Thursday, June 13, 2013

Saying I do, Nigerian Style...Wedding series


I promised to one day blog about my wedding and the day has finally come :-). I wanted to save it up for my 100th-post anniversary which coincidentally falls in line with my 1-year blog anniversary (that was not intentional).

I will be blogging about my wedding this week and next which coincidentally will be my 100th post. So sit back, relax and enjoy! I love re-living the 2 days we spent celebrating and I hope you enjoy reading as well. It feels like just yesterday.

So here is some background. This was taken from the program we handed out at our Nigerian (Yoruba) ceremony.

The Yoruba Wedding Ceremony

Marriage is an essential institution in the Yoruba culture thus the wedding is a social affair entailing elaborate ceremonies and activities. These will include, dancing, singing, performing, praying and of course, lots of food. Marriage between a man and a woman is seen as not just bringing the two people together, but also uniting two families.
Traditional marriage consists of two parts. The Introduction & The Engagement. It is now common for these two to flow into each other as they are held on the same day while the wedding ceremony for a Christian couple takes place the following day in the church. This is akin to the practice in the Biblical times when a bride is betrothed to her husband but the wedding celebration is at a future time.

The Introduction is the part of the ceremony where the groom’s family introduces themselves to the bride’s family and also makes known their intention to ask for the hand of the bride (from the bride’s family) in marriage to their son. This is done through the help of a spokesperson on both sides of the families. The spokesperson on the groom’s side is referred to as The Standing Policeman (“Olopa Iduro” in the Yoruba language). The spokesperson on the bride’s side is referred to as The Sitting Policeman (“Olopa Ijoko” in the Yoruba language). Most of the exchanges will be between The Standing Chairman and The Sitting Chairman. A proposal letter written by the groom’s family is presented to the bride’s family and in return, an acceptance letter is given to the groom’s family and the engagement follows.
The Engagement is the part where the groom’s family is expected to bring the ‘symbolic’ items listed in the engagement list given to them. This list is often agreed upon ahead of time and may include some of the following items: yams, honey, salt, fish, drinks, a suitcase of clothes for the bride, The Bible, an engagement ring, etc. Each of these items has its own significant symbolism which serves as the spring board for prayers during the ceremony. The groom will present the bride with her engagement ring. Both the bride and groom are then prayed for by the heads of both families including their parents and others appointed on each family’s behalf.
After prayers, families and friends of the bride and groom are invited to eat and dance. 

Without further ado, here are pictures from our Yoruba ceremony.

My handsome hubby (then fiance) showing off his agbada (the outfit he has on. It was hand embroided just for us in Nigeria. We LOVED the way it turned out.

Check out his new shoes bought especially for the occasion :-). Shoulda worn brown socks though...

All dolled up and ready to make my debut!

Me after I got dolled up and before I was led out by my friends.

J and his family waiting for my arrival. 

Some of my friends escorted me out dancing. They were really sweet to participate.

The family spokepersons. The lady in green was for J's side and the one in pink was for my side. J's and my family met with our individual representatives before the event. And yes, they get paid for this stuff. They were really nice though and we were glad my parents picked them.

My dad praying for me before I "left" his house to go to another. It was a powerful prayer. I love my parents so much!

Some of the "gifts" given by J's family to my family.

J's parents waiting for their bride. In our culture, the family is the one asking for the girl's hand in marriage. I am covered up here. They were asked if this was the bride the came for and of course they answered yes :-). I was then officially accepted into their family.

J with my parents. They have officially accepted him into our family.

We are one. Here J is putting a ring on it :-).

Our cake. It was quite yummy but I didn't even get a chance to have much (we shared a piece as part of the ceremony) because it was gone baby gone!

Afterwards, we danced and took pictures with friends and well wishers. You'll notice most of the guests on my side had on something gold or mustard color. That is called "aso-ebi" which means standing together. Its a way of showing that I have people behind me. You know...I've got people :-)...silly attempt at humor.


  1. these are just gorgeous..i love how the Nigerian culture is so rich and looked stunning in your outfit too!!

  2. J, I have been waiting for this day for forever :). You definitely did not dissapoint with the pictures and narration. Love love love this post.

    You look amazing. I love the color scheme and the meaning behind everything. Nigerians definitely know how to celebrate.

    Can't wait to see the rest, you were truly a beautiful happy bride.

    1. Thanks. I hope to do our wedding pics this week.

  3. What a fantastic celebration! I loved everything about this! You were so great at recalling so many details!

    So funny! Sean wore brown socks when he should have worn black! I still mention it to him when I look at our wedding pictures, lol.

    1. LOL...Men just don't get it with the socks :-)

  4. I loved this post sooooo much. I love traditions and culture and I love that J's family took part in it all. Noting more beautiful!

    You all looked stunning! Can't wait to read more...yey :D

  5. Awwwww lovely! Classic yourba wedding! Lovely pictures!


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