One of the reasons why I took a leap and went to Mbaise for the New Year was to attend my uncle’s wedding, a typical Igbo traditional wedding.
In the past I had missed weddings in the family because I was either at school or working, this time I had some free time on my hands, so I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity.
Traditional Weddings in Igbo land are called “Igba Nkwu”.
So on the 2nd of January 2021, we went to” Igba Nkwu” nwanyi in Mbaise.
Typically regardless of where you are based in the world, an Igbo traditional wedding would always happen in the village, i.e the girl’s father’s house or compound. While some men have been known to travel far distance for their wedding, my uncle was lucky as the woman he choose to marry is also from Mbaise, hence we didn’t have to travel a long distance.
Prior to the traditional wedding, an introduction of both groom and bride families had been done, in Igbo it is called “Ihiajuju” “asking; coming to know where the girl is from and the groom bringing is people to the bride’s family.
Based on the outcome of the introduction, the wedding is either cancelled or proceeds to the next stage.
The next stage is sending a list which contains all items the groom is excepted to come with on the wedding day. There are usually two lists sent to the groom, one is for the bride’s mother and the other for the bride’s father.
Fun fact, the list is not written by the mother or father of the bride, they are written by the village aunties and uncles, the good thing is the bride’s father and mother can intercede on the groom’s behalf to have somethings removed from the list.
The list had items like clothes, yams, jewleries, bags, rice, salt, stock fish, lantan, big box, drinks, groundnut oil, money and so on. The number of these items differs from family to family, nothing is set on stone.
My grandmother helped with getting the items on the list and on the morning of the wedding, we spent time putting everything together plus hiring a bus to take all to the bride’s house.
Since the bride was also from Mbaise, we didn’t have to leave early to get there. We left home by past 12pm and got there sometime around 1. That was good time.
We didn’t go alone, my grandma had her village people, families and more, had about two buses filled with people to the venue from our village. Like they say, it takes a village to train a child, so I guess it takes a village to also get wedded.
On getting to the venue, everything was set, chairs, canopy, music and the bride was having her make up done. We went in to say hello and soon after we arrived the ceremony began.
The wedding could not start without the grooms family.
The MC took over; the ceremony was opened with prayers to God using Orji (Kolanut), then greeting of everyone present and calling on the bride to come greet her visitors.
This was the first outing of the bride.
She came out dressed in her regalia Igbo attire, beaded from head to toe smiling and dancing led by her friends. While greeting people seated, she also sprayed them with perfumes, my guess is, she wants them to smell nice plus a way of saying thank you for coming.
I also noticed some of her friends went selling eggs as the greeting was happening. I joined her friends to sell eggs too, what we did was go from person to person with our basket of eggs, the person drops any amount and picks one egg.
Apparently this tradition is to show her talent in business and she would bring wealth to the family.
Once that was done, the bride went back inside with her friends.
Next the MC called on the bride’s and groom’s parent, each dancing and greeting their guest.
After all the dancing and greeting, it was time for the wine carrying ceremony.
This is where the bride is given a cup of wine by her father to go into the crowd and show her husband. The bride goes into the crowd, searches for wherever the groom is seated, kneels in front of him and offers him the wine.
Once he drinks it, they are official married!
From there, groom and bride proceed to the bride’s father for prayers.
For my uncle’s, he wasn’t in the country so his senior brother stood in the gap for him and drank the wine.
Next, we continued dancing, eating and drinking.
When it was time to go home, the bride packed her box, changed her clothes and followed us home, she has officially become part of our family.
This my friend is a breakdown of all that went down.
Glad I could experience it and I wish the latest couples in town a happy married life.