Nigerian weddings come in various sizes, ethnicities as well as requirements and are possibly the most extravagant, festive, costly, loving, tasking, exciting, unforgettable, and important events you will ever attend to celebrate a marital union. People have risked their material possessions, as well as their physical and mental states, to partake in these ceremonies – from those directly involved all the way to guests.
But don’t let this deter you. Here are 11 tips to make sure you emerge from a daunting traditional wedding ceremony in Nigeria and say, “I survived”.
- Fulfil all familial requirements for a smooth-running ceremony
Let’s start here, as without a green light from the families of the betrotheds, there would be no wedding in the first place. Both families need to painstakingly ensure that all the boxes have been ticked; from ethnic backgrounds, to formal introductions, to payments of brideprice and dowries (where applicable), to consulting those playing key roles in executing the wedding rites, such as elders.
Everyone must be taken care of and be on the same page before the guests can be involved.
- Lock your asoebi down!
This must be reiterated. From purchase to styling and sewing, ensure you have an adequate amount of time before the wedding date to get your asoebi house in order. Again, this cannot be overemphasised. Have you heard about Nigerian tailors and last minute palavers?
You don’t want that. This tip is for everyone; couples, family, and guests. The type of material might not be up to you in the end, but the best you can do for comfort is to choose a style that won’t weigh you down or hold you back in anyway on that day. Attend a traditional Nigerian wedding, and you would understand why.
- Comfortable headgear and shoes
Still on the issue of clothing, but deserving of their own category. Overly tight and uncomfortable headgear and shoes will ruin your fun at a traditional wedding – particularly one that’s popping! While the headgear is said to complete your look, some choose to go without it, and it’s still fine. But you cannot skip shoes. And for some reason, you might find yourself having to do a bit of walking at a traditional wedding, and depending on the location for the wedding, the terrain might not be the friendliest for your shoes or your feet. Even with comfy shoes, as a woman, you might want to have a pair of flops stowed away somewhere. Also, if you wish for optimum results on the dance floor, you seriously want to reconsider how you dress.
- Travel light
A small purse/handbag or satchel, in which your necessities can fit, should be the biggest accessory on your person when attending a traditional wedding. Because of the common “come one, come all” policy around them, traditional weddings can get quite busy. And when it’s party time, you might not find anyone to help you look out for your personal belongings.
- Go “plus one” or more
This is advisable for the issue of watching out for belongings, not feeling awkward (if you’re not close to the couple’s families), getting and watching out for gift bags, picking money sprayed on you off the floor so strangers don’t, having designated drivers, and just because it can generally be more fun.