Joy, laughter, tears, and emotions running high- that are weddings for you! And we are not talking the stereotypes here. No matter which part of the world you belong to, every wedding has these elements sprinkled all over the place with the healthy dose of traditions. One of the very prevalent and much-followed tradition is the wedding dress for the bride. Though, most of the women follow the tradition of their country and community but finding the right trousseau that could bring about the perfect silhouette can be a daunting task.
Whether a wedding is an intimate affair with only close relatives or an extravaganza, the tradition of a bridal ensemble for the big day has been a constant throughout the countries and ages. Here, take a sneak peek at the interesting and charming world of bridal dresses from all over the world!
The brightest, the playful and the proper! That’s a bridal dress in India for you! The most vibrant of red and pink make an appearance in traditional and contemporary manner. The pure silk sarees with a zari border and all-over sequin work create a dream-like sartorial statement for the bride on her big day. While Kanjivaram and Banarasi silk sarees are the most popular choices for a trousseau, every state in India brings a different take to this wedding landscape. For instance, brides in the Malayali community wear a white saree with the golden border for the wedding. The brides in the Sikh community wear a salwar suit. However, most brides in India wear sarees crafted out of pure silk. Some of them also opt for neo-traditional look these days by making a beeline for chiffon and georgette sarees in pastels, floral and chanderi silk.
2 England and the US
Lace, embellished, embroidered and net! Mermaid-style, A-line gowns, vintage, tea length, backless and short! There is no dearth of silhouette frames and the wedding dress style you are looking for! The ideal colour has usually been white but of late, brides have been experimenting with pastels and florals too. The train of the bridal gowns adds a delicate and dramatic effect to the gown. For a cathedral gown, the train can be as long up to 22 inches or more.
Japanese brides have two most formal types of traditional kimonos as wedding attire namely Shiromuku and Uchikake. The combination of red and white and blue and white are the most used colours in the bridal wear.
Shiromuku is the all-white kimono whereas Uchikake is a very expensive jacket-like garment that a bride wears when she is at the stage.
Qun Gua and Qi Pao are the bridal dresses of China. The former, being a traditional one, flaunt the trademark of the Chinese culture such as patterns of flora and dragons. This elegant bridal dress is a two-piece dress consisting of a skirt and a coat. In China, Qun Gua is the hallmark of a family’s wealth in China. The more detailed, elegant and fine it is, the wealthy and influential the family is. Qi Pao, on the other hand, is a mix of contemporary and traditional sensibilities. It is more like a wedding gown with a detailed work. Designers are also working on the contemporary versions of the gowns.
Turkey brides wear a hijab that is every bit feminine, delicate and elegant. Hijab covers most of the body for the bride and preserves her modesty. The finest of embroidery, lace, and tulle is used to handcraft the best of hijabs for the brides to be.
Like Turkey, Egyptian brides also wear a veiled gown with beautiful lace and net pattern. A veil is imperative and exposure of flesh is considered indecent. Traditionally, an Egyptian bride is expected to wear a headgear that resembles a crown. With this perspective, every Egyptian wedding seems to be a royal one!
The Thailand wedding gown is called Pha Nung, which is essentially a rectangular gown-like fabric. It has an Indian saree-like pallu that extends over the shoulder and flows like a train, touching the ground or left as is to sway in the air.
Intense and rich color patterns rule the Hwarot and Hanbok – the traditional bridal dress of Korea. Both these wedding dresses are elaborate and consist of poetic lines and a framework that enhances the silhouette of the bride. Hwarot is usually worn by the royal women of Goryeo and Joseon dynasty.
9 Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan weddings are a beautiful mix of Eastern and Western sensibilities. It is only in Sri Lanka where you can see a bridal gown-like veil and an Indian Kanjivaram silk saree coming together. Be it a Tamil wedding, Moor, Malay or Sinhalese one, the bride is a vision in her attire. Kandyan weddings, for instance, is very much similar to a Hindu Indian wedding. The bride wears a saree-like garment called Osariya or Kandyan saree. These embroidered silk sarees are worn with a longer blouse and peplum-style belt around the waist to enhance the curves and create a better silhouette.
The silk saree can be further accentuated with beads, lace, crystals, pearls, sequins, stones and mirror work. The color of these sarees is usually gold or silver. The sarees wing eye-catching metallic embroidery in gold and silver. Apart from this, one of the most prominent features of bridal wear in Sri Lanka is the ruffled saree blouse, gravitating towards the royal opulence and feel.
Besides a saree, Sri Lankan brides go for white wedding gowns. However, everybody aspires to recreate a royal wedding and live up a little on the big day, it seems! So, refined elegance, as well as sartorial heavyweights, rule the wedding ensemble in Sri Lanka.
In a Bhutanese marriage, handwoven silk fabric called Gho is worn by the bride. These silk fabrics are expensive and symbolic of the family’s wealth and riches.
Áo dài is the bridal wear or Vietnam. An elaborate form of a wedding gown and usually, found in the shades of red or pink, it takes its style inspiration from the court ladies at Nguyễn Dynasty. No wonder, it is bright, rich and regal in its very essence. The imperial symbol such as the Phoenix is embroidered on the attire. The Vietnamese wedding attire also features a headdress called khăn đóng and an extravagant cloak.
A wedding-worthy outfit doesn’t have to be the Haute Couture. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive, an understated or wildest sartorial choice there is. You can wear your mother’s Banarasi silk for the Pheras or transform your sister’s wedding gown into the most romantic dress there could ever be! Most importantly, your dress shouldn’t lack the joy and romance you are feeling on the day! So, live the traditions without losing out on your personal style. Whether you shop the bridal dress online, settle on a bespoke designer wear or get it from a local boutique, you should be the first to fall in love with yourself the moment you see yourself in the mirror. Be it a saree or hijab on your wedding, wear your heart on the sleeve as you walk down the aisle so as to glow inside out!