Types Of Marriages In Nigeria & Marriage In Nigerian Culture

A detailed post on the marriage culture in Nigeria, the types of marriages in Nigeria, the different forms that exist. Nigeria as a country is blessed with various languages and ethnic groups. This is as a result of the different geo-political zones embedded in the country. It is divided into 36 states, with entirely different languages from the other and that is why it is regarded as the giant of Africa.

According to research, this country is one of the most populous countries in the world and there are limited resources to cater for this amount of people, that is exactly why the country is regarded as a developing country because it has not been able to balance the economic needs of the citizens living in the country. One major aspect of this country, is the way marriage ceremonies are conducted.

The way one society or ethnic group likes to conduct marriage ceremonies will likely be very different from the way another will conduct it, especially when it comes to songs and melodies on the marriage ceremony day. 

Types Of Marriages In Nigeria

Here are various marriage culture in Nigeria and wedding ceremony types attended by Nigerians in different parts of the country, and they are recognized as the rightful types of marriages in Nigeria. Although there are other types of marriages, these are the four (4) main form/types of marriage ceremonies in Nigeria.

  • 1. Customary Marriage

Customary marriage is a type of marriage in Nigeria also known as the engagement marriage or ceremony. It is the situation whereby the family of the groom-to-be goes with his family to formally seek the hands of their daughter, thereby, handing over to the father of the house, the bride price of the bride, as a sign of tradition.

The bride price is usually in the form of monetary gifts or food items and clothes, depending on the agreement made with the family of the bride. Some families prefer for you to pay for their daughter’s hand in marriage with gold or cowries, while some other people, will have it the same way in gifts items, clothes, and food items.

In a case whereby the parents of the bride are indispensable, the eldest person in the family can stand in as a representative. This form of marriage is practiced by most Nigerians in the country.

  • 2. Traditional Marriage

Traditional Marriage is another type of marriage in Nigeria that is very common among the Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa people in Nigeria. This is almost similar to the engagement ceremony and it is commonly practiced by members of the country a lot.

In this kind of wedding, the bride’s family hands the husband-to-be a list containing all the items needed for the finalization of the wedding.

After the list must have been successfully completed by the groom’s family, he is allowed to take along his family members to go and formally ask for the lady’s hand in marriage, of which the parents would have to accept, because her bride price has been successfully paid. This process is usually referred to as the Introduction aspect of traditional marriage. At this point, both families are unaware of each other, and so on behalf of their children, they get acquainted with one another. After this process, every elder in both families will be asked to bless the union between them with prayers.

  • 3. Religious Wedding

The religious wedding is a type of wedding in Nigeria that comes mostly in two forms, which are known as the Islamic or the Christianity types of wedding. There is a big difference between these two types of marriages when it comes to religious beliefs, they both have some dissimilar beliefs as a result of their religion.

The Muslim wedding differs from that of the Christian wedding in many ways. There are some spiritual rights that the couple has to go through before they can be joined in holy matrimony in the Islamic religion, but in the Christianity religion, the couple will be made to pass a series of tests and teachings, in order to understand the essence of marriage and how it can help you even as a spouse.

The Islamic wedding can be done anywhere, ranging from the house to the mosque, while the Christian wedding is usually held in the four walls of a church and spearheaded by a priest or pastor. This type of marriage is one of the most common types in the history of Nigeria and it is based on the spiritual beliefs of both couples.

  • 4. Civil Or Law Court Marriage

Law court marriage is a type of marriage in Nigeria known as the one marriage backed up by the law. This is one of the listed types of marriages under the Nigerian constitution and it is usually held in a law court, with the presence of a high court judge and lawyers as witnesses. This type of marriage also helps to safeguard the rights of spouses and their children, in case there is a problem between them at the end of the day.

After the marriage is done, the couple is often handed a typed certificate to show that a marriage took place on a particular day in a year. An official court wedding certificate can be used for so many things, which includes traveling out of the country.

Marriage In Nigerian Culture

The joy and excitement that comes with the news of a child in the family getting married, often make people realize how special it is for a lady or a man to leave his parents and cling to his wife. The feeling is usually mutually endless. As a girl, society demands that at a particular age, you get married and have kids.

Some people who have not been able to achieve this expectation are often regarded as a disgrace to the household or family that they come from. Notwithstanding, this article will examine the various marriage ceremonies that Nigerians usually participate in, and are a big fan of. It does not matter what type of marriage you choose to Have on your wedding day, it is perfectly-recognized by Nigeria as a country.

A time comes in people’s lives, that they are interested in finding out who is their true love, so they can have a blissful life together. Every man and woman want this for him or herself at a particular point in time and that is why it comes to a point when it looks like these individuals are uneasy and desperate about settling down, the truth is that there are a lot of credits that come with being a married man or woman, especially in Nigerian culture. Before going further, we would also like to examine, what marriage is and how it is carried out.


In a simple lay man’s language, this is the consensual union between a woman and a man who has decided to love and respect each other and protect one another from harm. This is also a show of love and fate between a couple and it must be carried out with the consent of both their parents, to show that they are in full support of the wedding taking place. If this happens then the participants will be gladly joined by an appropriate authority, but if the parents or guardians are not in full support of the wedding taking place, then no institution bounded by law would marry them first. This is the rule guiding marriages.

Lastly, a marriage can be seen as a situation whereby two people, a man, and woman, come together as friends to go through the hardship of life together, till death do them part.


Conclusion On Marriage Culture In Nigeria And Types

Marriage is one of the most important aspects of a man and woman’s life in Nigeria as a whole. One can decide to go through the four types of marriages, while others choose to select which type of marriage they want to go into, either way, these types of marriages are highly accepted in Nigerian culture marriage.

Tag: Marriage Culture In Nigeria, Types Of Marriage In Nigeria