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What You Should Anticipate at a Traditional Nigerian Wedding

Nigerian Wedding

Languages, religions, civilizations, and traditions abound throughout Nigerian Wedding. The three largest tribes in Nigeria are Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba, with an estimated 371 other tribes. Muslims live in the north of the country, whereas Christians live in the south. Nigerian Wedding ceremonies around the world are frequently elaborate, multi-day celebrations with many local nuances. Everyone is frequently invited, your attire may vary depending on whose side of the family you come from, and money practically pours down.

Every tribe’s wedding has several facets, starting with the proposal. For Igbo and Yoruba people, the church ceremony is followed by the traditional Nigerian Wedding, which is known as the “white wedding” because of the color of the bride’s dress. There may be days, weeks, or months between the two ceremonies. The white wedding traditionally occurs in a church, but contemporary couples are choosing non-denominational venues.

Here are some things to look forward to at a Nigerian wedding.


  1. The Bride’s Price

The majority of Nigerian tribes all require the guy to give the bride’s family a predetermined list of items before the marriage event can take place. The bride fee is also referred to as eru iyawo in Yoruba and rubu dinar in Hausa. This is merely a symbolic action to demonstrate the man’s financial ability to support her and their growing family; it does not imply that the lady is being sold.

This can often be rather expensive, and the cost rises if the woman has a university degree. This is also to make up to the bride’s family for the loss of income or labor he is exacting from the family by marrying her and taking her away. Once it is established that the groom’s family has provided all the necessary goods, the wedding function can begin. The bride price is typically a combination of money and gifts, such as clothing, housewares, food, and occasionally animals.

  1. Kola Nut Ritual

The sour fruit of the kola tree is known as the kola nut. For many tribes, breaking the kola nut heralds the beginning of any customary event and serves as a means for elders to greet visitors. The more pieces a kola nut breaks into, the greater prosperity the hosts and guests will enjoy. The nuts must first be sanctified before being broken.


  1. Wedding Attire

The bride dons a white wedding gown, while the husband dons a suit for a church wedding. Later, at the reception, they might decide to dress more traditionally. The attire at traditional weddings differs depending on the tribe.

Ladies typically don an iro and buba, a colorful wrapper and top garment that is typically lavishly beaded, coupled with a veil and an ipele shoulder scarf, at traditional Yoruba weddings. They also have a fan and a gele tied (an ornate head wrap). The color of the agbada, an enormous kaftan made of asa-oke fabric worn by the men, invariably matches the fabric of the bride. Through the course of the event, couples frequently exchange glances.


  1. Party Food

No visitor may leave a wedding in Nigeria without food, according to custom. Jollof rice, which is so closely associated with weddings that it is frequently referred to as “party rice” or “wedding rice,” would likely be served in hefty portions. 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.

It often serves what it refers to as “little chops” for the cocktail hour or the appetizers, such as meat pies, sausage rolls, samosas, puff puff, chin chin, and spicy meat skewers called suya. Since there is such intense excitement surrounding the cuisine, it is usual to offer both buffet and plated service with a variety of selections to satisfy all palates. 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.

  1. Wedding Favors

When you leave a Nigerian wedding with branded party favors bearing the names, wedding dates, and photos of the happy couple, you’ll know you were there. Fans, kitchen items, clocks, and even power banks are among them. One of the best ways to experience Nigeria’s diversity is to attend a wedding. Come for the food, flying cash, and festivities; stay for the memories, maybe even a personalized clock (or two).


Frequently asked questions

What happens at a Nigerian wedding?

Every Nigerian wedding includes a “spraying,” in which visitors throw cash at the newlyweds while they dance. Dollar bills are typically used for this, which serves as a means to bless them, keep them dancing, and give them money to begin their married lives. The bridesmaids are in charge of gathering the funds.


Why is marriage so important in Nigeria?

Marriage is one of the most significant social practices in Nigeria since it confers respect and status on a person, which puts pressure on many single people to get hitched.


What do guests wear to a Nigerian wedding?

You will be expected to dress in Aso-Ebi, also known as “Family Clothes,” for the bride and groom, depending on whose side of the family you come from. Since the majority of the wedding’s clothing is created to order or by a person the bride and groom know, family members typically choose the colors and fabrics that the guests will wear.

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