A traditional Igbo Nigerian wedding is not just an event between bride and groom but also involves the parents, the extended family and the village people. After the groom asks his bride to marry him, he will then visit the bride’s home escorted by his father. The groom’s father will introduce himself and explain the purpose of his visit.
The bride’s father will acknowledge and welcome the guests; he will proceed to question his daughter to see if she “knows” the groom. Her yes confirmation shows that she agrees with the marriage proposal.
The Bride’s Price (Ika-Akalika)-Igbo Nigerian Wedding
Is one of the most crucial parts of an Igbo Nigerian wedding. This involves the groom, his father and family elders visiting the bride’s home prior to the marriage ceremony.
The groom and his entourage will present wine and kola nuts to the bride’s father followed by a dinner and finally the bride’s price negotiation between the two fathers. This transaction is more symbolic than tangible except for the prerequisites of goats, chicken, wine, kola nuts etc. The negotiations can take time but can truly offer the wedding guests a hearty feast. Learn how to make a traditional Nigerian cocktail
”anaghi alusi nwanyi alusi”, and that literally translated means, that the worth of a woman cannot be quantified in material terms.” Andre U
The day of the bride’s price payment is also conducted at the bride’s home. The groom’s family will then present the agreed upon items such as money and other prerequisites. Relatives and friends are served food and drinks while the items are confirmed. The traditional wedding day is selected after the bride’s price ceremony is concluded.
There are two wedding ceremonies in an Igbo Nigerian Wedding:
1. The traditional marriage ceremony, Igba Nwku
2. A white wedding which is conducted 3 days after the traditional marriage ceremony
In a traditional Igbo Nigerian wedding ceremony, the ceremony begins with a special dance. The bride and her bridesmaids dance to welcome the guests. The ceremony is usually conducted at the bride’s home. The bride will then walk around the room selling boiled eggs to her guest, this symbolizes that she is able to support herself and her family if needed.
The bride’s father will give the bride a wooden cup (Iko) filled with palm wine. As this is being conducted, the groom will stealthily hide among the guests, until his bride finds him. An Igbo Nigerian wedding is not official until the bride locates her groom, offers him a sip of her palm wine and he happily drinks from the cup.
The couple will also dance while guests wish the newlyweds prosperity by throwing money on and around them or even on their forehead.