‘Omolomo wambi lets talk!’ *in Darey Art Alades’s voice*.
Weddings are beautiful. Whether or not you are the bride/groom or just a happy participant in this celebration and public display of love, i think it can be unanimously agreed that weddings are beautiful. It encapsulates the complete journey of two individuals who met, fell in love with their very different or unique personalities, became identified as a pair by the world around them, accepted this identification and decided to show that indeed they are in sync with this popular observation, but this time with a certificate to prove it (well excuse my biased definition). *inserts formal definition* –
A socially and legally recognized union which involves a contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between themselves; and their children, and their in-laws, and the society in general (there you go!).
Definitions aside, did you know though, white weddings were as traditional as weddings got?
Yes! In Britain were the ideology of a white wedding originated from in the Victorian era after the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg, were Victoria wore a white gown to incorporate some lace she prized, it would most likely feature a breakfast or super following the wedding ceremony and the bride wouldn’t take her gown off until she was changing to her travelling apparel. This was as traditional as it got. Over the centuries though, the ideology evolved and a lot changed with different cultures twixing it to express their own beauty.
Let me take a moment to express this – I LOVE ME SOME NIGERIAN WEDDINGS!
*inserts Nigerian wedding*
Picture the cake, the white gown, the rings, the Groomsmen, the Bridesmaids, the Tux, the Bouquet, everything which characterized the original idea of White wedding, but don’t stop there, there’s more!
- Traditional wedding
A Nigerian wedding can not and will not be complete without the the traditional wedding. This is the custom ceremony. It is colorful, it is the real showcase of ethnicity and culture, it is family centered -where running away to Dubai to curtail the attendance list to a few ‘tens’ is almost impossible, it is so much fun and
the food is usually distinct to the local area, community or tribe; trust me, ‘diversity’ is not even a word worthy to do justice to this – Nigerian dishes though! *love-struck*.
It is the party for all (i mean, when every member of your extended family is present and in addition to that, what is left of your village community shows up too complete the list) – Now that’s a traditional ceremony! Lol!
- The Queens day
I have come to find that most Nigerian weddings are like a celebration for the Queen of the day! Of course a wedding is about both individuals and their celebration of love but for a Nigerian wedding, its almost impossible not to spot the star of the day- The bride (sorry guys!). This is not to say that focus is taken away from the groom though, however, from the freedom to change outfits (were at both traditional and white wedding ceremonies nowadays, the lady can change as many times as she wants or as many times as her budget permits), where her squad a.k.a Bridesmaids or maid (depending) are on alert at her every move or steady ready to gather up every note that falls off her while dancing (because you know the mulla has to be protected) and even down to the little duties performed by the chief Bridesmaid/maid of honor, it becomes obvious (experience permits), that the Nigerian wedding celebrates the beautiful bride.
- The attitude
The Nigerian wedding ceremony is embalmed with an attitude that not only is infectiously Nigerian but also shows no traces of fading away in years and more years of ceremonies to come. There is no schedule or format. It is an attitude of “we are in this together”, happy despite the imperfections – insufficient food, bad decor, misappropriated funding, Bridezilla moments, Nigerian timing at its peak (late turnout of vendors or guests), of planning going wrong and basically anything that can be a downer. For that moment, day or days, the subconscious theme is -we win together!
- Purely Nigerian
The concept and ideology of weddings evolved, Nations interpreting this ceremony as best depicting what they value, understand and embrace as culture. The white wedding remaining the religious showcase and approval of a union, whilst the traditional, the cultural showcase and approval (especially in continents other than Europe and the Americas).
The Nigerian ceremony can be identified with but not limited to; gele tying, george, babban riga, asho-ike, buba and iro, agbada, and the likes in terms of style, and still translates urban and adopted western styles in beautiful and original Nigerian interpretations.
The Nigerian wedding transcends far beyond a ceremony that has been structured to socially confirm a union, it is a fully packaged experience and one that is truly Nigerian. I LOVE ME SOME NIGERIAN WEDDINGS! Don’t you?
Photography: @elnukawophotography (Instagram)