Opinion: Hello, do I really have to invite everyone to my wedding?

by Nonye Ujowundu

Why do we now increase our stress levels sometimes by worrying about other people weddings…?

I rushed to pick up my phone to answer a call and then the conversation went thus:

Mrs.: Do you know Emilia’s traditional wedding is this weekend?

Me: Yes, she told me…

Mrs.: Really, and she didn’t mention it to me, in-fact she told your aunt just this week and it’s this weekend.

Me: Well, I guess she didn’t mean any harm, she explained to me how everything got to this stage quickly, and how she’s been having problems with her family who claim she kept them in the dark until the last minute.

Mrs.: How could she tell you and not me? How can she tell your aunt that she planned not to tell people because that’s how Doyin did hers as well?

Me: Why don’t we wish her the best and focus less on who she told , after all what’s more important is the D-day being successful and the life she shares with her husband going forward…


Call ends

I made my way out to continue with what I was doing before the call came in and just couldn’t help asking my self these questions over and over again.


– Why are people so emotional about being invited to a wedding?

– Is it just a Nigerian thing or not?

– How come these same people always make some side remarks .(Things like: “Wow!, she was supposed to get married to three different people and each plan was cancelled, I  hope this works”; or “maybe she called you because she needs your help”)

– Why do people always want to know the occupation of the intended spouse?

– How come we are quick to forget that our friend/relative now has a partner whose decision counts as well, making it impossible for him/her to solely decide if he the wedding will be a big or small one?

– How come people are quick to assume you are broke or unfriendly if you are planning a small wedding?

– Will people feel better if you tell them about the upcoming wedding, but add that you want only a certain number of guests and as such, the wedding will be strictly on invitation?

– Is it actually true that when you let out your plans while still nurturing them, things will definitely go wrong?

–  Wouldn’t life be less complicated if we make excuses for people/assume they forgot?

I am proud to be African and I appreciate our deep cultural heritage of keeping in touch with a large extended family and relatives but in my opinion, the best wedding ceremonies don’t automatically guarantee the best marriages.

My opinion is that, marriage is a sacred thing that should  focus more on the two people involved, and not the family. I think what is more important is to pray for the couple on the journey ahead (They will need this to weather the storms if it ever comes ).

I also think being present during the church  or Nikkai service to join our prayers with that of the couple is more important than the reception where we go to show off. Prayers are offered even during our traditional wedding ceremonies. Admittedly, Nigerian weddings are very interesting and colourful, but are we not missing the point a little bit? Especially since Nigeria is an obvious religious country.

On the other hand, inviting everyone to the wedding doesn’t mean they will all be present as some of them will be busy too.

Living in Nigeria, a country where you have to be your own local government, by providing all the basic amenities you need singularly has its own peculiarities, which also includes being stressed on how to achieve all of this to be comfortable. Why do we now increase our stress levels sometimes by worrying about other people weddings, or even letting some level of animosity filter in, at a time when we should be happy?

If we must, think attending the wedding with smiles and good cheer to be witnesses  will be  better than complaining about not being  invited. As long as the couples did not make it a “strictly by invitation affair”.


All names have been altered in this piece.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (0)

  1. You make me laugh my dear, with your starry-eyed idealism. Please note that I'm in total agreement with you and if those situations you talked about were the way you expected them, then of course do you think we would have the problems we have in Nigeria today?

    There's an Ebenezer Obey quote I want you to keep in mind which is a part of my belief system in life. I translate thus: this life is not hard; it is the descendants of Adam that turned this world into a war front.


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