bissy

    February 23, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Nice article, i need to attend a wedding so bad!

  25. Berry Dakara

    February 23, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Meanwhile I have to add that Small Chops must come BEFORE and AFTER the entrée. That’s just how it’s done. And I reserve the right to ask for plenty mossa and shrimp!

  26. NaijaPikin

    February 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I don’t even collect souveneirs at weddings. But omo that small chops is a must. Infact forget all the small chops and give me just the puff puff and stick meat. Life will be great.

  27. Akanbi Mobolaji

    February 24, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Lmfao!!
    Great read Bolu,
    Not what I was expecting when I hit the link.
    What oyinbo man would call “a pleasant surprise” (^_^)
    U just made my morning with this.
    PS: more of that Pls

  28. BiyiBabs

    February 24, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Way to go sis!!

  29. Eseoghene

    February 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Lmao! You hit the nail right on the head! Lmao! Nice 1!

  30. Emem

    February 26, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Lovely and very funny. Emem.

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