So as you know, my cousin Bola got married at Easter in Akure, which is a lil old
village (sorry, couldn’t resist 😉 town in Ondo State in Nigeria. As with most Nigerian weddings, it was a 2 day affair, so this post is about the traditional wedding. White wedding pictures will be posted soon.
Now just a bit of background for anyone not familiar with Nigerian (Yoruba) traditional weddings:
In the Nigerian culture, the traditional wedding (also sometimes called the engagement) is basically viewed as the “real” wedding in the eyes of the couple's family – so once this ceremony has been completed, the couple are essentially married in the eyes of the families and wider community.
The story of the day goes a little something like this:
• The parents of the bride and their supporters are seated centre stage in the venue of choice
• The parents and supporters of the groom come into the room dancing and singing laden with gifts and then kneel in front of the bride’s family to pay their respects before they take their seats opposite the bride’s family
• The groom then comes dancing in and he usually has lots of his male friends - his "boys" - with him to show he has a strong support base. He heads over to the parents of the bride to ask for her hand in marriage and after lots of good-natured teasing and questioning, he then has to prostrate fully (several times) in front of his parents-in-law as a sign of respect and then once he has been given permission to do so, he gets up and embraces his new family. He then goes to sit on the “sweetheart” chair awaiting his beloved
• Then finally, the bride comes dancing in with her “maidens” – she is usually veiled to reflect her modesty. She then first goes over to her parents, who remove her veil, kiss her, pray for her and give her their blessing to join her new family. She dances over to her new family, who warmly welcome her and pray for her. Then once her parents-in-law give her their blessings, she dances over to her husband to present herself, she kneels before him and he lifts her up, embraces her and kisses her and it shows the final acceptance of each other as husband and wife
That's pretty much the high level view but basically the whole ceremony takes a couple of hours with a lot of praying, dancing, singing, hugging and kissing with joy being the overall theme of the day. 🙂
My favorite moments are always i) the groom and his boys “begging” for the bride’s hand in marriage and ii) the bride saying goodbye to her parents as she gets ready to head over to her new family as the bride and her parents usually get a little teary-eyed at this point. I am a sucker for emotion (my husband will testify to this).
Congratulations Bola and Femi – I was very glad to be part of your day and I really do wish you both a blissfully happy married life.
p.s: the rest of the piccies can be found on my Facebook fan page.
Ok - my dad took this one of my mum but I love it so much, I had to post it. Wish I had taken it