Getting married is an important event in every person’s life. A lot of attention goes into preparing the right outfit for the occasion. In many countries, the bride and groom wear national costumes that reflect their religious beliefs as well as the local customs.
Keep reading to find out what stories and traditions are behind them.
A Bulgarian girl wearing a traditional wedding costume.
In Turkey, before a bride leaves her parent’s home and heads to her wedding ceremony, her brother or uncle ties a red ribbon around her waist. Red symbolizes happiness, good luck, and innocence.
In Sri Lanka, the bride’s outfit combines Eastern and Western traditions. Girls wear richly embroidered silk saris and veils. Jewelry should include an odd number of stones, since odd numbers are considered to be auspicious.
Each Indonesian island has its own traditions for bridal gowns. Local girls often dress up in brightly colored outfits with heavy embroidery.
Pakistani girls choose wedding dresses in deep red, pink, or purple. Both the bride and groom are traditionally crowned with garlands made from beads and cotton ribbons.
Indian brides choose a traditional lehenga choli outfit, often in red, adding 16 accessories and jewels according to Solah Shringar (a bridal beauty ritual).
In Nubia, brides wear headscarfs, hide their faces behind sheer veils, and use additional white veils to cover their hair.
A traditional Eritrean wedding outfit includes a crown made from dark velvet and a purple dress with gold embroidery. The bride’s costume compliments that of the groom.
Republic of Tuva, Russia
In Tuva, the national costume reflects the nomadic lifestyle of local people. Ceremonial clothes are comfortable for horseback riding, and they’re made from light-colored fabrics but richly decorated.
In Tibet, on the eve of the wedding day, the groom brings his bride a wedding dress and accessories. The outfit can include a headdress, silver coins for hair decoration, and a small metal Buddha amulet.
For an official wedding ceremony in Palestine, the bride wears a gorgeous white dress. But she must also have a second gown, hand embroidered by her mother, for the actual occasion.
In Lima, the capital city of Peru, brides traditionally wear red-and-black dresses with layered cotton underskirts and decorative trims.
Western fashion leaked to Jordan, where modern brides wear white dresses with either gold or silver jewelry. Often the bride’s head is covered with green fabric. The color symbolizes growth, harmony, and security.
In Mali, the bride’s outfit is called a ’kaftan,’ and is the same color as the dashiki — a loose-fitting pullover garment worn by the groom. Couples often choose white, but sometimes the go-to color is lavender or shades of violet.
For thousands of years, Korean brides have been wearing a traditional costume called a ’Hanbok’ (South Korea) or a ’Joseon-ot’ (North Korea). It consists of a long-sleeve blouse and a high-waisted skirt made from either cotton or silk.
Japanese brides dress up in white kimonos and wear a special silk headdress called ’tsunokakushi.’ Its purpose is to veil the bride’s ’horns of jealousy.’ This is their ego and selfishness, and it symbolizes her resolve to become a gentle, obedient wife.
Nigerian brides stand out with their bright lacy blouses and patterned kaftans, which are often made from Indian fabrics. Coral beads and an elaborate hat complete the look.
In Chechnya, the bride’s white dress is decorated with a brooch and a belt. The gown must hide her whole body, emphasizing her modesty. The bride’s head is covered with a white scarf.
In Iraq, brides traditionally try to set the record for the highest number of costume changes. Throughout the celebration, they manage to wear up to 7 dresses in different colors. Red symbolizes love and romance.
Italian brides believe that green brings good luck and abundance, so they often put on green dresses and green accessories, although white is still the most popular color.
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