With their Instagram takeover happening today, @bellanaijaweddings has given us an inside look into the current trends in Nigerian weddings.
What is trending in Nigerian weddings?
A recent trend is we now have themed weddings – vintage, retro etc. We even saw an Arabian nights inspired traditional wedding recently. Even guests are dressing up and playing the part!
Guipure lace is the most popular fabric for ‘aso ebi’ this season!
A little context: Aso ebi is the common fabric worn by friends and family to show their support/love for the couple. It usually has a fabric for the attire, (you get it tailored yourself or a local tailor/designer) head wrap for the ladies and hats for men.
The family sells it to their guests to have everyone look unified and to raise money for the event.
Brides wearing white at their traditional weddings is also a huge trend! It’s surprising because for the most part, traditional weddings are all about colour and white was previously relegated to the white wedding only.
Floral aso ebi is becoming more popular, and black infused in both bridal and guest attire is new to most cultures.
What sets Nigerian weddings apart from the crowd?
- Spraying: It’s a custom to shower the bride and groom with money as they are dancing.
- Live music with local instruments especially at traditional weddings. Flutes and drums are used at key moments and during the dancing times.
- Souvenirs brought by guests. In Nigeria, guests bring gifts for other guests. They brand the gifts with couple’s names/photos and share them during the wedding.
- Nigerian weddings are mostly loud, fun and full of people. For the most part, the number of guests isn’t regulated (however, this is changing gradually), so weddings with hundreds and even thousands of guests are not uncommon.
Do you feel like the Nigerian bride is keeping tradition alive, or gearing more towards Western culture?
Yes and no.
Nigerian weddings are veering towards western culture in some positive ways. For example, with crowd control.
In recent years, we’ve seen place cards, guest lists and strict invitation rules in place. In the past, anyone and everyone who heard of your wedding could come.
However nowadays, with costs growing, brides and grooms are seeking a more intimate feel for their special day.
No in sense of, more and more brides are researching their ‘true’ wedding customs for a more authentic feel, especially for their traditional wedding day.
Our final say is, the fusion/balance with Western cultures and our own is up to the couple and their families, especially with more and more inter-ethnic and inter racial weddings.
What are the steps I take if I’m a Nigerian bride?
The first step is deciding which ceremonies you want to have and how big you want them to be.
In addition to the court/registry wedding, religious ceremony, we also have to decide if we want a traditional introduction and traditional wedding (some brides do not have a choice however!). But brides here must decide how ‘big’ they want each event to be, and which one they want to spend more money/time preparing for.
All the other steps are the same as any other bride around the world – do the families get along? Who will pay for what? (this varies on your ethnic group in Nigeria, but with more people from different cultures getting married it’s up to the families).
What are 3 Nigerian wedding customs?
Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups, so this is a tough question!
However, if we use contemporary Nigerian weddings as a guide, here’s one major thing in common for MOST recent Nigerian weddings: there’s a cultural wedding and a religious wedding, usually in that order.