Thinking of what to wear as a guest to a Nigerian wedding? Read on to see the latest aso-ebi outfit styles that guests and celebrities are wearing to big Nigerian weddings. I’ve got lots of wedding guest ideas for you – whether you’re a guest or a bride-to-be choosing your aso-ebi colours and fabrics. These aso-ebi styles and designs will make you drool – all curated from the very best Nigerian weddings. For a wedding guest, finding a hot outfit to wear to a wedding is a lot easier when you see a gallery of these latest aso-ebi styles and designs to give your tailor ideas of what to sew for you. Now watch the asoebi wedding guest outfit styles in the pictures slideshow video below.
Finding Your Aso-ebi Style is Now Easy
If you’re looking for great wedding guest dress ideas OR if you’re a bride in the middle of choosing your wedding aso-ebi colours and fabrics, look through our aso-ebi lookbook above, and you won’t run out of inspiration for that perfect wedding guest attire for your friends and family. Read on to find out how aso-ebi wedding guest dressing came about and the changes over time.
This NaijaGlamWedding’s aso-ebi lookbook collection in the above video consists of 100 pictures of the best aso-ebi wedding guest dresses, with great emphasis on the best of Nigerian wedding fashion, including the best aso-ebi styles from Nigerian celebrity weddings. The aso-ebi colours, designs, fabrics, patterns and styles are guaranteed to get you inspired for your wedding. Whether you’re the bride, guest or the celebrant’s family member, you are sure to find one, or even more, aso-ebi styles that you will love to wear to any big occasion.
Meaning and History of Aso-ebi in the Nigerian Wedding Guest Fashion
Have you ever wondered where and how did this aso-ebi wedding fashion for guests even start? Here goes… Aso-ebi (pronounced “ashaw-aybee”), is a social culture that originated from the Yoruba people of South-West Nigeria. By direct translation, aso-ebi means “uniform, solidarity outfit of the family”. And, it used to be just that – reserved for the family. An aso-ebi is a uniform outfit worn by family members of a celebrant during an occasion, and it is a way for guests to easily identify the relatives of a celebrant.
So, you can say that aso-ebi is a kind of guests’ ‘identity card’ (literally) at occasions. Wearing of an aso-ebi WAS beyond fashion – it was firstly symbolic – a gesture by the wearers to signify their support and solidarity to the person who is celebrating. An aso-ebi is usually in the form of piece of fabrics and scarfs (for women) or caps (for men).
In the olden days, the main aso-ebi fabric were handwoven traditional fabric, asooke. Today, the aso-oke is one of the oldest Nigerian indigenous fabrics that is still widely worn in and outside Nigeria. The aso-ebi culture is largely responsible for the continuity, spread and innovation of the Yoruba aso-oke and tie-and-dye handmade fabrics. Today, you can find wedding guests wearing aso-ebi in diverse fabrics – there are the lace aso-ebi, ankara aso-ebi and more.
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Wedding Aso-ebi Styles, Colours and Designs
In the old Yoruba culture, while planning her wedding, a bride would choose the aso-ebi (colours, fabric, patterns/ designs and Gele headtie and caps) she wants her wedding guests to wear. Then she purchases several quantities of the aso-ebi, resells them to her guests, with a small profit on top to enable her raise extra money for her upcoming wedding. Out of this money, she also buys ‘thank you’ gifts for each person that purchases her aso-ebi.
The gesture of purchasing someone’s aso-ebi fabric and showing up to their wedding in an aso-ebi attire, a guest is showing his/ her honour, solidarity and support to the celebrant (bride/ groom). A wedding guest that purchase an aso-ebi is expected to find a tailor to sew the material into the aso-ebi dress. Sometimes, the celebrant (bride or groom) would specify a uniform design or style that s/he wants close friends to sew the aso-ebi fabrics – some skirt and blouse aso-ebi styles, iro and buba (wrapper asoebi), gown designs of asoebi etc. Other guests are free to make (sew) their aso-ebi in any style they desire.
Grooms are not left alone in the aso-ebi trend. Men also select the aso-ebi fabrics that they want their family and friends to be identified with, at their wedding.
How Aso-ebi Makes Weddings More Colourful
In a Nigerian wedding, you can easily spot the bride’s girlfriends (ore iyawo, in Yoruba language) from their uniform, coordinated aso-ebi dresses and Gele head-wraps, and sometimes in a uniform beaded necklace. The groom’s friends are not left out – they also wear their aso-ebi outfits in a uniformed colour, style and design. Other types of guests that can be spotted from their aso-ebi colours or fabric pattern designs include: the groom’s family and friends, the bride’s family, bride/ groom’s parents’ friends and colleagues.
ALSO: Over 50 Pictures of Latest Beaded Necklaces for Aso-ebi (as seen in top Nigerian weddings)
Here’s an example of how a couple may use aso-ebi colour themes to identify guests at their traditional wedding: the bride’s family may wear red fabric with gold Gele headtie, the groom’s family may wear blue asoebi fabri with silver headtie; the groom’s friends may wear white aso-ebi outfits with blue caps (called ‘fila‘ in Yoruba language) or scarfs; and the bride’s friends may wear yellow dresses with white headties.
