This Aso-Ebi Business

In conversation with a friend yesterday and we were debating how much Aso ebi should cost based on age bracket and a few other factors. Aso ebi is a very Nigerian party thing whereby friends and family of the celebrant or celebrated wear the same fabric. We take aso ebi for every celebration from weddings to funerals to naming cermonies- though seemingly a Yoruba concept- it seems to have spread like wild many other cultures..

Now how much would you be willing to pay for aso ebi to attend a friend’s event? I have heard of and seen aso ebi of up to N125,000. I have also heard of folks going to the market to buy other peoples aso ebi to gain admission into high society parties. In the past aso ebi used to give you access to the party if you didn’t have an invitation, so die hard social climbers would enter “gutter” or “moshalashi” in Lagos and buy the same fabric and show up at the event.

In Nigeria it is almost hard to outrightly tell someone “no” to buying their aso ebi and I have noticed that those with really expensive aso ebi tend not to disclose the price. They insist on sending you the aso ebi first and they know you can’t return it at that point, then they disclose the price. Some even offer it on credit and tell you to pay when you are ready. Some of the aso ebi is such poor quality that you know that they doubled the price- someone has sold my mom asoebi for N35,000 before, the same lace was N6,000 in gutter for 5 yards.

There are some generally unspoken rules when packaging aso ebi in my opinion- N15,000 to N25,000 is what is generally acceptable for women 40 and under, while my mother’s age group women 50 and up – N30,000 and upwards is acceptable- when it hits N50,000 then it’s getting ridiculous. 

Often times, the more expensive the said aso ebi is, the better grade of party you expect. Meaning, nice venue, nice food, nice service etc. Imagine my suprise when I heard of a wedding in festac with N35,000 aso ebi? There is nothing wrong with Festac- but we all know you are not getting Oriental hotel Service at any Hall in Festac. And I was talking to another friend who had been hoodwinked into buying it through the tactics stated above. And I was like wait let me think about this first….the wedding is not at TBS or civic center, its not in Ikoyi at wheatbaker either, or VI oriental, its not in Ikeja at 10 degrees or Haven? Is it aso ebi money they used to pay for the wedding? Yes incase you werent aware- parties have grades – as a Lagosian, some events aren’t worth attending based on distance and likely perceived party quality…not everyone knows how to throw a why will i drive two hours to get to the said party, then have to hustle for food, then line up to give the couple gift so they can give me back umbrella for coming? At that point shouldn’t i just transfer N5,000 or even N10,000 to the bride and say congrats and move on?

When you are single and someone asks for N35,000 for aso ebi, there better be the most eligible bachelors in Lagos present, some bomb good food, a top celeb dj, a fantastic live band and non stop drinks with top notch service available at a very credible location too. I am just saying. For N35,000 i expect to be approached by an aje butter male speaking with a British or American accent asking for my number – not anybody with a LAFA (locally acquire foreign  accent) either. I am sorry who no like better thing?

After all the cost of the aso ebi isn’t the only cost i will incur for your wedding. I have to sew the aso ebi- the tailors that can sew charge easily N10,000 in this same Lagos, i must also tie my gele and do makeup for a minimum of N5,000. You must also add the cost of petrol or car hire for the day. So please tell me if i am spending N50,000 or more just to attend your event, why my expectations shouldn’t be high? These days, you have to compete with the bride to get noticed as a single babe.

For me by the way the absolute most i will pay for aso ebi is N20,000…and you have to be damn close to me or have bought my own aso ebi for my wedding…

Please what is your take on Aso-ebi and corresponding party quality?




27 Comments on This Aso-Ebi Business

  1. Except you’re family, I don’t do Aso ebi…… Sorry!


  2. Hahaha,I mostly did when I was in school,and states in the East tend to be cheaper


  3. My relationship with you determines if i will buy ur aseobi
    People this days use money gotten from sale of aseobi to fund the wedding
    I recall a wedding i attended last year where the aseobi was sold for 20k meanwhile in the market it was 4500, i had one of the girls that got it complain about how she didn’t eat food and got a keyholder of 50 naira as souvenir,she was soo angry


  4. Hmmm!aso ebi shud not be forced on people..I know a lady who made a lot of enemy bcos some friends did not buy her aso ebi..wat if I have sometin sweet in my wardrobe to wear?it is just sentimental,cheap and dubious 4 anyone to make it compulsory for evryfriend to buy…I went to a friends wedding and some of her staff gave my attitude bcos I was not wearing d nylon chord she sold for 10k.but do I care.I av beta tins to do wt money mbok!


  5. luckily for me, i haven’t been asked to pay an outrageous sum for asoebi.
    my criteria for buying are price and relationship. if we aren’t too close but your asoebi its cheap, i’ll buy it just to support you. i say support because most times they make a huge profit on the sales. sometimes, i just buy the asoebi and forget about it sef i cant go and use 10k to sew material that will fade after one wash.

    when my close friend was getting married, i was on the train and had to buy asoebi, bridal train cloth, shoe and jewelry. when i calculated the cost, i told her to remove the price for shoe (i already have the colour) and gele for me. its not like i will get contract in the wedding na.


