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A Luhya wedding is an important occasion in the Luhya community. It is celebrated with traditional songs, dances, a wedding march, speeches, drinking and lots of food. Before the actual day of the wedding, the groom visits the bride's family to make clear, his intentions about taking the girl. The groom, usually accompanied by his best man and other relatives then sits with and holds discussions with the bride's father, uncles or the guardian who raised her about "ikhwe". Ikhwe is a form of bride price (similar to Lobolo or Lobola in south African countries). It is usually paid in the form of livestock or their equivalence in money by the groom himself or the groom's family. As is common in many African culture's, ikhwe is not percieved as a price tag on the girl. Rather it is an act of love, courtesy and appreciation shown by the groom to the bride's family. It also signifies the groom's commitment to live with the girl legally. Once both parties reach an agreement a date is set by the groom's party when they will return to make good their commitment. The groom does not have to be present on the day of delivering ikhwe. He can instead ask his groomsman and uncles to deliver the ikhwe to avoid being asked to pay more.

Tasty food and traditional brews like are served on the day of ikhwe. Because Luhyas love chicken, (ingokho) and a ceremony is not a ceremony if chicken is not served. These are served in plenty for guests to eat, usually cut in huge pieces fried, roasted or stewed and served with Ugali (Obusuma). On the wedding day, the groom together with his groomsmen go to the bride's homestead and announce their arrival. Because this particular day is the "bride's day" she is free to do as she wants. She can send a message to the groom outside asking him to "pay a little more" before she leaves or provide "chai" for her mother. This is often at the instigation of her mother's women friends. To avoid being seen as a broke fellow, the groom obliges and pays "kitu kidogo" or "chai ya kwaheri". Meanwhile guests in attendance dance to ullulations and escort the bride outside dancing to "mwana mberi vayaye" a traditional Luhya song sung on joyous occassions.



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