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Traditional Nigerian Wedding Planning Checklist: Nigerian Traditional wedding Brides Checklist

Updated on June 14, 2015

Wedding checklist

Having a wedding checklist is important when planning a wedding
Having a wedding checklist is important when planning a wedding | Source

Planning a wedding

Having a list reduces the stress involved in planning a wedding
Having a list reduces the stress involved in planning a wedding | Source

Having a checklist

Your prince charming has popped the big question “Would you marry me...and you said yes. He put a beautiful ring on your finger and you are his fiancée, what next.

Planning a wedding is a herculean task especially Nigerian weddings, considering traditional engagements and after party. There is no perfect time than NOW even though the lovely nuptial date is not yet set.

Having a checklist makes the process much easier and stress free, so let us go through the bridal checklist.

Announce your changed status

It is important to announce your changed status to your close friends and family so they can share in your joy. It also keeps other roving bachelors away, which reduces the temptation to stray.

Your groom also has an important part in the announcement by formally seeking your parents consent. The process is not complicated especially if your parents are informed of his formal visit.

The groom can fix a certain date and come with his friends and a senior family member. The introductions are informal and in a friendly atmosphere where he states his intentions.

This informal introduction should- not be confused with traditional introduction because that is a completely different ball game. Traditional engagement is capital intensive and follows strict guidelines and rules while involving both families.

Wedding timeline and checklist

Engagement ring

Show change in status
Show change in status | Source

The date of the wedding

The date of the wedding is the most important aspect of any wedding for proper planning. When the day is set a venue of your choice is the next step.

The size of the venue depends on the number of guest you invite; the more guest the bigger the venue. The bigger the venue the more money it would cost to accommodate your well-wishers.

Once both families have agreed on a date and the venue booked then the next step is invitation cards. As a rule, it is better to send out invitation cards at least a month to the wedding.

Any time earlier and your guests might forget the date, sooner and it might be inconvenient to some guests. On the invitation card is the bride and grooms name, family names, RSVP, location of the wedding, date, time and color scheme for the day.

Different Nigerian weddings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Islamic authority wedding 2,222Church weddingTradition eastern  Nigerian weddingRegistry wedding
Islamic authority wedding 2,222
Islamic authority wedding 2,222
Church wedding
Church wedding
Tradition eastern  Nigerian wedding
Tradition eastern Nigerian wedding
Registry wedding
Registry wedding

Understand the customary traditional wedding rites

Depending on the bride’s ethnic group, the traditional rites differ and are different in execution. The bride should help the groom understand the requirements or the groom can hire a professional to guide him.

Traditional engagements involve bride price, list of items, certain dressing and comportment and other requirements. Having a checklist reduces the stress involved in fulfilling the traditional aspects.

What kind of wedding do you want?

The three major ethnic groups in Nigeria have three major marriage rites acceptable to the government. Customary marriage, traditional marriage, and religious unions like Christian/ Muslim weddings.

The bride and groom to be should determine which wedding they want. They may decide on traditional engagement and church wedding or customary union at government registry.

Such crucial decisions are not left to the couple but are subject to the family’s approval. Other important considerations involve the duration of the nuptial like how many days between engagement and wedding ceremony.

The most practical solution is to have the engagement and the wedding on the same day. Engagements are rather lengthy so putting the engagement after the church or registry.

Aso ebi material

Women wearing identical material
Women wearing identical material | Source

Aso-ebi and white wedding outfit

Traditional Nigerian wedding are incomplete without the uniform Aso ebi, a material chosen by the bride and groom. Aso ebi materials are usually wax print materials made up of beautiful designs.

The material might have a single or dual color theme depending on the choice of the couple. They can be monogram, bright colored, or multi colored material.

The material can also be woven, tie and dye or any cloth of their choice. Most material chosen for wedding are moderately priced and supplied by the bride to family and friends (at a cost).

The color might not necessarily be the same as the groom’s family but the couple-wear identical apparels and color scheme. Great care and detail should be put into the brides design because it is her day and she should be glamorous and shine.

It goes with the wedding gown, which can be new, used, or sown by the bride. New gowns are pricy and proper thought should be given to finances, the groom can buy a suit or tuxedo if he so wishes for the white wedding.

The traditional engagement also requires certain native accessories like beads, bracelets, and hairpieces.

Nigerian engagement

Wedding checklist

1 Announce the change in status

2 Have an informal introduction between both families

3 Decide which type of wedding you want

4 Set a wedding date

5 Select a venue

6 Chose the material and color scheme for the nuptial

7 Send out the invitation cards

8 Buy the gown/dress

9 Have a caterer organize the food and drinks, hire a DJ/live band

10 Be religion compliant

11 Grooms family should work on the bride price and engagement list

12 Have a great day

Wedding party

Nigerian wedding parties are full of fun and dancing
Nigerian wedding parties are full of fun and dancing | Source

The party

Whatever wedding arrangement you choose white wedding, traditional engagement or civil wedding you will have guests. The guests need to be entertained so provision is made for food, drinks, venue, entertainment, and music.

You choice of music depends on you budget and choice either a DJ or live band. It is better to give the food to professional caterers and ushers to reduce you stress.

Make a checklist of the type of food you wish to serve your guest and ask for ideas from the caterer. The number of guests you invite would determine how much money is spent on drinks and food.

Religious wedding considerations

Religious weddings like church wedding and Muslim wedding are dependant on the availability of the church, pastor, or cleric. Make sue all provisions have been met and a definite date agreed to by the holy men.

Some church wedding require couple counseling, active, membership, and dues paid including medical tests. The requirements differ from religious organization to the next so make sure everything is in order.

Engagement list

Choose your preferred wedding

What type of wedding do you prefer?

See results

Bride price and engagement list

The engagement list and bride price depends on the ethnicity of the couple. Some ethnic groups in Nigeria have zero bride price but the engagement list is high.

Other ethnic groups have the reverse high bride price and moderate engagement list. The bride’s family provides the engagement list prior to the engagement ceremony.

The groom’s family should start buying the items listed on the list early enough and leave the perishable goods until a day to the event. Buying the listed items early reduces the cost over a period than purchasing al the items at once.


Nigerian wedding involve the entire families and friends, with proper arrangement the day will go smoothly. Making early plans and spreading cash involvement over a period helps reduce cost.

You can search for discounts and promotional priced goods to reduce the heavy cost of weddings. Do not forget to use your checklist once the wedding day is set, good luck and happy marriage life.

© 2015 femi


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    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 months ago from Nigeria

      Take it easy and dont stress yourself. Despite everything traditional marriage is a fun occasion. In yoruba land a woman called alaga handles the entire occasion you barely have to do anything but look pretty

    • profile image

      Am Lilian by name 

      2 months ago

      Am so novice about dis hv. Not been there either going for a wedding befor b and am about to prepare for my indoor traditional marrage as a wife i dont know what using for my outfit not even d colour and d arragement how d do it pls i need hlep from does eho hvbeen dere befor what i do to prepare my self and how to look but d other things liks d marrage list itemes hv ben taking care off what i need is hw i will prepare myself and my outfit and others things d bride will need pls thankz


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