Real weddings

A Yoruba traditional wedding

At one point in time we’ve all come across seen beautiful pictures of Nigerian weddings. Their weddings are colourful, and the people are dressed so well in their beautiful dresses. Their weddings are marked with joyous music from contemporary Nigerian music and their dances are those you can never forget. Nigeria has been able to invent clever ways to combine traditions with modern themes as can be seen at the wedding of Olawumi Obajemu and Olaide Ojewale which was held on the 31st of July.

Olawumi Obajemu and Olaide Ojewale

Before the final day of the traditional wedding ceremony, there’s a process that has to be followed. The bride and groom’s family meet when the groom visits the bride’s family at an informal occasion to know each other. The groom’s family bring with them fruits, drinks and some other items as required by the bride’s family.  Introductions are done and they discuss on when the traditional wedding ceremony will be held. 

Olawumi and Olaide’s traditional wedding ceremony was a rustic garden themed wedding. The bride’s dress determines what the rest of the female guests wear and so she chooses any type of fabric that appeals to her. She also chooses the color theme of which complements the groom’s outfit. The groom could choose to wear an Agbada, which is a two-layered material of heavy material of heavy dimensions. Olawumi and Olaide opted for the complete Aso-Oke attire.

The day begins with the ‘Alaga Ijoko’ officiating and coordinating the proceedings as per the tradition. A letter reading is done by a lady from the groom’s family whereby they ask the hand of the woman in marriage. The bride’s family responds to the letter as well, granting permission. Thereafter, there is a presentation of the items requested by the bride’s family from the groom’s family. The bride price is then paid. Bride price differs from family to family and this can be negotiated.

After the proceedings, the groom is called and introduced to the bride’s family and upon meeting all requirements, the groom is allowed to seat on one of the two large chairs in front of the guests.

Thereafter, the bride is heralded into the venue of the ceremony, with her friends and/or sisters followed by her friends who will be dressed in traditional attires, and they enter with boisterous dances. The bride goes through a few protocols and she is given money as she is introduced to the groom’s family before she takes her place beside the groom. The bride feeds the groom as a way of showing she will perform her wifely duties.

The day is then completed with music and dance in celebration of the wedding of the couple. It is not mandatory to have a modern after the traditional wedding as the traditional wedding is considered as a legal marriage.

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