If you’re not walking down the aisle yourself, you’re bound to receive an invitation to witness someone else’s love story unfold. As I mentioned before, wedding bells are chiming left and right this year, so you can bet your bottom naira that you’ll be attending a wedding or two before the calendar flips over. So, when that invite lands in your email or WhatsApp, and you’ve RSVPed with enthusiasm, what’s the next move?
Naturally, it’s time to think about the perfect gift for the happy couple. That’s a no-brainer, right? But beyond the gift-giving, there’s another crucial decision to make: What on Earth will you wear to the big day? Especially if you’re not part of the official bridal party or didn’t snag a piece of the “aso-ebi” fabric. Choosing the right attire for a wedding is not just about respecting the lovebirds and their families; it’s also about ensuring you feel confident and comfortable as you join the celebration. Nigerian weddings are vibrant, rich, colorful, and lively with cultures on display, and you, my dear guest, sure want to enjoy everything it has to offer by choosing the right outfit to wear.
So, “What’s the ideal outfit for a Nigerian wedding?” Fear not! Because I have the answer.
In this guide, we will embark on a journey through various wedding dress codes, providing you with invaluable tips to help you make a jaw-dropping fashion statement at the next Nigerian wedding you attend.
So, let’s dive into the world of wedding fashion and ensure you’re dressed to impress!
What Not To Wear For a Nigerian Wedding
Some outfits are a no-no to a Nigerian wedding or any wedding at all. To avoid embarrassment, insult, or being rudely stared at, please avoid wearing the following outfits:
A White Dress
If you are not the bride, please avoid wearing a white dress at all costs. It is a sure way to ruin the bride’s day. This is very much an obvious no-no, but you will be surprised as to how often some guests still go ahead to wear a white dress.
Aside from white, guests should also avoid wearing other bridal colors like off-white, cream, light beige, ivory, and eggshell. You can wear so many other colors, so why must it be a variation of the bride’s color?
In summary, wear everything except white and its variants. The only exception to this rule is if the couple states the guests should wear a white outfit.
Wearing this to a wedding is downright insulting. Wearing this communicates the feeling that you were forced to attend the wedding, which I am sure you weren’t. If you were invited to a wedding and you do not wish to attend, decline the invitation and stay at home. And if your excuse is that you didn’t have what to wear, you lie! That’s not an excuse to wear sweatpants to a wedding at all, let alone a Nigerian wedding.
Sweatpants have no place in a wedding. Period!
What To Wear To a Nigerian Wedding
Now, let’s go straight to outfits you can slay at a Nigerian wedding.
Classic Ankara Outfits
This is one of the best options of outfits you, as a guest, can wear at a Nigerian wedding. With Ankara, you can always go right, no matter the style. Whether it is a gown, jumpsuit, skirt, and blouse, or pant and blouse, Ankara never goes wrong. This is because the vibrant colors and patterns of the Ankara match the vibrancy of the culture on display at a Nigerian wedding. To fit in well with the celebration, choose an Ankara color that goes in line with the couple’s ‘color of the day,’ which is always on the invite. Don’t have any of your Ankara outfits in the couple’s color? Well, just wear what you have. You will still blend in and enjoy the celebration regardless.
If you don’t have Ankara wear or you have, but you feel it’s not wedding-worthy, then you can opt for English. You can buy this ready-made at a market or have a tailor sew one according to a style you saw. In choosing the ready-made wear, go for one that’s either in the color or shade of the couple’s color of the day or a color that is vibrant and lively to match the energy of a Nigerian wedding celebration.
Hats, Fascinator, and Gele
What’s a Nigerian wedding without the headpiece?
You can opt for our traditional ‘gele,’ or a fancy fascinator or a hat when choosing a headpiece for a Nigerian wedding. Gele matches effortlessly with Ankara. You can pair your Ankara with a fascinator. Fascinators and hats pair very well with English clothing, and you can experiment with these.
You can accessorize with a statement earring and necklace or our traditional coral bead (suitable for Ankara wear). Go on to finish up your look with a sparkling or fancy small clutch with a detachable hand and comfortable flat or kitten heels. If you want to wear high heels, I will advise you to go with a block heel, not a pencil heel. This is because Nigerian wedding celebrations are usually long, and wearing stilettos throughout the day can be very uncomfortable and painful, which will prevent you from enjoying the celebration. I assure you that you don’t want that.
Now, my darling, you are ready to serve at your next Nigerian wedding!