Nigerian Weddings

Nigerian Traditional Wedding Planning Checklist for Brides

If you’re newly engaged and planning the traditional marriage, this is the perfect and exclusively Nigerian traditional wedding checklist to guide and keep you organized while planning your traditional engagement ceremony in Nigeria. This complete Nigerian traditional wedding planning checklist should be used as a to-do list, so tick off items as they’re completed.

Photo by: Atunbi Wedding Photography

The best time to start planning your traditional wedding is right after he put a ring on your finger. Starting to implement this traditional wedding checklist early enough will ensure that there’s no last minute wedding day disappointments, and that the best vendors are available for your dates. Read on…

Nigerian Tradition Wedding Plans: Immediately After the Marriage Proposal

  1. So, he (finally) put the ring on it? Congratulations, you’re engaged. Go out and totally enjoy it. Girl, e no easy jor! Show off your engagement ring to your all your girlfriends and colleagues.
  2. (Groom) Announce the engagement to bride’s parents, to formally ask for your fiance’s hand in marriage (Naija parents take this seriously oo. Even if groom is an onyibo guy, he must come door knocking and ask for their consent before the whole World hears that you’re engaged).
  3. Decide on the type of wedding ceremonies you want and the ones you should ignore (introduction & bride price only (BP)? traditional only (T)? White/ church/ religious wedding ceremony only (R)? Court /registry wedding only (C)? OR do you want to have multiple wedding types such as: T+W? T+C+W? T+C? W+C?
  4. Decide: will you have the trad and white/ court wedding on the same day? If same day, will the reception be in the same place? If not the same day, how many days/ weeks/ months apart from each other?
  5. Decide which of the wedding types you want to have will be big and which one will be low key, or if all weddings will be big
  6. (Groom) Ask bride’s parents for the procedure for the customary traditional wedding rites, how much is the bride price and ‘the customary bridal list’ of things you require to gift bride’s family during the traditional wedding. Also confirm who and who needs to accompany you to the occasion.
  7. Pick date and place for the customary Nigerian pre-wedding introduction to bride’s family (aka door knocking to ask extended family for bride’s hand in marriage) as well as a date for the formal traditional engagement (aka traditional engagement)
  8. Confirm parents and family availability on chosen date for the customary Nigerian traditional wedding rites and ceremony
  9. Check how much you can afford to spend and then make a budget for the traditional wedding, including the customary bridal family gifts list and the traditional wedding reception
  10. Decide if you want to invite your ‘town friends and office colleagues’ to the traditional wedding (if it will be in the village). How many friends will you invite?
  11. Decide if you want to do Asoebi (ie coordinated guest outfits) for the trad wedding, and then let your guests know about it
  12. Purchase the items listed in the customary traditional wedding list (Groom, ask your bride’s parents for this AND if you live abroad, you can ask your parents or elderly relatives at the village to help you collect ‘the list’ on your behalf)
  13. Decide on trad wedding attire color combo and styles for bride/ groom and book a good Nigerian tailor to sew them
  14. Purchase the traditional wedding attire (for bride, groom) – including the trad’ wedding fabrics and good tailors to sew them, the Gele head-tie, bride’s bead jewelry and so on
  15. Book rentals (such as canopy tents) and venue decorators for the trad wedding reception. Also book a good photographer and video coverage person for the day (after the trad wedding ceremony, be sure to submit your traditional wedding photos to us here, for publication on our real wedding section).
  16. Arrange for catering for the traditional wedding day – usually the bride’s mom and her friends are happy to do this; and if location is in the village, your Aunts are happy to do this for you. If you like, you can hire caterers
  17. Decide if you want to do the legwork yourself or hire a wedding planner to organize the whole things for you – if so, hire one then.

Things to Do Right After Engagement to a Nigerian Bride

Now, this is a note for a grooms who is about to marry a Nigerian woman.

Nigerian weddings are so different from the rest of the World, and typically starts from the traditional wedding, also referred to as the ‘traditional engagement ceremony’. In fact, a Nigerian woman is not considered married until her groom completes the customary traditional marriage rites. And yes, the Nigerian traditional wedding is complete on its own and is recognized so – any other type of additional weddings is jara, and was copied from the Europeans. So, a typical Nigerian has multiple weddings – the traditional wedding and others (the court-house wedding and/ or the religious wedding at the church or mosque) – hence this trad wedding checklist.


If you follow the above Nigerian traditional wedding checklist, startingfrom a few weeks or months after the marriage proposal (assuming she said “yes”), all you have to do is just travel down to the village (or wherever) for the trad wedding – because you managed to complete everything on time, without stress.

Did I miss anything that needs to be done before a traditional wedding in Naija? If so, add it in the comments box below.