How does Yoruba Traditional Marriage Work | All You Need to Know

If you are looking for information on how Yoruba traditional marriage works, look no further as this is the right place for you. The Yoruba people of Nigeria have a rich culture, and their traditional marriage ceremonies are from the root of their customs and beliefs.

How does Yoruba Traditional Marriage Work

In this article, we present an overview of the Yoruba traditional marriage, exploring the customs, traditions, and frequently asked questions.

How Does Yoruba Traditional Marriage Work

Yoruba traditional marriages are from the root of tradition and culture. They are not only a union between a man and a woman, but also a union between their families and the wider community. However, the ceremonies serve as a way to preserve Yoruba customs and strengthen family ties. Here is the process of how the Yoruba traditional marriage works;

  • The process begins with the man’s family expressing their intentions to marry the woman. whereas both families exchange visits and come to an agreement.
  • Once both families agree, an engagement ceremony or introduction is held. During this event, the groom’s family brings gifts to the bride’s family, which symbolizes their goodwill and commitment. However, the couple is introduced to their families, and the date for the traditional wedding is set.
  • The bride’s price is an important gesture offered by the groom’s family. Nevertheless, both families discuss and agree on the amount and items to be included in the bride’s price.
  • At the traditional wedding ceremony, the groom’s family presents the items included in the bride’s price, some of which include kola nut, palm wine, clothes, accessories, and cash.
  • The groom, accompanied by his family and friends proceeds to the bride’s family home. The bride is adorned in the Yoruba traditional attire. However, the couple seeks the blessing of the bride’s parents and elders in attendance.
  • During the ceremony, various rituals and customs are performed such as the exchange of vows, tying the knot, and sharing of a symbolic meal.
  • The ceremony is accompanied by lively music, traditional dances, and feasting.

The ceremony is a time for celebration, with guests enjoying traditional Yoruba meals.

Yoruba Bride Price

Generally, the bride price for the Yoruba people is between N1000 – N5000. Whereas, the Yoruba traditional engagement list may include;

  • Lace, Ankara fabrics, Shoes, and handbags
  • Jewelry (wristwatch, earrings, and chains)
  • Groundnut oil
  • Kola nut
  • Drinks
  • Basket of fruits
  • Bag of rice
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Tubers of Yam
  • Palm wine
  • Bitter kola
  • Chilli/ Alligator pepper

Some other items can be included in the engagement list by the bride’s family.

What is the significance of the engagement list?

The engagement list serves as a symbol of the groom’s ability to take care of the bride and his commitment to the marriage. However, it also represents a demonstration of goodwill and respect toward the bride’s family.

Are Yoruba traditional marriages legally recognized?

Yoruba traditional marriages are not legally recognized in Nigeria. Couples usually have a separate civil marriage ceremony to fulfill legal requirements. However, traditional marriage holds significant cultural and societal importance.

Can non-Yoruba individuals marry into a Yoruba family?

Yes. Yoruba traditional marriages are open to individuals from different cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, the Yoruba people embrace cultural diversity and are well known for their hospitality.


Yoruba traditional marriages are a beautiful demonstration of the Yoruba tradition and culture. Whereas, the ceremonies not only unite two individuals but also bring families together and honor the culture of the Yoruba people.

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