Dressing up to Nigerian Weddings – Things to note
Someone once said, “A true African man’s identity is his tribe”. In Nigeria, we are proud of our indigenous tribes and look for the slightest opportunity to showcase our beautiful and colorful traditions. Dressing up to a Nigerian wedding can be likened to dressing up for a glitzy awards ceremony. A lot of attention to detail is given to the attire. These days, guests even outdo the couple at their own events. So the advice to any couple planning a Nigerian wedding is to ‘UP THEIR GAME’. Take it a notch up; because your guests are going to pull out the stops to make a fashion statement when they attend your event.
A popular trait you’ll find at Nigerian weddings is where friends of the couple, use the same dress material to sew different beautiful attires. This tradition is called ‘Aso Ebi’. ‘Aso’ meaning dress or material and ‘Ebi’ meaning friends or age group. You’ll find young girls dressed in the same materials but sewn beautifully, strutting their stuff up and down the aisles at the event.
Usually, the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom would also pick different materials for the friends and family on either side. The Aso Ebi tradition demonstrates identity; a oneness or togetherness with the celebrants. It shows the communal nature that abounds amongst Nigerians. It’s been said that wearing Aso Ebi to an event, gives you preferential treatment especially at the wedding reception. The way it’s done is that the bride would pick a colour for the attire and head scarf called “gele”. The bride, her friends or her mother would go to the market to purchase these items in bulk and then invite friends to buy. Wearing Aso Ebi shows support to the union. It’s funny that in many cases, even if you do not plan to attend the wedding, buying the asoebi still scores you a plus lol with the bride or groom.
My family lineage is split between two Nigerian tribes. My late father came from the royal Benin kingdom in what is now Edo State in Southern Nigeria and my mother hails from the ever bubbly Yoruba tribe in Lagos State, Western Nigeria. If this wedding were taking place in Nigeria, both tribes would be represented with their traditional attires; with friends and family playing a supporting role in their Aso Ebi. However, we plan to showcase our beautiful tradition at the Denver wedding and give everyone a flavor of what it means to be Nigerian and proud!
For more information on how to dress to a Nigerian wedding please visit Bella Naija Wedding Glam and Bella Naija Weddings. Also feel free to feast your eyes on the beautiful pictures attached to this piece.
Bye for now folks see you on the BIG day.