What happens after the groom embarked on the ‘iku aka’ (aka ‘iju ese’) visit? The bride’s family would usually send out a representatives to go check/ investigate the groom-to-be and his background, find out where he is from, what he does for a living, about his family (are they good people, etc), any recurrences in his family history (such as diseases, sicknesses, negative characters, fertility, history of divorce, level of responsibility of the men in that family and commitment to their wife and children, etc) and any other important thing. The essence of this type of investigation is for the bride’s family to determine whether the would-be-groom is “capable” and responsible enough to take care of their daughter and future grandchildren.
It is assumed that the groom’s family should also be carrying out a similar investigation on the bride and her family, prior to the introductory visit. Based on this, the bride’s family would give an answer to the groom-to-be’s family.
If the “Iku Aka’ is positive, the groom with his family will receive a list of the other steps involved and an overview of the customary marriage requirements of the bride’s village (this varies slightly from one igbo town to another).
Visit #2: Consent From Bride’s Extended Family
During his first visit, the would-be-groom/ suitor visits the woman’s parents. Now, this visit is to the bride’s clan (her father’s people/ her extended family) – to inform her extended family that you are interested in marrying their daughter. This stage is very important because it is only when the groom-to-be receives the consent (of distinct members of the bride’s extended family) that dates for the traditional marriage rites and ceremony cannot be scheduled, and things would progress from there.
Here, the groom is expected to be accompanied by more people than your first visit (so, endure to not go alone to ask for her hand in marriage). You could have as many as 20 people accompany you. Igbo etiquette suggests that you don’t go empty-handed; take a few gifts along (such as include kola nuts, palm wine, beer, soft drinks, heads of tobacco and snuff and a goat).
Visit #3: The Igbo Bride Price Payment (Ime Ego)
After receiving the consent of the bride’s family as well as of her extended family, the groom can proceed to visit the bride’s family again, with his family members, to settle the bride price (ime ego). This money is totally a symbolic thing and not the real amount or value of the woman. Many grooms like to get an idea in advance of what the Igbo traditional engagement list and bride price looks like so that they can properly prepare and make a budget before starting to meet the in-laws.
- SEE: Sample Nigerian Wedding Budgets from Other People’s Wedding
- Nigerian Wedding Budget Calculator and Allocation Percentages
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