Just as we have it in the big fat Indian wedding; roka, saath phera and the court marriage, in Nigeria too, they have court weddings, a church blessing followed by the traditional rituals too. And since each of them takes place at venues different from the next, the clothes too would be changed accordingly to suit the mood and the occasion. And we must tell you that it is a very colourful, bright and bold affair.
[ Also Read: Indian Wedding Sarees – The Treasure Trove For Every Bride ]
The customs of a Nigerian wedding would differ from one province to the next, just like how we have it in India. Elders gather, negotiations are done, gifts exchanged, dowry happens (bride price). Bags, textile, shoes and jewellery form the main source of gifting options. This is what happens usually in west Nigeria, but in the east, it is very traditional. In the east you would have the elders around as usual and they would negotiate about the bride price. Gifts are exchanged thereafter and then the rituals are done.
Nigerian Wedding Dresses
We told you enough on the Nigerian wedding traditions, which now bring us to the point of discussion – the colourful Nigerian wedding dresses. With regard to the colourful Nigerian wedding dresses worn while the Nigerian wedding traditions are on, here are a couple of styles most followed!
The asooke has four parts to its name – the Yoruba blouse also known as the BUBA. They have a wrap skirt which they call the IRO and the GELE which is a head tie. Some brides add the IPELE or the IBORUN too, which is a shawl placed on the shoulder.
We have spoken about Ankara fashion in the past, but did you know it was one of the Nigerian traditional wear at weddings? It isn’t a costly wedding attire to wear; worn mostly by bridesmaids or even brides who cannot afford expensive Nigerian traditional clothing. The Ankara is made from Indonesian batik prints and tribal prints alike with bright colors.
3. Aso Ebi
The uniformed solidarity dress, also known as the Aso Abi is associated with Nigerian traditional wedding dresses and wedding wear or special reception occasions too. This is a wedding ensemble oldest known to the women of Nigeria and holds highest regard and importance. Mostly worn by the bride’s side of the family, so that the visitors can identify the girl’s side of the marriage!
4. Bella Naija
Bella Naija is a traditional haute wedding dress worn by brides in Nigeria, same as the asoebi. Modern Nigerian brides wear them in pastel shades and mostly whites, at church weddings.
What To Wear As A Wedding Guest At Nigerian Weddings!
Nigerian weddings are lavish and huge, and they make all the noise too, just like we do happily at our Indian weddings. The asoebi is an expensive traditional wedding wear to buy, but if you want to be one with the crowd, here are a couple of dos and don’ts when dressing up as a guest for Nigerian weddings, should you have to attend one!
- Do not wear the same color as worn by the bride.
- If you aren’t the flower girl, do not wear white. White is for the bride or the flower girl only.
- Be modestly dressed, sans the skin show and leg show, because traditional Nigerian weddings are pretty uppity and conservative.
- The choice of Nigerian wedding hairstyles chosen, should not be the same as what the bride or the bridesmaids would wear.
- You can wear bright and happy colors.
- You can also wear an LBD or an Ankara.
- The komole dance is a traditional dance you would be expected to participate in, so dress apt and with the right style.
- Most Nigerian brides carry a clutch or a bag, and you too can carry one, but not in the same style.
- Makeup shouldn’t be too loud or too low key.
- Heels are a must for the reception party and girls wear them at the dance too; wear the chunkiest one to beat them all!
We hope these tips and the sneak peek into Nigerian wedding fashion and Nigerian bridesmaid styles comes in handy for you!
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