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Thursday, July 18, 2024


Nigeria is a melting pot of cultures with a long history, everyone is brought together by the wonderful wedding ceremonies there. There are various layers, including several days of tribe-based festivities, that are frequently connected to weddings in Nigeria.

For Nigerians, the church ceremony is followed by the traditional wedding, which is known as the “white wedding” because of the color of the bride’s dress.

Extensive family, distant relatives, neighbors, and well-wishers of all kinds are expected to attend Nigerian weddings, which frequently have guest lists of 250 people or more.

(a) Bride Price: Men must always present the bride’s family with a predetermined set of goods before the marriage can take place in the majority of Nigerian tribes. The bride fee is also referred to as eru iyawo in Yoruba and rubu dinar in Hausa. This is merely a symbolic act to demonstrate that the guy can support the bride and their new family financially and does not signify that a woman is being sold.

If the lady has a university degree, the cost rises and can occasionally be pretty expensive. Once it is established that the groom’s family has provided all the necessary goods, the event can begin. The bride price is typically a combination of money and gifts, such as clothing, housewares, food, and occasionally animals.

(b) Igbo Wedding:

Ikuaka, which literally translates to “knocking,” is the ritual an Igbo man goes through with his father and other male relatives to knock on the door of the bride’s family. Typically, the man’s father (or uncle, older brother, or other older living male relative) is the one to inform the woman of his plans to wed her. In accordance with this custom, the men also bring presents such kola nuts and alcoholic drinks, which Nigerians occasionally refer to as “hot drinks.”

Imme Ego, also known as the bride price or dowry payment, occurs in the second stage of an Igbo wedding before the Igba Nkwu, or “wine carrying,” takes place. The bride must look through the gathering of men at the Igba Nkwu to find her future husband, who is hiding there. She will dance happily while she searches the room for her fiance. When she finds him, she must give him a cup of wine, which he must then sip to confirm he is in fact her husband. The couple is then legally wed, another wardrobe change occurs, and joyful dancing breaks out.

(c) Yoruba Wedding:

Weddings in the Yoruba tradition are enormous and colorful affairs with 200 to 1,000 guests present. Two MCs, referred to as alagas, usually elder ladies from each side of the family, preside over these rituals. The lively, endearing alagas liven up the day with their comedy. Throughout the entire performance, they are accompanied by a talking drummer who adds more vitality and excitement with each beat. Yorubas also have a greeting tradition known as “dobálè” in which men prostrate by laying their entire bodies on the ground as a display of respect. In order to properly meet the bride’s family, the groom and his groomsmen must entirely prostrate before them, with the chest touching the ground. The bride and her ladies, who are all dressed in matching aso-ebi, enter after the men have made a prostration on the ground, after the bride’s family has asked a few questions and the groom has taken a seat. She then puts a hat on the groom’s head before being carried by him. It is referred to as Igbeyawo. They are then declared to be married when he places a ring on her finger.

(d) Benin Weddings:

Coral beads are undoubtedly one of the key motifs in a traditional Benin wedding. The bride is crowned with a beaded headgear (Okuku) and is decked with Ivie (coral beads). One of the most royal things ever, without a doubt. The bride price conversation, a dramatic ceremonial process, is the first stage of the traditional ceremony. The introductions start when the “negotiations” are through and everyone is happy with the final price.

The most interesting part of the ceremony is when “fake brides” are purchased by the family’s elder women and the groom is repeatedly questioned about who his bride is. It’s a delightful process where the groom is blackmailed into paying additional money for different “activities”. Finally, to the excitement of the groom, the bride is brought out, and the man (hopefully) recognizes his spouse. After being introduced to her new family, the bride is then given to her husband.

(e) Hausa Wedding:

In the Hausa culture, the bride price, or Kayan Zander, is paid before a couple marries. The bride price must be paid to the bride’s family before the wedding, known as the Fatihah, can take place. It is claimed that a smaller bridal price will bring the couple better blessings. Instead of the couple themselves, representatives from both families exchange vows before the religious priest on the Fatihah (the wedding day). The third event, Wuni, is only for women. The bride spends time here decorating the hands of her female companions with henna. Then, during Kamun Amariya, the bride’s family engages in lighthearted haggling with the ladies to “release” her for the celebration. The bride is then led via a procedure known as Kai Amariya to her new house.

(f) Aso-Ebi:

One of the most noticeable features of Nigerian weddings is the aso-ebi, which is a term for “the family clothes.” The couple choose a color scheme that will be used by both sides of the family. It’s a means to distinguish between the bride’s family and the groom’s family depending on the materials and hues they wear. Aso-ebi are frequently worn by the friends of the couple. Aso-ebi was originally a component of Yoruba weddings, but it has subsequently expanded to other Nigerian communities and other African nations.

(g) Money Spraying:

The climax of a Nigerian wedding reception is “Spraying,” in which visitors bless the newlyweds by “spraying” them with money. The couple dances as long as they can to a live band and DJ performing afrobeat, hip-hop, traditional, and modern music throughout this part of the celebration. With this custom, couples frequently get large sums of money because they normally get paid more the longer they dance.

(h) Party Food:

No visitor may leave a wedding in Nigeria without food, according to custom. There are nearly always copious portions of party favorites like jollof rice, which is so closely associated with weddings that it is occasionally referred to as “party rice” or “wedding rice.” There is a long-standing rivalry between Nigeria and its neighbor Ghana over who makes the best jollof, a famed Nigerian dish whose origins are highly debated.

We normally serve what we refer to as ‘small chops’ during the cocktail hour or the appetizers, such as meat pies, sausage rolls, samosas, puff puff, chin chin, and spicy meat skewers known as suya. It’s also typical to offer a buffet as well as plated service with a variety of alternatives. Particularly at traditional weddings, the main course will typically include “swallow” delicacies like fufu, which are items you can swallow without chewing, and be served with a thick, hot soup.

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