Every girl in her twenties and over knows weddings can be expensive and not just for the couple. What, with all your friends getting married one after the other? Those things can drill a hole in a girl’s pocket. That’s why I put these tips together; to help us all look fabulous at all those #Naijaweddings without breaking the bank. Keep scrollin’ 😉
Tip 1: Skip the Aso-ebi
Hehehe…controversial yeah? But trust me the money you’ll save is worth it. Just ask for the colour scheme of the day and wear it or something similar. Just so we’re on the same page, “aso ebi” to me is a piece of fabric that the celebrant sells to prospective attendees in order that everyone has a uniform look on the big day. Okay, moving on…I have learnt (the hard way) that buying aso-ebi is totally not budget friendly. Think about it: you spend so much money to buy the fabric, you spend some more on sewing and some time (which equates to money for me) finding a style to sew. Never mind the anxiety of being afraid that the tailor may ruin your beloved fabric. All these, only to loose interest in wearing the outfit to any other occasion after the wedding for which you had it made. Think about all those aso-ebi styles you have in your wardrobe; how often have you worn them after the initial occasion. Whereas, you could spend that same amount of money (or less) on a regular, simple stylish dress that you can wear over and over again to both native and formal occasions. Isn’t that easier on the pocket? Lol.
Tip 2: If You have to do Aso-ebi…
Sometimes, you can’t escape buying aso-ebi, for whatever reason. From being close friends or family with the couple, being a part of the wedding plans (a la bridesmaid), to political reasons or maybe you just love aso-ebi in general. Here are some tips for you:
- Choose a simple and modern outfit style to sew so you can find some other use for the outfit other than this wedding. See what I did with my outfit style here? I am even considering wearing it to the AMVCAs this year. Yay or nay? IG handles to the rescue: @asoebibella @asoebiafrica
- Find a trusted tailor that listens and doesn’t disappoint. I know, that can be hard to find. But once you find your perfect tailor, much like your perfect man, never let them go! Especially if their rates are pocket-friendly. You guys don’t want to know how much I had my dress made. I am now joined at the hip with my tailor in fact.
- One way to save money is to buy very little fabric, especially if the fabric is expensive, and get creative with styling or find a style that doesn’t require so much fabric. Once, for a friend’s wedding, I could only afford two yards of the aso-ebi fabric, so I styled it as an “iro” (wrapper) and paired it with a nice dressy blouse I previously had as “buba” (Yoruba word for blouse). You’d be surprised, what’d look great with “gele” (head gear).
Tip 3: Wear something you already own
Think you have nothing in your wardrobe to wear to a wedding? Think again and this time out of the box…but within the wardrobe :D. A maxi skirt and a dressy blouse with a statement necklace and you have a wedding outfit. Just add heels.
Tip 4: Buying an Outfit
If you aren’t wearing aso-ebi and you aren’t wearing something you already own, then you need to buy a dress. I advice “dress” because it’s classic and also more economical to buy one piece than two pieces (top and a bottom). Opt for something stylish, classic and simple that you can accessorise in many different ways without people being able to tell so easily that it’s the same dress.
Shoes: Neutral coloured sandals are the best for this purpose. Sandals because they are generally more versatile and dressier for weddings and similar events than covered shoes. Remember the nude heels I wore in this post and some other posts? It’s the same one I wore to every single wedding (and almost all the events) I attended last year. Bisola (the bride) is always teasing me about how I never let those heels rest. Guess how I got back at her? I wore them to her wedding too! 😛
Tip 5: Consider Rentals
The last place I saw this done professionally in Nigeria was back at NYSC camp when we had to rent outfits for our beauty pageants (I came fifth by the way). But I’m sure there are other people doing it. Just ask all the Fashion It-girls you know. They have a trick or two up their sleeves. If you do know anyone who does outfit rentals, kindly help with their details in the comments :*.
Tip 6: You don’t have to attend the wedding
If you’re feeling under too much pressure, just send the couple a gift and your apologies. Or just your apologies.
Let’s talk about “this” wedding
Since it’s the season of love and all things romantic, I decided to share photos from my friend, Bisola’s wedding which happened about a month ago. It was my first time performing bridesmaid duties and it was an exciting (but also tedious) experience. Bisola didn’t make us buy any asoebi (thankfully! because there’s no way I could have escaped not buying) but she chose a colour scheme for her brides maids and that was peach and silver. She still managed to make me buy a brand new peach fabric for a brand new outfit though, as I had nothing in peach and I was to be the “unofficial” maid of honour. She helped to buy this fabric at Balogun market during her wedding shopping. Doesn’t she just have a good eye?
In other news, I said the wedding toast and all my friends said I did quite well so I am proud of myself. I just wish I had remembered to ask someone to get a recording :(. It would have been nice to show you guys.
Public Service Announcement: If anyone has a dinner event or a wedding, biko invite me. I have dresses to wear.
Bisola’s Make up was by Faces by Lade. She’s on Instagram as @facesbylade
Bisola and her husband are the most perfect-for-each-other couple I know and I truly do wish them a happy married life. Please drop your good wishes for my friends in the comments below. And I’d also love to know what you think of my outfit :).