Nigerian Traditional Weddings: Requirements,List And Ceremonies In Different Parts Of The Country

Traditional marriages in Nigeria are quite colorful with lots of different traditional wedding dresses and attires on display

also the carrying out of marriage traditions Etc

This article will explain to you details on how traditional marriage is carried out in Nigeria among Nigerian ethnic 
groups including the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria i.e the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba traditional weddings.

Traditional Wedding / Marriage In Nigeria

Most tribes in Nigeria attach a lot of significance when it comes to traditional marriages in Nigeria,take for example whenever a married Nigerian couple decides to separate or divorce,the bride price the husband paid on the wife must be returned to him,in other to annul the marriage.

Most Nigerians see the traditional marriage as the real  marriage,some couples decide not to perform the white wedding or court wedding after traditional marriage. 

Understanding The Processes Of Traditional Weddings In Nigeria 

When a man see's a woman he desires to get married to in Nigeria,he must follow the following steps below,even if he is a white man or foreigner. 

  • Introduction of the suitor to the bride’s family.
  • Family requirements / List of both families involved in the marriage.
  • --
  • Picking a date for the wedding ceremony.
  • Paying the bride price by the groom and handing over of the bride to the groom.

Stage 1:
Family Introduction

This is the first stage when it comes to traditional marriage in Nigeria,the suitor and his family will visit his potential wife's family and explain their intention to them,which is to marry their daughter. 

Usually the daughter will be sent for and she will come and greet her guests and confirm that indeed she is aware of their visit. 

In some cases,the suitor might visits the future wife's house with hot drinks and some light refreshments when coming for the introduction. 

Stage 2: 
Marriage List & Requirements 

If the introduction was successful,and the lady accepts to marry the man,they will be told to visit back to come and collect the traditional wedding list. 

After much deliberation,the list will be prepared and given back to the man looking to take a bride. 
He and his family is expected to provide all the items listed in the list before the traditional wedding day. 

Sometimes if the items listed on the traditional marriage list is too expensive,the family of the suitor can ask the family of the bride to adjust or remove some items.

Stage 3: 
Picking A Date For The Traditional Wedding

The suitor and his family must have gotten all the items required for the traditional marriage,then they will visit his future wife's family and ask for a date when the traditional wedding will take place,according to the brides custom and traditions.

After they have agreed on a particular date,the suitor and his family will leave and start making other wedding preparations like printing of traditional invitation cards,baking of cake,invitation of family and friends Etc

Final Stage: 
Traditional Wedding Day (Paying the bride price by the groom and handing over of the bride to the groom)

On the day of the wedding,the both families will gather for the payment of the bride price.
A copy of the list handed over to the suitors family will be brought and cross checked,all the items listed will be checked and accounted for,if all the items required are complete,an elder or a representative of the bride’s family will signal and give a sign to others that all the marriage requirements have been met.

Tribes like the Urhobo, Ishan, Edo, Ijaw and Itsekiri will ask for the presentation of the bride price first and the bride will give her final consent for the marriage before the ceremony will proceed.

After this,the father of the bride or a male family representing the father will gives blessings to the couple,and then the bride is handed over to the groom.

After this,they can now be called Husband and Wife,the marriage has then been established,refreshment ,entertainment,dancing and merriment will then commence. 

Traditional Wedding Ceremonies In Other Parts of Nigeria

Generally traditional weddings or marriages follow almost the same method or trend,the difference however is the amount of money spent and the requirements listed for the wedding. 

When it comes to taking a bride from the Igbos,the cost and requirements is the most expensive in Nigeria. 

The Christian Igbo's occupy the south eastern region of Nigeria.

The suitor will be required to buy items for different groups affiliated to the brides family which includes the Umuada or Kindred Daughters, Umunna or Kinsmen, N’mepe Uzo or Opening of Gate Etc

All this will cost a lot of money,it is also speculated that the bride price and requirements for marriage of a girl from Imo State is the highest when compared to other eastern Nigerian states.

In Northern Nigeria,home to the muslim Hausas,the bride price and the cost of marriage is the lowest in Nigeria.

The bride price called ''Rubu Dinar'' in Hausa (meaning a quarter kilogram of gold piece in Arabic) is what the suitor is requested to pay.
The Hausa prefer the bride price to be low and cheap,because the lowest amount paid produces the most blessed marriage according to the teachings of Islam.

This might be the reason why most muslim men marry a lot of wives. 
The Christian/Muslim Yoruba's occupy the western territory of Nigeria.
When it comes to bride price,the cost is relatively low,but a lot of money is usually spent on merriment at the reception because the Yoruba's are known for their parties.

Also the bride price is also low among minority groups occupying the south south region of Nigeria like the Urhobo,the Ishan Etc

When it comes to traditional marriage in Nigeria,it all boils down to how rich the both families are,and how flamboyant and lavish they want the marriage to be,a decent low end traditional marriage can also take place in all the traditional ethnic groups in Nigeria.  


  1. Would love to attend Nigerian wedding if will get any chance. Actually I love attending weddings and recently attended reception party at nice venue New York. My friend invited me there and we enjoyed a lot. D├ęcor and food everything was just fabulous. Enjoyed a lot there.


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