A woman planning for her wedding in the western world will often choose from a limited palate of white, off-white, or beige gowns. It was not until Queen Victoria donned a white, laced dress in 1840 that this colour became the standard for women. Although, there are variations of the dress from a long flowing gown, to a form fitted dress, to a suit, the colour white is here to stay. Cultures around the world, however, celebrate the momentous occasion with lavish, vibrant, and elaborate dresses and veils. It is not just the dress and veil either. The jewelry and embroidery is a rich celebration of the country and cultures the couple come from. And just like Queen Victoria inspired generations to wear white, maybe these brides across the globe will influence your decision when you choose what you will wear on the special day. Or you may just decide to honour your family’s heritage.Pink and red are the colour of choice with gold embroidery on the garments. A variation of sarees are worn by the bride which consists of a skirt, cropped top, and a long scarf wrapped around. The bride and other women at the wedding have their feet, legs, arms and hands adorned with henna. Wives in the Hindu religion wear a bindi or dot on their forehead symbolizing they are married.
Nigeria has over 500 languages spoken, 250 ethnic groups and many religions who do things slightly different from each other during a wedding. One thing is consistent, however, women opt for bright and bold colour dresses, jewelry, and head ties.
The weddings are known for being lively, with a lot of dancing, games, and jokes. The bride’s hair is often put in a braid. The dress is embroidered with rich and vibrant threads.
The colourful designs and prints on the bride’s dress are based on her family’s own pattern combined with the groom’s. Often times, families use kente clothing made from silk and cotton cloth strips.
Women wear the ancient headdress called saukele. The saukele is usually decorated with pearls, corals, silver, and gold coins. Traditionally, the headdress is worn by the bride for one year after the ceremony.
White symbolizes purity. She also dons a headdress called wataboshi which is a type of hood that was historically meant to hide the bride’s face from guests. Wataboshi represents a bride’s obedience to her husband.
Women wear a deel dress. The overcoat is made from silk or cotton with appliquéd brocade wrapped in a sash. The headdress is just as unique and extravagant. The headdress is decorated using coral, turquoise, silver, and gold.
A woman will wear a sash with her clan’s tartan. After the ceremony, she will pay respect to her husband by taking his tartan and wearing it.
Brides wear the traditional, folk dress from their region. Both the bride and groom wear headwear representing crowns. This means the couple will be the king and queen of their new home.
Red symbolizes good luck in Chinese culture. It also helps to keep away evil spirits away from the special day. A dragon and phoenix design is often added on the gown. Both animals represent the power of a man and woman combined.
The bride is taken to the wedding celebration riding a horse. She is covered with a scarf. She also uses an umbrella to be used specifically for the big day.
The Bunad consists of a cotton shirt, embroidered vest, and skirt. The bride wears a headdress or gold crown. She also has a purse made from the same material from her outfit where she has a small Bible tucked inside.
The bride’s dress will depend on the region and cultural group she belongs to. Indonesia has many wedding dress styles. Weddings are big and elaborate, matching the rich dresses and crowns worn by the brides. An average wedding in Indonesia can be a humble 700 guest list or 2,500 people.
Intricate and colourful designs are applied to the cloak, skirt, and top. The Andean bride also dons a hat decorated with tassels. The hat’s design varies depending on the region in the country.
Red is the most popular colour for the traditional dress. Red in Russian symbolizes joy. The blouse’s long sleeves is designed to avoid the bride and groom from touching skin before becoming husband wife. The crown worn is decorated with beads that represent the number of children the couple will be blessed with.
The Hanbok consists of a variation of a full skirt and a short or long coat. Women often wear a gache or a wig decorated with jade, gold, silver, coral, and other jewels.
The bride keeps everyone guessing what she will wear by trying her outfit on the morning of the wedding. Malaysia is a conservative country so tradition is important; the bride will usually wear a headscarf and long sleeve dress in colours like beige, purple, and blue.
Women wear the country’s traditional and colourful clothing for their wedding day. The bride and groom wear elaborate and rich looking crowns during the ceremony.
The bride and groom wear matching wedding coats embroidered in gold threats. Their golden crown is elaborate and elegant.
The bride’s dress is embroidered by hand by local artisans. The wedding preparation is a long drawn out process that includes a matchmaker, the bride’s family gifting a skull cap and robe to the groom, and an exchange of gifts between the two families, among other things.
Both the men and women were applied henna the night before the wedding in separate rooms. The bride was dressed with gold jewelry and silk scarfs. Silver amulets were placed around her arm for good luck.
The bride and groom have to enter the church together to represent they are uniting their lives forever. The couples matches the type of flowers they wear, a headdress for her and buttonhole or hat for him. The woman will cover her husband’s shoe with her dress in the belief that she will be the boss in the marriage.
The bride wears a crown and scarves covered in brooches while the groom wears a sash across the chest.
The brides of the Massai group in Kenya wear disc-shaped necklaces made of beads and shells. Each colour represents something important; red symbolizes strength and bravery, green is nourishment and protection, yellow is for fertility and growth, blue is energy and sustenance, orange is friendship, white is purity and health, and black is unity and harmony.
The bride usually wears an embroidered sarong with long sleeves. The groom will wears a fancy and elegant shirt and jacket. The couple both don headdresses. The woman’s hair is styled with a flat top and large bun called sanguul.
The bride is covered with a headdress decorated with flowers and leaves to ward off evils. The dress is sewn in gold threads. Henna ceremonies are also performed prior to the wedding.
The woman’s face is painted white in a chalk-like paste called gelena. Sequins are also applied to her face in this centuries old tradition.
The Avar live in the republic of Dagestan and are known to have lively wedding parties filled with food, music, and folk dances.
The woman wears a woollen white dress. It is often hard to see both the bride and the dress as she is wearing layers upon layers of aprons and robes with decorations and embellishments. Most times, the groom will have gifted his future wife with the complete outfit.