What To Wear To A White Wedding: Traditional or English Attire?

Allwell Victoria

(Laughing) I am all smiles right now, because one of the feedbacks I got for last week’s edition was completely set to pull my head out, if possible. Some lady who read the last week’s edition on ‘how to dress to impress on a first date’, was all on my neck about the whole thing. In fact she said quite a lot of things, but I would share with you a few.

 “You see I am absolutely simple to the core as a person and would rather appear casual anywhere, any day, and any time. So please, Vicky spare me all the ‘dress to impress thingy’, I don’t have that time. If he doesn’t like me the way I am, then the door is opened. Just so you know that I can’t start what I can’t finish. Because if I dress all elegant just to please him on a first date, he is bound to expect more of that from me from time to time, and God knows I can’t go outside my way to dress to impress some guy.”

(Deep Breathe) I guess you are wondering, ‘whoops! How did you handle that’? Quite well, I must say. Although, at first, I felt some guy just broke her heart and she was throwing the heat of it all to my face, but then it dawned on me, that, indeed virtually almost everyone or anyone would gladly choose a casual wear to some glamorous wear any day. I mean casuals are more comfortable wears for anybody. But, you see, in spite of that, we all know it isn’t acceptable in all situations and must dance to the beats of events/occasions when selecting a suitable and comfortable attire to wear.  Thus, I rest my case on that matter.

On this week’s edition, we shall be looking at the best apparels for a wedding event. And yes, we have a question to ask;

Should native or English attire be worn to a white wedding event?

Okay, this topic aroused some questions from peeps around me when I popped it up. Someone said this to me; Naija is an African country and you can’t deny Africans from wearing native attires to a white wedding event. To that statement, I have no argument, because, it sure does have a sense of truth in it.  So, let’s just say I am not ruling it out completely. I am basically looking at it from the English point of view; ‘white wedding’. I suppose I am not wrong to believe that a white wedding is simply English wedding. Judging from that word, ‘English’, it is expected that we adhere by wearing the English attire, or don’t you think? Remember it is not a must do suggestion, it is open to criticism and questions as many may rightly do.

I thought it wise to make some enquiries from individuals, so it doesn’t look all dry or stained with my piece of mind poured down with a black ink on a white paper. And of course, everyone had their unique answers to the question above, I am sure you have yours as well, but here are the few, I was able to gather.

’’A lot of people are yet to understand the true essence of fashion. Dressing up is not about just killing the day with the best looks. Every event or place has an attire or garment attached to its glamorous floor. Thus, it is pertinent to put these things in consideration when dressing up or selecting the proper clothes to wear for an event. Personally, I wouldn’t choose native apparel for a white wedding. As cultured as I am, I am ever ready to be English in English events and be traditional in traditional events. Although, it’s obvious the African cultural fashion world has grown beyond what we used to know, such that native fabrics are being used to make English wears that can excellently suit corporate or English events. In such exceptional cases, we cannot rule out the native attire in a white wedding. I must also confess that the African apparel is the loudest form of preaching the beauty of an African personality to the world”..….Obinna.

“Dressing is all about expressing who we are. As Africans, we are not limited to Occasions in freely expressing our African nature. In as much as it’s a white wedding, we are not far from being free to wear what we find pleasing to our inner most expression of self. This is who I am, a Nigerian, a proud proponent African man, so why shouldn’t I put on befitting native attires to a white wedding?  Is there a law that rules it out? Would the whites hold it against us if we go into their country with our custom wears? If no, then I do not see the sense in not wearing native attire to a white wedding event. If your expression of value in life lies in Africanism, feel free to flow with it and vice versa”……Freeman.

“It should be the English attire, I must say, looking at the word; ‘White wedding’. But, you know our stand in Nigeria. Anyone of the two goes. I mean, you don’t expect a papa or mama to appear extremely formal in a white wedding. It is rare, because it is not in their world to wear such attires and feel comfortable enough. I believe apparels are rightly chosen based on comfort. As a result, we cannot say one of it is just it. The truth is any of the above goes”……Jude.

Well, for me it depends on the wedding involved. Some wedding events have specific guest attires. And of course, we all know about the ‘Asebi’ clothes that are being bought to support the bridal wedding, which are often traditional materials. Should we buy and keep them for the wardrobe use? Obviously; No. Besides, I am not a fashion guru and I don’t pretend to be. That is why when I dress up I try everything possible to keep things as simple as possible, to avoid com mitting fashion blunders. For example, I most times wear a flowing native skirt with a blouse to a wedding event. I know I can be a fashion dummy sometimes, but I have been able to stay away from ridiculous fashion mistakes. This is not for you to either criticize or approve my style of dressing, but for you to know that fashion is an acceptable mode of comfortability not a necessary formality”……Gloria

“I think English attires should be worn for a white wedding event. I mean I don’t see why a couple should be on English attire and you stand beside them with a native attire to take pictures. As funny as it is a lot of people do it. But all the same, we cannot say it is wrong or improper because there is no constitutional guide that states it to be so. So, again, anyone of the two goesNonso

Isn’t it obvious that my thoughts are right or maybe right? Yeah, they can’t be wrong in this situation. English attires are the best choice for a white wedding event. However, like almost everyone has said it’s not a lose-lose situation to choose the native attire, neither is it a win-win situation to choose English attires. It’s more or less about choice. Whichever one works for you is fine by us. And of course, like Obinna rightly said. Native textiles can be used to sew formal wears, appropriate for English or formal events. I think that would do great if adopted by individuals who love to appear on native quite often.

Tips for wedding guest attire

  • Do not wear any sort of trousers to a wedding: Men should wear suit like trousers, and ladies should stick to a cocktail outfit; flowing gown or some pretty nice cocktail dress. Wearing a jean trousers or pants is pretty absurd. Trust me; you don’t want to appear odd in a glamorous event as weddings can be.
  • Apply caution when wearing the color, white and black to a wedding: This is especially for the ladies. Careful in your choice of colors when deciding on the perfect gown to wear for a wedding. This doesn’t say you can’t rock a white gown. Of course, you can. However we do not expect you to go on pure white, so that it is not confused as the bridal dress,. Try mixing it with another color like a black, gold or better still red. The idea is never you appear on pure white apparel without a combo.


Yes, we have come to the point where we have to leave you to ponder on what you have read so far. I guess it was fun as usual. And of course, don’t forget to subscribe with Cosmic Ray Magazine for weekly trendy fashion stories. Be well!




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