Nigerian bridal stylists are creating a new fashion runway at weddings 

The Style Infidel - Bridal Stylists

Nigerian weddings, a vibrant celebration of love, culture, and fashion, showcase the intricate work of bridal stylists who play a pivotal role in blending traditional elements with contemporary flair.

Nigerian weddings, a vibrant celebration of love, culture, and fashion, showcase the intricate work of bridal stylists who play a pivotal role in blending traditional elements with contemporary flair.

In Nigerian ceremonies, fashion transcends mere attire, becoming an art form that embodies the vibrancy and complexity of its cultural heritage. With meticulous beadwork that dances across the fabric, sculpting the silhouette, and the dramatic flourish of miniature trains on asymmetrical gowns, each piece tells a story of tradition, modernity, and the unbridled joy of celebration. Bright hues, intricate corseting, and bold, shoulder-baring designs mark the fashion landscape of Nigerian weddings, where the aesthetics of attire carry as much weight as the sanctity of the marital bond.

The evolution of bridal fashion in Nigerian ceremonies

Originally, wedding attire in Nigeria was steeped in tradition, with each piece reflecting the rich tapestry of cultural heritage and familial expectations. Fabrics like Aso-oke and George were crafted into garments that served as a canvas for ethnic narratives under the watchful eyes of families keen on preserving their lineage through visual splendour. However, the digital age, spearheaded by social media, has ushered in a global exchange of fashion sensibilities, significantly diversifying the Nigerian wedding wardrobe. Notably, Deola Sagoe’s Komole Collection, with its innovative reinterpretation of Aso Oke, has left an indelible mark on Nigerian bridal fashion, marrying tradition with contemporary elegance.

At the heart of a Nigerian wedding lies a celebration that is as much about the union of two souls as it is about a collective expression of joy, creativity, and community spirit. It is where meticulous planning and financial considerations converge to honour love in true Naija style. The focus on the couple, resplendent in their finery, transcends mere display. It becomes a testament to the enduring power of love, the innovative spirit of Nigerian fashion, and the communal celebration of life’s most cherished moments, woven together in a tapestry as vibrant and dynamic as Nigeria itself.

Experiencig a real “Naija” wedding

Nigerian weddings are a vibrant tapestry of exuberance and anticipation, where the air is thick with the mingling scents of luxurious perfumes, the earthy richness of oud, and the tantalising aromas of abula and Ofada rice from the food stands eagerly awaiting guests. Navigating these celebrations, I’ve learned the art of befriending servers to ensure a steady flow of delicacies and drinks—a strategy as crucial as it is rewarding. The wedding hall, with its ornate decor and soft, ambient lighting, transforms into a realm of glossy fantasy. Yet, it becomes wonderfully familiar upon spotting friends at a table and a seat kept warm just for me. Making my way through this splendid setting, under the admiring gazes that appraise my attire, I’m reminded of the unspoken rule: to be draped in elegance, embodying “effortlessly striking” allure, a nod to the iconic Carrie Bradshaw’s wisdom.

As night descends, the celebration morphs into an electrifying afterparty, pulsating to the rhythms of a live DJ or band, often graced by performances from stars like Burna Boy, Davido, and Adekunle Gold—beloved staples in the wedding circuit. I recall a night when Davido’s performance turned a wedding hall into a vibrant concert arena, his melodies weaving through the air as servers paused and onlookers crowded the doors to glimpse the spectacle. Amidst this euphoria, guests, adorned in exquisite aso-ebi that marries traditional finesse with couture innovation, move with a rhythm all their own. Champagne flutes glitter in the light; shots are poured, fans flutter against the warmth, and an unbeatable energy courses through the crowd, making every Nigerian wedding an unforgettable fusion of tradition, glamour, and jubilant celebration.

Bridal stylists marry tradition with contemporary elegance

In Nigeria, there are at least two wedding ceremonies: a traditional wedding (where traditional rites and customs are practised according to the state origins of the couple) and a white wedding (where marriage is officiated or blessed in a church). The bride is often adorned in an exquisite white gown and veil for the white wedding look. The groom compliments this with a classic tuxedo or a tailored suit. For the traditional wedding attire, the bride and groom embody a dazzling representation of their cultural heritage in a well-designed outfit, using the required fabrics, colour and dress code.

