Traditions Of Nigerian Weddings
There Are Many Variations
Because there are well over 300 different tribes in Nigeria, many of them have adopted their own specific wedding rituals. The most well-known of these tribes are the Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba and the details listed below will focus primarily on these three tribes.
The Introduction Ceremony
Early in the couple’s relationship, both families will meet formally. This event is known as the Introduction Ceremony. Both sides exchange gifts and the family of the bride will provide the potential groom with a list of items he will require to give the family for the engagement to be accepted.
The Dowry List
The bride’s family, in Igbo tribes, will present the potential groom with a dowry list he must fulfill. It will include such items as clothing, food, other goods, plus large items such as a new car. The dowry must be approved by the women in the bride’s family before the engagement can proceed.
Sibling Order Matters
If you have an older brother or sister, for you to get married according to Nigerian customs, the older sibling must marry first. In Igbo families, all marriages are to follow the age of the siblings. This means the younger brothers and sisters must wait for their turn.
Take A Beating
Men of the Hausa tribe who wish to marry must first prove their love to their intended bride. This involves receiving 100 lashes and should he react in any way that indicates weakness – cries or winces – the wedding is canceled.
Double The Fun
It is not uncommon for Nigerian couples to have two different weddings. One is a cultural event with the second one being a religious ceremony. The ceremonies can be held anywhere from days to weeks apart.
Forget The Guest List
In Nigerian weddings, everyone is invited. The hosts just prepare for the largest number of guests possible and use that as their guide for seating, catering, and more.
Weddings in the Yoruba tribe include matching clothes. Once the bride and groom choose their wedding colours and fabrics, guests of each family have to follow the choices for their clothing worn at the wedding. This instantly displays who is part of what family.
Carry The Weight
In Yoruba weddings, one custom is for the groom to lift and carry his bride. This is to demonstrate he has the strength to care for her during their marriage.
Throwing Away Money
The bride is always showered with money at her wedding. It is common to take place the moment she steps on the dance floor but it can happen at any time without warning. Older guests typically provide the shower of cash and bridesmaids collect it for the bride.
Families Catering To Each Other
The bride’s mother traditionally offers food services at a Nigerian wedding. Extended family members assist. Food trays are constantly traded between the families throughout the wedding to demonstrate the connection between them.
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