In recent times, there has been a lingering debate between men and women on the essence of the ‘white’ or church wedding after performing the traditional marriage rites. While some argue that the traditional wedding is the ultimate because that is when the dowry is paid with the consent of the parents, others claim without the white wedding, the marriage is not complete since it has not been brought before God. In the Battle of the Sexes today, men and women share their opinions on the matter.
Chima: That is a very funny question. Well, the traditional marriage is the most important because it is during this ceremony that the parents of the bride-to-be and her kinsmen give her to her intending husband after performing some cultural rites. Once the dowry is paid and the parents of the bride-to-be hand her over to her husband then they become husband and wife. Once this is done the marriage is settled.
Tunde: Before I got married two years ago, I had a heated debate with my wife on this traditional marriage and white wedding brouhaha. I had told her that after the traditional marriage we would start living together as husband and wife, but she refused and insisted that we must do the white wedding before she moves into our home. I begged her to no avail. Because of that, it took longer than expected to for us to become husband and wife. I had to go look for money to do the wedding.
Andrew: I will like to do both, but I think the traditional marriage is the more important and it is accepted by God. It is during the traditional marriage that you pay the bride price and once that is done, you are married. The exchange of wine during the ceremony is as symbolic as the exchange of rings during the White wedding. These days, it is usually the ladies who are so crazy about the White wedding because they want to wear wedding gown and show off to their friends.
Chinenye: Personally, I prefer the traditional marriage because it is symbolic and more elaborate than the white wedding. Many things happen during the traditional marriage rites. We have the introduction where the kinsmen of the groom will come to express their intentions, later you have another visit during which your bride price is paid and finally you get the wine carrying. As a lady you would not want to miss this cultural display.
Agnes: Despite the fact that we cannot completely rule out the importance of the traditional marriage in the whole marriage process, I believe the white wedding is very important too because it is during that ceremony in church that the marriage is officially registered before God. In addition, some churches insist that it is only after the white wedding that the bride can move to live with the husband.
Tola: I cannot imagine being part of a marriage that will not allow me to wear a wedding gown. The traditional marriage is important, but I will love to have a white wedding even if it is not too elaborate.