In Ghana, the bride price list is an essential part of the traditional marriage ceremony, also known as the engagement ceremony. The bride price’s foundational essence was for the suitor to pay a somewhat hefty amount to the bride’s family before the bride is given away to the suitor, as it symbolized how valuable the bride is to her family. This serves to ensure, first and foremost, that a suitor is a hardworking man, as one would need to work (or have a job, if you will) to afford to marry and thus care for a family. Furthermore, the amount spent on the list makes it difficult for a couple to easily opt for divorce because according to custom, the items paid for on the list by the suitor are supposed to be returned by the bride’s family if divorce occurs. The bride price is thus extremely important, not only for its monetary value but also for its symbolic significance in a traditional Ghanaian marriage. The bride price may differ depending on which tribe one is marrying from, the social standard of the family, and the customary marriage. However, on average, it will cost between 5000 and 7000 Ghana cedis (approximately $700).
So, what are the essentials for a successful engagement? The following is an example of a Ghanaian engagement list;
2 Bottles of Schnapps (Foreign One), 1 Bottle of Gin, a crate of minerals and some cash
THE DOWRY/ BRIDE PRICE.
Head drinks, normally a Gin, whiskey, palm wine or wine.
At least 6 pieces of traditional wax print and intriguing adornments for the lady.
A bag loaded with more garments, shoes, and other female things the woman demands.
Cash, Ankara male garments, and a container of whiskey for your father-in-law
Cash, African print garments, and a couple of sandals for your mother-in-law
Money for the bride’s business investment.
A ring for the engagement.
An engagement Bible.
If the bride is the only daughter, some money is given to the bride’s brothers or male cousins.
Cooking equipment for the bride to use in her new home.
Enough food and drinks for all of the wedding guests.