There are three types of marriages in Nnewi: the traditional marriage held in the house of the woman; the official wedding, held in a registry office and which allows only one wife; and the religious marriage. The official marriage ceremony is called “Igbankwu”, which is the Igbo word for the traditional marriage ceremony. In Nnewi, there are three visits the suitor must make to the family of the bride to be before the woman is given in marriage to the suitor.
FIRST VISIT -(lku Aka N’Uzo)
A prospective suitor will make an initial approach to his proposed in-law (Known as 11m Aka N’uzo). This is when the suitor will communicate his intention to marry the woman to the parents, The rule requires that not more than
- four (4) persons accompany the suitor to the first call bringing with them only two (2) gallons of Up-wine.
During this initial visit, the suitor party are entertained by the woman’s family.
SECOND VISIT -(Ife ana)
During this visit, the suitor’s party is limited to eight (8) persons. The suitor will present to his future in-laws, not more than
- two (2) gallons of up-wine,
- two (2) gallons of Ngwo,
- one (1) carton of beer,
- one (1) crate of mineral, or one (1) carton of malt.
After the presentation, the suitor will once again ask for permission from the woman’s parents to marry their daughter and offer their daughter an opportunity to go back with the suitor to his home. If their daughter is interested in marrying the suitor she will depart with the suitor at the end of the day for an investigative visit to the suitor’s home. This will provide the woman the opportunity to see if the man’s home is a place where she will like to marry.
THIRD VISIT – (IDURU NWANYl)
This visit is called IDURU NWAYI (taking the woman home) at this visit, the prayer session i.e. Igo-Ofor, payment of bride price (Dowry) are performed. At this ceremony not be more than fifty (50) persons shall accompany the suitor on this occasion during which he would present not more than
- four (4) gallons of up-wine,
- four (4) gallons of Ngwo,
- six (6) cartons of Beer,
- four (4) crates of mineral,
- two (2) cartons of small stout and
- two (2) bottles of hot drink.
At the end of the ceremony, the woman becomes a Bride and leaves with the Bride-groom