In 2024, couples aren’t merely adhering to age-old codes of appearance. They are hiring stylists who collaborate with them to achieve their style in line with traditions while placing a premium on the appearance and quality of the fashion.

Bridal stylists infuse the notes and details of other countries, cultures, and even ceremonies to remix traditional dress codes, such as adapting traditional embroidery on an agbada into the detailing of a classic tuxedo.

These days, traditional outfits aren’t merely to reflect heritage; they are a monumental fashion statement. In the contemporary fashion landscape in the wedding industry, fabrics and construction elements may allude to the origin, but for the most part, free will and the fashion statement come first. According to customs, an Edo bride, for instance, would dress with a wrapper swaddled across her chest in red velvet, and coral beads are ornately sewn into her hair.

Image of a Classic Edo Bride via Pinterest

For my traditional wedding as an Edo bride, my heritage led the way in choosing fabrics, colours, and accessories, blending age-old traditions with a contemporary twist. Embracing my role as a modern Edo bride, I reimagined our traditional wedding attire, crafting a stunning dress from classic red velvet adorned with intricate beadwork. I also put a personalized spin on the traditional coral crown, Okuku, making it uniquely mine.

The Style Infidel: Revolutionizing Nigerian bridal styling

 Bridal Stylist - The Style Infidel
The Style Infidel via Instagram

Nigeria’s vibrant wedding scene thrives on bridal stylists who turn weddings into a fashion spectacle with the bride and groom’s attire. Bridal styling has evolved from a trend to a must-have for couples aiming to make a statement with unique and unforgettable looks, ensuring each wedding stands out with its distinctive style and unmatched beauty.

Leading the revolution in wedding styling, The Style Infidel, a titan in Nigeria’s bridal scene, has become the stylist of choice for many couples, including the fashion-forward Hafsah Mohammed. Her 2023 wedding, styled by Oluwatosin Ogundadegbe (The Style Infidel), became a viral sensation, celebrated for its impeccable details and styling. In a chat about his career, Ogundadegbe shared his approach to creating unforgettable wedding looks and his journey in the world of styling, highlighting the artistry behind these memorable moments.

The journey into wedding styling wasn’t a path The Style Infidel, originally an editorial stylist known for lookbooks and fashion campaigns, ever expected to take. “Weddings happened by accident,” he shares, reminiscing about the joy fashion campaigns brought him through their creative process. It wasn’t until an unexpected call from a distressed bride, let down by her stylist and seeking someone who genuinely listened, that his path shifted. Recommended by a photographer, despite her initial doubts upon seeing only lookbooks and runway shows on his page, she was eventually persuaded to trust him with her big day. Recalling this pivotal moment, Tosin’s voice carries a gleeful tone, marking a serendipitous turn in his career. It’s a beautiful reminder of how life’s most significant opportunities often come unscripted. For Tosin, what started with a single bride quickly snowballed into styling for three more bridesmaids, signaling the unexpected start of his venture into wedding styling. “This was huge for me,” Ogundadegbe reflects, highlighting the serendipity that often guides life’s most meaningful ventures.

Hafsah Mohammed;  Bridal Stylist - The Style Infidel
Images via Hafsah Mohammed ; Styled by: The Style Infidel

I was eager to dive into the details of the wedding Tosin styled last year that took social media by storm. It was the enchanting union of Hafsah and Michael, where the connection between stylist and client shone through vividly online. The harmony of their collaboration piqued my curiosity. How did they cultivate such a seamless partnership? Tosin opened up about the dynamics, revealing the keys to their successful and symbiotic relationship.

“I’ve known Hafsah for about a decade through working very closely with her sister, and when it came time for Hafsah to get married, she just knew she would want me to style,” Tosin mused. “Hafsah is a very, very, very tasteful person, and for me, the most fascinating aspect about this was that every look had a meaning; there was an intention with every look.”

