10 Things to Expect At a Nigerian Wedding

Published on: June 9, 2022 (Updated on: April 22, 2024)

Are you curious about what to expect when you are invited to a Nigerian wedding? This article provides insight into ten things to expect at a Nigerian wedding.

Undoubtedly, Nigerian weddings are one of the most interesting and dramatic weddings one can ever attend. All the country's major tribes - Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa -  have unique cultures gladly displayed during their wedding ceremonies.

Join us as we explore ten things to expect at a Nigerian wedding

1. You can expect a double ceremony

The first thing you should expect from a Nigerian wedding is double ceremonies. The first is the traditional wedding, and the second is usually a second celebration at the church. The traditional wedding is usually based on the tribe of the groom or bride. The religious wedding is done in a religious setting. This is called ‘white wedding’ for Christians and ‘Nikah’ for Muslims.

However, it is worth noting that in some cases a church wedding could constitute a statutory marriage (See Traditional vs Statutory Mariage in Nigeria for more) and thus supersede the traditional wedding by recognition in law.

2. Expect a display of cultural custom

Another thing to expect from a Nigerian wedding is the display of the tribe’s customs and traditions. Regardless of the tribe, there is always a display of cultural customs during both traditional weddings and white weddings. This includes cultural dances, traditional greetings, palm wine ceremony, kola nut ceremony, Kamun Amariya, e.t.c. 

3. Extravagant wedding attires

Nigerian weddings stand out for their beautiful and extravagant wedding attires. For the Yoruba traditional wedding, the couples wear Aso oke and Buba. The traditional attire for the Igbo tribe is called Isi Agu. The Hausa traditional wedding attire glamour is not left behind. The Hausa groom wears Babban Riga. His bride wears a gel on her dress like a handkerchief on the head. This follows her bright wedding dress. 

4. Nigerian wedding Aso Ebi

One of the most beautiful things about Nigerian weddings is the creativity behind the guests' matching attire. This is popularly known as Aso Ebi, which means ‘Attire of Family and Friends.’ Still, not everyone attending must come to the wedding in that specific attire. However, attending the wedding in that attire shows you have a close relationship with the couple. 

5. Presentation of bride price

Regardless of the tribe, there will always be a presentation of the bride price at the wedding. A bride's price is the sum of money or quantity of goods paid by the groom to the bride's family.  The money or goods presented to the bride depends entirely on the bride's family. Nevertheless, this is one of the things to expect in a Nigerian wedding.

6. No guest list

Another thing to expect from a Nigerian wedding is the crowd. Most average Nigerian weddings do not have a guest list. In other words, both guests and non-invited guests will be present during the wedding ceremony. However, as state above, wearing Aso-Ebi usually signifies close ties to the bride and groom.

7. Food and drinks varieties

One of the best things to anticipate in a Nigerian wedding is the assortment of food available. At a Nigerian wedding, most guests always leave with a full stomach. There is a lot of traditional food, nontraditional food, dessert, appetizer, soft drinks, alcohol, wine, beer, e.t.c.

8. You should definitely expect music and dance at a Nigerian wedding

Dance and music are essential to Nigerian weddings. Wedding receptions are often marked by the bride changing her dress to display her dance steps. The groom and the bride's parents are also given the dancefloor during the reception. The bridesmaid and groomsmen are not left behind either. The floor is usually full of a lot of dancing talents. 

9. Nigerian wedding money spraying

A Nigerian wedding reception is not complete without money spraying. The wedding guests spray cash on the couples to get them dancing on the dance floor. The bridesmaids help the couples gather all the money from the floor. Even bridesmaids and groomsmen who showcase their dancing steps get sprayed too. 

10. Attendance gifts

Guests are usually given appreciation gifts from the family of the couple. These gifts include cooking utensils, bags, home appliances, jotters, cooking ingredients, and many more. Most of these gifts usually have the couple's picture or names inscribed on them as souvenirs. It also includes words of thanks for being present at the wedding.



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