What To Expect At A “Ghana” Wedding
A Ghanaian wedding is fun to attend. It is a beautiful occasion in every Ghanaian home. There are two types of weddings usually done in Ghana and couples would usually do one after the other. The traditional marriage usually comes before “white wedding” as it’s popularly known in Ghana. When we talk about a “Ghana wedding”, we are talking about laws, customs, and traditions. This is what to expect at a typical “Ghana wedding”.
Ghana Knocking Ceremony
The process of a man going to the house of the woman to ask for her hand in marriage is termed as “knocking”. This begins the Ghana knocking ceremony and traditional marriage process. Talking about customary marriage, it involves families of both a man and a woman performing certain customs to traditionally join them together as husband and wife. The traditional marriage ceremony is not just an ‘engagement’ as it is popularly known. It is a marriage that is legally recognized under the laws of Ghana. (Customary marriage and divorce law, 1985. PNDC Law 112). In Ghana, we say it is the marriage itself.
Ghana Traditional Marriage List
The Ghana traditional marriage list differs per culture and ethnic background but there are certain things that are common in each. Below are a few items in typical Ghana Traditional Marriage List:
- Bride Price or dowry
- Echolac suitcase
- Traditional wax print or cloth
A Ghana wedding under customary rite (marriage) is expected to go through these few stages, that’s the introduction of the groom and brides families present, presentation of gifts by the groom’s family, payment of bride price, calling on the bride to accept the gifts presented and to give her consent to the marriage, joining of the man and the woman as husband and wife and finally, the blessing from both families.
At a traditional wedding, the bride’s family is expected to be seated when the groom’s family has arrived. The groom’s family is then welcomed after they have announced their arrival at the bride’s home for the marriage ceremony.
The MC of the ceremony is expected to introduce the families of both the man and the woman. Revealing parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunties, friends, etc of both families. This enables both families to know each other and socialize as well. The groom’s family proceeds to present gifts or items to the bride’s family which is all part of the marriage rite.
The bride’s parents then ask the bride whether to accept the gifts or not after which she will give her consent to the marriage. The bride and the groom are then joined together as husband and wife. The two families bless the union to end the marriage ceremony. Normally, a small celebration is done afterward, where food and drinks are shared with loved ones present on the occasion.
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Ghana Traditional Wedding Decoration
Over recent years, Ghana’s traditional wedding decoration has taken a different turn. Most people now prefer decorating their traditional wedding with a touch of class and excellence.
What To Expect At A Ghana Wedding In Church
There is never a dull moment when it comes to a Ghana wedding, especially a church wedding. As the name implies, church weddings are done in a church, unlike a traditional wedding where it is done at home.
Witnesses at a church wedding are expected to observe the following during the wedding ceremony, the choir singing, the minister or pastor exhorting the bride and the groom according to the word of God, giving off an offering as a form of showing love to the bride and the groom, etc.
At a typical Ghana church wedding, the choir or a minister leads the congregation in an opening prayer and worship session to begin the wedding ceremony. The church choir sings about two or three songs as they wait for the bride to arrive.
Hymns are sometimes sung before the hearing of the word of God. Afterward, the pastor calls upon the bride and the groom to exchange vows and wedding rings. The pastor blesses them after which they walk to sign their marriage ceremony script. They return back and are finally declared husband and wife by the pastor. Everyone then takes their turn to take pictures with the couple.
A routine activity done at every Ghana church wedding is a reception after the marriage ceremony where meals are served and wedding guests socialize. Other activities include cutting the wedding cake, popping champagnes, and making toasts. A Ghana wedding is always a joy to watch, an experience not to be forgotten.