It’s our three year ‘Tradiversary’ today! That’s new lingua for the anniversary of a traditional wedding ceremony. Time really does fly. I remember how we said we’d make a picture album of our traditional wedding photos shortly after the wedding. 3 years in and we still have no physical album. tsk tsk. Thank goodness for soft copy photos.
I can’t believe it’s been three years. It seems just like yesterday I was debating what outfits to wear for the ceremony. While doing some cleaning over the weekend, I stumbled on the first outfit I wore on the day, and I realised I hadn’t worn it again since that time.
As I haven’t really shared photos, about the traditional ceremony as I have with the church wedding, I thought it’s a good time to do so. Looking at the photos, I can see how much Tee and I seem to have changed! We look so young. More of Tee than me actually. I must be doing such a great job! Anyway, we’re thankful for growth and all of God’s graces.
As you probably know, I’m Igbo from the Eastern part of Nigeria and most Igbos are very attached to their home towns such that the traditional ceremony of their daughters have to be held there – in her father’s house. So that was a no brainer for us. We lived in Lagos, but we were going to travel down to the eastern part of the country.
I actually really like the road trip, and I sort of prefer it to flying. If you leave really early from Lagos you should have crossed the Niger Bridge in under 5 hours. For both of our weddings, we really wanted small knit crowd. But for this one in particular, we didn’t want to inconvenience people and have them travel down, so it was really a small (ish) crowd that came down from other parts of the country.
The ceremony in Igbo is called ‘Igba Nkwu’ which translated means ‘Wine Carrying’. Before the ‘Igba Nkwu’ though there’s usually two major ceremonies. The ‘Iku Aka’ and the ‘Ime Ego’. The ‘Iku Aka’ (translated to knocking) is when the groom to be alongside his family visit the bride’s family for introductions and to make known their intentions. The ‘Ime Ego’ is the bride price payment and that’s part 2 of the ceremonies. These days the Ime Ego can be done with the Igba Nkwu on the same day – but the male elders go in to do it privately. Contrary to many beliefs, many families only collect a little sum of money usually as a token.
There’s also ‘the list’ which states the items the groom has to provide for the Igba Nkwu ceremony. Some people have misconceptions about this list and getting married from the Eastern part of Nigeria. In many places, the list is really really affordable and only amounts to some cartons of drinks and a few other items. Tee himself wondered about the contents of the list, and was surprised when he saw it.
The Igba Nkwu is pretty important in my hometown, such that if a woman failed to do it, her daughter can’t get married, until she (i.e the mom) does it!
Usually, at the beginning of the ceremony the bride comes out in the first outfit to welcome her in laws and greet her parents. A lot of people wear a traditional two piece outfit – similar to a bralet and a mini skirt, with beads on their head, waist, ankles and legs and usually with a horse tail in their hand. I knew I didn’t want to wear this.
What did I want to wear? An Indian inspired outfit. And before you ask, no I have no relationship with India! But I just thought it’ll be cool to wear something saree inspired. Anyway, I couldn’t really bring my ideas to life, so I settled for a simple green dress – with the intention that i could re-rock it. I still haven’t!
Welcoming the in-laws!
My second and third outfits weren’t really an issue. The second outfit is worn at the point where the bride officially has to recognise her groom, This is the traditional two piece wrapper and ‘george‘ blouse, with a scarf. For the first parts of the ceremony, the groom is also expected to wear an Igbo outfit, and this applies even if he isn’t Igbo.
My third outfit was a Yoruba one, to be worn after the ceremony is over and I was now a Yoruba wife. At this point, Tee was also going to change to the traditional Yoruba Outfit.
My sisters and friends wore co-ordinated outfits made of orange lace fabric and mint scarves with matching necklaces! I was obsessed with the colour combination of orange and mint at the time of this wedding.
*i think we unknowingly replicated the above two photos at the white wedding. Check it out in this post – Unforgettable Wedding Memories – 5 Heartfelt Moments at Ours*
Everyone probably agrees that the highlight of the day is the bride finding the groom and giving him the glass of palm wine. Before this point, she’s been indoors (after receiving the in laws in the first outfit). So at the right time when she is called, she comes out, receives the drink from her father who says some blessings over her and then dances around to find her groom. Some ‘fake grooms’ call her out and she pays them no attention until she finds her groom, kneels and hands him the cup. So that’s essentially what I did – with my girls dancing behind me.
I wonder if there’s been any incident of the bride giving the drink to another groom – because theoretically this means she gets married to that person! The groom is expected to drink it all up, place some money in the empty glass, hold her hand and return the glass to her father with the money. They both dance for a while, and then take their seats as man & wife!
The rest of the day is pretty much dancing, eating, presentation of gifts and words of advice and blessings from the elders.
Receiving a gift of a baby bath set.
After some advice and blessings from the elders. I had to bite a bit of kola nut and then offer same to Tee.
At the end of the day, the girl is expected to follow her new husband home! I mean, they are man and wife. I guess this is where it dawns on every one that the marriage has happened. Obviously I felt a bit sad that I had to leave – especially as I wasn’t going to spend the night with my friends who were flying out the next morning.
Not sure what was going on with that final picture – it must have been the photographer asking for that pose!
All in all, it was a great day. I’m thankful for the memories.
Interestingly, other than mine, I think I’ve attended just one other Igba Nkwu Ceremony! How about you? Are you Igbo and had to do this? Or have you attended any? What did you think of it? What’s the highlight of traditional wedding ceremonies where you come?
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'DaraJune 28, 2017 at 08:08
Happy tradiversary Kachee! The pictures are lovely. I love the diversity of culture and what they represent. Although a few times, I always feel most of the rites are really unnecessary and it just feels like bureaucratic procedures which could make it really tiring. You can almost always predict the next steps. All the “We have seen a beautiful flower in your garden and have come to request your permission to pluck it.” But I try to overlook this and focus on the beauty in culture. Traditions have been kept and preserved over the years; It could only be perfect to continue with it and not let them fade away.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 29, 2017 at 05:39
Hahahahaha. I know what you mean. And remember Mrs Adenowo said same in her KingWoman interview. Like you know that the bride will pick the bible for example in Yoruba trad. You know what the people will say etc etc. But I guess that’s what makes it culture.
DebsJune 28, 2017 at 08:37
The pictures are so lovely.You are very beautiful.Choice of color is awesome as well.I have attended an Igbo Traditional wedding once in my life, I even managed the event and it was so much fun for me, I enjoyed the “Wine Carrying” part more.Congrats on your anniversary, many more blessedness to come.
Paula Olaitan BenedictJune 28, 2017 at 14:38
Always an interesting read from you …Just curious about the baby bath…. hope you carried it back to the UK with you sha 😁
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 28, 2017 at 15:25
Hahahha! I was actually going to include that I have no idea where that ended up! Lol.
OyinlolaJune 28, 2017 at 17:16
This post is so beautiful. I’m Yourba but I know I want to marry and Igbo man because of the Igba Nkwu, I’ll force them to adopt me as their daughter before the ceremony so I can loool. Both your outfits are gorgeous.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 28, 2017 at 18:27
Looool! Thank you so much!You can merge both ceremonies somehow and just let them know you want to do the palm wine carrying thing. they’d love you for that. Xx
EndalineJune 29, 2017 at 09:38
Congratulations Kachi!! I was ‘smizing’ as I was going through the pictures. Made me remember my own day. I’m Igbo, married to an Igbo man, and guurl, I did the whole beads, horsetail ensemble. I danced my heart out. I only cried when my maternal grandmum prayed and was crying while she was doing it. That was pretty emotional.Your outfits are beautiful, and I like that last picture. Many more wonderful years to you and Tee!
Adaora Ugochukwu Mary-annJune 29, 2017 at 10:51
I just needed to read this as my igba nkwu is in a months time
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 29, 2017 at 10:53
Yay!!! Congratulations to you. I’m sure you’d have such a great day and a blessed union! Xx
Grace SmartJune 29, 2017 at 13:43
awww. I enjoyed this. Awesome read. Me too dey think am if perhaps there has been an incident of a lady giving the wine to someone else. Lolwww.liveinibadan.blogspot.com
jennifer ijeomaJune 29, 2017 at 14:42
Lovely post and very detailed. Oh! The part where you carry the palm wine on your head and the belief that if it falls down, everybody will just get up and go home…*funny*. I do wonder if that has ever happened outside the movies….lol. I had this relative of my husband who made us dance till my feet hurt. I definitely love the Igbo marriage tradition. This brought back some good old memories. I enjoyed reading itwww.ijefinelivin.com
Annie EjioforJune 29, 2017 at 19:14
I liked your traditional wedding photos in Yoruba attire the most. You looked sooo His! 😍❤❤Happy tradiversary, ma’am 😍 Keep enjoying marital bliss and here’s 🍷to more successes!
FolaJune 30, 2017 at 11:42
Happy tradiversary!Confession time: I’ve always wanted to marry a yellow Igbo man *covers face* I don’t even know where the desire came from, probably because my sister did the same.www.thegraceadventures.com
Bubu GreenJune 30, 2017 at 19:43
Hahaha. The first paragraph had me in stitches cos I experienced same thing. No physical pix whatsoever. It is because you had to travel out afterwards. Happy Anniversary darling. God bless and keep your marriage. Meanwhile I spotted this in Grenada and thought about you. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…www.bubusboulevard.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJuly 2, 2017 at 21:25
Hhahahaahah Bubs, My name!. Thanks for sharing!
oma amadiJuly 1, 2017 at 18:14
happy tradiversary! God bless your marriagehttp://www.discovringchee.blogspot.com.ng
mzcharideeJuly 2, 2017 at 09:54
see kachee looking so young, slim and happy.The pictures are beautiful.
AishaJuly 2, 2017 at 11:33
Awww beautiful. Many more years to come. ❤️❤️
Desire UbaJuly 7, 2017 at 09:21
Aww, I can actually totally relate to this because of my Igbo self. I still wonder why we do the bride price thing, but oh well. I still find the carrying wine-fake groom thing funny though.I am so late to the party but… Happy Tradiversary Kachee and Tee!
Olufisayo AdelekeJuly 9, 2017 at 17:31
This pictures are gorg…you and Tee are too fine…and another thing I like about the picture is that your headties are beautiful and all tied differently. I miss those days were you could tie your gele anyhow and not be judged for the layers not being perfect..*eyes rolling*, simpler times
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJuly 9, 2017 at 20:33
Haha! Although weddings are more complicated now, they were even then. But I just couldn’t be overly bothered – and didn’t need to have all those perfect layers. So I guess it often balls down to what you want! Lol
FavourJuly 19, 2017 at 08:23
Hey Kachi… long time. These pictures are very pretty and the colour combination is good. Loving you guys last outfit. I wonder if there were behind the scenes moments like the white wedding own. http://www.girleccentric.wordpress...
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJuly 24, 2017 at 19:35
Hey Favour! Good to see you here again. Thank you!. As always there were a few behind the scenes! Like me having to polish my nails the morning of the ceremony! If you notice, they were not polished in the first outfit photo. Lol!
Hicks TemiTopeAugust 17, 2017 at 11:36
I enjoyed reading this and the pictures are beautiful also.www.extemy.wordpress.com