Step 2: KNOCK THE DOOR
At this phase the Groom-to-be travels to meet the Bride’s family typically going to her village compound or family home (for those who now live in the cities). The Groom normally gives his Bride-to-be a heads up about his visit just so she can gently inform her family members to make sure the house is ready to receive visitors (to ensure they are available and not travelling, that the house is cleaned, they have food and drinks to offer etc)
Unlike western culture the Groom does not make the journey alone to his future in-laws alone. Typically he would be accompanied by his older male relatives (his Father, Uncle, Brothers or Best Friends) who will act as his representatives. Within the Igbo community your representatives say a lot about you and your character so it is always worth investing in people that really know you and can sell your value to your future in-laws.
When the Groom-to-be arrives at the bride-to-be’s compound it is customary to brings gifts of Kola-nut and Palm Wine, as this is a sign of cultural respect.
The Proposal is done by Intermediary’s meaning the Groom does not ask directly for the Brides hand in marriage it is asked for by his representatives. Who typically will say something along the lines of “There is a Beautiful Girl her by the name of Ngozi that we have been told lives at this compound and we want to make our intentions known that someone want to marry her”. Please note that at this stage the Bride-to-be is not present during this phase.
On hearing these intentions the bride-to-be’s family must first respond to the proposal. Before they respond they might ask the representatives some questions about the groom-to-be such as his career, where is he from, what type of family does he comes from. There is no limit to what types of questions they can ask but the groom and his representatives must be ready for anything.
Once the bride’s family has given their response the bride-to-be is then invited into the room (for the first time) and she is asked if she is happy to accept his Proposal. If she says yes this initiates the Enquiry process. Because of this traditional Igbo proposals do not have engagement rings which a lot of western engagements now incorporate.