To celebrate my FI's heritage, we are hosting what is known as the Traditional Ceremony at my home the Friday before the wedding. It normally takes place at the brides parents home. However, my FI keeps saying he is not a traditionalist and neither is his family so what we are doing is just doing some prayers and will be serving food and refreshments from both of our cultures to our guest who come to celebrate with us.
We have decided to have my family wear one fabric while his family wears another. This is what my family will be wearing, and I have the greatest MOH. She took everyone's measurements during the bachelorette wknd, flew back to Nigeria, rushed to have them all sewn in 30 days and flew back to the states to deliver via fedex while she is in town for another event and will be flying back for the wedding. Believe me, get the right ppl to stand by your side, it can't just be love and admiration, you need doers who can get the job done. This has been a tremendous help, FI's brother is coming in w/his family for the clothing they will be wearing so I haven't seen them yet since he doesn't fly in until 1 week b4 wedn. I'm sure my outfit and theirs will be beautiful. FI and I are wearing the same thing, I pray it fits.
Update: I found out that FI and I's outfit will be a pale yellow lace w/silver head wrapping for me and for him a cap. His family will be wearing a combination of the wedding colors I selected, the men in his family will be wearing silver with cherry red caps, the young boys/men will be wearing silver w/blue while the women will be wearing an ivory outfit with cherry red head wrap. And the young little girls will be wearing a cherry red dress w/some pink in it so that it's a bit girly. I love that they are incorporating the colors.
Here is some background information on the ceremony that I have read: "Nigerian wedding traditions incorporate many old wedding rituals. With the passage of time many contemporary rituals have been accepted by Nigerians. Nigerian wedding traditions respect their customs and rituals very much. Generally the customs and the tradition vary from one region to the other. In some parts of Nigeria there is an engagement ceremony. This is usually held on the evening before the wedding day. Engagement ceremony is a time of festivity and fun. Friends and relatives drink colas and eat nuts. During the ceremony, the officiating elder sips a cup of palm wine and can invite the bride and the groom to do the same. The officiating officer is generally the speaker who transfers messages between two families. After the engagement ceremony the bride goes to her father’s house to make preparations for the final day. The groom’s family pays a bride price consisting of traditional clothes, shoe, bags and jewelry.
In traditional Nigerian Weddings, brides generally wear imported Indian fabrics. These include decorative coral-beaded headpiece, necklaces coral-beaded ankle bracelets and necklaces. On the wedding day the bride and the groom go to the church. The bride is generally accompanied by her father. On the night of the wedding there is a grand party. After the party the bride returns back to her father’s place and waits for the groom. The groom together with his family come to the bride’s house and claims her. After that the bride and the groom goes back to the groom’s house.
Traditional music and food are inseparable part of Nigerian Wedding Traditions. On the wedding day there are often live band performances. People sing and dance and enjoy all throughout the night. In some areas of Nigeria, beautiful henna designs are done of the hands and the feet of the bride. In many places the elders of the family helps to bathe her before the wedding day."
Update 8/8/2012: The traditional was held the Friday before the wedding (7/20/2012), here are some of the pics of me preparing for the ceremony, getting my head tied w/the traditional wrapper, the ceremony and introduction of the kola-nut, and some other special moments. My family really enjoyed embrassing my husband's culture. But it was tiring after, this ceremony was performed the Friday evening before wedding day so it was so much going on, but glad we did it and glad it's over. I really loved how my family and friends supported me in this endeavor and in embrassing the culture and their contributions! Also you can see how we really incorporated the wedding colors into the attire, Stephen and I wore a pale yellow lace, cherry red head attire on his familie's side and in the skirts of my families side, the silver outfits of the men in his family and the gold in the top on my families side and the ivory clothing for the women on his families side. It was really nice.
Write up in the South Florida Times: