The Yoruba I must confess have over time developed a wonderful culture of hosting and attending ceremonies where beautiful colors, joy and happiness are being displayed. And a ceremony of great magnitude like marriage is no exception. Their hospitality is flawless and attendance is almost always at its peak.
To the point now, a Yoruba man of 25-30 usually pursues his Yoruba wife of ages between 17-25. After they both express mutual love for each other * winks *, they inform their parents. Like many other traditions in Nigeria, the groom is escorted by members of his family to the brides home. Yorubas have a custom of having and showing respect to elders and it comes to play here too. The groom and his family kneel to show the brides family respect just before they enter their home. This must be quick and prompt or else he will be asked to leave or to pay a fee. Permit me to use this, “the traditional asking out” begins here with the families sitting opposite each other while the bride and the groom are close to the center. In the middle, Olopa Iduor (speaker for the grooms family) and Olopa Ijoko (speaker for the brides family). The Ilopa Iduor now presents a letter to the brides family ones everyone is seated. The receiver will be Olopa Ijoko who reads the letter aloud and the brides family responds. Dowry is then paid to the brides family. This could be goods but mostly money is paid. The reason for paying this dowry they say is to compensate the brides family for raising her and to test the grooms patience. STUNNED? Me too!. The dowry of virgins cost more as expected. Prayers follow closely after that as usual. Some Yorubas have a Yoruba priest do a thing or two to predict the compatibilty of the couple.
Foods like Oyin(honey) and Obi(kola nut) are passed round by the Olopas to symbolize long life and a blessed union. The last part after the wedding ceremony is the “Igbe Iyawo” which means to carry the bride. Celebrations begin full time when the bride has been taken to her husband. My dear readers, isn't this wonderful?