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Adefunke Ogunnusi: Strictly By Invitation… Naija Flavour



dreamstime_l_32890109These days, there is an increasing “strictly by invitations” trend. On a few occasions, I have personally experienced situations where invited guests randomly invite friends to a friend’s, sister’s, enemy’s party without prior consent of the celebrant. For this reason, I do not blame people who have taken the somewhat “brutal” necessary approach to restrict unwanted guests.
From discussions with people who have hosted strictly by invitation events, they noted the following reasons:

A lot of people complain that they don’t like the idea of not being able to recognise guests at their event. A friend of mine once told me that her sister’s wedding had over 2000 guests. (No joke, that’s like a proper big concert)

Personal preference
Some folks just want a small everything: small wedding, small party, small everything. They are not the LauLau people and that’s just it.

Some people can only afford to feed a certain number of people and they choose to stick to what they can afford, nothing wrong with that.

I have a few questions for both “Strictly by Invitation Host and Uninvited Guest”.


How do you decide who is in your inner circle? Is it okay to exclude family?
Personally I don’t have a choice. Whatever ceremony I do especially my wedding must include family members + some friends turned family+ x.

X being the number of people I decide are in my inner circle. That is just the way it is. You don’t need to like or have a relationship with the family member. It is family courtesy/ tradition.

How do you decline people who assume they are invited to an event you are planning?
Someone once told me she assumed she was invited to a friend’s wedding only to be told that the wedding was really small. Guests included only family and really close friends. Ouch.

What sort of relationship do you expect to have with non – invited friends after the event?
Well, if my really close friend was getting married or celebrating a birthday party and I didn’t get an invite I’d be upset. Not because I am a party goer, but because I assumed I was in your inner circle.

Uninvited Guest?

Would you help out?
My Jesus mind which asks ‘what is the big deal about helping?’ is out –  if I knew I was not getting an invite for an event; but my natural mind screams ‘hell no’ Go and ask all the chosen ones.

Would you retaliate?
Kai this one is hard. If you did not invite me to your event, why should I invite you to mine?

It is that painful?
I have never found myself in this position before. I have always been in the chosen one crew.
Frankly I have nothing against anyone who decides not to invite me to an event, as I am not even outgoing in the first place. All I can say is that if the people in my inner circle “forget” to invite me to an event they are hosting, I shall invite myself. Shikena

Lastly, I think all hosts should be true to their list. If you really think someone is not close enough to be invited to your event that is perfectly fine, don’t invite the person. This should hold regardless of change in economic/social status. I tend to see that people become “invitable” (wrong English, good analogy), once social strata goes up the ladder – that famous social ladder.

Let me know if you have been the host/ uninvited guest and your thoughts.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Adefunke Ogunnusi currently works in financial services as an Operational Risk Management Analyst. She discovered her love for writing in 2013 and has used writing as her private place. She is currently a member of Toastmasters international where she is being groomed on Public speaking. Defunke blogs at [email protected]


  1. Omotee

    February 29, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve attended a number of parties I wasn’t invited to cos they were lau lau parties and they couldn’t be bothered with an unknown face.
    But I attended a friend’s strictly by IV wedding. She wanted to know way ahead of time who I was coming with, which is just a friend. But Lagos happened and my friend had to come with her daughter and nanny. The Bride was visibly upset and said she wasn’t sure there’d be space for the maid and kid. Yes it’s her wedding and i respect her reasons. But reacting wasn’t necessary. At the end of the day it’s your wedding, you can’t be checking all the guests to see who might have come without an IV. Beefs after the wedding.

    • Adah

      February 29, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Please, I don’t like children in weddings first and foremost and I don’t take mine unless it’s pure family invitation. If your friend knew it was strictly by IV please she should have just sat down or better still go without the two extras (nanny and baby)

  2. A Real Nigerian

    February 29, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    *opens BN website*
    *clicks on “Strictly By Invitation” article*
    *Reads in shock while mouth subconsciously goes agape from the awful quality of said article*
    *clicks on ‘Print’*
    “Retrieves printed webpage*
    *Visits toilet and proceeds to use printed document to wipe ass*

    Your article is bad, and you should feel bad.

    • Omoye

      February 29, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Very mature way to express distaste….

    • Prime Babe

      March 1, 2016 at 10:17 am

      *Mouth Open*…………..And you still wipe with paper? I.AM. SHOCKED

  3. Ade_suwa

    February 29, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    if the people in my inner circle “forget” to invite me to an event they are hosting, I shall invite myself.Shikena

    this gat me rolling,,,,,, #Partycrashernoni

  4. Adeniyi

    February 29, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I’m not even a fan of weddings seff. Yesterday, I went to a wedding where the church service was even strictly by invitation. Weytin concern me? Make them no invite me for wedding seff.

  5. Spunky

    February 29, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I kukuma no dey go where dem no invite me. A lot of people are guilty in this regard.

