Yoruba Wedding Traditions: Family Introduction
In the Yoruba culture, an “Introduction” Ceremony is held so both families can meet officially. The idea behind this is to introduce members of both families to their son or daughter's new relatives. If we were in Nigeria the whole introduction process would actually consists of three ceremonies. One is the family of the groom writing a letter to the family of the bride asking for their daughter's hand in marriage, the second is one in which the family of the bride responds to the request. Then comes the family introduction and finally the traditional Yoruba wedding. In the U.S. however all of these parts of the marriage are condensed into one or two ceremonies. The introduction is usually a small get-together, where the groom's family comes to the bride's home, but these days it’s like a mini-traditional Yoruba wedding ceremony.
We held the Introduction at my dad's house in Atlanta last Labor Day weeekend, and most of my family that live in the United States were able to attend. It was the first time I met members of Gabe's extended family and he was able to meet mine as well. First both sides of the family and close friends were introduced, then we took lots of pictures, there was plenty of delicious food (Jollof rice!), both sides exchanged gifts, and finally we danced the night away.
It was so wonderful to be surrounded and supported by some of our favorite people and a great way to introduce my new family to my culture and prepare them for our coming traditional wedding in October.