For a wedding ceremony to be fully completed, it requires at least 4 steps according to the Igbo culture, which includes the iku-aka / iju ese, ime-ego, igbankwu and bia malu ulo.Usually, there is no ceremony for engagement, it normally takes place between the iku aka and the ime-ego (introduction and the brideprice ceremonies), when the groom’s family hands over the money and other agreed prerequisites. The money and goods are counted, while relatives and friends are served drinks and food in the bride’s compound. After all is settled, the traditional wedding day is planned or the ime-go can be considered as an engagement though a girl enjoys all the privileges of a wife but the marriage is considered incomplete until the wedding is done i.e formally telling your neighbourhood that you are married, friends are also invited (igbankwu). Bia malu ulo is not a big ceremony per se; but its time the bride’s family go to their daughter’s new home to see where she now belongs.
The brides usually wear the Igbo George wrapper and coral beads around their waist, wrist, hair and neck, dressed like Queens. While other Igbo brides from other states may wear a puffed sleeve blouse popularly known as Igbo Blouse along with two wrappers which is known as a George wrapper and a head tie which is also known as a gele. The groom wears a top called Isiagu or Ishi agu. Isiagu (or Ishi agu) is usually patterned with lions heads embroidered overAnother Igbo attire the clothing and can be a plain colour or any other material including Lace, Jacquard or Brocade. It is worn with trousers and can be worn with the traditional Igbo men’s hat (a red or black hat). The Groom sometimes uses a walking stick with is attire and could also use coral beads.Our favourite is when the bride’s father fills a wooden cup (Iko) with palm wine and passes it on to the girl while the groom finds a place between the guests. And then she goes about looking for her groom until she finds him among the guests and make him drink from the cup, only then they are traditionally married!. During this ceremony, there is also the nuptial dance where the couple dances, while guests wish the newly weds prosperity by throwing money around them or putting bills on their forehead.