Nigerian weddings are the best weddings to attend in Africa. They are usually colourful, entertaining and packaged with enough drama to tantalize your memories. Its always a busy day for the bride and groom as all they think of is how to finish the ceremony and round the day off at the hotel, but for the guests it Is different – they encounter a lot of things. While the couple might remember their wedding day for its joyous celebration of love, these guests are left with unforgettable moments from the event. Here are twelve things that occur regularly in Nigerian weddings.
1. The Bride Is Usually Late
Except in a few cases when the church is strict about time, Nigerian brides love to come to their weddings late. The guests arrive first, followed by the groom and his men, then after like an hour or more, the bride shows up with the excuse that her make-up artist was slow or she was stuck in traffic.
2. The Sermon Is Unusually Long
It is expected that in a church wedding congregation, more than half of them are visitors. The preacher tends to stretch the sermon, emphasizing on every point as a way to impress these newcomers, and by so doing takes all day to dismiss the service.
3. The Reception Never Starts On Time
After a wedding service, the couple takes forever to show up at their own reception. Sometimes the bride goes back home or to her hotel room to bath, change her attire and retouch her face, while families and friends wait at the reception and are consoled with the MC’s joke.
4. Every Guest Claims To Be Related To The Bride, Groom or Both
It is absurd to attend a Nigerian wedding without knowing the couple or at least one person in the hall. So unrelated wedding guests take to claiming relationship so as not to look out of place.
5. The Wedding Cake Does Not Leave Its Position
Don’t be surprised to see a four-tier wedding cake still completely intact after the wedding. The cake designer makes tiny cakes that are distributed during the reception while the real wedding cake is reserved for the couple and their family Members.
6. The Food Does Not Go Round
No matter how rich the couple is or how well planned the wedding is, there is always reports of one or two people who were not served food at a wedding reception.
7. People Take Food Home
A Nigerian wedding is only seen as a success when all guests have had enough to eat and have excess to take home to their family and loved ones. They will even compliment the couple the more if take away food in polythene bags are provided after the buffet serving. That way it is easier for them to carry home as much “take away” packs as possible. A popular Nigerian song says “a o je aje yo, a o tu di lole,” which means “we would eat to our satisfaction and still have more to take home.”
8. No Ashoebi, No Food
Ashoebi is one way to make a wedding colourful as well as identify close relations and friends. In some weddings, if you are not putting on any of the chosen attire, your chances of being fed is slimmer as you are considered a wedding crasher. The waiters are most often instructed to serve guests wearing Ashoebi before random guests, so if you are unlucky, the food might get exhausted before they attend to you, and then there is no food for you.
9. Souvenirs are Selectively Distributed
More often than not, you will see a group of women and sometimes even men coming back from an occasion carrying all sorts of gifts. From buckets, rechargeable lamps, to hand-fans depending on the financial strength of the couple. Just like the distribution of food, souvenirs are given first to people who give the couple gifts, then it is extended to the bridal train, and people wearing Ashoebi. Aside from that, If you do not fall in any recognized group you may be ignored and might just end up going home with only the reception programme.
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10. Single Guests Are Expected to Marry Next
Usually, in wedding occasions, older folks grab the opportunity to remind singles that it is their turn to get married. They ask so many questions about when they are getting wedding invites, and when they are eating their own wedding cake and rice. If your friend is getting married and you are acting as a best man, groomsman, chief bridesmaid or bridesmaid, it is in your best interest to either be engaged or have a lover around, else these older folks might just choke you with marriage palaver.
11. Money Spray Galore
Money spraying is one essential part of every Nigerian wedding that can not be ignored. Even the groom is expected to come with enough money to lavish on his wife, as a way to appreciate her beauty and to assure her that he is financially capable of taking care of her and her needs. In most weddings, traditional & white, the bride’s veil would not be removed until someone pays a certain amount. An amount has to be given also before the bride can sit down and subsequent monies too as the occasion proceeds. The best part is during the couple dance, almost everyone in the hall is unconsciously compelled to come and shower the couple with minty notes.
12. People Hardly Stay To Partake In The Closing Prayer
Normally, receptions of Nigerian weddings start with a prayer but hardly ends with one. After food and souvenirs have been served, guests start leaving and by the time the closing prayer is said the hall is almost empty. Only close friends and family and also the caterer and event planners will be available to share “the grace” with the newly wedded couple.