If you know about Nigerian traditional weddings, you know what we’re talking about. But for the sake of those who might not, let us explain.


Different cultures around the world have different traditional requirements for joining couples. Over in Germany, for example, good friends of the couple kidnap the bride and leave pointers for the groom to find her.

And when it comes to the requirements involving money, there is no end of diversity. However, monetary requirements either pass from the bride’s family to the groom’s, or the other way around.

One thing that you will find in all ethnic groups across Nigeria is the tradition of the ‘bride price’. This is a sum of money presented to the bride’s family by the groom’s, to show appreciation for having raised the new wife.

The bride price itself, a negotiable sum, is often easily sorted. The problem is the list that accompanies this sum. Said list is compiled by collating the demands of the various factions in the bride’s family.


And yes, that includes the extended family. And members of the different groups in the bride’s hometown. We’re talking children, youth, elders, men, women, young men, young women, and so on. Yes, young men and women are apparently different from youth. You get the gist.

The problem is that this wedding list is often ridiculous, sometimes even costing more than the bride price itself. And to worsen things, the groom cannot simply cover the cost. No, he must acquire the items in the list and present them to the bride’s family. Here are samples of traditional wedding lists.



These lists often make the couple reconsider the entire thing. For those who chose to go ahead, it has become common for the bride to pitch in and acquire some of the items on the list. Another growing trend is for the couple to forego the entire traditional wedding, and to content themselves with being legally married. There’s always the option of elopement, but you didn’t hear it from us o!