In Nigeria, a wedding is much more than a celebration of the union of two people’s lives. A Nigerian wedding is a full-fledged celebration with vibrant colours toe-tapping music, and traditional ceremonies, and it is the union of two complete families. There are over 300 tribes in Nigeria, each having their variations on famous wedding traditions, the most well-known of which are the Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo. As a result, this article will concentrate on Yoruba weddings.
Everything about a proper Yoruba wedding
The Yorubas are well-known for their Owanbe style of making the occasion a memorable day. Be it royal coronation, or newborn baby naming ceremony, or burial ceremony, or house warming – such day is always used as ways to exhibit their art and culture in form of wearing traditional attires, dancing, and eating.
1. Introduction Ceremony
In many cultures, couples follow tradition far before the wedding day. The introduction ceremony, which brings both families together officially for the first time, is the beginning of a traditional Yoruba wedding. They exchange gifts, and the bride’s family will supply the prospective husband with a list of what he must provide to the family in order for them to approve an engagement.
Before the wedding, the woman and her family will usually provide a list of dowry needs to the groom and his family. To put it another way, before the engagement can be officially declared, the groom and his family must present the bride and her family with all of the items on the list. Tubers of yams, clothing, colanut, bitter cola, stockfish, soft drinks, she-goat, Schnapps, and all acceptable dowries. If the groom is unable to present these materials, the engagement will be cancelled.
An Alaga is a wedding officiant, or emcee, whose purpose it is to heckle the groom and his buddies for the wedding guests’ pleasure. In person, she’s a traditional woman, and it’s a delight to observe. The Alaga creates a live theatre production of wedding ceremony customs, incorporating dancing, music, and humour to keep guests engaged during the hour-long performance.
4. The Aso Ebi Gang
Without the aso ebi gang, the wedding would be incomplete. The bridal train, also known as the aso ebi gang, is comprised of the bride’s friends, including the chief bridesmaid. The aso ebi ladies are there to lift the bride’s spirits, share joy, and provide assistance. This company is always eager to show off their gowns, which are wonderfully embellished to complement the bride and enhance the occasion.
A gele is a Yoruba bride’s traditional, ornate headdress. A Gele is also worn by the bridesmaids and their families to celebrate the day’s cultural traditions. The Gele (for the ladies) and Fila (for the groom) are normally purchased from a seamstress who tailors everything to match. In order for the celebration to appear energetic and harmonic, even the guests are required to wear gele of the same hue as the bride and groom.
6. Aso-Ebi Dress
Aso ebi literally translates to “family garments or wedding uniform.” When it comes to what their guests wear, Yoruba couples assign a colour to the bride’s family and another colour to the groom’s family.
7. There will be two ceremonies
The majority of Yoruba couples have three wedding ceremonies: the first is cultural and contains the majority of traditional Yoruba elements. The second is usually a religious ceremony held in a church, on the beach, or in a garden. A separate officiant presides over each ceremony.
During the procedure, the groom is required to prostrate. Traditionally, the groom and his groomsmen will lie face down on the ground at the feet of the bride’s family. The groom expresses his gratitude to the bride’s family for raising his future wife in this way. During the wedding, the groom must earn the affection and respect of the bride’s family, and this is one way he does it. As a symbol of respect, the groom and groomsmen prostrate themselves at the feet of the groom’s parents.
Food is frequently provided by the bride’s family for the after-ceremony reception. The bride’s mother and family traditionally prepare the full feast in her own kitchen. Couples can also employ a Yoruba caterer to provide a real, home-cooked meal for their guests to enjoy on and off the dance floor.
10. Wedding Cake
During a traditional Yoruba wedding custom (though this is a borrowed culture from the western nations), the bride and groom cut a cake! The bride may be told to give the cake and wine to her husband to demonstrate how she will serve his supper at the ceremony to symbolise love and sweet pleasure. A typical Yoruba wedding makes use of palm wine to perform this rite.
11. Proposal and Acceptance
The groom’s family is required to write a letter of intent to the bride’s parents prior to the wedding. This letter is given to the bride’s family as a symbol of a proposal. A member of the bride’s family usually reads the letter aloud, after which the groom is accepted on behalf of the bride’s family.
12. Bridal Shower
This article would be incomplete without a discussion of the bridal shower, which is common for the bride and her friends. This celebration might be planned by the bride or her friends. They’ll sing, dance, and snap pictures while asking the bride questions about how she met the groom. This is similar to a girl’s time out.
13. Money Spraying
Spraying money on the bride is a long-standing Yoruba wedding culture. This can be done at any time, but it’s very popular when the newlyweds take to the dance floor. Older guests are more likely to throw money. The bridesmaids are in charge of collecting all of the money that has been flung.
14. Music and Dance
Many of the popular wedding songs or trending songs are played in Nigerian weddings, and many of the popular wedding songs or trending songs are played. Recently, the bride and groom have had the option of doing dancing movements or singing songs to their spouses. The dance floor is expected to fill up with people of all ages busting out diverse dance moves when the DJ drops one of these tunes.
15. The lift Test
It is not an important aspect of Yoruba marriage ceremony that a groom is required to be able to carry his new bride over a threshold, similar to the western tradition of carrying a bride over a threshold, to indicate that he has the strength to care for her during their marriage.
The amount of money spent on weddings in Nigeria is astounding, with some couples willing to use their life saving since they feel that weddings are only done once. This has attracted international attention to Nigerian weddings. Some couples are willing to go to their preferred destination to celebrate their wedding.
Above all, Yoruba weddings are a lot of fun! If you are allowed to attend this important cultural event, you will not be disappointed!