Is the Customary Traditional Wedding legally recognized in Nigeria?
Yes, the Nigerian traditional wedding is complete on its own and is (legally) recognized. Therefore, other types of additional weddings (such as a religious / worship-house wedding or a court wedding) is an added-bonus, which every Nigerian person likes.
History: The customary traditional wedding ceremony used to be the one and only marriage ceremony in this part of the World. Religious and court weddings are borrowed culture from the Europeans – and also a welcome culture since we generally love parties and celebrations.
So, How Many Weddings Am I Expected Have, When Marrying a Nigerian Woman?
I already touched on this in Step 3 above (decide on types of weddings to have). But I’ll explain again – expect to have more than one wedding event, because a typical Nigerian has multiple weddings – the customary traditional wedding (mandatory) and any or all of these types: (a) court-house wedding (b) religious wedding at the church or mosque or other). It’s a normal thing on this side of the World.
Here are a few more things to know when preparing to marry a Nigerian woman (if you’re from a different culture or country):
- Traditional Wedding is Mandatory: When planning to marry a Nigerian woman, you should know that the customary Nigerian traditional is a must (for every Nigerian bride).
- It’s Okay to Have Only One Type of Wedding: So, if you and your bride are minimalists, you may choose to have only one type (traditional) of the wedding ceremony. Many people do that – it’s a choice. Traditional weddings are legally recognized in Nigeria. After your trad wedding, you may apply for a marriage license from a Nigerian state. Just to let you know, most Nigerian married couples had only the traditional wedding, and some are still having only the traditional marriage.
- Many Nigerians have two types of Weddings: That is, the traditional wedding and the court registry wedding. Many Nigerians, you can have just 2 wedding events: either a traditional wedding and a religious wedding OR the traditional wedding and court wedding.
- One is Nice, 3 Weddings are Fun: If you’re like most Nigerians, you like colours and also like fun parties, you can either have all 3 (traditional weddings, court weddings, and religious wedding).
- You don’t have to spend too much to have all 3 – most people keep the court registry wedding super low-key with only the couple and witnesses invited, and no party.
- The trad wedding is also usually low-key, with fewer guests than the white wedding. Some have parlour parties with close family as their trad wedding. Not many people have big parties for their trad wedding.
- The white wedding is where most Nigerians have a bigger wedding, with a bigger guest list and a bigger budget.
Your Traditional Wedding Countdown Starts Now…
Many brides feel under-pressure and stressed at some point during their wedding planning journey. For some, the feeling goes away after a while or is on-and-off, but for some, they feel nearly sick. Some of the ways to de-stress yourself include taking breaks in-between planning and asking others to help. We wrote a detailed guide on a lot more ways to handle anxiety and stress during wedding planning.
I hope the above Nigerian traditional wedding checklist of to-dos helps you plan a beautiful ceremony. If you start planning early, from a few weeks or months after the marriage proposal, you’ll feel less stress close to the date of your trad wedding event.
Did I miss anything that needs to be done before a traditional wedding in Naija? If so, add it in the comments box below.