Friday, August 10, 2012

Starvation at a wedding...

Yesterday I went for a traditional wedding. It was a very very elaborate one with almost four to five thousand guests and a lot of prominent citizens including governors and first ladies. Everyone was talking about this wedding; I didn't want to be the only one missing out. I wanted to see everything life! So I made a huge effort to look nice and be there.

My friends and i got to the wedding at about 4pm and were impressed about how nicely decorated and spacious the venue was, the planner took time to create enough passage space and the whole place didn't look over crowed. There were ushers beautifully dressed standing at every corner and already I was happy to be there. We got a nice table and sat there after we took a few minutes to say hello to other people we knew.

Ok so thirty minutes passed, we sat and looked, no waiter or usher had approached us to ask what we would like to eat or drink. One hour passed... No waiter still!. A few minutes after one hour a waiter came offering me a drink. I took a can of sprite reluctantly just because I wasn't sure when something else to eat or drink would come my way again.

Two hours later we were still sitting there no waiter no food! My friends and I were getting very hungry. This made me think back to when I was a little girl and my dad used to make sure I ate something even if it was a little before I went to a party. He would say "just in case you don't get offered any food there, at least you won't starve before you come back home". I don't know why I didn't take to this advice on this very day. I was very hungry

My hunger for something to eat caused me to begin to lose interest in the party. We finally found a waiter and asked if we could have some food. He told us there wasn't any more food. The food was finished, he explained. I was shocked! How could we be invited to a party such as this and 2 hours after we got to the party no one had offered us something to eat and when we finally found a waiter he said the food was finished!

The ushers just stood there looking pretty in their fancy outfit. The only thing they were good for was just decoration for us to look at. My friends and I started talking about parties and how people spend so much money decorating and getting fresh flowers, crystals and artists to perform but forget to emphasis on the fact that their guests must be fed. Why invite people to a wedding and leave them sitting there starving? The bride and groom's family spend so much on caterers but at the end of the day what happens? People end up not eating.

After about 3 hours of waiting and lamenting, we finally found a waiter who my friend gave some money so that he could bring us some food. And guess what? He brought us food! The food looked nice but wasn't all that tasty, but I was so hungry I didn't even have a choice. We told the same waiter that if he could get us some small chops we would give him more money, you can imagine what happened, the fresh small chops came rolling in piping hot, in fact we had more than enough to eat.
We had to pay a waiter to get us food at a wedding!

Most parties I have attended, ushers came to meet you and made sure you were okay, they try to get you some food and made sure that you had enough to eat and drink. They literally acted as hostesses (don’t know why they call them ushers)
But not this party, the ushers were just standing there looking like statues.

Honestly I am not sure who to blame, the family footing the bill or the event planner?
Some event planners take on events that are too big for them to manage. I honestly think that this isn't fair. At the same time some people give out five thousand invitations for their wedding then order food for only four thousand guests! What are the remaining one thousand guests suppose to eat, the fresh flowers on the table?

I mean, I believe in cutting ones coat according to the available fabric. Only invite the number of people you can cater for or instead of ordering those extra mood lights or chandeliers why not put that money towards more food for the guests. Guests like to come to a nice place, but how can they even enjoy the nice place if they are hungry?

When a guest honours an invitation, they must be treated well. They leave their homes and get themselves all the way to the venue; it’s only fair to give them a good reception. The event planner should treat guests like customers; give them whatever they want so that they are comfortable (as long as it is available at the party and for the guests). If for some reason the food finishes, then as a planner you can make other plans. Give the guest a drink, cake, fruits or something. Just act like you are doing what you were paid for.

What’s the point of being a smiley faced planner if the guests at the party you planned were unsatisfied?

The best thing is to eat before leaving your house you can leave a little space in your stomach just in case you get served something nice. But apart from that never go to a party that you or your family didn't organise, expecting to be fed.
Now I understand why some of our mothers carry a big cooler of food to their friend’s party, at least if the food finishes, there would be something to fall back on.

What are your views on elaborate weddings but no food for guests? Who should take the blame, the wedding planner or the family footing the bill? Do you have a favourite event planner?


  1. Wow... Such a shame that you had to go through that. I would definitely blame the wedding planner. I would assume that for a wedding this big, the bride and/or groom didn't plan it themselves, with the caliber of people you have mentioned. It is therefore the responsibility of the wedding planner to make sure that the staff he/she hired as ushers/hosts for the day DO NOT accept bribery in exchange for food.. What a shame... I really don't expect the bride and groom to go around the 100+ tables asking if people have eaten or not, with the way our weddings are here, they will be the center of attention the whole day.... Poor planning, probably the staff were not even trained.

  2. Well said, but there is an aspect you haven't considered which is very common in our society today. The bigger and more anticipated the wedding is, the more uninvited guests come!! With the difficulty in controlling crowds what you find is that those uninvited guests tend to take the place of those with invites and you get the unfortunate information you're in. So really, you can say "Society" is to blame because as they say, Tou can never win, just do your best and leave the rest to God

  3. The worst thing is to spend more than a right thinking person should to ensure your guest have a ball at your party and the ''enjoyment" just gets lost in the crowd and it never gets too them. You get an empty bank account and grumpy friends. It's like you got robbed.

  4. this is one of the many issues planners face here in Nigeria. everyone blames the planner for everything that goes wrong (see first comment) but have you considered a situation where the bride and groom and family tell their planner they are expecting 400 guests when in fact they have actually invited 1000!