Above all, I was deeply curious about the story behind the pink reception dress crafted by Mazelle. How would a bride or stylist decide on such a bold and unique choice? What feelings and purposes could lead to opting for such an eye-catching and unconventional outfit? My curiosity must have come across as both sincere and amusing because it prompted a hearty laugh from Tosin in response. I just had to find out – if there’s a meaning and intention woven into every dress, what was the story behind this particular one?

Hafsah Mohammed;  Bridal Stylist - The Style Infidel
Images via Hafsah Mohammed ; Styled by: The Style Infidel

“Brides usually opt for long dresses for most after-party outfits. But you wouldn’t wear a long dress to a club, right? Considering the ambience and Hafsah’s vibrant personality, I envisioned something playful and girly, something that screams ‘fun’ because that’s exactly what Hafsah is all about – she’s all about having a good time.”

Tosin mentioned they chose a vibrant hot pink to mirror Hafsah’s lively and feminine side. They played around with the dress’s design, focusing on proportions and fabrics to ensure it flattered her perfectly. Hearing him talk, I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it must feel to have a stylist devote such detailed attention to your wedding outfit. Tosin’s dedication to getting every detail right was impressive and memorable. He continued, sharing that pink and orange were the season’s hot trends, which led him to pair the dress with chic pink Aquazzuras and a stylish updo with bangs to complete the look. It was all about embracing fun, and they fully leaned into that. The result was playful, sophisticated, and unique—a dress designed for joy and celebration, which I found incredibly touching and inspiring.

The Style Infidel’s formula for styling is about “thinking of who a person is and what I see them [wearing]. I love it when a stylist can see a person’s whole, not just some funny, unfinished idea.” He further explained, “My purview and personality has always been built around being different, like styling Hafsah’s afterparty dress to actually party and have fun and not opt for the typical long, flowing dress.”

Image via Hafsah Mohammed

The future of Nigerian weddings with bridal stylists

“For me, it is so much joy and excitement to think that a profession that people would’ve discarded or down-played is growing into this esteemed profession”

In the burgeoning space occupied by bridal stylists, there is often the impression that competition within the fashion industry is cutthroat and unaccommodating. However, The Style Infidel is optimistic about the emergence of bridal styling in Nigeria. According to him, “Everyone has their market and aesthetic and client. Like with styling, people always thought of us as school drop-outs or people who couldn’t get a job, and we were never taken seriously. Today, I am seeing people build families and homes and make great investments from being a stylist,”. Tosin expresses his optimism unencumbered.  “Now, bridal styling is almost a necessity for brides and grooms. I’m thrilled that people are starting to see the importance of it, not just the importance but also paying for people’s services.”

Hafsah Mohammed;  Bridal Stylist - The Style Infidel
Image via Hafsah Mohammed;  Styled by: The Style Infidel

A self-proclaimed fan of the classic and exquisite, I asked Tosin about his favourite wedding stylists, and number one on his list was Lavish Bridals, “her taste is classic, and she does it tastefully well. Number two would be Maison des Mariee, a tweak to the usual classic. And, of course, the Wardrobe Manager, whose taste is exquisite, and it shows in her body of work.” Tosin confesses, “These are my top three, and I love their work and all they put out.”

Weddings are warped in the pep and pomp of the ceremony. Still, none makes quite the spectacle and grandiosity of a Nigerian wedding, making bridal stylists embodiments of fashion designers and tastemakers in their own right as they continue to craft and forge anew what fashion looks like in the context of a Nigerian wedding. Weddings are for joy, celebration, and all the food and dancing one can take. Still, for a wedding stylist like The Style Infidel, “weddings offer the opportunity to put a smile on other people’s faces, and also create something that will outlive us.”


  • Efua

    Efua Claire Jobi-Taiwo is the fashion and beauty editor at Marie Claire Nigeria. She is passionate about the future of fashion in Nigeria and believes the right outfit can transform the mind and spirit of anybody. She is an excellent event host, mediator and public speaker. She is hopeful to build a beautiful life by God's grace. She is married with a beautiful son and lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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1 Comment
  1. This is a very well put together, beautiful, informative and insightful piece. You deserve accolades for this article.
    Keep them coming Efua.

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