Marriage is a covenant between two families, not mainly between two people as we see it .In Africa (Igbo) marriage is one of the biggest ceremonies of all time,and we can infer that before the wedding ceremony there are several stages or steps which I will try to summarise is much as I can so as not to bore you :
STAGE 1. Ihe Ajuju (The Asking) the man and his relatives went to the girl’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Usually at this stage most discussions happened in parables ‘Ilu’ such that the bride to be might not even fully comprehend the intent of the visitors.But prior to their visit the couple to be might have been seeing each other
STAGE 2 . Ekwelam (Response). This is the equivalence of the western engagement ceremonies.
STAGE 3 . The wedding proper which many people refer to as‘traditional wedding’ today. It’s known by various names ‘Ibu Mmanya’, ‘Igba Nkwu’, ‘Alughum’, etc. The bride price ‘Ihe Ego’ and gifts were presented to the bride’s family with fanfare and entertainment.