Traditional Wedding Planning in Edo State (2024)

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Nestled in the south of Nigeria lies Edo State, a place where tradition runs deep and weddings are celebrations bursting with color and joy. If you’re dreaming of a traditional Edo wedding, get ready for an unforgettable experience! Here’s a guide to make your special day a beautiful reflection of Edo’s rich heritage:

Start with a Warm Welcome: The “Introduction Ceremony” kicks everything off. This is more than just meeting the families – it’s about showing respect and setting a good foundation for everything to come. Put some extra heart into this, and it’ll make the whole wedding feel even more special.

traditional marriage edo

The Bride Price: Remember, this isn’t just a formality. It’s a way to honor the bride’s family and build a strong bond between everyone. Approach these discussions with an open mind and a willingness to understand – it’ll make a world of difference.

The Fun Part: The Wine Carrying Ceremony! This is where things get lively! The bride picking out her groom from a lineup is such a playful tradition, and a reminder of the connection between the two of you. Make it even more of a party – add some music, maybe a little friendly competition with the guests, and tell everyone what this ceremony really means.

Dress to Impress: No Edo wedding is complete without the stunning “Okuku” hairstyle and the groom’s flowing “Agbada.” These aren’t just outfits, they’re symbols of Edo pride. Find a local tailor who really knows their stuff – they’ll make sure you look and feel amazing.

Set the Scene: Think of your decor as a way to tell the story of Edo’s traditions. Use rich colors, traditional patterns, and maybe even some local crafts. It’ll make the whole space feel so much more special. Hiring someone who knows Edo weddings inside and out can really take the stress off and make sure your vision comes to life.

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Food and Music Make the Party: Don’t forget those classic Edo dishes – Owo Soup, Black Soup… yum! And live music and dancers? That’s how you get the celebration really going!

Remember, It’s a Community Celebration: Edo weddings are about way more than just the couple. It’s about families coming together, and the whole community sharing in the joy. Keep that in mind, and everyone will feel the love.

My Tip: Planning a traditional wedding can be a lot to handle. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, or even a professional planner for help. It’s your day, and the main thing is to make it a celebration you’ll always cherish.

Isan (Esan) Bride Price & Traditional Marriage List

  • 1 Umbrella
  • 1 suitcase filled with clothes (box of wrappers)
  • 2 bottles of hot drinks (schnapps)
  • 1 crate of malt drinks
  • 1 plate of kolanuts
  • 1 bag of salt
  • 25 liters of palm oil for the bride’s mother
  • 1 jar of palm wine
  • 1 carton of wine for sundry use (the groom should hold this)
  • 3 crates of malt for women of the lineage
  • 6 carton of beer for men of the lineage (broken down into 2 cartons of small Guinness stout; 2 cartons of Star beer; 2 cartons of Gulder beer)
  • 28 tubers of yam arrange in groups of seven
  • 14 tubers of yam for the eldest man in the lineage
  • N1,500 cash for the dowry
  • N5,000 cash for the bride’s mother
  • N3,000 cash for the bride’s father
  • N9,000 cash for the men in the bride’s lineage
  • N6,000 cash for the women bride’s lineage
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When choosing a date for the Edo traditional marriage introduction event, there are dates to avoid. AVOID the market days, because it is forbidden to pay bride price or conduct traditional marriage ceremony on market days.  That is the custom of the people of Emuhi village in Ekpoma part of Edo state, so you’ll have to ask your wife-to-be for their own village’s forbidden days.

Overview of Edo Traditional Marriage Introduction Process

Once everyone is seated, the bride’s family will present kolanuts and drinks to the groom’s family. Here’s the seating arrangement: each family side sits opposite the other- the bride’s family sits opposite the groom’s family.

After kolanuts are broken and eaten, the groom’s family spokesman will stand up and reveal the purpose of their visit (to propose marriage, on behalf of their son, to one of their daughters). Next, the groom’s family spokesperson will present drinks and kolanut gifts to the bride’s family.

After that, the bride would be called in and asked by her father. First, he would ask her if she knows the visitors (i.e. her fiance and his family?).  After that, he would reveal to her the purpose of the visit by the groom and his family members (i.e. to ask for her hand in marriage).

Finally, her father would inquire about her response to the marriage proposal. He would put the question in the way it’s done by Edo customs, by asking her whether they (her family) should accept the drinks and kolanuts (gifted by the groom’s family), to symbolize her acceptance to marry the groom.

If her answer is YES, her family will accept the drinks and kolanut gifts; and if NO, the items would be rejected – and there would be no wedding.

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So, after the bride’s family accepts the drinks and kolanuts, the bride’s family will present the bride-price list to the groom. Thereafter, food and drinks will be presented by the bride’s family to everyone present.

NOTE: Note that Edo state is made up of many sub-tribes and villages, each of which has a slight difference (significant, in some) from the other. So, use the below bride price list as a guide to drawing up your marriage introduction budget, and be prepared by saving up before contacting your future in-laws.

In conclusion, planning a traditional wedding in Edo State is a unique experience that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region. Embrace the vibrant customs, pay heed to traditional norms, and create a memorable day filled with laughter, love, and a deep sense of community. With meticulous planning, your Edo traditional wedding will indeed be a reflection of the cultural grandeur that this region stands for.

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