Traditional wedding trends in Nigeria

Olaoluwa Olowu

A Nigerian wedding party can never be mistaken with any other because when we party, we go big all the way.
A wedding ceremony is often a public display of marriage vows but here in Nigeria it goes beyond the vows.
Traditional wedding in Nigeria is a ceremony done indigenously to signify the joining of the bride and groom as well as the acceptance of the union by their parents and family members. 
All traditional Nigerian weddings are characterized by a large wedding reception where the crowd from the wedding ceremony increases.
Other than the large crowd, there are other trends that are peculiar to Nigerian weddings. 
We have put together a list of traditional wedding trends in Nigeria.

1.    ASO OKE
This is a traditionally hand woven thick cloth made from cotton yards and wild silk of different colors. It is worn by the bride and groom at the traditional wedding and may be used as the material for the bride's head gear.
For the bride's garment it usually consists of four parts; The blouse, the wrap around, the head tie and the shoulder sash. 
This even gets better, it comes in rich, vibrant colors with perforated patterns that create beautiful designs.

It is an important part of the bride's traditional attire. It is made from different materials and may correlate with the color scheme of the bride's outfit. It is tied on the bride's head and comes in different shapes and designs.
In recent times, there have been altercations to the traditional methods of gélé tying. Modern styles and techniques have been introduced to this antique essential of traditional weddings in Nigeria. 

These are peculiar to each ethnic group in Nigeria. The different groups have their own styles and colors in which their traditional wedding beads are made. 
They are worn by the couple on their hands, necks, feet and sometimes on their heads. They add the final touch to the outfit if the couple. 
Occasionally, the parents of the couple also put on beads. 

4.   ASO EBI
This is a timeless and invaluable trend in Nigerian traditional weddings. It is a uniform attire worn primarily by the couple's family and close friends. It is also made available to interested guests and is expected to be worn at the ceremony and reception. 
'Aso ebi' ranges through all kinds of materials. The material is for the 'Aso Ebi' is usually selected by the female relatives of the couple. The design-styles are usually decided individually or by a group of friends or relatives. Modern styles have been incorporated into Aso Ebi designs.

Every traditional wedding ceremony in Nigeria has a color scheme. The decorations and outfits reflect these colors and guests who did not get 'Aso Ebi' are inclined to dress according to the color scheme of the day. The couple may be dressed in colors that are not a part of the color scheme but no matter what they must stand out and look glamorous- after all, it is THEIR day.

This is a list consisting of a wide range of items that the groom is expected to bring to the traditional wedding. It is compiled by the bride's family members-mostly male and it is given to the bride after the introduction (if there was an introduction before the engagement).
The items are expected to help ease the bride into the transition from daughter to wife. Some items on the list have traditional and religious significance like kolanut for long life and strength. 

These are an important trend for traditional weddings in Nigeria. They are photoshoots that are done weeks or months before the wedding day and the pictures are usually used for invitation cards and souvenirs. Pictures from the pre-wedding photoshoots are also used for the wedding photo album.

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