How the traditional wedding ceremony is performed in Ghana

On the set date the groom and his family, along with invited guests show up early at the bride’s house.

The groom’s family knocks at the door/gate by saying ‘agoo’ to which the bride’s family responds ‘amee’.

The groom’s family sits on one side, while the bride’s family sits on the other side facing each other.

The ceremony begins with a short prayer.

Introduction of each family member

Each family appoints a family linguist (Abusua Kyeamee) who serves as the spokesperson. The linguist of the bride’s family asks the groom’s family their mission. The linguist of the groom’s family responds briefly that they came to seek the hand of the bride in marriage.

The linguists introduces each family member present. The groom’s family is introduced first because they are the ‘visitors’.

Presentation of items

The groom’s family begins by presenting the dowry and all the other items on the list one, by one. At each stage, the items are checked to make sure everything asked on the list is being presented.

Negotiation is possible if the groom’s family feels too much is being asked of them. The bride is not present in all of these proceedings. The groom, although present, is not required to speak in all of these proceedings as all the speaking and negotiation is done on his behalf by the designated spokesperson from his family.

Introduction of groom and bride

The groom is introduced to the bride’s family after the latter is satisfied that all the items required have been presented.

After the groom has been introduced, a member of the bride’s family is asked to go and bring the bride to the gathering.
A decoy can be used to “tease” the groom before the actual bride is brought. The groom is then asked to confirm if she is indeed the bride.

Bride accepts marriage offer

Once he confirms, she is asked three times by her father if she agrees to marry the groom. She is asked if they should accept the dowry and accompanying gifts from the groom’s family. Her acceptance is greeted with jubilation.

When she agrees, then the groom will slide the ring onto her fingers and kiss and hug her. An elder (or a Pastor) presents a bible to the bride as a symbol of how important God should be in their married life. The groom and bride who are now husband and wife sit together for the rest of the ceremony.

Prayers are said and blessings are given. The married couple is then congratulated and some elders offer marriage advice to the new couple.

Merry Making

Once all of this is done there is a huge celebration/reception where food and drinks are served.

There is lots of music and wedding till everyone gets tired.

 Important Takeaway Notes

This can be a costly affair for the groom so should be planned carefully!

 The parents of the bride can make heavy demands of the groom to bring as much money as he possibly can to assure the bride’s parents that he is capable of looking after his woman before the father of the bride will even agree to give his beloved daughter away. This is why it is important to ask for details of the items required before the ceremony itself. You can negotiate before the ceremony if you cannot afford the total cost.

 In the days of old, the traditional wedding was a small affair with the event being witnessed solely by the immediate family members. But these days, the number can be large and the associated expenses very costly. You can manage this somehow by limiting the invitees (both family and friends).

By: Solomon Ansah/Agyenim Boateng (GCP)

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