There was recently a discussion in the comments section of an online forum about whether it is possible to have a wedding strictly by invitation in Nigeria. The response way mixed with some saying it was very possible and others saying it wasn’t.


In Nigeria, there is almost an unspoken culture of showing up at events (with or without invitation) if we know a couple or person enough. The attitude seems to be dying down, but in some cases, an invitation seems to be merely a formality, with some people taking it upon themselves to inject their presence into occasions and being offended if turned away or called out on it.


So, how do you keep your event strictly by invitation and not offend anyone?


  • Develop the culture of strictly by invitation: For birthdays, graduations and so on, work on a strictly by invitation  basis. Let it become a reputation of yours. With time, people will come to expect it of you and stop looking for exceptions.
  • Speak with invited people beforehand: Before invitations are even sent out, speak with some of those dearest to you and explain the importance of the rule being adhered to and advise against them bringing extra guests and let them know that it won’t be tolerated. Those who truly care will respect your wishes.
  • Specify on the invitation cards: Have the names of the invited guests boldly written and have it specified in fine print that extra uninvited guests will not be allowed.
  • Enforce it: Have a guest list kept at the event and have security double-check before allowing anyone in. Some uninvited people might try to pull a fast one at the last minute and show up, but a competent security team should prevent that from happening.


Having a wedding is stressful in itself. Creating and maintaining a guest list without any hitches is difficult, particularly in this part of the world. But luckily, the culture of having and respecting strictly-by-invitation events is becoming more of the norm, and hopefully this will continue.

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