Due to the numerous ethnicity in Nigeria, traditions vary so too does the Nigerian Traditional Wedding. Nigeria has an estimated 371 tribes with 3 main tribes being Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. The major religions are Christianity and Muslims. These weddings come in various sizes and requirements, some can be really extravagant, tasking and exciting to make it an unforgettable experience. Some people have risked both their material possessions and mental health to make sure these ceremonies happen nevertheless you have nothing to fear as you’ll be getting these tips on how to survive these weddings. Traditional weddings in Nigeria are really colorful with numerous cultural intricacies.
Fulfill All the Family-related Rights & Requirements
This is the bedrock of a hitch-free ceremony without family issues as if there’s no agreement between both families there would be no wedding. Both families have to make sure they come to a consensus ranking from the ethnic backgrounds, to formal introductions, to payments of bride price and dowries (where applicable), to consulting those playing key roles in executing the wedding rites, such as elders. They all have to be on the same page with no one left out on the arrangements.
The design for “Aso-Ebi”
The Aso-Ebi design should be for the ground before involving guests: As funny as it might sound you have to get it down in plentiful to go round whilst it has been made available for guests as early as possible, from purchase to styling and sewing, ensure you have an adequate amount of time before the wedding date to get your Aso-Ebi house in order. If you’ve attended a Nigerian traditional wedding you sure would know why this point can’t be really over-emphasized. What have you heard about Nigerian tailors and last minutes disappointments? Just to avoid these known disappointments, an adequate amount of time is required. If eventually there’s not much time, choose a style that won’t be difficult so it doesn’t weigh you down.
Eat before leaving home
As a guest don’t make the mistake of attending ceremonies on an empty stomach as it doesn’t always go as planned, it’s okay to leave some space for the “party rice” but don’t go completely starving. It’s best to prepare for any eventualities that might arise, it’s unpredictable how the catering services at traditional weddings are.
Relating to the tip before this, just for added advantage if you have connections you’ll not be left hungry, you could directly or indirectly know who is behind the counter and who’s probably sharing the souvenir later so at every point you always have your package served. Also, acknowledge the presence of elders as you might not know who’ll be handling catering in the reception or the next wedding.
Prepare for weather surprises properly
Since the traditional weddings are mostly done outdoors, it’s advised to prepare for whatever season the wedding is happening, sunshades and sunscreens for a sunny day, a hand fan for hot a day, an umbrella in case it showers, and many more. Most people after coming unprepared, a slight change in weather will send them packing just when the party is yet to kick off.
Save up enough energy
As a guest attending a Nigerian traditional wedding, you have to save up enough energy for the part when it goes crazy. Bus as for the families or friends who play key roles in the ceremony this tip might just be needling to you.
With these tips, you are sure to emerge from a Nigerian traditional wedding and say “I survived”.
What to Expect At A Nigerian Traditional Wedding?
Nigerian traditional weddings are very lavish, with colorful attires, lots of food, and traditions that make you wish you were Nigerian. Every Nigerian home is unique in its celebration either through culture, religion, language and more. When it comes to the outfits, they are always extravagant and stunning representing their heritage. The entire wedding concierge might coordinate their outfits so one can easily identify which side of the family the guests represent. But you are also welcome to dress in any way suitable to you.
What Is a Nigerian Bride Price?
When it comes to bride price in Nigerian tribes it is quite universal, as the man is to provide an agreed set of items for the bride’s family before the marriage takes place. This doesn’t mean that she is being sold, it just shows a symbolic gesture to prove that the man is capable of taking care of her and their new family financially.
Although, this can be quite exorbitant and the price increases if the woman has had a university degree. The groom’s family brings the requested items and once it’s determined that they have met the requirements, the ceremony can go ahead. The bride includes cash and gifts ranging from clothes, household goods, foods and sometimes animals.
The Breaking of Kola Nut
Kola nut is a bitter fruit from the kola tree. The breaking of the kola nut signifies the start of any traditional event for many tribes and it is a way for elders to welcome guests. The kola nuts must be blessed first before they are broken and the more parts the kola nut breaks into, the prosperity the hosts and visitors will receive.
In Nigerian Traditional weddings, money spraying is the highlight of the Nigerian wedding reception. Guests spray the couple with cash on the dance floor as a way of showering them with blessings and make them happy and dance more. A live band or DJ is always on standby to give them different genres of music especially local songs in their dialects or afro beats and contemporary music.
The couples can receive a lot of money this way to begin their married life as the bridesmaids help to pick up all the cash from the floor. The longer the couple dance, the more money they receive and they will be sprayed any time they are on the dance floor. So make sure to fill your wallet with cash and get ready to party.
The Wedding Food
Nothing beats a Nigerian party jollof at a wedding, as it has been symbolic to make sure everyone eats well. Jollof rice which is the headline dish at Nigerian weddings. There is still a lot of rivalry between Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof. We still have to remember small chops too like sausage rolls, puff puff, chin chin, samosas, spicy meat skewers or suya, meat pie. It is ideal to have both buffet and plated service with an array of options to appease all palates since there is fierce excitement around the food. At traditional weddings, the main dish is swallow (these are foods you swallow and not chew) like semovita, fufu eaten with local soups.