|Traditional Nigerian Wedding by demoiselle|
Well, there is no wedding video here. This is not about my wedding video, LOL! It is about what I consider Less Expensive But Classy when it comes to Nigerian Wedding. It is also about what is "acceptable wedding" in the Nigerian Society.
In the past, Nigerian weddings were less stressful and cheaper. Then people wedded according to what obtained in their tribes. Then, the Aso-ebi was more of a Yoruba thing. The only weddings where people attended in uniformed dresses were those by The Yorubas. A bride and groom from another part of the country focused on what obtains in their tribes and just did that.
Again the Aso-ebi was only used during the Church (white) Wedding. The Traditional Marriage Ceremony was usually conducted without friends of the bride and groom making Uniform dresses. The highlight is just the bride and groom who attend dressed in their traditional attires. The bride picked her 'colors' for just the Church Wedding alone. For the Registry and Tradition, guests were free to wear what ever they chose.
The trend has really shifted, and shifted even more in our twenty first centuryNigeria, which is a
good thing because "change must come". Right Now, the term 'Aso ebi' is a general Nigerian word. I do not know what happens in the North, but for other parts of the country, Every couple choses an Asoebi, regardless of your tribe or Geopolitical zone. It is no longer a Yoruba thing. There is now Aso-Ebi in weddings of Nigerians from The South-South, South-East and South-West.
Aside from the use of Aso-Ebi in Nigeria, There is another trend, which is, Every couple Performing three types of Wedding. A Nigerian who is planning a wedding, does not just plan a one day wedding. Here, it is not a one day affair.It has to be planned to take two or even three days before the ceremonies are completed. A typical Nigerian wedding takes the form of:
|Nigerian Traditional Wedding Cakes courtesy gist me .com|
- The Traditional Marriage performed in the bride Parents' home. In some tribes, this must be done in the brides village, in her Family Compound. Here, the Groom or his Parents pay the bride-Price to the Family of his wife to be. A lot of items are presented to the bride's family. The kinsmen are given whatever they ask for. In some tribes, a list of what is required by the bride's family is handed over to the groom, whose responsibility it is to provide every item in that list, on the day of the Marriage Ceremony. The major thing required by tradition is the Bride-Price. In some cultures, it is called the engagement Ceremony, as the Church Wedding is seen as the real deal.
- The Registry Marriage is performed after the Traditional Marriage. In many cases, this one is not very elaborate. On this day, the couple, their witnesses who may be their parents and sometimes a few friends drive to the Registry, sign the necessary documents and head back home. Sometimes there is no Refreshments after this, and people are not very particular as they look forward to the soon-coming-elaborate-Wedding-Reception. I think that The Registry Marriage may have been forgotten by now, if not for that powerful Certificate that comes with it.* I always wear a funny smile every time I see this "Paper" being handed over to the woman exclusively* (Why not the groom??) ha ha ha... For many couples, The Traditional marriage is usually fixed for Wednesday, The Registry comes up on Thursday while Friday is left free To accommodate the Bachelors and Spinsters' Night.
- The Church Wedding by the Christians OR The Islamic Wedding by the Muslims.This is the one some people call The main the main. The Church wedding is the Highlight of all three. This is the day every one has been looking forward to. The day of all days. It is a day full of activities. This is when the actual Carnival takes place. We all know what happens on this day, do I still need to talk about it. The day of " I Better Pass My Friend dressing." The day of all assorted orishi rishi Aso-Ebis, the day of great fun and excitement, the day for wearing dancing shoes, the day for all the bottom box and bottom wardrobe outfits. The Church Wedding can take the whole day. Especially when the Sermon is very long. On this day, it feels like a Carnival of some sort, it feels like no one is ready to leave. It's on this kind of day that I had My Great Fall.
There is something quite different that I look forward to. The day I see this happen, is the day I will smile to myself and feel like I have seen My Less Expensive But Classy Nigerian Wedding. I have not seen it before. Some couples may have done it, but as far as I am concerned, I have not witnessed it.
This Nigerian wedding I am talking about is the one that can successfully complete all three types in just one day. The one where the Bride and Groom will have just one day on the Invitation Cards. One day that takes everything from The Traditional African Wedding to the final White Wedding Reception. I used to know it only as the Church wedding not until recently that I learnt the other name ( white wedding) This name sef, me I no understand... Is it telling us that this is not a black man's wedding? OR Is it called White wedding because the bride wears a White Wedding Dress???. Anyway, let me leave that matter for another day.
Organizing and Spending on these three can be very expensive and stressful. In other cultures outside this country, Couples do just one thing and they are married. They perform just what is obtained there. I am wondering why it is different here. Why must couples do all three to be accepted as "Properly Married" Each one of the three types is Independent. None is a part, or a continuation of the other. So, why do we (Nigerians) have to do the Tradition, Church and Court before the Society can accept our union. In Schools, students are taught the three/four types of marriages in Nigeria. They are taught this topic in such a way that they begin to feel like anyone who does just one out of the three is not yet married.
I have witnessed a wedding, where the couple just did the African Traditional Marriage, Invite their Pastor to the Registry where he prays for (blesses) the Marriage and off they go for The Reception. Do you think that the only correct and acceptable thing here is having to do all three or four types of Wedding?