About Stella Anokam

Stella is the founder and Editor of this blog (NaijaGlamWedding). Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Submit your photos to be featured - it's FREE, because we love everything weddings, bridal showers, engagement shoots.


  1. Am from calabar want to marry a lady from igboland. And right now am in imo state workin and she’s in lagos workin also. She ll come down to imo to spent some time together, and i also go to see her in lagos . But the problem is the traditional wedding. If i want to go and make. What i call knock at the door, what am i going to do because am in imo state along. No money to transport my people down to east. WAT AM I GOIN TO DO?

    • Hello Felix, congratulations for making the bold move to plan on doing the traditional marriage rites for your wife-to-be.
      You should first go alone to greet her parents, maybe with one or two friends. There you will ask for the ‘marriage list’, so that you will go back and save money for when you will come with your people and buy the items in the list, and bring to her people (for the traditional marriage ceremony).
      >>Click here for our guide on how Igbo Traditional Marriage happens, so that you know each stage and how it’s really done.

  2. Hi, my traditional and white wedding is in dec. 2016. But I haven’t started planning yet cos I dnt even know where to begin. Plz could put me thru on this. My white and trad would be on same day and a low key wedding but wow, that’s what im looking at. Tnk u.

  3. Hello,
    Please I need help, I am yoruba and my fiancee is igbo we will be having our traditional wedding here is scotland and I need help in understanding the yoruba traditional wedding process. I have few questions I need help with:
    I was told I need two alagas is it really necessary?
    I cannot find someone who beats talking drum as we live in the highlands so very few black people, what can I use to replace this.
    Also during the ceremony when will people start eating and dancing is it after I cut the cake and my in laws go and greet my parents? if so how do I seperate eating time from dancing tim?
    when do we change to our igbo attire?
    finally how long should the event typically last for?


    • Hi Mary, congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and thanks for reading NaijaGlamWedding’s Nigerian Traditional Wedding Planning Checklist.
      To answer your question, I sought the expert help of someone who is just like you – a Yoruba lady married to an Igbo man (since I’m not Yoruba), she’s also a wedding planner, and here are her answers below:
      -The entire event takes 3 hours maximum, but that depends on how fast the Alaga is.
      A Typical Program of Events for a Yoruba Traditional Wedding looks like this:
      -The Alaga, the traditional Master of Ceremony (MC) commences coordination…
      -Bride enters
      -Groom rises up to meet and greet bride’s family
      -Bride meets groom’s family
      -Both are seated
      -Both inlaw sides meet & greet
      -Cake cutting > couple feed each other
      -Food is served to guests (BUT small chops should be served in-between the ceremony earlier, so people don’t get hungry. *But usually eating starts when bride has entered the hall ).
      -Bride greets: husband’s family, her family, guests
      -Bride leaves for Change of Outfit
      -Music!! Dancing!!
      *NOTE: Answers to your questions were provided by one of our wedding expert panelists, Sunmisola Nwanze from SHINE Events. *Sumisola is a wedding/ events expert planner that helps plan weddings and all types of events from conception to finish and also provides waiters, urshers and other vendors at events. *To hire her, call 08027736616 or 07033283595; BB Messenger Bbm-5bfb61ff OR Email her at sunmialffy(at)yahoo.com. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria AND available to travel anywhere your event is. *You may also call her to thank her – she’ll be thrilled.

  4. Blaque Pearl says:

    Na was for u oh Stella! There r loads of other tribes in this amalgamated 9ja outside the Igbo, Yoruba & Edo tribes. They seem to be ur focal point all thru ur site- not fair or nice at all.. I know they might be the majority of ur catchment area but try comping down South ( do a lil research here & there) Thanks!

    • My dear Pearl, abeg make you no vex for me. I have plans to cover traditional wedding lists on as many Nigerian tribes as possible – na small by small. Lol. Okay where do you want me to cover next? If you’ll help us out with a few info, let’s do it.
      *I had volunteers that helped provide information on the ones we already covered, just to ensure that we had accurate information.
      Thanks for your candid feedback – it helps us know how we’re doing.

  5. Am segun, yoruba guy dating idoma lady that i met when i went for Nysc she lives in makurdi benue state i live @ibadan how can i reduce the cost, considering the distance and and there culture which may require certain number of people and the food is not left out.

  6. Hi! can i plan my wedding (trad and white) in just 1month?

    • Hi Chika. Yes, you can IF:
      -It you want a small wedding where you’ll only invite a few very close friends and family who don’t need an advance notice to be at your wedding, and who can cancel every prior commitments to be at your short-notice-wedding. Typically, people need about 2 months notice if you want them to attend your wedding. So, when planning a wedding in one month, only invite people you’re sure would attend.
      -IF it’ll be a not-small wedding AND IF you’ll hire a wedding planner to do the leg-work for you, take all the stress from you and find the right venue and hire every good wedding vendor for you. Finding a good venue and good photographers, caterers and other vendors in a short notice is difficult, but wedding planners know many of those people and can easily find available ones. Planning a short-notice, classy wedding is a lot of work, and if you’re doing it on your own you may not be able to know where to ask or find a good venue or good vendors in a short time. Wedding planners have worked with tons of other wedding professionals and can quickly assemble them when a client needs them.
      *Traditional weddings could be at your village and with very close family members and that can always be arranged in a short notice.