For wedding guests, there’s the desire to look different in the sea of sameness. Every wedding guest strives to be the best dressed guest, look absolutely ‘hot’ and totally dressed up to “kill”. So, the female guests (especially) are often searching the pages of ovation magazine, complete fashion, ‘bella naija’, instagram and Nigerian movies for the latest aso-ebi styles to give their tailors.
The end result? Aso-ebi guest attire can transform any ordinary wedding from dull to unique and colourful, and the pictures always come out nothing short of glamorous.
Why Nigerian Wedding Guests Love the Aso-ebi Idea
Dressing up in a wedding aso-ebi gives wedding guests a sense of belonging and close relationship to the celebrant. So, an aso-ebi guest is a special guest, and the pride of the celebrant. If the celebrant is rich and famous, most sociable wedding guests feel super pride to dress up in the aso-ebi and so flaunt the “association” by way of the aso-ebi, no matter how remotely they know the celebrant. Well, even just to feel cool for a few moments and post the aso-ebi photos on instagram for all to see:)
Besides, buying an aso-ebi dress is an excuse to stock up on new clothes and the latest Nigerian fashion, and hopefully show up on the covers or pages of one of Nigeria’s fashion and style shows, magazines or websites (such as Bella Naija’s #asoebibella, Ovation, Bisi Olatilo show, City people, complete fashion and more).
How the Aso-ebi Culture Has Changed & Spread Over Time
Everyone loves the colour and glamour that aso-ebi brings to any event, and so the aso-ebi culture has fast become practiced by people of other Nigerian tribes – the ibos, the hausas, the efik, literally all Nigerians. Even peoples of other culture – Africa and beyond – are buying into the aso-ebi culture. Even the Obama presidential campaign had an aso-ebi, similar fabric like that which Nigerian politicians make.
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Today, aso-ebi is no longer reserved for family members of a celebrant; it is now worn by members of social groups (religion, clubs, political parties, friends, office colleagues, classmates etc.) during an event. The aso-ebi culture has since spread across the other parts of Nigeria, Africa and beyond. Today, aso-ebi is part of the Nigerian culture and identity and you’ll see groups of people wearing aso ebi attire at many Nigerian events and parties, even burials, birthdays and naming ceremonies.Photo courtesy of African spotlight
Why We Hate to Love the Aso-ebi Trend
While we all love the aso-ebi trend, there’s the ugly side of the modernized and changing aso-ebi trend that many wedding guests hate. In spite of the cash crunch in the country, every weekend is a time to behold women (and men too) dressed to weddings in stylish aso-ebi outfits.
We are seeing brides choosing aso-ebis in tens of thousands of naira, even in hundreds of thouands of naira – and ‘imposing’ the aso-ebi on their wedding guests. Some brides just decide that their own aso-ebi has to outdo the previous that anyone has seen and so they would choose a very expensive fabric and Gele scarf as their aso-ebi – without caring whether many of their guests can afford it. And, I’m not talking about rich girls – even some average girls simply want to have expensive aso-ebi fabrics for their wedding guests.
And, for some upscale wedding guests, the problem is that it’s hard to wear an aso-ebi again after one wedding because ‘everyone’ already knows that dress as ‘a uniform’ (a stigma). So, babes are borrowing to ‘meet up’.
If you’re a bride reading this, please consider your guests when planning your aso-ebi – the truth is that guests are complaining (behind) because the pressure to ‘represent’ is on them. Perhaps, you may want to borrow a leaf from the rich and famous – send the expensive aso-ebi fabric as a gift to your guests – that’s what Senator Florence Ita Giwa recently did towards her daughter’s wedding.
Another reason why some wedding guests hate to love the aso-ebi is that, in some weddings, we’re seeing preferential treatment given to people who purchase aso-ebi – special food and gifts. There are cases where the brides alienate guests who do not buy their asoebi, for whatever reason. No wonder some guests fake being out of town and instead send a gift to the couple, without spending close to the aso-ebi money.
The pressure is on those people that have loads of friends – pressure to purchase expensive aso-ebi and also buy gifts for the celebrants..
Dare to Make Your Next Aso-ebi Outfit Memorable?
Hope you found the perfect aso-ebi dress style for your next wedding? Now, your tailor is in trouble! Dressed in one of those gorgeous, colour popping aso-ebi designs in the above pictures, you’re sure to turn heads. Well, let’s hope you will not be mistaken for the bride:)
By the way, if you enjoyed this article, please help us repost it all over social media – facebook it to your friends/ twet it/ instagram it/ email it to someone you know who loves dressing up in aso-ebi.
So, tell me in the comment section below – from the aso-ebi pictures lookbook you saw in that video, which colour and style of wedding guest outfits are you likely to sew next?