When we think of a wedding dress, the standard white, long, and elegant gown that symbolizes purity quickly pops in our minds. However, there are different faces of brides we are yet to see, and some of the most beautiful wedding dresses from across the globe come in diverse colors.
Traditional cultural wedding dresses, particularly in Asia, are still worn by brides up to this date to uphold the rich cultural heritage of their nation. To give you a gist of how some Asian brides look like, here are seven beautiful wedding gowns from across Asia that will dramatically shift the way you think brides should dress on their big day.
The discussion about interesting Asian weddings won’t be complete without giving the floor to the lavish wedding ceremonies of India. In India, they make their brides look like a billion dollars with their traditional red dress with shining shimmering details.
Their bridal fashion includes a choli or a midriff-baring upper garment, lehenga or a floor-length skirt, and dupatta, a multi-purpose scarf. Bridal dresses come in a wide variety of ornate styles and fine details like embroidery and embellishments that make their dresses look heavy and expensive.
To complete the splendid look, the brides use a bindi or a tikka, which are pieces worn on the head and forehead. Mehndi or henna, which are part of the Hindu tradition, are applied to the hands and feet of the bride.
Regardless of one’s social class, the Afghans invest in lavish wedding ceremonies and one of the things that reflect this is the bride’s rich and vibrant dress.
Like most traditional Asian bridal dresses, the brides don’t wear white on their big day. Green bridal dresses are common in Afghan weddings for they are associated with “paradise” in Islamic traditions. The traditional dress is bright and colorful and is filled with geometric patterns and elaborate embroidery. The dress also contains metals or coins sewn into the fabric, making it look grandiose.
The land of smile boasts not only their stunning tropical beaches and warm and friendly people but also their ravishing brides wearing figure-flattering national dresses.
Chut Thai Phra Ratcha Niyom, the national dress of Thailand, is worn on various occasions, including weddings. The traditional dress is a wrap-around style and is often one-shoulder with a sash or silk shawl called Sabai. Through the years, the Chut Thai Phra Ratcha Niyom has been modified to make it more modern and fashionable without losing the signature features of the Thai traditional dress.
In Thai weddings, the brides don’t walk down the aisle wearing white. Bridal dresses commonly come in pastel colors and creamier colors.
Red, which symbolizes good luck, is a very prominent color in the Chinese culture, including in their wedding traditions.
The traditional wedding dress of China is red and is embroidered with elaborate, symbolic details. In Northern China, the brides wear Qi Pao, a one-piece frock embroidered with intricate gold and silver designs while in Southern China, the brides usually wear two-piece dresses called Qun Kwa or Cheongsam.
The traditional Chinese bridal dresses are embellished with phoenix designs while the outfits of the men are adorned with dragon designs to represent the union of male and female power.
Vietnam is just one of the very few countries where the bride wears pants. In fact, the Vietnamese bridal fashion includes a pair of pants and a signature hat, which both go against most bridal expectations.
After the Nguyễn Dynasty, Vietnamese brides began to wear the national costume called the Áo dài, a long silk tunic which is worn over pants. The bride also wears a distinctive, circular headdress called khăn đóng.
Vietnam and China share similar beliefs, especially with regards to symbols. Similar to Chinese practices, Vietnamese brides often wear red to bring good luck to the marriage. The bridal dresses also include elaborate embroidery of the phoenix, a symbol to represent the woman.
The beautiful brides of Korea (both North and South) continue to uphold their nation’s rich culture by wearing the Hanbok, the national costume of Korea, on their wedding day.
A Hanbok seems like stunning princess ball gowns with an Asian flair. It is a multicolored, bell-shaped gown that is primarily composed of a tightly-fitting jacket with two long ribbons called jeogori and a signature high-waisted skirt called chima. The colors of the Hanbok have different meanings and certain colors aren’t allowed to be worn depending on one’s status and age. Hanboks are usually custom-made to make sure no two Hanboks are exactly alike.
To complete the bridal look, women wear their traditional hairpins called binyeo or a crown called jokduri.
The wedding tradition of Japan, unlike its Asian neighbors whose traditional wedding dresses go against the standard “white dress” norm, includes an all-white bridal dress.
What’s unique about Japanese wedding traditions is the bride changes into an elaborately-designed red kimono after the formal ceremonies as a sign of bringing good luck.
The bride wears a pure white kimono made of delicate silk during the formal wedding ceremony. White symbolizes maidenhood and purity. The white kimono comes with a white silk hood headdress called wataboshi, which symbolizes humility and modesty.
Carmina Natividad is one of the enthusiastic writers for Jennifer Regan, a shop in Sydney that caters to women who are looking for the perfect bridal dress to wear as they walk down the aisle. Her articles mainly focus on fashion and beauty, which help soon-to-be-brides prepare for their wedding day.