  6. The real D

    February 29, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    We are planning my dad’s 70th birthday and it is strictly by invitation and no kids. We are keeping it intimate because we strongly believe that at 70 he should be surrounded by people who have stood by him and my mum over the years. My dad knows he is having a birthday celebration but the details (such as venue) he does not know as he is liable to invite every chicken who walks by him on the street.

    @ omotee, I have never understood why people claim they “have to bring” a nanny and the child. The role of the nanny is to help with the child so why not leave the child with the nanny at home? My cousin did this once, invitation clearly started it was by invite only, her mum had come over to take care of the baby but she decided to bring mummy,baby and big sister to wedding. I feel that is totally inconsiderate especially when food charge na per plate and there is room capacity to consider. It is because it was her event that you should have honored her request by telling your friend she should either leave baby and nanny at home or you will just go solo. It shows proper social etiquette.

    If anyone tries this at my dad’s birthday they will be embarrassed beyond measure because no body they know will be at the door. no invite or you turn up with a baby or 2 3/4 kids in tow you shall be told to turn around. Now if your friend had done this na you go vex not her.

    • YemyemyI

      March 1, 2016 at 1:22 am

      I think they hosts also need to be thoughtful. I am invited to a first cousin’s wedding. It is strictly by invitation. Engagement is on a Thursday and wedding on a Saturday. However, reception is no kids allowed. I will be driving about 10 hours to attend this wedding and stay in a hotel for at least 3 days. I have two kids between 6 and 10, where does cousin expect me to keep the kids while at the wedding reception? Hotel with no supervison? I am the one making a sacrifice to attend the wedding and expect reasonableness from the host.

    • M

      March 1, 2016 at 4:52 am

      You can chose not to attend you know? Don’t make your kid’s care someone else’s inconvenience. Decline respectfully.

    • mimi

      March 1, 2016 at 7:44 am

      You can decide not to go. Her event. Her rules. I have kids as well if I can’t take my kids to an event and there’s no sitter I stay home. Those are the sacrifices I make cos I decided to have kids. No one forced me so why should it be their responsibility.

    • Lotus flower

      March 1, 2016 at 7:51 am

      It’s an invite. If it’s not convenient for you to go then don’t. I’m pretty sure you’re cousin knows some people have kids, hence her stipulation that no children are allowed to attend. If you can’t find someone to watch them, then don’t go.

    • misskay

      March 1, 2016 at 9:18 am

      but must you go???

    • Kolapoadet

      March 1, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Don’t mind them o. There was a cousin who had my daughter as little bride and other children as flower girls and said no kids at the reception. So parents should drive those flower girls and little bride back home hungry after they have sacrificed to be in your wedding. Some things are not just realistic. You can’t invite a first cousin to your wedding and tell them not to bring their children. If you have guests from out of town provide baby sitter. Ask them ahead of time. That is what the oyinbos we are trying to copy do.

    • Kolapoadet

      March 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

      This says something about your family relations. If your cousin’s mother (your aunt) and sister (also your cousin) cannot attend your wedding. Unless they are very distant cousins, something is very wrong. We are trying to be oyinbo by force.

    • Laila

      March 2, 2016 at 6:26 am

      Erm they are different levels of family oh. My father is not close to his two older brothers and in turn we children are not close to those cousins. They are cousins in name only to be honest. I wouldn’t go out of my way to invite them to a “strictly-by-invite” event and they wouldn’t for me either. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us, we just don’t pretend we have that type of close relationship.

    • YemyemyI

      March 1, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Of course, I will attend only the engagement just because my parents and siblings were invited and will be traveling from Naija to attend this wedding. If not for that, I wont even attend either engagement or wedding. What i am saying is that if you are inviting your family because you live in the diaspora and you want your inlaws to see that you have people and not just marrying on yoir own, then provide baby sitting for those family members with kids, if you want them to spend their money to make you look good.

    • Terrany

      March 1, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      No mind them. They can even provide painting and kids corner. If I were you I will won’t go. I have 5 and 3 yrs old. Please where will I keep them especially in this crazy country. Ifvi get invite to any place and it no kids. I am staying home only if its within my city where i cam get a sitter. Shikena! Not by force.

    • Shynna

      November 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      I like when you wrote “If nanny work is to watch the kids, why do we have to bring the kids and nanny to a party tagged ‘strictly-by-invitation’?” Some people are just very inconsiderate and rude. I believe every invited guest owes the celebrant the respect of his or her wish for the event. Economics or not, all invited guests should respect whatever requirement or instruction placed on the invitation card.

  7. Chic

    March 1, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I “kukuma” don’t like stress. If u don’t invite me, the better for me. I won’t feel bad at all tbvh!

