Weddings are an important part of a person’s life, and so is the wedding attire. From cultural differences and beliefs, wedding attires have taken a complete turn around the world in the form of style, colour, material, length, customs, jewellery and more. Wedding dress colours in different cultures hold a symbol and represent the traditions of the families for years.
In some countries, brides change to several outfits during the ceremonies, while in some, wedding dresses have gold in them. We have gathered the culture behind 7 international wedding dresses from around the world. Who knows, one of them might be an inspiration for your own wedding dress?
The Muslim wedding ceremony in Egypt called the “katb el katb” is usually held in a Mosque. The wedding dress can be of 2 types, all in white which is also known as all pure, and all in gold which is known as all rich.
The ‘all gold’ is a reflection for a wealthy and respectful wife where the dress itself is ornate with gold along with the jewellery and the headdress. The dress has lots of embroideries and wealthy decorations on it.
The other version, the ‘all-white’ is a more elegant white gown with golden decorations that stands for “simplicity wealthy”.
Before the wedding, the bride wears a red shawl. Many brides also follow the traditional henna ceremony which they apply on hands and feet as a mark of beautification. The grooms wear a ceremonial tribal outfit, usually matching with the bride’s ‘all gold’ or ‘all-white’ version.
Cambodian weddings are all about multiple rituals and family gatherings. The traditional Cambodian folk dress is the outfit worn by brides and grooms on their wedding day. The outfit consists of three elements: the top, the bottom which is called the sompot and a scarf called the krama.
Men wear a straight-collar and multi-button top while women wear silk-necked short-sleeve shirts. The bottom, which is the sompot is an unstitched rectangular piece of fabric that is wrapped around from the abdomen that typically looks like a long skin-tight skirt or a loose trouser.
Other accessories like capes or shoes are usually not worn in Cambodia, except for royal weddings.
Along with that, you may see a checkered scarf or the krama which is a cotton fabric wrapped around the neck.
The clothing culture in an Indian wedding is surprisingly as important as the love between the bride and the groom. A Hindu Indian wedding consists of several functions for which the bride and groom wear different attires.
The bride’s outfit for the main wedding ritual is called a lehenga which is traditionally a red embroidered saree with intricate designs. A scarf is draped around the head with lots of mostly gold jewellery.
The groom’s outfit may either be a sherwani which is a long jacket or a kurta with a dhoti as the bottoms. The head is veiled with a dupatta which is usually called a “sehra” or “safa”.
Certain things like henna and a bindi on the forehead of the bride are important cultural marks in an Indian Hindu wedding.
If you ever find yourself lucky to step into a Nigerian wedding, you are definitely going to have a blast with the vibrant colours, the music, the traditional rituals and the overwhelming attires.
Coming to the attires, different tribes like the Yoruba or the Edo or the Agbada have different traditional clothes of their own.
There are several layers of men’s wear starting from a shirt called the “Bùbá” and “Sokoto”. Over that, they wrap about two layers of an oversized jacket or tunic called the “Agbádá''. The trousers are called “Shokoto'' and they also wear a cap called the “Fila”.
For the women, they wear a “Buba” which is the blouse over which they gently place a shawl called the “Pele” falling from the shoulder. They have a wrap-around skirt called the “Iro” and a traditional round headdress called the “Gele” which is wrapped on their head covering the hair.
A typical South African wedding is all about good food and family around which lasts at least for 2 days. The attires differ with the ethnicity of the bride and the groom, but Zulu is a popular tribal wedding. In the official ceremony, called the Umago, the bride wears a leather skirt called the “Isidwaba” which is usually coloured with beads. The beads are usually matched with the bridesmaids’ dresses. The top is called the “Isicwaya” and the hat is called “Inkehli”.
The groom wears pants called the “Ibheshu” which are made from calfskin. They are brightly decorated with beads. The top is usually a jacket or a suit with more designs and beads. The outfit is completed with a headband.
Nepalese take their weddings seriously. Preparations start from as long as a month. The wedding gathers all family members and friends and is served with good food and hospitality.
The traditional outfit for the groom is called the Daura Suruwal where the Daura is an embroidered suit and the Suruwal is the trousers. The groom also wears a matching Dhaka topi (the hat), a patuka (the belt) and matching shoes. Some also prefer wearing a sherwani (a long jacket) which is originally from India.
The traditional outfit for the bride is an embroidered heavily-decorated saree or a lehenga, usually red. The bride wears a lot of gold embroidery mostly all over the body including the head, the nose ring, neck, hands and legs.
Along with all the colours and the hype, the Ghananian wedding is known for its Kente fashion style which represents its culture beautifully.
Although most grooms and brides wear the Kente fabric on their wedding days, the fashion comes with different styles.
The bride’s gown colours are often matched with the groom’s outfit. The bride’s attire usually includes a blouse, a wrap skirt, a head wrap, a shawl and a veil. In recent times, instead of the blouse and wrap skirts, most brides level up their fashion with mermaid style gowns.
The groom is either seen in a white jacket and trousers with a shawl and headband or in a fabric wrapped around the body, which usually matches with the bride’s fabric.