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What to Wear to an African Wedding

what to wear to an african wedding cover image

Your ultimate guide to finding the perfect African wedding outfit for guests

Are you gearing up for an African wedding? Well, you're in for a treat of colours, culture, and amazing fashion. African weddings are not just about celebrating love; they're a vibrant showcase of traditions, styles, and yes, some fabulous outfits. But figuring out what to wear can be a bit of a puzzle, especially if you want to honour the culture while still expressing your personal style. Don't worry, we've got you covered with some tips and ideas to help you look your best and enjoy the celebration to the fullest.

Understanding African Wedding Attire: A Cultural Perspective

The Significance of Traditional Attire

In African culture, traditional African wedding attire for guests is more than just about the clothing. Each piece, colour, and pattern carries a meaning. For instance, in Nigerian weddings, the 'Aso Ebi' – a uniform dress worn by relatives – symbolises unity and support for the couple.

Regional Variations

Africa is incredibly diverse, and so is its fashion. In East Africa, you might see the bright, beaded Maasai jewellery, while in Southern Africa, the Zulu traditional attire with vibrant beads and headdresses is common. It's fascinating how each region has its own unique style.

Traditional vs. Contemporary

Finding Your Style

You don't have to wear traditional attire if that's not really your style. Many African weddings now blend contemporary styles with traditional elements. A sleek dress with an Ankara print, for example, can be a perfect way to nod to tradition while keeping it modern, making it a popular choice for guests' outfits at African weddings.

Incorporating African Elements

Even a simple accessory can bring an African touch to your outfit. You can wear a sample backless dress with a bold Ankara headwrap, you'll be sure to make a fashion statement.

Dress Codes and Themes: What to Expect

Understanding Dress Codes

African weddings can range from ultra-formal to more relaxed settings. Plus, if the wedding has a strict dress code your options might be limited, which isn't a bad thing if you prefer not to make a hard decision. But if the wedding has more freedom you can definitely decide to wear more traditional styles or modern silhouettes. Whichever you go for, in both variations there's an array of outfits in African prints to choose from. So, make sure to check the invitation for dress code specifics.

Choosing the right outfit

Now that we've gone over some of the basics, it's time to explore the different outfits you can wear at a wedding. We'll explore some styles that would be perfect when you're looking for African wedding outfit for guests.

The Modest one

Some of us like to be fashionable while covering up, which is perfectly fine. You can find great choices that will cover you up a bit more but are still vibrant and a great fashion choice. If you want a more modest option opt for African wedding dresses for guests with floor length. These are gorgeous, classy and perfect for any African wedding. Our Jamila Cold-Shoulder Maxi Dress with a gorgeous deep blue colour is great for subtle fashion statements but still gives you something with the unique cold-shoulder feature. Or if you'd like to go a bit less modest our Abimbola Maxi Dress is a great option too as it combines the maxi design with a little edge with the split.

Let's get creative

Fashion is all about expressing yourself and showcasing your uniqueness. You can take it a step further even with infinity designs. These will allow you to create gorgeous designs that are unique to you. Two of our infinity designs are perfect for African weddings. Go for a midi length with our Chioma Infinity Dress or spice things up even more with our mini Zora Infinity Dress

Emphasis on comfort

If comfort is your first priority then a maxi dress is definitely a great option, but you can take it a step further and go for an African print jumpsuit. This is not only where traditions meet style but also comfortability. Styles of jumpsuits can vary just as much as dresses, so the choice is yours. But two of our favourites for an African wedding are the Mya Infinity Jumpsuit, and just like the Infinity Dresses, is great if you want to show off not just heritage but some of your creativity as well. Or the Jacqueline Jumpsuit that is made with gorgeous mix-and-match Ankara silk.

Show a little leg

Now there are some of us that like modesty but sometimes we just want to do a bit more. And for those, a perfectly made African print mini dress can be very stylish, comfortable and appropriate for any wedding. If you're searching for all of this and more our Sierra Corset Dress is the one for you.

Accessorising Your Look

So now that you've decided on the outfit, it's time to accessorise. You can decide to keep the accessorise more subtle to give African attire the attention it deserves. Or if you want to enhance your overall look you can opt for bold, statement pieces like chunky necklaces or beaded bracelets. They add a touch of African elegance without overpowering your look.

Headwraps and traditional headpieces are staples in African attire. They not only look stunning but also very functional, especially for those bad hair days (yes, sometimes this happens even before weddings, because.. well.. life..).

Footwear and Comfort: Striking a Balance

The right footwear is crucial, especially if you're going to dance (and of course, there will be dancing). Go for something stylish yet comfortable. For outdoor weddings, avoid stilettos that sink into the ground. Instead, opt for wedges or flats. And if anything, pack yourself some flip-flops - they'll come in handy when you just can't deal with those high heels but you're also not ready to leave the dance floor yet.


Dressing for an African wedding is an opportunity to celebrate and honour a rich cultural heritage. Whether you choose to go traditional or modern, the key is to wear something that makes you feel beautiful and connected to the celebration. So, embrace the colours, the prints, and the joy of African fashion, and get ready to be a part of the celebration of love!

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