4 Things that Make a Yoruba Wedding Truly African

yoruba weddings
Bride and groom. © Kala Photography

Like they say, culture is a man’s way of life, so therefore you can’t take away culture from the African man. One of those occasions where cultural practices are often followed to the latter is during weddings. Nigerians, do not joke with their African wedding, as this is the time to go all out and showcase their age long cultures and traditions. From the music, dance, prayers, food, etc. the Africans sure know how to plan a wedding. Nigeria boast of a million dollar wedding industry. When it comes to Nigerian traditional marriage, the Yoruba people have a reputation of throwing the ever lavish Yoruba weddings. A weekend in Nigeria is never complete without owambe ( “it is there”); a term now used nationwide to describe Yoruba wedding – Nigerian wedding or Nigerian parties in general. Looking to experience a true Yoruba traditional marriage? Here are 4 things that you should be on look out for in order to have the full African experience. #Yorbuawedding

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Colourful

It is no longer news that the Africans are a people of colour, and I don’t mean the skin colour here, I am talking about the various colours that we see all around us. In different countries across the continent, there is always a display of creativity during special occasions and this display often involves an array of colours. Now whenever the Yoruba people want to get married, they do not play with their colours especially when it comes to choosing their “Aso-ebi”. In fact, these days, they have become more creative when it comes to choosing their colours. I mean how do you describe writing things like ‘tomato red and champagne gold’ on invitation cards? that’s definitely taking it up a notch if you ask us. Sometimes, the colour combination might seem a bit strange especially if you have never thought of it before, but by the time you get to the venue, you are most likely going to love it, because a lot of thoughts and inputs go into those colours alone.

The Delicious Food

Food is another major thing that the Yorubas don’t joke with in their weddings. This is the time when different dishes are put on display. Not only the do they go all the way when it comes to the preparation of these meals. But they also take the serving very seriously as well. The bride’s side will have their own caterers and the groom’s side will also have theirs. Apart from those ones, there are other family members and well wishers who will bring their own food to serve to their own guests, just so that everybody is able to eat. This sort of communal and brotherly act is something very common amongst the Africans. And the Yoruba people are also very fond of it. Different local meals ranging from “iyan” (pounded yam), “amala” (yam flour), “efo riro” (vegetable soup) “egusi” (melon soup), “ila alasepo” (okro soup) and of course the award winning jollof rice are always served in their weddings with guests eating till they can eat no more.

Dressing

If there is anything the yorubas can do well, it is dressing. When it comes to weddings, they do not joke with their attires at all. The local attires for the Yoruba people are iro, buba and gele for the women and for the men they wear their full agbada and fila. In recent times, some many sort of beautiful fabrics have been made that really showcase their colourful nature, and one thing about them is that they always go for the best. From Ankara to lace materials, they will never disappoint. The different styles that people are able to come up with especially among the ladies are another thing that adds vigor to the event. Be careful though, if you see a young Yoruba guy in his white agbada and sunglasses maybe with a couple of his friends also dressed similarly, you might want to take a few steps back, we will save the reason for another post, we warned you though!

Yoruba Traditional Wedding
The groom with the bridesmaids and groomsmen in the asoebi attire. © B. F. Ajudua

Drama

Africans and drama are almost inseparable. So, it is not a thing of surprise that Yoruba people are also very dramatic; this is not only peculiar to only them though, probably every tribe in Nigeria has just a little bit of drama embedded in their DNA. The reason why Yoruba weddings are always fun and ‘turnt’ is mostly because there has to be a sort of show at different times during the event. Whether during the dance, serving of the food, sharing of souvenirs, there has to be something you take home to remember that day for. We have those people who get tipsy from drinks and then begin to ‘manifest’ on the dance floor with moves that have not even been invented yet, or those elderly mummies who can get really aggressive when it comes to collecting souvenirs, it can really ugly pretty fast! Sharing food is however one of the major causes of drama in a Yoruba wedding, some people decide to literally eat their three square meals in that party alone, so you will see them bringing take-away bags just to put some of the food in them only to say they haven’t been served, they also can get aggressive too. The fun part is that it is not always the negative kind of drama that happens in a Yoruba wedding, there are dramas like the couples entrance; people have really gotten creative with this one, spraying money on the dance floor too can become drama because then everybody wants to show off, but we are sure the couple will definitely not mind this kind of drama at all!

So, whenever you get an invite to a Yoruba wedding, all you have to do is show up looking fabulous, the rest will be taken care of!

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