Traditional marriage in Igbo land is a highly spiritual event that carries a lot of importance.
In fact, no couple will be recognized as married in Igboland unless every traditional rite is observed to its fullest extent.
The things required to be presented to the bride’s family may be a little expensive under today’s rate of inflation, but the traditional marriage rites itself is simple and does not cost much including the dowry that is paid.
Traditional marriage in Igboland, being a ceremony of love and union, typically attracts a large number of relatives, friends, and well-wishers to the point of rendering any idea of printing invitation cards meaningless.
Obviously, no one single family can successfully host two entire clans without applying financial prudence.
But like it is said in wedding ceremonies, emotions try to run higher than reason especially when it comes to spending.
The Igbo traditional marriage ceremony is not an exception. In fact, the prices of pretty common place stuffs often triple when the word traditional marriage is attached to them in Igboland. This is because the sellers or service providers know that emotion typically takes the driver’s seat and relegates the sense of reason to the background.
On this note, our forefathers designed a smart cultural template that contains 5 ways Igbos can reduce the cost of their traditional marriage ceremonies in order to prevent the newly joined couple from going bankrupt after their traditional marriage ceremony.
Check out these smart cost-cutting tips they have been handed over as cultural practice to us:
1. Having all the traditional marriage rites and ceremonies in one day.
Admittedly, Igbo traditional marriage comes in various stages and steps which may span a few days or weeks. However, our forefathers have permitted all the steps to be carried out on the same day, if the groom has a pre-knowledge of what is required of him as contained in the marriage list and has them at his disposal.
2. The couple must not be physically present.
It is permitted, culturally, for a small team or delegation from the both families to represent the entire clans in the execution of the traditional marriage. In fact, it is not a must for the couple to be physically present during the traditional marriage.
Our forefathers accept the fact that Igbos are great travelers and migrants. And as such, accepts that a traditional marriage can be validated in absentia, if those getting married are far from home. That saves cost of travels, feeding, accommodation etc that are associated with marriage ceremonies.
3. Rent and borrow attires.
It is culturally allowed for the bride to rent and wear quality traditional attires. If a bride can’t even afford to rent, she may borrow. Donning borrowed attires and traditional inexpensive make-ups does not invalidated an Igbo traditional marriage.
4. Venue is usually free.
One smart way to reduce cost of traditional marriage our forefathers handed over to us comes in the insistence that the ceremony takes place in the residence of the bride’s parent which is a free venue.
The couple doesn’t need to pay a dime to host a party in front of the bride’s own home. All that needs to be done is to clean up after and maybe send food around to neighbours.
5. Cheap, available and reliable help from friends and family.
Igbo traditional marriage is designed by our ancestors in such a way that team work, team spirit and cooperation must play a part in its success. So, one can be assured of cheap, reliable, and available help from the start.
These are just a few smart ways. There are many others that have not been highlighted in this article. You can share your tips with us in the comments. Thank you.