Customary Nigerian Wedding Gifts

Written by brenda priddy
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Customary Nigerian Wedding Gifts
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Traditional Nigerian weddings are complicated and have many traditions that have been forgotten. The takeover of the Western world has changed the way Nigerian weddings occur. However, the old practices that have existed for hundreds of years still exist. Traditionally, most gifts given to the bride and groom consisted of a few different categories of gift depending on the gift giver and his income level.

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Gift Givers

In Nigeria, everyone gives a gift to the bride and groom when attending a wedding. The groom and groom’s parents provide the largest portion of gifts in a pre-ceremony several weeks or days before the ceremony, according to Umea University. In this ceremony, the groom’s family still follows the ancient tradition of paying the bride’s parents for the privilege of bringing the bride into their family. At the actual wedding, wedding guests provide gifts of all types, but there is usually no registry of gifts as in most Western weddings.


Money is the number one gift to give to the bride and groom. Some guests may even give money to the bride’s family to help pay for the wedding, according to Nathaniel There is no limit on the currency accepted, and some guests may give other country’s money if that is all they have. Every guest tries to give as much as they can to help the new couple in their life together and to alleviate some of the cost of the wedding, which can get expensive just like American weddings. The largest money gift comes from the groom and his family before the actual wedding.


Another traditional wedding gift is livestock. Goats, cattle and other livestock is transferred between the families traditionally, but fewer families follow this form of tradition in the modern world. Many families replace the gift of livestock with money in the modern world, due to the practice of Western-style weddings taking over the more traditional Nigerian wedding model.

Yams and Vegetables

Gifts of yams and other vegetables also come from the groom’s family to the bride’s family during the pre-wedding ceremony when the families approve the marriage. Vegetables were typically given when the families were poorer, and might not have had access to large quantities of money or livestock. Some wedding guests may still provide vegetables and food to the wedding party during the reception.

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