  8. ON MY OWN

    March 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

    What abt feeling that the invitation is late, my big cousin intro was shifted last year, i kept asking her friend that we stayed 2geda how far with d date cos i got married and moved out and i don’t want it to look lyk i’m spiting her, only for that one to tel me she’s traveling and then i asked for wat and i wast told for my cousin’s intro, few minutes later i got a broadcast on BBM as an invitation.
    I just got more angry

  9. warepamor sammy

    March 1, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Hi funke i like your article and writing style and will like to connect with you. i am also a writer. is there an email social network,phone number i can reach you on? Pls reply thanks

  10. Terrany

    March 1, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    We just want to behave like oyinbo. That’s how my brother want to marry. And he said no kids at the reception. I told him if you want me to fly my family with about $5000 to your wedding and you said no kids. How are mine going to keep my kids safe in a strange land. I can send $1500 to you and I will stay at my house. I haven’t been to wedding over 5years and I am still living. Its not compulsory o. I am not iya iyawo. No be by force. And unfortunately for him he is having it in north America that means an only him and him parent go dey. Best of luck to them.

  11. Ngo

    March 1, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    I attended a cousins wedding which said no kids allowed. I only went out of obligation as my son was very young less than six months at the time and I wasn’t happy leaving him with a nanny – however this cousin was my bridesmaid and our parents were quite close. Long story short after leaving my small baby with a sitter few of her supposed close friends came with their children and of course her small nieces and nephews were present. Never again will I inconvenience myself to attend any event that isn’t child friendly. We want to copy oyibos but still do IM and mago mago on top. Some other mums that left their children with sitters were also disgusted. I don’t like insult so any invitation that says no children allowed my first instinct is to even stay home sef and not bother TBH, but that’s just me.

    • Shynna

      November 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Well I think the no-child-allowed code should be applied with no biased color. But that doesn’t mean that an event tagged with no-child-allowed is not child friendly. Some events are just simply for adults! Or there is just no adequate space.

  12. Puzzles

    March 1, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    No children invited to your wedding….
    But you are hoping for children at most a year after the wedding, abi???

    • ThatAbiribaBae

      March 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Yes the person will have children after wedding and will respect it when she gets an invite that says no children.

      Moreover, children can be a hand full! You could choose to look at it from this angel: some alone time with your boo without the interference of any child! It’s called, let’s bond!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. ThatAbiribaBae

    March 2, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Personally, I so love the feeling staying under my duvet gives me, so I WILL not attend a wedding that is strictly by invitation and I wasn’t invited. Except I’m someone’s +1.

    From a host’s perspective, the criteria to be at my wedding is that you’re able to boldly reprove my husband and I should any of us misbehave. If we don’t share such privileges, family or friend or enemy join, No ma’am ! No sir! you shall not be attending MY wedding.

    I understand that Nigerian wedding is very family oriented, that is why my traditional wedding will be mo gbo, mo branch (even your plate and spoons are welcome). I’m sorry but that option will not be available at the white wedding. I also understand that some people might not know any other guest at my wedding, so for those, I’m happy to provide the +1 option.

    These days, I’ve learnt to define certain words (e.g. friend, family) in the other party’s eyes because sometimes what I call friend/family is entirely different from the other person’s definition (not everybody loves the way the OXFORD dictionary defined certain terminologies). So if a supposed close friend doesn’t invite me to her wedding, it will be a lesson learnt, if anything. Some of us claiming close friends here didn’t even know the friend had a boyfriend, let alone one that she wants to marry (abeg lets all stop the pretence). I’ve seen a colleague who’s wife was invited to a wedding but he wasn’t, dude didn’t have any iota of anger in him at all. Because to him, the couple were more of his wife’s friend anyway and they were running on a budget!

    Again, dear writer have you considered scenario where you invite your supposed “paddy” and they decline for no reason at all? I mean this wedding was in their city, no extra cost… How should the host feel about that?

    If you’re too vexed that you weren’t invited then don’t invite them for yours. shikena! No hard feelings should come out of this. If you check well, na only females dey get this kain wahala. No biggie for our male counterparts!

    PS:: sorry for long epistle, I just had to get it all out!

  14. Iyun

    March 2, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Nice write up.. I don’t go out of my way to get invited to a party coz the 1s I’m invited to sef I usually don’t go. It’s too much stress and money; buy asoebi, buy shoes and purse, do make-up etc.

  15. Toyin

    March 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    That’s how my mom’s family had a wedding one Saturday like that, even though it’s a family thing I didn’t want to go because my mom’s from a polygamous family and the lady getting married has no idea of my existence, yet I was convinced to attend. On that fateful Saturday, I dressed up in my owanbe and on getting to the party…hold on, seriously I forgot how rowdy party thrown by my mom’s family can be, would you believe I couldn’t find a place to sit, I had to manage a sit with someone. I felt so out of place, since then I have decided if the bride or the groom doesn’t not even know who I am, what’s my presence for? I forgot to mention to get food was a hustle ?

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