Yes, it may take an Igbo man a little while before he gets married. But when he does, it is far from being a private affair. Almost everyone is involved, and everyone is happy.
Traditional marriage in Igboland is usually colourful, but relatively costly to organize. However, it is a tradition that must be fulfilled before a man and his beau will be accepted as husband and wife and proclaimed as such in Igboland.
The Igbo traditional marriage is the grand finale of a series of nuptial processes that has been on-going between the families of the groom and the bride, and no expense is spared – to make it a memorable experience for both households.
Friends and extended family members are invited to attend and witness the Igbo traditional marriage from far and near, as this marks the day a girl is formally handed over to her husband to be the heart and hearth of his own household.
There’s often a lot to eat and drink, and local musicians are invited to entertain the audience who troop out from the bride’s community in their thousands to bid farewell to their daughter as she moves in with her husband.
However colourful Igbo traditional marriages may be, most communities in Igboland have moved to reduced the high cost of this cultural ceremony which has been identified as one of the key reasons for late marriage in the South-East zone.