Weddings are some of the most essential events in one’s life. They include an enormous amount of planning – venue, guest lists, wedding wear, hair & makeup, food etc. Despite the monetary burden of such a typically elaborate yet memorable affair, weddings offer families a way to remind or educate themselves of their cultures and traditions. Especially when it comes to bridal wear, where each ornament or piece of fabric is steeped in the rich history and culture of the family’s heritage, this is often an exceedingly important consideration for the bride and involves a lot of thought. Every wedding dress, from simple, yet an elegant lace wedding dress to more intricate, complex and layered dresses, honours not just the special day for the bride but also their ancestors, current family as well as the family the bride is marrying into.
Here is a compilation of some truly fascinating traditional bridal wedding outfits from around the world.
India is an incredibly diverse country, and the culture and traditions change from state to state. In general, it is considered auspicious for the bride to dress in red, typically a lehenga – a three-piece set consisting of a long skirt, a blouse and a dupatta. This is more commonly seen in north Indian weddings and is often accompanied by heavy gold jewellery.
The Scots are known for their tartans and plaid kilts that indicate their clans or ancestral heritage. This is honoured in traditional Scottish weddings, where the bride will incorporate the plaid or tartan of the groom’s family in the form of a hooded cape tied at the waist. In a more modern twist, tartan corsets are worn over the typical white wedding gowns.
Nigeria, much like India, is a country that is home to numerous cultures and languages, and so the weddings here differ based on the ethnic background the families belong to. In general, though, Nigerian brides wear brightly coloured clothes, and a headband called a gele.
American weddings are very fairytale-esque that is also often portrayed in pop culture – an ethereal and elegant white lace wedding dress is a typical choice. These dresses vary in shapes and sizes, and materials – lace, silk, organza etc. They are often accompanied by a delicate white veil that adds to the magical feel. However, this is not just confined to the US. Such dresses are also seen in modern weddings across Europe, the UK, Australia etc.
Peru has one of the unique wedding costumes – bulky, layered skirts that are vibrant and intricately patterned, called polleras, accompanied by a personalised poncho. However, these eclectic dresses are worn in the more traditional ceremony and usually not the civil, more-modern event.
Korean brides typically wear red, pink or purple, and their traditional garment is called the hanbok, made of brightly coloured silk fabric with clean hems and no pockets. Interestingly, the groom also dresses up in the hanbok. Sometimes, the brides may choose instead to wear a won sam, an intricate upper garment embroidered with designs in silk thread, along with a full skirt called a chima.
Traditional Hungarian weddings see the bride wearing an embroidered dress with floral patterns and, specifically, three bright colours. Hungarian brides also wear many underskirts to give their attire more volume. The look is completed with an elaborate head-dress that has wheat woven into it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring the many many different cultures and traditions all over the world, but it is interesting how the universal event for the union between husband and wife, or the marriage of any couple for that matter can manifest in such varied forms and characteristics.