Banky and Adesua
Take me back to 2017 just so I could relive #BAAD17 all over again. For those unaware of the wedding that took over the internet it refers to Banky Wellington and Adesua Etomi. Two Nigerian entertainers that had their long-awaited wedding that lived up to all the excitement and solidified their place as one of my top wedding inspirations.
I’m sure you’ve seen photos of Nigerian weddings. Especially Nigerian brides and while you’ve admired them have you ever taken the time to look at them? To see the patterns? The traditions? Well, let me give you a brief rundown. Nigeria is huge and we have over 400 tribes living in one country. Each tribe has its own culture and language. More than likely, you’ve probably only seen Igbo, Yoruba and Edo brides. Banky is Yoruba and Calabar while Adesua is Edo and Yoruba. Most of what you see at the wedding is Yoruba. The two had multiple weddings one traditional and the other known as the white wedding. The phrase traditional wedding refers to your tribe while the white wedding is the western wedding. White refers to the color of the bride’s dress while traditional weddings are very colorful. For this post, I’m focusing on the traditional. Now let me tell you what I loved most about this wedding.
All four of Adesua’s wedding dresses were made by Toju Foyeh. The pink Edo bride dress is one of the most beautiful wedding dresses I’ve ever seen. It stuck itself to my bones and refuses to let go. Mermaid styles aren’t new to Nigerian women. However, what struck me was the layering and fabric used to structure the skirt. The pink was such a compliment to her skin with the gold giving her some extra glow. The veil placed over her head was draped in the exact shape of her dress and the trim matched up with the gold details. These designs were well thought out and well executed. She was a marvel remaining engrained in my mind.
Everyone was impeccably dressed. If dressing well is a form of good manners for Tom Ford then it is a sign of love to me. In my humble opinion, Banky and Adesua are very loved people because their guests did not come to play. Tailors were put on speed dial months in advance. I’m sure you notice how most people have the same type of fabric variation. A very normal occurrence. Uniformity is not just normal, it’s the standard.
If you see the same type of fabric, we call asoebi which translates to “cloth of the family.” Much like the west has designated styles for bridesmaids and groomsmen the asoebi will represent the people there for the groom, the bride even different family members. It’s about uniformity. Depending on what you’re wearing your status will be known. It can represent your seating, when you get your food and how taken care of you are during the night. What was most fascinating about Banky and Adesua’s wedding was how the guests came with diverse designs. The guests brought in modern silhouettes and a unique eye for fashion. One might think having so many people wear one type of fabric is boring but look how everyone was different. You were still able to see so many different personalities who could express themselves while showing unity. It’s a true art form and an absolute treasure of the culture.
Nigerians do not play when it comes to fit. I know girls who send fabric and designs back to Nigeria just for their preferred tailor to work on. My mother has become a middleman for many women because of her craft. We are a culture that values the tape measure as well as needle and thread.
Tailors are craftsmen and it takes time and practice to be able to execute quality garments. The client must also make plans for multiple fittings. Communication must be clear and financial investments must be made. It’s easy to read the words or say them out loud but when you stop and think about what that means. The time it takes. To me, it does show love. I’m sure people would take any opportunity to be best dressed. But could they not have just gone to the nearest boutique and purchased something? They have pride in their appearance, yes, but they put in all this effort to come and support me on this day. That is a form of love.
It wasn’t just the women. Banky and his crew didn’t come to carry last! Of course men come in their best Agbada with their billowing sleeves and deep tones. To create one is an art all on its own. Both Banky’s Agbada were rich in color and made by Deco D29. If you can’t tell, I love the colour. Seeing him the royal blue against his maroon mandem was a very stylish choice. Almost upstaging Banky himself was Ebuka. A man known for his impeccable style. His Agbada was very well embroidered that it was the talk of the town. Even Banky had to acknowledge that he looked a little too good. Modern-day Nigerian fashion has seen women co-opt men’s traditional wear and give it a feminine flair. Kemi Adetiba took on the role of honorary mandem in her fitted slacks and slimmed-down Agbada. People having fun at weddings makes me so happy. We all have traditions, rules, and etiquette but what you do with them sets us apart from one another.
If you follow O-Mara on Instagram (@o_mara.co) I’ll be there Thursday to speak more about this wedding and answer any questions.
(All official wedding photos were taken by St. George)