Nigerian Wedding Services
A wedding is no doubt a ‘big day’ in every individual’s life. Wedding traditions and rituals vary according to respective cultures, countries, religions, classes and ethnic groups. But the basic essence of every wedding ceremony remains union of two people in marriage and exchanging of wedding vows. Ring exchange, presenting gifts, flowers, money and certain symbolic items, chanting of prayers and religious texts are common constituents of wedding rites. Then there is the public proclamation of marriage by someone in authority like a priest or father of a church. The couple wears special wedding garments, guests are invited and a wedding reception follows the ceremony.
Like every other culture, African wedding is interesting with its typical features and customs. Nigerian wedding services represent a curious mix of Nigerian and Western traditions. For example, dashiki is the conventional wedding attire for West Africa and the same is often worn by the bride and groom in Nigerian weddings. The distinctive elements of Nigerian wedding services are as follows:
- Nigerian weddings comprise praise and worship songs which are sung during wedding festivities for offering thanks to the Almighty. These songs are also sung to bless a couple.
- Nigerian wedding practices vary according to tribe and religion. A common custom involves introduction of the groom’s family to the bride’s. Thereafter, their daughter’s hand is asked for marriage with their son, followed by offer of dowry, engagement and actual wedding.
- Earlier, couples in Nigeria got married right away following the engagement ceremony, but now registration of the couple with the government before marrying is mandatory as per the current Nigerian law.
- Modern day Nigerian weddings include a mix of traditional wedding rites, church or chapel ceremonies, family celebrations, ring exchanges and wedding cakes.
- Theme weddings are popular these days and the same figures in Nigerian weddings as well. Purple, lilac, coral and champagne gold colors add to the luxurious glow of Nigerian wedding color palettes. Everything from wedding gowns, cakes, decoration, flowers, bouquets, table décor, shoes to headgear reflect these special colors. Shimmers, lace, velvet and sequins feature abundantly from bridal to bridesmaids’ dresses, table linens, cake decorations, hair accessories and lots more. Incorporating ribbons in theme and decoration is a unique facet of Nigerian weddings.
- Nigerian brides love wearing brooches. They not only look great but make awesome keepsakes for years to come. Wedding dresses, accessories, jewelries and shoes combine tradition and chic style. Wedding entrances are nicely decorated with flowers and also thematically designed. Wedding logos and monograms also feature in souvenirs, invitation cards, programs and aisle runners.
- Nigerian weddings can be quite elaborate with feasts and dance or very simple depending on communities. Nowadays, event and wedding planners chart out everything from reception to honeymoon.
- Colors and themes differ according to season and choice of the couple. Red, black and white, teal, coral, pink, turquoise, blue, purple and green are preferred color schemes for Nigerian weddings.
Generally, three types of weddings exist in Nigeria – civil wedding taking place with registry, followed by religious and traditional Nigerian wedding ceremonies. Nigerian wedding services are different with regard to region and tribes. Yoruba, Fulani, Igbo, Hausa, Urhobo, Itshekiri and other tribes have their unique customs and norms. However, all of them are characterized by lots of colors, dance, fun and music.