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Ghana Knocking Door Ceremony and Traditional Wedding

What is Knocking Ceremony?


When you talk of colour, and the beauty of tradition and culture, then you must attend a traditional wedding ceremony in Ghana.


The Ghanaian traditional wedding is an important ceremony for all Ghanaians who intend to get married. Some couples even do this alone because of its importance in the Ghanaian culture.


The Ghanaian wedding tradition starts with the “knocking”  or knock door, or knocking ceremony at the house of his bride. In this knocking ceremony, the future husband together with his dad and some elder family members visits the bride’s house to announce their intentions. Most of the time this ceremony is carried out a week or two ahead of the actual marriage ceremony.


The knocking (“kookoo ko”) comes from the Ghanaian tradition of knocking on the entrance of a house before entering as a visitor.


For the knocking ceremony the groom’s family members bring along two bottles of wine, some money and kolanuts to the bride’s family.


When the drinks are presented, the family of the bride will then ask them their intentions. Then the spokesman from the groom’s family will formally make their intentions known, then if drinks are accepted then it means permission has been granted to the visitors to proceed further with their request.


The spokesperson will then explain in parables that the groom, has seen a “beautiful flower” in the house of the bride’s father and  that he desires to pluck that flower, not necessarily steal, from its keeper, hence they are here to look for the brides hand in marriage and to find out what is required for them to do to make this possible.


In some situations the family may ask the groom and his family to come back so that further investigations can be carried out concerning them:

If the family has no genetic disabilities or chronic illness in the family.

If the family has a good reputation in the city and what kind of job the person does.

If he has no illegitimate children or girlfriend or has another marriage .

If the groom has a good reputation and personality that suits the bride to be.


After the investigations have been concluded and all is well, a list of items will then be given to the groom’s family to be presented to the bride’s family at the ceremony. The list can be negotiated if they feel it’s exorbitant.


The families will then set a date for the D-day. On this day, the groom, his family and invited guests show up early to the brides house. The sitting arrangement is such that the bride and the groom’s family sit on opposite sides facing each other. Guests from both families then begin the big event with prayer and also introductions.


The grooms family will start by presenting the dowry and all the other items on the list item after item. With each stage, the items are checked to be sure everything asked on the list is being presented.


After the requirements have been fully satisfied, the main ceremony starts. At this point, the bride is presented to the groom who had been eagerly waiting. Before then, she is given a glass of local brew which she will use in identifying her husband who is seated with his family. Once she locates and serves him, the ceremony is almost over. Prayers will then be made for the couple, after which the guests can then be served refreshments and dancing with the couple begins.


Traditional Wedding List


1. Bride price

The bride price may be in form of an undisclosed amount of money or property. It is given to the wife’s family as a form of compensation for “taking their daughter”.

Originally, this bride price or dowry used to be given to the bride to set up a business or start a trade.


2. Gift for the father

Depending on the financial capability of the groom, this is usually an amount of money, 1 bottle of quality whisky and the kente fabric.

This will be presented to the wife’s father or a representative (if her father is not alive).


3. Gift for the mother

Also usually some money, pair of sandals and kente cloth according to the husband’s financial buoyancy.


4. 3 Bottles of hot drinks

(whisky, gin for ” Knocking of the door” and other negotiations)


5. Gifts for the bride

Gifts for the bride are usually, but not restricted to:

– Cash

– A box (suitcase/luggage) containing



At least six items of clothing (particularly traditional wax print material)

Head pieces

– Cooking utensils

– Sewing machine


6. Gifts for the brothers

Some amount of money given to the woman’s siblings or young men in the family.

An engagement ring is usually given to the lady during the traditional wedding and bible if she is a Christian.

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