This is the second part of “Taming the Guest Size”. I am pretty sure some of you had a few laughs and a few gasps in part one of this post. So I am just going to dive right in.
I met a couple last year, whom just before they got married we got talking about the Nigerian Guest Size Factor. They both come from LARGE families who like to “PARR-TAI”. Of course, with large families like that theirs, they will always have crowds at any of their functions. I asked casually how they both intended on controlling their family crowd, they told me they had threatened both their parents that if the guest size went above 400 they would just not show up on the day! Go #Teambride & groom *Yimu*. ROTFL!! Is it Schweppes?
However, despite my scepticism, they meticulously had a guest list of all invited guests on stylishly numbered invitation cards, so that as you came to the reception with your invitation cards, your invites would be checked with its number and then you were allowed to go through. Of course, they had hired the help of well and able bodied “Giant Bouncers”. I felt like an ant beside those guys, lol! This couple meant business in “Taming the Guest Size,” o. Lol! #onpoint
Strictly by invite, invitations make things a lot easier in managing guest size control. Yet, I did meet an odd fellow earlier this year, who loathes the idea of “strictly by invitation” invites. He said if he ever got an invite that was strictly by invitation that he wouldn’t attended that event.
Why you ask. His reason is that, strictly by invite invitations are snobbish, stuck-up, and it looked down on people. He also believed that they were outright rude…, your facial expression is (or was) the same as mine, I mean, “What the…”
Now, this very same male individual that very same day, told me of his aunt’s funeral 3 years ago in Ondo state, and how he was so impressed with the turn out, it showed that his aunt, was a good woman and very popular. I asked what the guest size was, he replied saying about 2500 people. He said the food wasn’t enough and he remembers people coming up to him after the event complaining. I forgot to mention, he was saying all this with a chest full of pride. This funeral “owambé” created heavy traffic and caused a lot of unhappy resident’s peace and quiet for 2 days!
Did I mention that the family went broke after the “semi-carnival” occurred? ROTFL! Yep they did, he said so.
This raises a question, who is to blame when the invited guests seem to keep giving birth to more guests during an event, making crowd control difficult to manage?
No need to Google it, the answer is simple, The Event Planners are to blame! That right, we swallow the criticism, complaints, insults, and screams from the client’s for ruining their day, cause of the lack of crowd control. Yes, sometimes we planners can get over our heads with some jobs or client’s, nevertheless we still swallow it all despite everything. Let me give you an example via an experience as a guest.
A few weeks ago I attended my sister’s friend’s wedding. I arrived late, as I had intended, and I noticed my sister hustling with plates of food serving some guests. I walked up to her and asked what is going on? Where are the waiters? She told me the caterer didn’t bring enough waiters, thus her helping to serve. I asked what about the planner/coordinator, because I knew her friend had hired one. My sister pointed her out over a sea of gele’s at a food station. When I asked her how I could help, she said, “Could you ask the guests to stop arriving? This is more than 500 people she had expected, from the 300 guests she was told would arrive.” Oh dear.
Honestly, the stories and testimonies can go on forever! I am in the opinion that prospective clients should always keep their events planners/coordinators constantly informed of their decreasing or increasing guest sizes. It’s irresponsible of any client to cater and state to their events planner that they have invited 200 people, and then have a whopping guest size of 800 people !? C’mon…that’s unfair. It makes us events professionals look foolish and incompetent.
Tips to consider on Taming the Guest Size
This advice is for EVERYONE involved in the event, both parents, both families, and the intended couple to be:
1. Don’t invite the WHOLE office or neighbourhood. Inviting the whole neighbourhood or the office is not only seemingly desperate but also award, especially if you don’t really have a cordial speaking relationship with any of them.
2. Don not go inviting all 4,567 friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, BBM, Whatsapp, 2Go, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other social network is a BIG NO. Ask yourself, how many times you have actually communicated with any of them outside of the social network before you invite them.
3. Induce an invitation scarcity! Make all your invites almost 65% less than your expected guests. Don’t be discouraged by having strictly by invitation invites. Just understand why you want them and be able to explain to those who don’t agree with the idea why you want them.
4. Rein in your parents! Yeah…this is a hard one. Most parents, both home and abroad, believe that since they are the ones footing the bill for the entire wedding, that have the right to invite the whole world. Sadly, they do. That right is theirs. However, there is a way around it. Sit both parents down and present a plan to them. When I was younger, when I had to ask my dad for money for anything, I had to write down what I wanted, and have acceptable prepared answers or reasons as to why I wanted those things. I believe every parent can be reasonable once you and your partner have presented them your vision of how you want your wedding should be, and long after the celebrations. Remember to compromise when and where you have to ooh! If they prove difficult, better get on your knees and plead with them fervently!
5. Elope! ROTFL! Just joking. However, consider having a destination wedding instead. Read my post on “Marrying Far Away”, it may just be perfect for you. A friend of mine in Ghana read that post and sent the link to his mum, and his fiance, telling them that they should both begin to adjust their minds to it. LOL!
Wow. This post turned out to be longer than I had hoped. Hehehe. So this is where I will end it for now, and touch on it later in the future. If you have had any experiences you’d like to share feel free to leave a comment or send an email with your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy ♥ J!