    • Zoe, that one is triple gbese- i don’t do bridesmaid duty. I don’t care how close we are, it takes a lot of emotional blackmail for me to be a bridesmaid.


  6. Aso-ebi price hmm, food for thought as most of my friends haven’t started getting married yet am safe for now, but as someone pointed out it depends on our relationship or closeness and if I am travelling to another state for the wedding, i no send if am the odd one out if we are not close. 20k works for me too highest.


  7. Nylon Cord // June 23, 2015 at 15:54 // Reply

    This post made me remember a friend whose aso ebi was about 30k, and the wedding was in Abuja. biko! by the time I book return ticket and pay for Hotel, i’d be doing close to 100k, which account I wan write am put? .. I just declined , that I had a compulsory family engagement to attend on that day .. I might just send her like 10k and say congrats..


  8. Aso ebi be causing wahala since the beginning of its creation. They would literally make you an enemy If you refuse to buy and the fact that it cost way more than the actual price is what pisses me off. C’mon if you want to solicit for fund,then go through it the right way not by chopping our heads off with aso ebi price. I rarely do aso ebi unless the person is soooo close to me. If am going to be paying so much for aso ebi then the party had better help my career o,in terms of meeting like minds and grabbing career opportunities, if not ehnnn #Ijamasele Lol. Seriously we really need to start prioritizing when it comes to ‘wasting’ money to party.


  9. While we are at it, can we give shout outs to all the folks who rerock asoebi and other wedding baffs.


  10. Realized my initial comment didn’t post. My criteria is simple, closeness and price.

    I have many awesome friends and i’ll rock asoebi for them. But thankfully, my friends also have awesome brains. I haven’t paid more than N12K for asoebi. We split fabric amongst ourselves, some friends sell by # of yards (starting from 1 yard). So I have been blessed. And best believe I rerock my clothes well well. I have started making lots of 2 pieces, rerocking skirts to work.

    Price: If I like your fabric and its cheaper for me to buy fabric and sew than to buy a dress (if I have nothing to rerock), then yep. This hardly happens sha. happened like twice.


  11. Aso ebi of up to N125,000 is completely ridiculous. Like you said, the absolute most I can pay for aso ebi is N20,000 and you have to be close to me or bought my own aso ebi for my wedding. Otherwise, I am not freaked or excited about an outing anyway.


  12. This reminds me of one sharp mama, her friend sold her asoebi for 30k on behalf of her son. Coincidentally, sharp mama’s son was also getting married same month I think about two weeks apart. Sharp mama simply brought her own 5k george, sold it for 25k to her friend, collected her friend’s 30k asoebi and paid just 5k for it. Hehehe, it was too funny more so cos her friend gave her a 2litre hot water flask as asoebi gift, while she brought one #500 fancy cup two weeks after the wedding as asoebi gift… #meaneststreakever


  13. Na wah oh,this is serious wahala,Lagos too much . Shame dey catch me to talk how much I sold mine was really cheap,didn’t want to disturb anyone


  14. Please, I am saving my asoebi money for my 3 very, very close yoruba friends when they start getting married. My fellow igbos can park well, it’s not even our language.
    I refuse to be pressured. I’ve had to say no (to both asoebi and bridesmaid work-no-pay) and put my foot down.
    There will be no asoebi at mine whenever that is, so no chance of revenge


  15. Aso-ebi palava. Lol..

    I totally agree with your opinion Pynk. Ain’t spending my ego on a parry that won’t do me no good.

    I hardlyattend weddings, so. If I must, you best. Be providing topnotch. Lol.

    20k is my limit for asoebi, and. You Berra be my PP.


  16. Yoruba mothers need not go cloth shopping anymore. The Aso Ebi Gangs are enough to supply the wardrobe


  17. This aso-ebi palava has come to stay, best believe it.
    For my sister’s wedding my mum refused to select aso-ebi and one of her acquaintances who we don’t even categorize as friend took it upon herself to buy, distribute and be selling on our behalf. Trust us to hands off every form of story that touch before and after the wedding.
    I’ve had to turn down requests of being on bridal trains and buying aso-ebi a couple of times. There’s something about those bridal-train dresses sef, you just don’t want to wear them again after the event. For my sister’s wedding, she let me decide on what I wanted to wear as her made of honor and I did, Despite the fact that I selected the fabric and designed it to my preference I still couldn’t bring myself to wear the dress afterwards.
    If I’m paying 30,000naira to be on your bridal train, It must mean I will be getting the following; aso-ebi and gele for the engagement, complete outfit for the main wedding (see ”complete outfit”? – shoes too!) with my make -up and you better make proper arrangements for my transportation from the church to the reception. Then you can say ciao and thank you from there.


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