4. What Usually Happens after the Igba Nkwu ?
At the end of the ‘igba nkwu’ ceremony, the groom is expected to take his wife home with him. The Igbo traditional wedding is a legally recognized wedding in Nigeria, just like every other traditional marriage. Some couples choose not to have a second wedding (court registry or religious/ church white wedding).
In the olden days, the ‘igba nkwu’ was the only wedding ceremony of the Ndigbo, but these days most Ndigbo couples have church wedding (aka white wedding) after their ‘igba nkwu’. Depending on your (groom’s) preference, the couple may want to have a church solemnization (white wedding) immediately or a day after the ‘igba nkwu’/ Igbo traditional wedding or they can choose to have it after a few weeks or months.
- RELATED POSTS: How to Have a Traditional and White Wedding on Same Day
- Nigerian White Wedding Checklist – things to do when preparing for white wedding in Nigeria
- Igba Nkwu/ Wine-Carrying Ceremony: Overview of What Happens During It
5. What to Wear During Your Igbo Traditional Marriage Ceremony?
- FOR MEN: 5 Stunning Igbo GROOMS Shirt and Wrapper Traditional Attire (also with Brides’Coordinated Look)
- 20 In-Vogue Igbo Traditional Wedding Hairstyles and Coral Beads
- 19 Latest Igbo BRIDES Traditional Wedding Attire Styles
- Latest George Wrapper and Blouse Styles for Igbo Brides
- Latest Igbo Lace Blouse Styles for Wrappers
Of all the above stages of the Igbo engagement ceremony, the ‘igba nkwu’ is the one that every bride looks forward to because it is the traditional reception party after the bride price payment and marriage rites are performed. The Igba Nkwu day is the day for the bride to dress up like a princess. The bride’s igba nkwu attire is usually a george design double-wrapper and a gorgeous igbo-style lace blouse or the Igbo traditional maiden wear (small piece of wrapper on the chest and waist), coral or statement beads necklace and a matching Ichafu head-tie.
The groom is not left out of this dress-up thing, his dons a well-tailored traditional wear which its fabric and colours compliments his wife’s; he also wears a long coral bead, and a hat (optional) – the Igbo traditional attire for men/ grooms is a special tunic top tailored with a special fabric called ‘isi agu’ worn over a pair of trousers, a red cap or black hat, and a fashion walking stick. Isi Agu means ‘lion head’ in Igbo language. Images of lion heads are printed all over the Isi Agu material/ fabric, hence that name.
What will your close friends wear to your Igba Nkwu ceremony? Close friends and family of the bride and groom would wear a uniform attire (popularly known as ‘aso ebi’ by Nigerians). Check out the latest aso-ebi styles for ideas if you plan to have your friends and family wear a uniformed fabric.
- How to Tie a Perfect Igbo-Style Double Wrapper
- Colour Combinations for Nigerian Traditional Wedding
- SEE New Headtie (Gele) and Neck Beads Style Ideas
6. Who Cooks During the Groom’s Visits?
I always get asked ‘who cooks during the marriage introduction and Igba Nkwu: the bride or groom’s family?’.
The bride’s family is the host during the marriage introduction and Igba Nkwu, and so is responsible for cooking for the bride’s suitor and his family, during all their visits. In some/ most cases, the groom provides the money to cover this cost, but where the bride’s family is wealthy, they may choose to cover the entire cost but it is of good taste for the groom to contribute to the cost. That is expected of him, as it is his wedding, and he is the one ‘calling’ the party.
Where the bride’s family is not wealthy, the groom (unofficially) provides money to the bride’s mother to cover the cost of catering (food and drinks) and hosting the guests. This cost can be kept low if they make it a parlour/ living room guest size and the bride herself can sit with her mother to make a budget/ cost how much money will be required to cook in-house for the number of people they will host. The bride will then communicate this cost to her groom.
The “Igba Nkwu” party reception costs much because the guest list is simply “everyone” in the bride’s village, plus the groom’s entourage. The major cause of the high cost of organizing Igba Nkwu is the cost of feeding the large guests. Usually, Igba Nkwu venues are not rented – the bride’s father’s residence at her ancestral hometown is used for free. In a previous post, I explained in detail the reasons why Nigerian weddings are expensive and what to do. You may want to check that out to pick a tip or two on what to do to cut down costs.
WEDDING FOOD IDEAS:
- How to Make Perfect Party Jollof Rice (plus Ingredients Measure for 100 Plates)
- How to Make Party Doughnuts from Scratch (plus Ingredients for 100 pieces)
- How to Make Samosa Small Chops for a Wedding Party (Easy Recipe and Video)
What Songs to Play During an Igbo Traditional Wedding?
A good DJ (Disc Jockey) that have previously catered to Igbo weddings would know the trending and classical songs (by Igbo musicians) suitable for an Igba Nkwu ceremony. Whether you plan to hire a DJ or have a friend or relative to take that role, to help you out, we made a post listing the Latest Igbo Traditional Wedding Songs Playlist at the moment. Ensure to check them out and show them to whoever will be your DJ on the D-day.
Igba Nkwu Illustrated in a Nigerian Music Video
On a lighter mood, here’s one music you definitely should play on your ‘Igba Nkwu’ day (Nigeria’s Flavour in his “Ada Ada’ musical video). I like this Nigerian wedding song because the story-line in the video gives a good illustration of the igbo igba nkwu ceremony.
Takeaways: Igbo Traditional Marriage Procedure
This post concludes our series on the Igbo traditional marriage customs and tradition. If you read from part 1 to part 4, you should now have a good idea of how to go about preparing to marry an igbo bride – you first propose to her, then you ask for her parent’s consent, and finally, you ask for her extended family’s consent. You also know that most of the process is customary and symbolic. Once the parties involved give you their consent, you also know the rest of the Igbo traditional marriage preparatory stages – the bride price settlement (ime ego) and the formal traditional engagement and wedding party (igba nkwu).
UPDATES: I’ll keep adding new questions and answers to the list in this post. So, if you have a question that was not answered, add it in the comment section down below for a chance to get it answered.
Other Posts in the Series “Igbo Traditional Wedding Customs & Procedure”
This is part 4 and the final stage of the series “Stages & Process Involved in Igbo Traditional Marriage Ceremony” – you can read the other parts by clicking a link below:
- Part 1 – Igbo Traditional Marriage Ceremony Stages and Process (Overview)
- Part 2 – How to: Groom’s Customary Introductory Visits and Meeting with Igbo In-Laws (Asking for their Consent)
- Part 3 – Igba Nkwu/ Wine-Carrying Ceremony: Procedure and Customs
- Part 4 (THIS POST)– Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Igbo Marriage ceremony rites and processes
NOTE: We love Nigerian traditional weddings and would be thrilled for you to send us your ‘igba nkwu’ pictures to publish here on NaijaGlamWedding blog. *If you enjoyed reading, please help us share this post with your friends on Twitter/ Facebook/ by email and everywhere.
Now, tell me – if you’ve already completed the traditional marriage rites to marry an Ibo lady, is there anything we missed in the above guide? And, if you’re preparing to go for the Igbo introduction visit to your future in-laws, has this article helped you in any way?
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