  7. Hi, u r doin a grt job..pls I need ur advice. I’m planning my traditional, church wedding n reception 2 hold on d same day. My concern now is that my bridesmaids will wear the same attire(asoebi) 4 d traditional, then change 2 another dress 4 d church ceremony afterwards. Is this how it’s done? Or is there a way to save them the cost of 2 different outfits for the. Day

    • Hi Hadassah, thanks for reading our traditional wedding checklist, and for your question. Here’s my take on that:
      -There’s no one-and-only-way for how it is done. You are free to choose how you want your bridesmaids to look on your wedding day. The only commonsense rule is for the bride to be REALISTIC in what she asks, when bridesmaids are the ones buying their outfits themselves.
      – Help them pay for 1, and ask them to buy 1 themselves – that is if you choose to have them wear different uniforme outfits for each of your weddings.
      – Make them spend on only 1 outfit for your big day. So, you choose the most important one for you and make that the one they wear a uniformed outfit. So, that they would wear what they already own for one wedding and what you specified on the other wedding.
      -OR Make them wear a neutral style uniform outfit for both weddings. This could be a Nigerian style long gown or dress, that could pass for bridesmaid dress and also look great as an asoebi. You can get ideas/ inspiration from these long asoebi gowns (click).
      Even though it’s your wedding day and you can make your BMs wear what you like, you need to be realistic and considerate and not over-stretch them, OR they will complain behind and secretly hate you forever.
      Hope that helps you deal with your BMs, Hadassah. I wish you a fab wedding!

  8. Christina Hoover says:

    Hi my name is Christina. I am marrying a Nigerian Igbo man. I am from the USA. I am trying to figure out how to have a traditional wedding within a tight budget here in America. I have wanted a traditional wedding since we have been together it’s so beautiful.

    • Hello Christina, congratulations on marrying a Naija man, and welcome to Nigeria 🙂
      So, here are some tips to keep your Nigerian traditional wedding ceremony on a tight budget:
      -Have the tradtional and white wedding on same day, and you’ll save plenty of money (you can treat your guests to only 1 party and avoid spending on feeding guests twice (for the trad and reception – now the trad and white will have only one reception).
      -Make it a family affair – traditionally it’s meant to be so. Scale down on the traditional wedding reception by having a very small guest atendance/ guest list – most people involve only very close family of the bride and groom. If
      -Have only one or 2 outfit changes, so that you’ll save cost on the traditional wedding attire (they are usually expensive).
      -Keep your eyes on low-cost but authentic Nigerian fabrics, and research/ ask around for authentic suppliers or shops whose prices are moderate.
      -Keep food choices minimal. Usually in inter-cultural weddings, couples tend to want to serve foods from both cultures – that’s okay but keep the choices minimal in order to save costs.
      Let me know if you still have questions. Again, congratulations. I’d love to see the pictures after your big day – have fun planning it!

  9. Hello,
    i’m a yoruba lady, getting married to an igbo man, in regards to the traditional wedding…i’m not quite sure how to plan the traditional wedding of both tribes as one, without making one side feeling left out?. Would it be better to have 2 separate ones? if not how would i incorporate them into the day as one?.

    • Hello Tia, thanks for your question. No, you can only have 1 traditional wedding. The ideal way is for the man, escorted by his relatives, go to the bride’s family to marry her in her people’s traditional marriage cistoms. So, in your case, that would be a Yoruba traditional engagement and traditional wedding. It’s the tradition everywhere – you didn’t invent it, and so no one would feel left out. His parents should know this, if he asks. **The white wedding is neutral, and there both of you can agree how to incorporate both cultures (usually via food, music etc.)
      2) But before the traditional wedding, he should have formally asked for your hand in marriage from your parents, so that they can provide him with the customary Yoruba engagement list (see a sample here).

  10. Hi,
    I am an Igbo woman marrying an American man. I am already very overwhelmed because of having to have two weddings! I have always dreamed of my traditional wedding and then a small white wedding. Even though my fiancé is aware of everything that comes with marrying me, I feel guilty that he has to spend all of this money. I want a house in the future, not to spend all of this money on a wedding. Advice please!!! How can I have both at a reasonable budget?

