If there is anything you need to know about Nigerian weddings, it is that they are colorful, vibrant, and are flamboyant.
From the traditional Nigerian wedding ceremony which involves fabrics aka “Aso Ebi” (which means the matching dress of family and friends), to the white wedding ceremony, you can expect to see lavish, elegance and the love for culture on full display. And while a lot of Nigerians have migrated to the Diasporas, many still keep and show their ethnic tradition (in this case Yoruba culture) during wedding ceremonies.
I had the pleasure to not only attend my high school friend’s wedding last December in Atlanta, but also be one of her bridesmaids.
Here are somethings you will (can expect to) experience at a Nigerian wedding;
TRADITION WEDDING ATTIRE
Most Nigerian traditional wedding attire are hand-made and custom-made, so it is very unlikely to see the same traditional attire twice (unless if requested or supplied by the same vendor). People get very creative with their traditional dress and customize it to embody who they are, by integrating beads, stones, fur to the fabric as a statement piece. There is also the “Gele” (which means head-tie/head-wrap) which is wrapped around the head as an accessory. Guest attending the wedding are always welcome to partake in the Aso Ebi act by simply paying for the fabric and then sewing it to a style of preference.
Nigerian weddings can sometimes get out of hand (especially back home in Nigeria) for many reasons, the major one being “mo gbo, mo ya” or “owanbe” which translates to “I heard, I came”. This means that weddings can easily turn into events with hundreds (if not thousands) of guests you have never met or seen in your life. However, here in the United States where venues have capacity limits (and often time the cost is per head), showing up to weddings without being invited is fiddly and frown upon.
The food is VERY important, and Nigerians take their food seriously. Jollof rice and Fried rice are staples at any Nigerian wedding, if those aren’t present then you can expect unhappy/disappointed guests. Other options are swallow with soup (depending on the ethnic group of the couple), finger food, and maybe some westernized dish options.
SPRAYING OF MONEY (aka the money dance)
Nigerians spray money onto the new couple (especially the bride) as a gift at the wedding. As the bride dances, the guests spray her, so you can expect to see bills flying up in the air. The older folks are likely to spray more money to the newly weds than the younger guests.
Nigerians love to have a good time and groove. They love good music especially their afro beat! Once the guests eats and drinks, the next thing is to get on the dance floor and dance away your sorrow (literally lol)! Once the DJ plays songs from artists like Burna boy, Davido, Kiss Daniel and Wizkid then the grooving has officially commenced. Note that there are dance steps for almost every song (I kid you not lol), so I suggest you visit YouTube and learn ahead of time 😉 !
FYI – there will be a lot of “group” dances that almost feels like a choreographed dance, so come prepared with your dancing shoes (or not) lol.
To wrap up, Nigerian weddings are known to be expensive, and since it is known to be a family affair, you can expect the whole family to work together to make it a successful, rich and lively one. While you cannot put the right price tag on such a big and memorable day, you can estimate the cost of a Nigerian wedding between $100,000 to $200,000 (but of course the cost can be lower or higher depending on the couple).
Have you attended a Nigerian wedding before? if so, share your experience below in the comment section. If you have not, are you looking forward to attending one (and feel equipped) after reading this? Go ahead and share your thoughts below, I’d love to read them.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did creating it!