Ghanaian Wedding Traditions — a List of Requirements and Rites

There’s something special about every single wedding. What makes weddings in Ghana so memorable and interesting to watch? Before diving into the list of Ghanaian wedding traditions properly, let’s first take a look at some of the essential requirements and rites preceding the big day. Wedding Traditions in Ghana: Gifts for the Bride’s Family Bride Price/Dowry Dowry or bride price is a familiar concept among cultures globally — Ghanaians are not left out.

Basically, bride price/dowry is money and/or property given to girl’s family members as an exchange for their beautiful daughter. Dowry was traditionally given to the girl to start her own business. Gifts for her Dad According to wedding traditions in Ghana, just like in many other countries, a groom has to convince the bride’s parents that he’s good enough for their daughter. He can express how grateful he is by giving them presents. Although the value of this gift isn’t great — usually it consists of money as well as cloth called Kente — it’s still an important part of the wedding process. Basically, that’s the way the groom with his family members shows their appreciation to her dad. Gifts for her Mum This is the same as the gifts given to the father (that’s money as well as a piece of Kente). It’s to appreciate the mum’s efforts for raising such a beautiful daughter. Gifts for the Bride Gifts that are given to her usually comprise but are not limited to these items:

  • Jewelleries Headscarves Shoes Six

traditional wax materials/cloths of various colors.

  • Money for Bride’s Brother(s)

This money is given to her brothers to appreciate them for protecting their sister and guarding groom’s interests. However, if the brothers are unavailable, her male cousins will get the money.

  • Food, Drinks, and Entertainment

All these are essential for entertaining people present at wedding/marriage ceremony; people who are there to support or rejoice with the new couples. Ghanaian Wedding Day Traditions On the day of traditional marriage, the groom with his family members should arrive early. When they enter, they announce their presence by saying ‘Agoo’ and the girl’s family answer with ‘Amee’. Both sides are required to appoint a representative or spokesperson who they call Abusua Kyeamee. The one from her family announces their purpose for coming and introduces all relevant guests and people present.  

Ghanaian wedding ceremony traditions and rituals are kicked off by Abusua Kyeamees from both sides of the family negotiating for a marriage proposal.  At this stage, the scene is completely playful and filled with laughter; the eldest or Abusua Kyeamees is the one allowed to talk only. This marks the official process of wedding or marriage rites.

Presentation of Necessary Items

In many countries, there’s a tradition of ‘buying’ a bride from her parents. She’s going to leave the house where she was brought up, and it is a sad part of marriage. In order to cope with these goodbyes and make sure a groom is a good man that will take after their daughter, he is asked to bring some things to the wedding. After the successful negotiation of the bride's hand in marriage, the groom’s family are then required to present the items from the list that is given to them in advance according to common wedding traditions in Ghana. At this stage, if the groom’s family members think the requirements are too high, they are free to renegotiate. Whiskey/Gin Whiskey/gin is recognized as a traditional drink. It has to be given to the bride’s family when the groom’s family arrive to ask the girl’s family to accept the marriage proposal. Usually, money accompanies the presentation of whiskey/gin.

Introduction of Bride & Groom

Once the man’s family members have given all necessary items/gifts — and the bride’s family members have accepted these items/ gifts — it’s now time for bride and groom to meet. First of all, the man/groom is introduced. The girl is brought to the spotlight after the man has expressed some interest. To make the process more fun and unforgettable, a decoy is brought at first, and man is asked if she is the real one — this is usually done to know if the man really knows the girl he is marrying. In some instances, several girls may be presented with heads covered. Then, the groom is asked to identify the bride. The girl is then introduced to all the guests.

Acceptance of the Wedding or Marriage

This is the stage when another Ghanaian wedding ceremony tradition applies. The girl is asked if she’s happy with the marriage. Her father and other family members will ask her this question several times. If she gives a positive answer, gifts, as well as dowry, can now be given. Once she accepts the conditions and the whole process, she’s then given the go-ahead to sit together with her man — and then the guests start to sing and rejoice. Traditional songs are played to grace the occasion.  

Traditional marriage is an integral part of Africa’s culture, particularly Ghana. People from all around the world are glad to add some Ghanaian wedding traditions to their own celebrations. So if you plan to have a traditional Ghanaian wedding in the future, we hope this article is of great help.