    • Hello Didi, I feel you. Trust me, I understand how you feel; what you’re asking is one of the questions we get asked every week by other brides (grooms too).
      The most effective way to cut costs down wedding cost to a reasonable budget is to CUT DOWN THE GUEST NUMBER, because the reception cost (food and drinks, with/ without venue cost is over 60% of the entire cost of any Nigerian wedding. So, here are some tips:
      -For the white wedding: We’ve already written so many ways to cut down costs – click here to see our helpful tips.
      -For the traditional wedding: It’s hard to keep out unwanted guests if your traditional wedding will be in your village compound. But here are some ideas: (1) skip having a big ‘igba nkwu’ party – keep it very quiet, within only very close family members and your fiance’s family (not necessary to invite friends – invite them to the white wedding only. OR have your party your way – small and classy at a far location, say a small hall at a hotel not too far from your village, so that most gate-crashers cannot afford to transport themselves there. Some couples just keep it at bride price payment and presenting items on the engagement list, AND then parlour merriment with the few people involved.

  11. Am a Ghanaian women marring a nigerian yoruba man please I need your advice on what to wear that day,and also to no if the ceremony is to be done in the Ghanaian way.thanks

    • Hello Linda, welcome (home) to our Nigerian Wedding advice blog:) We love Ghanaian brides. In Nigeria, and most African countries, traditional weddings are done at the bride’s side, and so the attire usually reflect the bride’s cultural wear. So, the bride is supposed to dress up in her own cultural bridal wear. Yes, the wedding is done in the Ghanaian way, in your case.
      2) However, when it’s an inter-tribal or inter-cultural wedding, like yours, the trend is that a bride (and the groom too) could go for 2 different looks that touch on each side. BUT today, a lot of couples are changing some of the norms – and we’re seeing inter-cultural couples having their weddings reflect the foods and clothings from both the bride’s and groom’s sides.
      **An example is to have 2 or more traditional wedding outfits – including one Ghanaian traditional wedding attire AND one Yoruba traditional wedding attire. You can click here to see many latest Yoruba aso-oke styles and colour combo, to inspire what you’ll wear as a second outfit.
      I hope I have answered your question, Linda. Congratulations, and be sure to come join our bridal communities (click here).

  12. Hi, I’m a Yoruba lady getting married to a delta man. We are doing only traditional but I don’t know if it’s okay to wear 3 outfits including a delta outfit.Can you advice on this please?
    Thank you

  13. calistus Okechukwu says:

    Hi, pls I write to find out the stages involved in combined event the white/traditional marriage. Starting from the church to the bride’s place till the end.

    • Hi Calistus, there are 2 ways we see couples doing it: (1) Start with the traditional early in the morning (introduction and bride price), and then go to the church for the joining/ solemnization; then do a combined wedding reception after church. (2) White (church) wedding first, followed by the traditional marriage ceremony. (3) Another way is to have the white in the morning and traditional in the evening; Some couples do the bride price part early in the morning and leave the Igba Nkwu/ party for the evening, combined with the white wedding reception.
      *How you choose to spread the time is up to you, and depending on how far apart the traditional wedding venue is from the Church and reception venue. In any case, you would want to leave a good amount of time in-between to enable you and the guests to get there on time.
      *If you start with the traditional engagement, the bride price part could be done early in the morning – this can sometimes drag on for hours, and you can arrange to leave the elders and parents on it while the couple head to church for the white wedding vows.
      *Combined reception: You could merge the traditional engagement reception party/ Igba Nkwu with the white wedding reception into a one big after-party.
      *Both marriage ceremonies (traditional and church) start from the bride’s family house, and the combined reception/ Igba Nkwu would also hold there or at a venue near her place.
      Hope these tips help. All the best!

    • Hi Calistus, welcome to NaijaGlamWedding and thanks for your question. You left this same question as a comment to our ‘Igbo Engagement List’ article, and I have just replied with a very detailed answer. Please click here to read my reply to you on this particular question. We’re wishing you a smooth planning. Cheers.

  14. This is a very comprehensive list. I always thought Nigerian wedding planners were really behind in terms of check lists and organisation. Most Nigerian wedding i have been to have been very disorganised with gate crashers, no food or anywher to seat etc. Before this the only decent wedding i had been to was organised by The Fine Detail Wedding Planners. They all had suits and were communicating with walkie talkies. A least Naija is now trying. I might even move back! 🙂

    • Welcome to NaijaGlamWedding, Morenike, And thanks for your feedback and observations about the Nigerian wedding industry. Yes, things have really changed, and the weddings are turning out more sophisticated.

  15. Bianca Victor says:

    The traditional marriage checklist isn’t available for download as thr’s no link to it. Pls do sumtin abt it.

    You’ve got great insight n mind-openers. GREAT JOB!

    • Oh dear, sorry about that – very soon, we will add that to our downloadable wedding planning tools on our tools page (once we get the time). Thank you for the awesome feedback – be sure to subscribe to this blog by email and also follow us on Facebook/ Twitter? GooglePlus to be the first to know when we publish a new post.

  16. Wow, thanks a million for this job.

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