Are you planning an Igbo traditional marriage introduction and Igba Nkwu? Do you have questions regarding the Igbo traditional engagement processes or any stage of the customary marriage ceremony? We’ve got the answers here. Sometimes confused grooms, ask for clarification from their non-Igbo friends and are told a mix of myths and opinions about the Igbo traditional wedding. So, in this post, you will find answers to some of the questions in your mind. You will also see a video illustration of an ‘igba nkwu’ ceremony. Read on.
By the way, this is part 4, and the final stage of the series “Stages & Process Involved in Igbo Traditional Marriage Ceremony” – you can find part 3 by clicking here.
Common Questions Grooms Ask About Igbo Traditional Weddings
Here are answers to common questions that grooms and even some Igbo bride-to-be ask about the Igba Nkwu marriage procedure:
1. If My Igbo Bride is Pregnant, Can I Proceed with Payment of the Dowry/ Bride Price and Traditional Marriage Rites?
This is one question that we have been getting asked a lot, recently. In many parts of Igboland, marriage rites/ traditional weddings are not performed when the bride is pregnant. Bride price payments are not accepted from a groom-to-be if the bride is carrying a baby (pregnant). There are two ways that grooms go about this situation:
- Postpone the traditional marriage rites: What usually happens is that the groom is asked to come back after the bride has delivered the baby.
- If her belly bump is not yet big/ visible and people cannot tell that she is pregnant, what some grooms do is to quickly go and do the Igbo bride price payment and engagement list at that point, and maybe also do the entire traditional marriage ceremony/ Igba Nkwu at the same time.
NOTE: With that saying, confirm from your bride or ask her to find out whether her part of Igboland allows bride price payment and other customary marriage rites to be done when the bride is pregnant.
2. At What Point Is an Igbo Wedding Complete?
By Igbo customs and tradition, the igba nkwu ceremony is the traditional marriage solemnization ceremony. During the ceremony, the bride and groom are officially declared man and wife, and the groom can take his bride home.
3. How Many Visits in Total is the Groom Required to Make Before the Igba Nkwu?
How many times would a groom make official introductory visits before the traditional wedding/ igba nkwu? Here’s an important note about visits for the 3rd and 4th Igbo traditional marriage rites, the ime ego and the igba nkwu nwanyi respectively: both may be done in one day, if you (the groom) can, and prefers – but with prior discussion with your in-laws.
- Visit #1: Iku aka – you come to inquire from your fiance’s parents: ‘am I permitted to marry your daughter’. If you receive a ‘yes’, then you would be visiting again for the ime ego stage.
- Visit #2: Consent from the bride’s kindred/ extended family
- Visit #3: Ime Ego (bride price payment).
- Visit #4: Igba Nkwu (traditional marriage ceremony and reception)
- In our grooms’ guide to the Customary Introductory Visits a His Igbo In-Laws, we explained more about what to expect, what usually happens, how to achieve everything in one or two visits, and other helpful tips for the groom to make an impressive first-time meeting.
You (the groom) may want to do a total of three visits (instead of four), by doing the ‘ime ego’ plus the igba nkwu on the same day. UK and USA grooms prefer doing their traditional engagement this way; however, most men like to go save up and come back for the igba nkwu.
TRENDS: We usually see grooms who live far away (from the bride’s parents) doing everything in one single visit, and we also see a lot of couples breaking the ceremony into two separate days. Both ways are fine. Another trend that we’re seeing is some grooms who live far away doing some of the pre-igba nkwu process in absentia, with their parents and close family members representing him – so that he only comes home for the igba nkwu or for the iku aka and igba nkwu stages respectively.
We also see many families making an easy way for the groom to compress all the formal introduction visits into one or two days. That means, before the actual face-to-face meetups, the groom should have met the bride’s parents in the past and should have been communicating with them a few times before. That way, when it’s time to plan the Igbo traditional wedding, the groom would not be a total stranger to the bride’s family, and could easily ask for a way to have the visits compressed.
- RELATED: How to Plan Your Traditional and White Wedding on Same Day (incl. sample wedding day program).
- Traditional Wedding Planning Checklist
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